Unverified Voracity Complains About Gift Horses Comment Count

Brian January 26th, 2015 at 5:12 PM

Hatch Gameday. Via MLive:

Positioned on the Crisler court alongside coach John Beilein and ESPN's Rece Davis and Jay Williams, Michigan freshman Austin Hatch looked up at the arena scoreboard as a his tale of loss and triumph played on the video screen.

If, by chance, a pin had hit the hardwood, you'd have heard it.

Beilein brushed a tear from his eye. As images of the 2011 plane crash that claimed Hatch's father and step-mother and left him in an eight-week coma flashed on the screen, Beilein rested his hand on Hatch's leg.

Hatch gave him an "it's OK" glance.

The nonsense of a 14 team conference defined. UNC and Wake are playing nonconference games in 2019 and 2021, because they'd rather do that than wait a zillion years to play each other again. Congratulations, conference commissioners.

This is a bump. Harbaugh was supposedly getting 7-8 million a year; he is not. The gap between his deal and his rumored deal seems to be headed to his assistants:

That bumps at the same rate Harbaugh does. Michigan was at 3.5 last year; the top end of that scale would see them third nationally behind LSU and Alabama, pending everyone else throwing money at their assistants.

Other contract details. Harbaugh's deal is pretty standard. It specifies that he gets a private plane for recruiting, which I think we're all happy with. Saving time as you flit about and not dealing with commercial air travel are things that make sense for the head man. The rest of the terms are as favorable as you think they might be for a guy in that kind of demand: if Michigan fires him they're on the hook for the whole deal anyway; if he leaves his buyout is a pro-rated portion of his two million dollar signing bonus. IE, nothing.

Izzo is really something. Walter Pitchford got tossed three minutes in to the MSU-Nebraska game for throwing an elbow at Matt Costello. Tim Miles:

“I thought Walt deserved to get kicked out, after seeing it,” Miles said. “He made a mistake. I know he’s sorry for that mistake. He’s being held, he looks at the ref, but you don’t do that. That’s uncalled for. That’s not us. Walt will learn from that.”

Tom Izzo:

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said Nebraska indirectly may have benefited from Pitchford’s ejection.

“I thought it energized them,” he said. “Calls went differently after that, like normally they do.”

Izzo could complain about winning the lottery.

Caris evaluated. Draft Express took the opportunity to evaluate Caris LeVert after the information NBA teams will get before next year's draft was abruptly finished by his foot injury. The upshot:

LeVert will need to decide now whether or not to return to Michigan for his senior season. The feedback he gets from NBA teams in the next few months will likely play a large role in that. While this is not considered a weak draft at the moment, it does look fairly shallow at the guard positions, which could help LeVert's stock.

Most places still have him as first round pick, though now he's out of the lottery. As a young junior he still has a lot of upside he could explore in college. Unfortunately, it's often hard for guys to come back when they go into a year expecting it will be their last in college. We saw that with Glenn Robinson III last year. GRIII entered the draft knowing full well he wasn't getting a guaranteed contract because of that momentum.

This is reasonably nasty. Kyle Connor will be a freshman next year.

He's projected as a first round pick.

So this guy exists. Not sure what job this gentleman landed:

But he landed a job. Hastings played for D-II Washburn University, which I have just learned has one of the best logo/nickname combinations in college sports:


They are the Ichabods.

Anyway, after college Hastings kicked around the 49ers practice squad for a few years, then landed in the Eagles' front office. He's probably getting one of those analyst jobs Michigan was supposed to be adding.

Etc.: ESPN wants to move next year's semifinal playoff games from New Year's Eve because they're afraid of Ryan Seacrest. Seriously. Charles Pierce on deflategate is mandatory. Harbaughtweets power-ranked. Jon Falk on decals.


Blue Noise

January 26th, 2015 at 5:53 PM ^

It is absolutely ludicrous that the CFP semis are scheduled for New Year's Eve the next two years. Only the people who run college football could stumble ass-backwards into something as unbelievably awesome as the New Year's Day playoff schedule and them have that happen only once every three years.
At the very least, they have to find a way to move those games off of New Year's Eve.

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Blue Noise

January 27th, 2015 at 11:38 AM ^

Are you serious? Most people are super annoyed at finding out the semis are on NYE the next two years.
1) NYE is a work day for many, many people. The first semi will start late in the afternoon on the east coast, so many people across the country will be unable to watch.
2) You are likely in a distinct minority of people who don't do anything on New Years Eve. Most people go out for dinner, go out for drinks, go to parties. If you're at someone's house, they'll probably have the television on some crap countdown show and you won't be allowed to put the CFP on. It's not an afternoon/evening that most people can spend doing nothing but sitting in front of the television watching football, which New Years Day is PERFECT for.

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January 27th, 2015 at 11:51 AM ^

All the people on my email chain (8) all like it because while they are out celebrating at a bar instead of just sitting around until the final 5 mins or whatever you can actually watch football.
I also find that it not being a working day doesn't mean anything - it being a "school" night is so much worse. You're right, a lot of people don't have to work on NYD so people are going to be able to actually stay up and watch a late game without having to pay for it the next day.

Maybe in the minority but I've never liked Monday night games, Thursday night games, or Sunday night games.

Also, so a lot of people work and the FIRST time game has a late afternoon start. Uh, that actually sounds perfect.

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Blue Noise

January 27th, 2015 at 12:51 PM ^

If the first game starts at 430 EST? What? That's not perfect at all. I don't know what your job is, but most people work until at least 5, maybe later. Factoring in a commute home, you'd probably miss at least the first half, and that's people on east/central time only. If you're further west, forget about it.
The Sugar Bowl this year ended well past midnight EST. Good luck trying to focus on the most critical portion of the game when everyone is counting down to the new year.
And maybe in your situation you'll be out at a bar with football on. That's great. But I guarantee most people have obligations to family and friends on NYE where watching football will not be top priority. If you have a girlfriend/spouse/significant other I guarantee you will not be able to spend NYE lounging around watching football or watching football at a bar. Personally speaking, I don't want to spend NYE
watching football. People set off fireworks out there, other fun stuff.
Also, and this is a point about the games being on NYD specifically, New Years Day this year was a spectacular showcase for college football. It was the centerpiece of the day for tens of millions of people in this country. The ratings reflect that. Meanwhile, there are a thousand things happening NYE, and the CFP will get lost in the shuffle. I very much enjoyed NYD as a celebration for college football and will miss that the next two years.

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January 27th, 2015 at 1:33 PM ^

Incorrect - "If you have a girlfriend/spouse/significant other I guarantee you will not be able to spend NYE lounging around watching football." My wife thinks it's a great idea that we could watch football instead of just sitting around waiting for the ball to drop so we can go to bed.

You know that a ton of people work NYD as well right? There's no way to avoid people working.

The NFL seems to do just fine starting games that people on the west coast can't even dream of watching live so I'm sure CFB would do just fine.

Maybe NYE is bigger to you and your friends but I don't know anyone that has obligations to friends or family (certainly the latter). It's been "just another day" for a number of years for most of the people I know. But, hey, to each their own.

Also, The day of the week that CFB was on had nothing to do with why the ratings were big and everything to do with the teams involved and the fact that we finally had a playoff.

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Blue Noise

January 27th, 2015 at 4:32 PM ^

Last time I'm going to come back and check on this discussion since we're obviously at an impasse here BUT my final words:

I think the particular teams playing and the fact that this was the first year of the playoff were certainly contributory factors to the sky high ratings, but you're kidding yourself if you think that the games being on NYD weren't a huge part of it and that the ratings wouldn't take a nosedive if the games are on NYE instead. Many, many more people have to work on Eve than Day, and NYE television is loaded with programming. That's how this whole discussion started, right? I was commenting on the link Brian left to the article explaining that everyone who runs college football is panicking about going against NYE programming next year. It's a concern.

Also, I very much appreciated that college football reclaimed for itself New Year's Day, traditionally the most prestigious day of the college football calendar and the day that college football takes centerstage across most of the country.

Mainly, it's just personal preference and we're arguing based on purely anecdotal perspectives here. I suppose there are some people like you who actually prefer the games taking place on NYE. I personally had a great time watching the games on NYD this year, think it'd be massively inconvenient if they were on NYE (and probably would be unable to watch them), and strongly believe (even though I can't prove this so it's a little bullshit for me to mention it, I'll admit) that a scientific poll of college football fans would show most people prefer the semis on NYD. 


January 26th, 2015 at 5:59 PM ^

Izzo: When it is our weird guys, it is a obstacle no man, team, or country should ever have to face. 

Their weird guys?  An exciting explosion of power, grace, and schematic advantage.


January 26th, 2015 at 6:38 PM ^

Breaking News: Tom Izzo sucks.  He never fails to impress my irritable side.  Opposing team loses a really good player for them?  Nah, it HELPED them.  His own player injures himself and is out for a period of time, "whoa is me, our poor, poor team".


January 26th, 2015 at 6:54 PM ^

If there's consensus that he's not in the lottery that significantly gets my hopes up that he'd return for what could be a damn good year next year. Am I wrong to think him falling out of the lottery is a pretty big deal? Especially when it wouldn't seem to be hard for him to work his way back in during his senior season.


January 27th, 2015 at 6:56 PM ^

He has never seemed like a lottery player to me, expecting to be a lottery pick after his senior year seems greedy.  I think as long as he's projected first round he should leave and probably will leave.  Plus thats two foot injuries, if he has a 3rd next year he's probably not drafted at all.


January 26th, 2015 at 7:05 PM ^

Changing times.

2015: College coaches have private jets for their recruiting trips.

1989: During a layover at O'Hare, I went to the bank of pay phones, found one not in use, and did a double take when I recognized the gentleman at the phone next to mine as Tom Osborne. He was asking directions to a home in the Chicago area.  Cell phones and google maps were not yet in widely available.


January 27th, 2015 at 6:24 AM ^

It's not that surprising that Falk isn't a fan of the helmet decals.  It must have been a pain in the ass for him.

SS: I have been a big proponent in trying to bring back the decals. What’s your take, Jon? Would you like to see them again on the Michigan Football helmets?
JF: I like that Michigan helmet without the decals.
SS: :(


January 27th, 2015 at 8:59 AM ^

I LOVE the idea of having CFP games on NYE. Unless you like sitting around watching those stupid countdowns (that don't start until, what, 7 or later?) there is literally nothing worth watching. It's fantastic that I'll now have something entertaining to watch!

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Year of Revenge II

January 27th, 2015 at 11:05 AM ^

LaVert does a lot of good things as a player; however, I do not rate his NBA chances as good unless he improves on the part of the game above the shoulders.  

A lot a guys get by in the NBA with talent and absolutely no brains, but LaVert will not be one of those.  The good news for him is that he is not a no-brains guy, and can get better.

I like his defense, his unselfishness, his determination.  Too many times though he is responsible for a particularly costly turnover or bad decision with the game, or the momentum, in the balance.  It comes down to decision making, and he needs to improve there if he wants to be a  pro.  My two cents---he should stay in college for another year to work on the above.  I suppose if they pay him first round dough he'll go, and probably should do so, but it is not in his best interest as a basketball player long-term IMO.


January 27th, 2015 at 11:11 AM ^

I realize Brian has a problem with the Big Ten adding Rutgers and Maryland to the confernce, but don't look at the ACC as an example for why it doesn't work.

The ACC still has an eight-game conference schedule and it has five of its teams playing Notre Dame each season as non-conference games.  If they opted to go to a nine-conference game schedule like the Big Ten, then UNC and Wake Forest probably don't schedule their "non-conference" home-and-home series for 2019/2021.

The Big Ten will start its nine-game conference schedule in 2016 with six games in division and three games wiith teams from the opposing division.  The conference is also matching up teams from the different divisions to play one another on a four-year cycle.  For Michigan, the program is Wisconsin.

From 2016 to 2019, Michigan will play these teams from the western division as follows:

Wisconsin (4) - 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

Iowa (2) - 2016, 2019

Illinois (2) - 2016, 2019

Purdue (2) - 2017

Minnesota (2) - 2017

Nebraska (2) - 2018

Northwestern (2) - 2018

That means Michigan will have played each of the Big Ten Western Division teams at least once during a three-year time period.  Starting in 2020, another team from the Western Division goes on the four-year cycle--my best gues is that it'd likely be Nebraska.  If the scheduling cycle contines, then Purdue and Minnesota would be the other two Western Division teams for 2020.

The more interesting thing to find out is what direction Michigan will take on its non-conference scheduling with Jim Hackett in charge working in concert with Coach Harbaugh.  Harbaugh's contract says very clearly that the head coach will work with the AD on the schedule, so it'll be the two of them making the decisions.

Michigan has one open OOC slot for 2018 and two games schedule to date--home opener with Arkansas and Southern Methodist two years later.  The opener at Arkansas is the only non-conference game to date for 2019.

Will they go the route that David Brandon appeared to be going?  Brandon scheduled two Power 5 conference teams in home-and-home series for 2020/1, i.e., Washington and Virginia Tech.  Having those two series means losing one home game over a two-year period, but it also makes for a more compelling non-conference schedule.

Michigan also has UCLA (2022/3), Texas (2024/7) and Oklahoma (2025/6).  I realize we're talking ten seven to eleven years out, but Hackett and Harbaugh are going to have to come to decisions on what other opponents they want for those seasons.  Does UM add a second Power 5 team?  Do we bring MAC teams back to the schedule (Ball State is on the 2020 schedule, but that's it)?  Do you look for teams outside the Power 5 for one and done games?  Brandon got UNLV, BYU, Hawaii, UCF, AIr Force and Cincinnati on it for the 205 through 2017 seasons.

Perhaps Brian would like to give us his opinion on what sort of games Michigan should schedule and its impact on the fan experience, the post season, AD budget, etc.?