Unverified Voracity Catches Downfield

Submitted by Brian on December 19th, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Running a route. That is the takeaway from the Outback Bowl practice video: a ball thrown downfield to Denard Robinson, who is playing wide receiver.

Hopefully that did not six takes to get right.

Also they took the uniform mannequin to the Outback Steakhouse on Ann Arbor-Saline, because he was getting sick of staring out the window of Schembechler Hall. Good to see him get some air.

Jersey followup. Sap breaks it down at MVictors:

The matte finish is a first for the U-M headgear.  Back in the 70s and 80s there was no gloss finish on the Michigan helmets.  Much like their coach, there was no flashiness to them – they were maize and blue and that was that.  You’d be surprised at how basic and crude those old helmets look compared to the newer ones of today.  From 1977:

1976 helmets

If you wanted the old ones to look shiny, you would have to rub some car wax on them!

The yellows on the new jersey definitely do not match the helmet, which is a very Sparty thing to do.

Tom From AA rounded up reactions on Facebook and found that most people bothering to insert a comment are opposed:

I went through and tallied 665 of the comments. That's not all of them, but after a while the percentages stayed the same, so I'm saying this is a SCIENTIFICALLY SOUND representation of the FB page's population. It took far too long to go through 650+ so I decided not to keep going through the now 3000 comments. Like I said, the percentages started holding pretty strong around n=300, so should be representative. I ignored trolls and unrelated posts.

Like 102 15.3%
Dislike 378 56.8%
Helmets: Yes! Uniforms: No! 154 23.1%
Meh 13 1.9%
Helmets: No! Uniforms: Yes! 18 2.7%

I had other categories as well, such as "Sarcasm" and "slappy." The former of which generally disliked the jerseys, the later of which said "anything Blue wears is good" so I did not include them in the "Like" category.

People in favor seem—how to put this gently—brain damaged.

Representative "Like" Comment

SWAGG! Matt finish to the helmets!! And the jersey is to fly!

You have brain damage and/or are 14, sir. Some responders in the comments here note that incensed people are much more likely to leave a comment than people mildly in favor, and that's true. Whenever a Picture Pages post has 100 comments around here, 80% of them will be complaints. So take it with a grain of salt. Except don't because if you do like the jerseys your brain is probably melting as we speak.

Hmm. Not that it's a surprise, but Taylor Lewan doesn't sound like a guy who's planning on a return:

Even though the Wolverines face replacing a good portion of the offensive line next season, Lewan said he's confident things will work out.

"I don't think Michigan will have a big problem with the offensive line next year," he said.

Maybe that's reading between the lines too finely. No one thinks he'll be back, though.

In other NFL news, Illinois's Akeem Spence declares. Michigan wasn't going to play them next year anyway.

It's gotta go somewhere. The coffers overflow, and the latest beneficiaries:

Clemson’s assistants — at a combined total of more than $4.2 million, including outside income — are the highest-paid group among the 102 public schools for which USA TODAY Sports could obtain 2012 pay information for at least eight of the nine assistants generally allowed by NCAA rules. There are 124 FBS schools.

LSU’s assistants also are collecting more than $4 million. Seven other schools have assistants totaling more than $3 million in compensation: Texas, Alabama, Auburn, Ohio State, Oregon, Florida State and Oklahoma State.

Last year, six schools had $3 million assistant-coaching staffs. In 2009, there was one: Tennessee’s, at $3.3 million.

I'm surprised Michigan isn't on that list with both coordinators now pushing into the upper six figures.

Also, um.

image 

The pictured coaches are Chad Morris, Clemson's $1.3 million offensive coordinator and… I'm not sure but some guy at USC. This is a very silly graphic.

[HT: Get The Picture.]

A good hire? After some confusion it does appear that Wisconsin's new coach is Gary Andersen, lately of Utah State. Andersen doesn't have massively more experience than the latest fliers the conference has taken on MAC coaches, but in four years he turned Utah State from a national doormat into an 11-2 outfit that lost its two games to Wisconsin by two and BYU by three. They took out a BCS team in Utah and annihilated Toledo for a bowl win. The last two years of Idaho Potato bowls were the first winning seasons in the I-A history of the program. That's a pretty solid resume.

The reaction of his players on twitter is also a good sign—various takes on "The only man I want to play for." You never know, but it seems like this has a decent chance of working out as long as the offensive transition isn't too harsh. Utah State is a spread 'n' shred type outfit.

Despite that, tentative thumbs up for a Big Ten hire. Strange days.

Last night in Big Ten hoops sponsored by Barbasol. Close shaves abounded. Both Michigan State and Ohio State were dead even with BGSU and Winthrop for about 30 minutes before pulling away late, and Nebraska managed to turn a 15 point lead against Jacksonville State with seven minutes left into a tight contest. Close shave, (terrible parts of) America (and Nebraska)!

Here's an MSU fan freakout from the first 30 minutes of last night's game against BGSU. I don't think it should impact how you interpret MSU in the league, unfortunately. By the end, Kenpom was eerily close on the score (it was a road game). It feels better to leap out to that ten point lead early and play most of the game comfortably ahead, but all the possessions are worth the same.

Transition efficiency. Dylan gets some stats from Synergy sports and notes a massive improvement in Michigan's transition offense:

According to statistics from Synergy Sports, Michigan is scoring 1.31 points per transition possession – a dramatic improvement from the 1.09 points per possession that the Wolverines netted on transition possessions last season. That number ranks in the 96th percentile nationally and compares favorably to the rest of the conference.

Team % of Poss. in Transition Points Per Transition Poss.
Minnesota 15.3% 1.35
Michigan 17.2% 1.31
Ohio State 18.2% 1.30
Indiana 20.4% 1.19
Wisconsin 7.0% 1.16
Purdue 11.3% 1.15
Illinois 13.0% 1.01
Michigan State 20.2% 0.98
Iowa 16.6% 0.96
Penn State 13.1% 0.94
Nebraska 8.1% 0.94
Northwestern 8.8% 0.82

Source: Synergy Sports

Good things happen when Michigan pushes the ball in transition. Obviously there are more easy opportunities in transition (the Wolverines average .96 PPP in half court sets – a very good figure in its own right) but the Wolverines have maximized their transition effectiveness.

Northwestern's transition offense is much worse than their half-court sets, which is kind of amazing. Meanwhile, Michigan's boost this year does not appear to be about schedule strength—most teams haven't played a schedule as good as Michigan's.

Dylan credits Burke and that's obviously a big part of it. Another is the fact that if you lose Stauskas in transition he will put a three on your face. In your face. Speaking of, I found this:

NikMichiganCanadian_medium[1]

And now I wonder why it took so long to happen.

Etc.: Missouri safety gets the boot for having a small amount of pot, but really I just want to note that his name is "Ka'ra," which sounds like an ancient Egyptian god from a Saturday morning cartoon. Horford's painful looking injury is a dislocated kneecap, which is a very good thing since he should be able to return in a few weeks. Derrick Walton is doing good things. Quinton Washington profiled by his hometown newspaper.

Comments

M-Wolverine

December 19th, 2012 at 1:52 PM ^

I thought she was Superman's cousin.

Edit: After watching the video, it might be the same thing; in those outifits they look like they just came out of the Phantom Zone. 

Not that I'm complaining.

EQ RC Blue

December 19th, 2012 at 1:06 PM ^

There's a very good argument that different conclusions can be drawn from (1) a game where you lead by 10 after 10 minutes, by 20 after 30 minutes, and then have the lead slip down to 10 by the end, and (2) a game you trail much of the time, are tied after 30 minutes, then have a run and end up winning by 10?

Just because Kenpom is not sophisticated enough (yet, maybe) to differentiate these games does not mean that the only difference is how it "feels" for a fan. 

Lazer with a Z

December 19th, 2012 at 1:08 PM ^

Denard catching passes! I've wondered to this point if he could catch the ball well, as we have never really seen him do it.

I never understood how idiots like McShay and Kiper could rate him so highly as a receiver without ever actually seeing him catch a pass. Hopefully, it's something that we will see in the bowl game. 

funkywolve

December 19th, 2012 at 6:52 PM ^

being able to run a good route and get open is probably just as important as the ability to catch a pass.  Not to mention, once everyone is at the line of scrimmage being on the same page as the QB as to what route you are going to run based upon what the defense does.

Seattle Maize

December 19th, 2012 at 1:08 PM ^

I think Andersen was a very good hire for Wisconsin. He's a defensive guy so I don't think he will bring the spread over. Wants to play tough defense and have a physical offense. Seems good at teaching fundamentals to win at Utah state. Good for Wisconsin and good for the B1G

TwoFiveAD

December 19th, 2012 at 1:16 PM ^

I think Lewan would be foolish to not go pro but maybe he is saying the offensive line will be fine next year because he'll be on it???  May be a stretch.

mpbear14

December 19th, 2012 at 1:39 PM ^

They took out a BCS team in Utah and annihilated Toledo for a bowl win. The last two years of Idaho Potato bowls were the first winning seasons in the I-A history of the program. That's a pretty solid resume.

I hope everyone sees the irony in this paragraph.

FieldingBLUE

December 19th, 2012 at 1:41 PM ^

The "don't want a turnover there" Izzo quote is now overtaking the "GTFOMC" whining meme from Darius days among the Sparties. So funny how the same action can be classless at one time and place and perfectly acceptable. So Sparty.

In the Det News comments about that story, Sparty fans say that UM is a fraud because they would not be 11-0 if they played Sparty's schedule thus far. My reaction is that they'd be 12-0 as MSU has played an additional game and UM has had a much tougher schedule

UM is 8-0 against top 150 teams and 3-0 against 151+.

MSU is 2-2 against top 150 teams and 7-0 against 151+.

(Both teams have a non-RPI team on the schedule.) Yep.

 

M-Wolverine

December 19th, 2012 at 1:48 PM ^

As Profitgoblue pointed out in the hire thread, a lot of how the transition from a lot of Utah coaching will go over depends on the assistants he retains or hires. Because he has no experience in the midwest or recruiting ties, and I don't see Wisconsin living off of Utah recruits alone. If he can get guys who have connections in the midwest, he can handle the coaching part of it.

And USA Today article does have Mattison and Borges 9th and 14th nationally for FBS assistant coaches pay, respectively.  And the assistants as a whole ranking 12th nationally 

Blue boy johnson

December 19th, 2012 at 1:52 PM ^

Regarding transition points. Stauskas open for a three is great, but Burke with the ball in his hands and/or Hardaway and GRIII on the wing(s) is lethal.

McGary also has been pleasantly effective when he gets out and runs the break. He shows nimbleness that belies his bull in china shop temperament

Also, Hardaway in a straight line dribbling the basketball exhibits 4.3 forty speed. Dude is a rocket

Smash Lampjaw

December 19th, 2012 at 2:18 PM ^

are to fly. That video of Denard is being released to the public to fool the Gamecocks and to disappoint M fans who are thinking that this means we are  going to break out with some sexy offense showcasing the mad skillz of Denard and Devin. I've been through this before, and I am not falling for it this time.

Doctor Wolverine

December 19th, 2012 at 2:32 PM ^

Are those decals on the old helmets? Oh my gorsh! Michigan changed their helmets. Seriously though, don't we have any more exciting bowl news to discuss? Has anybody asked Hoke lately about Denard's status, only to receive a non-informative answer?

markusr2007

December 19th, 2012 at 3:23 PM ^

And provided a nice summary with pics.

Downing was arguably one of Michigan's greatest centers.  

Here are the pics.  They are from the same game played in the photo above from Brian's post: 1977 Ohio State at Michigan (Wolverines won 14-6) Not very glossy until put under a flourescent light.  But not exactly matte either.

http://www.mywolverines.com/uploads/7/2/2/5/7225109/downing_helmet.pdf

Notes:

1. The helmet stripes only went half way, not all the way to the neckline of the helmet. More room for application of helmet awards.

2. Which speaking of helmet awards...pretty cool and scrapped up....

3. That's maize.

4. The wings and stripes look thicker, bigger.

5. In 1977 there were no obligatory use stickers on football helmets re: how to use (do not spear!), etc. These became mandatory in 1983.

6. Looks like Michigan operated off a yellow/maize helmet shell and painted them blue.  This is why you can see a lot of blue paint wear on the ear-hole, and all scratches left a maize mark....a la UM tailback Rob Lytle's mashed up warrior mask from 1976....Looks like Lytle played on asphalt, which most B10 schools in the 1970s pretty much did.

 

Profwoot

December 19th, 2012 at 3:32 PM ^

I don't think the spread 'n shred would be a good idea at Wisconsin. That's not who they generally recruit, and I doubt they'd want to give up their reputation for pumping out good OL and TE. It wouldn't surprise me if Anderson only brings his DC, or perhaps neither of his coordinators to Wiscy.

On the other hand, if Wiscy switches to a spread, that's yet another B10 school no longer competing with Michigan for the same type of athletes on O.

TWSWBC

December 19th, 2012 at 4:28 PM ^

“I would like to go back to my high school and give a speech.”

Props to him for wanting to go back.  Going back to my high school to give a speech is the last thing I want to do.  Hopefully he can make some plays against his home-state team

Blue22

December 19th, 2012 at 5:02 PM ^

I think the helmets look nice enough, but the maize color doesn't look like it used to, and being a kid I don't think the jersey is "to fly!". What's more, the Outback Bowl doesn't seem like the type of game you need a special jersey for. All I hope is that when they make their next Rose Bowl they wear a regular season jersey.

User -not THAT user

December 20th, 2012 at 9:16 AM ^

A thousand times, this.

Lloyd's last game warranted a bowl game patch on the regular "away" jersey, nothing more.

If you HAVE to design JERZEEZ or UNIFORMZ to otherwise cheapen the presence of the Michigan football team on the field, couldn't you at least hold out for a more prestigious bowl game to do it?  This sort of thing shouldn't be done (if at all) unless you're in a BCS bowl (like the Sugar last year).  Otherwise it looks like you're making a big deal out of a mediocre achievement...and I'm sorry, but that's not "the Michigan difference".

borninAnnArbor

December 19th, 2012 at 7:33 PM ^

I am not a traditionalist, but if you are going to change the uniform at least make them interesting. When ever I see they make a change I actually look gorward to see what they will look like and am disapointed. I would love to see the rejected ideas and see what would have been better. I am sure the readers of this blog could have come up with at least 20 better ideas.

Maybe they could wirk the bloomin' onion into the bumbers somehow.

If these were in ncaa 13 as alternative uniforms, I would never choose them. (or maybe just play as Michigan against bad uniform michigan just to stick it to the man in my own little way.