Brian July 28th, 2014 at 11:05 AM

FIRE EVERYONE! Naw man this ain't relevant to your interests. I but I mean cumong man.


Cumong woman, I guess. Either way, y'all shouldn't have laid off the common sense editor a couple years back. "Picks Barbour" instead of "Selects Woman" would have fit and passed the "will people be irate on twitter about this?" test.

I WILL LAY A PATH OF DESTRUCTION ACROSS THE LAND. CBS Sports scouts Michigan's upcoming team for the next NFL draft, starting with one Devin Funchess:

He has excellent initial burst off the line to get vertical in a hurry with long, full strides, flashing flexible and easy movement skills rare for a player his size. Funchess tracks well with smooth body control to make natural adjustments on the ball, but has WAY too many drops on his resume and needs to improve his reliability and finishing ability through the catch point. The effort is there for him as a blocker, but his technique needs work as he's often caught off guard with his blocking assignments. Funchess is a mismatch nightmare against linebackers and smaller defensive backs and with improved consistency, he has all the makings of a future first round pick, reminiscent of a younger Jermichael Finley at Texas.

I'm not entirely sure the effort is there as a blocker after watching him opposite Jeremy Gallon, but he should be at least adequate as a wide option. The drops were a bit unfortunate but he's not in the Braylon category, at least not yet, and his ability to reach up and pluck things out of the air with one hand gives him a circus catch upside that few players have.

Also featured are Ryan ("possible top-50 draft pick"), Clark ("One of the more underrated pass rushers for the 2015 class"), Gardner("upper and lower body mechanics are a mess and he often releases while off-balance," thanks Mr. Borges and your hatred of QB coaches), and various others. Special nod to Raymon Taylor for being average at everything:

His size, speed and strength are all considered average, but he has the competitive mentality and awareness needed for the position.

The center of the bell curve, that Raymon Taylor.

OKAY YOU HAVE MY ATTENTION. Patrick Beilein is doing something his old man never did: becoming an assistant coach.

Patrick Beilein is leaving West Virginia Wesleyan to take a job on coach Quin Snyder's staff with the Utah Jazz, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

That is a 29-year-old NBA assistant coach whose dad is John Beilein, just kinda hanging out. At this point it would be an upset if LaVall Jordan didn't get the job when it is time for Beilein to hang it up, but things change and it's nice to have attractive options.

Meanwhile: wait, Quin Snyder is now an NBA coach? Specifically Trey Burke's NBA coach? When do I get a job?

WELL THAT SEEMS REASONABLE. THIS PROBABLY SHOULDN'T BE ALL CAPS. Michigan picked third the East in a poll of 29 media voters that somehow came up with 33 first place votes:

Big Ten East

1. Ohio State, 195 points (23 first-place votes)
2. Michigan State, 180 points (10)
3. Michigan, 136 points
4. Penn State, 105.5 points
5. Maryland, 84 points
6. Indiana, 78.5 points
7. Rutgers, 33 points

That is zero votes that have anything other than Rutgers dead last.

I AM TERRIBLY OLD AND HAVE CHOSEN POORLY. Defensman Kenny Johnson, who I remember wandering around Yost as, like, a zero-year-old, has committed to Michigan. Kenny is of course Jack Johnson's little brother. 

“It wasn’t very hard to make a choice, I’ve always wanted to go there since I was a little kid,” the ’98 birth-year defenseman said. “I went to every game of my brother’s, I was always running around the rink. I guess the hardest part was making the call and going to do it because I couldn’t believe it was real.”

I in fact remember a nine-or-ten year old Kenny wearing a "JMFJ" shirt at the Joe during Jack's sophomore year. I hoped he had no idea why he was wearing that shirt. Now he's KMFJ, which is an amazing abbreviation right there.

Kenny isn't the incredible prospect his brother was—he's more of a stay-at-home guy—but he's no slouch.

While we're talking about hockey recruiting, further evidence that recent commit Mike Pastujov is currently a big deal comes from the recent U15 select camp at which he was named the best forward:

1. Michael Pastujov (#11 Black) 6-0/186 Honeybaked U16 (Michigan) - A strong and powerful skater who committed to the Wolverines along with his brother Nick, a '98, less than a week after the camp ended. He's a flight risk to the OHL, but he's a strong skater who drives the net well. He made plays happen from all over the ice, really dishes the puck well to his linemates and he wins one-on-one battles. He's a complete package offensively.

When you're so far away from matriculating these evaluations are shaky, but there's no better place to start than from the top.

HOW WOULD YOU LIKE A TRIP TO BIG RAPIDS. Hockey's released their schedule and it is bizarre. They go to Ferris State to open the season—like before the Canadian exhibition game—and then they have a brutal nonconference road schedule after that test: Lowell, BU, BC, two against Tech. They do get UNH at Yost for what should be an entertaining series.

Unfortunately they again do that bit where they have a ton of home games during the meat of the football schedule and then a massive gap when people really want to go to hockey games. Michigan will go 41 days between home games after a home series against Minnesota on January 10th. The TBA MSU games will be at Munn and the Joe, so the next time you'll have a ticket at Yost is February 21st.

Meanwhile four straight weeks from Friday November 14th to December 5th feature Michigan hockey, and that's after another month-long break, one that features a bye week November 6th and 7th. The planning is not so good. This is the second straight year the second half of the home schedule has been really sparse.

The other thing of note is that there's a bunch of games with "possible" next to them as the Big Ten moves towards Sunday games in an effort to get more of them on the BTN. Hopefully they get that settled before tickets are issued. Moving a game time is one thing; moving entire days is not reasonable.

ENGULFED BY BLACKNESS. A sixth grade girl was at Michigan's football camp, which I guess is cute.

The Detroit News:

Ann Arbor hasn’t seen a burst of speed like this since Denard Robinson wore the Maize and Blue

Ha ha! That's not true.

[reminds self of last year's running game]

Blackness is everything.

[exits slowly]

[fades to nothing made of sadness]

[Death Cab For Cutie writes song about this experience]


ENTER THE LUMBERG. Man Dave Brandon I really don't want to talk about you constantly but then you're just like

Organizations that have a strong and healthy culture make sure the guiding principles and aspirational vision are integrated into everything that is done -- hiring decisions, communication, recognition, celebration, and the way they create positive energy.

and I'm just like why don't you speak English like a human does and then you're just like

To further our guiding principle of being a "great place to work," an important -- and descriptive -- Smile Committee was created. The committee's job is to draw on the skills and interests of a broad cross-section of the U-M Athletic Department to create activities of fun and importance.

and I'm just like oh that's because you ceased being a part of our species some time ago and you're now homo executivus. Which is fine and all that but I'm just saying that I would go watch RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE EXECUTIVES in a hot second.

"War or war-related activities integral to our aspirational vision… has or have, depending on which antecedent you prefer in the previous phrase, and by "has or have" I mean 'is occurring in a timeframe consistent with that commonly referred to as "now"'… been initiated after consulting with a diverse array of focus groups, consultants, and best-in-class operational specialists including but not limited to—"

/executive shot in face

That's Oscar stuff right there. Hollywood, get on it.

I mean.

To further our guiding principle of being a "great place to work"

I'M ON THE COMMITTEE FORMING COMMITTEE. Instead of just working with the student government, which did great work surveying students and getting the athletic department to change their seating policy to something they would actually enjoy—#MikeProppeforAD—the athletic department is assembling a student advisory committee. We'll see how that works out; I am skeptical it'll be anything nearly as useful as what the unconnected student government managed last year.

Michigan is also confident they'll get past the 100k attendance number, because they just make those up anyway.

"(Some numbers may) potentially be lower than normal in the past, sure," Lochmann said. "I know there's a lot of eyeballs talking about the 100,000 -- we're not going to go below 100,000."

There could be no one in the stadium except the teams and they would announce 102,309. Ask anyone who was at the '95 Purdue doom-weather game if there were 100k in attendance.

Etc.: Stephen A Smith is just in charge of saying things for no reason. Ray Rice's suspension is ridiculous. Terrell Pryor got five games for tatgate! Rice got two for knocking his wife unconscious. Okay.

In lighter news, Detnews really excited about Alex Cook's tweetin'. Bacon on fireworks fireworks. It's probably not a coincidence that right after fireworks fireworks, Brandon gave an interview to Wojo.

ATTENTION TENNESSEE BIGS: stay away from Rome.



July 28th, 2014 at 11:27 AM ^

Can't believer Brian let Brandon off the hook for his "wow" comment about the upcoming.....BYU, Oregon St, UNLV, home schedule.  

Keep marketing!!!


July 28th, 2014 at 12:40 PM ^

Brandon's comment was about the entire home schedule including OSU and MSU at home not just the 3 out of conference games you listed. But I guess it serves your purpose of ridiculing Brandon better if you foucs only on those 3.


July 28th, 2014 at 1:21 PM ^

MSU and OSU will be our schedule every other year.  If your definition of "wow" is every other year than you are correct.  The implication was that the non conference games made it a wow.   They don't make it a wow.

Credit to you for getting that 5 to sleep with you over the 2, but just becaused you nailed 3 5's does not mean you nailed someone that was hot.   


July 28th, 2014 at 1:57 PM ^

Oregon state and BYU are both solid, UNLV isnt a bad option either. much better than than playing toldedo or eastern. Still games we should win but more recognizable names. its a good out of conference schedule


July 28th, 2014 at 11:28 AM ^

Ah, student advisory committees are the best.  There is no easier way to show those who ask that you are "reaching out to the student body" while you hand-pick a couple of synchophatic ass-kissers who want to add another line on their resume to show up at some meetings and agree to everything "from a studen'ts perspective".   

Space Coyote

July 28th, 2014 at 11:29 AM ^

Most programs don't have one, including Michigan now, but alright. Maybe the outrage is simply at Borges being that guy previous, which alright, then it's just a Borges thing and my lack of understanding is redacted. Anyway...

The assessment of Gardner was pretty accurate. His problem last year, when his OL struggled, is that he started heavily reverting under pressure. That's a common problem with QBs that come in as raw mechanically as he did. And if you saw him in high school, he was as raw as they come.

He's made improvement to his throwing mechanics, both lower and upper body, each year he's been on campus. And the rave reviews he got last summer were in controlled drills, indicating that he has improved in a controlled setting. But football is rarely controlled, and was essentially never controlled in-game for Gardner last year. The most telling part of CBS's assessment of Gardner, which I also believe, is that Gardner started putting his eyes on the pass rush. It's hard to blame him, considering, but even when he received adequate protection, he sensed the pressure that wasn't even there. So his mechanics, by the end of the year, had pretty much reverted when throwing the football to so quasi-mess that was still leaps and bounds better than his high school mechanics. He did consistently improve his understanding of the pocket throughout the year though, which if he was given better protection, would have showed much more than people want to believe.


July 28th, 2014 at 11:40 AM ^

Don't know if you can answer this without film work, but did his mechanics get progressively poorer throughout the year as he got hit and hit again, or were they poor in game situations where he was getting pressure from the ND game onward?

I remember him standing in against the rush pretty well against ND (well, with one major exception) and thought he progressively lost trust in his line and became increasingly unwilling to stick in the pocket as the year got on and he got beat up, but I don't know anything about QB mechanics to know if his mechanics were right before his trust broke down.

Space Coyote

July 28th, 2014 at 12:08 PM ^

He was struggling moving up in the pocket in the non-conference games, but actually improved his movement in the pocket during B1G play, and think he generally improved in that regard throughout the season. My guess is that was something that was stressed more in practice rather than trying to correct throwing mechanics in-season. But I think he also lost trust in his OL and that is where the problem with his eyes and perceived pressure came into play. And under those circumstances his feet started getting all kittywampus on him, and he started slinging the ball a bit more because he didn't take the time (or didn't have the time or didn't feel he had the time) to reestablish his feet and mechanics.

My guess is that movement in the pocket and reading defenses was his focus during the season last year from week-to-week, rather than mechanics. Fixing throwing mechanics (or shooting mechanics in basketball) is a bit like fixing a golf swing in the middle of the round. Sure, maybe you figure it out, but in the mean time you may make things a lot worse. So my guess was they were trying to control the things they could control to a degree, and go from there. But I think he continued to lack trust in his OL and in his reads (which is why he went from throwing INTs to holding the ball too long) and that's what hurt him in the second half of the season until he basically said screw it against OSU and trusted his reads more, or just didn't worry about the consiquences as much, which actually worked in his favor.

Space Coyote

July 28th, 2014 at 1:22 PM ^

But Borges's QB development was known as one of his strengths as an OC. Both Cade McNown and Jason Campbell were mediocre players until they had Borges coach them, and then they both became first round draft picks. On top of that, relative unknown Ryan Lindley was a 6th round draft pick under Borges. Tony Graziani from his time at Oregon was also drafted in the 7th round. So QB development was never questioned for Borges until his time at Michigan.

My personal opinion was that he was better at coaching certain types of QBs over others; namely, he was better coaching QBs that were already more polished at certain aspects of the game and teaching the finer points of being a QB, rather than starting with raw mechanics all-around and turning them into good QBs. But that's not really based on a whole lot other than the types of QBs he recruited vs inherited at Michigan.

Because I don't want to finish on Borges, Nussmeier has held his own as well. I like the fact that he played QB in college and in the NFL fairly recently, and his stints as a QB coach at MSU, St. Louis Rams (so an NFL team), and an OC/QB coach for Locker and recently at Alabama, are all good data points in his regard as well, in terms of being a good QB coach.

Roy G. Biv

July 28th, 2014 at 11:35 AM ^

I was at the 5-0 Purdue game in '95, being pelted in the face with stinging ice particles walking to the stadium. I will full agree there weren't 100k there--more like 70. And I dropped my bottle of schnapps in the stadium and the cap broke, costing me most of my booze (needed for that game). Tragic.

Kilgore Trout

July 28th, 2014 at 12:14 PM ^

I think the '95 one was worse. Obviously the grass vs turf made a difference, but at least the NW game still went on as a game. I remember the Purdue game just being a slog with no one making any ground toward scoring after the intiial field goal. I also remember watching the Purdue game through a small window under the brim of my hat surrounded by poncho. 

winged wolverine

July 28th, 2014 at 12:43 PM ^

That was by far the worst weather experience I've ever had at a game. At halftime I was so miserable that I went into the MDen and bought a hoodie, a winter hat and a poncho. It didn't help that much but it was better.  A close 2nd is the Michigan-Northwestern game (at Northwestern)when Justin Fargas broke his leg. It wasn't as cold that day, but it was pouring and miserable. 


July 28th, 2014 at 1:00 PM ^

broke his leg on a cold November 14, 1998 Saturday afternoon in Ann Arbor.  His injury occured about the S 35 yd line on the Home side, we heard the bone break from the N 35 Visitor side.  I only went to one game that year and it was that one.

M Fanfare

July 28th, 2014 at 2:38 PM ^

That '08 Northwestern game was the worst game weather I've experienced (I was not at '95 Purdue). I was in the band so we couldn't take shelter, couldn't leave early, and had to perform the post game concert. By the time we got back to Revelli Hall, I couldn't move my fingers to take my soaking wet gloves off so I went into the bathroom, used my wrists to awkwardly manhandle the hot tap on, then stuck my hands (gloves and all) under hot water for a few minutes until I had enough feeling back in my hands to operate my fingers.

rob f

July 28th, 2014 at 8:49 PM ^

was absolutely awful.  Rainy while tailgating, but manageable in the morning, maybe 40 degrees or so, not any worse than many other late-season football mornings in Ann Arbor.  It got everyone and everything wet---those narrow, cold metal bleacher seats were a lot worse when soaked with rain, but I remember being surprised by how the turnout was by the beginning of the game.  There may have actually been 90,000 fans there at the start.  But then the sleet/freezing rain and wind that started shortly after kickoff?  The worst conditions ever, and by the start of the 2nd half, I doubt 40,000 fans remained in Michigan Stadium.

Norhthwestern '08 seemed not as cold, but personally, I think I felt more miserable at that game than the '95 Purdue game.   I think I got 13 years older in the time between those 2 games, which is huge when by '08 you're in your early 50's and aren't immune to weather conditions like you used to be.  Besides that, the '08 season as a whole was miserable, so "staying to the bitter end"  was exactly that in '08---THE BITTER END.

There was one other '90's game that ranks right up there with those two, weather-wise.  Maybe someone can help me out, but I do remember that it was a 3:30 game that started in OK weather, but became a cold rain in the 2nd half.   By the conclusion, the rain had turned to snow ---I usually prepare well for when the weather is sub-par, but this one caught me off-guard.  I spent more time hiding under the stands than I'd like to admit.  Just can't remember the season and opponent at this moment...


July 29th, 2014 at 1:21 PM ^

looked up the weather in Detroit that day, it might fit?  Temps dipped from upper 30s to lower-30s with snow.  10-15 MPH winds from the north.


While the weather seems to fit, that was a 1:00 (non-TV) game vs. a 3:30 game.  So maybe not, but that day came to my head because the game I was at on 6-November-1993 (Indiana @ Penn State) was unseasonably cold and snowy as well.


July 28th, 2014 at 12:27 PM ^

and I don't know how they counted attendance in '95, but I was at the '99 Purdue game when there couldn't have been more than 60K in the bowl.  Cold and a steady hard rain, torrents of water running down to the bottom of the bowl.  Half time comes and with it a bit of sunshine, by the middle of the 3rd Q the bowl was standing room only.  So I've concluded that either the early rain caused fans to sprout, or fans were outside the bowl hiding from the weather.


July 28th, 2014 at 11:42 AM ^

There could be no one in the stadium except the teams and they would announce 102,309. Ask anyone who was at the '95 Purdue doom-weather game if there were 100k in attendance.

I was and there was not. I don't remember the actual announced attendance, but I do remember the stadium-wide guffaw that was uttered when Howard King announced a number higher than 100K. Obvious lie was obvious.


July 28th, 2014 at 11:44 AM ^

I like that "great place to work" is in quotes, suggesting Brandon's not talking about the actual experience of employees of the athletic department but in a workplace qualification handed out by Businessweek or Forbes according to the specific metric of their "Great Places to Work" issue.

The presence of a Smile Committee is clearly one of those metrics.


July 28th, 2014 at 12:09 PM ^

I know how to get season ticket purchases up into the stratosphere—all new season ticket holders get a different Successories® poster for each game signed by David Brandon.

Here's the one for Appy State:

Decatur Jack

July 28th, 2014 at 12:44 PM ^

I found it hilarious not because Penn State selected a woman, but because Penn State selected Sandy Barbour.

Sandy Barbour is a terrible athletic director and has made every place she has been worse. She makes disastrous hires and then bolts before they crater. Practically every decision she makes is politically motivated (and I don't mean "office politics"). She practically destroyed Tulane's athletic department single-handedly and tried her best to unravel Berkeley. So, naturally, I'm thrilled that she's now the AD of Penn State, a place I hate with the fury of a thousand suns.

Cookie Monster

July 28th, 2014 at 12:24 PM ^

If you click the link to the Big Ten media voting, Purdue actually finished with 31.5 votes.  With 33 voters.  Less than all last place votes.


What is this I don't even


July 28th, 2014 at 1:20 PM ^

I wasn't at 95 Purdue but I have the full game in my collection. The ESPN camera shows a full view of the stadium and there is definitely 100,000 at kickoff. But the 2nd quarter is a completely different story. People made it because the morning started out warmer but the weather took a nosedive really quickly. I don't think the fans expected it to get that bad so fast and they, understandably weren't going to stick around. By the start of the second quarter, there were at least 30,000 that had already left.

I know Michigan's attendance numbers have been suspect at times but I don't think 95 Purdue should count. They showed up and they were on time. They just left really early. Now the 2011 Purdue and Minnesota games I went to with the almost empty student sections is a different story. I didn't believe those numbers when they were announced.


July 28th, 2014 at 1:15 PM ^

Indiana now feels like I did in the 1970's when the Toronto Blue Jays first joined MLB, and I didn't have to worry about my Indians finishing dead last in the AL East for at least a few years.


July 28th, 2014 at 1:48 PM ^

How will you keep up with other blog's if you don't have a committee coming up with fun dress codes and organizing cake's for birthday's?

I think this will be the only way you can keep your crew working on weekends.