Unverified Voracity, Here Till The End Or August

Submitted by Brian on August 1st, 2012 at 4:29 PM

Events! Two preseason events are booked for yours truly:

  • I'll be in New York on August 15th with the Alumni Club of NYC. 7 PM, Professor Thom's.
  • I'll be a part of the UM Club of Greater Detroit's kickoff dinner panel with Angelique Chengelis of the News and Greg Dooley of MVictors. Details here.

Yes, lol. Here's Todd Graham's motivational tactic at Arizona State:


This is lol. It is even more lol when you bring last year's edition into play:


Yes: I AM HERE TO THE END. I get that Graham is Todd Graham. What I can't understand is what the hell Arizona State's athletic director was thinking when he decided to grab a guy who already had a reputation as a job-hopper after one 6-6 year in the Big East. That's like hiring Brady Hoke… if Brady Hoke had no connection with your university and was widely regarded as not the best dude ever.

Oh, right, that. The Devin Gardner cat was released from the bag but never mentioned in this space. Here is the cat:

How much will backup quarterback Devin Gardner play at receiver this fall?

"I'll think we'll have a chance to get Devin on the field some at receiver," Hoke said.

But, legitimately, how much?

"We'll see," Hoke said, smirking. "I'm being coy, but we'll see as fall camp goes through what he can handle, ball security after the catch, all kinds of things like that."

Go for broke, man.

Does a quarter of the MSU football team have an alibi? Star Wisconsin tailback Montee Ball was the victim of an "unprovoked attack" last night:

Ball suffered head injuries after being attacked by five men near Wisconsin's campus around 2:15 a.m. Wednesday. Witnesses told police the men knocked Ball to the ground and began kicking him. Ball, a 2011 Heisman Trophy finalist, was taken to a hospital and released later Wednesday morning.

You'd think shouting "I RAN FOR 1,923 YARDS LAST YEAR" would be an excellent way to get people to stop kicking you in the head. Or "my best friends are 6'6", 320 pounds." But these guys are probably hopped up on PCP.

Bullet: dodged. Remember when Zeke Pike was probably going to be in Michigan's most recent recruiting class and was supposed to be really good at football? He's taken quite a dive since:

Freshman quarterback Zeke Pike is not expected to be part of the Auburn football team that opens preseason practice on Wednesday afternoon, but knowledgeable sources say the possibility remains that he could rejoin the team, perhaps after the 2012 season. …

Pike was sent home after his arrest on a public intoxication charge in June.

That's after a series of camp performances that saw his stock dip from top-100 type to generic three star.

New era: nevermind. UCF's athletic director got a show cause for working with a street agent, the NCAA concluded thusly

The NCAA Committee on Infractions ruled that Central Florida officials, including former athletics director Keith Tribble, had knowledge of the involvement of Ken Caldwell, a Chicago man with ties to a sports agency, and his associate Brandon Bender, to recruit players. The NCAA said both men used cash inducements in an effort to steer nearly a dozen football and men's basketball prospects to Central Florida.

…and the Golden Knights got a one-year postseason ban that they have the chutzpah to appeal. (Because they sucked at cheating.) Tentative conclusion: Penn State was an aberration and PSU fans should probably be mad and stuff.

I guess the UCF punishment had been in the works long before Penn State got the instant banhammer and the two things have little to do with each other. But… seriously, what does it take short of enabling a pedophile to get seriously hammered? Head coach knows stuff, does nothing: one year postseason ban and flimsy scholarship penalties. Athletic director pays street agent to acquire recruits: one year postseason ban and flimsy scholarship penalties. The equation seems heavily stacked in favor of rolling the dice.

And this is why Brady Hoke trolls you. As Heiko detailed, every question Taylor Lewan fielded was about Will Gholston (except the ones Ace asked):

Lewan was even asked if he was sad that Gholston wasn't part of the Michigan State contingent at the Big Ten's media days.

"I don't know," Lewan said bluntly. "That's kind of an odd question to ask."

Lewan repeatedly deflected specific questions about Gholston and Michigan State throughout his two hour roundtable session, but did admit to one thing.

Gholston is one heck of a player, and regardless of what happened last season, Lewan certainly respects his talent on the field.

"Will's a good player," Lewan said. "He's been very successful since he's been at Michigan State, and it's going to be exciting to play against him."

What's the point? Maybe the first question, sure, but once Lewan has revealed he is going to give you the boilerplate, move on.

Side note: Gholston hype is out of all proportion to reality, man. Marcus Rush is the better MSU DE, but Gholston and his five sacks are… uh, tall. And good when not blocked.

Air Force 1,000 foot view. Via Pre-Snap Read, a fine preview of the Falcons:

It could be worse: Air Force’s offense could have to replace nine starters, as on defense, instead of just eight starters. Then again, it’s probably fair to make one point in regards to the Falcons’ overwhelming lack of experience heading into September: Air Force is not like other programs in the country. Elsewhere, you see five returning starters and point towards a downturn; Air Force, like its fellow service academies, deals with roster overturn every season – perhaps not to this degree, but without redshirt seasons and with most teams very senior-heavy, this sort of retooling is not new to Calhoun and this staff.

The Falcons also return just two starters on defense; the "dream season" section still includes a loss in Ann Arbor.

Etc.: Merrill named Devils' top prospect by NHL.com. Burlon third after spending entirety of last year in AHL. Argh. Alabama concern-type substances. Online poker to return soon? Meinke compiles Will Campbell hype. Chengelis does the same for Kovacs. Restoring the Old Man.



August 1st, 2012 at 6:23 PM ^

I get that Graham is Todd Graham. What I can't understand is what the hell Arizona State's athletic director was thinking when he decided to grab a guy who already had a reputation as a job-hopper after one 6-6 year in the Big East.

It was another Rodriguez situation. Their search was approaching train wreck status and they had to do something drastic to avoid being forced to hire whoever their equivalent of Mike DeBord was.


August 1st, 2012 at 7:14 PM ^

Let's play the "What If" game for a second - if Michigan had hired DeBord, what would 2008-2010 have been like?  My purely speculative guess is that we wouldn't have endured consecutive losing seasons due to the continuity he would have brought with him. It would have probably sucked in the long term though - he probably would have won just enough to avoid the ax, and who knows what lucky up and comer would have snatched up Brady. 


August 1st, 2012 at 9:23 PM ^

He might not have gone 3-9 his first year, but I don't think he would have done all that much better. DeBord was an epic failure as a head coach at CMU. Even as the OC at Michigan, our '97 and '06 defenses and Tom Brady (coupled with the fact that he followed Terry Malone in his second stint) made him look better than he actually was. It's telling that in the five years since DeBord left Michigan, he hasn't managed to land anything better than random position coach gigs in the NFL. If we had hired him in '08, I would have given him 5 years tops. He's just not head coach material. 

The more intriguing 'what if' is if WVU hadn't been upset by Pitt in its last game of '07. If WVU had beaten Pitt, they would have gone to the NCG instead of LSU. There's no way Rodriguez would have left WVU and passed up the chance to play for a national championship. That would have opened the door for Les Miles, who clearly wanted the job badly. Without the obstacle of an NCG, even Bill Martin wouldn't have been able to screw that hire up. 


August 2nd, 2012 at 10:33 AM ^

The other "what if" is what would have happened if Schiano had accepted the job. Most people think his subsequent mediocrity at Rutgers made this a blessing, but that's a really tough place to win (mediocre facilities, not a really attractive environment/college town). Nevertheless, he did continue to recruit well and showed enough as a coach to get an NFL job. My guess is that the defense would have stayed relatively strong in his first year, but the late Carr years' recruiting issues would have left the team's offense poor and then began to pull the defense down until Schiano's recruits matured.

I'm guessing we would have seen something around 6-6 in his first year, and then 7-5 or 8-4 in the next years depending on how well he recruited. With the defense not collapsing the way it did in 2009 and 2010, and without the radical changes on offense that Rich Rod introduced, most initial fan reaction wouldn't have been as hostile, but it still would have skeptical, much as it was in the late Mo, early Carr run of four loss seasons, with 2011 being a make-or-break year.



August 2nd, 2012 at 5:31 PM ^

was Ron English, if I'm not mistaken.

DeBord's not really the right comparable, but English had some support on the basis of his work while at the school and it's very unlikely he would have turned them down. He was always a fall-back position at the very least.


August 2nd, 2012 at 7:39 AM ^

The point is that the vast majority of "professional" sports writers are dicks who care about two things: where the free food is, and getting that juicy, controversial quote from an athlete.


August 2nd, 2012 at 9:06 AM ^

I love Lewan's response to stupid questions. I think all insinuating questions should be answered with a criticism that the question was odd, weird or stupid.