Unverified Voracity Discusses Policy Comment Count

Brian November 30th, 2012 at 3:21 PM

27 tickets to team 156. Naw just joshin'…

Read this. Meinke on Heck's cancer-stricken wife:

Roy Roundtree hauled in a 16-yard touchdown pass to cap an improbable fourth-quarter comeback last season against Notre Dame. It came in the first night game in Big House history, gave Brady Hoke his first signature win at the school and set off a wild on-field celebration.

Players and coaches raced around looking for someone -- anyone -- to hug.

Not Jeff Hecklinski.

The Michigan receivers coach paced around trying to find cell service. Moments after the biggest win of his career, he wanted to call his wife. But not to celebrate -- to see if she was OK.

Thursday Thursday Thursday. I'll be Washington DC talking about stuff. Ask questions in that thread, sign up at the UM Club of DC's site, and etc. I will be audible since it's at a law firm! Excited about that bit.


college hockey in St. Louis: what could go wrong?

DO IT. WCH points out a guy who works for the NCAA who's all like "do you know what is dumb, neutral site hockey is dumb":

"Our current setup provides a lot of challenges,” said Tom Nevala, chair of the Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Committee and senior associate athletics director at Notre Dame. “You need to find buildings that are neutral sites, have NHL ice and ideally are within close proximity to the host school’s fan base. Right now for the most part, we really need the host to qualify if we are going to have good attendance and atmosphere at our regionals. In an effort to increase attendance, the NCAA has been working with the hosts to try and make tickets more affordable but the nature of neutral sites and non-traditional game times works against us a bit.”

Translated from guy-who-wants-to-keep-his-job to raging bloggerese that is a slavering attack on the current format. I like you, Tom Nevala. You're all right.

His suggestion:

“Personally, I would like to see us move to an on-campus best-of-three series format for the first round,” Nevala said. “The top seeds would host regardless of size of its building. Right now we do it at the conference level and it works very well. There are upsets even with the home ice advantage and the atmosphere for everyone involved would be better. We have such great campus facilities that are such a part of the fabric of college hockey, it’s a shame that the national tourney isn’t played in them.”

Massive improvement, though it does leave you with eight teams and no suggestion as to what to do with them. I've seen other people propose a "super regional" featuring just the two games, but that runs into the same issues. May as well just extend the season a week and do best two-of-three again, then have a Frozen Four.

Unfortunately, Nevala then goes on to say "the coaching body" is "set on having the regional games at neutral sites," which means we must fire every single D-I coach and replace them with people who aren't CHL sleeper agents.

Gambling in this establishment. WHL hammers Portland for benefits over and above the ones they're allowed to give.

Schedule strength so far. Michigan fares well in Luke Winn's latest power rankings:


Michigan's about to fade in this department as they take on an array of low-major teams and struggling Arkansas and West Virginia outfits, but right now you can take Michigan's stats as seriously as any compiled six games into a season. Duke, meanwhile, has basically locked down a one-seed at this point with wins over Kentucky, Louisville, OSU, VCU, and Minnesota. I be like dang.

As for Michigan itself, they're third. Winn points out the decreasing reliance and increased effectiveness of the pick and roll:

1. Overall, their percentage of P&R possessions has dropped from 18.0 to 14.5, according to Synergy.
2. P&Rs still make up a big portion of Burke's game, but when he does them, he's passing 55.6 percent of the time, as compared to 44.9 last year. His pass/shoot ratio out of P&Rs is the opposite of what it was in '11-12.
3. His derived offense from all P&R possessions is 1.127 PPP -- way up from 0.978 PPP last season. He has to force fewer shots, and he has better passing options on the perimeter.

I'm surprised the pick and roll was only 18% of Michigan's shot generation last year. I wonder what it was in year two of Darius Morris.

Stealing Ace's thunder a bit. Gareon Conley visits OSU this Thursday and Michigan on the 14th($) for what is shaping up to be a very large recruiting weekend; newly re-offered David Dawson will also be in after an OSU visit.

A note on the Dawson stuff: I'm surprised that opinion is divided on whether re-extending an offer to the kid is a good idea. The guy has had a rough go of it this year with his father dying unexpectedly and if Michigan is back in the picture it's because he manned up, went to Michigan, and laid it out. Weigh the twitter blasts against swallowing your pride and doing that as a 17-year-old. If Hoke thinks he's good, he's good. Michigan has been meticulous about getting quality kids after The Process forced them to take a couple fliers on kids they didn't really know.

Meanwhile, the increasingly-infamous Policy about committed recruits visiting other places is way overblown. Dawson got his offer pulled because he was not upfront; Michigan is still recruiting Conley after he decommited. All the policy means is "don't think you're saving a spot in Michigan's class if you're visiting other schools."

Michigan has two states of recruiting:

  • COMMITTED: Keep out of trouble and keep your grades up and you will be in the class. We will stand by you if you have a bad year or get injured. You do not take visits to other schools. If you do, they automatically move you into the other category.
  • UNCOMMITTED: If you have an offer they'll continue to recruit you but they can revoke that offer at any time until they move you into the other category by mutual agreement. If your leg explodes tough cookies.

Notably absent is "COMMITTED, BUT…" Committed-but is an extremely annoying recruiting state that recently-offered AZ OL Kenny Lacy provides an excellent example of:

Lacy is a UCLA commitment that was also offered by Michigan this week. His consideration of other schools, however, is not a new development. From the moment he committed to the Bruins back in September he mentioned his plan to still take trips to other campuses. …

"I am committed (to UCLA) and I originally did it because I felt strongly that is where I want to go. But I was upfront with (UCLA assistant) Coach (Adrian) Klemm from the beginning that I would still take trips, and he was OK with that. I just want to make sure I am doing the right thing and making the right decision."

This is an offense against the English language, and that's probably why Hoke doesn't go for it. Also it's a fiction: Lacy is one-way committed to UCLA. He expects UCLA to be committed to him—he would be pissed if the Bruins took some other OL and were like "sorry full up." He reserves the right to flit off to somewhere else late.

Michigan isn't playing that game, and that is the extent of The Policy. You get two categories. Pick one. None of this half-in half-out stuff.

Prognosticator hat. One man's impression of how things will work out:

  • Conley: MICHIGAN by a nose. Last visit, Oregon doesn't appear to be going for him hard or at all at this point, parents pushing for M. OSU visit just a one-off Thursday instead of a full official.
  • Dawson: MICHIGAN. Really seemed to regret how things worked out now; doubt Michigan would re-offer without a good idea of how the story ends.
  • Derrick Green: MICHIGAN. Options: fired coach, fired coach, Ole Miss, place that will be nuked by NCAA in near future. Early enrollment make it very hard for fired coach places to catch up. With the dead period, a guy who gets hired today would have about two weeks to build a relationship. Ole Miss or Michigan? Since the kid isn't from Mississippi that has to be no contest. If it is Ole Miss, I swear to never set foot in that state because I won't be able to leave.
  • Leon McQuay: Vanderbilt, but if James Franklin gets snapped up by someone else that would probably tip the scales to Michigan.
  • LaQuon Treadwell: Oklahoma or Oklahoma State. Seems like if he was going to drop to Michigan he already would have. Maybe he's just indecisive.
  • Michigan adds wildcard or two. That would put them at 25 give or take the status of the longsnapper, who I know I know they said would be getting a full ride but we heard the same thing with Morales; dollars to donuts the deal is he is at the top of the walk-on board permanently. They're at 25 now pending Mike Jones not getting a fifth year and Lewan entering the draft, so even if the LS is on full scholarship it would only take one extra piece of attrition for Michigan to have extra room. That's almost inevitable. You can see that they've offered a half-dozen players lately, mostly OL and LBs. I'd guess they add one or the other, with Cal OL commit Cameron Hunt the random guess I'm making. More likely they will pull someone out of nowhere a la Willie Henry.

It would be weird to have two decommitted guys recommit—in my recollection only one decommit has ever re-upped with Michigan: Will Campbell. But that's the way my wind is blowing to day you guys.



It's almost as if athletic directors cannot consider the consequences of their actions. UNLV's AD after participating in a mock playoff assemblage:

"Wow, is this committee going to have pressure," Livengood said. "The thing that jumps out at me is that there are just four teams, it's not enough of a sample. I was not a proponent of going larger than four, and this changed my mind totally."

Sure you weren't, UNLV dude.

Meanwhile, this committee assembled to prevent mistakes like Stanford getting picked over Oregon last year because Oregon played and lost to LSU while Stanford did not made the exact same mistake in reverse by selecting Oregon over Stanford because Stanford played ND and lost (in overtime on a terrible call) while Oregon played Arkansas State, Fresno State, and Tennessee Tech in their nonconference schedule and Stanford has to beat a good UCLA team again to win the Pac-12. Way to reward scheduling, guys.

As always, people in charge of stuff are just in charge of stuff and may or may not deserve to be.

Etc.: Zak Irvin off to a hot start as the man on his HS team post Gary Harris. Nebraska and OU agree to a series in 2021 and 2022. Yost Built previews this weekend's hockey series against Ferris. Hockey has a lot of talent coming in next year. Orson interviews the populace at The Game.



November 30th, 2012 at 3:55 PM ^

Here's why it was a little tough before - no one who had visited elsewhere was ever pursued again...until this week.  Pharaoh Brown was dead to us once he went to Oregon and it seemed the same for Dawson based on his coach's comments and so on.  Then Conley visited, said he was 100% to Michigan, and then said he was decommitted. 

So all of the evidence we had was that if you visit, you're done.  Now we see that this isn't the case, and it must have just been that the coaches either changed their mind on Brown or something like that. 

It's a risky move by a recruit still - just because the coach really likes you in April when you committed doesn't mean he thinks you're one of the best 3 guys available when you decommit in October.  If Dawson wasn't really good, I bet the coaches would be saying, "We've got a bunch of big recruits coming by soon, if they all say no you might have a shot."


November 30th, 2012 at 4:54 PM ^

In my opinion, no not really.  First of all, you can't be in a situation when the recruits are making the rules, because it would change every year.  Secondly, high school seniors aren't always good at seeing the big picture and knowing what's best.  A bunch of them might say "Dawson was a jerk to me at the Opening, so don't let him back in" or "I really liked Pharaoh Brown at BBQ at the Big House, so he should still get his spot" or those types of things. 

Lastly, the recruits will almost never have the full story, or know as much of the full story as the coaches do, so they should make the final call.


December 1st, 2012 at 9:57 AM ^

No Offer as this staff supposedly doesn't hand out soft offers. Dawson has held no offer from UM since the de-commitment/pull.

Having said that, I don't understand the situation for OL recruits for Dec 14 - if 4 have offers then why wouldn't 1 accept before the 14th to eliminate the offers for the other 3? It seems like maybe they don't all have "commit-able" offers.


November 30th, 2012 at 3:39 PM ^

Yes, there are only four teams in the playoff.  That's four, which is less than 64 or 32 or 16 or even 8.  Hell, it's less than 5.  It's four.  And it should be four, because the regular season is supposed to be important.  God forbid some NCAA suits have to sweat a little because there's controversy over what team is 4 and what team is 5.  Jebus...Also, I welcome Mr. Dawson back should he choose to come back. 

French West Indian

November 30th, 2012 at 4:07 PM ^

But I'm willing to bet that within the next five years we've got 4 major conferences each sending their champion to the 4 team playoff (8 teams really if you count the inevitable conference championships).  Such critieria will be simple & clear and nobody will be able to argue with it much.  As that AD pointed out, the political pressure involved, even with a committee, is just too much under the current circumstances.

The real questions are 1-  which four conferences will it be and 2- how many teams are we ultimately taking about?  4 conferences of 16 teams?  18 teams? Maybe even 20 teams?  I don't know, but I'm sure it will get settled.



November 30th, 2012 at 6:58 PM ^

The SEC will say no.  The other three super conferences will say yes.  The SEC loses.

This type of playoff would be the only good thing to come out of the conference realignment.  The regular season will matter a lot.  Conferences can each decide how they want their championship game to be earned and we effectively get an 8 team play off with only one extra game compared to today.  Just two teams would have to play 15 games.


November 30th, 2012 at 3:42 PM ^

Someone threw a sack of onions into a woodchipper after I clicked that article about the Hecklinskis. Especially the part about the other coaches and coaches' wives banding together help them out. Phew...

The "family atmosphere" thing is emphatically not just a recruiting pitch.


November 30th, 2012 at 3:43 PM ^

Here's the dumb thing about wanting to expand the playoffs:

If there's some doubt about whether you're the #4 or #5 team in the country, then YOU'RE NOT THE #1 TEAM IN THE COUNTRY.

A football playoff should be designed to let the teams that can be confused for the #1 team in the country to duke it out.  Typically, I only see 2 or 3 teams that have this claim at the end of the year.  So even the fourth-best team would be the red-headed stepchild, and if you're not clearly #4, then suck it up and deal with it.

I hate that teams that are #16 or #11 or even #8 think they deserve to have a chance to be the national champions.


November 30th, 2012 at 3:52 PM ^

The playoff is supposed to decide who the No. 1 team is, not who "deserves to be in the playoff."  This is my fear with the playoff, that it will turn into the NCAA basketball tournament, where we worry about who "deserves" to be in the tournament.  None of the teams on the bubble deserve to lay claim to No. 1, and I don't care if they make the tournament (or playoff) or not. 


November 30th, 2012 at 5:14 PM ^

but take the case of Texas A&M.  Starting a freshmen QB with a new coaching staff.  2 losses one to Florida and one to LSU early in the year.  Beats Alabama in Tuscaloosa.  I realize the entire season needs to count but there's some people out there who think A&M is playing as well as anyone in the country right now. 


November 30th, 2012 at 5:28 PM ^

"some people out there who think A&M is playing as well as anyone in the country right now."

What if a team lost its first nine games, and then blew out Alabama, Oregon, and Georgia in its final three?  Does a 3-9 team that's "playing as well as/better than anyone in the country" over the final three weeks deserve a shot at the national championship?

If Texas A&M is playing well right now with a freshman quarterback, then it seems to me maybe they should be a pre-season top-five team for 2013 . . . but that doesn't mean they need to be in a four-team playoff for 2012-2013 national champions. 


November 30th, 2012 at 5:48 PM ^

Heck no, but when you're 10-2 and lost your first game to the #3 team, lost another game to the #7 team and beat the #2 team, you're credentials aren't to bad.  Beating Alabama in Tuscaloosa is more impressive than any victory Oregon has and the only team ranked in Top 10 that Oregon played, Oregon lost. 



November 30th, 2012 at 6:20 PM ^

Well, Michigan lost to the #1 team, the #2 team, and a 12-0 Ohio State; the only other loss came against the #12 team without our starting QB for 2.5 quarters.

I'd say that's a pretty decent argument that Michigan should be considered for being in the top six or seven. Maybe we deserve a shot at the national championship, too...

Just kidding.  We're 8-4.  We don't deserve a chance.  Neither does a a 10-2 team who didn't even play in its conference championship game.


November 30th, 2012 at 3:51 PM ^

One of the things that stood out in that 4-team selection committee playoff, is an anecdote about why the men's selection committee took VCU (a much-maligned selection before the tournament started) the year they went to the Final Four. Mainly, that one committee member spoke up and convinced the others, the Rams passed his eye test and were better than some of the other teams they were considering.

While Stanford lost to ND in OT and beat Oregon, after watching a lot of football this year, the top 4 teams are Notre Dame, Alabama, Florida, and Oregon. Yes, results matter, but if two teams are relatively close, the eye test can go a long way towards determining which team belongs in a hypothetical field.


November 30th, 2012 at 3:57 PM ^

I agree with most of that, and I've watched a lot of Pac 12 football and I think Oregon is better than Stanford too. 

What I don't get is including Florida over Georgia.  Georgia beat Florida, and they both have one loss.  Is Georgia getting punished for losing to Alabama (if it happens) when Florida didn't have to play them?


November 30th, 2012 at 4:11 PM ^

Erik pretty much hit it on the head.

Florida won at Texas A&M and Florida State and beat LSU at home. They also crushed South Carolina who beat Georgia (yes, I'm aware the transitive property isn't always accurate). Georgia's best and really only quality win is against Florida on a neutral field. They didn't have to play LSU or Texas A&M. If I'm including Oregon over Stanford even though the Cardinal won, I think the same can apply towards Florida/Georgia.

I think in that exercise, Georgia was the last team eliminated, but if the committee took them instead of Florida, I wouldn't have an issue with that even if Georgia lost to Alabama. Stanford doesn't have a case because a loss at ND in OT is okay. A loss at Washington isn't. They win that game, they'd be in over Oregon.

See, the regular season does still matter quite a bit.


November 30th, 2012 at 4:30 PM ^

I'm sorry, if you can claim 'eye test' to excuse Oregon, Stanford should be able to claim 'different starting qb' to excuse its loss to UW. I think head to head should trump most factors, head to head + conf champion should be open and shut.

Florida is a defensible choice over Georgia, because they can point to a series of better wins. But what's Oregon's best win? It's either OSU or USC, teams both beaten by Stanford.


November 30th, 2012 at 5:17 PM ^

don't you have to take schedule into account?  If Stanford schedules 3 creampuffs like Oregon did, they are probably 11-1.  So you essentially punish Stanford playing a decent team in the non-conference slate?


November 30th, 2012 at 4:04 PM ^

I'd be happy with that pull Brian suggests if it came down to it, especially since the wild card Hoke can pull has shown to have some good impact.  Those three at the top of the list really address MANBALL for the future.  I like it.

And, I too...like Mr Treadwell...used to think that I was indecisive.  Now...I'm not so sure.


November 30th, 2012 at 4:16 PM ^

I'm not entirely sure. I still think some of it is the desire to actually have official visits. Michigan may have fallen farther down his list; but I still think, at the back of his mind, we're the school he is measuring other schools against, knowing there will still be a spot for him if the grass isn't really greener.

Steve Lorenz

November 30th, 2012 at 5:19 PM ^

One thing; the current OL commitments have been repeatedly told that there would only be five commitments at their position in this class. A couple weren't thrilled even when they took Sypniewski until they realized he was a long snapper and not an OL per se. I don't think the staff would take two more OL at risk of alienating or pissing off the commits who have stuck by them for months upon months. 


November 30th, 2012 at 5:43 PM ^

I bet they wouldn't turn one they really like down towards the end if they miss on guys at other positions. Needs change. Look at all the recent LB offers. If they think there is a need, and there is a 6th OL they like in the end, with room available, you have to take one.

I get what you're saying, but 17 year old kids can't run their recruiting board.


November 30th, 2012 at 5:22 PM ^

If Georgia were to beat Alabama, I'd assume Georgia would be included in the 4 team playoff.  Which team falls out?

Florida arguably has more impressive victories than Oregon and Alabama.  They beat A&M and FSU on the road and LSU and South Carolina at home.

Alabama's most impressive win is @ LSU. After that, there really isn't much.

Oregon's is Oregon St on the road.  After that, there really isn't much.   


November 30th, 2012 at 5:38 PM ^

Brian - you're thinking Dawson ends up at UM but he's got visits scheduled to other schools in Jan.  If he truly wants to visit all those schools and holds off on his decision until signing day is much closer.  Are you assuming Dawson commits shortly after his visit on the 14th?

What happens if Dawson wants to visit the other schools and one of the other olineman commits?  I'd assume if the coaches have offered these other guys, the first one to commit gets the scholarship, no?


November 30th, 2012 at 5:46 PM ^

Agree on all the points for the last 3 In class + McQuay. Seems McQuay's heart & head point to UM. He keeps hearing the "best weather & competition are in the South" argument for Vandy & FSU. He's waiting to make sure his choice is not just emotion.

FSU or Vandy would be the easy choice.


November 30th, 2012 at 6:49 PM ^

In fact, some years 4 is too many. Only if you have weak standards for success and a misplaced desire to "give a chance to" someone is it hard. That UNLV guy is one of the above. 


November 30th, 2012 at 8:21 PM ^

I believe that the stat-tracking system Luke Winn is citing only tracks the results of the play and not the initial action.

So, if a P&R is run and ends with a shot/TO/FT attempt from Burke or the roll man/screener, then it is classified  as a P&R possession. If the ballhandler passes to a shooter who then finishes the play, then it is classified differently, likely as a spot-up.  I don't like this, because it changes the information you can glean from how effective an inital action is, no matter how exactly the possession ended.

Atleast this is how Synergy, the NBA's primary play-type tracking service, classifies how a possession was used for its NBA stats.  Synergy could track college possessions differently but I doubt it.


December 1st, 2012 at 3:10 AM ^

I think many people want a large playoff b/c they want to make sure that everyone who "deserves" to be in it, get is.  "Deserve" to them probably means has a reasonable shot to win it.  That's not a priority for me.  I think it should hurt that you don't get in.  4 seems right for that, maybe 6, but 8? 

Every year is going to be different.  There will be years when 2 would be enough.  Maybe this year there isn't any difference between 1 and 8, but I think that it's the bigger exception. 

Expanding the number is not going to get rid of controversey.  You'll always argue about who didn't get in, not that I think that this should be a priority.

64 (+4) in NCAAB is probably too much.  A few years ago, when Michigan was on that streak of bubble-but-no-invite I wasn't too broken up about it as I didn't think they were really a quality team.


December 1st, 2012 at 4:38 AM ^

... if, as Magus argues, you want only the handful of teams that can be the best in the country, and teams are primarily judged by record (and secondarily against who they played), then you want a 4-way seeded by those numbers.

This has the (un-?)intended consequence of encouraging people to play cupcakes, and preferring teams in weak conferences,  because you need to inflate your record to have a chance at the title.  (For example, OSU would almost be certainly be in a title game against ND this year, despite compiling their record against perhaps the weakest BigTennnnn! since the Cooper years.)

If you get a bigger selection, you run the risk of a weak team catching fire (or getting healthy) for the right 3 games and winning it all.

If you get a really big selection, you run the risk of even weaker teams, but counterbalance it with having to be on fire for longer.

My guess is that we're heading for the 16-team superconference setup, but with a 12 team playoff - the conference champions get a bye and the 8 other teams are chosen by committee and seeded.  That takes care of ... 11 games; the rest of the bowls can select from the non-playoff teams.