Unverified Voracity Shoots Gary Sinese

Unverified Voracity Shoots Gary Sinese Comment Count

Brian December 3rd, 2009 at 2:50 PM

Huh. Tom Dienhart's taken his "get anonymous coaches to say bitchy stuff" act on to Rivals, this time breaking down the pending SEC championship game. You probably don't care much about the particulars, but I found this section pretty interesting given that much-loved former Michigan QB coach Scot Loeffler was just put in charge of the Tebow Child:

QUARTERBACK: Our staff thought Tim Tebow has gotten worse as a quarterback from last year to this year. Everyone talks about his mechanics and dropping the football; he drops it lower this year and has worse mechanics. I don't know what it is. He's still making throws and doing some things, but he just doesn't seem comfortable back there. I don't know if it's because of the concussion or what. But teams are making him sit in the pocket longer and throw the football, and sometimes he gets a little skittish back there.

Probably doesn't mean much given Loeffler's extended, wildly successful tenure at Michigan, but I found it interesting.

Is that your final answer? The internet would be a far less chaotic and rumor-stricken place if folks followed one guideline when citing inside information: never link to a place for the first time, or link to a place you've never heard of, because it's got a hot rumor.

Why do I mention this? Because of this:

Brian Kelly will be next Notre Dame football coach

Cincinnati coach to take helm of Fighting Irish, sources reveal to IrishCentral

Brian Kelly will be the next head football coach at the University of Notre Dame, informed sources tell IrishCentral.

The source, who is a well-informed person of influence at Notre Dame, says the Cincinnati coach is the preferred choice for the job, and that he is expected to eventually sign a deal.

Kelly is expected to see out the season with his Bowl Championship Series-bound team, and then report for duty at South Bend.

There is no there there. Kelly is "expected" to "eventually" be the coach by some random guy. By this standard, Michigan is currently coached by Kirk Ferentz, Greg Schiano, and Rich Rodriguez. This site has no track record—it started in March. It talked to one guy who says Kelly is the eventual choice in a month, which in coaching search years is sometime after the Sun engulfs the Earth. And it spreads like wildfire. Why this dubious rumor and not others? Other than the newspaper website template—a rinky-dink version of one—I got nothin'.

Kelly, for his part, was less wishy-washy about staying at Cincinnati on the radio than he was at a press conference yesterday:

“I’m staying, man. I’m staying,” Kelly said on the show. “Why would I go? It’s always about staying, first. First and foremost."

No, I don't believe him either. Unfortunately.

Very modern. Greg Dooley has an interview with Angelique Chengelis up at GBW, and as a guy who runs a college football poll I found this snapshot of the AP poll's assemblage interesting:

MVictors: When you say ‘send in’, do you submit an online form or do you email something in like a Word document or a spreadsheet or something?
Angelique: I just send in an email, ranking the teams 1-25.   I have a couple different email addresses that I send it to and that’s what I’ve always done.  You’d think it’d be more formal, wouldn’t you?

Wow. The Blogpoll's rickety submission system is more advanced than this. There's javascript and a database and everything.

PREWB! Yes, obligated to mention that after unusual stonewalling on the part of the local police department, eight Spartans were "indefinitely" suspended, including starters BJ Cunningham, Mark Dell, and Chris Rucker for the 2009 Posse Roundup & Engineer/Woman Beatdown. Rucker's a cornerback and in the state of Michigan all members of the secondary not named Woolfolk or Warren are interchangeably horrible, but Cunningham and Dell are excellent receivers. BONUS: there are five more guys yet to be identified—Rob Parker thinks they're all Kirk Cousins.

KJ at The Only Colors wants everyone gone permanently, but that seems steep if the kids in question didn't get violent themselves. They might have tagged along for laughs and saw Glenn Winston go all Grimsrud on them (clip NSF kiddies):

Mark Dell might just have some mechanical engineer's brain all over his car. While you have to expect that when you go anywhere with Winston, I guess, anyone without a prior incident shouldn't necessarily see their career end if the tape shows them to be largely innocent. Hefty suspensions lasting past the Michigan game next year are mandatory, though.

The thing about this thing is: I thought that giving Winston the relative slap on the wrist (essentially a four-game suspension) he got for an act far worse than many that see players drummed out of school entirely—see poor Larry Harrison—was a mistake at the time, as did a lot of other people including Spartan fans. If you want to give Dantonio the benefit of the doubt, fine. Coaches have a lot more information in these situations than we do. I find the irony of his pride before the fall delicious, though, and reserve the right to whoop it up after two years in which Michigan's coach has been portrayed as an inbred hick with no ethics.

Etc.: Phil Brabbs is dyeing his hair blue before it all falls out. DOMINATE. Rivals goes stunningly in depth with a geographic breakdown of recruiting stars and NFL draftees.

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The Dantonio Double Standard

The Dantonio Double Standard Comment Count

Brian December 1st, 2009 at 11:58 AM

mark-dantonio rich-rodriguez-p1

Last year, Glenn Winston put a hockey player in the hospital, costing him a whole year, and injured a second bystander. Neither victim did anything to provoke the violence, and Winston was fortunate to plea-bargain himself down to a misdemeanor and six months in jail. Mike Rosenberg on that:

Plus, people forget this: Winston was convicted of a misdemeanor. If anything, his sentence (six months in jail) was excessive for a misdemeanor. So I understood why Dantonio reinstated Winston this summer. Yes, it looks awful now. But it made some sense this summer.

"Excessive for a misdemeanor." Rosenberg is downplaying a scary, dangerously violent incident because he doesn't understand that a misdemeanor basically means the jail sentence can't be longer than a year. Six months in jail might be excessive for pot possession. It doesn't seem excessive for endangering someone's playing career.

Remember that Rosenberg wrote an "I'm just sayin'" column after Justin Feagin's situation, citing Rodriguez's decision to recruit linebacker Pat Lazear as evidence Rodriguez doesn't care about the character of his players:

The fact that Rodriguez was recruiting Feagin to West Virginia is telling because Rodriguez took considerable heat for some of his recruiting choices in Morgantown. Most noteworthy: Rodriguez signed linebacker Pat Lazear to a letter of intent even though Lazear had been accused of orchestrating an armed robbery of a Smoothie King store.

"That was a situation that was cleared up before he left high school," Rodriguez said Monday.

Well, that depends on your definition of "cleared up." Lazear pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery. He was sentenced to 10 days in jail and received a 10-year suspended sentence for his part in the robbery. He also was sentenced to 30 days of house arrest and 150 hours of community service. And in a previous incident, Lazear had been found guilty of using a stolen credit card.

I guess you could say his situation was "cleared up."

Lazear has not been in trouble at West Virginia and is on the academic honor roll. That same column cites Feagin's high school coach saying that Feagin hadn't been in trouble there only to dismiss that. Rosenberg's thrust is that Rodriguez should have known better than to recruit Justin Feagin, and should never have gone near a guy with nothing on his record other than a dropped misdemeanor and some traffic tickets. If Rodriguez didn't know Feagin was a bad guy, it was because he didn't care to know. The upshot: Rodriguez is unethical.

Here's a similar conversation in the Winston case:

MARK DANTONIO: Are there any issues with this Winston guy?
MARK DANTONIO: Well, he beat up two innocent people, putting one of them in the hospital.
MARK DANTONIO: What's that? I can't hear you. You must be breaking up.
MARK DANTONIO: We're not talking on a cell phone. I am you. We're having a schizophrenic episode. You're talking to yourself.
MARK DANTONIO: I am very public about my faith!

And yet reinstating this guy "makes some sense." The double standard could not be clearer.

Is there any question that Rosenberg would be calling for Rodriguez's job if 15-20 Michigan players had beaten the hell out of innocent bystanders for the second time in two years? Michigan State has had 20% of its entire team involved in unprovoked violence against other students for two consecutive years.

Rosenberg can couch his eminently reasonable opinion in eminently reasonable columnist terms, but the bias is screaming. Mark Dantonio's got a hell of a jaw and a bible on his desk. He's also in charge of a bunch of thugs, and got a Michigan State student injured and, likely, his university sued. This is enough for Rosenberg to gently suggest that Dantonio might need to get his team under control—oh, really? Meanwhile, Rodriguez correctly judging the character of Pat Lazear and immediately dealing with the Feagin situation is enough for the "win at all costs" headline.

This is the fair and balanced person the Free Press thought they'd have investigate the Michigan football program.

More about this on the message board.

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Unverified Voracity Needs A Posse

Unverified Voracity Needs A Posse Comment Count

Brian November 24th, 2009 at 2:47 PM

Site note: remember how I said the blog would be off Thursday and Friday? Psyche. Tim will be around posting up basketball content. I'm taking a couple days off, but the Old Spice Classic will get its due around here.

Hey, thanks for the timely assist. The AP follows up the UV from yesterday that mocked Terry Foster's baseless blog post about Rodriguez's lack job security—the theory being that big money donors would wake up two weeks from now, find out Michigan is 5-7, and revolt—with a few timely quotes from uber-donor Stephen Ross:

"If he has a bad year next year, he'll have a lot more pressure," Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross told The Associated Press, standing near midfield before the Wolverines lost to Ohio State on Saturday to finish 5-7. "I don't think he has anything to worry about right now in my mind." …

"People take shots at him for whatever reason," Ross said. "Some people like to beat people when they're down. I think he's a great man and he's been a winner wherever he's been.

"It's just that a lot of people don't like change. I think it will all work out."

Dollars to donuts some hack picks up on "doesn't have anything to worry about right now" and spins it into  a grim tale of a pre-2010 firing. Hell, this very article manages to quote Mary Sue Coleman's explicit statement of support for not just this year but next…

"I don't think it's fair to coaches to bring them in and say, `We're going to give you three years,'" Coleman told The Journal early this month. "When Tommy Amaker came in, we stuck with him for six years. It just wasn't going to work; it wasn't the right fit. But it wasn't a rushed decision."

…and deploy this sentence:

One person can end the speculation about Rodriguez's future and she has declined to do it.

IT'S IN YOUR ARTICLE. AAAARGH. LOOK AT THIS HEADLINE

lolmsm-fire-rod AAARGH

An annual tradition, now with glass houses.

posse_officers Michigan State's now-annual Posse Roundup & Engineer/Woman Beatdown was moved up this year:

Witnesses and students involved in the incident said a group of 15 to 20 men, who some described as MSU football players, stormed into the dormitory and hit and injured about seven students, some of them women.

Brent Mitchell, a communication junior who said he was sent to Lansing’s Sparrow Hospital after being punched in the face, said some of the men wore ski masks, but others were recognized as football team members.

“I walked up and said, ‘It isn’t worth it.’ A guy with dreadlocks hit me and in the scuffle slapped, hit females to get them out of the way,” Mitchell said.

It'll be interesting to see the reaction of the Detroit media to this since it seems explicitly caused by Dantonio's limp-wristed response to last year's PREWB. There is a straight line drawn from last year's incident to Dantonio's refusal to levy any serious sanctions, including on the guy who spent the summer in jail and became the starting running back, to mechanical engineering students being terrorized:

Mechanical engineering sophomore Andrew Green said he saw one of the men hit another student on his way out. “He was coming downstairs and looked at him and punched him in the jaw,” Green said.

“There was some medic treating this kid sitting in lounge area,” [journalism freshman Mitch Lex] said. “It looked like he had a baseball in his cheek.”

Even better: none of these kids had done anything to the football team. Like the Saint Patrick's Day Nerd Massacre, the target was not in the area of the violence. Posse fail.

Say what you want about Justin Feagin, but Feagin was not on the Michigan roster for a millisecond after Rodriguez found out about his cocaine blues, and if the sexual assault case against anonymous 18-year-old proves founded he won't be on the team either. If Dantonio doesn't come down on another incident where a quarter of his team roams around beating up innocent students, we'll get to see the power of public relations in full bloom. What will it take for reality to overcome preconceived notions of Rodriguez as an outlaw and Dantonio a saint?

And now for the best reason to mention this, via the comments of the above article:

If you ever find yourself being attacked by an MSU football player, just yell “Wheel Route” and you’ll quickly find yourself being left all alone.

The RCMB has been here.

Grist. Notre Dame is about to undertake a coaching search and some guy who wrote some book also wrote a letter to some newspaper about what sort of coach Notre Dame should hire next. It might be of interest given Michigan's current situation:

When Notre Dame hires an experienced, successful, major college football head coach, the success rate in turning the Irish into national champions is 100 percent. When Notre Dame hires anybody else, the success rate is 14 percent.

You read that correctly. Since 1940, every single time Notre Dame has hired a college football head coach who has taken multiple teams to major bowls and achieved Top 10 national rankings, he has coached the Irish to at least one national championship and has posted regular Top 10 finishes in the national rankings. Every single time.

This neatly excludes Willingham and is kind of a weird, hacky metric. Lou Holtz hadn't taken multiple teams to major bowls unless my perception of mid-70s bowl games is way off and the Peach, Liberty, and/or Bluebonnet bowls were big deals. So the "multiple teams" metric is kind of weird. Please note that Brian Kelly does not meet this standard and should be avoided at all costs, kthx.

Relevant for Michigan is that coaches who have established major successful programs have been successful at Notre Dame, and this is likely to hold true at Michigan given enough time.

Etc.: Jimmah! No! I agree with the WLA: if you make a list of "things Notre Dame has going for it" Clausen is in the top three with Floyd and Tate; you should probably start your guys to punch list at #4. The Big Ten basketball resume picks up a couple of nice wins with Purdue beating Tennessee and Wisconsin taking out Illinois; does Iowa get half a win for being tied with Texas at halftime? Yes? No. UMHoops gets Creighton's pulse. Henri, anglicized, is in a movie.

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