Unverified Voracity Seeks Bear Revenge

Submitted by Brian on February 16th, 2010 at 11:47 AM

Take it easy, man. An announcement: WTKA is moving towards a single drive-time host on the Big Show and it won't be me (obviously—I'm not a radio pro), so the Monday 4-6 window I've been holding down since August is kaput. I'll still be on from 9-10 on Thursdays with Ira and probably do intermittent call-ins when there's something to talk about.

Ira was worried he'd get crucified on the internets for this, so be gentle.

The switch. Cameron Gordon is officially a safety-type player:

“The coaches would always be like, ‘Come to the dark side, come to the dark side,” Gordon said.

A few weeks ago, he did.

Those were the defensive coaches, for what it's worth. Touch The Banner suggests it's not the last move for Gordon in a largely positive take:

I still think he's best suited for linebacker, particularly the weak inside linebacker position held tenuously by Jonas Mouton. Perhaps this is the next step in a slow transition to WILL, because I don't foresee Gordon having the speed to play weak safety, either. There are times in this defense where the strong safety has to roll over to play man coverage on the strong side, meaning the weak safety has to back up to play the deep middle or a deep half.

"Held tenuously" is this defense's equivalent of "magic" in the Winter Olympics. As far as the critique goes: I'm with him. If Gordon is 210 pounds now he'll probably be pushing 220 by fall, which is good for half that position's job but maybe not so good for the deep half bit. Michigan didn't have the ability to have the box safety drop into a deep zone last year and was forced to use Donovan Warren as the second guy in cover two. This exposed Michigan to those wide receiver screens that killed them all year.

I do disagree with TTB's assertion that Rodriguez hasn't shown a propensity for using the middle of the field in the passing game. Who's the number one receiver going into spring? Probably Roy Roundtree, right?

Demon Bear: the interview. Neal Rubin of the News was so moved by Demon Bear destroying everything in sight that he has a newspaper column and bonus Q&A with the developers. Unfortunately, the original video that pwned MSU, OSU, and Notre Dame has been replaced by one that obliterates Miami instead of ND, but that's life.

Anyway, the highlight from Rubin's opus is definitely this:

Jon Dorfman and Szymon Weglarski, partners in a computer animation studio called HiFi 3D, also say they've heard from other universities interested in a similar approach. "Rival mascots," explains Weglarski, "want revenge."

I thought the second bear video would be inevitably disappointing and I was wrong, so maybe Dorfman and Weglarski can continue to raise the bar with bulldog light saber fights and broncos that bore into the earth's core.

Rubin also gets an indirect answer to the question "where's Michigan?"

As a Michiganian, I felt a rush of pride when a polar bear obliterated Spartan Stadium. Any particular reason you chose MSU?

SZYMON: The rival schools were singled out by the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Apparently they're a big rival.

I get including MSU, a longtime power, and Miami and Notre Dame, the league's new hotness, but what's the deal with blowing up perpetually mediocre Ohio State? Actually, scratch that. The need to destroy Columbus is self-evident.


Save (for) us. Bob Miller of the Wolverine is running a new college hockey recruiting site and one of their recent articles is on Omaha Lancers goalie Jeff Teglia, who's currently second in the league in save percentage as a 19 year old and should be on Michigan's radar now:

"Once they landed Campbell, they lost interest, but again that's an awesome school and a great, great hockey program," Teglia said. "I'd love to go somewhere in the Midwest because that's where I'm from, but out east would work also.

Notre Dame is Teglia's "dream school," but we'll forgive him for that. ND doesn't have room for a scholarship goalie, FWIW.

Oh… right… the weekend. I didn't do a usual recap post for the petulant reason. Yost Built has one. The weekend was incredibly sloppy, with UNO provided a ton of scoring opportunities because Michigan players got excessively aggressive. My favorite was the goal Saturday night where two Michigan players checked a guy at center ice, creating one of UNO's many, many two-on-ones. Or the one on which Llewellyn turned a routine rush into a two-on-one by aggressively moving to check a guy on his partner's side of the ice and then shot the resulting cross-ice pass into his own goal.  I'll just say I'm surprised Lee Moffie was a healthy scratch the last couple weekends. He drew into the lineup when Summers got knocked out for the Saturday game.

Michigan's done unless they win the CCHA tournament, which at this point means trudging through two best-of-three series, one on the road, and then beating Miami and someone else at the Joe. Chances of that: low. At least I won't spend a bunch of time figuring out all the crazy vagaries of the PWR this year.

Anyway, Yost Built mostly excuses Hogan for the eight goals on the weekend and I am inclined to agree but one guy is not:

"He made good saves, and he gave up goals he should’ve saved, simple as that," Michigan coach Red Berenson said. “There were times when he saved us, and there were times where he cost us. Four goals against is not good enough. And that’s a team thing too, but Hogie is the last line of defense." …

“There were times when he had no support and times he didn’t read the support,” Berenson said. “Like, if I know this guy (to my side) is wide open, and I’m focused on (the guy with the puck), and I’m convinced he’s going to shoot. And he passes it. I’m toast. I didn’t read it. Every time they got a two-on-one, they scored.”

That is blunt even for Red, and though I've repeatedly expressed the opinion that Hogan's save percentage is 1) bad and 2) deserved I'm surprised given the kinds of goals UNO scored, which were mostly off terrible defensive play.

Etc.: Charlie Davies is going to France to train. PSU basketball blog—good lord—Battle Does It Again has a UFR-type object for Penn State's game against the Spartans. Slate is tracking Olympic sap. I miss CBC's coverage so hard. Curling starts today, though. Michigan ice dancers go on the 19th.



February 16th, 2010 at 12:19 PM ^

It's a fair argument that Roundtree is probably the #1 receiver going into 2010. When I said that Rodriguez hasn't used the middle of the field, I was referring more to the outside receivers. I guess I probably didn't make that clear. Roundtree played entirely (or at least mostly) from the slot, where he runs an occasion seam route or skinny post. I didn't see too many "deep in" or "slant" routes from the wideouts, like Greg Mathews and Junior Hemingway.

I'm not sure if this is by Rodriguez's design or if it's because we had a six-foot-nothing freshman quarterback, but patterns that crossed the field either weren't used much or Forcier just didn't target them. This was my argument against 2009's tight ends turning into Jemaine Gresham or Chase Coffman:

vertically challenged freshman QB + middle of field = disaster

Anyway, just some clarification. But thanks for the link.

Blue in Yarmouth

February 16th, 2010 at 12:26 PM ^

We don't get NCAA hockey here on the east coast of Canada so I didn't see the game, but have played hockey all my life and it seems those are some harsh words by the coach in relation to the goalie.

In a 2 on 1 situation, the goalies responsibility is the puck carrier and the defense takes away the pass. The idea that coach is blaming the goalie for allowing goals on 2 on 1's in bizarre.

A 2 on 1 is far easier to score on than an uncontested breakaway, in fact it is one of the easiest situations to score on in hockey. It is actually an accomplishment for a team to stop a 2 on 1.

Unless the puck carrier kept the puck and scored on a weak shot, it isn't the goalies fault as the puck carrier is his responsibility in that situation. If the other guy scores, that is on the defense.


February 16th, 2010 at 12:50 PM ^

Yeah, put me in that same camp, Brian.

CBC was money. I had been looking forward to it as I hadnt realized they lost the rights.

Last night's 20 minnutes of downhill coverage sucked considering how good a race it was. CBC would have had the whole sucker live, I would have DVRer during the day and watched it when the stinking job was done for the day.

And, we'll get plenty of live curling.....as long as the Americans are on the schedule.

I dont think I ever turned CBC off during the Beijing games. Dammit


February 16th, 2010 at 1:00 PM ^

U of M still has a shot of sliding up to 4th place and a first round bye. CCHA standings currently stand as follows:

4th UNO - 41 pts
5th Alaska - 39 pts
5th Northern Michigan - 39 pts
7th Michigan - 37 pts

Michigan has two games in hand against UNO and Alaska and their schedules finish up @ Miami and against LSSU respectively. We play NMU at Yost this weekend and have a home and home against Notre Dame the following weekend. NMU finishes up their season at home against LSSU. The key to all of this is we HAVE to sweep Northern this weekend. Assuming UNO gets swept and Alaska sweeps a struggling and jet-lagged LSSU, CCHA standings will look thus:

4th Alaska - 45 pts
5th Michigan - 43 pts
6th UNO - 41 pts
7th NMU - 37 pts

At this point Michigan only needs to split with Notre Dame to move to sole possession of 4th and a first round bye.

Now of course this is just to get us to the first round bye, which just improves our chances of getting to Detroit for the CCHA Final Four. That said, our semi-final game probably pits us against Miami, and as Brian says above, we ain't beating them and if we don't win the CCHA Tournament, all signs point to us staying home.

At this point Red needs to hire this guy to give our team the Miracle Pill...

Sgt. Wolverine

February 16th, 2010 at 1:10 PM ^

I got so mad when I realized CBC didn't have the Olympics this year. I have only over-the-air tv, so CBC provided not just ample access to great sports NBC barely touches (like curling) or chops up to save time (like most of the events) but also my only alternative to NBC when they decided to show only bits and pieces of competitions or talk endlessly about miserable childhoods and potentially career-ending injuries. CBC is just better at covering the Olympics, period.


February 16th, 2010 at 4:57 PM ^

When I googled it to find out where the CBC coverage went, there was an article out of Washington that could have mirrored a local article, how much better their coverage was, shows all the athletes,not all human interest stories, etc., etc....


February 16th, 2010 at 1:31 PM ^

"Neal Rubin of the News was so moved by Demon Bear destroying everything in site that he has a newspaper column and bonus Q&A with the developers"

'site' should be changed to 'sight'


February 16th, 2010 at 2:12 PM ^

Please tell me that Jeff DeFran is NOT going to be the regular guy! Or the two guys from Fridays! Or that ratty guy! I guess that doesn't leave anyone but you Brian!

Whatever happened to John Bacon anyway? I liked him almost as much as you.


February 16th, 2010 at 6:44 PM ^

Depending on who they pick. Because, as stated, the current regulars all suck. And I don't think Bacon and commit to 5 nights a week if he can't commit to one. As bad as DeFran has gotten (I used to like him before he started trying to just be contrary and just turn the station into a place to chat with his friends), he may be the best of the other 3. The old guys on Friday seem like they still think it's 1973 (and talk way too much high school sports...automatic turnoff, every time). And J Ratty is the worst. He may be the stupidest man I have ever heard. He's like an Internet troll with a microphone. That happens, and not only will I tear Ira a new one, I'll stop listening.

Everyone isn't local, but I'm surprised this bombshell didn't get more notice. It's not that I can't live without a little more Brian (he can WRITE what he's thinking that day). It's just that the other choices are suck a level of suckatude.

I wonder how Cope (Copi? Copy? What's the proper spelling for short Copeland?) is going to contradict the host without Brian's hand up his ass to form the arguments. I swear he uses Monday to parrot Brian the rest of the week...

If they're bringing back Fithian or someone not currently in the line-up, I'll reserve judgement (and death threats).


February 16th, 2010 at 8:41 PM ^

I like to listen to 97.1 the ticket in the morning. Sometimes they have Darren McCarty serve as cohost. They talk about everything and let the callers and ticket direct the direction of the show.

Ira and Sam Webb have become so annoying lately. Ira has this whining voice and attitude that annoys the crap out of me. My wife uses the radio to as an alarm to wake up to in the morning at 6 am. I have to hit the snooze every morning because Ira ends up pissing me off.


February 16th, 2010 at 2:31 PM ^

So the question to all the haters of piped in music at football games: if UofM would get a video showing a wolverine destroying the world, would that be okay to be played at the start of the game? In a word: awesome!


February 16th, 2010 at 11:37 PM ^

Plain and simple, and has no other options in net. It is almost like these guys haven't played with each other all season, especially the blueliners. I don't get the miscommunication this late in the season. But, once again, Brian spells it out correctly, as does Packer at Yost Built. I hope they aren't raising the white flag yet, anything is possible in the CCHA playoffs.