Unverified Voracity Eats Potato Pancakes

Submitted by Brian on August 5th, 2011 at 10:51 AM

Old, old, old. Old enough, anyway. 1981 Purdue-Michigan:

Sort of like that 2007 Northwestern game where Michigan futzed around for 45 minutes before blowing the doors off, though in the NW game Northwestern kind of blew their own doors off.

Memphis stuff. Gary Parrish tweeted that Michigan's first-round matchup in Maui would be Memphis. The Tigers were probably worse than Michigan last year, going 25-10 in Conference USA. They got a 12 seed and were narrowly bounced by Arizona in the first round of the NCAA tourney en route to finishing #87 on Kenpom.

HOWEVA, they were incredibly young, even younger than Michigan. Their three top usage guys were all freshmen and their lone senior was one of those grunt-and-rebound centers who saw about half of available minutes. Kenpom had them #344 of 345, in front of only Stetson. Michigan, #335, was comparatively methuselan.

Michigan loses Darius Morris, though, and Memphis returns everyone save Will Coleman, that center. That's advantage Memphis. Looks like an even game.

The winner will face the winner of Duke/Tennessee in the second round, also known as "Duke." In the event of a first round loss Michigan will likely get a rematch with Tennessee; hopefully they can win that one and avoid Chaminade in the third game.

Like the rest of the economy. Slate has an interesting bit on the sports ticket bubble that seems to be collapsing in the MLB, NBA, and even NFL. College football remains the highest-scarcity sport of all and will be the last to see these effects but you have to wonder at what point will Michigan have trouble filling the stadium because it's a better deal hit up scalping sites. One example close to home:

If you want to take in next week's Indians-Tigers AL Central showdown in Cleveland, for example, you can snag lower box seats in the infield—normally $44—for as low as $25. As a bonus, reseller fees are typically lower than teams' own ticket fees. Given those options, it would be stupid to pay full price at the ticket window.

I wonder what "Let The Bodies Hit The Floor" does to the value proposition of a football ticket.

In the wild. One of the Willy The Wolverine guys sent along a video of some variety of Michgian's one-game mascot. Thrill as Willy plows over some kid he can't see! Marvel at Steve Fisher on a golf cart shaking hands! Check out an obscure argument! 80s hair!

what could have been

People who have emailed me about the Willy era say he was not well loved by the students, but at least he was organic.

This is love. I'm with everyone else. This is the best bowl name in dozens of years:

potatobowl

It's quaintly named after an agricultural product and has chives. It's too bad it's in Boise during the dead of winter.

Very likely completely false. Tim Rohan envisions an alternate universe just for Obi Ezeh:

Kenny Demens had already won. He wasn’t Obi Ezeh.

That’s all that mattered in the fans’ eyes.

Ezeh, one of the most puzzling players in the storied Michigan football program's recent history, started his career as a Wolverine with promise before he was vilified for his drop-off in play once then-Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez changed defensive schemes. Ezeh would have thrived in the downhill, knock-your-teeth-out approach Greg Mattison will surely expect out of his middle linebacker.

Not to pile yet more derision on Ezeh's career, but… dude… come on. Ezeh was a clunky two-down linebacker who couldn't take on blocks or read plays. The mass coaching incompetence didn't help, but ain't no DC who can do anything about this:

This is the reason UFR exists: to prevent statements like the above from going unchallenged. Kenny Demens was instantly much better than Obi Ezeh, which is what mattered.

What the Schutt? To recap yesterday's very long thread:

  1. Tommy Schutt is a near five star NT to Rivals and Scout.
  2. He wants to commit to Notre Dame in the afternoon.
  3. NT Sheldon Day beats him to the punch, causing ND to pull his offer. The ND fanbase is confused.
  4. Schutt wants to visit Michigan today.
  5. Michigan says "sorry, not interested," reportedly because an NT commitment had already happened.
  6. There is no NT commitment. The Michigan fanbase is confused.

Seriously:

Tommy Schutt said he woke up Thursday with plans to orally commit to Notre Dame later in the day.

The 6-foot-3, 301-pound senior defensive tackle from Glenbard West was a victim of timing, though, as his offers from the Fighting Irish and Michigan were pulled Thursday after the schools told him they secured commitments from players at his position.

In a text message, Schutt said he was a half hour from calling Notre Dame coaches to give his commitment when he received word that the offer had been pulled. He was informed that Michigan pulled its offer earlier in the day.

Does Tommy Schutt have gangrene? Lingering, massively infectious, malignant ebola-gangrene?

Michigan's NT recruiting is deeply bizarre. They've got almost no one after senior Mike Martin, Brady Hoke is a DL coach, Greg Mattison is a DL coach, they have 26 spots, and they think having a fullback is more important than securing a second very-highly-rated NT type for a position that sees serious rotation. I mean, this is the NT depth chart next year:

  1. Richard Ash?
  2. Quinton Washington?

That is it. Ash is dogged with health rumors, Washington is a converted OL, and sucking Washington over to NT leaves Will Campbell with one sort-of backup in Kenny Wilkins, who's like a 250 pound DE.

If they end up with Pipkins and O'Brien it's all cool. Anything short of that and every successful interior run in 2014 is going to be stroke-inducing.

Etc.: Obviously Casey Anthony is an OSU fan, but why did OSU feel compelled to put out a press release about it? Versus is going to put some college hockey on TV. More coverage is always good and the promise of more HD is even better. They are counting down to kickoff.

Comments

M-Wolverine

August 5th, 2011 at 11:05 AM ^

That tickets are cheaper second hand? Someone paid full price for them, they got their money. It's just a surcharge paid by the owner of said tickets to see better games, or sell them at ridiculous prices.

And I guess the Washington Redskins don't read UFRs.

Oh, and that Bowl Game is fabulous.  My new favorite.

wile_e8

August 5th, 2011 at 11:27 AM ^

If tickets continue to be cheaper second hand, eventually the people that paid full price will realize it's cheaper to not pay full price and get them second hand. And then, like all the other teams mentioned in the article, the Athletic Department is going to have to lower prices or create ticket deals in order to get people to buy the tickets from them instead of second hand.

Vivz

August 5th, 2011 at 11:34 AM ^

What he was trying to say is that a given game is cheaper. But buying season tickets ensures tickets to other games. For the tigers that could be the Yankees or BoSox, and for Michigan ND or OSU. It is a loss on the face to resell the EMU or WMU games, but the price lost on those as a season ticket package is smaller than the cost it would be to buy other games after the fact.

MI Expat NY

August 5th, 2011 at 2:45 PM ^

The problem is that teams and schools are already recognizing that demand for certain games is higher and charging more for those "premium" games.  As the face value of tickets for premium games gets closer to what could be had on the resale market, the benefits of season tickets decreases.

M-Wolverine

August 5th, 2011 at 11:41 AM ^

If someone didn't buy them in the first place, at full price?
<br>
<br>The thing that hurts other sports is when people don't buy tickets at ALL, and there are empty seats, which is a worry for any Athletic Organization. But the second hand market has nothing to do with it. A scalper, or season ticket holder, or a guy who just had too many tickets and is selling them on Stubhub or whatever still paid face value. He takes the loss of the lower prices, not the University. (Just like the school doesn't make anything more than face when someone sells two to ND for $1000. Which is how scalpers can afford to sell EMU for less than face....or that cheaper EMU surcharge is just the price of the right to see ND at face value).

wile_e8

August 5th, 2011 at 11:58 AM ^

When the ticket prices rise to the point that enough fans would rather scalp a couple games and watch the rest in HD than buy season tickets, the second hand market and empty seats will matter. This is still a ways off for Michigan since, as Brian mentioned, college football tickets are still in more demand than the sports in the focus of that article. (This is probably due to a large portion of the fans having an actual attachment to the team as alumni or students, something that doesn't exist with the pro sports) But it's something the AD needs to keep in mind if they keep raising ticket prices (or expanding the stadium).

M-Wolverine

August 5th, 2011 at 1:01 PM ^

But with the limited market, what that will do is increase the demand for games like OSU. So if you pay $500 a ticket to go see that, why wouldn't it be worth spending the same amount for added tickets in a season ticket package, that can have viewing or resale value? Football, particular college, has a nice little circle of availability going.
<br>
<br>The danger lies in the two or three big games not having much demand, and that comes not do much from ticket prices (since we see how much more people are willing to pay for ND over face value), but from those games NOT demanding that price. Which comes from the games not mattering, which probably means 5-10 years of bad football, and fan apathy and disinterest. One of the big reasons we made changes in the off-season was just this in Brandon's business mind. Risking things going bad and really fanning the flames of apathy started during the Gator Bowl. Because say what you will about our future, fans are at least excited for the moment.

M-Wolverine

August 5th, 2011 at 12:52 PM ^

Their ticket PACKAGES at a profit...if people aren't willing to pay hundreds of dollars for ND, MSU, PSU, Neb, OSU...then yes, they won't buy them. If someone is already only paying on the secondary market they've already determined that they won't pay face value for a bad game, so that's not a lost say. In fact, if anything, it's MORE likely they buy a ticket at face value, because there's no other choice.
<br>
<br>Yes, if people stop buying tickets for them to sell, it'll be a problem. But considering what premium games are currently going for, that's a long way off.

matty blue

August 5th, 2011 at 11:47 AM ^

...i don't think it's a stretch to extrapolate the lower prices on the reseller market as an indicators of lower demand.  on the first blush, yes, the tickets are sold, so no matter...but it's not insane to think that eventually people will stop paying the athletic department for the individual tickets to those games.

i swallowed real, real hard before i ponied up the $140 (plus fees) to pay for my single-game tix vs. eastern this year.  pretty sure i'm not the only one who hesitated.

M-Wolverine

August 5th, 2011 at 11:56 AM ^

But one of the reasons football isn't hit as badly by that is the short season, popularity, and the predominance of season tickets. If they were doing as much 1 game ticket sales for Eastern, they'd be hurting that game. But since that's not their main ticket sales since they don't have say, 81 home dates to fill (or 41, or whatever), they can pass that expense down to the consumer. They don't have to worry about prices, at least at Michigan. They have to worry about sucking for an extended period of time.

NOLA Blue

August 5th, 2011 at 11:41 AM ^

I've seen a lot of speculation regarding Pipkins, but both he and O'Brien are solidly in the 15-20 range of DTs according to recruiting analysts.

The only other high-end DT I can think of that had serious M interest was Shittu; he is also the only DT with interest that achieved a 5-star status (as the #3 DT to Rivals.)  He is #9 DT to Scout and #15 DT to ESPN.  Comparably, Schutt is #5 DT to Rivals, #6 DT (and 5-star) to Scout and #12 DT to ESPN.  These two seem pretty interchangable.

I believe a combo of Pipkins and O'Brien would be better than getting only Shittu or Schutt.  Perhaps neither Pipkins nor O'Brien are not likely to commit behind a 5-star?  Or... both are already silent commits.  The whole thing is bizarre, given the coaches' emphasis on early recruits getting the spot ahead of loafers; as well as the statement that they will now make higher end recruits a priority.

Time will tell.

Blue In NC

August 5th, 2011 at 12:39 PM ^

I normally trust the coaches but I am also baffeled by the DT recruiting.  Not saying Schutt was a sure thing but unless you have both of O'Brien and Pipkins nearly locked up, I don't see how you pull your offer to Schutt.  I feel like UM needs at least two high quality DTs in this class.

michgoblue

August 5th, 2011 at 11:16 AM ^

I LOVE the pic of her wearing the OSU hat - my wife forwarded it to me yesterday - kind of a perfect match.

Well, OSU, you found someone even more disreputable than TP to wear your colors.

Indiana Blue

August 5th, 2011 at 11:18 AM ^

"Michigan's NT recruiting is deeply bizarre"

I trust that BH listens to GM about recruiting ... and I trust that GM knows what he wants as he builds his defensive line.  While one may argue about BH's coaching experience, I do not believe anyone can argue with GM's experience or success at the college (or Pro) level.

Let's have a little faith here ....

Go Blue!

wlubd

August 5th, 2011 at 11:27 AM ^

You can trust and have faith in the coaching staff and still think a situation is bizarre...

Obviously we don`t know everything in recruiting, but the Schutt situation, based on what we know is weird. Plain and simple.

redhousewolverine

August 5th, 2011 at 11:37 AM ^

There is a difference between rational and irrational faith. One is bound my reason and trust. The other by blind and stubborn willful ignorance. We can have faith in Hoke and still wonder, why Schutt was told not to visit. Obviously there is more afoot here than BH and GMat going, "Hey, we are fricking sweet. We don't need defensive tackles. We're Michigan and Michigan doesn't need defensive tackles."

Don

August 5th, 2011 at 11:48 AM ^

It doesn't matter whether we're talking about football coaching or managing a corporation or leading a highly advanced scientific research project or heading the Federal Reserve—nobody, regardless of how expert or accomplished they are in a certain field, is immune from making mistakes in judgement. Bo Schembechler certainly wasn't, and Brady Hoke and Greg Mattison aren't either.

It would be silly to start ripping on the coaches for the DT recruiting situation, mainly because there's undoubtedly huge amounts of relevant and important information they have that we don't. But unless and until more info becomes available, the situation will remain justifiably puzzling.

FWIW, Sam Webb vehemently stated earlier this week that there are NO silent commits at the DT position, not from Pipkins, not from O'Brien, not from anybody.

FreddieMercuryHayes

August 5th, 2011 at 11:45 AM ^

I believe that this staff has earned the respect and benefit of the doubt so far. But honestly, after those "predicting the past" pieces on here a while ago, it should be apparent that the coaches aren't correct all if the time. Sometimes when the fans are looking at depth charts and recruiting and saying "huh?", they are correct. Personally, I don't want to look at our depth chart in a couple of years and see another "lawn chair" as a back up ever again.

dnak438

August 5th, 2011 at 11:49 AM ^

"Michigan's NT recruiting seems deeply bizarre." We are, after all, trying to understand a complex and fluid situation with a fraction of the evidence, some of which may be incorrect or misleading. I think that it was what Brian meant.

Turning away near 5 star DTs (if that is what is happening) -- that is not a bad problem to have. 

3rdGenerationBlue

August 5th, 2011 at 2:56 PM ^

Completely agree with Indiana Blue. Mattison and Hoke have DECADES worth of coaching and recruiting experience vs Cook's decade tickling the key board and wildly speculating about Michigan sports. Save it for your fantasy league and let the adults practice their profession.

Seth

August 5th, 2011 at 11:20 AM ^

Is Casey Anthony their fan or their mascot?

Okay giving players cars and equipment they can trade to drug dealing tatoo artists is <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< killing a kid -- but could you pick anyone better to embody Ohio State? Obviously guilty, completely unrepentant, and astoundingly got off. It's too perfect!

J. Lichty

August 5th, 2011 at 11:30 AM ^

I think there is some misinformation there, unless Pipkins and OBiren are silent.

However, even if they are silent, I would think that given the "no visits" rule, they would continue to recruit the position until the silent's visits are done.  Isnt that what happened with Wayne Morgan?

Yale Van Dyne Fan

August 5th, 2011 at 11:31 AM ^

In the past I've had a lot of success finding good deals on tickets on Craiglist, but recently it seems like everyone in America has their own ticketing website, so anything for sale by owner is snapped up almost instantly and put on one of these ticketing sites at a seriously jacked up price. My gut feeling -- and please correct me if I'm wrong -- is that a lot of this inventory will go unsold and will thus wind up on the streets and the golf course outside the stadium on gameday at more reasonable prices. I don't doubt demand for M-ND is really high, but come on, there's 115,000 seats in that stadium. I'm not paying $250 to sit in the 88th row. Maybe I will eat these words on gameday, we'll see.

jshclhn

August 5th, 2011 at 11:45 AM ^

The only way I can explain away this coaching staff when it comes to recruiting defensive tackles is that there must be some 2011/2012 DEs that they envision moving inside (Chris Rock, Matt Godin)

cigol

August 5th, 2011 at 11:50 AM ^

What a perfect match for Ohio.....When stuff happens where common sense tells one to pick up a phone and alert the proper authorities, they both fail miserably.

CRex

August 5th, 2011 at 11:54 AM ^

The big question mark with Schutt is if he wants to come to Michigan or he wanted to come here because he felt ND jilted him.  If it is the latter you run into the issue of him committing in the heat of the moment and then a month later when he's cooled down deciding to reopen recruiting or something.  

In that scenario I think the staff did the right thing in deciding to keep their focus on our long term targets.  A 4* who signs his LOI is better than a 5* who decommits in October.  

Michael Scarn

August 5th, 2011 at 12:41 PM ^

Doesn't match up with the timeline in the article. Says he found out Michigan had pulled its offer earlier in the day, not after they knew ND said "we're full." Plus I believe there's a significant difference between "slow down big fella, let's think about this" and getting your offer pulled.