Unverified Voracity Has Physical Intangibles

Submitted by Brian on October 26th, 2015 at 12:13 PM


two gentlemen who won't be on the bench much this season [Patrick Barron]

Incoming: the other thing we're excited about. We taped a basketball preview podcast this weekend and Ace and Alex will be rolling out season preview stuff pretty soon. Media day also transpired. MAAR:

"If he can become an excellent defender on this team then there will always be minutes for him," Beilein said.

MAAR also has to settle down and finish when he gets to the rim, which he does a lot of. Hard to see him getting a ton of minutes this year; equally hard seeing him get a redshirt since he has skills that aren't common on the roster.


At 6 feet, 10½ inches, Wagner is learning the four and five positions in Beilein's system. That involves banging on the blocks. It requires physical play. It demands fighting for rebounds and manning up on defense.

As of now, despite Wagner climbing from 211 pounds to 225 since arriving at Michigan, that's difficult to imagine. It might look like one of those dancing inflatable tube men stuffed inside a phone booth.

"He just hasn't shown that physical ability to rebound yet, but he will," Beilein said. "He's really a talented young man. As I'll tell you every time, (when he plays) you'll say, 'Wow, that was awkward,' and he will be awkward. Then a minute later, you'll say, 'Oh my goodness, did he just do that at 6 feet, 10½ inches?'

Wagner sounds like he's headed for a redshirt. Also he lives for Chipotle. And is six feet ten and a half inches tall.

Kenpom updates. Kenpom has updated itself with preseason rankings. Its exact sauce is secret, but the system takes into account recent performance, returning players, and recruiting rankings. The Big Ten:

  • 9 Wisconsin
  • 13 Indiana
  • 17 Michigan
  • 18 Michigan State
  • 22 Purdue
  • 24 Maryland
  • 36 Iowa
  • 42 Ohio State
  • 51 Northwestern
  • 61 Illinois
  • 66 Minnesota
  • 119 Penn State
  • 137 Nebraska
  • 223 Rutgers

Well done, Rutgers.

None of that is a surprise given the way I've seen the thing work. Wisconsin is being given credit for being very good the past few years; Kenpom looks at the Michigan roster and is like "tell me more." Then it looks at the Big Ten and is all like "dunno": it projects nobody better than 12-6 and has 8 teams within two games of winning the league.

Meanwhile M's nonconference schedule has no middle. They've got four opponents ranging from 23rd to 41st (SMU, Xavier, UConn, NC State) plus a couple TBD opponents who will probably be good in their tournament. Then they have six nonconference opponents Kenpom ranks 240th or worse. Woof.

It's jug week. So you know MVictors is fired up. On the 1903 game:

Speaking of the Armory – We know now that Minnesota equipment man Oscar Munson found Michigan’s water jug inside the Armory a day or 2 after the game, and, we know that Athletic Director L.J. Cooke suspended the jug above his office in the Armory from 1903 to 1909:

Armory and Jug

Quoting Coach Yost:  Before the game a Minnesota man asked him, “Are you going to beat us?”  “Well, that’s what we came up here for,” replied Yost.  “It will be a great game, and probably a close game.  Minnesota has been playing better football than any team in the west this year…if we win this, we win the championship.”

Tauntings: The Minnesota band entered the field before the game led by a donkey, and, ahem, “the animal wore trousers of Michigan colors.”  [They didn’t get those pants from Moe’s.]  When the Michigan second team players arrived they were greeted with a rousing chorus of “Poor old Mich” by the Gopher Fans.

The Daily Gopher also has jug miscellanea for your reading pleasure.

The next guy, probably/maybe. For no particular reason I spent a chunk of this weekend looking for John O'Korn clips out. Weird experience, that. A game against Rice from his freshman year demonstrates his promise:

There is some dumb freshman stuff in there; there are also a half-dozen throws to make you go "whoah." Against BYU the next year he was middling at best, though his receivers went out of their way to avoid catching the ball, and then against UCF he was in full Hackenberg mode, turfing about every other screen and getting benched for the duration of the season.

O'Korn is about as far away from Rudock as you can get without leaving the "pro style quarterback" designation: a wild, big-armed gunslinger. There's a lot for Harbaugh to work with there; there's also a long way to go. O'Korn's been rooming with Rudock in an apparent effort to get him  more towards the middle of the continuum:

Mastrole said O'Korn is benefiting from living with Rudock, a student of the game and devoted to watching film.

"I'm glad the two of them are rooming together," Mastrole told The Detroit News recently. "John has off-the-charts physical intangibles, and he's a very smart kid. He's going to pick up things and he's observing Jake." …

"He had some turmoil last year but now he's sitting (this season) and learning a lot," Mastrole said. "Jake has been a good fit for him."

I think the word you were looking for there is "tangibles," but I could care less.

That Miami is open. One of the most fascinating jobs in college football is now available for a special someone. That person will have to be a special someone indeed, as Stephen Godfrey and Bud Elliott detail:

Godfrey: I don't know Florida like you do, but I've talked to enough people in the industry to understand the unique problem in Coral Gables. The one thing Luke said that stuck with me the most is how Miami wants to sell "SWAG" on a t-shirt and then recruit and behave in the exact opposite manner. You can't do both.

Bud: You need someone who can relate to the culture at Miami. Golden's "unity overcomes the adversity" slogans were so lame. That is not how these kids are coached when they start in little league. You need someone who relates, who can inspire them. But the administration seems to prefer more of the milquetoast Golden type.

Godfrey: And in 2015, you can't expect the famous Howard Schnellenberger strategy of fencing off "The State of Miami" to compensate for the lack of money and support. Kids in Dade County are uploading highlight clips to Instagram when they're in middle school. Digital film is the biggest change to the recruiting landscape in the last decade, diminishing the local colleges' advantage of identifying prospects before out-of-town schools can. This new hire must be someone for whom local players want to play.

Al Golden, a Penn State alum whose biggest success came at Temple, was as bad a cultural fit as Rich Rodriguez was at Michigan. And Miami is one of the few programs in the country where that "fit" thing looms even larger than it does in Ann Arbor.

This is why Butch Jones, a 63-year-old who hasn't coached since 2010 because he was run out of town by the NCAA, is currently the internet polling favorite at the SB Nation Miami blog. Culture is super-important (and fans on the internet are crazy).

As a result of that and Miami's notorious lack of funding you can probably dump most of the most attractive names on Bruce Feldman's comprehensive list of candidates. (One that includes Jedd Fisch, FWIW.) Tom Herman and Justin Fuente don't have local connections and are going to be pursued by schools with bigger pocketbooks. Dana Holgorsen ($2.3 million already) is probably out of reach monetarily, or will be after his agent gets to work.

But Rich Rodriguez is making just 1.5 million at Arizona, has a ton of South Florida experience in recruiting, and runs a spread offense that would help differentiate Miami from the other two in-state P5 programs. It would be a roll of the dice for both player and program, but… I mean, Deerfield Beach is less than an hour from Miami proper.

Or they could just hire the Rock.

Etc.: Sap on the anniversary of Ufer's passing. We are now #2 in the F+ rankings. Berenson interviewed. Denard was and is the last NCAA football cover athlete. Make or break year for Kam Chatman.


Decatur Jack

October 26th, 2015 at 1:14 PM ^

This is why Butch Jones, a 63-year-old who hasn't coached since 2010 because he was run out of town by the NCAA, is currently the internet polling favorite at the SB Nation Miami blog. Culture is super-important (and fans on the internet are crazy).

Yeah, I think Brian meant Butch Davis there. Butch Jones is coaching at Tennessee and he's not 63.


October 26th, 2015 at 1:17 PM ^

I think Davis would be a great choice in Miami, but only if he brings in Mario Cristobal as an assistant HC/Recruiting Coordinator/Coach in Waiting.  Cristobal could rebuild that "fence" around the "State of Miami."  

The Dade-Broward Clique runs Miami football.  Al Golden tried to change that and his team laid down like dogs against Clemson to get him fired.  Davis turned the DBC into "leaders" instead of assholes.  He knows that fighting the DBC isn't going to work in Miami.  

AFAIC, they are going to need at least one out of Davis, Cristobal and Rob Chudzinski to bring Miami back.  Davis with either Cristobal or Chudzinski would be great for them.

As for Rich Rod, he has already experienced how fucked up the "outsider treatment" is at a school which tends toward parochialism.  It ain't happening...

Gucci Mane

October 26th, 2015 at 12:20 PM ^

When Brian points out that "tangible" is the accurate term supposed to "intangible", and goes on to say "but I could care less"; he is purposely using that phrase incorrectly right ?

UM Fan from Sydney

October 26th, 2015 at 12:21 PM ^

I cannot see Rich's going to Miami. He has a good thing going now. Now, he had the same thing at WVU and obviously left for Michigan, but that is a much larger jump in jobs. Miami is a shit program right now and I don't know if RR wants any part of that. Rich thought he could come to Michigan and win almost right away simply because it's Michigan, but that obviously did not happen. I think he learned his lesson. It's quite clear that Miami's program is in disarray right now. They're likely not going to lure a big name coach this time and will have to start over with an up and coming coordinator or head coach from a small program.


October 26th, 2015 at 12:41 PM ^

Unless, as Brian's post alludes, there's a roll of the dice by Rodriguez.

He may sense the upper limits of the Arizona program.  Recruiting to Tucson is not easy (smallish town, desert surroundings quite foreign to those not accustomed to it).  Arizona itself relatively light in football talent, with ASU getting some of what is there.  A resurgent USC and UCLA, along with Stanford, will suck the talent out of southern California.

I've lived in Tucson for 10 years now.  I saw what the local attitude was towards Mike Stoops.  I saw the flush of excitement about the Rodriguez hire.  I saw the hope and excitement build during the 2014 season.  And I'm here to report there are cracks in the veneer this year.  Small things, but definitely there ... local sports radio grumbling; mocking jokes about the program being offered around coffee.  Nothing big yet.  Just small sniping that wasn't there the previous four.

So who knows?  I doubt Rodriguez goes to Miami, but anything is possible in this crazy year of college coaching.



October 26th, 2015 at 1:23 PM ^

I've read articles from one of the local (Tucson) papers. Very recently one of the guys had an article that reminded me of bad RichRod (the one who often misses with defensive recruits after de-emphasizing that side of the ball in the first place).

A mixed bag, that dude ...


October 26th, 2015 at 12:59 PM ^

He will be out-talented by 4-5 schools in the Pac-12 every year.  He can hope to break through to a division title every now and then but that will be the exception, no matter how good you think he is as a coach.  Whether Miami is the place to go is debatable, but with some continued modest success at AZ he is better off elsewhere.  The opportunities will be there.


October 26th, 2015 at 11:38 PM ^

Yeah, I don't get everyone saying what a good fit Arizona is for RR. It's not a football school and it never has been. It's not far from some good recruiting grounds, but there's no talent in AZ. If RR still wants to win big, and I don't see why he wouldn't, Arizona should not be seen as a final destination. It'd be interesting to see him at Miami.


October 26th, 2015 at 1:15 PM ^

It's obviously pointless to speculate what a man might be thinking, but Rodriguez seemed to firmly believe that if he'd gotten Casteel OR if he had one more year, things would have worked out at Michigan. He is surprisingly young given how long he has been coaching at BCS/power 5 level, but he still has one more shot to make it big. If his aspirations are national championships, I can't imagine he believes he can do that at AZ. But who knows?


October 26th, 2015 at 3:30 PM ^

why isn't Arizona able to recruit? RR has done a good job getting them going, they have some signature wins, and the weather is nice if you like warm. (I'm the type of guy who likes the Great Lakes, and Winter, so I don't quite get AZ, but to each their own...)

but it would seem the school has alot to offer.

snarling wolverine

October 26th, 2015 at 4:06 PM ^

The in-state talent pool isn't all that great, but OTOH, Southern California isn't that far away.  I think a coach who is a strong recruiter could bring in good classes there.  

RichRod isn't all that great of a recruiter.  He's always relied heavily on sleepers.  Even Denard was kind of a sleeper, in that we were one of the only schools to offer him as a QB.  




October 26th, 2015 at 12:25 PM ^

"the administration seems to prefer more of the milquetoast Golden type."

Wow, what a reversal from the "bad boy" days.  When I was a wee lad, Miami was where you wanted to land if your idols were fictional antiheroes and your day job was schoolyard bully.  I'm not sure if there is such a thing as a cultural fit at Miami.

I doubt about RichRod.  After getting run out of town in Ann Arbor, I doubt he's in a hurry to leave a good thing for yet another dysfunctional culture.  I mean, I don't know the guy, but I assume he's sane.

His Dudeness

October 26th, 2015 at 12:38 PM ^

I think RR could do well in MIami if given enough time, but Rich is country.

Country can play well in the south-west, but country doesn't play in Dade Co. Didn't Magee do all the Miami recruiting when RR was at Michigan?

Maybe Coach Magee would be a name to think about for the Miami job...



October 26th, 2015 at 12:42 PM ^

Actually illustrated that pretty well. The administration viewed the school as the Southern Stanford and were pretty buttoned up. They were somewhat appalled by the actions on the field but understood what successful football meant to the school. And yeah, Miami is the one place where flash matters as much as substance.


October 26th, 2015 at 1:01 PM ^

"Miami is the one place"...?!?

It seems to me any number of other "Johnny-come-lately" and "wannabe" schools would happily exchange some substance for a bit more flash.

This includes any school that regularly trots out new unis in an effort to impress "the kidz" and grab some quick and easy caish along the way (check out this past weekends games - or any weekend really - for some examples).

So... Let's not be amongst those guys anymore, OK?! (Looking at you Bumblebee jerseys & unreadable #s)


October 26th, 2015 at 1:14 PM ^

Oregon grabbed Chip Kelly from UNH. Bellotti saw something that would translate to a higher level and it did, then they made the decision to stick with Chip, who's not exactly the most charming guy ever.

Boise built up their own infrastructure there's been able to be multiple transitions, Koetter to Hawkins, Hawkins to Petersen, Petersen to Harsin, while maintaining high standards.

And flash isn't bad if it's followed with substance. As much as UT fans hate Lane Kiffin, hiring Lane wasn't their worst decision. Hiring Derek Dooley was.

It's easy for the winningest programs to fall back onto tradition. But we have to tip our cap to those who make it work.


October 26th, 2015 at 12:28 PM ^

feel like Yes That Miami is its own special kind of screwed right now. It does not have any "clean" history to draw on to promote itself. The phrase "swag" in the context of Miami equated to money, girls, and drugs essentially. But they have played that hand twice already and they will flat be prohibited from playing it again. They are the death penalty waiting to happen and with both Florida schools and the ESS SEE SEE, what is Miami's hook? I don't think they have one and I think they are screwed essentially.

His Dudeness

October 26th, 2015 at 12:34 PM ^

WHo would be footballs version of Calipari?

Get THAT guy and you can win big at Miami and quickly too.

Not sure there is a sleaze ball that has his shit totgether as much as Cal in college football today.


October 26th, 2015 at 1:09 PM ^

I love the Urbz comparison and LOVE the Narduzzi Dis - but it takes more than 3 or 4 All-Americans to turn a football team around. So football can't have a Calipari, really.

It's not like Meyer walked into an "empty cupboard" situation in Gainesville or Columbus, and I didn't even know Utah was in SLC before he arrived there, so I have no idea what the talent level was there.

I think the Memphis guy (Fuentes?) has done a pretty remarkable job, especially since the centerpiece of his team is a guy who dreamt of playing for 1 of the Big 3 in Fla and wasn't offered by any of them. Guy can spot talent and utilize it!