Unverified Voracity Brings Back The Old Man Comment Count

Brian March 8th, 2012 at 4:47 PM

The Old Man is coming. The Old Man.


The Old Man is coming.

The McCrayken is alive. All of the internets to user mdoc, who responded to the winged-helmet-kraken request instantly:


This blog is rooting for Mike McCray to be a destructive force so hard.

Penn State's death has been greatly exaggerated. OR: look what we can do when we have a head coach! PSU's 2012 class was terrible. All their good recruits ended up with Urban Meyer and they replaced them with two stars snatched from the MAC. That's going to hurt for a while. Despite that, Nittany Lions fans are probably feeling more chipper than they thought they would about their program's intermediate-term prospects. They've recently swooped in on the following recruits:

  • QB Christian Hackenberg, a consensus four star claiming offers from Alabama and Florida.
  • DE Garrett Sickels, who is rated a lot like Mike McCray (ie: top 50 on Rivals, solid four-star elsewhere)
  • CB Ross Douglas, a three/four star tweener.

They are almost certain to add five-star-ish TE Adam Breneman tomorrow. By doing so they've become the only Big Ten team kind of sort of keeping up with the big two when it comes to shiny stars next to high schoolers' names. The Sandusky effect is looking pretty short-lived.

All you have to do is look at OSU's last class to know that this is good for Michigan. A strong Penn State takes recruits from teams who play Michigan all the time and puts them on one that plays Michigan 40% of the time; also it would be really nice if there was someone strong enough in the East to prevent an annoying B10 championship game instant rematch.

I'm with Fitz, sort of. Pat Fitzgerald does not want 6-6 teams to be excluded from bowl consideration:

Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald hopes the Big Ten does not support potential legislation to limit bowl games to teams with at least seven wins.
"The best part of bowl games is about the opportunities -- not just the teams, but for your students, your fans, your alumni, your fans in the area," Fitzgerald told the Tribune on Tuesday. "I'm not for limiting it."

Paging Captain Renault. I agree that if a couple teams want to play some football it's better than watching ping-pong, but I'm not a fan of goofs in blazers bleeding college tuition out of the system. Leave it at 6-6 and severely reduce ticket guarantees. That will cause a bunch of bowls to collapse and solve the problem organically.

And this is 95% of the reason I linked the article:

"I'm not for five-win teams even being able to receive a waiver," Fitzgerald said. "That's tough noogies. If you have a losing record, you are out. A .500 record should be the benchmark."

I love Pat Fitzgerald. May he coach at Northwestern for 30 years.


Al Borges and the interesting things. Borges was on the Huge show recently and the resulting conversation had an unusual density of interesting things said. Borges admits that the early-season (and Iowa) forays into a more pro-style offense were a mistake:

"I think had we had to do it over again, we would have been a little more spread offense early on and gotten better at that. We kind of weaned ourselves into more spread offense as we went. That's really what was best for Denard at the end of the day."

He also makes a great observation about where Denard is at his most dangerous in the passing game:

"Denard is better in the pocket than rolling out," Borges said. "The thing with Denard, where he scares the defense the most, is when he sits in the middle of the pocket, comes underneath the rush, and poses not just a passing threat to the defense, but a running threat too. If you roll him out all the time a lot of time what they did is they would pin us into the sideline where Denard's improv skills aren't used near as much."

Whole thing is recommended. Borges references the "drastic leap" from year one to year two in his passing game. If Denard can just set his feet regularly and not throw into double coverage, Michigan will be cooking.

Sounds good to me. Andy Staples has a fascinating article on the potential impact of full cost of attendance scholarships:

For years, doomsayers have predicted a scenario in which the wealthiest 50 or 60 schools compete only against one another. If such a scenario ever came to fruition, it would have its roots in the debate over the full-cost-of-attendance scholarship.

Doomsayers? As long as we're talking about football here that sounds like heaven.

The article goes into arguments both for and against, with the small schools making arguments that moving some of the money currently going to coaches and facilities to players exacerbates competitive inequity. They don't make the case that this isn't a good thing, and then Nebraska's chancellor just blows it up anyway:

"You can tell me that I can't give them bagels with cream cheese and I can't give them more scholarships and I can't do this and I can't do that, and I follow those rules," Perlman said. "But then what I do to recruit competitively is I spend the money on other stuff. So I build facilities where there is no limit on what I can do, and I make those facilities far beyond what normal students live in because there's no limit on that. There's a standard understanding about regulatory environments that if you regulate something, people will move to the part of their activity that isn't regulated."

At worst the proposal takes the middleman out of competitive inequity.

It sounds like the big schools are getting increasingly exasperated with small schools with no financial weight imposing restrictions on them because they like to pretend they're DI schools when they're really just Indiana State. Eventually some sort of split is coming.


"The kids who are on solely need-based aid can basically work 20 hours a week or whatever and earn a little pizza money or earn a little money for tattoos or whatever they want," Young said, tongue planted firmly in cheek. "Our athletes, on the other hand, work 40-50 hours a week for the school, and they don't get anything except what these other kids get without having to work for it. It seems when one thinks about simple equity, from that perspective, it's hard to argue that these kids shouldn't get something."

You're all right, Washington president Michael Young.

Wat. Brady Hoke is going to loathe this:

Hoke, Beilein and Brandon —along with U-M softball coach Carol Hutchins and a handful of business professors— will host a six-day executive education program intended to teach business leadership through lessons learned in U-M sports. Those lessons, according to a recent U-M announcement, include the trick to "transformations in times of crisis," as well as how to teach people "new ways of doing things" and how to "take on fierce competitors and produce winning results."

Only $15,000! Some people have too much money.

Etc.: Possibly random Hardaway renaissance is retconned into narrative. Please be true, narrative. Mitch McGary's "defensive impact" draws high praise—that would be nice, wouldn't it? If you've got ESPN insider this Wolverine Nation piece in which recruits are anonymously surveyed on recruiting tactics they've faced is a must-read. Excellent Yost student section retrospective. John Beilein for everything.

Trade mag article on how Michigan Stadium amplified the band. Maybe next year they'll have a piece on how they made it sound better in section 44. : (



March 8th, 2012 at 4:24 PM ^

With the large number of bowl games that they have now, then the 6 win teams getting bowl bids is fine. It's not like it's these .500 teams getting important bowl games that are relevant to anything. If Marshall is playing San Jose State on a random Tuesday in December, then I'm just happy that there's some football on!


March 8th, 2012 at 5:19 PM ^

Thank you for the link to my blog post on Beilein, Brian.  I really didn't expect that when I saw it was tweeted to you.

Also, it's interesting to see Borges talk about tweaking the offense with Denard.  He's like me with my blog and Twitter; he knows Denard is a major advantage, but it took him a while to learn how to use him.

Johnny Blood

March 8th, 2012 at 5:27 PM ^

I love how you just casually throw in the assumption that we're going to be representing the B1G "West" in the championship game:

"also it would be really nice if there was someone strong enough in the East to prevent an annoying B10 championship game instant rematch."


March 8th, 2012 at 5:37 PM ^


I loved your

"Only $15,000! Some people have too much money."

Of course, those are really the only people Brandon focuses on.  Also, an event like this allows Brandon to be "one of the boys" with Hoke and Beilein.


March 8th, 2012 at 6:06 PM ^

Did Yost Arena not have heat in the 60's?  All the fans are bundled up in winter jackets and scarves .

Sorry, Pat Fitzgerald.  But 6-6 teams don't deserve to be in bowl games.  There's already too many who-cares-bowls anyway and that is a major reason why.

Once again, I like that the band is amplified at the big house.  I just wish there wasn't a delay over the speakers.  The north end zone is a full 5 seconds ahead of the south end zone so all the clapping and singing of the Victors isn't in unison.      

Picktown GoBlue

March 8th, 2012 at 9:54 PM ^

(note, it's the PDF file on the right side of page Brian linked to, 9 pages long including MMB discussion on pages 7 and 8), all the sound is thrown from one end to the other (north to south).  At 1000 ft per second, I don't think it's a mile from one end zone to the other, but I will agree that such a sound system does cause this strange feeling (even a fraction of a second feels like being way off to most people).  In music notation, a song at quarter note=120 which is probably about what the Victors is, means the two end zones are off by one or two beats.  <Insert obvious south end zone here>


March 9th, 2012 at 8:38 AM ^

[Citation needed]

I was in the band through '99 and they never, ever once amped us.  That was all lung power, baby.  You DON'T want to amp us because when we spread out over the field there's some sound lag from one end of the formation to the other as it is.  (It's shorter than a second, but long enough to be obvious to even untrained ears.)  If you take that into a mic and play that back you've more than DOUBLED the lag at which point the sound will just smear all over the stadium.  We've played inside domes with disastrous results because you'll be still hearing the same notes up to 3 seconds later when we're already on a different part of the piece.  To this day I hate domes.

The MMB faces the boxes when they play.  The Big House is shaped like a shallow bowl, so before the expansion most of the sound was reflected up into the sky; the planes overhead probably heard us better than the people behind us.  I wouldn't trade the Big House for any other but it's actually a gawdawful place for live music.  The band compensates with some very rigidly drilled fundamentals that at least allows one section to get a "full sound" experience.  (Once a year before the season started we'd practice in an emptied Big House and our goal was to make the sound so crisp you get three echoes despite almost nothing to reflect the sound efficiently.)  What the expansion did is create an acoustic barrier (all that glass y'know) that reflects the sound to the rest of the stadium.  I haven't heard the band since that was built, but I'd love to hear the difference.

When the band rehearses at Elbel Field the sound will ricochet off the nearby buildings and can be heard a half a mile away.  You want to amp that??  We're the MMB for god's sake; we don't need no stinkin' amps.


March 9th, 2012 at 10:33 AM ^

Not sure where Brian got the idea that the trade mag article talks about amping the MMB, since the band is never mentioned. I know next to nothing about sound systems, but to me it seems the article is just talking about the new sound system they installed when they expanded the Big House -- i.e., the speakers used for the public address announcer, "Special K"s stupid rawk music, etc. As dragonchild points out, there's no need at all to amp a 240+ member college marching band that knows what the heck it's doing.

Wolverine In Exile

March 9th, 2012 at 10:37 AM ^

don't mind the 6-6 teams playing after the season... I think like Brian that if the NCAA licensing board (even though the bowl games aren't "NCAA games", they still have to get licensed or sanctioned or what not by the NCAA) eliminated the ticket guarantees, there would be no problem since a lot of these bloodsucker bowls exist solely b/c the force the schools to buy enough tickets to cover the cost of colored blazers and golf junkets for the EXCOM. More radically, I'd just like to see the NCAA grow some balls and say that all football bowl games have to be completed by the start of winter term for the schools involved. That way you get all the bowl games crammed in the two week period starting 1 wk before Christmas and 1 week after with a couple days after Jan 1 thrown in for the MythNCG.

Marley Nowell

March 8th, 2012 at 6:39 PM ^

Being a big basketball star that is suppose to excude confidence, it must have been difficult for him to seek outside help.  Sounds like he is getting his mind right, having fun, and ready to put Michigan Basketball officially back on the map.  GO BLUE!


March 8th, 2012 at 8:52 PM ^

Wow. Brings back memories. When I wa a little snot, my mom went to  Ann Arbor for something or other , and when she came back she said she had a surprize for me. Turns out she ran into Cazzie on State Street and got his autograph. 1965.


March 9th, 2012 at 4:40 AM ^

"Our athletes, on the other hand, work 40-50 hours a week for the school, and they don't get anything except what the other kids get and don't have to work for it". They get free tuition and all the perks of being a athlete. Academic help, trips, free meals before games, and I'm sure there's more. The NCAA needs to change some of their dumb rules and allow the colleges to provide more essentials for them. I don't think giving them cash would work. The star athletes would demand more and essentially college football would be the NFL.


March 9th, 2012 at 10:39 AM ^

Yes, but, if you read the Typical Day for Denard Robinson piece out of Three and Out, that John U Bacon published in the Wall Street Journal: these guys are up before the break of dawn and home around midnight, and barely able to do what they need to do between conditioning, therapy, classes, studying and practice. They don't have time to work 20 hours to get their spending money.

That is OK for a football scholarship student who's parents had the means but no longer have to pay tuition. It doesn't work so well for the students who come from a truely economically challenged background.

I get it: we all ate raman noodles for a week at some point in our college careers, but these guys do attend schools that make enough money off their backs, that they do deserve a bit more in the room board and expenses category.