Unverified Voracity Exceeds Minimum Flair

Submitted by Brian on December 14th, 2010 at 1:08 PM

Is this inane or brilliant? Like all the best newspaper headlines, I can't tell if this News editor is serious or making a terribly sly joke:

New names add flair to Big Ten for next season

Flair you say?

pieces-of-flair

The awful periwinkle logo does look like it belongs on a button that says "my other car is the incorrect belief I have a sense of humor."

Oddly, multiple readers have emailed to inform that the agency who put together this debacle is "highly respected." I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around a marketing firm named "Pentagram," which seems deliberately mom-terrifying and reminds me of Dan Akroyd in goat leggings and generally seems like a thing you should avoid if you don't want to give off the wrong impression.

Meanwhile, the public loves it:

According to an unscientific poll on ChicagoTribune.com, 6 percent believe Legends and Leaders "represent what the Big Ten is all about," and 94 percent say, "You have to be kidding … is this the best they can do?"

Similarly, 93 percent of those responding to a midwestsportsfans.com poll voted for either "terrible" or "it makes me want to gouge my eyes out with a spoon." Others opted for "awesome" (2 percent) or "indifferent" (5 percent).

94%! You can't get 94% of people to condemn murdering six year olds these days. In two weeks all FAIL pictures on the internet will have been mysteriously replaced by images of Jim Delany.

The count. They announced 113,411 at the Big Chill by adding up every single person who was there and counting Red Berenson as six because obviously, but when Guinness sits down to actually put a number in the book it will be considerably smaller than that because they take a more restrictive view on what counts as a spectator:

The school counts players, media and others at the game to work. Guinness doesn’t count any of those people.

"It's a combination of scans with the barcodes on tickets," Janela said, explaining how Guinness reaches its number. "It's not for tickets sold but for people who actually show up. People who weren’t ticketed, marching band for instance, or people who were given special passes."

Media and players, he said, do not count in the numbers because they are not actually spectators of the game.

UPDATE: Wow. Guinness says the actual count was 85,451, which seems low.

Also from that article, a ref skated over to the Michigan bench after the Wohlberg extra-point celebration and said any more funny business would result in a penalty and Rick Comley said it was "uncalled for." The NFL infects all.

Speaking of. A reader emails that the XP is not lost to history:

I also broke a cardinal rule of game columns by not checking my feed before posting, so I missed an extensive WH highlight package:

Casteel Watch. Jeff Casteel remains the most plausible defensive coordinator candidate out there, having established a level of performance with the 3-3-5 that's become as impressive as Rodriguez's WVU offenses were. That level is "really impressive… for the Big East." Even with that BE caveat, WVU's defense is #1 in FEI this year and equally impressive in conventional metrics. The three years before this they were 33rd, 28th, and 8th. I'd be willing to roll with Rodriguez again if the band got back together.

Unfortunately, after two swings and misses the chances of that are miniscule unless Bill Stewart whittles on down that road. Fortunately, there are machinations afoot in Morgantown, with Oklahoma State OC Dana Holgorsen heavily rumored to be taking the job after Stewart coaches the bowl game*. Though a Smoking Musket rumor that Stewart was out was refuted on the twitters by multiple players, actual newspapers are saying that may be a matter of timing:

Sources confirmed today that a high-ranking official from West Virginia's athletic department has been in contact with Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen about the head coaching position at West Virginia, even as there is no vacancy. …

A source confirmed it is probable Stewart will be fired if West Virginia does not win that bowl game, and could happen regardless of the outcome. A win in the bowl game would give the Mountaineers a 10-win season.

It's possible Holgorsen would look at the defensive side of the ball and decide that he shouldn't fix what isn't broken but the chances of landing Casteel go from zero to non-zero if Stewart gets the boot. Let's hope NC State wins 3-0.

UDPATE: Newspaper type folk are reporting that Holgorsen is in as OC/coach in waiting and will replace Stewart after next year without touching the defensive coaching staff. Dangit.

*(Is it just me or are there an inordinate number of coaches in limbo this year? Usually it's fire and forget immediately after the regular season, but this year the coaching carousel has a number of schools half in, half out.)

Darius as mini-Denard part two. Way back on Friday Michigan dismantled Utah in an 11-point game that wasn't really as close as that, and people are beginning to pick up on Darius Morris's leap forward. Someone was asking about surprise teams on the most recent Big Ten conference call and both Tom Crean and Matt Painter cited Michigan, with Painter specficially mentioning Morris as the reason. Big Ten Geeks:

Darius Morris led the way with 19 points to go with 10 assists, and it’s hard to ignore his play so far this season.  A role player last year, Morris has become much more assertive in running the offense.  This is actually somewhat of an exception--role players don’t suddenly start consuming possessions over an offseason in general--but one should keep in mind that with Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims monopolizing the offense last season, there wasn’t much of an opportunity for Morris.  It’s been a different story in his sophomore season, as Morris is quickly becoming one of the Big Ten’s best floor generals.  He’s shooting an amazing (for a 6-4 guard) 61 percent from 2-point range, along with one of the best assist rates in the country. 

At times in the Utah game the problem with the offense seemed to be Morris's lack of assertiveness—most of Michigan's worst possessions saw him with limited time on the ball.

If Morris is shooting 61% from two he's probably not shooting enough, which is an interesting problem to have. Last year Manny Harris was sucking up 30% of Michigan's possessions while shooting 48% inside the three-point line. The rest of the team shot at a higher clip, and while that was because Harris drew so much attention I often felt like the team would have been better if the shots were more evenly distributed.

This year Morris is killing people; the rest of the team is doing well but can't keep up. Major SOS caveats apply, but I think I'd like to see Morris try to get a few more shots off per game. A complicating factor is Morris's assist rate, which is fifth nationally—a major reason he's not getting off more shots is he's turning Jordan Morgan into a 61% shooter, too.

Speaking of Morgan, he bounced back from a couple of rough outings with solid, annoying post defense against Utah's bigs, who are very big indeed. UMHoops grabbed a sequence in which he took a couple offensive fouls:

I wish they'd also clipped the possession before that, in which Morgan went to war with Foster for the duration of the possession and eventually got an elbow to the head for his troubles. The ref let that go but was looking for any funny stuff on the next trip and got it when a pissed-off Foster barged into him. Foster's not any good offensively—his usage rate is an amazing 8.9%—but he also did a good job on Washburn, and this year I think all we're looking for out of Morgan is holding his own against the mediocre and beating the bad.

Morgan drew a third charge with help defense later, but since he was 1) moving and 2) directly underneath the basket in the pretend no-charge circle the NCAA instituted last year that was positive reinforcement of a negative play Michigan got lucky on.

OH SO TINGLY. I may not be a fan of Michigan Stadium hosting dancing curly fries but some of the things Dave Brandon is plotting are major compensations:

Q: You also have talked about new scoreboards for Michigan Stadium. Your vision is not Cowboys Stadium huge, but pretty huge?

A: Pretty huge. If you picture the size of those (current) scoreboards and maybe something that's 30 percent larger, 40 percent larger, but then the entire surface or at least the vast majority of the surface would be video screen. I think those scoreboards look wimpy now with this structure and then the fact the HD video portion is only about a third of the surface. We can't do what our fans want us to do in terms of showing them really high-resolution replays, game action and even a lot of the marketing stuff we're doing with videos and pre-game and halftime shows — these screens are just not acceptable. This is very old technology, and they don't look very good, either. Think 30 or 40 percent larger and think big-image area for high-definition resolution screens. I think our fans will love it.

If you have never been to a stadium with video boards that size, it's a massive difference. It is Brandon's "hope" they are in for 2011. Brandon also re-iterates that advertising for the Big Chill does not presage advertising during football games. That's part of an extensive interview with Angelique Chengelis, BTW, that you should check out.

Time to go. The Only Colors takes an unprecedented step for them and calls for the replacement of Rick Comley as Michigan State's head coach. Despite how much I've been enjoying this stretch in MSU hockey, I'm with them. This is the third straight year they'll miss the tourney and the second time in three years they're virtually indistinguishable from Bowling Green, a school that's considering dropping their program. This year is like Rich Rodriguez having another 3-9 year two years after his first, and while Comley does have a fluke national title that sort of thing shouldn't be survivable at a program like MSU.

Etc.: Doc Sat points out how weird it is that awards lists are featuring Denard Robinson as something other than a quarterback when they were fine with Eric Crouch, et al, as QBs. Robinson completed 60% of his passes… what more do you need? Basketball takes on North Carolina Central at 7 this evening.

Comments

MI Expat NY

December 14th, 2010 at 2:26 PM ^

I agree that it says more about the the client than the development group, especially when it comes to the stupid division names.  That being said, I'm still disappointed in the logo.  I actually like the logo highlighted by Off Tackle Empire much, much better.  

http://www.offtackleempire.com/2010/12/14/1875832/this-was-made-by-nattybumppo-on-bhgp-i-think-its-pretty-awesome-and#comments

STW P. Brabbs

December 14th, 2010 at 8:55 PM ^

On what basis can you say that "Pentagram is very good."  Because other marketing firms make less money, relative to the size of the firm? 

Anyway, it doesn't really matter whether they're actually "good" or not.  The vast majority appears to believe that this logo is a steaming pile.  That it cost thousands and thousands of dollars pretty much validates everything I believe about marketing. 

MGoShoe

December 14th, 2010 at 2:07 PM ^

...Guiness attendance figure.

The University announced an unofficial crowd of 113,411 during the third period. To better the GWR mark of 77,803 set at this year’s IIHF World Championships, however, it was necessary to provide scanned evidence of the bar codes on each spectator's ticket. At the time of the announcement, 85,451 tickets had been scanned, with the numbers continuing to increase, but more than enough to certify a new record.

While we still await final documention to award an official final number, the spectacle of the event can’t be denied.

One thing is almost certain and it’s that this record will stand awhile. Considering that only two other stadiums in the world have higher listed capacities than The Big House, it would take a lot of creative thinking to topple this once-in-a-lifetime experience put together by the University of Michigan.

By Mike Janela
14 December 2010

On the other hand, I wouldn't put it past Kim Jong-il to try to upstage The Big Chill. Or his American counterpart, Jerry Jones.

V-Link

December 14th, 2010 at 2:03 PM ^

Comley weighing in on what's "un-called for" on the ice?  What would he say if the shoe were on the other foot?  Prob nothing. Just ask Corey Tropp.

Bronco648

December 14th, 2010 at 2:11 PM ^

I particpated in the CIL over at Michigan Hockey (dot) Net, while watching the Big Chill, a couple of us were wondering what the verbiage was on the back of Shawn's facemask.  Does anyone know?

wesq

December 14th, 2010 at 2:49 PM ^

His jump has been so big it's time to start worrying that he may jump to the NBA.  A point guard with his size and passing abilities is a premium in the NBA.  IME Darius will be a first round pick when he comes out.

wesq

December 14th, 2010 at 3:32 PM ^

The impending lockout/strike may seal the deal but under the current deal if a guy gets a first round promise and thus guranteed money its hard to get them to stay.  Morris may be the tipping point for Belien at UM, not only with his play but how he can sell Beilein as a guy who prepares players for the NBA.  I think in the coming years with the new basketball facility and a program putting a consistently good team on the court you will see Beilein close on the elite players he has missed on.

Tater

December 14th, 2010 at 3:28 PM ^

Brandon also re-iterates that advertising for the Big Chill does not presage advertising during football games.

I hope he is telling the truth here. I also hope he has been telling the truth about waiting until after the season is over to assess the football staff, despite the rumors that a deal is already done.

We'll see how it goes. It should be an interesting ride either way.

InterM

December 15th, 2010 at 1:15 PM ^

another word for pulling stuff out of your a**?  If so, that one counts as "interesting."  Yet another example of Lynn Henning's mastery of the art of writing a column that is devoid of facts or sources (I love him citing people "close to" Harbaugh, like he knows any) but chock full of rank and ill-informed speculation.

lhglrkwg

December 14th, 2010 at 5:03 PM ^

that stadium is nearly full. it's not packed in like football game but there is no way in hell there are less than 100,000 people in there.

if you twist my arm, i'll say no way there's less than 95,000

but 85.000? did they even look at pictures of the stadium?!

danieldel55

December 15th, 2010 at 12:46 AM ^

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