Unverified Voracity Et Al Comment Count

Brian November 20th, 2012 at 3:31 PM

The Michigan Difference. From the Iowa game:


et al

I will take this radio host's opinion and trust it because that's what I want to do. Gene Smith just stopped by the local sports talk radio station and said the following things:

Gene "probably leaning to playing more conference games considering the amount of teams we are at"

And said this as well, paraphrased:

Gene was emphatic that preserving that game is job one. Good news as far as Im concerned.

And the guy doing the interview got this impression:

Get the feeling talking to Gene just now that OSU and Michigan in same division will be a likely endgame.

At least there's one guy maybe trying to do the thing that makes sense. Good job… Gene Smith? We have reached a strange place indeed.

Mitigating damage. We've heard this before only to have it beaten back by the need to squeeze every penny out, but if they don't expand the conference schedule now come on man:

After announcing the addition of Maryland to the league Monday, Big Ten commissioner said during a national teleconference that the league's conference football schedule could increase to nine games, and the league's basketball slate could jump up to as many as 20 contests for each team.

"I think more games is on the table," Delany said. "One of the reasons we stayed at 11 (members) and stayed at 12 is because we love to play each other more, not less."

My wacky idea for the basketball schedule is to play everybody once, draw a line in the middle, and then play six more with the top teams facing off and the bottom teams facing off. Never happen, but it would at least make the regular season title a nonrandom event based heavily on who you didn't play.

Meanwhile, a nine game conference schedule in football with the current protected rivalry setup would mean teams played opponents in the other division 33% of the time. Better than twice every twelve years; still less than is necessary to support any true rivalry with the opposite divisions.

Guaransheed! Mark Dantonio:

"When we win Saturday -- and I'll say when -- we'll be a 6-6 football team, not climbing out of the cellar as a 2-10 football team," Dantonio said.

Would you like to backtrack like whoah, though?

It sure sounded like a guarantee. So I asked Dantonio later on the Big Ten coaches' call whether he was, in fact, guaranteeing a victory.

"I don't guarantee anything," he said. "I'm saying that's the mindset we bring when we come."

Aw man just roll with it.

The hate. MVictors has created a grid of hate.


I assume that ending the losing streak has cooled off some of the Penn State hate; when I went in 2006 I would have classified that as orange. Also, Illinois should be red for them and green for us—when my wife, an Illinois undergrad not too up on sports, came to Michigan for her PhD she was under the impression that Michigan was Illinois's primary rival.

Meanwhile, fire up Rutgers and Maryland versions: all Big Ten teams totally indifferent towards them, Maryland and Rutgers getting continually more pissed off that Big Ten fans would like to see their universities vanish from the planet.

This is not about TV? Delany:

Delany said that, in his opinion, too much has been made about the move to add Rutgers as a pure cable television play. He emphasized how difficult it will be to integrate the Big Ten Network into the lucrative New York and New Jersey market.

"It's a difficult business," he said. "It's not always successful. You have to be good and lucky and hardworking at it. People treat it as if there's a no-risk assessment. There's always a risk. This initiative has risk. If it was so easy why didn't it happen a long time ago?"

Delany said the media has a perception that growing into cable homes in the East and mid-Atlantic regions is easy. He strongly disagrees with that notion.

"It's not that way," he said. "We went a year with the Big Ten Network without distributing in core areas. We decided we wanted to do that we did it and hung together. We'll have discussion with people."

Hmmm. I am not sure this is the best idea I have ever heard.

How will we spend the money? This is the saddest thing I've read about all of this, a post from On The Banks about what they'll do with all the money:

That being said, staff raises and respectable budget should be in order all around.


Yes. Get The Picture takes apart an annoying Andy Staples article:

This is Staples’ blessing of the situation:

None of us grew up with Ohio State-Maryland or Michigan-Rutgers. This is different, and different is always scary. But the Big Ten saw a chance to add value, and Maryland saw a chance to make more money in a time of economic uncertainty. This marriage may not square with your idea of which teams should or shouldn’t play in the Big Ten, but in this economy, none of us should be criticizing a school for making a sound fiscal choice.

It’s not that it’s scary.  It’s that it’s boring.  It’s like shopping for an insurance policy instead of a new car.  We’re fans.  We don’t give a rat’s ass about our schools making sound fiscal choices.  (Just ask Tennessee fans about that right now.)

This is soul-numbing.  And it’s been done in such an in-your-face way that it won’t even be worth making an effort to laugh the next time Delany has the stones to invoke tradition when he talks about the television programming he schedules, er… conference he leads.

Money is a zero-sum game. It can only be used on the facilities treadmill and coach salary treadmill. It does nothing for the people the money actually comes from, especially when the richest conference in the country goes out and hires Jerry Kill and Danny Hope and Tim Beckman.

The overwhelming feeling of adding Rutgers and Maryland is boredom. No one is going to wake up the morning their team plays either of those schools and do anything but shrug, and as the expansion continues that will spread to other teams. Michigan State and Wisconsin have a nice thing going; now they don't meet for four years. In the future there won't even be a way for those nice things to get going, because oh God Rutgers is on the schedule again.

More on the dissolution of the bundle empire. Conveniently timed SBJ article:

Nobody thinks that the World Series or NBA Finals will be on YouTube any time soon. But top executives with MLB and the NBA said they’ve seen increased interest from digital media companies like Google, Microsoft and Apple in recent months.

“They are sniffing around,” said MLB’s Brosnan, who just negotiated media deals with ESPN, Fox and Turner. “Pay-TV services are never secure, but with TV Everywhere starting to gain some traction, pay TV is looking like it’s building a model that might have some traction and will be here to stay.”

Stern, whose NBA is in the fifth year of eight-year media rights deals with ESPN and Turner, said he anticipates a time when digital media companies place a bet on sports rights in the same way that Fox Sports invested in the NFL in 1994.

The problem for the BTN model is not going to be actual fans signing up to pay but increasing numbers of sports-indifferent cord-cutters who opt out of subsidizing sports fans and just Netflix/Hulu/whatever everything. The current model is going to be the newspaper business in short order here, wheezing out a decline.

The 60 Minutes thing. It is here:

And there is a bonus thing.

Oh right Ohio State. This could have waited a week maybe, Mr. Delany? Articles from Maize and Go Blue and two from Eleven Warriors, one on the New War, the other on Goebels past and present.

Etc.: Fake conversations with Jim Delany are about to become a cottage industry. Penn State loses Tim Frazier for the year, which just obliterates them. They were outscored 53-24 by Akron in the second half after Frazier went out. He'll be back next year. Weinreb bombs everything. The Iowa game from the Hawkeye perspective.



November 20th, 2012 at 3:45 PM ^

...if it's not a cable TV play? I'm serious. I've seen all these posts about "$100 million" and "YES Network" and "Delany knows how to get cable companies on board" and NOW he freakin' "emphasizes how difficult it will be" to get BTN added, i.e., he has no guarantee, not even a good likelihood, that these copious fees will happen?

Why are we bailing out Rutgers? Why do I care if Maryland now has a "local" rival to play in the new B1G that "enhances" them? 

david from wyoming

November 20th, 2012 at 3:52 PM ^

To Brian et al, what are the odds of sports revenue being used for academic uses on campus? If the athletic department decided it wanted to fund construction of a new building or museum, or help the school go on a hiring spree for new professors, would Mary Sue have a problem?


November 20th, 2012 at 6:47 PM ^

I actually agree with you on this.  Even though the AD isn't going to spend it's money on any academic-only things, what they spend their money on can help the students at large. 

For starters, when the AD adds new sports (like they recently did with M/W lacrosse), there are a number of students who get free or partially-free tuition.  So I'm sure they and their families are very happy about the AD making money. 

When the AD builds new athletic facilities, the other students get to enjoy them as well.  I played a number of IM sports, and got to play football at Oosterbaan, swim at the natatorium, run at the indoor and outdoor track, and I wrestled somewhere (I can't remember what building it was in, but it was down by Elbel, I think).  I had friends who played at the tennis center and played basketball at Crisler.  This is a real benefit for students. 

When the AD built the athlete academic center, it added another large library.  I don't think the regular student body can go there, but I'm sure it opens up places like the grad and ugli a little bit more for everyone else. 

And in the least measurable way, these expansions make Michigan visible to more students.  Sure, there are a lot of kids from Maryland and NJ who already go to M, but there are also a lot of smart kids from those states who either don't apply, or who get in, but choose to go elsewhere.  Giving Michigan more exposure in areas that produce bright students (like Maryland and NJ) will help draw a more competitive student body, which helps everyone. 


November 20th, 2012 at 3:55 PM ^

At 3:20 mark of "a bonus thing" our family is in line to meet Denard at Fan Day.  My 7 y.o. son and 5 y.o. daughter were totally blown away to meet Denard, and more blown away to see themselves on 60 minutes.  Too crazy!

Hardware Sushi

November 20th, 2012 at 4:02 PM ^

We get that you don't like the addition of Maryland and Rutgers. It's clear. It's clear you are still in the ANGAR FAZE and have yet to reach bargaining, so I'm going to try a little bargaining:

If you want to keep being pissed about something that is happening no matter what, can we at least wait until Monday (or Sunday) so it doesn't ruin Ohio week?

It's your website, obviously, and it just happened yesterday, but Ohio week is only three more days. Focus your hate toward the Buckeyes. The only day on the Michigan football schedule I look forward to more is the first game of the season. 

Besides, you're completely transparent:

"From the deepest desires often come the deadlist hate" - Socrates.

We all know you want Maryland and Rutgers in the Big Ten so bad you can't stand it.

Tulip Time

November 20th, 2012 at 4:01 PM ^

"play everybody once, draw a line in the middle, and then play six more with the top teams facing off and the bottom teams facing off"

This is a TERRIBLE idea Brian!  Imagine this: two teams tied for 7th in the division with one game left in "phase 1" of the conference schedule.  All you have to do is lose that game, and you have a pretty decent path to the B1G title.  We'll have another Badminton fiasco on our hands! (shout out to ST3 or whoever that guy is who wrote about playing badminton)


November 20th, 2012 at 4:04 PM ^

Doesn't have nearly enough red!!  Really, Michigan has no intense rivals?  As someone living in Philadelphia, let me also say that PSU -> UM is still at least an orange.  There are blue and white "I hate Michigan" bumper stickers all over the place here. 


November 20th, 2012 at 4:06 PM ^

when there was talk of moving the game, I sent an e-mail to Gene Smith and he actually replied in a not too form-y way. I really hope he does all he can to bring it about... it would be worth the two shitty eastern games to be in Ohio's division.

Ed Shuttlesworth

November 20th, 2012 at 4:08 PM ^

You'd think Delaney already had some indication from the cable execs in DC and NYC about their interest in BTN with Maryland or Rutgers.   Sounds like it's a pure speculation play, in addition to being buying at an obvious top.



November 20th, 2012 at 5:05 PM ^

Give the guy some credit. There is no way this is just a "hunch" play by Delany. The guy is credited across all of college sports as being the mastermind behind the gamechanger that is BTN. Some of us may not like what has transpired, but those that don't give the man credit for being the genius he is just have their heads buried in the sand.

Also, let's not forget that the money from football tv rights is nothing new. If BTN wasn't raking in the profits then ESPN or one of the others would be doing so. With BTN, Delany has found a way to capture more of the profits for B1G athletic departments and keep those profits from being sucked away by ESPN, et al. Plus he is using BTN as a lever against ESPN to drive up the price of those TV rights.

I don't necessarily like the add of Rutgers and Maryland, but if it has the effect of improving Michigan athletics in the long run the I am all for it.


November 20th, 2012 at 4:08 PM ^

I'm sure it's been said in one of our rants about this RutgersLand addition, and I know Delaney/Brandon will never be pressed on it, but how can the Nebraska addition (tradition, strong football tradition, no TV viewers unless barn animals count) be reconciled with Rutgers/Maryland (no tradition, no football, moderate level of TV viewers who don't give a shit about college football)?

It's almost like the criteria for expansion are akin to last call creepin' at the bar.  Who's left?  Oh, that kinda chubby girl with the cold sore?  Cool.

Red is Blue

November 20th, 2012 at 4:10 PM ^

"When we win Saturday -- and I'll say when -- we'll be a 6-6 football team, not climbing out of the cellar as a 2-10 football team," Dantonio said.

I don't get the reference to the 2-10 team.  But, then again I don't get a lot of what this man is about.


November 20th, 2012 at 4:12 PM ^

After reading all of the "ARG... NOTRE DAME IS GOING TO BE #1" threads last weekend, it's hard to imagine ND is anything but red.

OSU is obviously red.  Anything else is dishonest. 


November 20th, 2012 at 4:13 PM ^

Just read the Iowa perspective and as much as I hate to say it....the whole "Devin should've been your QB before Nebraska" meme is getting louder and louder with each passing game.  

No knock on Denard from me but man it's awfully hard to refute the arguement that our entire offense looks more explosive with Devin at QB.  Don't know if it's Borges, Denard or Devin himself but if you read the national non-Michigan stuff you really hear that a lot.



November 20th, 2012 at 4:19 PM ^

...the one that means the most to me is that Gardner, while he's been a revelation, has only played against NW, Minn, and a surprisingly bad Iowa team.   It's not fair for the national voices you reference to compare those games against Denard's games against Alabama and ND. 


November 20th, 2012 at 4:41 PM ^

You probably didn't want to hold Denard's performances against Alabama and ND as an example of anything positive.  The only performance this year worse than Denard v ND was Bellomy v Nebraska.  

I think one of the best measures to compare is # of lengthy drives.  I think (someone will correct if I'm wrong) Devin has more in 3 games than Denard all year.


November 20th, 2012 at 4:53 PM ^

"I think one of the best measures to compare is # of lengthy drives.  I think (someone will correct if I'm wrong) Devin has more in 3 games than Denard all year."

This metric is more than a little bizarre.  If Denard has less "lengthy drives"  because he had a bunch that result in TDs because of long runs by him, that should be held against him?  That makes no sense.

The Devin-Denard debate is counterproductive.  They weren't even really competing against one another because the coaches moved Gardner to a different position.  Presumably after concluding that Denard, at least at the start of the season, gave them a better chance to win at QB. 


November 20th, 2012 at 5:05 PM ^

I don't think there was any way that Hoke could start Devin over Denard at the start of the season.  You've got a Heisman candidate and returning starter...it would have caused a good measure of discord.  Would've hurt team chemistry, etc.  The debate (at that time) was really Devin vs. Bellomy at #2 QB and they made the wrong choice.

And, length of drives is a very important stat (looks like you're saying that duration of drive isn't important, and I partially agree).  A good offense needs to be able to move the ball consistently and not cross their fingers for a random huge play.  

Red is Blue

November 20th, 2012 at 5:59 PM ^

The debate (at that time) was really Devin vs. Bellomy at #2 QB and they made the wrong choice.

Given the circumstances and how they played out, it would have been better to have Devin at #2.  However, just because something doesn't work out, it does not mean it was a wrong decision. 


November 20th, 2012 at 4:27 PM ^

It's not just that we're more explosive with Devin at QB, it's that we're so much more dangerous with Devin at QB (his natural position) and Denard at RB/WR (his natural position).  No longer do we have to hope for crazy Denard scampers to score points; we can drive 70, 80, 90 yards...over and over again.  The WR experiment was a failure and it cost us the Nebraska game.  Maybe Devin wasn't ready to be the #1 QB all year; that's fine...but sticking him behind Bellomy cost us the Rose Bowl.

Red is Blue

November 20th, 2012 at 6:08 PM ^

The WR experiment was a failure and it cost us the Nebraska game. Maybe Devin wasn't ready to be the #1 QB all year; that's fine...but sticking him behind Bellomy cost us the Rose Bowl.


It could also be that sticking Devin at WR really helped him get a feel for that position and he then translated that feel into improved play at QB.  Also, it could be that the time at WR allowed Devin to bond with the receiver corps.  I think it is oversimplistic to assume that had Devin been #2 quaterback, he would have walked into the Nebraska game and pulled that game out by playing at his recent QB level.  We'll never know, but instead of a failure, the WR experiment could have been a resounding sucess with long term benefits.


November 20th, 2012 at 6:35 PM ^

I've wondered if Devin being on the field at wr allowed him to get a feel/grasp for the speed of the game.  It's one thing to go against your friends and teammates in practice, it's something very different to go against people you don't know in games.  You can't teach game experience.  Coaches can try to replicate it as much as they want in practice but it's never the same.  I've wondered if that game experience at wr has been one of the reasons Devin has seemed so calm and poised in the pocket.


November 21st, 2012 at 3:33 AM ^

Agreed. I think the calm and poise that's currently being seen in Devin is most likely attributable to his time at WR. He's been on the field for almost all of every game this year. If he wasn't going to be the starter, the position switch was probably the best thing for his development. That being said, if the coaches knew the talent level at QB, it was a mistake to take reps from him in practice and not have him ready to step in as the QB if Denard was out for more than a series or two.


November 20th, 2012 at 4:37 PM ^

I think the approproate refutation is small sample sizes and whatnot.  If Devin goes out and kicks ass this weekend (and I sure hope he does), then the "before Nebraska meme" might be a little more reasonable, although Denard's only two really bad games this season have come against Alabama and ND, two of the best defenses in the country, and the former and current #1 teams in the country.  Even after OSU, Gardner still will not have faced a defense remotely as good.  And besides, against subpar defenses similar to NWU, Iowa, and Minnesota, the Denard-led offense looked fine.

Denard's well-documented shortcomings notwithstanding, he's done a great job leading this team, and I truly believe that if he doesn't get hurt against Nebraska, we're playing this weekend for a berth in the B1G Championship game.  The bigger frustration to have right now given Devin's performance thus far is why he wasn't the second-string QB in the Nebraska game.  It's incomprehensible to me that Bellomy ever looked better than Devin did.  That's the frustration I have with the coaches and the whole Denard-Devin issue.

In any event, we have what appears to be a great QB ready to play next year, and hopefully the year after that as well.  And for that, I'm rejoicing. 


November 20th, 2012 at 4:48 PM ^

I suppose that's plausible, but nothing we've seen thus far this season suggests that the the talent chasm between Gardner and Jerald Robinson-type wide receivers is anywhere close to the chasm between Gardner and Bellomy.  Given that, I'm struggling to accept the justification that Gardner's ability at WR was worth the risk of having to play Bellomy as second string QB.  


November 21st, 2012 at 3:37 AM ^

Because the interior O line has had a less than stellar season blocking for the run, and out biggest running threat was at that point on the sideline, the NU D simply pinned its ears back and blitzed ... over and over and over and over again. They were calling a video game football defense.


November 20th, 2012 at 4:54 PM ^

Consider this possibility...a good QB makes his receivers look better.  As an example, the return of Roy Roundtree.  All of our receivers look a bit better now because they're receiving the ball from a better (no offense, Denard) QB who generally puts the ball where he's supposed to.  I think the coaches blew this one.  I love Hoke and Co., but they gambled putting Devin at WR and taking his QB snaps away.  With an injury prone running QB, we needed a strong backup QB more than another WR.


November 20th, 2012 at 4:58 PM ^

I was not for moving Gardner to WR at the beginning of the season, FWIW.  However, the coaches took a calculated risk of putting their best eleven offensive players on the field at the same time.  They arguably lost that gamble, but the fact (if it is a fact) that we can say that in retrospect doesn't mean that it was the wrong choice at the time. 


November 20th, 2012 at 5:13 PM ^

Gotta disagree...of course we can say it was the wrong choice at the time it was made.  That's the whole point of making tough choices.  Sometimes they're good choices; sometimes they aren't.  The move to WR was a bad one (and one that I also opposed at the time, specifically because it would rob Devin of reps at QB that he would need in practice in the likely event of a Denard injury).  The mood of the board at the time was, "Bellomy is magic."  That was also wrong.

The beauty of Denard at RB/WR is that it does put (as you mention) the best 11 on the field, and it does so while simultaneously improving the QB position and making RB incredibly dangerous.  It also helps Denard's draft stock; which should put a couple $mil extra in his deserving pocket.