Unverified Voracity Founds Iowa City Torch And Pitchfork Comment Count

Brian September 16th, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Let's check in with Iowa City. Hell no they ain't happy after a narrow escape against Ball State and then the missed-it-TO-made-it sequence to lose to Iowa State for the ninth time under Ferentz. The ninth time!


It's kind of like Michigan if Brady Hoke was permanently unfireable. They're probably going to be okay-ish, they are frustrated with their archaic program (and Iowa is way more archaic than Michigan except when Iowa plays Michigan), fans would probably like to move on. But, uh, not happening:

If Iowa were to fire Ferentz for convenience, the school would continue to owe him 75% of his annual guaranteed salary for the remaining years in his contract. …

Ferentz’s base salary has climbed each year since 2010, hitting $2.07 million for the current season. It stays at that level for the next five years. Ferentz also receives supplemental income in the amount of $1.48 million per year, bringing his total salary up to $3.55 million per season. That means if Ferentz were fired at the end of this year, Iowa would owe him $13.3 million, to be paid in monthly installments between now and 2020. That amounts to

roughly $2.7 million per year.

And this is a guy arguing that Iowa can totally afford to dump him. It is possible. Charlie Weis is still getting paid by Notre Dame; the Irish offered him a total of 19 million to go do anything else. (All will be forgiven if one day Weis cites Foul Ole Ron as one of his inspirations.) It's just hard to see Iowa pulling the trigger given that they've put up with all the stuff they've already put up with from Ferentz so far, including the rhabdo event and going 4-8 more than a decade into your tenure.

And then there's the question facing Michigan fans who want a change: is there anyone out there who seems like a good idea? Or is it Terry Bowden sweepstakes time again?

Alabama will just tell you stuff. Because it doesn't matter if you get the kind of stuff that laymen will understand, Alabama's just like "okay here let's talk about it," which makes for interesting articles about the Tide facing a blizzard of screens in their early games against overmatched foes and how you go about dealing with that:

"When they're throwing fast, get your hands up," defensive end Jonathan Allen said. "If they throw a screen, you have to retrace. That's what really defeats the screen is when the linemen retrace and run to the ball. That'll really take away from the screen. So our job's just beginning as soon as he throws the ball."

This is not rocket science. It is part of a respectful-seeming conversation happening about football in front of the media that the media can then go use to write interesting stories, thus increasing the overall happiness around the program slightly.

And this is Alabama, home to the notoriously prickly Nick Saban. I can't imagine how frustrating it must be to be on the Michigan beat. I can count the multitudes who have fled.

Meanwhile at Michigan. The university's notoriously expensive FOIA department strikes again:

The only two possibilities here are that Michigan is breaking the law or that they run the most inefficient FOIA office in the country, which implies things about the efficiency of the rest of the unduly-closeted operation. Either way this should change. If you end up talking to Schlissel ask him which possibility is the truth.

And yes more dead horse spread punt stuff but this answer is just …

Okay. What would you like to talk about?

One of the ultimate people in charge of things. Spencer Hall roasts Goodell and shows why the people in charge of things are just in charge of them:

Remember now what a blank social boffin the NFL strapped to its face to begin with: a Senator's son from a safety school who quite literally never worked anywhere else but in the sports job he got directly out of college. Roger Goodell's resume is a hollow blandishment of institutional servitude. He fought in the arbitration wars; he coordinated the events. Calendars were heroically arranged.

Do not expect that having a job means anything. Every great organization will one day hire the moron who will destroy them.

People in charge of coin tosses are just in charge of them. If you missed this from Saturday, whoah:

That's Texas electing to kick after UCLA deferred, the ref explaining this, and Texas's captains going "sounds good to me!" Shockingly, Charlie Strong did not kick them off the team immediately. I would have.

Apparently this happens about once a year? I could never be a coach. I would assume that things like brushing your teeth were outside of my purview and lose games because of it.

Also in CFB oddities. So this was a trick play:

"What should I do on this play to draw attention to myself, coach?"
"Have you seen Showgirls, son?"
"No. Unless the answer is supposed to be yes. Then yes."
"Son. I'm going to need you to flop around like an electrocuted fish like when Nomi—"
"How about I just fall over?"
"I am just going to fall over."

Arkansas threw at the "tackle", who was eligible, and two different guys on Miami intercepted the same pass. Should have flopped around like an electrocuted fish.

And the oddest oddity. Boston College ran for 452 yards against USC! That is not the grand total of Eagle rushing yards in all Boston College games against USC ever! It is one game from Saturday! What?

you could see the Eagles wear down USC's discipline and will with one play in particular, applied heavily over the course of the game: the zone read with a lead arc block by a tight end.

The common way this play is run is with the QB choosing to handoff or keep the ball. If he keeps, he's attacking the edge based on a read of an unblocked defensive end, with a lead blocker for him on the edge.

BC kept USC off balance with a bunch of other stuff; it was an arc block on the zone read keep that was the killer time and again.

Etc.: Matt Hinton's weekly has landed at Grantland, and is recommended. We don't feature because no one pays attention to 34-10 MAC games. That UGA-SoCar first down is the definition of margin of error.

Guy with name as difficult to spell as Coach K bombs Coach K. I don't really know why Paul George exploding is a big deal in this context; if not playing for USA he would have been doing something else that put his leg in danger.

It begins. Malzahn wants to go even faster. Va Tech's offense under Loeffler. What's wrong with Iowa's ground game.


The FannMan

September 16th, 2014 at 8:10 PM ^

I really don't think that Hoke, or any other coach, owes the media any information.  If he doesn't want to answer a question, he can refuse to do so.  It is my preference that he does so politely.  The media is free to do its job and investigate, etc.  However, people seem to think that all information should be completely public and available for the Googling - until of course its information about themselves.  I, for one, have no problem with Hoke refusing to discuss injuries or punting strategy, or anything else.

I suspect that we would all find his pressers to be adorable if he was coming off a Rose Bowl win.


September 16th, 2014 at 12:54 PM ^

During the Moeller years, we did that against Notre Dame.

Won the toss, deferred, ND received.

Then we came out and kicked off to start the second half.

Moeller took the blame.


September 16th, 2014 at 5:14 PM ^

There is no advantage to kicking off twice, which is why it doesn't happen unless someone screws up their choice. That's why teams that win the coin toss either elect to recieve the kickoff, or defer to the second half (get to choose whether to kick or receive at the start of the second half).  In the Michigan game screw up mentioned above, I thought it was whoever was captain elected to kick off after winning the coin toss, and the other team elected to receive at the start of the second half.  Either way, it was a mistake and rarely happens.

Edit: Texas screwed this up in their game with UCLA.  UCLA won the toss, deferred their choice to the second half.  Texas chose to kick off, and UCLA chose to receive at the start of the second half:



September 16th, 2014 at 5:36 PM ^

Which brings me back to my original point, why is this even an option?  Seems like a waste of time and just an opportunity to berate (I'm not saying anyone here is doing that) a college player for making a mistake which could end up being the difference in the game...  I believe Texas lost by 3.


September 16th, 2014 at 6:19 PM ^

Just guessing here, but it seems to have been around for a long time and harkens back to a time when games ended in single digit scores and playing for field position was considered all important.  In such a scenario, with a good kicker and defense, a team might elect to kick off and attempt to pin a team deep at the other end of the field. It's not really very complicated and is pretty hard to screw up.


September 16th, 2014 at 7:40 PM ^

Check out this list of final scores for all top level college football games from 1933:


Notice that over half of the games were shutouts, and only one team the entire season scored more than 14 points in a loss.

The dominant offensive strategy at the time was jokingly called "a punt, a pass and a prayer"--in other words, it was all about field position.  Teams often chose to kick off (or at least chose to take the wind) instead of choosing to receive.

Up until 1950 or so, the team that was scored on didn't automatically receive; they actually had a choice to kick or receive after giving up a touchdown.  They only changed that rule once teams stopped choosing to kick off.


September 16th, 2014 at 7:59 PM ^

It's a good rule.  Each team gets to choose once.  The coin flip just determines who chooses which half.  

It's not just for an opportunity to berate a college kid for doing something stupid, because that can happen at any point during the game (every week there are plenty of college kids doing stupid somethings that fans berate).  It's a rule of fairness.  And like any rule, if you'd like to forego your fairness, you have that option.  Just like you can decline a penalty against your opponent.  


September 16th, 2014 at 10:22 PM ^

When do you think a team last intentionally chose to kickoff twice to start both halves? From the history lesson above, I would say at least 4-5 decades ago. That does not fit my definition of a good rule. It does fit my definition of a waste of time.

"It's not just for an opportunity to berate a college kid for doing something stupid"

In most other cases, a college kid would be berated for doing something stupid that they knew was stupid. I bet this kid did not know this was even possible and was probably not even listening to the ref explain the ramifications of their decision.


September 16th, 2014 at 10:51 PM ^

My hazy, chilly recollection from the M-Purdue game in 1995 (won by Michigan, 5-0) is that Michigan kicked off both halves.  Purdue chose to receive in the first half, and Michigan (I think) took the wind in the second half. 

I know taking the wind isn't exactly the same thing as choosing to kick off, but Purdue did end up receiving both halves.

Here is a highlight package on Youtube that shows Purdue running the first play of the game and also receiving the second half kickoff:



September 16th, 2014 at 12:54 PM ^

Woof, Brian compares Hoke to Ferentz.  I don't think Brian has every said anything as bad about Hoke before.  And for as prickly as Saban is, access has never been an issue with him.  I believe he has open practices for the public as well.  I guess the main difference from him and, say, RR is that Saban wins so no one can use that access to make him or Bama look bad.  Maybe I'm remembering incorrectly, but I seem to recall that Brian, always found Hoke's lack of openness with the press almost endearing in the past.  But that goes back to the winning thing.


September 16th, 2014 at 2:28 PM ^

Well yeah. If you win you don't need to explain anything. Let the bloggers do the talking for you and show the finer points of your master strategy that is winning.

If you're not winning games bloggers are still going to analyze everything but this time they'll show the weak points of your strategy. If you as a coach don't give anything and give any reason for why you approach things the way you do how the heck are we supposed to judge him especially when many call for more nuance than wins and losses. Put another way sometimes it not just about the results but how you approach solving a problem that is important.

If Hoke's strategy is sound and he shows he can explain why he took the actions that he did it is easier for me to accept a loss. If you say nothing you look like you know nothing and that is when the torches and pitchforks are brought to bear.


September 16th, 2014 at 12:57 PM ^

but perhaps worth posting here too. The "dead man" routine was planned:

"Because of the formation we were in for that fake punt, Booker was covered up and couldn't go downfield, or it would be a penalty," Anderson told College Football 24/7. "So we said, 'What do we want to do with him? Do we want to bubble him or peel him out?' Someone said let's just let him be a fainting goat. I loved it, so we just put that in. His job on that play was basically to not get a penalty by going downfield, because the fake was on the backside of the play. These kids have had five head coaches in five years, so we try to let them have fun."



September 16th, 2014 at 1:05 PM ^

I understand coaches of UM, Alabama, ND, etc can't do these type of plays, but I appreciate the fact the coach did it just b/c it was fun AND did not hurt the actual football play in any way (the alternative was for the guy to just stand there).

Besides, it's fun to learn there is a football technique called "The Fainting Goat."

Shop Smart Sho…

September 16th, 2014 at 1:01 PM ^

I don't think it is fair to argue that he would have been doing something else that put his leg in that kind of danger.  He was playing on a shitty floor that had the stanchion much closer to the baseline than is safe for NBA level players.  While that isn't what should prompt the talk about Coach K completely gaming the system when it comes to recruiting, it is something that made national headlines.  Even non-NBA fans heard or saw that.  If that is what it takes to end the sham of Coach K's tenure as the coach, then so be it.  Those teams should be coached only by NBA or NBA D-League coaches.  Keep the college coaches out of it.


September 16th, 2014 at 1:17 PM ^

I don't think Hoke wants to talk about anything.  Obviously spread punt and injuries are completely verbotten.  I have noticed a distinct lack of Brady Hoke on "Inside Michigan Football with Brady Hoke".  JimB used to sit with the coach and talk about the game.  Now they show highlights, then their grab a quote or two from him and then do the Coffee with the coach segment where Hoke answers the lamest question they can find.  

Danny Bonaduce

September 16th, 2014 at 1:23 PM ^

Do all fanbases put as much of an emphasis on press conferences as Michigan fans?  At this point I almost want them to stop having pressers as there is more being made of those than the actual games it seems.  


September 16th, 2014 at 1:25 PM ^

Hoke isn't going anywhere. He will receive an extension before the end of the season. DB doesn't admit to mistakes. Hoke is his guy. Also, as pointed out by several there really are no viable candidates to replace him.

With an extension hopefully he will continue to recruit well while learning on the job. In a couple of years he may become another Dantonio. 


September 16th, 2014 at 1:38 PM ^

While there are definite similarities, the reason Ferentz is going anywhere is he has--at key junctures--won, and won, big at Iowa.

In Year 4, he won the B1G and went to the Orange Bowl, the first of three straight Top 10 finishes (capped off by a Year 6 Cap One Bowl win and another B1G title).

Then some mediocrity followed, along with some grumbling, and just when it started to get a bit hot, he had another uptick, winning the Orange Bowl in Year 11. That's when NFL teams came calling (2009) and he got his ridiculous contract (through 2020).

So Ferentz can't (readily) be fired is b/c he parlayed very good seasons into Iowa panicking and offering him a huge contract. Hoke can DEFINITELY be fired as a) he doesn't have Ferentz record of success (though, who knows, hopefully we can win the B1G this year), b) he doesn't have a huge, lengthy contract and c) UM has infinitely more money than Iowa.


September 16th, 2014 at 3:42 PM ^

but consider what is important under the new University President. Academics! On field sport performances though worthwhile are not priority issues. Graduation rates and development of student athletes are more important. Hoke has proven to be quite adept in delivering on these two priorities.

As long as Hoke doesn't completely fall on his face i.e. have a string of losing seasons he will be around for some time. And I don't see him having many losing seasons. He recruits too well, competes in an inferior conference and schedules mostly cupcake non conference games.

The reality is many schools in the B1G conference are moving on from emphazing their football prowess to stressing more on academics and lesser sports like basketball and hockey. In football they cannot compete with the SE conference or B12 because of geographic issues and academic requirements.

CRISPed in the DIAG

September 16th, 2014 at 1:26 PM ^

FOIA requests - particularly ones from lawyerly-types - tend to be overly broad and expansive.  I doubt CBS was simply asking for "basic graduation #'s".  

More likely, the request was worded something to the effect of "all data, materials, notes, communication and conversations related to the matriculation of student athletes at the University of Michigan."  In which case, $410 is cheap for the amount of time someone will need to be paid so that CBS can continue the old WHAT'S WRONG WITH COLLEGE SPORTS trope.



September 16th, 2014 at 2:19 PM ^

I'm assuming here that they sent the same FOIA request to all the other schools on this list, many of which provided the information for free.  If they sent a huge broad request to Michigan and a specific tiny one to the other schools that might justify the price discrepancy, but I doubt that was "likely" what happened.



September 16th, 2014 at 4:40 PM ^

That does not explain why UofM would charge more for the same FOIA request as a different institution. I've seen this several times now, and one I remember specifically did a direct comparison, with the exact same requests to multiple schools, and UofM's fee was exponentially more than the others. 


September 16th, 2014 at 4:54 PM ^

As Timmmay stated, this wasn't about whehter the FOIA was a fishing expedition or not, this was pointing out that the University of Michigan charges significantly more for the exact same request than many other Universities do.

This is something UM has repeatedly done.  Here's a Daily article about a similar situation from several years ago.  http://www.michigandaily.com/news/special-report-university-michigan-ch…

CRISPed in the DIAG

September 16th, 2014 at 5:42 PM ^

The public entity (in MI) is required to provide a calculus for the cost before collecting the information. Each school has different methods to compile and report information - and if the information isn't readily available it will take longer to collect and report. If it is a simple request, the cost should be lower.  

See my post w/r/t to the MI statute downthread.  In NC (where I currently work) public entities are not required to create records simply for the purpose of satisfying the FOIA request. However, governments in NC (compared to MI) are more likely to provide FOIA responses without charging the applicant.

CBS apparently submitted a nebulous request and this was reflected by estimated cost.  Since their request was an unnecessary farce, they never paid or challenged it.