Rise Of The Unverified, Voracious Machines Comment Count

Brian October 31st, 2017 at 12:22 PM


there's an onion article about this [Patrick Barron]

Funny how that works. Brandon Peters, rumored to be aloof and disconnected, is now a Cool, Even-Keeled Leader:

"Brandon's kind of always been the same, sort of even-keeled," senior defensive tackle Maurice Hurst said after Saturday's game.

"It's just Brandon. I don't think he gets too high or too low, and I think that's a good thing to have when you're a quarterback."

He is also studious and paying attention.

"He's been preparing since camp," Gary said. "I walk by the quarterback room, I peep in just to mess with him. He's in his books and he's paying attention.

"Just how he prepared, I knew when he got his chance he was going to do what he did (Saturday)."

After he throws an interception he will return to being aloof and disconnected, and then he will throw a touchdown with a steely nervelessness, and then he will take a sack because of the crushing ennui he endures in his day to day life, and then he'll have a third down conversion that shows mankind is doomed because robotkind is superior. Looking forward to it. Except for the part with the interception.

Congratulations to men's soccer. They're the Big Ten champs after a barn-burning final day that saw Michigan pass three other teams, including their opponent Maryland, with this double OT(!) Francis Atuahene goal:

They had four wins last year. Quite a turnaround for Chaka Daley. Michigan is 12th in the NCAA's version of RPI for soccer and might be in line for a first-round bye in the 48-team College Cup, depending on how the Big Ten Tournament goes. They will host Northwestern or Rutgers in a first-round game Sunday at 1 PM.

Michigan Soccer Now has more details; if you care about UM soccer at all you should be following them. Also here is the Daily's Kevin Santo:

Billy Stevens still hadn’t let go of the trophy.

Not when he got on the bus to Baltimore-Washington International Airport. Not when he landed in Detroit. Not for the bus ride back to Ann Arbor, either. He said he couldn’t let it out of his sight.

And really, can you blame him?

A steady, sustainable uptick. BISB's been unable to Opponent Watch because sometimes his job strangles him by the throat but he did put together this little, encouraging graph of Michigan's line yards this year:


At this point it's more about maintaining that number than continuing to improve it. Last year's #1 team in line yards was somehow UNLV with 3.8. Michigan is approaching an effective maximum. Michigan's surge has taken their rushing game up to 21st in S&P+, so Michigan now has three good to very good aspects (rush offense, rush and pass defense) and one terrible one (pass offense). The PSU game knocked Michigan's defense out of the top ten; they're now 15th.

Is there a Haters Gonna Hate ladder? This guy is in strong contention for greatest hater in the world:

"I tolerate everything except racists and Tom Brady" is strong work.

Exit Jim McElwain. I have never had a better take than "Jim McElwain's response to the shark thing proves he's going to fail." That is right up at the top of the Takes Nobody Talks About Because They Are Correct Board for one Brian Cook. McElwain failed and is now fired. Spencer:

Categorically, the best McElwain seemed capable of was mediocrity. That mediocrity came at a time when his competition locally was as weak as it could be, and when the University was more willing than ever to spend on facilities, brand-building, and all the other accessories needed to keep a program competitive and happy. Unlike his predecessor Will Muschamp, he got free rein in hiring the staff he wanted to hire. Unlike his predecessor, he had actual head coaching experience coming into the job. Unlike Muschamp, McElwain won the SEC East, and did it two years in a row despite losing a starting quarterback to injury in both seasons.

May the football gods be kind to Spencer and bestow him with Jeff Brohm.

The Purdue situation. You've probably already seen this but in case you haven't, Angelique Chengelis talked with Wilton Speight's father about what happened after Speight's frightening injury against Purdue:

“What an absolute train wreck,” Bobby Speight said of the experience. ...

“We take off with no escort,” Bobby Speight said. “We can’t get through because there are barricades up and (the van driver is) directing people to move them.”

They reached the Purdue University Student Health Center and headed downstairs.

“They take us in the basement,” Bobby Speight said. “It’s very dimly lit. Halfway down the hall, there’s a (radiology) technician. Wilton is in (partial) uniform and still wearing cleats, and she asks Wilton his name. The (van driver) says he needs an X-ray. (The technician) looks at me and says, ‘I need your insurance card.’”

Harbaugh's been to Purdue before. He couldn't have been surprised by what he found, probably because it was exactly what he saw back in the 1980s. He was clearly cheesed by the ham-handed response to the Speight injury, and used that as a platform to talk about the beyond-gamesmanship visiting locker rooms in West Lafayette.

Hockey continues recruiting. Three recent commitments of note. One is 1997 Jimmy Lambert, who will arrive in Michigan at 21. Usually this means a guy heading for the checking line but one of the scouting services thinks otherwise:

Lambert was supposed to head to Alaska Fairbanks this fall but changed direction after a coaching change. He had a PPG in the offense-mad BCHL as an overager last year and usually that means bottom six—Dakota Raabe is the same age and had a PPG last year—but I guess maybe not? I don't know.

On the other end of the spectrum, 2002 Cole Perfetti is a 15-year-old currently projected in the 2020 class who just committed. One OHL scouting service has him the #6 guy available for this year's edition of the OHL draft because he's a "shifty skater with extraordinary playmaking vision." (Commit Antonio Stranges, an "electric skater with game breaking one-on-one play" is #4, FWIW.) Also:

The "if" there is real, as any Michigan hockey fan knows.

Finally, Michigan picked up Jeff Cox's #1 uncommitted guy from one of the various youth tourneys he attends:

1. Joshua Groll
#52 Anaheim Jr. Ducks, 8/9/01, Shoots Left, 5-9/155

Groll was the best forward here. He has good speed, but he plays a smart and complete game. He has a sneaky release and is able to get a lot of shots off by being around and possessing the puck a lot. His puck support is strong and he makes plays.

Michigan now has a whopping 25 commits across four recruiting classes, 16 of them in the four months since Mel was hire. Eleven of them are tentatively slated to enter next year. Michigan loses six seniors, and probably only four guys pulling significant scholarship money (Niko Porikos and Alex Roos probably aren't getting much.) Attrition is always looming, and I'm sure Michigan has an understanding with a couple of kids who might get pushed out a year. That's still a lot of guys to cram in.

Trying to optimize a hockey roster without screwing someone over seems like the most difficult logistical challenge in the world today. Good luck.

Etc.: Clownshoes NCAA, take a number. Symbolic hats and the playoff. Higdon stuff. Questions about basketball.



October 31st, 2017 at 12:30 PM ^

Remember when everyone was praising Florida for being quick and decisive in hiring McElwain under not even an attempt at secrecy and everyone was also mocking Michigan’s hiring process for being lost and hopeless? Funny how that looks now.


October 31st, 2017 at 12:35 PM ^

Remember when everyone was praising Florida for being quick and decisive in hiring McElwain under not even an attempt at secrecy

I don't remember that, I remember everyone making fun of the AD for getting trapped in a terrible negotiating position once reporters were taking his picture at McElwain's house. 


October 31st, 2017 at 12:38 PM ^

I don't know, I remember Florida getting mocked for attempting to be coy while Foley was photographed in McElwain's house, and while it was decisive I don't recall being blown away by that hire. 

The coaching carousel this offseason has a high probability of being crazy. Once Florida starts interviewing key guys other schools are going to be pressured to fire their own coach so they can start their own searches. But, in so doing, will look a bit less attractive to top guys who can choose, since they know that a couple of bad years can put them in the same spot.

It took a while to get Harbaugh and our recruiting suffered as a result, but Hackett really handled our situation well.


October 31st, 2017 at 2:02 PM ^

As far as the coach carousel goes, what coach from a more "big time" program do you see being let go because this starts a chain reaction of sorts?
Tennessee comes to mind as a sure fire case of firing the coach, but that has been in the works for sometime because of performance.
I do think this may move the timelines up for schools like Oregon State, and possibly get schools like illinois and Nebraska, that may want a change to start looking faster.
What programs are you thinking of? I'm sure I missed a few


October 31st, 2017 at 6:56 PM ^

I forgot about ole Miss as another shit show sec team. However, I think Texas a&m may win enough games this year to save Sumlin job, and I don't see Arkansas firing Bielma thus year. It usually takes at least 2 years of really under preforming or several years of not quite doing enough. I think he has one more year before his seat is very hot.
UCLA is one that has been in this position for a few years but don't seem to ever pull the trigger. But I can see this be the year.
As far as asu, my former defensive back coach in highschool is the assistant athletic director for football operations (or whatever they call it at other schools). When I visited family in Phoenix over psu weekend, the thought was their little winning streak before losing to USC was going to save the job of my former coach and Graham. However, if they finish off like they started the year, and lose to u of a as well, I think they are gone.


October 31st, 2017 at 12:35 PM ^

We're all guilty of this a bit, but the tendency of fans to assume they have special knowledge of the mental state, health, and activity of players and coaches is ridiculous. The number of times people have editorialized on a coach's "sideline demeanor" is absurd. 

I'm not perfect at that myself, but I gave up on trying to discern anything from sideline demeanor when Tom Coughlin, who frequently spent time looking like a clueless flub on the sideline of the Giants, won two Super Bowls. 

It doesn't matter how intense Peters looks. As long as he can speak loud enough for other players to hear and knows the plays and the reads, he'll be fine. If he isn't fine it isn't because he's low-key. 

yossarians tree

October 31st, 2017 at 12:41 PM ^

Holy cow that NCAA article describes the mother of all loopholes. If the only thing that can hold a program academically accountable is the school itself, there is going to be a whole lot less playing skool in the future.


October 31st, 2017 at 12:47 PM ^

Speight's treatment is more or less in line with my experiences with medical facilities in the Midwest including UofM.  UofM hospital damn near let my friend die in their ER because even a life-threatening emergency couldn't get the staff there to give enough shits to stop mulling about with their damn cooler talk.  Why would it be any better at West Lafayette?  Their Purdue experience doesn't surprise me at all, except maybe the home team enjoys perks they don't extend to visitors?  I don't know.

The Speights basically got the basic standard of care any nobody would get, in my experience, including the psychopathic lack of urgency and nasty attitudes only matched by Delta Airlines.  The outrage is justified but I wonder if the ensuing conversations will be strictly about football players, because fans occasionally need medical assistance as well.


October 31st, 2017 at 1:31 PM ^

I'm not kidding; my friend almost died and the reason was not lack of facilities or malpractice or capacity; it was apathy.  A friend who was there finally got someone to deign to give him a look by making a scene, at which point they suddenly had the staff and resources to treat him because they quickly realized he was dying.  I can relate to the frustrations of Speight's family, but Purdue is hardly the only place where medical facilities apparently suck.

Don't really care about upvotes since I'm telling a true story, not making up some drama and asking for reviews.  If I hit a nerve, though, that would be a particularly immature reaction.  Would you prefer I sit quietly and not mention something you'd rather not hear?  Because in that case, well fuck you.  What happened to him shouldn't happen to anyone and you're getting pissy about MGoPoints.  Hello, priorities?

Anyway, this is an issue we should all be interested in.  General quality of care affects us all, but with football players in particular, it's a given that injuries will happen.  So the question is, did Purdue have facilities and not make them available because of the color of Speight's uniform, or did they not have adequate facilities at all?


October 31st, 2017 at 2:08 PM ^

The healthcare industry sucks, not many people are going to argue that. But these kids are risking their bodies to play a sport for our entertainment, and making the schools a buttload of money doing so. They can't pay them, but they sure as shit should have to pay to provide the best possible healthcare treatment (and facilities) for them.

I'm sorry for your friend's experience, but comparing his experience to Speight's should be apples and oranges.


October 31st, 2017 at 3:22 PM ^

as that is a deep conversation I can't even touch on. But I do wonder at this specific situation. I live in a small town in Northern Michigan and we have an ambulance at every game and staff to make sure that the ambulance can get the hell out of the stadium and on to clear streets quickly. 


I realize its different at a big campus, but It's certainly do-able. It should be done. 


October 31st, 2017 at 3:35 PM ^

It's simple, the B10 needs to set a standard of what the conditions of the facilities, and medical availability needs to be at every sporting event, not just football. If you don't meet those, you don't get your media payout. It won't take long for schools to invest a couple million dollars to bring their facilities to an acceptable level to avoid losing $50 million per year.

Rufus X

October 31st, 2017 at 3:51 PM ^

Every imaginable data point available would refute that point (except your friend, who I am sure is a fine fellow).  Disparaging one of the finest hospitals in the world because of your friend's bad experience is like saying Boeing sucks because a plane crashed 10 years ago.


October 31st, 2017 at 8:52 PM ^

But if your family died in that plane crash you might think that.

I haven't had any truly serious issues with health care thankfully but I've had some substandard care. When I was a grad student at Carnegie Mellon, Pitt's university hospitals were literally running a scam. They sent me to the Falk Medical Building for a simple consultation. Later I got a big bill because that building is a hospital so they basically billed me on emergency care rates. I was so pissed. The main student organization at Carnegie Mellon later sent out an email warning against the same thing as they had gotten a lot of reports about it. So it didn't just happen to me.


October 31st, 2017 at 3:45 PM ^

to our world class health care, not with the quality of the health care itsef.

i don't necessarily deny that dragonchild's scenario happened, but if it did, it is incredibly rare and an example of an idiotic time to use an anecdote to make sweeping generalizations about healthcare in the midwest.


October 31st, 2017 at 4:25 PM ^

From the article,

Despite spending more on health care, Americans had poor health outcomes, including shorter life expectancy and greater prevalence of chronic conditions.

Let's see, we spend more money and have "world class health care" and yet, we die on average 2.4 years sooner. We have different definitions of world class, I guess.

Look at Exhibit 6, the average number of prescription drugs taken regularly. We're world class there, although I hardly think that is something to brag about. Big Pharma, man.

Rufus X

October 31st, 2017 at 3:49 PM ^

The point he was making was that U-M hospital itself sucks, which is by every imaginable measure completely false. The quality of healthcare at a national average level in the US (or Norway) is completely irrelevant to the argument above.


October 31st, 2017 at 4:19 PM ^

He wrote: "Speight's treatment is more or less in line with my experiences with medical facilities in the Midwest including UofM." The point he was making was that Speight's experience was in line with his experiences in the Midwest. 

My point was that this is a problem in the entire United States, not just the Midwest. Quality of healthcare is not judged in a vacuum. You have to compare our outcomes against other possible outcomes, not imaginary ones. Hence, the comparison to Norway and other countries that are economically similar.

Rufus X

October 31st, 2017 at 10:33 PM ^

How are you missing the point? He said UM hospital is bad because of one bad experience related to employee apathy. That is unfair whether it happens in Ann Arbor or Oslo, or Mozambique. Jesus man, not everything is about politics.


October 31st, 2017 at 9:35 PM ^

I was run down by an inattentive music student on my way to a chemistry exam October of my freshman year. The response by the ambulance and emergency response folks was exemplary. The care I received at Mott's both from the emergency room staff and the orthopedic team saved my leg. I'm an old fart now and, over the intervening decades, have suffered a number of serious injuries and illnesses, and been treated at some of the most well known and respected medical institutions in this country. I've never received better nor more comprehensive care than at Mott's throughout a long and difficult recovery. 

My dad's quintuple bypass surgery was performed at UofM hospital as well with an excellent outcome. 

It's unfortunate that your friend didn't experience an exceptional response, but his was not typical of the quality of care. The UofM hospital system enjoys a reputation for exceptionalism built over many decades by a commitment to the highest level of care and a commitment to the individual patient. 


October 31st, 2017 at 12:54 PM ^

Funny, that protest in Shelbyville, TN was close to where I am from. We had to drive through there to get to my sons football game and they had that place shutdown.  


October 31st, 2017 at 2:07 PM ^

I think if you told Peters today that he could be a starting QB in the NFL for a decade, win a Super Bowl and be the Super Bowl MVP, he'd take that. I'm not sure how you get "wildly inconsistent." His season QB ratings are: 80.3, 88.9, 93.6, 80.9, 87.7, 73.1, 91, 83.1, 83.5, and 72.3. That seems to be the model of consistency. 

Michigan Arrogance

October 31st, 2017 at 3:50 PM ^

I watched that game and much like baseball's postseason, the intensity ramps up exponentially. The result of the IU MSU game came thru in M's favor midway thru the 2H so the stakes were known: Win and you're the Champion. Lose and you're... not. M was on the road against a highly ranked team.

When that ball went in the goal, I jumped out of my pants. I only watch soccer during the WC and it was an awesome game.