Unverified Voracity Says Eyes Here

Submitted by Brian on June 15th, 2015 at 1:44 PM

Never not funny. Every day is an entertaining day with Harbaugh. Bill Rapai shot the Sound Mind, Sound Body camp for us and returned with this set of photos that were taken within a few minutes of each other. Each one is magnificent. As a set…






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…they are almost a Broadway play.

A titanic clash. You really need to read Zach Shaw's account of the IM softball final between the football and hockey teams.

“The T-shirt means everything to us,” said self-proclaimed team manager and owner Jared Wangler, who redshirted as a freshman linebacker on the football team last fall. “We lost out last year in the semi-finals, and didn’t come back for second place. We’re back with a vengeance.”

Motte, who was once a standout baseball player and teammate with Michigan baseball star Jacob Cronenworth before settling for sophomore forward on the hockey team, was slightly less enthused after the loss.

“To be totally honest, I didn’t know we got T-shirts,” he said.

Good news for a change. Phil Steele's published a ranking of teams based on experience in their two-deep and Michigan is not languishing at the bottom of the list, trying not to get its face punched in. Far from it, in fact:

1 Michigan 91 14 9 4 9 4 3 0 1
2 Navy 89 14 6 5 11 3 5 0 0
3 Utah St 87 12 9 7 6 3 6 0 1
4 Air Force 85 9 5 13 11 0 6 0 0
5 S Alabama 83 13 5 6 11 3 3 0 3
6 West Virginia 82 9 8 10 7 3 5 0 2
7 Georgia Southern 81 12 7 8 7 1 5 1 3
8 Utah 80 11 5 6 12 4 4 1 1
8 Akron 80 13 7 5 8 4 1 0 6
10 Troy 79 11 5 9 8 2 6 0 3

(As per usual with Steele if you drill down on the team you know you're going to find a few assumptions that are off or not up to date, but he's broadly accurate.)

That is a combination of Rodriguez's extreme attrition followed by Hoke's almost total lack of same, and would normally bode well. When that team is coming off a coaching change caused by whatever that was last year the route to a good season is less clear; still, a veteran and pretty good defense returns almost everybody, as does the not-so-veteran and maybe-okay offensive line. Skill positions are the big question mark.

This is both true and infuriating to Notre Dame fans. It comes from Brian Kelly:

"I think we recognized that all of my football players are at-risk -- all of them -- really," Kelly told Notre Dame Insider. "Honestly, I don't know that any of our players would get into the school by themselves right now with the academic standards the way they are. Maybe one or two of our players that are on scholarship."

ND Nation reacted to this about as well as Roll Bama Roll reacted to a camp sleeper committing to Michigan, because ND Nation believes that when a student with a 2.5 arrives on campus the magical fairy dust on ND's campus makes them into a Serious Business major.

To its credit, ND does come down much harder on malfeasance than everywhere else. Nobody else suspends five players for a whole season for academic issues, and the kind of things those guys did are at least as common around the country.

More Austin Davis highlights. This appears to be from a camp a few weeks ago:

It's not much; it does look like Davis is getting big and stronk. He has nice footwork around the basket and finishes with both hands; the Jordan Morgan vibe is strong.

Um, okay. Canadian combo guard Jamal Murray is now highly likely to reclassify to 2015. He is looking for a place to play. Michigan has a scholarship. He may visit:

“He visited Kentucky, he just visited Oregon, he’s thinking about visiting Michigan and a couple of others. Will he do that? He’s not sure. Right now, it’s a two-and-a-half horse race, Michigan being the half. If they get the visit, you have to consider them a full-fledged threat."

Murray is a potential one-and-done—Draft Express has him 21st in their 2016 mock draft—who would jam pack the Michigan roster in the same way Jaylen Brown would have. Long way to go before anything comes of that, competing against Kentucky usually doesn't go well, other rosters are probably more attractive in terms of playing time available, etc.

Another hockey exit, this one before an entrance. Michigan lost a recruit to the OHL today: Sam Miletic. Miletic isn't being hyped as an impact player after a 12-15-27 line in 58 USHL games, which is both good and bad.

The good: Miletic wasn't slated for a scoring line as a freshman and Michigan should be able to replace him without a ton of trouble. The bad: Miletic, who dropped out of the final CSB rankings after being listed 192nd—probably undrafted—in the midterms, is exactly the kind of player who should avoid the OHL like the plague. In college he'd have four years to develop and a degree; in the OHL he's going to age out after two and then face a decision between trying to use the OHL's education package (which will cap at two years for him since he's not playing four years in the league) or trying to catch on in the pros somewhere.

In a vacuum this is pretty meh. In an offseason where it seems like anyone with an option is opting out, though…

And now you're nervous again even though it seems like everyone's already left. There was a lot of speculation that the player London was going to announce today was Zach Werenski, the freshman D who is likely to be a top-15 pick. That would be the cherry on the poop sundae that's been this hockey offseason. Why would that speculation exist when Werenski would be nuts to make any move before the draft?

Zach Werenski, a potential top 10 pick, is a perfect example. The Michigan Wolverines defenceman over the weekend admitted that he’s “open” to possibly leaving behind college hockey life for a chance to play major junior.

Development is paramount in a player’s late teens and Werenski’s future NHL team will have great influence on where he’ll be plying his trade during the 2015-16 season.

Werenski said he will not sign off on a transfer before the June 26 draft.

“I was really comfortable (in Michigan) and I had a good year,” the Grosse Point, Mich., native said at the NHL Draft Combine in Buffalo. “I plan on going back as of now.”

So there you go. The tone of this article ("development is paramount") suggests it was written by a juniors honk who badgered Werenski with some leading questions. But that departure is potentially another one on the horizon.

Hockey is officially this offseason's most depressing sport.

On expansion. Eleven Warriors surveys the 14-team Big Ten one year in. I'm mostly in agreement with their take—shortsighted, ham-handed, provides money. I don't think this bit is quite right:

One thing is for sure about Big Ten expansion: it made everyone in the conference a lot of money.

The Big Ten has expanded, and there is more money. I'm sure some of that is because of expansion. How much is an open question. Certainly not as much as the article implies:

In 2009, Big Ten schools each received about $19 million a year from the conference. It was a solid total, second to the SEC in per-school revenue, but not at its max. Adding Nebraska and Rutgers and Maryland to the conference made the Big Ten a whole lot more valuable. …

When the Big Ten signs its next TV deal in 2017, revenue distribution will be at least double what it was in 2009, $45 million or more per school. Ohio State's athletic department has been swimming in money since the move as well.

In terms of relative revenue the Big Ten has not increased its lead. It may have actually lost ground.The Big 12's largest payout in 2009 was $12 million to Kansas. By 2014, full members—of a conference that lost teams—grabbed $23 million. Average payouts were 21.4 million. Those numbers do not include school-specific rights that the larger leagues have bundled into networks. In 2014 the Big Ten distributed about 27 million. The gap is smaller in both percentages and raw numbers than it was five years ago.

The Big Ten is the last conference to have its rights come up and will get a bump to ever-more ludicrous numbers; that was going to happen with or without the two additions. The Big Ten would be swimming in dough either way; any benefit the Big Ten manages to extract from Maryland and Rutgers has zero impact on the ability of its teams to compete in major sports and a panoply of negatives for fans.

Etc.: I'm just talkin' bout Moe Ways. Tyus Battle has to pass on the USA U19 tryouts. Probable return to the court in July. Early signing period is happening for a test-run. Dan Beebe tried to tell 'em. They didn't listen. Caris will be good to go July 1st.



June 15th, 2015 at 2:18 PM ^

Serious question- if you could go back and undo the BTN, would you?  It's a straight line from the creation of the TV network to "let's add Rutgers to the conference, because cable".  I can't stand it, and I finally cut the cord this winter.

I can get ESPN2 on SlingTV...I'm planning on listening to the radio for any BTN games.  They aren't going to get another cent from me. 


June 15th, 2015 at 2:41 PM ^

Tough question.  I guess I would vote "no", becuase they would have found some shitty justification for it in the end anyways.  If we're going to have Rutgers and Maryland in the conference at least we can watch a few of those games without the Disney stupidity. 


June 16th, 2015 at 7:48 AM ^

BTN was the poineering conference network when it started back in August 2007.  Since then, I've been able to watch Michigan sporting events where I lived in Phoenix and Washington DC that I never would have seen on television before--including football, men's basketball and men's ice hockey games, i.e., the only sports Brian Cook really cares about when assessing the conference and the Michigan Athletic Department.  Do I like all the production values?  In comparison to the SEC Network, the BTN can look pretty low budget, but I really don't care because I watch it primarily for the games, not the other shows or commentary.

In  the pre-BTN days, i.e, 2004 through 2006, the conference used to distibute around $10M to $11M each fiscal year.  The sources of that revenue included television, the NCAA men's basketball tournament, the football postseason (back then, the BCS) and other sources.  Now we're looking at $44.5M for the 2017/8 academic year after the new deal for the first tier television rights is completed.   The BTN probably accounts for 15 to 20 percent of that number.  See http://www.jconline.com/story/sports/college/purdue/football/2014/04/25…

I also have to say that I find it laughable at this point to compare the Big Ten's conference distributions to the ten-member Big XII.  We're five years from when conference expansion was first floated and that conference has been held together with duct tape and chewing gum in large part by the largesse of ESPN who overpaid them in order to help keep that conference intact.  But beyond that, as Andy Staples at CNNSI points out (see http://www.si.com/college-football/2015/05/29/sec-network-big-ten-reven…):

The Power Five conferences (the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC) have built a wide revenue gap between themselves and everyone else, but the Big Ten and SEC are about to build their own gap between themselves and the rest of the Power Five. They’re the Titanic Two, and everyone else is looking up at them on the balance sheet.

The Big Ten Conference is projected to have distributions of $30.9M in the fiscal year ending on 30 June, $34.1million in 2015-6 and $35.5M in 2017-17 for eleven schools, excluding Nebraska, Maryland and Rutgers.  All that is before the new television deal is in place.  In contrast, as the article points out, the ACC, Pac 12 and the Big XII don't have no obvious mechanisms to raise more money in the immediate future.  So again, the idea of comparing where the Big XII stands in the recent past compared to the Big Ten revenue wise without looking at the future numbers is rather idiotic on Brian's part.

I also have to wonder if this panalopy of problems that fans face are really inventions in Brian's head.  Judging by the small number of comments to this post about Big Ten realignment and expansion, that'd be my guess.  

But seriously, if he wants to see conference members play each other more, strengthen realtionships, set up rivalries, etc., then perhaps Brian should advocate a few suggestions.  Perhaps the B1G should go to a ten-game conference schedule--after all, the conference goes to nine in 2016.  Maybe he should advocate having no divisions in football to improve scheduling flexibility with the conference championship game between the two best teams (something the ACC and Big XII are advocating).  Perhaps the Big Ten should have more conference basketball games (the women are upping the number from 16 to 18) by going up to 20 or even 22 and starting B1G men's basketball play in December.  There's a whole lot he can do besides bitch about it.  



June 16th, 2015 at 4:59 PM ^

Especially with the way they are split up. Having UM, OSU, MSU, and PSU in the same division is ridiculous. Getting rid of the divisions and having the two best records play in the championship game seems like the best and most fair way to do it. It would even make the conference more money, as I guarantee you more fans would watch because the matchup would be better. I just don't see a reason to have divisions. Can anyone explain why we do?


June 15th, 2015 at 2:20 PM ^

When I went to UM I played IM roller hockey with a bunch of regular dudes, then we had to play against a team with a UM hockey player on it.  While that ended badly, I can only imagine what it's like going up against a softball team composed entirely of football players.


June 15th, 2015 at 2:40 PM ^

and one of the most annoying things was major athletes beating up on non-athletes.  While it was cool to see Tom Brady (and 8 other football players) playing basketball, it always felt a little ridiculous.  Surprising thing was they didn't always win, but still annoying (and cool).  

It was also illegal to play in a sport related to the one they were competing.  So, we wouldn't have allowed the hockey player to play roller hockey.  not sure if that's changed.

Sac Fly

June 15th, 2015 at 2:25 PM ^

I think you're reading into it too much. I wouldn't be surprised if the Miletic situation was more like Cianfrone. IE, the coaches wanted him to take an overage year in the USHL, even though there are roster spots open right now and his OHL team jumped in on the opportunity and got him to sign.


June 15th, 2015 at 3:26 PM ^

I am not sure if Miletic's scholarship offer was publicized but if he was only getting a partial it can be an expensive proposition to play at Michigan.

At London he will be given up to 10K per season that he plays.  The actual amount depends on the cost of the university closest to his home, that is how the CHL determines the tuition reimbusement.  This amount can also be negotiated when signing the contract.  He will then get 2 full seasons after his eligibility expires to play in the pros before the reimbursement is nullified.

If a player does not go pro they could go straight to the CIS and go to school (canadian university sports, like the teams UM plays in the preseason).  A lot of those players are former CHL players who are also getting scholarships to play.  They can essentially cash out one of the scholarships they are receiving.

For an american playing CHL i would imagine its kind of a tossup.  Canadian universities can be expensive for international students. If a Canadian player plays 4 years of CHL they have a sweet deal, as even elite schools like McGill or UToronto are 6-10K per year for Canadians.

We don't know how much Miletic was due to get from Michigan and what he was offered from London.  London could have guaranteed him a 40K package to sign.  In that case it would likely be more than Michigan would offer on a partial scholarship.  There is no way to know how good or bad of a deal he's getting by playing CHL.

I Hate Buckeyes

June 15th, 2015 at 3:04 PM ^

My dream 16 would be to put Notre Dame in the West and Pitt in the East. That is what I have wanted for years. Have the Pitt/Penn St. and Sparty/ND games at the end of the year like us. ND, Nebraska, Wisky, would all be great cross rival games against the East teams.

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June 15th, 2015 at 7:25 PM ^

Wangler, who missed his sister’s graduation for the game despite being cut from the team due to “a lot of errors,” utilized his time on the bench, planning the postgame refreshments and snack, manning DJ duties and keeping the team focused on the game.