Unverified Voracity Dares To Dispute Steele

Submitted by Brian on June 7th, 2010 at 11:38 AM

Jon Bills update. Fullback/linebacker Mark Moundros, his brother Kirk, and fellow-walk on Jon Bills were in a serious car accident over the weekend, and while the Moundros brothers are "fine" according to their mother, Bills is set to undergo surgery today. According to a source close to the situation, the surgery will be an effort to repair a damaged vertebra. The situation is "very serious" but Bills has escaped worst-case scenarios to date. If you are of the praying inclination, keep Bills in your thoughts.

Alcohol didn't have anything to do with the crash, FWIW.

They've evolved. Surely this is not paint.


User TR Saunders is "still debating whether or not to add a scythe," and also claims the above is actually paint, which is… like… whoah. He uses source pictures; even so I fear him.

Steeleinfo, corrected. Phil Steel lists Michigan 72nd nationally in terms of experience on the two deep via a system in which senior starters are worth 3 points, backups 2.5, junior starters 2, backups 1.5, etc etc etc. That is not as disturbing as you might think. Michigan is tied with Penn State and West Virginia, teams that are going into the year hoping for something a little sexier than the Insight Bowl.

Yay? Nay. The reason Michigan's numbers are not hugely terrifying is that Steele's numbers are wrong. He mentions that two-deep changes since publication are not accounted for but swapping Lewan in for Dorrestein doesn't account for the differences, as he credits Michigan with six senior starters and six backups. That's not accurate:

  • Senior starters: Schilling, Ezeh, Mouton, Woolfolk, Banks (for now)
  • Senior backups: Sagesse, Webb, Dorrestein, Rogers.

He's not counting redshirt juniors as seniors because if that's the case he'd add Hemingway, Molk, Huyge, and RVB in and come out with eight senior-ish starters.

By my count, Michigan's numbers* this year:

  Starters Backups
SR 5 4
JR 8 2
SO 6 11
FR 3 5

In Steele's system this comes out to 50 points. This is good for 118th nationally, better than only New Mexico and BYU. There might be some systemic overestimation going on, but probably not enough to get Michigan back towards the middle of the pack. You may resume rocking back and forth about the safety depth chart.

Somewhat more encouraging: my off the cuff calculations see Michigan rise to 70 points next year, which is 1) probably optimistic since there is always some level of attrition and 2) would be good for 37th this year.

*(Note: I used Shaw and Smith as the two deep at RB, which is the maximum experience you can wrangle out of it. You could pick up another point or two by putting Fitzgerald on the two-deep instead of Demens or Mike Jones and trying to count Adam Patterson somehow, but since guys like Rogers and Floyd Simmons should fall out once the freshmen arrive, this is actually a more experienced two deep than we are likely to see against UConn. Most schools can say that right now, so we won't use projections. The point: this is not finagled.)

Elsewhere in Steeleology, Jamiemac has assembled a JAMPACKED Big Ten overview. Steele's projections are more optimistic than many to date, although that might be because he has significantly underestimated how young they are. This would be a positive step if it came true:

Regarding the Wolverines, he has them tying with the Spartans for fifth place in the league. Generally speaking, he’s optimistic about their chances and Rodriguez doing enough to keep his job. He doesn't have a whole lot of Michigan players on any of his top-4 All Big 10 teams. But however he manages his predictions, it must like the sum of Michigan’s parts. On his Big 10 page, he mentions that three of his nine ratings call for a 6-2 Big 10 season. More revealing is that on page 22 where he lists Michigan among his top-12 likely surprise teams for the year, he writes a stunning admission: “One of my nine sets of power rating has them going 11-0 before the Ohio State game.”  I want those power ratings. I want to roll them up in joints and smoke them all summer long. More realistically might be 4-4 or 5-3 in the league for the Wolverines, but I’m going to dream about those ratings anyway.

Jamie then asks if Michigan fans want Notre Dame to be good. The answer to that is "no." That goes double for this year.

Indecision for the win. AnnArbor.com picks up on a polling website that's answered the question I get asked all the time about the general opinion of the fanbase towards Rodriguez. It's mostly "ask again later":

Of those polled, Rodriguez had a 20 percent favorable rating, 26 percent unfavorable rating with 54 percent undecided.

However, when those same people were asked if they'd like to see Rodriguez replaced as Michigan's coach, 51 percent said they'd like to see him continue. 20 percent wanted him replaced and 29 percent were undecided.

54% saying "eh, don't know yet" seems like an impressively high number given the last two years.

Some of the breakouts in the full report are bizarre and fascinating. Self described liberal voters have a 9% favorability rating for Rodriguez; conservatives are at 13%. Rodriguez pulls the vast majority of his support from moderates, who are 33%-22% in favor.

Meanwhile, my pet theory that Rodriguez drew most of his support from the younger graduates and was totally hated by old Bo folks—which I have told a dozen podcasts—is completely wrong. The rate at which people think Rodriguez deserves another year increases monotonically as people age:

  Favorable Unfavorable Not sure   Keep Dump Not sure
18 to 29 23 39 37   35 39 26
30 to 45 11 27 62   38 22 40
46 to 65 18 29 53   51 18 31
Over 65 30 19 51   65 17 18

I have no clever explanations for that. Later today I'll put up the same questions on the blog to see what this place thinks; results should be interesting.

[UPDATE: An emailer points out that the breakouts by age here are beyond insignificant: of the 890 respondents, 20 were Michigan fans under 30. Nevermind this last bit.]

Jackson goodbye. The departure of assistant coach Mike Jackson for Purdue has apparently moved from rumor-in-name-only to actual news now that folk like Angelique Chengelis are mentioning it on the twitters. This has caused a great deal of alarm on the premium sites, but from people who know Jackson personally and use him for information. Proclamations of doom… eh… whatever. If Carlton Brundidge sticks around, which it seems like he will, the impact will be minimal.  Proclamations of Jackson's recruiting skillz fail to mention that Michigan hasn't landed a single recruit that had major offers from other programs—Smotrcyz blew up after he committed.

Is it going to get worse with someone new?

Well, he can do that thing. Widely unregarded WR recruit DJ Williamson is one of Michigan's least-heralded recruits, a guy with two stars on Scout and not much more in the way of praise elsewhere. However, he is real fast. He won the state championship in the 100 M dash as a junior and doubled that feat over the weekend by winning the 100 and 200. His 10.64 100 could have been better if he didn't pull up for some Usain Bolt action at the end:

Track and Field Videos on Flotrack

Williamson pulled out a W, presumably to rep Warren Harding. With three receivers from this class already on campus, Williamson is a holy lock to be redshirted but if he can develop some that speed promises something better than his recruiting rankings do.

Etc.: Annual Izzo-to-NBA mild panic begins, this time starting MSU alum and Cavs owner Dan Gilbert as the guy angling for Izzo. Way uncool. Izzo, for his part, texts a swear back at a local reporter asking for comment. Jamiemac comes in for the Six Zero profiling.



June 7th, 2010 at 11:53 AM ^

10.64 is a pretty damn good time for both a soaking wet track and pulling up at the end.  i wonder if he shifts to DB.


June 7th, 2010 at 12:02 PM ^

But if Notre Dame isn't good this year, we won't have any book covers to use to make fun on ND fans when they turn on their coach.

I guess I can live without one if it means I don't have to go through the offseason with all the media outlets hyping yet another Return To Glory.


June 7th, 2010 at 12:32 PM ^

RR's miserable start here means we were spared the ridiculously premature "Return to Glory" kind of book written by some toadying hack. If RR manages to uncork an 11-1 season, Michael Rosenberg will suddenly be very eager to be Rich's new BF, though.


June 7th, 2010 at 12:26 PM ^

than the 18-29 crowd and know how fucked we'd be getting rid of a guy halfway through a transition.  We'd either have to hire another "spread" guy or go about 4 years before we were able to field a pro style offense or soemthing akin to one.


When I turned 20, I looked back on my teen years and thought how naive and immature I was back then.  When I turned 25, I couldn't believe how much of a jackass I was at 20.  When I turned 30, I thought back on my 20's and how I didn't know anything of the world and how it works.  Now that I'm 35, I wonder what was I thinking when I was 30.  I hope this eventually stops, but when I was 17, 20, 25, 30, and every age in between, I thought I knew it all.

We'll have a better year this year, but we're still building and 2011 is when the roster flips from 75% underclassmen to predominatly upperclassmen.  We all need RR to succeed and I don't think there is a magic number of wins this year that seals his fate one way or the other.  I think what DB is looking for is positive progress.  We'll have some tough games next year, but we have to be competitive in each of them and return to a bowl game.  I don't think RR can afford another Purdue '08, or an Illinois '09 this year.


June 7th, 2010 at 8:49 PM ^

The elder amongst us (and if '54 is his grad date....well...jeebus, i aint HALF that old) probably recognize the risk of this transition turning into a coaches carousel and project success more long term.  I'm as big a fan as anyone, wearing 'the colors' on my sleeve everywhere i go (i went to a Frank Caliendo show in vegas - it sucked, fyi - and his band did a cowbell diddy...i shouted Go Blue from the balcony....there was one chuckle across the theatre).  as much as i hate the shit i get from everyone here in Cali, i have to trust that Martin got the best hire he could at the time (let's not forget that he HAD to hire someone...it wasn't a matter of positioning for LeBron), trust RichRod's success rate, and trust the development of players.  Its like building a business....profitability may take years.  i give it 5 yrs before discussing whether his is a failed system for Michigan.  as wolv54 said, what's the alternative?   even bringing Saban in (likely) wont result in instant Big Ten championship.  My only concern is whether Martin's gamble on the spread offense will pay off.  did it have its day and is now gone (danielson) OR is it a long term points machine...  i mean, if P Johnson can keep the wishbone alive in this day and age, i have to believe that RR's spread can evolve with the times to bear out his past success rate.  that is all.

get off the lawn you kids and your newfangled instant gratifications and your drivin of maseratis at 21 with your bling and pimp cups and Cristal-filled plastic cups...!!!


June 7th, 2010 at 12:29 PM ^

1. Condolences to the Bills, and best prayers. And Moundros are a nice family, glad to see their doing alright too.

2. Will be looking forward to the poll questions, Brian. I'm curious what those numbers mean, exactly...student and recent grad are the ARRGGGGHH FIRE RICH ROD crowd?

3. I was a little concerned when I heard Jackson was leaving (and to a fellow Big Ten Program...certainly not a step up), but you kinda killed any worry with your last line-

Proclamations of Jackson's recruiting skillz fail to mention that Michigan hasn't landed a single recruit that had major offers from other programs—Smotrcyz blew up after he committed.

Is it going to get worse with someone new?


4. If the Cavs can land LeBron (a big if) this may be the one and only chance to get Izzo out of there. Hell, who wouldn't go, and who would blame that person? I mean, if Bo would have been offered the Montana 49ers at the end of his career.... (Though 3 yards and a cloud of dust vs. West Coast Offense could have been interesting). I'm still of the I'll believe it when I see it mindset...but this isn't "he's leaving for Oregon...or the Clippers".

And it allowed Henning, who even though he thinks Izzo might leave, to still throw in his "This is not your Father's MSU" nonsense.

They now know how to hire coaches in East Lansing.
A reasonable version of Izzo 2.0, you can bet, would be chosen by Mark Hollis, the Michigan State athletic director, and his savvy boss, president Lou Anna Simon.


Yeah, it's really easy replacing National Championship winning coaches Lynn...they grow on trees....


June 7th, 2010 at 12:53 PM ^

2. Will be looking forward to the poll questions, Brian. I'm curious what those numbers mean, exactly...student and recent grad are the ARRGGGGHH FIRE RICH ROD crowd?

As a current student (going into senior year) I can tell you that there are a lot of us who are in this "fire rich rod" crowd. While I personally think there's at least one more year that needs to be played out before any decisions are made, and I think logically most of us realize that starting with a new head coach at this point is likely going to lead to at least 2 more disappointing seasons, there is a growing sentiment along the lines of :

"God Damn it. I have student season tickets cheap for 4 years and I've already wasted the first one watching us lose to App State and Oregon (effectively killing that season which had National Title hopes at the start), the second one watching the worst Michigan team in the history of the school, and the third one watching a team that is only compared to 2008 marginally better and still the 2nd worst team in the last 40-something years."

It's frustrating.

His Dudeness

June 7th, 2010 at 1:03 PM ^

watching the worst Michigan team in the history of the school,

That was my first year as a student.

watching a team that is only compared to 2008 marginally better and still the 2nd worst team in the last 40-something years

Aaaaaand that was my second.

It could be worse. I feel like the Michigan plague.


June 7th, 2010 at 1:39 PM ^

True. But at least you'll be there for the first night game in Michigan history during a season in which we will be, hopefully, a good team with established upperclassmen. 

I got to school a year too late for the 11-0 start to the 2006 season and I leave school a year too early for a shot to watch a legitimately good Michigan team compete (counting 2007 as a disappointment given injuries/expectations and assuming we all cap expectations at 8-4 at best this year).


June 7th, 2010 at 1:35 PM ^

If the perception is that RR isn't going to get the job done, I can understand how it might seem appealing to find someone else to take over. It sounds like it's more like hope that the next guy would magically turn things around.

Things were a little different at Purdue when I was an undergrad. (Much more of a basketball focus: there was no Fire Keady movement after they had a sub-.500 record my fifth or sixth year there, but it was a lesser version of the disappointment you're feeling now. That was only a year or two after Purdue blew a #1 seed in the Midwest by losing to Kansas State in the regional semis at the Silverdome. We had had high expectations.) The first couple of years, it was "What do you mean, we can't bring in marshmallows?" "They're charging us for these now?" (Yeah, it was an idea of genius: football tickets were free to students up until '86 or '87, then they became half-price. I think it was in the hope that we'd pay more attention to the game and less to, say, marshmallow fights in the stands. Didn't matter that the team sucked.) Replacing the coach there didn't help much, but of course it was mostly because they found another mediocre coach to replace the previous one. (Burtnett, Akers, Colletto, zzzzz ...)


June 7th, 2010 at 3:16 PM ^

No offense, but those students are cry babbies

You're fans for life, not four years

True, but you're only an undergrad for four years.  You only get to watch the team in the student section with 20,000 of your friends and classmates for four years.  Those four years are extremely special.  As someone who always was and always will be a M fan, I feel no shame in saying no experience will come close to those four years.


June 7th, 2010 at 3:20 PM ^

...as we Alumni can afford to have a more broad view of what constitutes an acceptable timeline for the inevitable revival of Michigan's fortunes.  Here's hoping that the Class of 2011 gets to experience a more typical season than the ones they've had to endure.

Watching the past few years has made me appreciate that much more the exceptional run enjoyed by Michigan football during my time as an undergrad ('85 - '89).




Conf Record

Conf Finish

Final Ranking

Bowl Game





AP - No. 2, UPI - No. 2

Fiesta W

UM 27 – Neb 23




T 1st

AP - No. 8, UPI - No. 7

Rose L

UM 15 – ASU 22





AP - No. 19

Hall of Fame W

UM 28 – Bama 24





AP - No. 4, UPI - No. 4

Rose W

UM 22 – USC 14

Damn it sucked to lose to Cooper and ASU in the '87 Rose Bowl. 


June 7th, 2010 at 3:51 PM ^

1989 10-2 Conference Champs Rose Bowl

1990 9-2 Conference Champs Gator Bowl

1991 10-2 Conference Champs Rose Bowl

1992 9-0-3 Conference Champs Rose Bowl


But yes, I can see how a current student would be....struggling with the current predicament.


June 7th, 2010 at 12:35 PM ^

With his speed, how can we not use a guy like Williamson?  He's 6'1" and can fly.  10.64 on a wet track is very fast, even more so considering how fast his competition likely was.  He's a guy you get on the field even if it's just to run a fly down the sideline or an end around once per half.


June 7th, 2010 at 1:20 PM ^

Statistically Insignificant. End of story.

I was curious on the error information when I first saw the survey, so I had looked at the data.

The poll surveyed only 890 Michigan voters. Of that percentage, only 8% were in the range of 18-29 years old, equating to 71 total respondents.

Of the 71 people in the age group of question, only 28% were Michigan fans, which is a whopping 20 people.

The poll only asked Michigan fans about the "favorability" or "should he stay or should he go" about Rodriguez, so the splits, out of 20 people aged 18-29, go like this:

5/8/7 - Favorable/Unfavorable/Not sure

7/8/5 - Continue/Replaced/Not sure

Statistically irrelevant information.


June 7th, 2010 at 1:49 PM ^

That whole poll was statistically irrelevant, but it didn't stop A2.com from splashing it all over their front page last week. Oddly enough, the last time A2.com published anything about Brock Mealer was October, 2009. I guess there's nothing about the progress he's made since that's newsworthy in the eyes of the shuffling zombie corpse of the A2 News.


June 7th, 2010 at 1:44 PM ^

I think Steele is a little off on our starting roster. He has Martin, RVB, and Campbell, not Banks. He also has Toussaint starting.


June 7th, 2010 at 1:55 PM ^

is understandable, but I think it's ironic considering that LC endured constant yammering for his head in some quarters virtually every year since 1997. He was never quite good enough for those folks who would call in to the radio and rant about Lloyd getting top-5 recruiting classes every year but still losing to Iowa or Wisconsin or Oregon or whoever. The fact that it was a myth that he had top-5 classes every year didn't stop people from flapping their gums any more than do the facts today when somebody loudly asserts that RR drove Mallett off.


June 7th, 2010 at 3:57 PM ^

In a completely manly man, internet only, sort of way.  

While Rich has gotten an unprecedented backlash from the media (I mean, Lloyd put up with his share of snarky Sharp columns, or the "is this season the Waterloo for Lloyd du jour" in the middle of many a season, but nothing like Rich), people forget the fan meltdown after every loss in the Lloyd regime.  Fire the coach Fire the coach.  It's not a new thing.  It's how the fans have always been. And in all fairness, it was happening when we were winning a lot more too.

And yes, for those like Don, who can remember...it's wasn't really any different under hallowed Bo.  Getting onto the bus after the 1990 Rose Bowl, there were those fans saying "now that he's gone, we won't lose like this by being so dang conservative".  For those too young to remember those days, please rent The Big Chill.  Fans crap on coaches when things don't go their way.  No matter who the coach is.  Doesn't make it right.  It just IS.


June 7th, 2010 at 4:23 PM ^

Maybe the myth comes from the perception [maybe fact?] that Lloyd consistently produced top-5 NFL recruiting classes (especially in terms of actual success playing in the NFL, as opposed to draft status). So people think he had unreal talent coming in. In truth, he was just really good at developing talent for the pro game.

As for current undergrads feeling sorry for themselves, they should consider the likelihood that they will be better able to appreciate great teams in the future, more than those spoiled whiners who didn't go through any hard times themselves. It's small consolation, I know, but humility is a good thing in the long run. Plus, when Rich succeeds, you'll be able to say "I knew him when, and stood by him when times where tough."


June 7th, 2010 at 2:03 PM ^

Thanks for the JCB link, Brian. I really appreciate it!

Let me clarify why I think we want ND to be good, and/or hyped in the preseason.

1.) It is one of the biggest underdog tilted series in the game. I want MIchigan to be the underdog in the game in September. I see ND being ranked pretty high, and while I scoff at those rankings, rather than turn it into an angst ridden thread which happens in the forum everytime, I say keep blowing the Irish Mr Steele, other pundits and betting public. Keep doing it. I am taking MIIIICH plus whatever on that day.

2.) Michigan-ND was the shit from 1978-1999. You could not have a CFB season without it. It used to be a red-letter day on the CFB schedule, now its mocked as an irrelevant rivalry. This game in our schedule every year for the foreseeable future. I grew up on top-10, if not top-5 battles to the DEATH. I'd like to see the younger generation of our fanbase go through an era of that, just to see the heights this rivalry can reach. I sense a lot of resentment among younger fans towards this series, which I think is too bad, but it is what it is. Its really up to Michigan and ND to make it a better game, so I reluctantly would like to see the Irish become a fixture in the rankings again.

But as far as the hype for this year, I love it. And so should Michigan fans. The underdog owns a winning record straight up over chalk in this series, so please, everyone out there, inflate the shit out of ND. Please. Think of the children.

[email protected]

June 7th, 2010 at 4:59 PM ^

Though I'm a Spartan fan through and through, I want ND to be good.  I want beating them to mean something, as it did when I was small.  I remember one year (1990, I think), where MSU went into the half leading, and the stadium was filled with frantic murmurings: we had Angered rhe Dame, and would doubtlessly be slaughtered in the second half for our crimes!

It's a lot harder to Hate the Dame when said Dame is mostly a laughingstock.