Unverified Voracity Seeks Reins

Submitted by Brian on April 15th, 2009 at 1:52 PM

Whoah, nellie. The basketball teams is popping up on a number of early top 25 lists, which seems justifiable with only walk-ons and noncontributors on the way out and someone, anyone taller than 6'4" on the way in. I'd slot them just outside, but I can see sticking them in towards the end. Or, if you're Andy Katz, the beginning:

11. Michigan: John Beilein has made the Wolverines relevant again. He got the Wolverines to the NCAA tournament and won a game. Expect even more from Michigan with a true Michigan State-Michigan rivalry in hoops. These should be the two top teams in the league. Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims might flirt with the NBA draft, but both are unlikely to stay in it. If they return with sharp-shooting guard Stu Douglass and quickly developing players Zack Novak and Laval Lucas-Perry, the Wolverines will be a good watch.

!?!?! Uh… Purdue? Illinois? Pending NBA departures, no Big Ten team that picked up a bid loses more than a couple spare parts except Wisconsin and maybe the Illini, who lose a lot of minutes but from low-usage guys who can't be that hard to replace. State loses Suton but they'll live; BJ Mullens is in the draft but was a major disappointment last year and Ohio State gets David Lighty back anyway. Minnesota returns everyone of note.

If Michigan finishes second in the Big Ten next year I'll be ecstatic.

kevin-lynchKevin Lynch scoring one of 12(!) US goals vs Slovakia

Moving on up, mostly. The final CSB rankings are out. F Chris Brown remains Michigan's top-ranked player eligible for the draft, dropping one slot to #30. Others:

  • 2010 D Mac Bennett moved up from 63 to 40.
  • F Kevin Lynch slid from 83 to 100, though his smokin' hot international tourney(pdf; Lynch leads the USA team in scoring) may reverse that trend.
  • D Lee Moffie moved way up from 210 to 135.
  • F AJ Treais moved up from 205 to 170.

That's a significant uptick in the draft stock of Michigan's incoming class (and a small chunk of 2010). Moffie is now in an area where he'll definitely get drafted; Treais is the only incoming recruit likely to slip through the cracks.

(HT: WCH.)

No he goddamn didn't. Another sickening 80 inches about Super Genius Weis E. Coyote have been published, and this quote features:

"We talked about all that as a family, and we felt that we didn't want to leave that way," Weis said during a recent 35-minute interview with the Tribune. "That would have been the easy way out. That's not why we came here."

What was that conversation like?

WEIS: I'm thinking about quitting, 5'3", 78 pound son of mine with a 3.7 GPA and 20/80 vision.

SON: Isn't that--

WEIS: Also you were born at 1:18 AM on February 17th.

SON: Isn't that--

WEIS: In a hospital. With doctors. Who had heads and legs and arms.

SON: –the easy way out?

WIFE: That's not why we came here. Also you would be walking away from enough money to buy Slovenia, whereupon we could deport simple goatherd Drew Sharp to a far more unpalatable nation.

WEIS: By jove, you're right.

SON: Speaking of easy ways out, I'm going to skip the next three days of school because you couldn't beat Greg Robinson.

WEIS: That sounds totally reasonable. Do you want to be the offensive line coach?

This has been picked up by College Game Balls and Dr. Saturday as something to note. They forget the #1 rule of Charlie Weis: everything that comes out of Weis' mouth is designed for the self-aggrandization of Charlie Weis. The "easy way out" involves forfeiting some fifteen million dollars; the hard way involves Weis being paid more than the GDP of Sri Lanka to lead Notre Dame to a ill-gotten BCS blowouts every few years. Weis' decided schematic advantage here is with the millions of dollars.

Elsewhere in Notre Dame: Dallas is trying to steal away the College Football Hall of Fame from South Bend, which pays the organization for the privilege of hosting. Yes, it's so perfectly Notre Dame to pay the CFHOF to stay in your decrepit one-moose town just for the vague prestige it brings in your own mind.

If you're like me, the only time the CFHOF has ever crossed your mind (other than articles about its potential move, which come out seemingly every year) was during this blessed event:


So, yeah, I'm onboard with moving it anywhere else. Dallas kind of sucks as a destination, but it's just wrong for the thing to be in the worst college town on the planet.

Seconded. Interesting proposal put forth by a member of Michigan's compliance staff in re: coaches' phone calls:

Judy Van Horn, the associate athletics director and senior woman administrator at Michigan, wants to abolish rules about phone calls she feels are unenforceable. “If you have a coach who is intent on cheating, all they have to do is not give you all the phone numbers,” said Van Horn, who is also president of the National Association for Athletics Compliance.

Van Horn’s idea is to put the power into the hands of the student-athletes. Athletes who are inundated by calls or have coaches contacting them from universities they are not interested in attending would be able to go to the N.C.A.A.’s online eligibility center and pull up a list and click on those programs with which they no longer wanted to be associated. An e-mail message would be sent to compliance officers at those universities and the coaches would be told to stop calling. If the calls continued, the recruit could report it to the N.C.A.A.

Van Horn then raises the specter of unscrupulous coaches using disposable phones to avoid detection, which is like… really? Is this The Wire? Who is Ron Zook's Stringer Bell? Is Juice Williams going to get sick of going to every convenience store in a two-state radius and just buy a bunch from one store at the prodding of his annoying girlfriend?

Anyway, this is a limited version of the idea that recruits should be able to sign non-binding letters of intent. This got a fuller discussion before, but the general idea:

  • Allow kids to sign LOIs before signing day.
  • Anyone who's signed a LOI can't be called by opposing coaches.
  • Kids can't take officials.
  • Players can withdraw the LOI at any point until signing day.

Either would be a good idea; the NBLOI would allow kids to opt out of a potentially annoying recruiting process and provide some meaning to the idea of a "commitment" without locking kids in any earlier than they already are.

(HT: The Ann Arbor Chronicle.)

Aaaargh. My relationship with Tom Deinhart is a rocky and foreboding one. Despite being apparently subliterate when asked to give an opinion, any opinion, he pwned me like whoah during my attempt to play journalist at last year's Big Ten Media Days. So I had to consider the possibility that Deinhart could dress himself, drive a car, etc etc etc.

But, uh:

…he just released a ranking of the Big Ten coaches, and it was so ridiculous we planned on ignoring it until multiple people sent it to us. Here's how he ranked them:

  1. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa
  2. Rich Rodriguez, Michigan
  3. Jim Tressel, Ohio State

That's Iowa blog Black Heart, Gold Pants in the midst of tearing Deinhart a new one for his obviously stupid opinion. Various Ohio State blogs have ceased feeding on the souls of little children long enough to lol, too, but none so entertainingly. And here's a Michigan blog chiming in: dude, wrong.

BHGP settles on the idea that Deinhart doesn't have severe brain damage, is just being a provocateur for attention, and quotes Fire Joe Morgan in superior fashion, all of which is excellent. Read it. All of it is good. But I mostly want to highlight the words that should go on Pete Fiutak's gravestone:

This puts Dienhart in a different league than, say, CollegeFootballNews.com, who just plain never know what the fuck they're talking about. CFN is to actual analysis what ramming two GI Joes together is to MMA. It's only the same to 7-year-olds.

Oh, snap.

Etc.: Weird goings-on at the Freep's story on Paulus. Someone fooled them into thinking the Paulus report was an April Fool's joke. Someone get them a calendar. Also: a spring game boxscore; SMQB considers the "Rodriguez Leap" and its achievability this year; Brandon Smith is now a linebacker.



April 15th, 2009 at 2:19 PM ^

Let not your hearts be troubled, for Tom Deinhart is a no-talent assclown. I rejoiced the day he left SportingNews. I don't mind reading articles by people with bias (looking at you Matt Hayes), but I can't stand biased articles that are also ridiculous.


April 15th, 2009 at 2:28 PM ^

Weird. Katz says that UM and MSU "should be the two top teams in the league," but then he ranks us third in the conference (MSU is #2 and Purdue #8). Whatever - it's great pub for the program.


April 15th, 2009 at 2:36 PM ^

Once the draft deadline passes us by, I will do a lookahead diary on next year's big 10.

Early thought: I am having a hard time finding a team right now that is going to totally suck. Iowa, maybe. But, every other team has a chance to be as good or better than they were this year.

The Illini, for example, have one the of the country's top recruiting classes coming in to blend in with a nice mixture of returnees.

IU has six Rivals top150, three 4-stars and three 3-stars, coming to campus. I think they will do no worse than a winning home record in Big 10 play next season.

Sure, UM could compete for the title, but I'd be just as happy with another .500 mark, a good OOC showing and a second straight tournament appearance.


April 15th, 2009 at 3:14 PM ^

Yeah, they should slide.....but they wont be awful, either....still, its hard to see them coming close to what they did this year.

I really do like the other nine teams in the league a lot. All, even NW, should be able to put together anywhere from lock to decent-looking tourney resumes.

Of course, watch PSU and Iowa get ACC Challenge dates and two of the better Big 10 clubs sitting the event out....or something like that.

Yinka Double Dare

April 15th, 2009 at 3:28 PM ^

I believe all 11 teams participate in the Challenge now, or at least did this past season. The question is which ACC team sits out.

That and how they set up the matchups will determine whether the Big Ten finally wins one of these this year or the next. It's definitely coming.

Iowa could be pretty bad though, they lost four guys in addition to the graduation losses, including the guy who was pretty clearly their best player (transferring to be closer to family due to some family illnesses -- the second time Iowa has lost their best player that way in the last few years, actually)


April 15th, 2009 at 4:18 PM ^

what I know!

I'm just a bitter Big 10 fan who always feels the matchups are skewed against the league.

Ok, so we got Iowa at 11; Penn St at 10.....and IU at #1.

So, I just have to fill in the rest of the slots, then BOOM, publish my early early early projections for next year's big 10 hops season.


April 15th, 2009 at 2:41 PM ^

I really can't see MSU being the #2 team in the nation. A team that puts an emphasis on defense and rebounding loses their best defender and every post player over 6-7 not named Tom Herzog. Purdue should be ahead of them.


April 15th, 2009 at 2:43 PM ^

For those who do not know, the College Football Hall of Fame has not always been in South Bend.

It used to be in Cincy, or near Cincy, across the street from the King's Island Amusement Park (home of The Beast!).

We used to vacation down there with a couple other families, in fact the families we used to tailgate with at UM games when I was growing up.

We'd do K.I. and always visit the Hall of Fame. I remember them having a Michigan display with A.C.'s jersey and the Ufer call from the 1979 game. Otherwise, I dont remember too much about the CHOF. It's been almost 30 years since those days.

I have never been to it since its moved, so I have no idea if it is a worthy field trip or not. Since you have to go to South Bend, I am saying its 50/50 at best.

Bando Calrissian

April 15th, 2009 at 3:22 PM ^

The College Football Hall of Fame has so much potential, but when you actually visit, it pretty much sucks. The only cool part was a 360-theater where in between showings of some boring video they showed 360-degree time-lapse photography of Michigan Stadium from the center of the field from the moment the stadium opened to kickoff.


April 15th, 2009 at 4:56 PM ^

One and done is good enough for the College HOF for me, and I work a few blocks from the damn thing. It costs the city of South Bend approx. 1.5 million dollars of tax payer money to support 67,000 visitors a year. Good thing that Notre Dame team is a huge tourist draw.

Link for numbers cited.


April 16th, 2009 at 7:23 AM ^

Try this: stand in the middle of downtown (or what constitutes a downtown to a city that's basically one big Superstore parking lot), and from there see if you can get yourself a cell phone charger.

One $25 cab ride to the one Radio Shack miles away from the Convention Center, only to find chargers are $50 bucks, and you, like the rest of the country, will decide that Dallas is without a doubt the disgrace of America.


April 16th, 2009 at 7:18 AM ^

That old post, "Inside the Sausage Factory" brought back memories. Nasty ones surrounded by political beat reporters with expensive tape recorders (me writing on the back end of an Anthro-Bio notebook).

You're told to show up to press conferences knowing your answers before you ask them, but I guess I'm cut from the Brian stock: I want to be told something I don't know. I actually got my question out (it was when the Neo-Nazis wanted to march on the Diag and I asked what she considered an "UN-acceptable threat," but received a curt "I'm not going into hypotheticals."

I've since found, for pure journalism work, stepping into a press conference is the biggest waste of time on the planet. Aside from the off-hand anecdote about Shafer's wife, they're there to feed you quotes that you can pick up in the press release 20 minutes after anyway. I much prefer calling the sub-offices (in your case, assistant coaches, trainers, etc.) and having the experts explain something to me that I don't understand, which I can then, in turn, translate through my writing skills into something my readers can understand.

I see no use in the style of journalism that makes up a major hunk of sports news, e.g. getting Notre Dame's self-aggrandizing coach to say something self-aggrandizing so self-aggrandizing Domer fans can feel good about themselves and the rest of us can mock their self-aggrandizement. It's not providing information, it's providing a fetish. It's info porn.

Case in point: these last few weeks EPA's going balls-out on counting carbon, GHG control, energy efficiency and all things related. Administrator Jackson's held several press conferences in the last few weeks. My best interview since the new administration took office, however, is still last Monday's one-on-one with a Region 5 (Great Lakes) scientist who explained what they mean exactly by "11-percent ethanol."

Want a really good interview? Skip the Head Coach and his top assistants, and have a linebackers coach explain the minutiae of the spinner position. Granted, you're not going to get proprietary information -- their job isn't to provide their opponents a scouting report. But it's been my experience that the lower-down experts, while their names don't exactly jump off the page, make much better interviews. Go in with the mindset that your interviewee knows more than you, and you'll walk out knowing more than you did.


April 16th, 2009 at 12:20 PM ^

That photo is rather disturbing, so I just wish you'd take it down.

What are the 3 rings he's modeling for the camera?
Oaks Christian H.S. championship rings??