baby please don't go [Patrick Barron]

Unverified Voracity Embiggens Comment Count

Brian December 12th, 2018 at 1:05 PM

Uh. Don Brown is reputedly a finalist for the Temple job:

Elko has turned it down, which is strange for a 41-year-old guy with a decent but not great resume and may indicate that the job's not particularly attractive. Brown is 63 and if offered would have to decide between what's probably his last shot at a head coaching job and a potential playoff-level team at Michigan going forward in the event they ever beat OSU.

FWIW, Brett McMurphy just reported that Diaz is next up.

Finding guys 8 and 9. That's what the next three games are about for basketball, and it sounds like Brandon Johns is on the verge:

Leading up to Michigan's latest game, Johns played the role of South Carolina's Chris Silva on the scout team. Silva was first team All-SEC last season, and Johns did his best to impersonate him.

According to Michigan assistant coach DeAndre Haynes, Johns was banging in the paint, dunking, and knocking down 15-footers. He had his best two days of practice.

"But when he's Brandon Johns for Michigan, he's not doing it," Haynes said. "We told him, 'You shouldn't have to be Silva for you to play this way. You have the same game.'"

Beilein asserts that Michigan "dummies it down" for young players on offense and that the issue with their playing time is executing consistently on defense, which is quite a statement from John Frickin' Beilein.

Gonna need a whole new tournament just for us. Joe Lunardi's latest bracketology has ten(!) Big Ten teams in and Northwestern on his "next four out" list. That is the whole league aside from PSU, Illinois, and Rutgers, and includes two teams projected to have losing conference records (Iowa and Minnesota).

Michigan gets a 1-seed, naturally, and is shipped to Columbus along with Michigan State. Lunardi dumps Louisville and Kentucky outside of the South, which might be on accident since early in the year Lunardi does some sloppy stuff, but you have to figure that if Michigan is indeed the #1 in a regional in Louisville they won't set up a potential road game.

That's well down the road but the point is that the team that wins this league is probably getting a one seed.

[After THE JUMP: Hugh Freeze!]

Few says it out loud. Why is the NCAA not taking swifter action now that they have a frickin' FBI court case providing copious evidence that a half-dozen programs violated a bunch of NCAA rules?

NCAA president Mark Emmert said earlier this week he doesn’t expect any schools to be hit with major sanctions this season, making certain that this investigation will drag out for a long time – potentially years.

The FBI released its findings and information to the NCAA in November so it can begin its own investigation.

Few doesn’t see what the holdup is.

“I’m disappointed. I don’t think this is something the NCAA needs to take their time on,” he said. “There’s teams out here who are competing for Final Fours and national championships and they don’t need to stall this thing out. They need to make decisions and roll with it. I think that’s on Emmert. Emmert needs to step up and be a leader and make some quicker decisions.”

What is the point of even having amateurism rules if programs like Louisville that break them every other Wednesday don't get flamethrowered?

Inevitable embiggening. Various CFB power brokers are unhappy with the four-team playoff, per Nicole Auerbach:

It’s an appropriate thing to begin thinking about,” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby told The Athletic this week. …

“Everyone has the same feeling; expansion is inevitable,” said Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez, who served on the CFP’s selection committee from 2014-2016. “When you can do it, and I think we need to serve more people. I think four was the right way to get started. In my opinion, we need to take a look of adding more teams into the Playoff, giving more opportunities."

Chuck Neinas, who you may remember as one of those guys who gets paid a ton of money to do coaching searches, has been circulating the plan that you see on every message board: autobids for the five P5 conference champions, two at-large spots, and a spot for the top G5 team. The problem:

Conference championship games would be eliminated.

I have no idea how you're supposed to get a true conference champion in a 14-team league with 9 or even 8 conference games. I mean, I do, but I can't see the Big Ten having a six-game division schedule followed by the top three teams in each division playing dynamically-scheduled crossover games against each other.

It's notable that Alvarez is coming out in support of playoff expansion when Jim Delany is happy as a clam to be excluded three of the last four years.

That's quite a landing spot. Todd McShay has his first mock draft up, and Rashan Gary lands second:

2. San Francisco 49ers

Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan*

The Niners are seeking an edge rusher -- among other things -- and Gary provides explosive closing burst and elite athleticism. He's a nightmare to block and would provide a jolt to San Francisco's defensive line.

I wrote a column last year about guys who leave you feeling vaguely unsatisfied about their careers in Ann Arbor; Gary is about to be an unshakeable #1 on that list. Devin Bush lands at #21, FWIW, and Dwayne Haskins is #10. It would be nice if Haskins was one-and-done. Obviously.

The last unbeaten. Both Ken Pomeroy and John Gasaway have "who will the last unbeaten be" columns up. Pomeroy's is based on his projections; Michigan is second behind Nevada in likelihood, because once Nevada hits conference play they're going to be huge favorites in most games. Michigan not so much, in fact the most likely scenario that provides college basketball with its last unbeaten team is:

Unlike last season, the unbeaten chase figures to last a while. There’s essentially no chance the last unbeaten loses before the New Year, and it’s very likely multiple unbeatens survive to at least that point. According to the simulations, the most likely day for the last unbeaten to be crowned is Jan. 19. And the most likely scenario is a Michigan loss at Wisconsin in a noon ET tip, leaving Nevada as the last team standing.

Gasaway is making predictions and has Michigan lasting until an Assembly Hall ambush on the 25th of January. That would be nice. I mean, the bits before the ambush.

Etc.: I've discovered a mid-season peace-out even more baffling than James Hudson's. You can't score a goal this way. Liberty hires Hugh Freeze, which is perfect. Annual Harbaugh NFL thing directly refuted. More Zach Smith details. At least we have our honor. Theo Mackie catches up with Beilein protege Mike Gansey.



December 12th, 2018 at 2:13 PM ^

They wouldn't play MSU.  It would be like 2013 when both teams were in Auburn Hills...playing other teams to get to the sweet 16.

At this point, it looks highly likely M would end up in Columbus for the first two rounds.

I'm personally hoping they end up in the West Region too.  Last year, Staples was like Crisler West and M would have a similarly strong showing of fan support in Anaheim.  Big numbers of alums in LA/SoCal that would rock the place again.


December 12th, 2018 at 1:22 PM ^

The biggest challenge the NCAA has in enforcement is, allegedly, the fact that they cannot force people to talk to them. No subpoena power, so someone they suspect of wrongdoing can just say "not talking, sorry" and they've got nothing. Indeed, many big NCAA scandals, including the Fab Five scandal, broke because legal issues were involved that caused key individuals to testify in other contexts about violations.

So now the NCAA has a full FBI record, including statements made under oath in a public trial, that clearly demonstrates rules violations. Big ones. I mean, we KNOW that the stuff is there.

And they won't do anything this year?


It's not the government's business to deal with sports. But some crazy authority figure rampaging in and forcing things to change due to blatantly unfair (to the student athletes) practices may be what it takes to change this. 


December 12th, 2018 at 1:45 PM ^

Well, obviously--thus the "allegedly" at the top of the post. I generally accepted that interpretation of the NCAA's enforcement weakness, and it was probably true for a while. Now, though, they sworn testimony, but they do nothing.

The obvious conclusion is that, for whatever sincere effort there had been in the past to do things the "right way," the NCAA realizes that its big-time sports are so thoroughly corrupt that its interests are best served by deliberately avoiding any attempt to uncover the truth. 


December 12th, 2018 at 2:21 PM ^

No the "rules" exist so they can pretend the competition is pure.  No one wants to watch something that is obviously rigged so they issue the occasional slaps on the wrist to give the impression that things aren't rigged.

The problem they're facing with this is that so many of their biggest institutions are in trouble that punishing them all could put a significant dent in viewership and interest.  The cons might outweigh the pros in this case when you view the NCAA for what it really is: an entity with sole purpose to make the most money for themselves and member institutions as possible.

The Gonzaga's and Michigan's of the CFB world that do things the right way don't have the following or money making ability for the NCAA to say, ok, we need to tank these shady programs to be fair to the rule abiding programs.  Probably more to lose by tanking the shady programs.


December 12th, 2018 at 6:08 PM ^

Yeah, I don't know that they're correct here.  I don't necessarily agree that if they drag their feet on this it will definitively drive a lot of fans away either (as you suggest).

But the scale of this is probably what is making it difficult on them.  Easy to bring the hammer down on one program and not be affected too badly, but 4, 5, 6 or more of the big programs?  That will cause a noticeable blip.


December 12th, 2018 at 1:24 PM ^

Last year's paucity of Big Ten teams in the NCAA basketball tournament is about to be rectified in a ferocious way come March, even if the league cannibalizes itself out of a couple of those spots.


December 12th, 2018 at 1:37 PM ^

Don is out gathering market comps so he and Warde can justify a new, multi-year extension for big money.  Temple HC is a $2 million p.a. job which would be a good increase over DB's current $1.4 million and place him in the top 3 for DC pay.  We need to lock him up to his retirement.


December 12th, 2018 at 1:46 PM ^

Rashan Gary as an "unshakeable #1" in the vaguely unsatisfied Michigan athlete's list?  

That doesn't seem right to me.  Anybody else have some nominations?


December 12th, 2018 at 1:55 PM ^

Gary's shoulder was a problem both last year and even worse this year. He should have had surgery and the program may have failed him by not getting that done in the off-season. But even playing "one-armed" he was better than anyone else we had at the anchor.


December 12th, 2018 at 2:20 PM ^

Mitch McGary made a Final Four despite his injuries/suspension so it's hard to put him higher than Gary or Peppers.

Gary is an upstanding individual, generational athlete, #1 overall recruit, and you know he's going to crush it at the NFL level. So when you look at what his legacy at Michigan will be- 2-1 vs MSU, 0-3 vs OSU, zero championships, zero post-season - there's a lot to be vaguely unsatisfied with.


December 12th, 2018 at 3:05 PM ^

Obviously every 5 star RB we’ve ever signed belongs on that list too, but I get the Gary high on that list. 

Good side has been that he has always had a great attitude and been a positive role model. 

Bad side you have to think of what might have been if he wasn’t injured or played a similar role as Woodley.  

I think he was a special talent but he won’t go down in the annals of Michigan for anything of note. Good luck in the NFL. 


December 12th, 2018 at 6:35 PM ^

None of those other four belong anywhere near the list.  They all contributed significantly to meaningful championships while at Michigan.  Stauskas, McGary and GR3 won a regional NCAA title to go to a final four AND a big ten regular season title the following year. Henson won the big ten title in 2000 (shared) and more importantly, and very depressingly, was the last Michigan QB to win at the Horseshoe.



Jamal Crawford

Daniel Horton

Lavell Blanchard

Chad Henne

DJ Wilson

That's my top 7 for "vaguely" disappointing, which should be noted is not at all the same as outright, definitively disappointing (as this would just be 5-star RB recruits).  These are guys that were good, but about whom you felt like their teams could have and should have done more and/or they left disappointingly or surprisingly early before they could accomplish something greater.


December 12th, 2018 at 5:40 PM ^

Unsatisfied in actual accomplishments vs Crootin hype, and it'd be tough to say anyone was more underwhelming than the #1 overall recruit who leaves after 3 seasons, much of it not at full strength, with no real signature play or victory.

Was the team any worse without him this year? Not really.

Other nominees?

Can we cross over into hoops for some Kam Chatman?

If this is football only, one of the many 5* RB busts would do... your choice. I'll say Grady because he was instate.


December 12th, 2018 at 2:23 PM ^

would you even take the job if you learned you were the 3rd favorite candidate and only got the offer when the other two bowed out? maybe if you're a young pup trying to make your mark and get into the head coaching ranks.

but for DB, who is 63, financially set, and has nothing to prove, I would think it's thanks but no thanks. 

I guess unless he really really wants to be a head coach before he retires.


December 12th, 2018 at 2:24 PM ^

Conference championship games would be eliminated.

Yes please.  Get rid of those terrible games (the vast majority of which are either total mismatches or boring rematches) in sterile NFL stadiums and play the first round of the playoff that weekend, on college campuses.  I would love to see an SEC team come here for a December game.  

As for how they would determine the champ, I'm guessing the committee would have leeway to choose any team that is tied for first place in a P5 league, which I would be OK with.

los barcos

December 12th, 2018 at 2:47 PM ^

Way too early to be talking about seeds, but I am 100% fine if Michigan isn't a 1.  Both of their recent final four runs came when they were somewhat of forgotten team - I would be OK if they slip under the radar and didn't have a giant target on their back.


December 12th, 2018 at 3:31 PM ^

"vaguely unsatisfied"  It's tough when a guy like Gary or Peppers comes in.  They're expected to have a number of signature plays like Charles Woodson did and those are tough.  Not only do you have to have the talent, but you have to be in the right place at the right time.  The best of the best seem to create those plays, but there's still luck involved.   Had Gary not gotten hurt this year I'm guessing Don Brown would have put in some plays/twists to get Gary a couple of those moments.  

Gary will be a great pro.


December 12th, 2018 at 8:55 PM ^

Number 1 recruits don’t always pan out

2016:  Rashan Gary - injuries limited effectiveness

2015:  Byron Cowart - transferred from Auburn

2014:  Leonard Fournette - consensus All American

2013:  Robert Nkemdiche - Lombardi finalist, but has had issues with drugs

2012:  Dorial Green-Beckham - freshman All American, but dismissed from Missouri 

2011:  Jadeveon Clowney - All American sophomore season

2010:  Ronald Powell - torn ACL derailed career

2009:  Bryce Brown - never made a serious positive impact

2008:  Terrell Pryor - outstanding player but brought memorabilia scandal to OSU

2007:  Jimmy Clausen - no awards, basically an above-average starter