Unverified Voracity Balances Things Comment Count

Brian May 16th, 2011 at 3:38 PM

Presidential band. Via MVictors, the Michigan Marching band performing for Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan:

Not an endorsement of politics, etc.

Oversigning movement? Braves and Birds's post on the two schools who should be on the warpath about oversigning (Florida and Georgia) has already proven wicked prescient and it continues to do so:

"You've got 20 spaces but you've still signed 25. Well, you can bring them in during the summer, work them and let your strength staff work with them, and decide which ones you like the best. The other five, you can tell them, 'Hey, we know we signed you, we expect you to come in, but we don't have space for you, we're sorry, but you have to leave and come back in January.'"

After a brief pause, Richt gave his feelings on that particular tactic.

"I think that's an awful thing to do," Richt said. "It's nothing that we have ever done since we've been at Georgia."

Get The Picture pulls out another section of that story that suggests Richt believes there's going to be change in the near future:

“Almost every year there have been guys in our class in that gray shirt situation. Normally, we say you don’t have to tell anybody, just sign on Signing Day and the chances of you coming in with your class, no one’s going to know the difference, which I don’t think is dishonest with the way things are,” Richt said. “So we’ve signed guys knowing that the class is full and asked if they could come in January, but every time we’ve done that, there’s been a space and they came in with their class.”

But those rules might be about to change.

According to Richt, the SEC and the NCAA is changing the rules “just as rapidly as they can to keep it from happening in the future.”

The most obvious change you could make is to require the financial aid offered in return for an LOI applicable in fall. You could still grayshirt, but you wouldn't get to use the letter of intent to lock the kid in. If he gets a better offer he can take it. Insert the usual spiel about how the LOI is mostly a one-way street.

Oversigning would be a lot tougher if you couldn't receive a letter of intent without an existing spot. "Extra" players would know where they stood and head elsewhere before they got a dorm room. It wouldn't be perfect but it would be better.

Nine games, si. Via Black Heart Gold Pants an excellent article on why that ninth conference game is important to the conference in general and you, Michigan fan, in particular:

The divisional alignment exuded balance. But the league’s creation of permanent cross-divisional opponents did not. Based on the current eight-game league schedule, some teams have obvious advantages over others. For instance, Michigan State will play Indiana — which had the most losses over the 17-year period — every year and Ohio State four times over 10 years. Michigan, however, will play Ohio State — which had the most wins over the 17-year period — every year and Indiana four times over 10 years. Wisconsin’s cross-divisional rival (Minnesota) hasn’t even tied for a Big Ten title since 1967, while Penn State’s cross-divisional rival (Nebraska) has won three national titles in the last 17.

Meanwhile, Michigan won't play Wisconsin for four years. Incoming freshmen who don't redshirt won't ever have the privilege of staring down a wild boar in a helmet. I know Athletic Director X now has to have seven home games a year because of vastly increased costs that are totally not optional at all or offset by ballooning TV contracts, but long-term thinking should dictate a ninth conference game for competitive equity and various other things.

I'm not sure if I can get behind author Scott Dochterman's suggestion that the ninth game be another protected crossover game that attempts to balance schedules by giving each team a traditionally strong and traditionally crappy protected rival. Michigan would get either Illinois or Indiana on a permanent basis, which means they'd still miss PSU and Wisconsin 50% of the time.

On the other hand, he lays out a conference schedule that looks almost totally balanced. Here's Michigan's:


  • Divisional opponents: Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern
  • Permanent cross-divisional opponent: Ohio State (1)
  • Second permanent cross-divisional opponent: Illinois (2)
  • First cycle: Penn State (1), Indiana (2)
  • Second cycle: Wisconsin (1), Purdue (2)

Everyone else's is about right. Do you want more frequent games against interesting teams or an almost totally fair schedule?

In the meantime the first divisional tiebreaker should be the conference record of your opponents from the other division.

Groan. The usual: recent Michigan alumni say things, people facepalm. Whether it's Brian Griese saying Michigan "lacked effort" under Rodriguez, to which I say…


…this is a process many were involved in, or Morgan Trent saying Michigan didn't take Michigan State seriously, every time a former player is quoted somewhere I have to delve deeper into the google image search for facepalm. This last one was bad enough that Jerel Worthy blew up on twitter about it and all you can say is, "yeah, pretty much."

Morgan Trent! When the guy who about singlehandedly lost the 2006 OSU game is saying there's a "real program" now the disease has reached its terminal stage.

Further evidence Beilein is scouting ninja. Rivals has put up their first 2012 basketball rankings and Michigan commit Glenn Robinson III, who was relatively unheralded when he committed, comes in 50th. Nick Stauskas is 89th. Rivals puts a ton of emphasis on AAU, which GRIII is currently tearing up and Stauskas sitting out with a knee issue. Another of the raves becoming de riguer:

Glenn Robinson III (2012): I hadn’t seen the 6-6 Robinson since last summer. Wow. He looks a lot different. He has really filled out since last July, adding about 25 pounds of muscle. He still has that nice 15- to 18-foot shot, but his explosiveness getting to the basket has raised his game to another level. Robinson drove the middle of the lane in a game Sunday and dunked over another guard with authority. The quote of the weekend from that player: “If I knew that was Glenn Robinson, I wouldn’t have tried to block it.” From the couple games I saw, Robinson is very deserving talent-wise of his spot as a core player on the Junior All-Star team.

Robinson AAU teammate Mitch McGary is #5(!), and now we've got an open scholarship so that's totally happening. He vaguely mentioned us at Inside The Hall. Happening.

UMHoops has more scouting video of Robinson, BTW.

Borges: win. Do you know what you want your offensive coordinator to sound like? An IT guy:

"What we want to keep, what we want to throw out, what we may want to add," said Borges, who added he probably won't install much more of the playbook during preseason camp in August. "(We're) trouble-shooting the offense and trying to accommodate the personnel, and now we have a little data to do it. Before spring we didn't know what of our offense our kids could run. Now we've got a much better feel."

Unfortunately the spring game implied the answer to "what can our kids run?" is "nothing you want to"; fortunately Borges seems a lot more flexible than Rodriguez or Michigan past. Proof will be in the pudding. The Saturday Pudding.

Open season. Mike Spath has an interesting column at the Wolverine about Mel Pearson's change of heart. Pearson, long thought the heir apparent to Red Berenson, turned down a ton of overtures over the years but has now left for Michigan Tech. Tech is his alma mater, yes, but it's also the most downtrodden program in the country. Others may be worse year in, year out, but none of those teams spend their year getting their face stomped by the WCHA. It's a depressing job.

Why is Pearson taking it? Maybe because that heir apparent thing is no longer very apparent:

"Here is an opportunity, if you want to get head-coaching experience, if you want that on your resume whether you're looking at my job or any job down the road, here's your chance," Berenson said. "I don't know what David Brandon's criteria will be someday but I suspect head-coaching experience is important."

And it is important. How important? Two different sources have said Pearson (or Powers) will face a mountain of an uphill climb if they don't have head-coaching experience on their resume. One of the sources even saying, "No way Brandon hires a guy that has never been responsible for an entire program. Especially with the way he wants to market the hockey team going forward."

Pearson goes from a shoo-in to a longshot, as Spath has been making noises about Michigan hiring literally anyone they want in the college hockey world with a few limited exceptions (program icons like York, Parker, Umile, and that's about it). If Pearson wants the job he's going to have to be a head coach somewhere.

For a relaxing time, make it a contrast between Michigan's direction with its hockey hire and Michigan State's.

Etc.: Former PSU Austin Scott thinks the dismissed rape charge against him was  conspiracy. MSU instate recruiting freakout makes the mainstream media. Never addressed in these sorts of articles is what it means when two schools both go after the same players and they all go to one. Softball is hosting a regional this weekend. First game is Friday at eight against Western. Get there early—it won't last long. Zach Hyman, a big time hockey recruit has decommitted from Princeton in the wake of Guy Gadowsky's hire at Penn State and is looking at Michigan along with a few other schools. He would be a major help next year.



May 16th, 2011 at 4:47 PM ^

Matching the down, the yard line and the time remaining to the play-by-play on the OSU website (Michigan has deleted their old play-by-plays, for no apparent reason), the play was "M. Hart rush for loss of 1 yard to the MICH 44 (C. Heyward)."

Unless someone wants to claim that the play-by-play was photoshopped.


May 17th, 2011 at 1:53 AM ^

You should never have to apologize for picking at an old wound when it comes to our futility against Ohio State.

It should be stared at like the sun. Many say "No, don't remind me. Don't even UFR it." Those are probably the same people who are in denial about how badly this losing streak has harmed the program's mojo.


May 16th, 2011 at 3:50 PM ^

"Do you want more frequent games against interesting teams or an almost totally fair schedule?"


I want an almost totally fair schedule.  You don't get bonus points in the B1G standings because you played a tougher schedule than everyone else in your division.


(Sorry for the italics.  I don't know how to do the cool yellow box thing for quotes.)


May 16th, 2011 at 4:08 PM ^

1. I completely agree about the fairness of the schedule issue. I know the whole "don't shy away from competitiion, bring 'em on!" mentality would say that Michigan should take on all comers, but there is no reason that Michigan (or any other Big10 team for that matter) should be handicapped with a systemically more difficult conference schedule.

2. To make the yellow box quotes, click the link that says "Switch to plain text editor" under the reply window. Put "<blockquote>" before and "</blockquote>" after what you want in the yellow box.


May 16th, 2011 at 5:30 PM ^

In a dream world where we are back to being a perpetual powerhouse comfortably on top of the B10, you continuously want the better strength of schedule so you get those extra perks near the top of the BCS rankings.  I remember the glory days a few years back where we could argue that our strength of schedule and 1 loss to the #1 team in the country could credibly slot us in for a rematch in the National Championship game.

matty blue

May 16th, 2011 at 3:55 PM ^

is it possible that pearson is still the heir apparent?  red is here for two more seasons, then makes way for pearson - "now with head coaching!"

Section 1

May 16th, 2011 at 4:05 PM ^

Dave Brandon's standard reply to "9 Conference games" is "Sorry, we can't do that, because I need to have 7 home games."

But if we coordinate the renewal of our series with ND such that we play in South Bend only in a year in which we get five Conference home games, doesn't that work out?

I gotta say, that as a season ticket holder, I'd rather have another Conference game, even as an "away" slot on our schedule, as opposed to another home game with Delaware State.   If the 7th home game is meant for people like me, I say, "Thanks, but no thanks."  But I think the 7th home game is meant for another $4m payday, and not for the fans in general.


May 16th, 2011 at 4:10 PM ^

I met an Illinois alum here in Austin recently and when he found out I went to Michigan he said something along the lines of, "Michigan? Aren't we supposed to be rivals or something? I seem to remember hearing that in college, but that doesn't make sense..."


May 16th, 2011 at 5:49 PM ^

Same, I never made it down to U of I until grad school and when I was there everyone believed there was a dramatic rivalry between the two schools.  People were not amused when I recounted stories of everyone treating it as one of the garbage games you could skip while at school if the tailgate was really great.

Bando Calrissian

May 16th, 2011 at 4:10 PM ^

I'm normally not one to really go on the attack on David Brandon....  But that quote about the future of the hockey program infuriates me.

Red has built this program from the ground up since 1984.  He's surrounded himself with coaches and staff to promote a continuity of that program.  It's been as successful, if not more successful, than any other D-1 program over the last twenty years.  And Brandon is going to monkey around with it in order to market the program?

Michigan Hockey consistently sells out.  Student ticket sales are huge.  The atmosphere at Yost is unbelievable.  What do we need to promote differently?  What is there to improve on in marketing the thing?  You've got a formula that works.  Stick with it.


May 16th, 2011 at 8:31 PM ^

I don't disagree, but it's interesting promotion around here where such ideas would have been net with complete freak-out if it has been considered for football. (Though maybe it would have been unfounded). It's been kinda assumed he'd take over, but honest question, why? Is he considered an elite assistant, and we're making a mistake letting him go? If he's so highly thought of, why hasn't some big program rather than Tech tried to steal him away before? I really don't know. I guess I'm trying to find out if he's more DeBord or Charlie Strong in rep. Because Michigan Hockey probably has a higher current standing than Football in it's respective sport, and more money than most, so they SHOULD be able to go get the best coach out there. Unless that guy is demonstrably already here (or just was).

Kilgore Trout

May 16th, 2011 at 10:48 PM ^

The Red Wings present a pretty good example for why it's smart to consider other options beyond the automatic promotion.  When Scott Bowman retired, Dave Lewis got the job and kept Barry Smith as his top assistant and the Wings did not do well.  They then brought in an established outside coach, and success followed quickly.


May 17th, 2011 at 12:29 PM ^

But just because Red has built a great program does not necessarily mean that his assistants could replace him.  Some guys are just cut out to be assistants.  Unfortunately, you often don't find this out until they're given a HC position and fail.  I don't fault Brandon for wanting a coach with experience.


May 16th, 2011 at 4:12 PM ^

Rather than the photo from the Carr era, I submit the 2009 OSU game.  Yes, Tate threw 5 billion picks, and yes, Tressel Tresselballed us because he knew he didn't have to do more.  But for how preposterously outmatched our team was in that game, and how hard they fought right up to the end, you cannot tell me a lack of effort was the problem.  A lack of talent, a lack of coaching, these things I can believe.  But the only people who showed a lack of effort were -- surprise! -- people like Morgan Trent in 2008.

Also, and this is a serious question:  How is it helpful to come out now and make a statement like that?  What good will actually come of it?  I understand the media's insatiable desire to come up with more of these quotes.  What I don't understand is how players like Griese think they're supporting their institution by calling out the efforts of players who are in many cases STILL ON THE TEAM.  Griese's comment only serves to further the division in the family.  How is that helpful right now?

(reading comprehension note:  I am not taking a position here on as regards Rodriguez, Hoke, etc.)


May 16th, 2011 at 9:49 PM ^

You know, I listend to a lot of the interviews/chatter live on the radio and had a hard time swallowing it. I've had an issue with Morgan Trent for a while but with respect to Greise, just think back to the Penn State game last year.  Yeah.


May 16th, 2011 at 9:51 PM ^

Trent has been a surprisingly vocal observer of the past couple of years, especially given the fact that he never struck me as that, well, passionate about playing defense at time while at UM.  But I guess he's like a certain subset of the UM faithful - he is the definition of a front-runner, and when people finally start making fun of your team for struggling, you start calling people out and acting indignant.  


May 16th, 2011 at 4:23 PM ^

Jerel Worthy. Spartan scholar.

Outside of the very worthy good question of "Who the hell is Morgan Trent?" that tweet was an abomination. Setting them up for another ass-whooping? How could anyone take what he said as a dig at State? If anything, it was a compliment to them.

Someone teach Omameh to do to Worthy's knee what they did to Martin's last year. Stat.


May 16th, 2011 at 4:25 PM ^

I know that Brian, and many, hate the never-ending strong of players making public statements that imply problems during the RR era.  In recent weeks alone, we have heard from Griese, Hart, Braylon, Morgan Trent and others .  Sure, if it was an isolated 1 or 2 players, it would be easy enough to dismiss as just sour grapes of people who didn't get along with the new guy in town.  But I can't think of a situation where so many former players made public statements like this. 

At some point, can we at least consider that these former players might see something that we as fans don't.  Morgan Trent played for Michigan - he has a certain level of inside info that we do not.  If Morgan Trent says that we didn't take MSU seriously enough, I tend to believe him.  If Mike Hart or some of the other former players feel that they were not as welcomed or included under RR, I believe them.

I certainly don't want to start - or even partake in - a RR argument, but I don't understand why every player - guys who we all rooted for and who all love Michigan as much or more than any of us can - criticized the past three years, that players is derided. 

I should note that I really don't see the need for these former players to make public comments - why not keep quiet and let the RR era mercifully die.  But, I think that some of these comments are not intended as criticisms - for example, I took Griese's effort comment to be akin to "under Hoke, we are going to come out with max effort and be amped up for every game, and perhaps that has been missing lately" as opposed to "man, RR sucked at motivating the team - they wanted to lose and didn't even run - they walked on every play."



May 16th, 2011 at 4:28 PM ^

You hit on it. The resentment of the comments absolutely comes from there being no upside at all to these guys airing this stuff publicly, regardless of how they may feel.

The underrated part of it all is the Detroit media, which players just need to be smarter with. You know that they were still trying to fish insults or backhanded comments toward RR out of those guys this weekend. It's what they do.


Section 1

May 16th, 2011 at 4:33 PM ^

You've got it backwards.  Instead of thinking that those guys -- because of who they are/were -- are presumptively credible, you should think the exact opposite.

Braylon Edwards has been saying and doing profoundly stupid things off the field for years.  (See; List.)

Morgan Trent is a liar, or at least a spreader of second hand lies, if you believe none other than Lloyd Carrr (vis a vis RR comments about Morgan Trent's draftability).

Mike Hart has been spewing occasionally funny trashtalk nonstop for as long as I have known his name. 

Brian Griese, Mike Hart and Braylon Edwards never even played for Rich Rodriguez.

Braylon, Morgan Trent, Mike Hart and Brian Griese have been saying lots and lots of demonstrably stupid shit for far too long.


May 16th, 2011 at 4:42 PM ^

Those guys were the tip of the iceberg.  Many, many former players did not like RR.  Why, I don't exactly know, but that's how it was.  A lot of them just didn't want to go public with their sentiments while he was here.  What we're seeing now is basically people feeling like they don't have to hold their tongue anymore now that he's gone.  




Mitch Cumstein

May 16th, 2011 at 4:52 PM ^

At the end of the day, if you feel like part of your legacy as a player is helping to build the success of the winningest program in CFB history, and after 3 years it becomes the laughing stock of CFB, you're probably not going to be crazy about the coach. I realize the whole "people were against him before he started" view point, and I get it.  But for the majority of former players that didn't care for RR, I'm sure the on-field results is near the top of the list.

Section 1

May 16th, 2011 at 4:56 PM ^

They can say any goddamned thing they want to.  And people will respond, as they see fit.  We see the Spartans responding to Morgan Trent in today's papers.

It is no problem for me, if Trent says anything he wants to.  I'll respond as I see fit.

But in the end, this sort of back-and-forth is assuredly not what Brady Hoke and Dave Brandon want; Morgan Trent may not care one bit about what I say (the feeling's mutual, Morgan), but you'd think he might care about how Brady Hoke feels about it.  And how the current players have to back up his trashtalk in East Lansing.


May 16th, 2011 at 4:59 PM ^

First off, Morgan Trent is a lying a-hole.  But, as for the former players who feel the need to speak their minds about a former coach, I offer you the wisdom of Brady Hoke:

Shame on us for being fractured, and I mean that . . . . I've heard from guys who played here from all different eras. It just pisses me off that Michigan got to that. We can't let that happen because at the end of the day, this is about Michigan, period. It's not about the coach, it never should be, or will be. And for us to be a fractured program, that's embarrassing to the memory of Yost and Crisler and Schembechler.

Also, as Ryan Van Bergen pointed out, the guys these former players are trashing are "wearing the same helmets," so would it be too much to ask for Trent to STFU about his petty little agendas and support his fellow players and the Michigan program?


May 16th, 2011 at 5:11 PM ^

Sure, you can go one by one and attack each of the players that said things negative about RR's tenure here, but at some point you just have to step back and wonder why it is that SO MANY former players have made such comments.  So I don't care if Braylon has had off the field issues - he still knows more about Michigan football than I ever will.  And I don't care if Mike Hart talks a bit too much - his love of Michigan football is second to none.  Ditto Brian Griese, who did not play for RR, but painfully watched a whole bunch of the games from the broadcast booth and saw things that as a former QB at Michigan and in the NFL, we might miss.  And Morgan Trent - well he was on the freeking team that he was talking about - why would he say that the team didn;t take MSU seriously enough if he didn't believe it to be true?

Of course, there have ben many other former players who have been critical of RR, but I suppose that you can discount each of them too.  Perhaps some of them have umpaid parking tickets, rendering their knowledge and love of Michigan void. 


May 16th, 2011 at 6:11 PM ^

First, his name is Morgan Trent, not Trent Morgan. 

Second, there are quite a few players that lost to both Appy State and Toledo.  None of them, including Trent, are deserving of the type of ridicule that your post included.  Do you call Jake Long "Jake Four-Straight-Losses-To-OSU Long?"  I hope not.

Just because the guy has a different view on RR than you doesn't make him less of a true Michigan Man.  He is entitled to your opinon and you are entitled to your opinion.  Of course Trent may have a bit more inside info, but that's a different issue.

Blue in Yarmouth

May 17th, 2011 at 10:51 AM ^

You seem to be missing the point people are making, which leads me to believe that you are as blinded by your dislike for RR as these misguided players are.

The issue people have with these players isn't so much that they have hard feelings toward RR, it's that they keep airing them to the media 5 MONTHS after the guy was fired. RR is gone, get the hell over it.

I find it funny that anyone who supports RR on this site has to "get over it" (the fact that he is gone) yet the people who wanted RR to be gone are free to keep bringing up his short comings whenever they feel like it.

The bottom line is people like Morgan Trent aren't doing anyone any good by speaking to the media, or tweeting or bitching to whom ever, about there distain for the program RR ran. If you want to harbour ill will, fine, but do it in private and not for the world to see or hear.

If these guys had as much love for the program as you seem to think, do you really believe they would be doing stuff like this? Because this isn't helping our program at all. Actually many of the comments could be viewed as degrading to the current players for this program you say they love. 

Whether they have reason to be mad or not is irrelevant, no one is saying they can't be. People are just saying to be more selective when you open your mouth to a national audience. Have a filter for pete sake!