Mailbag: Baby Kissing, Redshirting, Unkillable Fred Jackson Clones, Seating Procedures Comment Count

Brian July 17th, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Lingo explained, mysteries solved


do not whip the baby

Tyler Sellhorn offers some insight into weird football terms we've been marveling over in this space lately. On "kiss the baby":

Taking the ball to the end zone or shall we say the "house" or shall we say the proverbial "crib" or shall we say the place where you "kiss the baby."

You, defensive back, you are in the crib, and you must kiss the baby.

On "buggy whip:"

Old school scouting/coach term for a live arm from a thinner QB, ie Marino and Leftwich have Horse strength in their arms, Namath and Dixon have buggy whips.


Redshirting technique


I've had this question about redshirts in general for a while and it's currently very applicable to the Shane Morris situation. Is there anything in the NCAA rules stopping Michigan from attempting to redshirt him, but suiting him up for each game and just burning his redshirt  if Gardner gets hurt mid-game and can't play? I certainly recognize the strategic pitfalls of this, the main one being that if Gardner got hurt late in the season suddenly we're throwing a guy who has never played a down under center in a critical spot. So while this certainly doesn't sound like a realistic idea, is it possible? Or is it completely irrelevant considering Michigan wouldn't do it anyway?


That is entirely feasible. The only requirement for a redshirt is that the kid did not play at all that year, so Michigan could have Morris as the defacto #2 QB and still get a redshirt on him by inserting walk-ons if the only time Gardner is off the field is garbage time.

As you note, realistically this isn't happening. Michigan has a gangly scrambly guy at quarterback and nothing behind him. Gardner could also blow up into a major NFL prospect. If he leaves, you'd want Morris as seasoned as possible. I don't think that's at all likely—the NFL has caught on to the fact that experience is incredibly important for QBs and would probably want him to get a second year under his  belt before taking a chance on him—but you can't rule it out.

Morris might get a redshirt next year when Bellomy should be back, but those sorts of post-freshman redshirts are extremely rare for a lot of reasons.

Even if Morris doesn't end up redshirting, Michigan should be in good hands when he graduates. If Morris is gone in four, the depth chart after his departure reads: Wilton Speight, redshirt junior, 2015 QB, redshirt sophomore, Messiah DeWeaver*, redshirt freshman. These days that's plenty of experience.

*[Official MGoBlog policy is to assume DeWeaver will be the 2016 QB until such time as it is obvious he won't be, because of Muad'dib jokes.]


082110_SPT_Media Day_MRM

all of these men are the best running back in history

To whom who actually answers the MGoBlog mailbox,

I don't know if this qualifies for a mailbag question or can be easily answered, but here we go.

To your knowledge, has there been another coach who has survived as many coaching changes as Fred Jackson? It's really quite amazing if you stop and think about him making it through three head coaches at the same university. I am completely unaware of another coordinator or position coach that has done the same. Maybe I'm wrong and this isn't as uncommon as I think it is. Your input would be greatly appreciated.

the Glove

I have no idea, but I figure the best way to get an answer is to throw it out there and see if anyone can think of another coach who survived two regime changes at the same school. I can only think of one guy off the top of my head: Jeff Casteel, who stayed at West Virginia when Rodriguez left for Michigan and remained the DC when Dana Holgorsen became WVU's head coach.

Casteel's setup provides some broad outlines for coordinators who fit this pattern:

  • established coach at successful program who stays when head coach leaves
  • weak replacement for HC
  • quick turnover
  • second new HC is heavily involved in other side of the ball

That's a lot of hoops to jump through, especially because Successful In-House Coordinator is often a prime head coaching candidate at the school.

Position coaches I have no idea about. They seem much more fungible than coordinators, bring a lot of their value in recruiting, and move all over in search of better opportunities. Fred Jackson has got to be a very rare position-coach lifer. Best other bets would be Ferentzes or guys like Pat Fitzgerald. Nepotism and local herodom seem like the only things that could get you through the churning waters of coaching turnover.

Hivemind: anyone have other examples of coaches who have survived multiple coaching changes?

Student seating procedures

Received an email from a guy with the stadium staff who would prefer to remain anonymous about how the new general-admission student section is going to work:

We have made a decision to move to General Admission for our student ticketing and seating process, which in turn led us to make the following changes:

All students must enter Michigan Stadium through GATE 10. Only those with student tickets (accompanied by a valid student ID), including those with validated student tickets, will be allowed entry through Gate 10. Those with general public tickets will not be allowed through this gate.

Gate 10 will now open 3 hours prior to kickoff  - 1 hour before the rest of the general public gates.

Students will move from a queuing area to a series of chutes at Gate 10 at 4 hours prior to kickoff. They will select the section they want to sit in at this time and will receive a section reserved wristband or ticket upon entering the stadium.

(Emphasis mine.) Enjoy your chutes, human cattle.

Mo Williams, back in the day.

A reader passes along that Mo Williams, recently referenced in the Kyle Bosch recruiting profile, was indeed a big timer:

Reading your bit on Bosch I remembered I save a bunch of info from recruiting back in the day (1990-2004). You mentioned you weren't sure how hyped he was. Here are my notes. Answer: Very:

Maurice Williams, OL/DL, Detroit, MI. 6'6", 275 lbs, 4.9 40. Williams
is the top player in the state of Michigan and is one of the top line prospects in the nation on either side of the ball; he is one of the top 100 overall prospects in the nation.  He is an excellent student with a 3.5 GPA.  Could play either OL or DL at Michigan, depending upon his     preference and the needs of the team.

Lemming ranked Williams the state's top player and No. 2 in the Midwest. He
was a first-team All-State selection and ranked No. 1 on The Detroit News' Blue Chip list. He could play on the offensive or defensive line in college.    

Rated #47 overall in composite National 100.

Detroit Free Press Best of the Midwest (BMW) #2.

Also considered Michigan State, Ohio State and Florida State, and Washington.

This was back in the Lemming days, before easily-accessed databases of these things existed.



July 22nd, 2013 at 6:17 PM ^

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July 17th, 2013 at 2:21 PM ^

Four head coaches at U-M. He came in under Moeller.

And you might not think Mo to Lloyd was that big a change, but ask Les Miles if everyone stuck around. (Not to mention that them all surviving was a feat in itself).


July 17th, 2013 at 2:33 PM ^

The guy must be the J. Edgar Hoover of college football. Fred has the dirt on everyone. That dirt must be of insanely ominous blackmail quality, but with better hands, or perhaps a bit quicker to the hole.


July 17th, 2013 at 2:46 PM ^

So I know the general opinion here is baically "screw the students they all suck", but the way they're planning GA is really dumb. Why not just give them wristabands and be done with it? Why do you have to select your section before you enter the stadium when you don't know what's full/not? I don't mind the GA in particular, but that's a moronic way to do it if you ask me. 


July 17th, 2013 at 3:24 PM ^

Maybe I should have termed it "more full/less full", but I feel as if you deliberately misunderstood my point in an attempt to score a zinger. I have zero problem with GA even if I feel it doesn't actually solve the problem of empty seats. I like the idea of taking tickets away if you miss enough games (or maybe even don't make it to enough within 15 real life minutes of kickoff). All I'm saying is this particular system of GA is nonsensical especially when compared with basketball and a lot of people are just gonna ignore and move where there are empty seats anyway (har har that's everywhere amirite?). It seems this creates more work for the ushers and students for no reason.


July 17th, 2013 at 3:42 PM ^

Here is a more serious response.

This has worked pretty well in past experiences I have had though. At Griffin's games, granted that is on a much smaller scale, Friday night dollar beer games were this way. Everyone would show up and get first come, first serve "GA" in which you're assigned a seat number (not that it truely mattered). In the student section, I see this going the same way. The people who want the prime seats will get there early, pick a section, and stay for the entire game. Socialites will get not-so-prime seats, and sure they will bounce around from row to row. It won't effect the students who care, and the ones that don't, will continue not to care.

Just show up with your friends to make sure you sit with them. I don't think it will be that big of a deal. But I am also not the type of person to make a big deal out of this type of thing. I am guessing whoever is in charge of this sort of thing is thinking some order > no order. 


July 17th, 2013 at 4:18 PM ^

This is the scenario that I'm thinking of.

Say I show up and chose section 27. I get into the stadium and see that section is already full upto row 50 while section 29 is only full up to row 25. Do I "listen" to my assigned section or just blow it off and go sit where there are less people, which will screw up the section count for the people at the gates? I can see clusterfucks and pissed off students happening quite quickly.

French West Indian

July 17th, 2013 at 5:29 PM ^

...of wristbands is overcomplicating things.  The essence of general admission is that you get whatever is available when you show up.

I remember that bleacher seats at the old Tiger Stadium were like that. You'd either show up an hour before game time or even in the 3rd inning and you just took whatever was available.  It was an absolutely no-fuss system. 


July 17th, 2013 at 9:46 PM ^

Also, all students through one gate? Turribly inefficient. Any system which requires its own gate is probably a bad idea. Keep It Simple, Stupids: scan the tix and let the chips fall where they may.

I don't understand what is gained from exerting this level of control over the process, besides some visceral feeling of satisfaction from some bureaucrat in an office somewhere... you know who you are...


July 17th, 2013 at 3:31 PM ^

I live in Oregon, and Duck fans like to talk about how their coaching staff is the most consistent in college football (except for the HC of course). Other than the head man, I think most of their assistants (like Aliotti the DC) have been here since at least the Belotti era and maybe even longer. So that's three headcoaches once next season starts. 


July 17th, 2013 at 3:58 PM ^

its a giant stack of marigold newsletters set in courier, mimeographed and mailed to your house, poured over, scratched out while listening to beckmann on sportstalk in february and then filed away safely, some place where a meddling spouse will never want extra space to store "you know, just stuff, like spare light bulbs or batteries" even though you know its a trap and that space will end up filled with candles and the plaid romper your kids wore and might want to give to their kids one day.

Randy Marsh

July 17th, 2013 at 4:33 PM ^

Corey Holmes committed to Notre Dame. Not sure if thread worthy because people haven't expected him to end up here for a while, and he's almost certainly not going to have any effect against Michigan, but that happened. One of the first 2014 names I remember hearing last year.


July 17th, 2013 at 7:12 PM ^

Thank you for addressing the idea of Gardner leaving for the NFL as unlikely. A few weeks ago there was this thread about how we all may as well assume, like it's a foregone conclusion that Gardner was gone gone gone to the NFL after this year. Obviously you can't know what a 22 year old is thinking especially when millions of dollars are involved but short of winning a Heisman it would be a terrible decision to go pro after a season and a half as a starting qb.


July 17th, 2013 at 8:52 PM ^

Other than the first half of my Freshman year I worked. I tended bar. After clean up my Friday night ended at 3 am Saturday morning. I never missed a kickoff at home, but many times I was walking to my seat as the opening kickoff occured. In those days students respected the seats. I never had to shag anyone out of the seat I paid for. After the game I had to get to the bar about 4:30 on Saturday and work until 3 am Sunday. 

It must be nice to sit in an ivory tower and decide how students should manage their time before a game. Under this system I would never have bought tickets. Since I would get home at 4 - 4:30 am why in the world would I even consider paying to get to a noon 1pm game 3 hours before it started to stand in line?

Sad really. Make your students 2nd class citizens. Although I've read many comments by those who can show up early about how others don't deserve their seats. Well I guess we'll see how this all plays out. I exepct student ticket sales will fall. 


July 18th, 2013 at 12:24 PM ^

that was a lot of wording to say what many of us less talkative majority thinks:  they bought the tickets, let them decide when to show up.

I was there 97-00 football seasons.  Back then you could bring friends who were non-students and just buy some student tickets.

For my part: the number one reason seats are empty is that it is not at simple as passing on a ticket to someone else if you, yourself, can't use it...




July 17th, 2013 at 9:27 PM ^

I went down to the 2000 Orange Bowl, staying at the same hotel as the team. The morning after the game Fred Jackson steps into the elevator and shouts into the hallway something like "move it, move it -- we don't have all day." I expected a student manager or Anthony Thomas's backup to run in. Instead his wife comes scurrying into the elevator car, rolling her suitcase behind her. Apparently she needs to cut her 40 time to earn a Fred Jackson superlative.


July 17th, 2013 at 11:25 PM ^

Mike Levenseller was the WR coach at Washington State for 20 years, 1992-2011 - he came in during the early days of Mike Price, stayed on when Price left for Alabama (!) and DC Larry Doba was promoted, then kept his job when Doba was fired and Paul Wulff came on.

It was only upon the arrival of the Dread Pirate Leach last year that Levenseller saw a pink slip.  At which time he moved into the same job eight miles down the road at the University of Idaho for the 2013 season...

Prince Lover

July 18th, 2013 at 1:30 AM ^

They post a quote by Wheatley Jr. He doesn't say maize and blue but blue and gold and he says it's not in his blood and it's his choice. Sounds like a kid who doesn't want to be in his dad's shadow. I'm new here but my 1:30 am prediction is he doesn't come here. I remember Jr made comments about how his dad wasn't around and he went out for some beers with some friends while Jr came for his 1st visit. Thought it was funny at 1st but maybe that upset Jr more than I thought. I know this is off topic but I didnt know where else to turn...


July 18th, 2013 at 1:30 AM ^

Brown has coached under Osborne, Solich, and Pelini. You'll notice a Callahan-sized gap there.

Please don't read that as a shot at Callahan - not retaining Brown ranks about 3000th on the list of Things That One Can Take A Shot At Bill Callahan For Doing.

/shot at Bill Callahan