Unverified Voracity Is Very Excited For A Questionable Reason Comment Count

Brian November 14th, 2017 at 12:58 PM



IT'S HAPPENING. Butch Jones! Got fired! Fairly obviously! And his replacement! Is!

KNOXVILLE — Brady Hoke is Tennessee’s interim head coach with two games remaining in the regular season after the school relieved Butch Jones of his duties this week.

YAIIIIIISSS. And his next game is against!


CAJUN BRADY HOKE. Why does this make me so happy? I don't know! Will I be watching this game and rooting for Tennessee? Hell yes! Will this go very very badly and still delight me? Absolutely!

Seeds and tourneys. Soccer got the #13 overall seed in the 48-team NCAA tourney, which comes with a first round bye and a home game on Sunday at 5 against the winner of the Massachusetts/Colgate game.

Meanwhile, field hockey has made that sport's final four with a hamblasting of Northwestern.

The semifinal is Friday in Louisville against Maryland. I couldn't find any TV information, so... I guess it's not televised? If anyone knows otherwise let us know.

Coachfights! It's been testy in college hockey of late, with two-count-'em-two postgame blowups in what's historically been a very chummy coaching fraternity. The unspoken rule about not poaching recruits that Joe Tiller thought was a college football thing—thus giving the world "snake oil" as a college football term—has been more or less real in college hockey since I've followed things. That's breaking down. Denver just poached a top SCSU recruit, and this was the result:

Clear f-bombs! Exciting! But not PRESS CONFERENCE F-BOMBS!

"I guess my first comment is I want to make it loud and clear that what their coach did...was a fucking classless asshole."

That's Cornell(!) head coach Mike Schafer being pissed at Quinnipiac's Rand Pecknold—who sounds like the libertarian villain in a terrible screenplay by a Salon author—because Pecknold argued with a referee that a five-and-a-game boarding call was embellished. Which seems like a not-great reason to go off.

Baseball's recruiting is on the uptick. MGoFish has an extensive breakdown of Michigan's latest class, which is ranked #23 by Perfect Game and features pitcher Steven Hajjar:

Steven Hajjar, North Andover, MA (Central Catholic); @StevenHajjar

Hajjar is probably my favorite signee, and for a few reasons. Like mine, his last name is confusing to spell and probably gives people fits. He was committed to Maryland as recently as July and flipped to Michigan. He somehow has a GPA of 4.4 and got a 1330 on his SATs. And he is really freaking good at baseball. At the July Perfect Game National Showcase, his scouting report was a perfect 10/10, hitting as high as 93 on the gun as well as a slider that “was very consistent with plenty of depth and biting action” that can get up to 79 mph. His mechanics remind me of fellow Michigan pitcher Rich Hill, who had an excellent postseason for the Dodgers. Unconventional, but wicked offspeed pitches make hitters look foolish. Combine those mechanics with a 6′ 4″ frame and long arms and hitters will feel that the ball is being released from about 50 feet away. Good luck.

It is extremely difficult for northern schools to get all the good croots because of the ridiculous schedule they have to play; Michigan is the only team north of the Mason-Dixon line in the top 25. #38 Indiana, #42 Penn State, and #43 Maryland are Michigan's closest Big Ten competitors on Perfect Game.

Ann Arbor Urban Planning Moment. I generally like Ryan Stanton's work for MLive but I find the framing of this article to be horrendous:

Ann Arbor facing potential loss of hundreds of public parking spaces

The potential loss of those spaces is because the city's lease on two downtown surface parking lots is about to expire, and the owners of that property—First Martin, which is an advertiser FWIW—are likely to put in big D1-zoned buildings. Which was the veritable goal of a decade-long density-encouraging rezoning process. Large buildings have housing, retail, provide tax revenue, and reduce commuting to downtown offices. Surface parking lots... are there.

Incessant parking complaints from the local olds continue to baffle me. I've lived in Ann Arbor for 20 years and gone downtown several times a week at all hours and almost never even think about parking in a structure because whenever I drive up Division most of the spots are open—and that's if it's a relatively high-traffic night and I'm not aiming for something a bit closer. I do tend to avoid going downtown on Friday and Saturday nights but when I do the downside is I am parking in a structure with hundreds of open spots.

The structures get jammed during the day when work commuters arrive, which is only a problem for work commuters. Ann Arbor should ignore the concerns of people who must come downtown, because they will find alternatives like Park and Ride if forced, while keeping might come downtown people relatively happy. Which they should be unless they think parking three blocks away is a travesty.

Etc.: AFC Ann Arbor memberships available for 2018. Jim Hackett and Paul Tagliabue are speaking at the Ford School at 4 PM if you're interested in swim lanes and good coach hirin'. And Paul Tagliabue. Michigan signs five basketballists, talks about them. Hoover Street Rag on Maryland. Z/X Simpson emerging.



November 14th, 2017 at 1:07 PM ^

Re Baseball rankings, Perfect Game is actually on the low side vis-a-vis Michigan. Baseball America has Michigan at 10, the highest ranking they've ever given to a B1G recruiting class.


November 14th, 2017 at 1:13 PM ^

Hoke as interim Tennessee coach is the most obvious of obvious moves. Several people, myself included, suggested that this was a real possibility before the season even began (though, who knew that Tennessee would be this awful?). He's perfect, because nobody will even think about hiring him as the permanent coach, which means that (unlike coach O, who has managed to wedge himself into a place he isn't qualified to run after causing trouble at USC) the school can safely install him for a couple of games but talk to real candidates without anyone being offended.

That characteristic also makes Hoke a more viable candidate for other jobs, FWIW. He's not a threat to the head coach. Jones didn't get canned because they thought Hoke could do better--he got fired because Tennessee couldn't possibly get worse.

Oh, and the $8 million they have to pay Jones because he wasn't fired for cause? They could have fired him for cause a year ago when he allegedly encouraged the team to cover up actual crimes. But no, there was a chance he could win, so Tennessee stuck their fingers in their ears and kept him on.

Rarely have I felt a school has so richly deserved to pay excessive money to fire an incompetent coach.


November 14th, 2017 at 2:46 PM ^

I've seen rumors flying on some Tennessee blogs and boards that Gruden is actually interested and has gone so far as to gauge others interest in working for him. The rumors are more than hoping, but I remain very skeptical

I also remain very skeptical that Gruden will actually be a good college coach

MI Expat NY

November 14th, 2017 at 3:03 PM ^

What is the appeal of Tennessee to Gruden? Yes, he spent two years there as a grad assistant, but there has to be more to it than that for him to jump at that opening, right?  If he just wanted a high level college gig, he could have practically had his choice over the years.  

I don't see anyway he risks his persona and reputation to take over a can-lose job at a level of football with which he's had very little professional contact.  It just makes no sense.  I also agree with your implication that Tennessee shouldn't want him.


November 14th, 2017 at 3:42 PM ^

What is the appeal of Tennessee to Gruden? Yes, he spent two years there as a grad assistant, but there has to be more to it than that for him to jump at that opening, right?

Generally, yes, but that tiny connection is massive overkill when it comes to starting rumors.  This is the internet, where every recruit starts a pipeline, where every pair of recruits from the same school is a likely package deal, and a coach would leave his alma mater and hometown after one year in order to coach a quarterback he already coached once.  Two years as a grad assistant might as well handcuff him to the desk.


November 14th, 2017 at 4:46 PM ^

Gruden supposedly makes $6.5 million at ESPN. Link

So he's filthy rich. So even if Tennessee (or anyone else) backed up the dump truck o money and paid him say $10 million a year why would he take it? He doesn't lack money

$6.5 million a year to talk about football


$10 million a year to work yourself to death in a high pressure, high stress environment

I'm staying with ESPN forever if I'm him


November 14th, 2017 at 6:45 PM ^

I have no idea why people would want John Gruden to coach a college team. He might still have it, but he hasn't coached any football in close to a decade and not in college for even longer. He'd be fine is my guess, but all the complaints you hear about pro coaches going to college exist for a reason (Harbaugh seems like an exception, but he had recently been a college coach), and I have my doubts Gruden would be a revelation.


November 14th, 2017 at 2:56 PM ^

I had exactly the same thought.

Also I guess I've never watched it, because I expected field hockey to be a lot faster? Seemed much slower than e.g. lacrosse (and nothing against the ladies playing it, who are clearly athletic - It's got to be slow moving hunched over like that).


November 14th, 2017 at 3:17 PM ^

I did a little research, and it appears that field hockey sticks are (seemingly) awkwardly short to provide more control over the ball. A shorter stick allows players to perform flicks, drags, and complete quicker passes than a long stick.

Decades ago, sticks were longer; however, they have gotten shorter over the years. The only benefit a long stick has over a short stick is better ball speed on passes/shots, which has gotten less important in top field hockey as players have become more skillful.

Finally, it looks like there's sizing charts and the like to ensure you don't play with a stick that's so short that it forces bad posture.