Unverified Voracity Leaps Stuff Comment Count

Brian May 18th, 2011 at 4:48 PM

The other major outrage type thing going on. That would be the bowl system's ticket guarantees that turn bowls from a guaranteed profit to a guaranteed deficit for many. The Wizard of Odds put together a lot of numbers about what's going on with that. Unfortunately he quoted perpetually silly Andrew Zimbalist saying something about a cartel, but whatever. Numbers:

Supporters of the 35-game bowl system argue that the postseason turns a profit. Technically, this is correct, but only because of the BCS, which this season distributed a reported $174.07 million from its five games. Of that amount, 83.4 percent went to the automatic qualifier conferences — the Atlantic Coast, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pacific 10 and Southeastern conferences.

The 30 non-BCS bowl games are, at best, a break-even venture. Without the ticket guarantee, it is likely that half the bowls would not exist.

The Fiesta Bowl's massive chunk of unsold seats is actually economically justifiable since the BCS bowls are a net input into the system. That's not the case when you're UCF, and you're eating nearly a million dollars in unsold Liberty Bowl tickets.

This isn't a playoff argument. The bowl system can continue, but the NCAA is currently transferring money from college students (student fees make up a large portion of the revenue for programs that typically go to rinky-dink bowls) to this guy:

fiesta bowl junker

Not literally that guy, but versions of that guy in a different blazer. It's a neat trick to transfer the risk your bowl will be a dud from the organizers to the schools, though. 

File Under The Gets It Files, Part XI. You know who Amani Toomer hates? Everybody. If he was going to have a sitcom it would be titled "Amani Toomer Hates Everybody." Amani Toomer does not like anyone. He hadn't been back to Ann Arbor in 15 years. He came back for one of the thousands of Hoke Hand-holding Socials and…

“It was good to be back, good to see some players and people, and I saw coach (Gary) Moeller, which was special,” Toomer said. “I just really felt like a part of the whole Michigan family, more so than I did in the past couple of years.

“I feel more connected than I did before, so that’s always a good step forward.”

Amani Toomer likes Gary Moeller! And Brady Hoke!

mikey likes it

This is the point at which I make a very silly assertion about this proving how excellent of a recruiter Brady Hoke is, which may be silly but is also 1000% true.

Requirement. I will join the horde, as required by law. This is Jalen Rose's General Lee:


Readers are advised not to attempt a reconciliation between Rose's comments about Duke and what appears to be a massive Dukes of Hazzard fandom. Smoke will come out of your ears.

Readers are advised to bid on the car, though, which is being auctioned off to help fund Rose's charter school in Detroit. Buy it now for 100 grand. Do it now.

Hockey in the boat. As you can see on the sidebar, Michigan hockey officially announced its recruiting class today. The official site's article has stats and a quote from Berenson on each of the signees; Michigan Hockey Net also points out that two guys weren't listed. That's not because they've decommited but because they're preferred walk-ons. Those two are D Mike Szuma and F Andrew Sinelli. Sinelli not counting as a scholarship guy (except when there are extras, which there usually are since someone always leaves the team) helps explain where they're going to get the room to sign these guys the next few years. 

Meta but wow. I can't recall how I got to this article from The Daily (not that Daily: the Rupert Murdoch one) on Lloyd Carr being a nice dude who's in the Hall of Fame hurrah. In thirty seconds the generic newspaperese will fade from my brain, but I'll always remember the time I went to that site to read an article that was a half-meg 768x3072 image and marveled at how random the selection process for executives is. I know it's an iPad app and all but raising a giant middle finger to Google is maybe not the best policy.

How do you short this enterprise?

Etc.: Michigan is two-thirds of the way through its practice reduction. Must have been fairly significant if they could stack it like that. Insert joke about how it all came out of the defense here. Jim Tressel's lawyer, Gene Marsh, was Michigan's lawyer. This time around he's banking on Tressel's body language saving the day. That's the ticket. Ramzy at 11 Warriors appears more enthusiastic about Brady Hoke than most Michigan fans. Also he is also unforgiving of past MGoBlog statements that are now ridiculous. Optimism from Holding The Rope.


Maize.Blue Wagner

May 18th, 2011 at 5:00 PM ^

Sometimes it seems like the Brady Hoke era is more reminiscent of the Moeller era than the Carr era.  Not an attack on Lloyd, and I was too young to remember much of Moeller's tenure. However, little things here and there make me feel that we are returning to the early 90s rather than the the mid 00s (which I'm certainly fine with).  Maybe it has more to do with Mattison than anything else. 


May 18th, 2011 at 10:01 PM ^

I know what really happened that night in Southfield. Gary Moeller was a great coach whose career completely self-destructed in one, ill-timed night of drowning his sorrows (or whatever precipitated the drunken tirade). I'm sure there isn't a day that does by that he doesn't regret it.

lexus larry

May 18th, 2011 at 5:06 PM ^

So, per Amani Toomer, Lloyd Carr wasn't all about family values (or "getting it"), either?

As posted previously, wasn't the purpose of hiring Brady Hoke to mend the fractures that these yutzes continue to point at and mock?  And aren't they all supposed to hold hands and sing "Kumbayah" as a result of the "healing" going on?

Weren't all those socials (15 cities in 16 days, to paraphrase) to pull and unite the nebulous unhappy campers?

Never let it be said that the Hoke hire was to soothe the butt hurt feelings for any group other than those who had all-access passes at Schembechler Hall.


May 18th, 2011 at 6:46 PM ^

There will always be some malcontents.  Toomer and Ty Law didn't like Carr.  But in a healthy program, those guys are in the small minority.  Under the previous staff, we had a huge number of former players who were unhappy with the direction of the program.  Most of them seem to have been brought back into the fold.  


May 18th, 2011 at 9:12 PM ^

...this was missed, but Rose and Hill have buried the hatchet.

Former Michigan basketball star Jalen Rose says Grant Hill has agreed to help support the new charter school in Detroit bearing Rose's name. The Jalen Rose Leadership Academy is expected to open in September. Rose says Hill has promised to lend his support and that things are fine between them after Hill criticized Rose in March for comments he made in an ESPN documentary about Michigan's famous Fab Five.

Wolverine 73

May 18th, 2011 at 5:30 PM ^

That's going to have to be some sort of Academy Award performance to convince the NCAA Tressel's heart was in the right place, given that later learned facts or simple common sense undercut virtually every story he told along the way.  If they let him skate because he has a "good reputation," they are a joke.  A good reputation can excuse a careless mistake; it can't excuse deliberate lies.


May 18th, 2011 at 5:38 PM ^

But he wears a really nerdy looking sweater vest and often wears glasses as well.  He looks just like a Senator should look.  Hell, he even puts on camo to honor the troops.  And he wins a ton of games, and even has the courtesy to almost always lose to the SEC, which the NCAA loves. 

How can you stay mad at him?


May 18th, 2011 at 5:36 PM ^

"This is the point at which I make a very silly assertion about this proving how excellent of a recruiter Brady Hoke is, which may be silly but is also 1000% true."

Every day, Brian eases towards the jubilation that so many of us have already begun to experience regarding the Hoke hire. 

Oh, and Amani wins to award for "First Person to Lump the Lloyd and RR Eras Together As A Time When Former Star Players Were Disassociated From The Program."  I love me some "Hoke can unite the world" talk - hell, I agree with that talk - but if Amani felt unwelcome at Michigan under BOTH Lloyd and RR (two eras that were about as opposite as it gets), then he might want to consider that the problem is him, not Michigan.

Other Andrew

May 18th, 2011 at 5:49 PM ^

Seems to me that the big problem is that this stuff is set up ahead of time. The school doesn't get to negotiate with the bowl in particular. Doesn't seem like a very sensible way to do business. They have the schools over a barrel, because what are they going to do, NOT go to a bowl game? If you're Northern Illinois, you only get so many opportunities to get that bowl bid. Well, I guess with so many bowls forced to take eligible teams, the "smaller" schools could indeed negotiate this. Why don't they? Are they overly optimistic about how many fans are going to show up?


May 18th, 2011 at 6:54 PM ^

Yeah, it would be nice if a few more teams turned down bowl invites from bowls that ripped them off in favor of a lesser bowl.  But can they do that?  If Bowl X gets the #5 Big Ten team and that team turns it down, who plays in that bowl?  Would they then just be screwing over another Big Ten team?

Zone Left

May 18th, 2011 at 7:23 PM ^

Year to year, you're right. The schools really have to accept bowl invitations. However, when bowl tie-ins are negotiated, the power conferences can do anything they want. The people negotiating for the Big 10 just haven't figured out that the Citrus Bowl has exactly zero power to push ticket packages on their schools. What's their other option, get a Big East team? Ultimately, the TV dollars and ticket sales go to the bowls with the best matchups between teams with the mos passionate fan baes, so the bowl with the Big 10 #2 vs SEC #2 (which I think is the Citrus Bowl's tie-in) is going to get the most money after the BCS. The Big 10 and SEC have all the power here, they just don't use it for some reason.

Fat Mike

May 18th, 2011 at 6:05 PM ^

Michigan Hockey Net Also also points out that Zach Hyman chooses Michigan after decommiting from princton. Huge pick up for the hockey team.


May 18th, 2011 at 6:37 PM ^

I don't know if Ramzy is more enthusiastic than most Michigan fans about Hoke.  I think he captured the way a large chunk of the fanbase feels.  This comment - "Michigan football never needed to be reinvented; it just needed a tune-up" perfectly captures how a lot of us felt in 2007.  


May 18th, 2011 at 6:50 PM ^

Well, that's what ended up happening.   If we had largely maintained the culture/philosophy of the Carr staff, we probably would have had a lot fewer disgruntled players, and we may have recruited more successfully, especially on defense.   


May 18th, 2011 at 7:06 PM ^

With Michigan fans than say....

I mean, "most" isn't really accurate. "Most" Michigan fans feel the way that article portrays it. I'm not even sure "most" Michigan fans on this site, the last bastion of the disgruntled, feel that differently. Just because a few do, doesn't make it most.


May 18th, 2011 at 6:42 PM ^

That Europe and Africa have started inching towards north America. Europe said "I haven't felt this welcome over here since the Pangea days. It just feels good to be back."


May 18th, 2011 at 7:04 PM ^

The Brady Hoke article that mgoblog provided the link to is a really nice examination of what happened in the Rodriguez era. Turns out there are some smart Buckeye fans out there, and the author of the article is one of them. Good read if you have a minute to spare . . . 

Blue Mind and Heart

May 19th, 2011 at 9:32 PM ^

Barwis was the highest paid S&C coach in the nation??

One of the least sensical and often repeated pro-RR arguements was that the AD did not give RR enough money to hire a quality staff causing his downfall.  If true that Barwis was the highest paid S&C coach, maybe RR just didn't wisely allocate his resources.  

I always felt that Barwis was a detriment to RR.  Not because the was a poor coach.  I believe he was a good coach.  But RR (and many within the administration) believed that he would be a difference maker.  Having Barwis would make up for other shortcomings and in the end RR did not effectively deal with those shortcomings.  I believe even this board has now accepted that the "Barwis Advatage" was zero.  


May 18th, 2011 at 7:19 PM ^

Other than being a jpeg and not possible to copy from it, but the last 3 paragraphs were kinda interesting.

I'm just hoping that in Hold the Rope's analogy we cover up the damn exhaust. And that it works this time...


May 18th, 2011 at 7:24 PM ^

The bowl system can survive on it's own in the midst of a playoff. They'll have to tighten the belt and watch those $10,000 exotic dance club nights and $40,000 golf weekends, but they can do it. Ultimately though who really cares?  That's money that should be going to the schools athletic departments. The external spending by fans would  preferably be in the the cities where the schools are located as we'd have in a playoff.

The bowl system is a dinosaur that exists only because it generates enough dough to 1. buy off adults who are supposed to have the kids best interest at heart (AD's and coaches) and 2. spin the message to keep people from seeing the reality.

If the bowls can survive based on free market business principles while also treating participating schools fairly, keep em around. I love all college football. Currently though, they survive artificially by taking money that rightfully should be going to the schools.

STW P. Brabbs

May 19th, 2011 at 7:26 AM ^

I'm not a playoff guy at all, yet I found myself agreeing with the lion's share of your post.

But this part struck me as somewhat off:  If the bowls can survive based on free market business principles while also treating participating schools fairly, keep em around.

You act like the two parts of that sentence are somehow compatible.  I would say that the bowls are acting on free market business principles: they're aggressively trying to find a way to maximize profits while not giving a flying fuck about whose legs they have to break to do so.  Fairness is a whole 'nother principle entirely, which doesn't come from within the conceptual world of free market principles.


May 18th, 2011 at 7:32 PM ^

I don't disagree with the 11W article's take that Hoke should be able to get UM back to it's mid-Carr trajectory, but I continue to take issue with the notion that RR would not have worked at UM. RR's failure at UM can be linked almost completely to his inability to select a competent DC and trust him to run the defense. Give RR Mattison and you are putting in a new case for all the hardware UM would win. I have faith that Hoke will be a good coach here, but it saddens me a bit that UM's first real attempt to think outside the box might be the last one for years to come. And not to make light of 11W, but I think the "tuneup" at OSU this past decade under Tressel has been less than impressive from a national perspective. I would hope UM can be expected to shoot higher than the B1G title and getting worked over by the SEC.


May 18th, 2011 at 7:46 PM ^

But you can't just "give RR Mattison."  He would never have landed him.  It's no more realistic than saying, "Give Lloyd Carr Denard Robinson at QB."   That, too, would have never happened. 

RR did land a very good DC in Shafer.  Unfortunately, he tried to turn him into Jeff Casteel, and nudged him out when he wouldn't comply.   After that, finding DCs of that caliber was going to be a tough row to hoe. 

As for OSU, while you can argue that their accomplishments are tainted, you really can't argue that they haven't accomplished much.  Tressel has won seven Big Ten titles in 10 years, has been to eight BCS bowls (going 5-3 in them), three national-title games, and won one national title.  How is that less than impressive?  


May 18th, 2011 at 9:14 PM ^

No, I don't disagree with the point that RR could have had Mattison - that was all on Hoke being the magnetic personality that we've seen.  But Shafer is no Mattison at least right now - Mattison is an established DC with pro experience and (apparently) a master of the zen recruiting arts; Shafer is a youngish DC with some obvious potential but I'm not sure you can read that much into a good year with Syracuse and some decent (but not great) Stanford defenses. 

As for OSU, I know that people point to the B1G titles and the BCS bids, but like Carr's record at OSU being artificially inflated by his first couple of years against a withering Cooper and a new Tressel, the OSU you saw at the beginning of the 00's isn't what we've seen the past 4-5 years.  That team has been a force in a downish B1G but typically overwhelmed against other top-notch talent like USC, Texas, and basically anyone from the SEC.  You say 5-3 in BCS bowls, but he's only 2-3 in the last 5 (probably 1-3 when the smoke clears), and some of those losses were pretty embarrassing.  And that NC was with a team largely constructed from some great classes under Cooper (plus a couple of good recruits), so that has to be factored in.

But despite all that, I will concede that OSU has been very good the past decade, but then why does it feel like there is a bad taste in everyone's mouth when they talk about it?  OSU, for all the wins and all of the records, doesn't "feel" like an elite team nationally; they feel like a great B1G team that would lose 2-3 games every year in the B12 or SEC.  That might not be true in reality, but the perception remains that teams like OSU are behind the times, too conservative, too restricted by their talent, and too reliant on the simple playbooks of yesteryear to compete against teams that can match them athletically.  And what scares me is that people were saying the same things about Carr's UM during the middle of the 00's.  So when people talk about UM returning to the UM of Carr or OSU under Tressel, I don't necessarily see that as a positive step in the evolution of UM as a national brand.  Now my hope is that Hoke can push UM in that direction somewhat, but with an eye on the types of changes you need on offense and defense to compete outside of the Midwest.


May 18th, 2011 at 10:57 PM ^

I agree that Shafer is not Mattison, but he is a good DC, and RR made a terrible mistake allowing his position coaches to undermine him, and then an even bigger mistake shoving him out the door.  After that point, RR wasn't going to get any good DC.  To say things like "give RR Mattison and he'd be a winner" is silly.  It's likely that no DC remotely close to Mattison's caliber was going to come as long as RR was coach.  That was one of the big downsides to retaining him.  

As for OSU, I don't agree that they're on any kind of a downward trend.  Here's OSU's yearly record since 2005:

2005 - 10-2 (Fiesta win)

2006 - 12-1 (BCS title loss)

2007 - 11-2 (BCS title loss)

2008 - 10-3 (Fiesta loss)

2009 - 11-2 (Rose win)

2010 - 12-1 (Sugar win)

Where is the downturn there?  You can argue that they're dirty, but not that they haven't been successful.  I'm glad that Tressel will probably be fired, because he'll be hard to replace.


STW P. Brabbs

May 19th, 2011 at 7:37 AM ^

"The evolution of UM as a national brand."

I just threw up in my mouth.  First of all, it's a fucking football program, not a fucking energy drink.  The only reason the concept of 'branding' might apply to football directly is in terms of recruiting, and Hoke seems to be recruiting just fine (as did Lloyd.) No 'evolution' is necessary. 

Furthermore, I can't believe that the last three years hasn't made everyone realize how hard it is to win 9-10 games every year.  That's the baseline at a place like UM, right?  And someone like Rodriguez will easily be able to bump that number by 1-2 wins, or at least not sink below it?  That was the sense I got around here in 2007-08, anyway. 

Finally, OSU is an elite national program.  Unless you think they'd lose to Texas and Oklahoma every year (I don't agree), your Big 12 statement doesn't make sense.  And every team in the SEC is at risk of losing 2-3 times a year, except maybe Alabama the past couple of years.  It's a tough fucking conference.  That doesn't mean OSU is beneath the level of Florida, LSU, etc.  By your standards, I'm not sure what is an elite national program, other than 'Bama.

Eye of the Tiger

May 19th, 2011 at 7:23 AM ^

We need to shoot higher than MSU first. This is the thing that gor so frustrating during the CC debates: RR supporters acted as if he put us in a better position to win a national championship, but in reality we fell from perpetual #1-3 in the conference to perpetual #7-10.

Sorry if that strawmans you...not my intention.

Eye of the Tiger

May 18th, 2011 at 9:45 PM ^

We were supposed to go from solid-but-disappointing in 2007 to somewhere between dazzling and spectacular by 2010. Our offense did produce some monster performances last year, and RR deserves credit for that. But we also routinely sputtered against elite defenses and couldn't stop anyone in the conference not named Purdue. I also failed to see the anticipated "Barwis effect." In 2009 we fell apart in nearly every second half, and while this got better in 2010, I never felt our guys looked stronger than our opponents in the Big 10. Well, maybe Indiana and Purdue.

Obv this wasn't how RR wanted it to play out, or thought it would play out. It's not how any of us (well, most of us) wanted it to play out. He's had a lot of success elsewhere and tried to do something risky with a high potential reward for success; he just didn't get it done, at our school in the time allotted. I, for one, am still immensely disappointed that it didn't work out. But I fully accept that it didn't, and that a new approach is necessary.

Hoke was not my first pick for RR's replacement, but he's done a great job turning perceptions of the program around for recruits, for program alumni and for a lot of depressed fans/students/school alumni. He's recruiting far better than I thought he would and has made excellent hires for his staff. So far, so good.

But the tragedy of RR's tenure should be instructive. Let's give him a chance (3 years seems about right) to show us we're headed back to the top of the conference. Let's also keep expectations realistic.

The real test will be how Borges uses our offensive personnel. A flexible, hybrid system could be very successful, and very exciting. An ideological West Coast Offense would, given our personnel, be worrying.


May 18th, 2011 at 9:50 PM ^

Am I the only one who really digs John Cooper's quote?

About how they can fire him, but not for cheating? I think that's really telling about OSU athletics. There's a guy I can respect...and love, really, cause we always used to beat him.