Unverified Voracity Replaces Suit Guy Comment Count

Brian February 19th, 2014 at 5:03 PM


Michigan OL coach Darrell Funk says young linemen must move forward, 'we don't have any choice'

I already bombarded you with grim news about the OL yesterday, so I'll forgo that today.

Ten second impact: minimal. Patrick Vint went back to a few games of a hyperspeed nature to find out how many penalties would have been issued if you couldn't snap the ball until 29 seconds were left on the shot clock. Answer: a few. Auburn would have gotten hit four times in the Alabama game, presumably just by a second or two. It's really hard to get a play off within ten seconds of the previous one's end.

It still seems virtually guaranteed that the rule won't pass; even if it does it's not a huge shift in the game.

Stats by conference. They now exist on Kenpom and validate the steep drop in shot-making you have probably perceived in Big Ten games this year. The league is 30th of 32 leagues in eFG%. They're also 28th in FT rate. Even last year's Best League Ever was 28th and 25th in those metrics, but in 2012 the B10 was 8th in eFG.

The moral here is probably that these margins are very thin. The difference between the top power conference in eFG, the Big East, and the bottom, the SEC, is about two percentage points. IE, you'd see one extra make in 50 Big East shots.

One other notable thing: home dominance has plummeted this year. Home teams are at a 55% clip compared to 64% last year and 62% the year before. That's a big ol' swing.

The other side of the pit. Bill Connelly's OL stats applied to the defensive line reveal that Michigan was slightly below average at rushing the passer, good at preventing runs of more than five yards, and bad at holding up in short yardage and getting TFLs.

IE: their defensive line was bad. That's not a huge surprise given the obvious things like playing former WDEs at nose tackle and the still-inexplicable absence of Quinton Washington.

It's not good. Gasaway's Tuesday Truths have one over-arching truth for Michigan fans:

                      W-L   Pace    PPP   Opp. PPP    EM
1.  Iowa              8-4   68.5    1.13    1.00    +0.13
2.  Michigan St.     10-3   63.7    1.10    0.98    +0.12
3.  Wisconsin         8-5   62.9    1.12    1.03    +0.09
4.  Michigan         10-3   61.8    1.15    1.07    +0.08
5.  Ohio St.          7-6   63.7    1.02    0.97    +0.05
6.  Minnesota         6-7   62.9    1.06    1.07    -0.01
7.  Purdue            5-7   64.7    0.99    1.03    -0.04
8.  Indiana           4-8   64.9    0.97    1.02    -0.05
9.  Nebraska          6-6   63.9    0.96    1.02    -0.06
10. Penn St.          4-9   66.2    0.99    1.08    -0.09
11. Illinois         3-10   63.8    0.94    1.04    -0.10
12. Northwestern      5-8   60.9    0.88    1.02    -0.14

AVG.                        64.1    1.03

That is: they are the worst defense in the league save for Penn State.

Oh no. Please don't. No one else can possibly wear a suit. Iowa's athletic director preserves the Big Ten's most precious tradition: making grandiose promises to quit if players get a larger slice of the revenue pile.

Barta suggests a pay-to-play system would force schools to put a monetary value on the different levels of competition in all collegiate sports.

"And I'll probably choose to do something else for a living if we ever had to go that route because it's so complex," Barta says. "Do you pay the Division III football player as an employee? Do you pay the tennis student athlete as an employee?"

I should probably be his replacement because I can figure out those two answers immediately: no, and no. Neither is involved in economic activity for their school since their programs are not making money and are therefore charity cases instead of employees.

[HT: Get the Picture.]

Defensive rotation. With Michael Downing and Andrew Sinelli both suspended for Friday's game after hits to the head against the Gophers, Michigan really needs some help. They will get it in the form of Kevin Lohan, who returns from injury after missing 19 games. Mike Chiasson will also draw in to a struggling blue line. Also returning is Alex Guptill and his wildly varying levels of involvement.

Etc.: Women's gymnastics beats Nebraska to take the Big Ten lead. Softball kicks off their season with a 4-1 trip. Dee Hart booted from Alabama for a pot possession charge. Lists of top recruiting classes over long periods of time always point out Michigan as a good recruiting school that sucks despite the recruiting; there really needs to be a recruiting + attrition study.



February 19th, 2014 at 5:56 PM ^

which is the best offense vs. the next to worst defense. So we're basically Auburn football. As soon as the clock starts it's a drag race to the finish. Fortunately, we drive a fast car.


February 19th, 2014 at 6:30 PM ^

I understand that very few plays would be affected by the 10 second no-play rule.  HOWEVER, it's a very slippery slope.  If the rule passes under the guise of player safety, then next year they'll take a look back and see that the 10 second rule isn't making any difference.  At that point, they'll change it to 15 seconds, where I imagine it would make a HUGE impact.  So no, we don't want this rule to change whatsoever.


February 19th, 2014 at 7:23 PM ^

I agree. I think the rule could make an impact because it would give defenses confidence that they could substitute as long as they did it in fewer than 10 secs. The fear of getting burned by a quick snap is lessened, if not removed. That certainty would, I assume, make it easier to practice for facing the hurry-up as well.


February 20th, 2014 at 7:51 AM ^

-Would mostly not affect how offenses run, since it is very hard to get a play off within 10 seconds

-but could potentially help a defense knowing that they have at least 10 seconds guaranteed to substitute.

And yet conventional wisdom from seemingly everyone is this is the worst rule change in the history of the world. I don't like the player safety excuse, but I also don't completely disagree with what the rule is trying to accomplish either

Zone Left

February 20th, 2014 at 11:24 AM ^

I think it's being panned less due to substance and more due to poor rationale. If the rules committee just said they wanted to give teams a minimal amount of time to substitute that would affect timing of very few plays, then there would be argument, but probably acceptance. Player safety is obviously a BS argument.

I don't see a reason to slow down offenses, but I also think defenses should be able to substitute. This rule seems to strike a nice balance, but it's not being sold as such.


February 20th, 2014 at 11:46 AM ^

I think that they have to use a player safety rationale, because they already restricted themselves this year to only those rules changes that improved player safety.

The obvious answer is to not adopt this rule yet, rather than to lie about its purpose, but we are talking administrators here.


February 19th, 2014 at 7:02 PM ^

you're really good at it. As a director of Human Resources, not so much. An individual's status as an employee doesn't hinge on whether the employer is making money. Just ask the employees of Detroit.


February 20th, 2014 at 7:40 AM ^

Brian's scheme would mean that kids who are redshirting would not get paid, because they are not "involved in economic activity for their school" since practices don't make any money and they can't appear in games.

It gets messy when a redshirting player burns a redshirt, because then you have to have a policy on them getting paid to practice before the redshirt is burned... oh, wait, I forgot; this is all so simple that no mention of difficultiesis is allowed.


February 19th, 2014 at 7:37 PM ^

Hopefully the infusion of new talent continues to gain experience and both the offense and defense can make improvements next season. We need to finish above .500 in the B1G and not lose more than 4 games!


February 19th, 2014 at 8:02 PM ^

So where is the line between "economic activity" and "not economic activity"?  Since we've established that some things are on one side of it and some are not, that line needs to be defined in order to make that argument work.


February 19th, 2014 at 10:47 PM ^

De facto inactivity and uneconomical performance adjudged by historical Michigan football standards.  The interior line in particular should refund their scholarships for 2013 if it is "fairness" they are seeking by unionizing.  Or was the performance decline caused by poor management and thus a different result should obtain?
No matter.  The courts will primarily look to how the U./athletic department actually treated student-athletes for taxation purposes as a class of purported employees/independent contractors/students.  I anticipate this will prove to be just like any other student-on-scholarship situation, in which instance the players union pig is not going to fly.
Say, does somebody know whether or not the football players are automatically eligible to join the university employee credit union?
It's swell to see Funk urge the linemen to move in a forward direction.  Certainly that element was missing last season.


February 20th, 2014 at 1:41 AM ^

But is every U. student eligible to join UMCU, or, only those students who are employed by the U. can qualify to become members?  I am a former member - I used to microprogram the time-shared VAX for ISR economists and therefore got paid as a true employee of the U. earning more than my GSA's.  (If UMCU hasn't swiped it already, I probably still have had a positive balance there for several decades.) I seem to recall the U. withholding a portion of my earnings for FICA and SS.  My original question was directed to how scholarship football and other revenue-producing student athletes are or are not eligible for UMCU automatically.  Do they work for the U./athletic department for tax purposes?  Again, thanxks for the response, I am genuinely curious.


February 19th, 2014 at 9:49 PM ^

Michigan OL coach Darrell Funk says young linemen must move forward, 'we don't have any choice'

Just the fact that this statement implies that there IS a choice as to whether or not move forward proves he needs to be replaced.


February 19th, 2014 at 11:31 PM ^

No matter the record in 2014, Hoke and Nuss will be back for 2015. If there is not improvement in 2015 then Hoke and staff will probably get canned. I guess DB will have to set those metrics. I would say 10 wins in 2015 but DB may only be looking for 9 wins?


February 20th, 2014 at 11:48 AM ^

but I'm not sure why they think it's guaranteed. Is the idea that we're just going to be bad this year no matter what? Maybe so. . . Does it also assume some minimum level of competence from Hoke and Co that it may or may not be reasonable to assume? After looking at Brian's assessment of the D yesterday--which was, simply, bad too--I think everything should be in play. 

Purest speculation, but if we note that coaches sometimes get replaced just when the worst is over, that new coaches often profit from the bump in enthusiasm, etc., it might not be the worst thing--if Hoke really isn't up to the job--for Nussmeier to take over next year.

We're assuming that Brandon is ruthless; he's got to have this scenario among his projections.


February 20th, 2014 at 9:58 AM ^

than that article makes him come off.

Brains aren't everything, but. . . we regularly brag on this board about being the 15th-ranked university in the world (etc.) And these guys can't talk their way out of a paper bag. At some point it may be legitimate to ask whether this has something to do with why we don't excel. 

I'll be happy to buy the idea that a very young OL was simply asked to do to many things, was suffering from a certain conceptual whiplash last year. . . for about two more minutes. I think Hoke should go if he doesn't get it done this year. Eight-nine games minimum and IMPROVING as the season goes on. 


February 19th, 2014 at 11:32 PM ^

We had the worst line in school history last season and one of the worst in the entire country.  He needed to be fired plain and simple.  We cannot win with lethargic and putrid O-Line performances.  Also, enough with the excused Daryl....it doesnt take 3 years to develop an O-Lineman for college ball....particulary when the kids were studs coming out of high school.  This man is literally coaching for his job from day one in 2014.  No nice things to say about his coaching performance to date.....


February 20th, 2014 at 12:18 PM ^

No one should be surpised to see it take a couple of years for these project-type kids to become good.  However, that's not the standard the team situation necessitates; these players needed to be at least capable of taking the field and impeding the defense by now, and under adequate coaching would have been.  We aren't seeing projects slowly work towards excellence, we are seeing projects stalled at "completely ineffective."


February 20th, 2014 at 7:47 AM ^

I'd like to see the OL, the whole team as a matter of fact, develop a mean streak. The team is really young and still maturing but the physical level of play needs to be taken up a few notches.


February 20th, 2014 at 7:57 AM ^

I just read someone's suggestion for paying players and it sounds reasonable at first blush.  The schools set up a trust and fund it with jersey sales, profits from games, parking, etc.  When a player graduates, he gets his cash.  If he leaves early for the professional leagues, he forfiets his cash.  There would have to be some agreed upon scale to prevent the "rich" schools from out-paying the poorer schools, but the emphasis could turn back to the student athlete concept while still allowing the pro-potential kids to survive.


February 20th, 2014 at 9:28 AM ^

Unfortunately, this idea doesn't solve the problem.  If the school doesn't make money off of games and jersey sales, then the players get nohing.  If the school makes a lot off of games and jersey sales, but there is a scale that limits how much the players get paid, then the school gets to keep all that excess "obscene profit," and furthermore the school has a cash incentive to make sure their players do not graduate.  If the school makes money, but there is no limit to the players' payout, then there is a cash incentive for playwers to make sure their team mates don't graduate, and there is a clear difference between schools that pay a lot and those who do not.  Then, players will go to the schools that pay the best, and create an extremely unequal copetitive environment that eventually drags down the whole college game.

If there is to be a pay for play system, then it must, IMO, pay all athletes equally (or, at least, equal to their time committment), and must be funded by a revenue stream not under school control (like TV revenue).

You still end up with the problem that pay may not be enough to cover tuition at some schools, but that is a problem for all university employees.


February 20th, 2014 at 9:37 AM ^

Why not set up some kind of similar trust but funded only by things the player himself (or herself) actually sells?  It would at least defuse the argument "they're making money off my jersey and I don't get a dime."  Say 5 or 10% of every jersey sale or player memorabilia sale goes to the trust.  It doesn't have to be contingent on graduation or completion of eligibility, either.


February 20th, 2014 at 2:14 PM ^

Yeah, but I'm much more OK with that then the idea of just letting players sell stuff directly.  Believe me, I definitely worry about the $10,000 jockstrap.  But if Billy Bob Booster wants to funnel $10,000 to a player through official merchandise sales, he's going to have to spend $100-$200K.  That's unsustainably expensive and not particularly feasible, especially if the NCAA is smart and puts a cap on how much you can order all at once.  Anyone with T. Boone Pickens money and the capability of doing that will just build the team new facilities or something.

Besides, Billy Bob Booster can promise to buy the merchandise, but that doesn't mean the merch will be available.

His Dudeness

February 20th, 2014 at 9:11 AM ^

"One other notable thing: home dominance has plummeted this year. Home teams are at a 55% clip compared to 64% last year and 62% the year before. That's a big ol' swing."

Those are called "Vegas Claws" my pedigree chums.


February 20th, 2014 at 3:08 PM ^

Can someone explain why funk still has a job? My god I'm pretty sure in the working world he would have been shit canned for the kind of product he put out week after week.

A lot of people think a7-6 or 8-5 year means out for Brady. I think the hiring of Doug Nussmeier gave Brady an extra out in that 2014 offensive ineptitude will be excused as first year in a new system.

Please pray to the mighty MGOFrog that a mediocre season ends with Hoke getting his physicalness out of Ann Arbor for good bc I'm not sure how many more shit shows I can watch before I actually start to believe Brady hoke to only be a walking ass patter and hand clapper with wonderful pointing abilities, instead of a football coach.