Unverified Voracity Gets It Or Does Not Get It

Submitted by Brian on February 14th, 2013 at 2:41 PM

Les and Bo standing around, 1989. I'm just posting this for the shorts, really. Seriously, it's almost entirely guys just standing around. In shorts. From 1989.

This thing I am the foremost practitioner of is banned! Of all people, it fell to Barry Alvarez—he of the cancelled Virginia Tech game nigh on the eve of the season—to reveal that the Big Ten is going to dump I-AA opponents posthaste:

“The nonconference schedule in our league is ridiculous,” Alvarez said on WIBA-AM. “It’s not very appealing…

“So we’ve made an agreement that our future games will all be Division I schools. It will not be FCS schools.”

I… actually, I don't care. It does restrict the availability of cupcake games, thereby driving up the costs to schedule MAC folks and the like, but not significantly. If you want to have a walkover, Eastern Michigan's just as piteous as Northern Iowa—significantly moreso, in fact.

This man either gets it or does not get it depending on whether you get it or do not get it. Indiana's athletic director:

“What they like to do is make opportunities available to wear different kinds of uniforms,” Glass told Inside the Hall, “and we’ve had multiple opportunities to wear alternative uniforms, and we’ve respectfully passed on that. … I would never say never, but I think it’s highly unlikely that we’ll be doing that.”

A number of college and pro teams are trying the new jerseys out. We’ve seen schools such as Michigan State and Ohio State wear alternate uniforms in recent weeks.

So why not Indiana?

“The IU men’s basketball uniform is iconic,” Glass said. “I have a poster on my wall that is kind of like a fake group photo of all the All Americans that we’ve had in basketball, and the jerseys, whether its from the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s or 2000s, pretty much look the same.”

Indiana fans say "thank God" in the comments, because they either get it or do not get it. Kids hate it and Indiana's program will crater on Wednesday as the Hoosiers mass defect to Bill Walton's new Hypercolor State team.

Even more rules changes, these of the on-field variety. It's February, which means something something flowers and the NCAA's annual set of rules changes. These are just proposals at the moment, so don't write your congressman yet.

The flashiest is jacking up the targeting flag. Now it comes with a free ejection, and if it's after halftime a suspension for next week. Also a free review:

To balance out the incidents where a player is unfairly penalized, officiating crews would be allowed to review the hit through video replay. Said the committee, the replay official "must have conclusive evidence that a player should not be ejected to overturn the call on the field."

Sounds a lot like the interminable and pointless elbowing reviews from basketball, except people do get hit with targeting flags at the moment. This will either lead to those calls disappearing again, or a parade of defensive backs making a split-second decision wrong heading to the locker room.

Others are minor cleanups aimed at giving referees an easier time:

  • all blocks below the waist are legal if they're in front of a defender, illegal otherwise
  • you can't spike the ball with one or two seconds left (presumably an attempt to prevent games where one coach disposes of his headset instantly and the other stages a hunger strike for his last second on the sideline)
  • an extra official for Big 12 conference games
  • Lane Kiffin and Boise State can't jerk people around by switching numbers or wearing blue on a blue field.

Nothing in those is going to have an impact on your viewing. I thought we'd hear something about repealing the helmet rule, too—seems like forcing a player without a helmet to stop playing is punishment enough. No dice on that one.

Good lord. Northwestern makes the case that their basketball outfit is cursed with low-effort sketchy photoshops and lots and lots of evidence:


Look, I'd do more unfortunate things for Northwestern basketball, butmore freakish unfortunate things happened to Northwestern basketball than happened to the players in that episode of the Simpsons where all the players get into freakish unfortunate accidents.

The Wildcats are now down JerShonn Cobb, Drew Crawford, Sanjay Lumpkin, Chier Ajou, Aaron Liberman, Alex Olah, and Jared Swopshire. A few of those guys are on redshirts and may be in the lineup if Carmody was inclined to waste their final year of eligibility on a team nowhere near the NCAA tourney; even so, that's Angry Blank Hating God territory and some.

This is Darren Rovell's fault, of course.

Bring on the bee people or whatever. Gerry DiNardo might know something about something. Not football, but moving because of football:

I don't think we'll ever play with a 14 team team conference, I think it'll be 16 (by 2014, when Maryland and Rutgers join). And I don't think they're going to go through all this conversation and all this realignment and do it again for just two more schools. Where are they going to come from? Hard to say, but I would guess the footprint would continue to grow southeast, so that would leave me to believe that would be the ACC. When you look at schools institutionally, they'll be schools similar to Maryland and Rutgers. They'll be an academic fit, which I think is important, and appear to be in areas where there's population, and I think those are the similar things that has driven expansion

The Big Ten Too is totally happening you guys. This is why the league is already talking about a ten-game conference schedule.

Nebraska hockey: not happening. Their athletic director just said "nope":

On his monthly appearance on the Husker Sports Network, Nebraska athletic director Shawn Eichorst threw cold water on the idea of the athletic department starting up a division 1 ice hockey program. The only sport Nebraska has any intention of starting is the new sand volleyball program. That's cold water, not the ice that a hockey program would need. A lot of people had hopes that with Eichorst's background at Wisconsin and the Big Ten's expansion into hockey that the Huskers might join the ranks of the division 1 schools with hockey programs. But that doesn't appear to be in the cards at this time.

The vast deserts of Nebraska have long teemed with moppets who have done nothing but play volleyball, so they should be an instant national power in that. If Nebraska isn't inclined to add hockey, I'm not sure who would. I bet it would be a success at Iowa—triangle of hate, good USHL base—but it's tough to find the money, somehow.

Zone read: not dead yet. Michigan will keep it around next year:

"Are we just getting rid of all the zone-reading? No, we're not," Borges said. "We're going to keep some of that stuff in our offense because we have a mobile quarterback, and as long as we have a quarterback that can threaten the defense as a runner, we're going to have bits and pieces of that that we're going to keep.

"Are we going to run him 25 times? That's over. We're not doing that anymore. That was logical, with what we had (in Denard Robinson). but now we want the quarterback to be more of a passer-runner, than a runner-passer."

I hope the end point is somewhere between 25 times and Gardner's ground efforts last year, where on-purpose runs were limited to some goal line rollouts and the occasional draw. I'd like to see Gardner get 6-8 called runs a game to go with whatever he gets on scrambles.

Etc.: Jeff Bridges has a go-to shirt. I'm fine with Michigan not having a member of Andy Staples's all two-star team this time around. It might be a problem that the Big Ten has eight kids on the team. Brief preview of Michigan's 2013 by me at The Saturday Edge. Goodbye, Matt Painter. Kenpom profiled.



February 14th, 2013 at 3:08 PM ^

Basketball has a similar rule with the ability to catch-and-shoot at the end of a game. IIRC you need at least 0.4 seconds to catch-and-shoot rather than just tip the ball towards the hoop. This takes quick/slow triggers on the timekeepers out of the game in a better way.


February 14th, 2013 at 4:05 PM ^

...because of the very rare circumstances in which it would occur. How many games a year have an extra play, because someone managed to spike the ball with 2 seconds left? The only Michigan game in memory where the outcome would have changed was the famous Michigan State game, and that was only possible because of a very friendly clock operator in East Lansing. They've sinced replaced homer clock operators in the Big Ten, so even without this new rule, that probably wouldn't happen again.

In the 1997 Rose Bowl, Washington State's Ryan Leaf tried to spike the ball with 2 seconds left, and couldn't get it done. That is the normal outcome. All this rule is doing, is to codify what should happen anyway, given a competent clock operator.


February 14th, 2013 at 3:06 PM ^

It's an effective play even if your QB isn't that good a runner, but in addition to that QBs are getting more and more athletic, just look at the NFL. Didn't Kork Coupons run a very successful ZR against us a few years ago? When it's a base play, it makes the opponent play "assignment defense", when it's a weapon in the back of the quiver, it can really surprise/confuse opponents. Again, look at the NFL.

Glad we're keeping that weapon around. Swiss Army Knife Offense FTW


February 14th, 2013 at 3:14 PM ^

A couple in every camp  - things have not changed.  I like how he looked around and nobody wanted to "follow" his "leadership".  God that type of turf back then was painfully hard.


February 14th, 2013 at 3:21 PM ^

Also both have a lot of good hockey both AAA and Juniors, moreso Illinois. It has always surprised me that Big Ten schools especially the two mentioned haven't formed D1 hockey teams in talented areas. I agree with your part on Iowa too, they would be in this group.


February 14th, 2013 at 4:03 PM ^

Are they saying there has to be 3 seconds left on the clock to spike it?

If so, aren't they now determining if the ball was spiked before the :02 appears on the clock rather than :00?


February 14th, 2013 at 4:20 PM ^

1) so, does the No Div 2 opponents incentivize suckitude? shouldn't Eastern be able to charge more for coming to your stadium and more likely getting whupped than inviting Northern Illinois? your program could make decent money off being a professional body bag and fund championship teams in the other sports

2) does anyone else ever look at the scraps of what is left for future expansion and think "why didn't we take Missouri when we could have?" grab some markets, expand south-ish, central time zone.


February 14th, 2013 at 4:50 PM ^

That quote by Barry Alvarez is too funny.  During his 16 years coaching Wisconsin, they played Western Illinois twice, Murray State and Western Kentucky twice.  But only during the years they couldn't schedule Southern Methodist, Temple, Akron, Buffalo and the Citadel.  That's why the Badgers non-conference opponents have a combined winning % of .36 since 1990. 


February 14th, 2013 at 6:01 PM ^

I'm seriously looking forward to watching Devin Gardner devastate the morale of opposing defenses with his scrambling, a la Vince Young ca. 2005.  Don't get me wrong, I love Denard whole-heartedly, but his refusal to scramble drove me friggin' nuts.  This year, I want me some Gardner Scramble!

matty blue

February 15th, 2013 at 9:38 AM ^

someone who may or may not be named "barry alvarez" is commenting on quality of non-conference scheduling?

so weird - there used to be a guy that coached wisconsin by the same name.  this is obviously not the same guy.  that would make no fucking sense whatsoever.


February 15th, 2013 at 1:29 PM ^

It is a bit rich to see Alvarez of all people complaining about SOS.

As perhaps the only Northern Iowa alum/fan in your readership, this is a potentially devastating blow to FCS programs that rely on the half-million or so a year they receive for these games.

Plus legit FCS teams can provide a challenge to FBS teams, as you folks know all too well.