Unverified Voracity Has List Of Things In It! Comment Count

Brian February 12th, 2015 at 1:05 PM

A mea culpa. A couple things on the fight song kerfuffle from yesterday. One: apparently there are people who have escaped Taken memery. (They probably "take walks" and "go outside.") No part of the threat-type substance offered yesterday was serious. I'm not going to poison anyone's search results.

I was just referencing this famous Liam Neeson thing:

As for Weiss, I hopped aboard the outrage express in the manner that the generally loathsome Gawker and Jezebel do for most of their clicks. If I'd thought about this Daily article more I would have realized that this proposal was in no way going anywhere, but I took the cheap, easy route. While the goal of preventing a Michigan version of We Are ND is a laudable one, firing up the internet outragemobile is likely to get out of control and I should know better.

Seriously, though: just stop. Nothing good can come of this quest.

Now, like, call it. One of my top eleven subjects to rant about in recent times has been offenses flinging ineligible guys downfield on pass plays with impunity. Boy does that put a bee up my bonnet. Spielman, too.

It appears the hue and cry has made it to the lawmakers of our sport:

The ineligible downfield rule was shifted from three yards to one yard past the line of scrimmage. National officiating coordinator Rogers Redding said defenses were beginning to read run more frequently because offensive linemen were 3 yards downfield and then the quarterback would pass. “It's going to be easier to officiate,” he said.

Or, like, six yards downfield blocking the people who were supposed to be covering passes. One or three doesn't help much if you're just forgetting to enforce it either way; hopefully this will come with an increased emphasis on calling illegal men downfield.

(One exception: if you're engaged with a guy and just kicking his ass enough to end up downfield that should be let go. Taylor Lewan got a penalty a couple years ago because his pass blocking was too effective.)

Approximate top eleven rant subjects in recent times. Give or take:

  1. Dave Brandon
  2. excessive basketball timeouts
  3. block/charge calls
  4. Big Ten expansion
  5. bubble screens
  6. "but the spread won't work in the Big Ten"
  7. piped in music
  8. ineligible men downfield
  9. waggles
  10. Tom Izzo press conferences
  11. when my wife puts the cheese grater in with the food manipulation devices (tongs, spoons, spatulas, etc) instead of the food reconfiguration devices (juicers, graters, mallets, zesters, etc)

This is not 'Nam, MGoWife.

Nyet. Roquan Smith will announce his decision on Friday, whereupon he won't sign an letter of intent. He'll just sign scholarship papers. Well done, sir. (It seems like it's a foregone conclusion that it's not Michigan, unfortunately.)

Add another to the list? If Justice Hayes goes and rips off 1,500 yards I'm gonna be all like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I'm looking forward to a running backs coach with aspirations.

We would like less football, I guess. It's time once again for a college football person to mutter about changing clock rules For The Fans. Larry Scott's turn, as he advocate running the clock after first downs:

"You'll always get traditionalists who won't change it," Scott said. "I don't find it concerning or daunting that there are some that would oppose it. I think the job for commissioners is to take a step back and look at it holistically. The health and welfare of student-athletes is first and fans are a close second in terms of keeping games appealing. Three-and-a-half hours, to me, is too long."

There will always be traditionalists who are your core customers who know you're not seeing increased costs but still soaking fans with higher prices and ever-longer commercial breaks.

Why might games be longer?

The high-pressure, commercialized world of FBS is playing a much longer game than other NCAA divisions. While FBS games averaged 3:23 in 2014, the Football Championship Subdivision was 2:55, Division II was 2:45 and Division III was 2:41.

I mean:

Sun Belt commissioner Karl Benson also favors a running clock after first downs, citing declining attendance. FBS home attendance dropped 4 percent in 2014 for the sport's lowest average since 2000.

"I think our fans are expecting shorter games, and I think when you see attendance is down, we need to address it," Benson said.

Changing the ratio of game to red-hat-on-field the wrong way isn't going to help your attendance, but you don't actually care about that anyway. Just be honest about it. At this point it might be worth looking at some soccer models, which have to deal with an un-interruptible flow of gameplay. I'd rather have a logo next to the score chryon instead of ever-expanding ad time.

Early signing is dumb. Andy Staples addresses it:

I don’t mind an early signing period in theory because the vast majority of recruits know where they want to go, are happy with their decisions and shouldn’t have to wait. But cutting a month off of the process isn’t going to change much. It might be nice if the players who make up their minds really early had a chance to sign before their senior seasons begin, but that isn’t going to happen, either. Athletic directors would hate that since it would make it more difficult to fire a coach if he underperformed. The coach would have the leverage of half a signing class in the barn, and the AD might have to wrestle with double-digit players asking to be released from their National Letters of Intent. This happens all the time in basketball, but it’s different when the coach has 15 players signed instead of three.

Staples advocates a change to the LOI that says "the LOI is a bad thing to sign," so that's not… likely. To reiterate my excellent plan:

The MGo Recruitin' Plan

  1. You can sign a pre-NLI any time.

  2. The pre-NLI guarantees you a scholarship at the school you sign with, allows them to contact you whenever and prohibits other coaches from doing so. You can only take an official visit to the school you sign with.

  3. You can withdraw the pre-NLI at any time.

  4. On Signing Day everyone makes it official.

  5. (Optional but highly desirable) NCAA does away with 85-player cap and allows everyone to sign up to 22-25 players a year, no exceptions. Transfers and JUCOs count.

Changing the cap from a roster limit to a yearly limit instantly does away with any oversigning mutterings since your motivation is to keep players instead of cut them.

(Via Get The Picture.)

Karan Higdon will help you with your homework. Unless you're a fellow athlete, I think that's a violation. Randos welcome though:

"Football comes second to academics and my future after it."

Higdon's a 4.0 student at Riverview. He wants to be an occupational therapist. He's involved in several academic leadership groups at his school, and has been invited to various academic summits, from Washington D.C. to Paris.

If Higdon couldn't run, catch, block or score a touchdown, he'd probably still be headed to college next year with a scholarship in tow.

Academics aren't just part of the deal for Higdon. They're the deal.

I guess he doesn't want an MFA, or he'd be at Iowa. If Fred Jackson was still here he could be a grad transfer and get drafted, maybe.

Etc.: Orson is so fascinated with Tom Crean that he wrote about him. Michigan was the 12th most-watched team in college football last year, which really says something since… uh… you know. NTDP camp thoughts featuring comments on a few Michigan recruits. SBNation has a "Jim Harbaugh is weird" page. Tom Leyden on Bo's passing.

LeVert still projected 15th by DX. Noted Michigan columnist Ramzy Nasrallah on Harbaugh as nemesis.



February 12th, 2015 at 1:40 PM ^

Brian, that's a really thoughtful apology re: the Weiss thing, and I'm sure it's not easy to know when to apologize when literally everything you write is critiqued by hundreds of anonymous internet folks.  I think being able to say things like that is one of the most admirable traits a person can have.


February 12th, 2015 at 1:47 PM ^

Agreed.  I was thankful to see this today rather than the other option: double-birds walking out of the stadium. I got the Taken reference on the post, but still thought it was mean-spirited and focused more on the person with the (terrible) idea rather than the (terrible) idea itself.  It’s definitely out of character for this blog and I’m glad Brian realized it as such upon further review.


February 12th, 2015 at 1:58 PM ^

Frankly I think the basement-jerkoffing-fatass Brian is a wuss for not meeting Bubbler at the diag tomorrow.  

Also, I really like the yearly player limit idea.  Simplicity here is best and I think they can count to 24 in Oxford, Tuscaloosa, Athens, Columbus, and wherever the NCAA runs their, ahem, enforcement department. Add in a guaranteed 4 year schollie and you've solved lots of problems.


February 12th, 2015 at 1:22 PM ^

The per year scholarship limit is elegantly simple and would be wonderfully effective in changing a fundamental misjustice in college football.  It is brilliant and should be passed immediately.

The only unintended consequence -- goodbye to scholarship-earning walk-ons.  It's going to be exceedingly rare to turn down 4 or 5 years of a recruit in favor of rewarding a walk-on.

The benefits easily outweight the costs though.


February 12th, 2015 at 1:32 PM ^

You could legislate separate scholarships for walk-ons.  Say, you get to give a scholarship to a 3rd or 4th walk-on each year for the remainder of his time on the team.  That would prevent the scholarship from being abused and given to a more highly-touted player (no one with offers at other comperable schools would walk on and pay their way for two years for the hope of eventually earning the scholarsip).


February 12th, 2015 at 1:43 PM ^

This is not so well known anymore, but when the NCAA started limiting scholarships, the only limitation schools had was 35 "Initial Counters."  This is exactly what Brian is proposing.

This means that a school could offer 35 scholarships to players who did not have scholarships the year before.  Transfers & Freshmen counted the same.  They did have an exception, as you suggest, for players who had been enrolled in that school for the previous 2 or 3 years--walkons could pick up scholarships, with (I believe) some limitation on that number.

This was in the days of no Freshman eligibility and no redshirting, so 35 scholarships a year was effectively a 105-scholarship limit.  The 25 initial counter limit today is a vestigial remnant of that rule, although it is so easy to get around that it is not really a rule at all.

I agree emphatically that we need to go back to the "Initial Counter" system--somewhere between 20 and 25 is best, now that we have Freshman eligibility and redshirting.


February 12th, 2015 at 1:48 PM ^

I think you'd still be very unlikely to end up with a true student-body type walk-on (e.g., Kovacs).

The delayed scholarship would quickly get misused and recruits would be offered 'super-gray' shirts (black shirts?  magenta?) .  It's true that an elite recruit wouldn't agree to this, but a wealthy and/or in-state student might. This would essentially formalize the preferred walk-on as a spot and would likely be misused at some point. (e.g., Alabama promising 3 guys the half-scholarship and then seeing who shakes out.)



February 12th, 2015 at 1:39 PM ^

I think yearly limits that encourage player retention would be a great thing. IMO the main issue with the yearly scholarship limits as opposed to an overall cap is the current wording/enforcement of Title IX. Currently you've got to have an equal number of men's and women's scholarships handed out each year - caps make sure that that happens. There are a few ways around that though:

  • Make all spots cap-free and have yearly limits. If a school magically was retaining 125 football players and about 80 female athletes over a 3 year period that could cause an investigation or something (are they cheating to pay less?)
  • Make revenue generating sport scholarships not count against the title IX cap - a bit tougher sell, as this would decrease the amount of available female scholarships
  • Make the school carry the maximum number of female scholarships at all times - for example if Football became capped at 25 players per year, the title IX number for football is now 125. That actually increases the number of available scholarships and provides more student-athletes with opportunities. The downside is it will cost Universities more, so they'd never go for it.

It'd be great if it worked. In terms of the walk on thing - let's say a 2015 enrollee goes pro in 2018 - could a 2015 walk-on get his scholarship? Have 25 "per class"? that would get trickier with redshirts, but would be a way not to lose that benefit


February 12th, 2015 at 1:56 PM ^

Great point, certainly.  Most scholarship discussions ignore this, are strafe against it, depite the noble intent.

I don't have THE answer, but it seems like a workable solution should be available. Your suggestions seem viable.  Another idea - let the annual scholarship counts float at each university, rather than having a set cap. Scholarships for women go up are down in response to the football program's attrition. (This is not in the spirit of equality, but it reflects the revenue-generating reality of what drives athletic department decisions.)  This could have a cumulative effect -- keep more football players around means more scholarships for female student-athletes. Win win.


February 12th, 2015 at 2:10 PM ^

There is a simple solution:  implement the "Initial Counter" rule across-the-board, in every sport.  For 25 initial counters in football, you have 15 in crew, 5 in field hockey and 5 in water polo, for example.  Or whatever.  So you have the same number of male and female "Initial Counters" at your school, and since retention for female athletes is better than retention for male athletes, you have solved any Title IX issues.

It's not really a huge problem, I would think.  After all, you can just take the current scholarship limit in every sport and divide by some constant (3.5 or so, I guess), and you have your "Initial Counter" limit.


February 12th, 2015 at 2:05 PM ^

The problem I see it is that the Alabamas of the world would load up on preferred walk-ons waiting to snatch up any scholarships that come available from attrition.  This would kill the whole point of the thing - which is to align the interests of the student with the interests of the program.


Real Tackles Wear 77

February 12th, 2015 at 1:28 PM ^

Ramzy at 11w is a pretty good writer. I find it weird, though, how insecure their fan base is despite their success the last 1/3 of the 2014 season...I guess that comes with the territory down there. I think they know that Harbaugh's hiring was the end of their little run...how cute.


February 12th, 2015 at 1:32 PM ^

Do we need an ineligible man down field rule? With spread offenses, the A11 and never punt coaches, it seems like the game has opened up and become aggressive. Why not just allow guys to run downfield and pass block? That would be exciting and it would also leave the QB open to some pressure! Sounds like fun.

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February 12th, 2015 at 1:52 PM ^

It's one thing if O-lines were able to sell play-action better by run-blocking past the LoS.  The problem is that linemen are starting to deliberately interfere with pass defense.  There was a game last season where a lineman cut-blocked a guy covering a six-yard drag route and the refs didn't call it.

I sometimes think football has silly rules to discourage creativity, but this isn't one of them.  O-linemen blocking downfield is downright dangerous in pass situations because when you're a 180-pound DB trying to stay in a slotback's pocket on an option route you're not going to see a 300-pound meat boulder crush you from the side like getting T-boned by an 18-wheeler.


February 12th, 2015 at 1:40 PM ^

I personally enjoyed the Taken reference, but the subsequent character assassination of Weiss (even in obvious gest) was what made me uncomfortable. But I'm glad to see you man up and admit fault. That's not an easy thing to do for someone in a position like you are, who gets routinely criticized by many  for anything and everything regardless of content. So I really appreciate it.

But seriously, that 'new fight song' CANNOT HAPPEN.  Firstly, DONT CALL IT A FIGHT SONG. Secondly, don't aim for being "unique" when the Victors is already easily the most "unique" fight song in the damn country!

El Jeffe

February 12th, 2015 at 1:59 PM ^

Because "unique" means "being the only one of its kind," or "unlike anything else." You cannot have degrees of being the only one of your kind. You can have degrees of similarity and difference (Julian Edelman is more like Wes Welker than he is like a kumquat), but not degrees of uniqueness.


February 12th, 2015 at 2:22 PM ^

Since most words have multiple meanings, they can have multiple applications. ANother definition of "unique" is "not typical; unusual". It's quite OK to say something is "very unusual", so by that definition, it should also be perfectly acceptable to say "very unique".  Language isn't that rigid, and I contend that surely you can identify levels of uniqueness in a completely colloquial way.

Fuzzy Dunlop

February 12th, 2015 at 2:29 PM ^

 Language isn't that rigid, and I contend that surely you can identify levels of uniqueness in a completely colloquial way.

There are many people who take that position towards language, so I recognize that your position has some merit, and I say this with all due respect:

Fuck that shit.  I hate it that linguistic errors become "colloquialisms" just because people misuse a word often enough.  And I hate it that dictionaries now include these misuses as alternative definitions.  It literally makes my head explode.  



February 12th, 2015 at 3:25 PM ^

I suppose people think that a "desirement" is the noun form of "desire," but DESIRE IS A NOUN!!! NOW GET OFF MY LAWN.

My other word pet peeve is Rece Davis' "trickeration." I hate trickeration.

And BTW, Brian misspelled chyron. I'm saddened that I know that, and even more saddened that I feel compelled to point out the proper spelling. It's a disease.


February 12th, 2015 at 3:30 PM ^

"Very unique" is usually used to mean "highly unusual", with a positive connotation. "Unusual" tends to carry a negative connotation, and is therefore not a perfect substitute.

What concise phrase do you propose to replace "very unique" that won't get your hackles up? Because otherwise "very unique" seems to have a unique and useful role in the language.

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February 12th, 2015 at 2:22 PM ^

Since most words have multiple meanings, they can have multiple applications. ANother definition of "unique" is "not typical; unusual". It's quite OK to say something is "very unusual", so by that definition, it should also be perfectly acceptable to say "very unique".  Language isn't that rigid, and I contend that surely you can identify levels of uniqueness in a completely colloquial way.

Hurray grammar debate!