Unverified Voracity Orders One Stoneburner

Submitted by Brian on June 12th, 2012 at 3:43 PM

We do need a tight end. If Ohio State's offering Jake Stoneburner a grad-year transfer to Michigan…


…I'm down.

Hello old 48. Michigan will un-retire Gerald Ford's #48 and make him a legend jersey type thing guy. Unfortunately, these days centers are not allowed to wear #48, so it'll be some defensive guy. They'll hand it out this fall:

"We're honoring Desmond Howard now every year with one of our players (senior receiver Roy Roundtree) who really deserves it," Hoke told the station. "We're going to do the same with Gerald Ford's jersey here this year."

If I can make a request (I cannot) could this not be Jordan Kovacs? Or, like, anyone who has established themselves as a guy with a particular number? Kovacs is 32. Roundtree is 12, except he'll be 21 this fall, and that will negatively affect how he's remembered because he won't be consistently one thing. This may be a crazy argument. It is my argument, though, so I say I'd rather have Kovacs keep 32 and have everybody who wears it after him remind me that once we had a really good walk-on safety.

The legends patch thing is good for honoring past legends but switching numbers up makes it hard to create new ones. I hope they start using them as recruiting incentives instead of flipping seniors to new numbers every year. Also the patch should be subtler.

Somewhere, Kevin Sampson sobs quietly onto his Scrooge McDuck pile of flip phones. The NCAA's increasingly anachronistic texting ban is no more

"R U interested in our school? Our facilities are gr8!"

A text message reading along those lines might appear on cellphone screens of basketball recruits starting Friday, after a new NCAA rule takes effect allowing college coaches to send unlimited text messages to players who have completed their sophomore year of high school.

Coaches also will be able to make unlimited calls to those recruits under the new legislation.

…if you are a men's basketball recruit. Also, coaches can call players whenever they want… if you are a men's basketball recruit. Basketball's trying to chop out pages of annoying rules minutiae so they can focus on the comically oversized bags with dollar signs on them that many players tote from class to class.

Whitmer's coach is quoted in the above article worrying about an avalanche of phone calls his kids will have to field, so let me reissue a suggestion: the NCAA should allow recruits to have a nonbinding commitment to a school that prevents them from taking officials and coaches other than the one they've committed to from contacting them. Even without that, that's a good decision I hope they generalize to more sports.

File under "yes, please." Smart Football details a reverse-type play that Gus Mahlzahn is a fan of that I wouldn't mind seeing added to Michigan's playbook:

Seems like a great way to mix up the speed option look Michigan ran a lot of last year without forcing Denard to make a pitch decision. Malzahn and Dana Holgorsen are running it a lot… it could be a decent idea. A diagram:


It even works without tight ends, which we don't have.

Moving the goalposts. Pat Forde has a silly column using the Stony Brook college world series story as an argument for a bighuge playoff. A four team playoff wouldn't have any "Cinderellas" in it despite including Boise State and TCU when they were at their apex because…

But a four-team deal certainly presents no opportunity to the Stony Brooks of college football. The champions of the Sun Belt, Mid-American Conference, Conference USA and Western Athletic Conference (should it survive) never will make that cut. The Mountain West and even the Big East would be long shots.

Football, greedy and decentralized, doesn't care.

Meanwhile, the rest of college sports give the little guys a chance to do it on the field. It gives life to the overachiever stories that are a large part of what makes sports compelling.

…those teams are now in BCS conferences if you consider the new-look Big East a BCS conference, which you probably shouldn't. A four team playoff does occasionally let in the champions of those leagues, should those champions actually seem like a worthy contender. If it's a "long shot," Forde notes earlier in his own column that the last time a Stony Brook-type interloper made the CWS it was 1986, when the regionals were literally regional. Hypothetical Four Team Playoff has a better record of including outlying provinces than the college world series. Just because TCU isn't a have-not anymore doesn't mean they weren't when they rose to prominence, and the minnow drought in the CWS is an argument in favor of a more streamlined field.

I will say this: if you are going to do the thing where everyone gets a chance no matter how likely it is they get their heads beaten in, Forde's system is a good one. It's a twelve-team field with 11 champions—more likely 10 since the WAC is dead—and one or two autobids. Byes, homefield, etc. The only objections you could level would be Think Of The Children arguments about missed class and too much football that evidently don't apply at any other level of the sport.

Dennis Dodd made this same argument. In short: since Boise State and TCU are now in power conferences, no one outside a power conference can be relevant. Mmmm self-defeating argument.

Etc.: North Carolina troubles are even more troubling now that a totally fake class has been exposed. Could this be the straw that finally causes the NCAA to annihilate someone? Probably not.

Nike is still trying to make gray not gray. Chris Wormely interviewed, says he's 6'5", 270, and be a five tech unless he outgrows it and ends up at the three. I don't think there's anything new in this ESPN article about Michigan trying to line up a Pac-12 opponent in somewhere in the 2014-2016 range. Penn State's leadership is… not leadership. Jerry Sandusky's lawyer is… not good at lawyering.



June 12th, 2012 at 10:44 PM ^

He and Carr did not agree on the amount of weed he should be smoking.

Gottta hand it to these athletes that like weed, and there are lots of them . . . it just made me tired and hungry and like bad music.  I could not imagine doing something athletic.  Or even something where I had to stand up.

French West Indian

June 12th, 2012 at 5:14 PM ^

...these "patches" and "legends jerseys" are stupid, just plain fucking stupid.  The point of a uniform is that all players are uniformly attired.  This also works beautifully with the whole concept of team. 

If you start designating guys for special jerseys/honors, how can that not be detrimental to the solidarity of the team?  For crying out loud, Michigan is one of the few schools that makes, for example, no Heisman publicity campaigns yet now we are suddenly sticking patches on the guys who are living up to the status of legends?  What the hell is going on?

And as for the business of un-retiring jerseys, I'm just practically speechless.  Maybe it 'd make some sense if we'd have already retired like 20+ jerseys but there are only four numbers out of circulation.

I used to love, love, love college football but I feel like I'm living in a nightmare now.  The assaults on the traditions and the unique features of the sport are relentless and completely unnecessary.  I'm not sure that I even like college football anymore the way it's going...and I'm on the verge of outright hoping the idiots making decisions keeping screwing up until they kill the golden goose (so to speak).

Shit...I need a drink.


June 12th, 2012 at 6:38 PM ^

Actually, there are five numbers out of circulation, and more to the point, there have been at least another 5-10 ex-football players who could warrant having their jerseys retired.  We retired all but one (Ford's) way back in the single-platoon era, when we had 40-50 players on the team and tons of numbers to spare.  After roster sizes ballooned to 100+, we abruptly stopped retiring jerseys, leading to the current situation, where we haven't retired the number of anyone who played in the last 55 years.  You'd think we were Minnesota, with no history in the last half-century.

Do not assume that the seven guys whose numbers have been retired (the three Wisterts, Oosterbaan, Harmon, Kramer and Ford) are indisputably the seven best players in school history.  Only one of them won the Heisman.  Most were All-Americans, yes, but we've had close to 100 of those.  What these seven guys have in common is that they happened to be honored back back when roster sizes were smaller, when we thought we could retire numbers on a regular basis.  Then we realized we couldn't and quietly stopped doing it.  So now two of our three Heisman winners haven't had their numbers retired, which is pretty crazy.

The new policy will give us a chance to actually recognize some other great Michigan players without having to worry about running out of numbers for a team with 115 members.



June 12th, 2012 at 5:27 PM ^

I love Hoke but when he dusted off the argument that the teams are playing too much football making any expanded playoff system a bad idea, he presumed an attitude among the remaining teams we all know won't exist. The reality is the teams that make it to a larger format will work around the inconvenience to be part of something with that much meaning. Kids who miss lame bowl games to play in something relevant and huge, will get a better experience anyways.

Maybe they should cap the practice time at a half hour to an hour less a day and do an 8 pm lock out from the football buildings on all campuses nationwide? That would save time for all the student ahtletes, instead of the few on the playoff team who don't want anyone's help.


June 12th, 2012 at 5:59 PM ^

Dave Brandon gave two reasons, and both make sense.

Most Michigan fans can’t even tell you which jerseys are retired. Maybe they could name Tom Harmon and Gerald Ford, but certainly not all of them. How many fans even know what the Wistert brothers did?

This is a good way to honor those legendary players, rather than just hanging a jersey in a glass case in Schembechler Hall that almost no one goes to see. When #11 becomes a Legends jersey, they’ll make a big deal of it, and each time it is assigned more people will find out about the Wisterts.

Overall, it is a much better way of honoring these players.

Beyond that, there aren’t enough numbers to go around. As it is, numbers often get used twice on the roster. Michigan was even penalized in a game a few years ago, because they accidentally sent out two guys with the same number for a special teams play.

So if you ever want to honor another number, you’ve got to come up with a better answer than retiring them.


June 12th, 2012 at 7:15 PM ^

or it should be the last one. 

Michigan retired his jersy because he is the only Michigan graduate who became the president of the United States of America. Ford was a great athlete, an honorable man, a combat veteran, and a congressman. He also was an ardent supporter of Michigan and its football program. He was also a very humble guy. 

I'll bet that we can find a number of former Michigan football players who fit that mold whose numbers were never considered for retirement. 

Ford is unique among all Michigan graduates. The university chose, correctly in my opinion, to honor him and his conrtibution to the university, his home state, and our nation. In my opinion reactivating his number, because numbers are scarce or "noone knows whose numbers are retired" cheapens the honor that the university paid him. If numbers are scarce then keeping his number retired is a greater honor. If "noone knows" we retired his number then lets display it in the big house so that every game 114,000 people see it and know why it's there. 

Of course Ford was a humble man and I'll bet that if we could ask him "Mr. President we can get a top notch recruit every four years if we offer him your old number what do you say?" He'd laugh and tell us to go ahead. But is that what Michigan is about? I don't think so. 

To repeat my comment to the earlier thread. This is not a good idea. It does not serve Ford's memory well nor that of our university. Ford was unique, he and his number should be treated that way


June 12th, 2012 at 6:12 PM ^

is very similar to the wingback reverse that Bo would run out of the triple option with Dennis Franklin/Gil Chapman and Rick Leach/Jim Smith in the 70s.


June 12th, 2012 at 7:07 PM ^

The FCS had a twenty-team playoff last year.  Sorry, but that pretty much invalidates all arguments coming from the NCAA against a playoff.  They should at least give us eight teams.  The reason I hope we get superconferences with a breakaway division is that we will get a de facto eight team playoff counting the conference championship games.

Really, though, if they want to take teams that aren't conference champions, at least eight and preferably sixteen teams would be the best way to ensure that nobody has a reason to gripe. Over a period of time, the tournament will provide relevant data as to how many teams should go.  

For example, the last time a seed worse than a three won the NCAA Basketball Tournament was 1988, when sixth-seeded Kansas won.  Villanova won as an eighth seed in 1985, and NC State as a sixth in 1983.  Other than that, winning teams have been third or better since 1979, which is the best chart I can find containing seeds. 

Anyway, one could make a very good argument that the NCAA Tournament only needs to invite 24 teams, or a reasonable one that it could really make do with inviting twelve.  The same thing would happen with a sixteen team football playoff over time.  My guess is that it would be pattern of first and second seeds winning, which would boil down to a data-supported, eight-team playoff.

Mr Miggle

June 12th, 2012 at 11:32 PM ^

You're the first I've seen suggest that a playoff system might shrink from the initial number of teams. That seems completely counter-intuitive. Using the basketball tournament as an example to support that idea was even more so.


June 12th, 2012 at 10:28 PM ^

There are a couple plays that WVU and OK. State run that I'd love to see Michigan adopt. They are packaged plays where there is an option to pass or run built in the same play. Perhaps the most common is the stick / delayed draw concept where the quarterback reads the mike linebacker. Depending on his depth you either throw the stick or run the delay. However there are some newer packaged concepts that are straight genius. My personal favorite is out of a four wr 2x2 set on the strong side of the formation a smash concept is run (simple hi/low) read. On the weak side a WR tunnel screen similar to the one gallon occasionally ran but the third option is a running back screen to the side of the tunnel. I've only seen it on tape twice but the first time it went for 30 yards and the second time they hit the smash. I love where offenses are going.

Zone Left

June 13th, 2012 at 12:02 AM ^

"...the NCAA should allow recruits to have a nonbinding commitment to a school that prevents them from taking officials and coaches other than the one they've committed to from contacting them. Even without that, that's a good decision I hope they generalize to more sports."

I'd like to see something different. Let the players register with the NCAA and specifically opt out of communication from any school they desire. This gives the athletes some measure of control over their own situation without sacrificing their freedom to look around. In other words, if I'm, say, Logan Tuley-Tillman, and not a huge Ohio State fan, I can simply opt out of communication with them. That still would allow me to field calls from other schools I might be interested in attending. This scenario would probably be nice for coaches too, because they could spend their time working on players with some level of interest in their schools.


June 13th, 2012 at 12:33 PM ^

Can someone explain the "Scrooge McDuck pile of flip phones" reference to me ?  I have a co-worker who purchased 20 of the same flip phone off ebay so he will never run out of spare parts (never have to spend money on a "smart" phone data plan) and I want to make fun of him with this reference.  Any help is appreciated...