Unverified Voracity Is About To Get A Lot Of Emails From @Corn.Com

Submitted by Brian on August 16th, 2010 at 2:29 PM

Check the klaxon wiring, will you? The absence of Tate Forcier from the most recent Countdown to Kickoff video has been noticed and is causing consternation. Also it is spawning somewhat sad hypotheses that this is a brilliant tactic to confuse and alarm our enemies. My guess is either that they didn't want to put a guy with a solid blue helmet in the clips, thus spawning yet more speculation about solid blue helmets, or that Tate's minor injury (as reported by the BTN when they were at practice) had him down with the third team and they didn't want to spawn speculation about Tate as a third string option. They spawned the exact same speculation in a different way instead.

A couple of other bits Burgeoning Wolverine Star has gleaned from minute analysis of the countdown to kickoff videos:

  • Mark Moundros has been running with the ones a lot in practice. His presence on the starting defense is really beginning to worry me. Then again Obi Ezeh has always worried me.
  • Vincent Smith appears to be running with the twos and Fitzgerald Toussaint appears to be taking a lot of snaps with the starting offense.

I'm not sure how much either of those means, but Moundros winning the MLB job would be concerning, not so much because of what it says about Ezeh but what it might say about Kenny Demens, JB Fitzgerald, and the rest of the scholarship linebackers who have disappointed thus far in their careers.

Meanwhile in countdown to kickoff, here's Taylor Lewan and Craig Roh working on their vaudville routine:

Team, team, team. A debate settled: Bo Schembechler deployed the famous "The Team, The Team, The Team" speech prior to the 1984 season.

Bar bets resolved all around. Now: if Rodriguez is going to deploy "The Team" in his tweets can we get him to say "those who stay will be champions"? I have literally been waiting for this since he was introduced at halftime of the Ohio State game.

Ve vant the money. Great graph from the Daily Cardinal showing the television money (Lebowksi) landscape as of now:

football-tv-rev-mapThough tiny now, the Pac-10 is going to vastly increase those tiny circles when their contract expires in 2011. In a realm of ever-expanding cable options even the ACC was able to leverage their free agency into a massive increase in revenues. A Pac-10 plus Colorado and Utah is going to see their raw numbers shoot up. Same with the Big 12 when their contracts expire. That's one reason the much-hyped SEC ESPN contract was overblown: when you're locked in that long the contract is shiny up front but by the end of it looks ragged. The BTN is excepted because the conference owns half of it and gets a revenue share, so that 112 million now won't be 112 in 2031. The SEC's deals will still be 150 and 55 in 2023. Not to imply that's terrible or anything.

Conveniently for the Big Ten fan, the Machiavellian point of view lines up with the one that's good for the players: you want D-I football to be as expensive as possible for the participants, with an emphasis on required spending on student-athletes.

While we're talking money. The Sports Business Journal has a paywalled article on what the Big Ten will do with its contracts now that Nebraska's on the way, but they put some interesting numbers in the intro

The Big Ten Conference is preparing to auction the TV rights to its new football championship game, a move that industry insiders say could fetch $15 million to $20 million a year. The conference also plans to reopen its current deal with ESPN to account for the addition of Nebraska…

…which will push them even farther into the lead. Maybe Minnesota and Illinois will actually hire some one real this time around? Gary Pinkel, Gary Patterson, Charlie Strong, etc?

Swing low, Iowa. I've been thinking this for a while and now I'll dare mention it because a couple other outlets have broached the same thing: isn't Iowa due for a recession after their debt-fueled 2009? The lasting image of Iowa's Orange Bowl-winning season isn't Adrian Clayborn turning something into a damp red smear* but an Indiana pass pinging off four separate players before landing Charmin-soft in the hands of Tyler Sash.

Now it can be told on a list of teams most likely to regress this year:

1. Iowa

The Hawkeyes had a great record last year, but they weren't dominant. They beat Northern Iowa and Arkansas State by a combined four points. They nearly lost to Michigan and Michigan State. In 2010, they get every tough team in the Big Ten while missing Illinois and Purdue. Iowa State usually plays them tough regardless, and they go to Arizona. It's not going to be an explosive team, and the schedule is tough.

That's Team Speed Kills and it's admittedly hazy, but the point about NIU, Arkansas State, Michigan (guh), Michigan State, and that omitted Indiana game is well-taken: Iowa was 89th in total offense last year. That is not often the recipe for a top-ten team, especially when the top-ten defense lost about half its starters and is still deploying a walk-on at safety.

Doctor Saturday talks up Rick Stanzi's ability in the clutch

In 2008, Iowa had the best running back in the nation and the best defense in the Big Ten, but lost four of five games decided by three points or less and had to settle for a nice consolation prize in the Outback Bowl. In 2009, a less impressive team on paper turned those close games, winning four of five by three points or less and landing the program's highest AP poll finish since 1960.

That was despite dropping from second in the conference in scoring offense in '08 to tenth in '09, as well as dropping to tenth in rushing and total offense, and from ninth nationally to 34th against the run on defense. The only difference was the uncanny knack for rallying the troops when tied or trailing going into the fourth quarter, which Stanzi and Co. pulled off five times in as many attempts against Northern Iowa (down 13-10 at the start of the fourth), Penn State (down 10-5), Wisconsin (10-10), Michigan State (down 6-3) and Indiana (down 24-14).

…but only after pointing out his 56% completion rate and meh efficiency ratings. Meanwhile, those fourth quarter comebacks scream regression unless you think Stanzi is some Rick Six** prone version of John Elway chafing under Dan Reeves. I don't think Iowa will be bad, exactly, but I'd be less surprised by the Hawkeyes finishing fifth in the Big Ten than second.

*(Adrian Clayborn: I say this with the utmost respect possible OH GOD NO—)

**(I see you, stpaulhawkeye. "Rick Six" is brilliant.)

Wha? Sid Hartman is like a billion years old and whenever I read something from him he seems confused so take this stuff FWIW:

Delany didn't see the Big Ten going to nine conference games in football in the near future, but one thing that might force that move is the big-money schools having to pay to attract nonconference opponents.

Since Delany just gave the first day of Big Ten Media Days whatever slight usefulness it had by bluntly declaring a nine-game conference schedule on the way, by "near future" Hartman probably means 2013. Then again, he's old enough where that does seem like a far off place. I wouldn't pay it any mind given Delany's previous statements.

Etc.: Sweet hot peppers, buy MGoShirts. They are so new. Misopogon assembles a list of the mustachoied Michigan recruits past for your identification. Jamiemac tours the Big Ten for news.

Comments

mschol17

August 16th, 2010 at 2:42 PM ^

If there's something going on with Tate, we won't hear about it officially until after the first game.  Why would UM tell anyone what's going on with the QB situation when they can force UCONN to have to scheme for two completely different looks?

West Texas Blue

August 16th, 2010 at 2:48 PM ^

"I'm not sure how much either of those means, but Moundros winning the MLB job would be concerning, not so much because of what it says about Ezeh but what it might say about Kenny Demens, JB Fitzgerald, and the rest of the scholarship linebackers who have disappointed thus far in their careers" 

Michigan LB recruiting in the last 5-6 years has nearly been on par with DB recruiting.  I mean, we had to take a freakin JUCO in 2007 because of attrition and poor LB recruiting, and even he didn't pan out.  

Seth

August 16th, 2010 at 3:04 PM ^

I thought that was pretty well addressed in 2008, with Fitz, Demens, Hill and Spoon all 4 stars or within range. Then we lost two, and two are behind the fullback.

I'm not as nervous as the rest of you, though. I saw Demens playing pretty well in Spring, and Fitzgerald showing enough in spot duty last year to suggest he has a good shot of being valuable late in his career (which is really what you expect from a 4-star MLB). It says Ezeh is still Ezeh, but I was figuring on Ezeh being what he is. If Moundros is ahead of all of those guys, perhaps it means Moundros actually has all of the instincts needed for the position.

Good luck on the mustaches.

Mustaches4Michigan

August 16th, 2010 at 3:38 PM ^

Misopogon killed it with his post! It is everything you've come to love and expect from one of MGoBlog's favorite diarists: a heavily research laden post with data that suggests awesomeness. 

To block quote: 

Of course, not every mustached high schooler ends up summarily awesome in college. From 2002 to 2009 I found five or six guys out of 40 with high school mustaches who weren't All-Americans, NFL players, All-Big Ten, or extremely valuable, or did not generally meet or exceed expectations.

If anyone else is interested in penning a guest post for Mustaches for Michigan, please drop us an email with your pitch: mailto:[email protected]

RagingBean

August 16th, 2010 at 5:35 PM ^

I made this comment in some other thread the other day, but Moundros' apparent ascedency keeps reminding me of the write-up about the 3-3-5 in this year's Hail to the Victors. Brian describes the position as one that requires the player to make the NT right and just stick his nose into some Guards' business. He noted that Casteel at WVU is able to get away with playing undersized or unathletic MLBs because their duties are more instinctual than purely athletic. Thus, Moundros.

Though I would probably still rather have one of Demens or Fitz pass up Ezeh, truth be told.

Six Zero

August 16th, 2010 at 2:53 PM ^

Unbelievable.  You know, I'm beginning to think that they honestly don't even want us to really know what's going on during practice.

Don't they even care about us, or the entertainment value of practice sessions and video???

(I am totally and unequivocably seriously serious here.  Seriously.)

MCalibur

August 16th, 2010 at 3:22 PM ^

They're in a menage a trois or quatre for third place in the Big Ten: Iowa, Penn State, Michigan State, and Michigan (maybe improbably but not impossible; I actually like our chances).

Third place will likely need to win at least 5 in the Big Ten and probably 6. MSU and Penn State both miss Ohio State so, they should have an advantage there. BUT, Michigan plays all three head-to-head and two of them at home, so we control our own destiny.

Let's Go, Blue.

michgoblue

August 16th, 2010 at 3:38 PM ^

I have heard a few people now express concern about Ezeh and/or Demens because Moundros may jump them on the charts.  While I do find this disappointing, isn't it possible that Moundros is just really taking to his new position.  RR made the guy a captain, and I bet he did so because Moundros worked his ass off to learn the new position during the offseason.  If he did, and if he is just really taking to it well, then I don't necessarily think that this means that the others are crappy - just that Moundros might be that good at his new position. 

Also, the view that Moundros may have jumped these guys seems to have originated in clips of practice taken during an open practice.  After last year's issues with certain plays being tipped by the media (whether intentional or not), I wouldn't put it past RR to hide just about everything, including 1st and 2nd team pairings during this all-access practice. 

so bored at work

August 16th, 2010 at 4:26 PM ^

I was actually wondering the same thing.  Admittedly it's not overly likely that a guy goes from walk-on FB to legitimate Big 10 starting LB, but it's theoretically possible.  Do we have any indication how plain old Moundros the LB looks, as opposed to "Moundros the walk-on who as a FB a year ago and may have jumped decent recruits who we'd be more comfortable having as starters"?

funkywolve

August 16th, 2010 at 4:52 PM ^

Not saying the guy isn't working his ass off and probably playing decent, but to me it's just another reminder of where UM stands with talent at LB.  Do you really think at the top programs in the country (Texas, Bama, OSU, OU, Florida, etc.) a senior who's played fullback his entire college career could switch to LB and be battling for a starting spot?  Possibly - yeah.  Likely - no.  Even more unlikely if those schools have a guy(s) who have started 20+ games each under their belt. 

I hate to be a negative nancy but to me this means are LB'ing core is probably a mess.

JudgeMart

August 16th, 2010 at 5:33 PM ^

Doesn't bother me as long as they don't expect him to do too much.  His main job will be to get in the open holes and stuff the run when the big o-lines come a callin' (we know who they are).  Ezeh had a tough time of that last year.  Unless Ezeh has improved dramatically in play recognition, expect to see Moundros on running downs. Moundros at MLB reminds me of former Wolverine MLB Steve Strinko.  +1 if you recall who that is!

funkywolve

August 16th, 2010 at 7:27 PM ^

that tells me a lot about the state of the returning LB's.  You think a senior at Ohio State who's spent his college career playing fullback and suddenly changes position to LB is going to compete for a starting spot?  I highly doubt it.  Ditto Alabama, Florida, Texas, OU, etc.  At those schools a fullback who changes to LB early in his career might be challenging for a starting spot later in his career, but not after one spring and a few days of fall practice.

badjuju81

August 16th, 2010 at 4:01 PM ^

Rocko Khoury #63 was at 1st center, not David Molk #50.  Hard to pick out the OL on each play.  Maybe they were using mixed units?  Remember, UofM controls content on the site, so very likely coaches cleared footage for posting.  Anyway, hope Forcier isn't hurt too bad and hope Molk is healthy.

Cool maize jerseys on QBs, too!

Rasmus

August 16th, 2010 at 4:10 PM ^

  • As revealed by MVictors, Michigan orders yellow helmets and paints them maize and then blue.
  • Schutt does not have enough yellow helmets to meet Michigan's order, so they send some blue ones in order to not be short.
  • Michigan does not paint most of the blue ones, since they are due to be returned and replaced with properly painted yellow ones when Schutt fills the backorder.

*Revised

CRex

August 16th, 2010 at 4:13 PM ^

You theory is dismissed, purely on the grounds that it does nothing to incite panic.  We have 19 more days until kickoff and we need to pass the time in some state of hyper unrest.  Like a lab rat with a needle in its ass.  

On the serious side it makes sense.  

Enjoy Life

August 16th, 2010 at 4:18 PM ^

The thought of going through another year without an experienced QB makes me ready to load up the brain lubricants. Tate is our only experienced QB. This concerns me way more than the defense.

Please make this all disinformation (remember last year when RR insisted the QB is "up for grabs" -- then Tate played basically the whole year).

wildbackdunesman

August 16th, 2010 at 4:51 PM ^

Now: if Rodriguez is going to deploy "The Team" in his tweets can we get him to say "those who stay will be champions"? I have literally been waiting for this since he was introduced at halftime of the Ohio State game.

 

Brian, don't you mean introduced at halftime of the Florida Gators game.  Lloyd Carr had not officially announced his retirement by the Ohio State game.

Bluerock

August 16th, 2010 at 4:54 PM ^

Tates orginal helmet is being fitted with these mind-control probes that are linked to RRod via satellite,Tate will be controlled from the sidelines with a nintendo handle...OR since he had a head injury last year he may be testing some new head gear.

James Howlett

August 16th, 2010 at 10:08 PM ^

 

 

Swing low, Iowa. I've been thinking this for a while and now I'll dare mention it because a couple other outlets have broached the same thing: isn't Iowa due for a recession after their debt-fueled 2009? The lasting image of Iowa's Orange Bowl-winning season isn't Adrian Clayborn turning something into a damp red smear* but an Indiana pass pinging off four separate players before landing Charmin-soft in the hands of Tyler Sash.

Now it can be told on a list of teams most likely to regress this year:

1. Iowa

The Hawkeyes had a great record last year, but they weren't dominant. They beat Northern Iowa and Arkansas State by a combined four points. They nearly lost to Michigan and Michigan State. In 2010, they get every tough team in the Big Ten while missing Illinois and Purdue. Iowa State usually plays them tough regardless, and they go to Arizona. It's not going to be an explosive team, and the schedule is tough.

That's Team Speed Kills and it's admittedly hazy, but the point about NIU, Arkansas State, Michigan (guh), Michigan State, and that omitted Indiana game is well-taken: Iowa was 89th in total offense last year. That is not often the recipe for a top-ten team, especially when the top-ten defense lost about half its starters and is still deploying a walk-on at safety.

Iowa, in 2008 went 9-4 their four losses were by a combined score of 12 points. They lost by one point at Pittsburgh, five points in Evanston, Three points in East Lansing(through a quirk in scheduling they played MSU in consecutive years in Spartan Stadium. ), and three points in Champaign(a weird loss, and the single and LAST loss Ferentz has to Zook. Ferentz even beat Zook when he was coaching Florida.).

Every game Iowa lost that year but for one play could have been a win. Iowa outplayed most of the opponets in those losses. Their wins in 2008 included drubbings of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, Iowa State, and South Carolina with a narrow win over then undefeated #3 PSU in Kinnick.

I would say 2009 was simply Karma paying back the Hawkeyes for the 2008 debt. Additionally, take a look at those close wins in 2009 and you'll see Iowa had a number of missing starters. Most of the year the Big Ten lineaman of the year, Bryan Bulaga, was either out with a thyroid illness or still feeling the ill-effects(see his perfromance against Arkansas State's DE and the following week against monster DE Brandon Graham.)of it. Remember that Shonn Greene, he of over 1,800 yards rushing as a redshirt junior left early to be a hero for the Jets. That left his back up the talented Jewel Hampton to be the heir apparent only to lose him for the season before game one. Hence the insertion of jouneyman, Paki "Bomb" O'Meara, as the starter then when reality struck two-star from freshman Adam Robinson started(and turned out to be pretty good). That's how you get N.Iowa...Arkansas State etc. Injuries, sickness, new players, players still figuring out how to play the position. Now, Iowa has 8 returning starters on one of the top 10 defenses in the country. BTW-Greenwood, that walk-on safety, is a preseason All-Big Ten player. They have all their backs returning(Wegher? *fingers crossed* but, w/Hampton and Robinson back, two incoming frosh RB's should only see the field in blowouts.) including Jewel Hampton, who's probably the most talented of them. They have the best WR group Ferentz has ever had, and they have the typically good Iowa special teams.

This year Iowa get's that tough schedule almost completely in Kinnick. Argurably one of the tougher places to play in the country.

Stanzi, is a wild-card but, a fifth year senior QB who has a 18-4 career record is usually going to be a good thing and I strongly suspect less comeback wins will be necessary as a better group of backs and a deep corp of receivers(not to mention that defense)aren't going to allow many teams to get ahead of them.

I noticed last year in a pre-season interview when talking about the B-10 championship contenders you left out Iowa(but, you did say Illinois was a team to watch in the future???). I suspect you've short changed the Hawkeyes again BTW...Most of all these two returnees for the Hawkeyes shouldn't be underestimated..Kirk Ferentz and DC Norm Parker. Coaching counts.

 

Njia

August 16th, 2010 at 5:22 PM ^

I've got this nice ceramic pipe with some green herb in it for you to mellow on.

I don't worry about Moundros at LB, (we have the DBs to worry about; I shall remain willfully ignorant of the LB play). Whether or not he's ever played the position, something can be said for the fact that he's a senior. By now, he knows how to break down film, practice, etc. Will he be the starter on Opening Day? Don't know. But, some guys find their natural positions and become stars long after they've joined the team, (see: Welborne, Tripp).

RR or GERG may also be trying to get as many of the guys who will legitimately see playing time some experience with the ones. Chemistry seems to be a key ingredient in the D this year, and both players and coaches have to be confident that if a guy steps into fill a spot, the squad doesn't lose a step.

KBLOW

August 16th, 2010 at 8:57 PM ^

I'm with you.  GERG and RR know what's going on and I trust them to put the best LB's (and entire team!) on the field.   A lot can change by the end of fall practice be it injuries or a player finally "getting" the scheme, etc.  

Yes, I worry about the import of Moundros as a starter, but we'll all know soon enough what that really means about our LB's. 

slappy09

August 16th, 2010 at 7:46 PM ^

In that video posted at the top - you can see Tate at the 30 second mark with his nice blue helmet and has a red jersey on -- maybe he does have some crazy injury??

Michigan Arrogance

August 16th, 2010 at 9:17 PM ^

I have been having the same thoughts about Iowa. My view:

  • Iowa's recruiting is never outstanding, but in 2005 they had a top 15-ish class. This was the Christianson class with a few solid OLs. While mostly dissappointing, this class held a significant amount of the talent at Iowa and is not no longer on campus.
  • Iowa doesn't seem to represent well in the draft generally speaking, but they did lose 6 guys (2 OLs, a TE; 2 LBs and a CB) to the 2010 draft. That's a lot of talent for a team to lose. Combine that witht he depth lost from the 2005 class.

I don't see Iowa going 4-8 or anything, but they have a tough middle stretch on the schedule, half their OL to replace (if you include the TE), and 2 LBers to replace. Their strength will certainly be the DL, but I don't think they can replace that talent at the OL. Most expect Iowa to just plug in more RSed 3*s that fit and know the system, but I wonder if last years success could be attributed to talent more so than other Iowa teams. Talent that is no longer on the team.

AtmoGuy

August 16th, 2010 at 9:22 PM ^

Isn't taking the wings off Tate's helmet as some sort of motivational ploy kinda silly?  If he isn't in shape to play, just tell him that.  Either he fixes the problem and competes for playing time, or he doesn't and doesn't play.  But no one seriously thinks Tate's helmet is going to any different than anyone else's for the first game.  So why do it now?  Isn't playing time enough of a motivation?  Why create embarassment and the potential for resentment?

Thorin

August 17th, 2010 at 9:08 AM ^

As was pointed out in the comments of the video embedded in this post, Bo's famous speech must have been pre-1983 to be included in the 1983 CBS College Football Preview:

ijohnb

August 17th, 2010 at 9:05 AM ^

with our linebackers last year was their reads, angles, and positioning on the field, as was the case with our safeties as well.  Lets not talk Florida, Alabama, and Texas here. Breaking News - Michigan is not going to have a dominating bone crushing shut down defense, we simply don't have the players, yet.  The primary objective with this defense is to make the other team work to score, and to be in the right position on the field to prevent the home run.  If Moundros will be in the right position to stop a six yard gainer at six yards (see Indiana and Illinois games last year for what not to do), then put him on the field.

HailGoBlue86

August 17th, 2010 at 10:49 AM ^

If he's a a sure tackle I'm all for him getting a lot of time. I don't think he ends up starting but after watching these highlights I think he is going to get a lot more playing time at linebacker than I envisioned when we first heard he switched from fullback.