Apparently, Jim Delany and Co. didn't expect the backlash they saw after the announcement of the Friday night games. Did it seriously never occur to him to, oh I don't know, ask the schools first? Maybe float the idea and gage reactions prior to just blindsiding everyone and then having a bunch of schools refuse this and that?
Something I will never forgive or forget, and neither will any other Michigan fan who followed that season:
UPDATE: For those in the comments who say "what's the big deal; he was just pulling for his team"—no. The relentless badgering of the pollsters and the media was something that only Nebraska, not Michigan, did. Maybe in this BCS/playoff era we're now accustomed to that sort of electioneering. But in those days it was considered profoundly distasteful and unsportsmanlike. You did your talking on the field, and let the pollsters make up their minds. That was the majority ethos then.
Just before the last Nebraska drive, the fans started to go nuts:
During the last drive, Mork thought they had the game won with an interception:
Finally, Mork calling for one more second, or perhaps dreams of being #1 going down in flames?
Adam Jacobi (noted Iowa writer and fan-of-horses) has been retweeting other folks that would be in the know. Nebraska offered the job to Bielema last night, was turned down, and thus the Mike Riley hire. Interesting stuff. I wonder if Bert sees more long-term success at Arkansas? Or just didn't want to jump around?
EDIT: original tweet was from NFL.com analyst Gil Brandt @Gil_Brandt
Roussel, who most people give a pass in terms of being relatively legit, has Nebraska focusing all attention on 1 and only 1 candidate - Big Bert himself.
If you can't beat Wiscy...join em. Fascinating stuff if valid. Would up the stakes in what is turning into a cool Big 10 West rivalry. Makes sense from the AD relationship angle and ability to get to the Rose Bowl.
Bert has a $2.5M buyout that drops to $2M by Jan 1.
Since last night I have spoken with a number of connections and the feeling in the profession is that Nebraska athletic director Shawn Eichorst seems to have a very short list – perhaps with only one name on it. Sources have told me he isn’t taking calls from coaches trying to get themselves involved. He doesn’t appear to be building a list. He sounds like he is locked in.
Update - Per sources, Nebraska is targeting Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema and is in serious talks with him. Eichorst and Bielema has an extensive relationship from their time at Wisconsin (Eichorst served as Wisconsin’s second-in-command from 2006-11) and from what we hear this got serious quick. More to come…
As some of you know, I’m joining MGoBlog to provide various types of basketball coverage, now that we’re a #basketballschool and all that. A brief introduction: I’m an Honors LSA Senior majoring in English (hopefully with a creative writing sub-concentration), I grew up making weekly pilgrimages from the Grand Rapids area to Ann Arbor on Fall Saturdays with my parents—both of whom graduated from the B School before Ross slapped his name on it—and younger brother—an Honors LSA sophomore (who is also named Brian Cook). I am not related to the proprietor of this site, as far as he and I know. We were a football family, but I fell in love with Michigan Hoops in 2009-2010 with Manny, Peedi, Coach B, and the gang. I’ve learned to love the NBA recently as well, but regret that I missed the glory years of my Detroit Pistons. I’m a Lions masochist, I complain about the Tigers’ managing and bullpen all summer, and I recently committed to Everton as my new EPL team (because Tim Howard’s a national hero). It’s a little up in the air as of right now, but Ace and I will sort out who covers what during hoops season. As for non-sports things: I’m a proud native Michigander and spend my summers living on Barlow Lake—Heaven on Earth, as far as I’m considered—I run as quickly as Terrance Taylor and am addicted to Bruegger’s on North U (these things may be related), and if anybody wants to hire me to a full-time job after school, PLEASE DO. If you see me on campus, say hi. I’ll be the tall, skinny-fat guy with curly black hair and light blue headphones.
Follow me on Twitter ( @alexcook616 )
(Freshmen and incoming transfers are not included. They’re very difficult to accurately contextualize with returning players and they’ll be covered next week.)
* * *
For the Big Ten Player Comparisons, I created an algorithm that spits out the most similar statistical profiles for a given player’s. There are 20 unweighted categories—most of which are advanced metrics—but shooting and rebounding are well-accounted for. The database consists of 750 players from the 2008-2014 seasons. This post is already absurdly long, so I’ll have to explain it further at some other time. This system will probably be used pretty extensively.
Considering that the Hoosiers had Yogi Ferrell and Noah Vonleh—the latter was drafted in the lottery of a deep draft—their struggles were perplexing. A stable of uninspiring role players did little to augment the talents of their two stars and their offense was often stagnant and extremely turnover prone. Indiana didn’t shoot the ball well from the field, but the inability to hold onto the ball was crippling—IU finished 330th nationally in turnover rate, easily the last in the Big Ten. Ferrell can be best categorized as a scoring point guard: he’s ball-dominant and often probes the defense with his quickness rather than driving right to the rim, he’s one of the better shooters in the league (40% on a ridiculous 220 attempts, mostly from above the break), and he gets to the free throw line and shoots better than 80% from the stripe over his career. There were a few games that Yogi took over with his scoring ability: 30 points (on just 15 FGA) at Illinois, 27 (including 7 made threes) against Michigan and at Purdue, and 25 and 24 in two games against Wisconsin. With Indiana’s turnover issues and Ferrell’s role as its offensive catalyst, his turnover rate—18.0%—wasn’t ideal, but it wasn’t exactly anomalous amongst analogous point guards.
Yogi didn’t have the ball-security of a Jordan Taylor or Drew Neitzel, but it wasn’t bad. Turning the ball over was a collective effort: the entire rotation (aside from Ferrell) had turnover rates of at least 20%. Adding five-star combo guard James Blackmon, Jr. should help out immensely in regard to that issue and it should enable Ferrell to play off-the-ball and distribute a little more this season. Ferrell will likely be the best point guard in the Big Ten and there’s a chance that he could lead the league in scoring.
[After THE JUMP: Caris checks in, others.]
I'd think at a place like Nebraska where there is not much to do selling out the football tickets wouldn't be an issue with students but looks like they have a schedule mirroring UM this year in meh and are coming in 1000 short of allotment. Thought their culture would be more like PSU where it is an isolated region and selling tickets would be no problemo but guess not. What a sad schedule - Minnesota is their prime time conference opponent.
Outside of a non-conference game against a Miami team that could be either mediocre or above average in 2014, Nebraska’s home schedule includes Florida Atlantic, McNeese State, Illinois, Rutgers, Purdue and Minnesota. Nebraska’s biggest games of the season all take place on the road at Michigan State, Wisconsin and Iowa. Nebraska does not play Michigan, Ohio State or Penn State this season either.
Student sales have lagged nationally in recent years. According to media reports, Michigan expects to sell 12,000 to 13,000, down from 19,000 last season. Iowa has seen its sales drop from about 10,000 to 7,000 the past two years.
I mean, gotta love a guy who enjoys his job.
(Can't embed on the work comp, but this needs a click through)
Nebraska unveiled new (hideous) special uniforms today and brought out a model to try to hype up the team.
Nebrasketball was awesome last year, especially since they beat everybody but us! We escaped with a win at Nebraska and absolutely blew them out at home. The Huskers were a great story last year, they did well enough to earn Tim Miles B1G coach of the year. The great thing about this team, is that they have TVs in their toilets! Nebraska loses almost nothing this year, they lose Mike Peltz, Ray Gallegos, Nathan Hawkins, Sergej Vucetic, Tim Wagner. This means losing:
This is why Nebraska is rated so high. They do not even lose a starters statistics. They also bring in two decent freshman and a transfer. This team will be experienced and good. Thirty Eight percent of their team are seniors. And another Thirty percent of the team are juniors. This team will perform really well at home and will be decent enough on the road. Here is their projected roster:
# Name HT WT YR POS
Moses Ayegba 6-9 247 SR. C
I do not know much about Ayegba. I am pretty sure that he sat out last year because he transferred. He will be the third-string Center this year.
21 Leslee Smith 6-8 255 SR. C
A turnover machine last year. He will be a good back-up this year. He needs to lose about 10 pounds to be more athletic.
2 David Rivers 6-7 198 SR. PF
The back-up Power Forward, he will average about 4 points a game this year.
10 Trevor Menke 5-11 183 SR. PG
The third-string Point Guard, he is a walk-on so I doubt he plays.
44 Kye Kurkowski 6-11 214 SR. C
31 Shavon Shields 6-7 219 JR. PF
Their second best player last year. He took some games over last year and will lokk to do the same this year. The starting Power Forward.
35 Walter Pitchford 6-10 234 JR. C
The starting Center, he was a pretty decent scorer and can shoot the three.
5 Terran Petteway 6-6 209 JR. SG
He may have horrible facial hair, but he is good at basketball. He is the starting Small Forward. He averaged 18.1 points per game and should be one of the frontrunners for B1G POY.
3 Benny Parker 5-9 166 JR. PG
The starting Point Guard, he is small and that is a weakness. However, he does not need to handle the ball much.
0 Tai Webster 6-4 194 SO. SG
He may not score much but he is decent at defense. He is the starting Shooting Guard.
23 Nick Fuller 6-6 199 SO. SG
Redshirted last year, will be the back-up Shooting Guard.
Jacob Hammond 6-8 228 FR. PF
The third-string Power Forward, he may redshirt. He was a three star, the #29 Center in the class.
Tarin Smith 6-2 165 FR. PG
The back-up Point Guard. He was a two star, the #63 Point Guard in the class.
This team found a way to put it all together last year, and this year, they are even better. I think they will go second, with a record of 13-5 in the B1G.
Next up... Wisconsin
In a pretty good game, Nebraska beat (upset?) Minnesota 82-78. Nebraska remains unbeaten at home except for its loss to Michigan. In the only other Big Ten game today, Indiana beat Illinois 56-46 in a not-so-pretty game. Arizona also leads Utah 31-26 at the half.