WTKA Roundtable 2/7/2019: The One Where Craig Ross Calls Out Johnny Orr

WTKA Roundtable 2/7/2019: The One Where Craig Ross Calls Out Johnny Orr Comment Count

Seth February 8th, 2019 at 8:22 AM

Things discussed:

  • Craig Ross doesn’t jump in and ask John Beilein if Terry Mills was better than Jon Teske
  • The Super Bowl
  • Brad Davison is a garbage player, tried to injure Jordan Murphy this week. Don’t understand why they ref him so badly—if you’ve got a cheater treat him like it
  • Brian’s basketball conspiracy, re Carstenson and Garrison
  • The 2nd call on Teske in Iowa: the worst call of the year
  • Auto-benching, low foul rates, let Poole play
  • John Beilein is the kindest troll
  • Rutgers postgame: some Rutgers press guy says “Wow”
  • Michigan State: Reconsidering loss of Langford
  • X is Jason Kidd statistically; he’s keying the offense.
  • Crossover dribble into a sky hook; has that ever happened before?
  • Pep Hamilton promoted to a beach in Tahiti

You can catch the entire episode on Michigan Insider's podcast stream on Podbean.

Segment two is here. Segment three is here.

THE USUAL LINKS

He was chastising me in a way that was so urbane I didn’t realize it for a day.

Comments

Hello: Anthony Campanile, Defensive Assistant

Hello: Anthony Campanile, Defensive Assistant Comment Count

Brian January 11th, 2019 at 12:25 PM

Michigan's filled one of their two defensive position coach openings with a gentleman who had risen to the "co-DC" spot at Boston College:

Multiple sources have confirmed for The Michigan Insider that Jim Harbaugh has followed up his splash hire of former Alabama co-defensive coordinator Josh Gattis by filling one of his two defensive vacancies with former Boston College co-defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach Anthony Campanile. The Fair Lawn (N.J.) native spent the last three seasons helping the Eagles field one of the nation’s top performing secondaries. He interviewed with the Wolverines Tuesday, and now will bring his expertise to Ann Arbor.

At Michigan Campanile could wind up coaching safeties OR outside linebackers and vipers.

Like Gattis, Campanile is young (36, Gattis is 34) and a former D-I player. Campanile was a Rutgers LB/S in the early aughts; since he was a coordinator at Don Bosco for a few years before moving up to Rutgers as a position coach. He coached DBs at BC the last three years, getting the co-DC title last year. BC was 27th, 10th, and 42th in passing S&P+ the last three years, and his recent track record is pretty good:

Noted for both his coaching ability and his prowess on the recruiting trail, Campanile has nurtured several pros in recent years. Los Angeles Rams safety John Johnson was selected in the third round of the 2017 draft after starting all 13 games at free safety for the Eagles. The following year Campanile's cornerback tandem of Isaac Yiadom (third round to the Denver Broncos) and Kamrin Moore (6th round to the New York Giants) made their way to the NFL. That run will continue this month when three more of his protégés are expected to be selected. Junior corner Hamp Cheevers declared early and joins senior safeties Will Harris and Lukas Denis as projected picks.

The guys coming out this year have spent much or all of their careers under Campanile—and since the guys before him were Don Brown recruits that seems like a fine fit. Last year 24/7 named him the DB coach of the year, FWIW.

[After THE JUMP: another battle in the WAR ON RUTGERS]

Comments

Unverified Voracity Remembers Cajun Brady Hoke

Unverified Voracity Remembers Cajun Brady Hoke Comment Count

Brian June 20th, 2017 at 2:42 PM

31153384964_ce34d8b20b_z

[Bryan Fuller]

Naturally. If Harbaugh can't do camps he's going to do something:

Jim Harbaugh takes on clerk role in Genesee Probate Court

This will result in lawyers dorkin' out:

Flint Attorney Rick Hetherington, who appeared on a child support motion, on the way out asked: "Excuse me judge, but for clarification, I was wondering ... who has it better than us?"

Before the judge could respond, Harbaugh replied,

"I know the answer to that...Nobody!"

There's a 50% chance that guy has a username.

On the Go Blue Guarantee. Michigan has declared that instate students with family incomes of less than 65k a year will no longer pay tuition. This is a good thing. Maybe it's less of a "whoah" moment than it first appears since Michigan was already paying the bulk of costs for students in this income bracket, but taking it to zero means something. It also drops out a bunch of paperwork:

"The 'Go Blue Guarantee' cuts through the complexities of financial aid to help us reach talented students from all communities in our state. I have always believed that talent is ubiquitous in our society, but opportunity most certainly is not. The 'Go Blue Guarantee' helps us ensure wider opportunity."

I have Read The Comments on this, unfortunately, and one of the most common attempted gotchas is weeping for the family making 66k. They're not exactly boned by this move:

Tuition slides up gradually as income increases. As it would in any non-insane system. Concerns about families making twice the state median having problems shouldering their burden should be mitigated by the existence of 529 plans, which allow folks who have money to invest—ie, 120k-per-year households—to grow that money tax-free. You have to have a plan, but you can afford to have one at that point.

As state appropriations have shrunk as a portion of Michigan's budget, Michigan has responded by continually increasing costs for the wealthy. They've also tried to up their appeal to that segment of the population. If anything it's worked too well; Michigan's ability to enroll lower-income students has fallen off a cliff. This will help. It is unlikely to have a huge impact since ability to meet admissions standards is highly correlated with family income.

There's not much of a sports angle here unless Michigan starts covering large chunks of living costs as well. Those are estimated at about 15k annually and are covered by an athletic scholarship elsewhere. Since the sort of families covered by the guarantee are also the ones for whom 15k is a huge deal, this does not get Michigan a bunch of free scholarships for instate kids. If Michigan manages to extend this to room and board, then you might see a notably improved class of walk-on. Until then hold your birdman dot gifs about gaming the system.

Athletic budget notes. Michigan continues to live in the black after late Brandon shenanigans, projecting a two million dollar surplus this year. Athletic department budgets being what they are, a tiny profit is all that will ever be allowed. This helps schools cry poor when amateurism is questioned. Michigan can't quite disguise why a good year for the AD is always a 1% profit margin, because the way they make this happen is a PR boon:

Included in the department's projections is an increase in transfers to the university from $3.825 million in FY17 to $7.875 million in FY18.

Does the athletic department need to double the amount of money they transfer back to the general fund? No. Does the general fund need a four million dollar drop in a swimming pool of funding? No.

Michigan's also setting aside four million dollars into its deferred maintenance fund. They need to do this for major renovations—they cannot soak taxpayers by issuing bonds like pro teams—but that is also money that exits that they expensed away with some handwaving. Michigan expects to make at least 14 million dollars profit in 17-18.

That's due in no small part to this:

Conference distributions are projected to increase to $51.1 million in FY18 from $36.3 million in FY17 due mostly to a new conference media rights agreement.

You might be able to pay the players now instead of coming up with increasingly transparent ways of laundering the money.

Get hype for Gary. Peppers kind of talk about Mr. Gary from Don Brown:

Brown was asked Saturday after Michigan’s high school football camps how good Gary, a defensive end, can be.

“Best I’ve ever seen,” Brown said. “Best I’ve ever seen combining speed, strength, change of direction, and the mental curve. He’s unbelievable. The sky is the limit.

“The good thing is I think he understands that there’s a lot on his shoulders.”

It is rare to hear that kind of thing from a coach, and it portends good things.

Other minor roster notes from recent coach availabilities: Grant Perry won't play until his court issue is resolved and Grant Newsome is still expected to redshirt.

It's a contract. The NCPA, an NCAA union with the minor problem of not having any officially-designated employees to unionize, is doing what it can in the current regulatory environment. They've introduced a binding contract that they say is kosher with the NCAA that covers various aspects of the player-school relationship not covered by the LOI. Highlights:

According to the contract document obtained by CBS Sports, the CAP Agreement can be used instead of the National Letter of Intent or with the NLI. Either way, it would cover several areas the letter of intent doesn't. …

A school could be bound to an all-encompassing transfer release for a prospect before enrollment. The document asks if an institution "agrees"  or "does not agree" "to comply with any request for transfer" and "to not restrict the ability" of a player to transfer to any other school. …

A school could not "cancel, reduce or fail to renew financial aid … due to injury or athletic performance." …

A player could negotiate the cost of a remaining scholarship to complete a degree at some point in the future should he/she leave early for a professional draft.

These things rarely get off the ground, unfortunately. High level players are deciding between competing under-the-table offers that supersede the relatively minor concerns this contract can cover, especially in basketball.

(Also, since I just rolled my eyes at Dennis Dodd I should point out that this is a good and interesting piece he got first.)

Da Coach D. I forgot that LSU hired Cajun Brady Hoke after running Les Miles out of town, and have been momentarily boggled by this once again. LSU has all the money in the world, and they hired an interim coach whose previous experience was crashing and burning at Ole Miss. Anyway, Orgeron is using the NCAA's new camp rules to shut the rest of the country out of Louisiana. Michigan canceled a scheduled camp of their own, but that pales in comparison to the hoops Texas has been trying to jump through:

This marks the third announced camp in Louisiana that Texas was scheduled to take part in. And it’s the third camp that LSU has worked hard behind the scenes to prevent from happening. In a phone interview earlier on Tuesday, the local high school coach who initially helped facilitate the field for the Baton Rouge camp expressed pessimism about it happening. “We're in LSU's backyard,” said Mike Roach, the coach at Madison Prep in Baton Rouge and the father of Texas player Malcolm Roach. “Louisiana home cooking may have played a part in it.”​ Roach, who initially tried to help facilitate the camp, declined to go into details on what LSU may have done to attempt to prevent the camp from being held at Memorial Stadium. But his comments proved to be prescient.

After camps affiliated with Texas got canceled at Louisiana College and Southeastern Louisiana in the past few weeks, Mumme acknowledged on Tuesday afternoon there was still a chance LSU or political officials in the state would attempt to thwart Texas’s presence. “Oh yeah,” Mumme said. “But it’s only a day away now. I don’t think there’s a lot they can do. The only thing that can kill it is if it rains.”

He was wrong.

A silly waste of time on their part, and one that does nothing to help anyone. It sucks most of all for the mid-level kids who might catch on at Cornell or Belhaven or wherever if they can just get in front of some coaches; top-level guys don't need and rarely work out at these satellite camps.

But Orgeron's mostly notable for being unintelligible, so that fits.

Somebody did it for me. Many thanks to the Crimson Quarry, which donned its fisking hat in response to this:

This saves me a couple hours of brow-furrowed typing. For real:

[Politi:] Big Ten rival Michigan

[CQ]: Ahh of course, that famous Rutger rival Michigan, against whom the games are always close.

This is a thing a person said and was paid for.

I do have assorted comments about the Rutgers thing three years in that will not reference the Politi column:

  • The huge uptick in dough raked in by the league is approximately zero percent Rutgers's doing. Rutgers was useful to Delany as he attempted to expand the Big Ten Network's footprint. The 15-million-dollar uplift this year is because of the Big Ten's new national contracts with FOX and ESPN. The Michigan-OSU game, which is on FOX for the first time this year, is a bigger reason for the uplift than every game Rutgers plays in every sport.
  • Rutgers is probably worth it in this brief window when they don't get a a full share and cable cutting has not been epidemic, which is all Jim Delany cares about since he's old and will never have any legacy other than dollar bills.
  • We should kick Rutgers out the instant they're supposed to get a full share.

Matt Brown addresses the elephant in the room for fans: we get zilch from the Big Ten's constant dollar chasing. We get less than that.

Does the difference between $51 million in conference payouts and $43 million in conference payouts change the fan experience, or even the trajectory of football or basketball programs in a meaningful way? It’s very hard to argue it does, especially if you’re a fan of an already rich program, like say, Ohio State.

Nobody gets a bowl invitation because they got the biggest conference check. There is no trophy for it. It’s a meaningless thing to brag about.

But the addition of Rutgers does impact the fan experience and day to day performance of football and basketball programs. It means fewer games between traditional opponents for your favorite teams. It means an RPI anchor in basketball and baseball. It means an expensive road trip. And it means a lot of unwatchable games.

Again, we should kick 'em out in three years just for the fun of it.

Oh okay. Sympathy for John Calipari is still reading zero:

"They need more inventory for their own network so you just play more league games and then you have more inventory for your network to put on," Calipari said via teleconference Tuesday. "Hopefully in our case in this league (the Southeastern Conference) we stay where we are and if we don't, we'll make it work."

"What you do is, you take away some of those kind of games that have been good to us," Calipari said. "North Carolina, for example: If they go to 20 games we won't have any more series with North Carolina, so I'm not for it."

Calipari cancelled the UK-Indiana rivalry because Indiana refused to play at a neutral site. He can pound rocks.

Some hockey recruiting stuff. Bob MacKenzie's annual poll of NHL scouts and GMs in the run-up to the draft is out. Incoming freshman Josh Norris is a late first round pick at #23; rising sophomore Luke Martin is #69, nicely slotted into the early third round. Michigan also picked up its first new commit of the Pearson era when Phillipe Lapointe jumped on board a couple days ago. Phillipe is former Red Wing Martin Lapointe's son

Etc.: Muckalt hire official. Hooray for (potential) (slight) changes in municipal bonds that would (hypothetically) make it tougher for billionaires to get public money for stadiums. All hail the double team.  Second string OSU TE out for season.

Oklahoma State's mascot is stranger than fiction. As college and NFL OL play diverges, busts become more common. Should be sent to all linemen considering M. Paris, London, and Normandy Beach on the docket next year. Obamas invited to be honorary captains. DJ made a good decision.

Comments

Elite Student Leaders Achieve Peak Rutgers

Elite Student Leaders Achieve Peak Rutgers Comment Count

Ace June 8th, 2016 at 2:17 PM

Just when you thought you'd seen peak Rutgers...

As Paramus Catholic High School officials prepare to host a football camp Wednesday featuring Michigan's Jim Harbaugh, authorities are said to be investigating a series of acts that the school president called vandalism.

Paramus Catholic president James Vail told NJ Advance Media his operations team arrived on campus this morning to find Rutgers magnets across the fields and a teddy bear and Rutgers paper packet on the 50-yard line of the football field.

A group claiming unofficial ties to Rutgers University took responsibility, emailing media outlets with pictures of its work and a letter slamming Harbaugh for starting a war with Rutgers.

The photos above depict the horrifying act of vandalism and the accompanying letter from "The Order of Bulls Blood," which for the sake of both brevity and accuracy will henceforth be called "Smirnoff ISIS."

There's so much to unpack here that I'm just going to start writing a list and see how long I can go before I can no longer see through the tears of laughter.

1. "The Order of Bull's Blood" is the oldest secret society at Rutgers—or is rumored to be, as its very existence is in question (see sidebar). "The Order of Bulls Blood" is a group of students who don't know how to properly deploy the possessive form.

2. According to an email sent to local media, this act of war was pulled off by "elite student leaders," which... you know what? That sounds about right.

Good Morning,

Michigan has began a war with Rutgers University. Our Order, represented by some of Rutgers elite student leaders, see it fit that this rivalry be hereby declared.

We have had enough of Michigan. Fence the Garden was brought forth because of Mr. Harbaugh, and us Scarlet Knights are ready to protect our state. We R battle ready.

Tonight sparked the beginning of the end for Wolverine Football, and no longer will they return to their former glory. The Curse of The Bambino reigned for 86 years, Michigan's will last for 28.

Best,

The 2016-2017 Class

Order of Bulls Blood

The Yankees are invoked. I, for one, am shocked.

3. If an act of vandalism is best described as "adorable," it's probably not a very good act of vandalism. It's definitely not a good act of vandilism if it's already gone by the time the press picks up on it, let alone the event it's supposed to disrupt.

"The litter has already been cleaned up and we're ready to go for the camp,'' said Vail

This was not a good act of vandalism.

4. This is a textbook use of the passive voice by the NJ.com writer.

Because Michigan is perceived to be a rival to Rutgers both on the football field and on the recruiting trail, the camp has drawn intense criticism from Rutgers fans on popular Internet message boards.

Perceived by whom? Exactly.

5. The letter to Harbaugh. Good God, the letter to Harbaugh. There's the haphazard use of capitalization, the implication Rutgers is College Football David instead of College Football Job, "you will being to fade," and the invoking of their "powerful ally," Ohio State. Should somebody tell them?


Awkward.

The best part, though, is that the letter is meant to be an acrostic, a favored form among Facebook meme artisans and middle schoolers writing love letters. These elite student leaders cleverly inserted a message to Jim Harbaugh in such fashion. Or they tried to, at least, but their use of "The Sleeping Giant" screwed up the format.

As such, the capitalized letters down the side read: GO FUCK YOUGRSELF

Rutgers may be the worst thing to ever happen to the Big Ten, but at least they're the best thing to happen to this offseason.

Comments

Unverified Voracity Is Seeded Second

Unverified Voracity Is Seeded Second Comment Count

Brian May 16th, 2016 at 12:32 PM

26515998795_cef17b61be_z

[Bryan Fuller]

#2 overall. That's the softball team's seed for the upcoming NCAA tournament:

Ann Arbor Regional – May 20-22 at Ann Arbor, Michigan

Notre Dame (41-11) vs. Miami (OH) (34-21)

Valparaiso (18-32) vs. No. 2 seed Michigan* (46-5)

Notre Dame should present the toughest test for Michigan. The two teams didn't play this year and there's very little in the way of common opponents; ND is ranked around 20th in the national polls and is thus a considerably tougher second-round opponent than you'd generally expect—it's the equivalent of a one-seed in the basketball tournament drawing a six-or seven-seed in round two.

MGoUser South Bend Wolverine has written excellent previews the past couple years and we pinged him; we hope to front-page it later this week.

Exit Rawak. Chrissi Rawak is leaving Michigan to become Delaware's AD. Rawak is a name those of you who have read Endzone probably remember. Rawak, Dave Brandon's second-in-command, features prominently both as a symbol of the change Brandon wrought and as a crutch increasingly forced to take on roles that she's not comfortable in. The book makes it clear that she was rather divisive, especially amongst the old hands forced out because of a lack of personal loyalty to Brandon.

I'm skeptical anyone Brandon could rely on so comprehensively was a good fit with my ideal Michigan athletic department, so the move is a win-win. Rawak gets an AD job with winged helmets to ease her transition, and a prominent Brandon apparatchik is no longer wondering what's wrong with a giant noodle ad in the Big House.

Ever aft… uh. Speaking of the Before Times, infamous Dave Brandon mansion "Ever After" is up for sale for a cool seven million dollars.

3240247_89

3240247_90

Not pictured is the other plaque by the gate, for obviou's reasons:

ever-after

May its next resident be better at apostrophes and email.

I still can't get over the spectacular hubris of naming your home the thing that fairy tales say after the princess gets rescued by the dashing prince. If there was ever a better example of "be about it, don't talk about it" I can't think of one. The same hubris that caused "Ever After" is the one that caused "find a new team" and eventually resulted in the thing being put up for sale. It's nice to know that cosmic justice does strike, at least occasionally.

Relevant to our interests. Ian Boyd writes on how 4-3 defenses—that would be us—are adapting to the "smashmouth spread"—that would be OSU. MSU's defense features prominently, as they've increasingly found their safeties matched up one-on-one with receivers they cannot hang with. You may remember a number of Jake Rudock passes in last year's game that would have been touchdowns had they been accurate; Baylor and Oregon have also made a habit out of bombing it deep to slot types.

Michigan's changed so much over the past few years that it's hard to draw any conclusions from what they're doing. (Other than "don't do that against OSU again.") MSU's adapted, as teams constantly do; Boyd says that to cope with smashmouth spreads that run a lot of RPO these are the key components:

To make this style of man/zone combination work a defense has to have a few particular components. The first is a lockdown corner to play man coverage on the weakside. If the opposing team has an ace WR in that spot and love to throw him the ball on standard downs then this scheme is DOA without a corner that can match him.

The second is a pair of DEs that are fundamentally sound and good at responding to different blocks. If that DE can't consistently contain the ball inside on the weakside this scheme can get into trouble fast.

Finally, the strong safety should be a player worth featuring as a free hitter against the run game.

Michigan appears to check all these boxes, pending the resolution of the WDE spot, and looks set to be a 4-3 over team this fall.

The other thing you haven't considered. Steve Politi keeps banging the War On Rutgers drum because all of a sudden his articles are clicked when he does this. I keep banging on the War On Rutgers drum because it is deeply hilarious to me. Anyway, this episode:

Now that we have the seeds of a Rutgers-Michigan feud planted,

no

now that we have the New Jersey high school coaches lining up behind their state university in an eye-popping show of solidarity,

against Paramus Catholic with Rutgers as a proxy

now that we have a reason for the national college football media to pay attention to our state in early June,

no

we should probably point this out:

Satellite camps are a farce.

yes, but not for the reasons you think.

The rest of the article is the usual reiteration of Politi's worldview that Harbaugh is a Machiavellian manipulator of the media and "fake," whatever that means. Anyone who's laid eyes on Harbaugh knows that his personality is on full display, and at maximum volume, at all times. This insistence that the guy is anything other than genuine is the least convincing rival smack talk I have come across. Crazy, sure. Phony, no. That's the equivalent of accusing David Shaw of being excessively emotional.

One strikeout. A couple times this space has wondered why Michigan State was telling people they expected three sixth-year players back when none of them seemed to have any case. Here's the resolution to one of those cases:

Veteran defensive tackle Damon Knox will not play for the Spartans in 2016 and has decided instead to pursue a career in law enforcement, the school announced on Friday afternoon.

MSU didn't even submit paperwork for him; as of a few weeks ago they hadn't done so for either of the other two guys, LB Ed Davis and OL Brandon Clemons. This is a really weird situation: it seems like the relevant persons at MSU are unaware that a sixth year is much harder to get than a fifth year.

The spin here rankles a little. Knox didn't get a sixth year because he never had a case for one. It's not because he has a passion for The Law. but the aforementioned oddity means outlets who haven't been paying much attention write articles like this:

There’s something you don’t see every day.

Friday, Michigan State announced that defensive tackle Damon Knox will not be returning to the Spartans for a sixth season.  The reason?  The lineman has decided to pursue a career in the field of law enforcement.

Uh… no. That's not CFT's fault They're just aggregating a story. It is the fault of the universally credulous Spartan beat, which will get around to investigating Max Bullough's suspension any day now.

Etc.: Rutgers fans remind each other to thank Jim Delany for "the biggest gift the school had received since Colonel Rutgers donated the money to revive the college back in the 1820s," which is accurate.

People attempting to purchase Budweiser-taunting "Murica" beer disappointed to discover it doesn't exist. Hey man take a cue from InBev and just put the same beer in a different package. Just one incoming hockey recruit, Will Lockwood, mentioned amongst the top 100 prospects for the upcoming NHL draft in an extensive article. BU is cleaning up.

Again, I would like to apologize to dogs for my insensitive comments about their intelligence.

Comments

Thursday Recruitin' Lacks D-I Talent

Thursday Recruitin' Lacks D-I Talent Comment Count

Ace May 12th, 2016 at 3:18 PM

An Unexpected Twist

When an out-of-region prospect cancels a visit, it's usually a death knell for a program's chances of landing him. So, when top-100 AL WR Nico Collins didn't make it to the spring game, I assumed Michigan was out of the picture.

I was wrong. Collins got to campus last week, and he told 247's Georgia outlet he has a new leader in the aftermath:

"Right now, Michigan has caught my eye," Collins said. "I fell in love with them on my visit. They might be my leader - with Georgia, Alabama, and Clemson pushing them. There is just something more with Michigan - they have a plan for you after college - plus their football program is pretty nice."

We'll see if that holds once the post-visit afterglow has faded. Even if the pack catches up, Michigan is in excellent position; Collins noted two important factors are his relationship with the coaches and the quarterback situation at each program—M should fare well on both counts.

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

Comments

Unverified Voracity Got To Mars In Six Days

Unverified Voracity Got To Mars In Six Days Comment Count

Brian May 11th, 2016 at 2:53 PM

rtaImage[1]

Team Gardens in Flint. If you're in the area and available this Saturday, the Alumni Association is working with Vincent Smith's Team Gardens to make a thing:

Each year, on Michigan Alumni Community Service Day, alumni clubs from all over the country give back to their local communities in a variety of ways. This year, our club is pleased to partner with Team Gardens #EATING Project to assist with the creation of a community garden at Potter Elementary School in Flint. Be sure to register for this event soon; attendance is limited to 35 volunteers and families are very welcome.

Plants! Plant them in planters, the plants. And the ground.

Go big or go bigger, home is just a distant memory. Michigan has now announced 28(!) satellite camps, including faintly ludicrous stops in Australia, Hawaii, and American Samoa—and Michigan will be at the latter two twice. I have a preview of Jay Harbaugh's future right here:

I have also traveled to and fro in time to acquire a piece of Jay's diary.

JULY 15TH—unnamed village 50 miles north-northwest of Almaty, Kazakhstan. The stink of refuse in the streets and the uncomprehending looks from the villagers wear on us daily. We say "football" ever slower only for the children to grab the balls and kick them about. The oblong shape does not bother them. They have never seen a soccer ball, either. I begin to wonder if they've ever seen a man-made toy.

Everything else is goats. Goat cheese. Goat moccasins. Goat yurts. Furtive in the streets, one day I think I see a goat wife. All is goats. We offer a class of 2019 wide receiver who does not know what a post route is, or his own name. We call him Goatley. He is probably a goat.

Tomorrow we're going to see the cosmodrome, for some reason.

JULY 21ST—Mons Olympus, Mars. There are no people here. We have been directed to form them from the dusty Martian soil. Every day I trudge up the ancient shield volcano to see if the crumbling forms have been imbued with a spark of life. They never are. I feel the radiation sleeting through space and Mars's thin atmosphere, into my bones. The nights are dark beyond belief.

In more ludicrous satellite camp news. The War On Rutgers continues. Our current situation: Michigan is ignoring Rutgers for the 150th consecutive year. Rutgers is offended that Michigan asked them to their Paramus camp because they didn't want to play second fiddle in their home state, so they announced a camp with Urban Meyer at the same time as Michigan's. I have a dank meme for this, you guys, that will prove I am hip with the snapchat youth.

flat,800x800,070,f

Noted rappist DJ Khaled will ensure I remain relevant for decades

Only the dankest of memes will appear in this space.

Anyway, by flipping the bird to Michigan, Rutgers and OSU have annoyed a bunch of local recruits who now have to choose which set of coaches to get exposure with. New Milford assistant and outstanding name Preston Lawyer:

It appears this has hit a vein of internal New Jersey high school politics, and that a number of NJ high school coaches are nuts. A NJ.com article quotes a number of coaches supporting the Rutgers camp with language that says more about the person speaking than the event they're commenting on:

"Obviously, Michigan wants to conspire with Paramus Catholic to do whatever they want to do,'' Campanile said. "So I don't think they're making friends from that standpoint with a lot of these schools. I really don't know what to say about it. But it is what it is. They're obviously aligned with those guys, and if that's what they want to do, it's their business."

I'm sorry if some of you experienced painful eye-rolling at that quote. There's plenty more in there if you're inclined. This guys sounds like a major piece of work. His brother in an assistant at BC, who will work the Paramus camp:

"I love my brother more than anything in the world. I just don't want anything to do with my kids going to a camp at Paramus Catholic.''

The good news is that per 247 this dude doesn't have a single recruitable player in either of the next two classes. The two other coaches in that article are from Don Bosco and St Peter's Prep, though, and that's going to be interesting: three of the top five guys in the 2018 class are at those schools and Michigan is thought to lead for the Ademilola twins and is up there for Tyler Friday. A dollar says at least one of these guys is hired by Rutgers in the near future.

This already happened. To you. As recently as it's possible for this to happen. Elsewhere in incorrect braggadocio:

"I may get myself in trouble for this: For people that want to come to Alabama and have a camp, I think it's great, because they're helping the quality of football in the state of Alabama," Horton told the Ledger-Enquirer. "(But) no one is coming to this state and getting a player from Auburn or Alabama. That's not going to happen. So hey, I'm for, if they want to come to our state and have it, that's going to help the quality of high school football."

Not quite Alabama, but Elysee Mbem-Bosse went to high school less than two hours away from Auburn, was widely expected to go to Auburn, and then Harbaugh went "yoink." Michigan's recruiting efforts are not going to have a material impact on any out-of-region school; pretending that Harbaugh can't go pick off kids you want is sticking your fingers in your ears and going "la la la."

Pack line is music to the ears. Quinn profiles Billy Donlon in a long piece. They key bit for people blanching at triple-digit Kenpom D efficiencies:

At Wright State, Donlon primarily played a true pack line defense (a variation of man-to-man), while showing some 2-3 and 1-3-1 zones over the years. His team ranked in the top three in defensive efficiency in five of six years in the Horizon.

Over the last three seasons, Michigan has ranked 9th, 11th and 10th in the Big Ten in defensive efficiency.

"He has a great basketball mind in general, but the way he coaches defenses -- that's kind of his thing," said AJ Pacher, a Wright State center during Donlon's first four seasons. "He did a lot of film, and a lot scouting, and he'd implement a lot of against specific teams in specific games."

The foul tension will be fascinating to see unfold next year. Here's hoping Michigan is a lot more annoying, a lot more effective, and autobench is at least somewhat warranted.

As a side note:

As Tuesday afternoon wrapped up, Donlon declined to answer if he'll serve as a sort of pseudo-defensive coordinator at Michigan.

Dank meme questions bros.

An easy way to get fired. Like a lot of coaches, Charlie Strong has a twitter hashtag he uses to announce commits, albeit anonymously. Would you believe the Texas guy for Scout has trademarked this hashtag and is now selling merch featuring it? You would not. But it happened anyway:

Texas officials were surprised Monday after learning that a reporter who covers Longhorns recruiting had trademarked Strong’s phrase in March 2015 and recently started selling #Letsride T-shirts.

Jason Higdon, the lead recruiting analyst for Horns Digest, filed two federal trademark applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last year to use the phrase on various sports apparel and wristbands.

If this guy had any connect with the coaching staff he doesn't have it any longer, and if the reaction to this news is any indication he might not have a job much longer. There is now a JasonHigdon.com run by one of the Barking Carnival guys, because the internet is like that.

Etc.: Mount Hot Take has been discovered. Excellent summary of the A&M twitter disaster. Ditto the Tunsil situation. Basketball has a home and home scheduled with UCLA. SMSB director appreciates Harbaugh's advocacy.

Baumgardner profiles David Long. Please have all future profile posted before the 2016 recruiting profile for that player, pls thx. Also profiled: Jourdan Lewis. Bama is comin' to our citayyyy. Don't hire the son of a famous coach before he's done something to prove he's not a total buffoon. See also: Derek Dooley.

Comments