I am too optimistic about this game. This QB situation is about to meet a Don Brown defense that returns nine starters:
Brian Kelly asked if Brandon Wimbush is still the guy or if Ian Book has closed the gap. Said game plan set to Wimbush’s strengths and “we’ll play them both if we need to.” Wimbush will start.
— Pete Sampson (@PeteSampson_) August 23, 2018
Brian Kelly is going to run a spread 'n' shred against Don Brown. Where have I seen that before?
When neither option is actually an option. https://t.co/Kn7DnuAWyP
— Gordon McGuinness (@PFF_Gordon) November 22, 2015
I hate myself for thinking the things I think about this game, which will be insanity like all ND games are.
Two and done, a love story. Former DX and current ESPN draft analyst Mike Schmitz on basketball's breakout star:
Looks like Michigan’s Jordan Poole has added more to his off the dribble game. Has had some impressive shot creation moments tonight. Should make a jump this season. Plays with a lot of confidence.
— Mike Schmitz (@Mike_Schmitz) August 23, 2018
It's happened before and will happen again. Maaaaybe Michigan gets a third year out of Poole, but they should be keeping that third slot in the 2019 class warm.
The Bentley, profiled. Michigan's history—all of it—is meticulously documented at the Bentley Library, which has been an invaluable resource for Seth, Craig Ross, Greg Dooley, and anyone else who wants to delve into the rich history of Michigan football. So it's good to see that the Athletic profiled Greg Kinney:
“This must be the ’98 team,” Kinney says. He is holding a black-and-white picture of men wearing funny clothes. He is not talking about the Lloyd Carr football team that went 10-3. He is talking about a team that went 10-0 and beat Chicago in front of a record crowd of 12,000, the original Champions of the West.
He is talking about 1898.
Standing just beside him, Brian Williams, a coworker, shoots over a knowing stare. “He can tell you that just by looking at it.”
[After THE JUMP: post takes a turn for the negative.]
Further adventures in a culture that thinks it's untouchable. Maryland's former athletic director hired a law firm to defend two football players accused of sexual assault:
Anderson used $15,000 of the department's funds to provide two football players with legal representation after being accused of sexual misconduct, according to The Diamondback, Maryland's student newspaper. The report comes in the midst of the football program already being under scrutiny following the death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair and allegations that it has a "toxic" culture.
While NCAA bylaws allow schools to pay for legal cousel in a proceeding that may affect a student-athlete's ability to play sports, Anderson's actions "showed a serious lack of judgement in a sexual misconduct case, given the university's commitment to a fair and impartial handling of all such matters," according to the school's statement Thursday.
That's permitted by the NCAA, which I did not know, but after Maryland higher-ups were made aware that Anderson had done this they told him to cut ties. He ignored them, resulting in an internal investigation and eventually Anderson's resignation. This is an AD at Maryland ignoring a direct order. What would happen at many real football schools?
Bad at communicating. In the, uh, current environment I was about ready to autodefenestrate when Bruce Feldman retweeted former Florida QB Luke Del Rio telling a story about Goings On under Jim McElwain. Fortunately(?) the goings-on aren't much more than further confirmation McElwain was not very organized or people-focused at UF:
“This is not the first time that R.J. Raymond has been put on scholarship and nobody knows that,” Del Rio said. “R.J. was put on scholarship January 2017. Why did you not hear about it? Well, when Coach McElwain was at Florida, he would never do the, ‘You’re on scholarship’ surprise videos — whole team goes nuts. He would do these private meetings — and I would know because I walked on at Florida. I was a walk-on at Alabama and Florida.
“So, he’s put on scholarship, silently, like I was. The team wasn’t notified, nothing. Every half year … you are sent a letter — an official scholarship letter stating here’s what you’re going to get paid. Well, R.J. got his letter — and this happened to several people, all of the dollar values were goose eggs. Now, if you can think of a better way to more passive aggressively tell somebody they are no longer on scholarship, tell me. You’re a f***** coward if you do that.”
Why would McElwain take the scholarships back? Del Rio says it was to give them to other incoming recruits:
“They said they needed scholarships for a recruit,” he said.
It is common practice to give leftover scholarships to walk-ons when head-count drops under 85, as it almost always does, but except in cases where a Glasgow establishes himself as a real contributor there's never any expectation that money is permanent. Raymond's career stat line is one tackle. It would be very strange if anyone had the expectation that money was permanent, so either McElwain completely botched the communication or Del Rio is not being entirely straightforward. After watching the video I think it's mostly the latter.
But this is further confirmation that McElwain was not particularly good at his job. Managing to piss off a bunch of walk-ons is something.
Still better than RPI, but... eh. The NCAA's new RPI is called "NET" and has some stuff in it that I don't think should be in a field evaluation tool:
The NCAA Evaluation Tool, which will be known as the NET, relies on game results, strength of schedule, game location, scoring margin, net offensive and defensive efficiency, and the quality of wins and losses. To make sense of team performance data, late-season games (including from the NCAA tournament) were used as test sets to develop a ranking model leveraging machine learning techniques. The model, which used team performance data to predict the outcome of games in test sets, was optimized until it was as accurate as possible. The resulting model is the one that will be used as the NET going forward.
The NET was built to create a ranking system that was as accurate as possible while also evaluating team performance fairly. To ensure fairness, certain types of data were omitted from the model. Of key importance, game date and order were omitted to give equal importance to both early and late-season games. In addition, a cap of 10 points was applied to the winning margin to prevent rankings from encouraging unsportsmanlike play, such as needlessly running up the score in a game where the outcome was certain.
I don't think a field evaluation tool should be predictive in any way; it should only be Strength of Record and nothing else. You play to win the game. But! You know I am sensitive about this issue, and what is described above can only be radically better than the RPI. So let's offer a golf clap.