Unverified Voracity Has No Return Date

Submitted by Brian on June 29th, 2012 at 2:06 PM

Elvis says: don't do drugs. Because you'll totally overthrow Desmond Howard if you do.

One offs FTW. That Colorado game has no return date scheduled according to CU's official site:

Colorado and Michigan will renew their short but exciting rivalry with a single game in Ann Arbor on Sept. 17, 2016.  While not officially part of the Pac-12/Big Ten schedule series set to commence in 2017, it will mark the fifth time the schools will play, the first since 1997.

And neither does the Oregon State official site mention a return game:

The Oregon State University football team will travel to the University of Michigan to play during the 2015 season, Beaver Director of Athletics Bob De Carolis announced Wednesday. …

“This is an exciting opportunity for our student-athletes, staff and fans to visit not only one of the great venues in college football but all of sports,” De Carolis said. “But make no mistake, we will make this trip with the goal of winning a football game.”

So… that ND gap can be filled by a marquee opponent instead of road games against middling to not so good Pac-12 teams. Take a picture: GOOD JOB DAVE BRANDON WOOO! Also good job Bill Martin for having luxury suites that make it important to not have home schedules like this year.

Now, about canceling the Horror II and pretending that never happened…

Notre Dame hiatus just that. Whenever Michigan and Notre Dame take a break in their series there's a small cadre of folks suspicious that it's a front for an end to the whole thing. This does not appear to be the case, tinfoil hat folk. From the Tribune:

"This was either in place when I got here or it was a request that came shortly after I got here," Swarbrick said in a phone interview Wednesday. "I didn't even know it wasn't known, frankly. It had been cooked into our scheduling model for at least three years.

"I don’t think somehow (Michigan athletic director) Dave (Brandon) had been informed when he came aboard. When he called and we started talking about dates, I said, 'You know Dave, we had this bye built in and I scheduled games.' He was great. We just made it work.

"We're going to keep playing each other. It's important to both schools. This initiated with a request from up there years ago, and we said OK."

Since this is Notre Dame there is the slight but real chance Swarbrick means "heaven" by "up there." In any case, ND is coming back after the break. On the schedule. Not to the realm of teams that win a lot of football games.

And then he gave you the finger guns. Brandon on the ND hole:

But what does Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon intend to do with those two open dates on the schedule?

"Stay tuned," he told AnnArbor.com by phone on Wednesday.


You're too small. This is something that is true about Chris Wormley and Tom Strobel despite being people of this size:


Football is weird.

BONUS: Well done, photobomber who must be Wormley's younger brother or something.

ZomBCS lurches on, makes more sense. There will remain some semblance of the red carpet bowl tier that fans have gotten used to over the past decade or so, as Stewart Mandel reports that the as yet undefined selection committee will also hand-craft the four bowls that are super special but not hosting playoff semifinals. The top twelve get in, no exceptions—you're still not in the top 12, Michigan State, go away—and there will be some restrictions due to Rose/"Champions" bowl business. As a bonus, they've also decided to un-screw the bowl schedule by playing all six of the red carpet bowls on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

That's good. Less good is that the selection committee will start issuing a top 20 at midseason:

"We didn't want the top four teams to just come out of the blue at the end of the season," Swarbrick said.

This is to provide some transparency, I guess, but if they are prioritizing conference champs that's data you don't get until the season's over, making the previous polls a pointless exercise. I'd rather do away with the whole poll mentality in case some of the dumb from previous systems leaks into the new one.

Budget bits. Michigan's released its 2012 athletic department budget, which is the usual: about 10-12 million in the black with 4-5 of that set aside for a capital reinvestment fund. Things that jump out:

  • Michigan is budgeting $2.4 million for "hosting, food, and special events" in the 2013 FY, a threefold increase on FY12. Alabama game effect?
  • Premium seating is sold out for football and "essentially sold out" for basketball. Someone high five Brady Hoke and John Beilein.
  • Despite having two fewer football games, "spectator admissions" are projected to drop only slightly, from 43 million to 39 million. Ticket price increase is a part of that and they must be including their 4.7 million from the Alabama game in that item.
  • They made $3.9 million more than they expected last year.

More OHL rumblings. It's the incredibly annoying part of the year where OHL teams try to swoop in on committed players just for the hell of it. Plymouth traded for incoming defenseman Connor Carrick's rights, and then signed him. (Apparently. I can't find anything other than the link-free MHN article.)

Carrick committed to Michigan as a sophomore in high school and as a small defenseman who was a mid-round draft pick he's the archetypical guy who should play in college, so the only way this makes any sense at all is if Carrick was concerned about playing time. Michigan does return six guys who had a regular-ish shift last year and adds Trouba. But this isn't John Gibson bugging out at the idea of backing up Hunwick—Carrick only has to beat out one of Chiasson, Serville, or Clare to get PT. Stupid move for a guy who has about a 12% chance of playing 200 NHL games.

Meanwhile, an OHL source telling Matt Slovin that Jacob Trouba is 50/50 to be in Kitchener this fall is something to mention, but my initial reaction to that is eyerolling given anonymous OHL sources' tendency to play up their chances at everyone. Trouba has been more insistent that he'd be at Michigan than anyone save Jack Johnson. If he backs out that would be an all-timer. I need a sufficiently condescending youtube video to embed in these situations.

As far as Phil Di Giuseppe goes, Rivals' Michael Spath seems to be a little more optimistic as of yesterday's Inside the Fort post. 

It doubles as a tombstone. The CCHA's final year will be commemorated by patches.


I'll be vaguely sad about the lost tradition until I see some good old fashioned CCHA reffing in November. Or remember Shawn Hunwick, second-team all-conference.

Mikulak killing it. Michigan's men's gymnastics Olympic hopeful is crushing the trials:

So much for the U.S. men's gymnastics team being a two-man show.

Sam Mikulak was impressive during the first day of the U.S. Olympic gymnastics trials Thursday, threatening to break up the grip national champion John Orozco and Danell Leyva have on the role of top Americans heading into the London Olympics.

Looking as relaxed as if he was competing in a college dual meet for Michigan, the 2011 NCAA champion posted an all-around score of 91.80, the best on a day many of the other contenders to make the five-man Olympic team faltered.

Leyva moved past Orozco into first place in the overall standings, which combine scores from nationals and trials, but couldn't top Mikulak, at least for a couple of hours. Mikulak remained third in the overall standings but drew closer to the top two heading into the finals Saturday.

Mikulak was also interviewed by espnW. If he makes the team he is a lock to have an NBC equivalent of Tom Rinaldi narrate a sepia-toned profile, what with the broken legs == broken dreams angle.

Etc.: John Bacon on the recently departed Bob Chappius. The Ex-Peach Bowl wants to be the #6 bowl in this new rotation they've got going. Indianapolis, you're our only hope. TOC's Chris Vannini on Detroit FC. Shut up, I like it. UConn joins Hockey East, prompting BC blogs to advocate secession into a new six-team conference styled on the Big Ten. New BHGP podcast intro song.

Lloyd meets the peregrine falcon named after him, asks "why is that one not named Fielding?" He does not actually ask that.


Kermits Blue Key

June 29th, 2012 at 6:57 PM ^

I know this sentiment isn't very popular around here, but I agree with you for the most part.  My rationale is more that I'm tired of ND continuously snubbing the B1G and benefiting financially for remaining independent than variety's sake though.  I understand why they're doing it, I just don't believe the B1G should help them accomplish their goals. 


June 29th, 2012 at 1:48 PM ^

...I'm surprised Lloyd Carr referred to Lloyd's talons as claws.  

I still think The Horror requires expiation and Appalachian State II provides the opportunity for that. No risk, no reward is not how Michigan should operate.

/cue "Out, damn'd spot! out, I say!" counter argument


June 29th, 2012 at 5:44 PM ^

Why should Michigan give App State credit for an amazing victory and walk away with a tough lesson learned; when they can just reschedule the game and properly act the part of the neighbirhood bully this time.  

How petty.

I'm temped to root for App State this time around.


June 29th, 2012 at 7:00 PM ^

...no sense whatsoever. The people who make the "we get no credit if we win, all the shame if we lose" argument are the ones who aren't giving Appalachian State credit for their win.

I give them all the credit in the world for that win and I want Michigan to show that they've learned the lesson that no team should ever be taken lightly.


June 30th, 2012 at 12:34 AM ^

Does anyone think Michigan will take Appy State, of all teams, lightly this time around? I see no possibility of "evening the score," "expiating" some sort of past wrong, or any other gain from playing a team a second time that Michigan had no business losing to (or probably even playing) the first time around. The whole point is, the rematch is pointless -- it does nothing to change or undo the result the first time around. Appy State won, it's in the books -- time to move on, rather than using it as a cheap publicity stunt.


June 29th, 2012 at 1:59 PM ^

Hold on now

TOC's Chris Vannini? He's also the JCB's Chris Vannini. We own part of his soul too!  He's been jamming out Euro 2012 posts for us for weeks, did March Madness coverage and will continue to be a regular contributor.

Talented guy. And thats a fun piece that Brian linked on Detroit FC



June 29th, 2012 at 2:47 PM ^

I like playing App State, here is my reason. Brandon wants Michigan in the news, he wants to get Michigan's name on primetime as much as possible, as the football season grows closer all the talk will be about Michigan vs Alabama that is a good thing, next year as the season gets closer all the talk will be Michigan vs App St. Getting people to talk about Michigan football is a good thing, I have no fear of App St next year, and Michigan will be in the national news.


June 29th, 2012 at 3:00 PM ^

and I think that on the whole, a lot of us can appreciate that motivation.

My counterargument to doing that in this specific case is that while for the casual fan of football, this will be a lot of fun to talk about, for me personally, it will be extremely painful. My emotional response to The Horror was functionally identical to my emotional response upon finding out a friend of mine had passed away. Said friend has been gone for many years now, and I don't get choked up anymore talking about it, but that doesn't mean I really enjoy talking about how he died. Sorry if that sounds overblown or hyperbolic, but it really is how I feel. So as much as I'm all for having Michigan in the news, this isn't really news I want to have conversations about for months leading up to the season.

snarling wolverine

June 29th, 2012 at 7:08 PM ^

This is where I think the internet and its tendencies toward groupthink can be dangerous.

I was at the Appalachian game.  It sucked, hard.  It was one of the most embarassing outcomes I've witnessed.  But on this blog, people here are building it up into a Greek tragedy, refusing to call the game by its name, and generally acting like they have PTSD from it.  Everyone keeps reinforcing each other's "trauma" from this game.  If we were still in the depths of the downward spiral that game arguably started, OK, but we're not.  We went 11-2 last year and won a BCS bowl.  We beat Ohio.  We've recovered.

It's time for people to pull it together already.  Stop calling it "the Horror."  Comparing that game to the loss of a friend?  Come on man.  No football game can possibly be that bad.  



June 29th, 2012 at 7:27 PM ^

...said. People need to hold their heads up, not hang them in shame. Michigan lost the game. It sucked. Then more things happened that sucked. It came on the heels of two real gut punches at the end of the prior season. Appy State was clearly better than 2/3 of FBS teams, but that reality was zero consolation. Stanford's upset win over USC seemed like something we could point to as "worse", but no one else bought that. Other FBS teams lost in subsequent years to FCS schools including VT's loss to JMU and UVa to W&M, but all that did was remind people of Michigan's shame.

Guess what? It's not going away. The only thing to do is to accept it. And it seems to me the best way to accept it is to take up the challenge. That's the honorable thing to do.


June 29th, 2012 at 3:29 PM ^

I like playing them as well.  Never going near them again is just being a shitty loser.  They're making the jump up to FCS and that jump is expensive.  I'm fine with inviting them to our house, giving them a giant check, and a firm handshake.  Being able to be gracious in defeat often says more than being gracious in victory.  I'd have no issue with them becoming a semiregular visitor as they find their footing in FCS.


June 29th, 2012 at 4:19 PM ^

They were in FCS all along, and have won several championships at that level.  Do you mean they are moving to FBS? 

If you do mean FBS, I see rumors, and I see official statements that they are "exploring options," but I don't see that they have officially made that move.  It looks like they are not going to move unless a conference (either Conference USA or the Sun Belt Conference, presumably) accepts them as a member.  If they don't start their move very soon (like in the next month or so), they will still be in FCS when we play them again, just like they were last time.



June 29th, 2012 at 4:42 PM ^

I should have just said Div I and saved my hassle of confusing the sub divisions on a Friday afternoon, argh.  Anyway my understanding is in 2011 App State announced it was pursuing a move to FBS after a recommendation from an evulation committee.  They have two issues, a conference spot and a bigger stadium.  UMass made it into the MAC so quickly because they're sharing Foxboro with the Patriots and that got them out of needing a stadium expansion.  App State needs to get some money for the stadium and of course find an open spot as the conferences shuffle around.

My understanding was the 2014 date was to give App State some time to find a FBS space before they played us.  The date also gives them a payout of at least 440k dollars that they can use to help their credit rating when it comes time to get loans for stadium expansions.  

Basically they're supposed to be FBS by the time they get here, although very newly minited FBS.  If they're not, then maybe there is an escape clause in our contract with them, we'll see.  


June 29th, 2012 at 2:48 PM ^

I'm trying to get into hockey in general, and since I'm a UM fan, college hockey. can someone either explain to me how college hockey recruiting works? (wrt OHL and all that good jazz). Or point me to source of information. I know what the frozen four is. Commence.

Thanks in advance, especially if people end up being helpful and you know....not..."Internet message board-y".


June 29th, 2012 at 8:33 PM ^

It's just like College Football recruiting. Players can't be contacted specifically until like their junior year of high school, which for a lot of people is when they're 17ish.

The OHL problem is that the OHL draft is for 15 year olds. So there's usually a 2 year gap when a player is OHL drafted, and when schools can contact them. And for a lot of players, waiting for the NCAA just isn't that smart. Why wait 2 years playing at a lesser level of hockey only to find out that the school you held out for (a Michigan/North Dakota type) doesn't actually want you? Unless you're a top prospect, there's no guarantee so why not just take what's been given to you


June 29th, 2012 at 2:49 PM ^

Why does anyone care about when the polls are released or if their are polls at all?   I understand Brian's point about issuing an official poll, but let's not pretend that if the AP, Coaches, Harris and the New Bowl Committee all decided we're not going to issue a poll until week 8 that we would all sit here and wonder boy I wonder who is going to be #1 in week 8.   Maybe in 1978 it might be interesting, but with so much info and data out there a top 10 that is about 90% correct will be formed in your head at the end of each week.   You can't clear your mind in a vaccum and take your bias out of it. 


June 29th, 2012 at 5:11 PM ^

The major issue I see favoring poll announcements during the season would be noticed in a year where their selections varied significantly from what the other polls suggested. Whether they hold any weight or not, the AP and Coach's polls would obviously set a standard in the minds of the fans which would create serious pressure on the committee to make choices that resembled expectations. It's smart for them to get ahead of the curve thus giving themselves weeks to argue why they've made the decisions they have which if anything would potentially then shift the other polls into alignment.


June 29th, 2012 at 2:51 PM ^

The Bob De Carolis referenced is a former Michigan guy. As noted in his OSU profile:

"He started his Michigan career in 1979 as an administrative assistant.He was promoted to assistant business manager in 1980; at the same time, he was also named the head softball coach.De Carolis was Michigan's softball coach from 1980 to 1984 and his Wolverines had a third-place finish at the AIAW national championships.

"De Carolis was promoted from assistant business manager to business manager in 1983; in 1987 to assistant athletic director for business; in 1990 to associate athletic director for internal operations; in 1994 to senior director for financial operations; in 1996 to senior associate athletic director and became responsible for all athletic facilities and venues at Michigan

"Under his leadership as senior director for financial operations, De Carolis led negotiations with Nike for an all-school contract for athletic shoes and apparel -- one of the first of its kind in the country.He established a long-term relationship with Pepsi-Cola for beverage rights, to all athletic venues.

"De Carolis also spearheaded a "gift brick" donor program for Michigan Stadium, developed a comprehensive capital improvement program and coordinated the development of a master plan for the renovation of Michigan Stadium."

I Blue Myself

June 29th, 2012 at 3:35 PM ^

"The top twelve get in, no exceptions"

Is this really true? Last year, if the selection committee had ended up with the same rankings as the BCS, there would have been four SEC teams in the major bowls, but only one Big Ten team (Wisconsin). See the pre-bowl rankings here: http://espn.go.com/college-football/bcs

Would Delany really agree to that?

The only support in the article is a link to a couple of tweets saying it's theoretically possible to have the top 12 teams make it. Without more solid confirmation, you have to consider the possibility of some limits on number of teams per conference.


June 29th, 2012 at 4:56 PM ^

Probably the only drawback to the new playoff system as a Michigan fan is giving up the preferential treatment we've been able to count on. Of course I hope and expect that we'll be in the top12 frequently. Still it'd be nice to know we'd still have a decent shot at a major bowl in that one of seven or so years when we ended up with an 8-4 record.

I Blue Myself

June 29th, 2012 at 8:07 PM ^

That's true, but my point was not so much that it definitely would have happened that way last year, but rather that it could have.  Given the strength of the SEC in recent years, it seems totally possible that the committee would consider the relevant factors and choose 3 or 4 SEC teams and only one Big Ten team.

The ACC and Pac 12 have relatively little to lose by this, since they would very rarely get a team ranked outside the top 12 to qualify anyway.  The Big Ten and maybe to a lesser extent the Big 12 are the big losers if they no longer have parity with the SEC in major bowls.  I also have to wonder how this will impact the way the cash will be divided up.


June 29th, 2012 at 5:48 PM ^

I am not sure why Brian has an issue with it. Swarbrick's comment makes sense. You don't want to go through the whole season having no idea where you stand, in the minds of those making the decision.

Obviously, the only way it can work legitimately, is if the weekly poll is the answer to the question, "If the season ended today, which teams would qualify for the playoff, and which teams would qualify for "top six" bowls?"

The weighing of conference champions obviously can't happen until, you know, the conferences have actually been won. So there is clearly going to be some suspense, just as there is today with the NCAA basketball tournament.

The more interesting question is how recusal will work. On the basketball committee, no member can vote on or discuss his own school, or a school from his own conference. But the NCAA tournament is WAY over-inclusive. No one who has a realistic chance of winning is excluded. (The 8th seed is the highest that has ever won it all, and they take 16+ seeds in four regions.)

But in this system, the difference between being #4 or #5 is HUGE. That decision could be very substantially altered, depending on who is defined as "recused". And even the difference between #3 and #4 (which affects who you play in the semi) is pretty important.

If you recuse anyone who has (or could be claimed to have) a rooting interest in any of the top twenty teams, I'm not sure who will be left to vote!

The FannMan

June 29th, 2012 at 8:53 PM ^

I love the OSU (NTOSU) and Colorado games.  They may not be Georgia and USC, but they are a big step up from Baby Seal U.  Generally, I am not a Brandon fan, but this is good. 

Thanks Mr. Brandon.