Unverified Voracity Sets The Trap

Submitted by Brian on March 15th, 2011 at 12:58 PM

Movin' on up. Prepare to be annoyed:

Michigan has increased ticket prices for the 2011 football season.

Individual game tickets will be $70 for games against Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan, San Diego State, Minnesota and Purdue. The night game against Notre Dame, and the Nebraska and Ohio State games are considered "premium" games and will cost $85.

Michigan hasn't raised prices in seven years, so some increase was overdue but tickets went up slightly less than twenty dollars on average. I'm not sure how much more the market will bear, and neither is the U—they're offering partial season ticket packages now. Clearly they've eaten through most, if not all, of the waitlist and are now in a situation where they're going to have to get creative to fill the stadium.

Insert the usual muttering about short-term corporate thinking here.

This. Chunkums has been deployed:

bonnie and clyde gif

Speaking of. I was extremely glad to see a post from Doctor Saturday titled "The worst thing about Jim Tressel" that coldly lays out why tatgate should be met with a much stronger response from the NCAA than OSU's two-game wrist tickling. I'm a partisan so the thought that my reaction to the affair is loony is always present. This helps mitigate that:

…not only did Tressel maintain his silence to the NCAA. Not only did he lie to reporters. Not only did he not cut his losses and take his medicine, like a humbled man who had already gotten away with something. Instead, he actively pushed the envelope to keep the ineligible players — now officially ruled ineligible by the NCAA — on the field. Like an inside man in a robbery watching his accomplices being led away in handcuffs, bailing them out of jail and coming back for the rest of the money anyway. (And then publicly lecturing them about their crime.) Ohio State treated winning the Sugar Bowl like an end to itself, a big score, and risked everything — or at least the first half of the 2011 season — to get it.

And it worked.

Hinton later says the NCAA "almost can't go far enough" after Ohio State hoodwinked them into allowing those guys to play in the Sugar Bowl. He's a Southern Miss alum who is the "shades of gray" guy he claims at the beginning of the piece and is invulnerable to the HATERZ response*, so… yeah. This is a big deal.

*[Except he's not because people who say HATERZ cannot be dissuaded from saying HATERZ.]

We're going to kill you for your attempted help. If you thought it would be bad news for the lawyer who tipped Tressel off, you're right:

Cicero, a walk-on player at Ohio State in the early 1980s, said he has received a few death threats this week. Tressel became an assistant coach at Ohio State during Cicero's senior year in 1983.

"I'm not the Judas in this situation, you know. I feel like Peter, but I'm not the Judas," Cicero said.

This isn't LOLOHIO. After watching the Fab Five documentary I'm sure there are Michigan fans scribbling out racist letters to Jalen Rose who would be happy to forward along a death threat to any Michigan equivalent of Cicero. I mention it just because everyone saw this coming despite Cicero's obvious affection for the program. Actually, wait—I just remembered Ryan Hamby got death threats for dropping a pass. Scratch that. Resume LOLOHIO.

Cicero has some harsher words, too, for the guy who turned his effort to help into a major scandadl.

Playoff one, playoff two, playoff three. Doc Sat has also provided his official playoff proposal, one that hews fairly close to the one I keep pushing. (Also there's a long post aimed at a playoff skeptic if anyone's interested in the philosophical reasons.) Mine is built around a restricted field of six teams, no autobids, byes, and home games. His is built around a slightly less restricted field of ten teams, autobids, byes, and home games.

I like mine better—which is why it's mine—because I'd rather live in a world where this year's UConn team isn't a lamb to be slaughtered when a small field is necessarily going to leave some teams with a vague chance of winning the whole thing out. DocSat's still grasps the three-point tao of a college football playoff:

  • Reward in-season success more heavily than most playoffs do by having byes and allow teams to play at home.
  • Restrict the size of the field so 9-3 teams are told to GTFO.
  • Create a system that guarantees the last team standing also has the best resume.

The more I think about that last one the more I think it would be hard to create a playoff that didn't do this as long as you kept the field relatively small, but the byes and home games aid greatly.

The gun. Every time I start talking about what Michigan's offense is going to look like under Al Borges it comes back to one simple question: they can't really put Denard under center, can they? They can, it seems, but they won't all the time:

Q: How do you tweak the offense to suit Denard Robinson’s strengths?

A: We’re a pro-style offense. We’re not going to be shotgun every play. But we’ll probably favor a little more gun now than we did last year at State, and we ran quite a bit of shotgun last year.

But because of him, and some of the things you can do in the gun with him, we’ll be in a little more gun than we have in the past. But to say we’re going to be a gun team? No, we’re going to line up under center and come downhill on our runs.

Operating from behind center with Denard limits his running to Incredibly Surprising QB Draws, Incredibly Surprising Bootleg Passes, and scrambles Denard almost refused to take last year. It's hard to see how Michigan gets Robinson the thousand yards rushing Borges said they'd like from him unless they use the gun plenty, and it's good to see something explicit saying they will.

I bet people don't like going under center and in crunch time it's an offense that looks quite a bit like last year's—remember the read option was not a huge feature.

Elsewhere in that Q&A from the luncheon, Borges repeats the thing about getting Robinson prepared for the NFL that we've heard since the new guys arrived. This I don't like so much. I don't care if Robinson impresses NFL scouts with his footwork on a seven-step drop for many reasons. It doesn't win football games, for one. For two, NFL scouts won't care how impressive his footwork is because he'll be a wide receiver on draft boards. He's 5'11" tops. He's not playing quarterback in the NFL unless he turns into Lightspeed Drew Brees, and while I love Denard in a way Leviticus (PAYNE) would disapprove of that's highly unlikely.

Boo. Bruins Draft watch scouts 2012 hockey commit Boo Nieves:

…excellent NHL prospect given his natural size, skating and offensive skills. At 6-3, 185 has the frame to be an attractive option in the pros when he fills out. Outstanding skater who accelerates quickly and is extremely agile and elusive. Explosive burst and separation gear; can turn defenders easily as he attacks with speed to the outside and isn't afraid to go into traffic. Excellent stickhandler; confident with the puck and wants it on his stick. Highly creative and just seems to have a knack for making plays all over the offensive zone.

There's a couple paragraphs more at the link; the upshot is that Nieves is a potential first rounder if he continues playing the way he is even if he sticks around prep school for another year instead of heading to the USHL or (guh) OHL. Michigan wouldn't mind that since Matt Herr is his coach.

Etc.: Kenpom update has Michigan 57% to win against Tennessee. We have recruiting territories. Fab fluff from JA Adande. Bacon on Tressel. Rothstein on Fab Five.

Comments

jg2112

March 15th, 2011 at 1:29 PM ^

Denard will need to average 12 rushes a game to get to 1,000 yards, based upon his 2010 rushing average.

I don't think he's going to have a problem getting there, especially with the introduction of play-action, a genuine second rushing threat, and a reduced aversion to scrambling (where he may well be more dangerous than a designed run).

joeyb

March 15th, 2011 at 1:30 PM ^

Doc Sat's idea is similar to mine, except instead of saying that certain conferences always send a team, I would say all conference champions ranked in the top 12/16 get automatic bids. That would leave UConn out, but VaTech made it back by the end of the year. Nevada would have also been in. It makes more sense to allow a 1-loss Nevada in than a 4-loss UConn.

UMaD

March 15th, 2011 at 1:57 PM ^

It seems to me that the crappy games are still overpriced and the premium games are still underpriced.  Its good to see them differenatiate the ticket price, but I'd like to see more of it to highlight true market response for the MACrifice games.  For that reason, I sort of see a potential silver lining to the season ticket backlog dissappearing.

 

Brhino

March 15th, 2011 at 2:04 PM ^

Football tickets are starting to feel like gambling to me.  Half the time I come back feeling pissed off and wondering why I shelled out so much money to be tormented for three hours.  Hopefully we can get back to winning most of the time, especially at home.

Wolverine 73

March 15th, 2011 at 1:32 PM ^

His remarks to a group in Youngstown last night:  "I sincerely apologize for what we've been through.  I apologize for the fact I wasn't able to find the ones to partner with to handle our difficult and complex situation."  Huh?  WTF does that mean?  It wasn't complex: Rule violated, players ineligible, coach mandated by contract and NCAA to report it.  Couldn't find people to "partner with"?  Did he look very hard?  He didn't forward the emails.  He didn't talk to the AD or anyone else, it seems.  He needs a partner to report a violation?  What a load of crap.  I never liked his holier-than-thou persona.  Now that it is clear it was all a fraud, he is contemptible.

Ziff72

March 15th, 2011 at 1:36 PM ^

I always hate the argument against a playoff..."because every game matters".   Um, no it doesn't.  Yes every game matters if you are undefeated playing the 11th game of the season and you can't afford to stub your toe, but none of the games matter for rest of the teams in your league.  In terms of winning a NC most teams are playing out the string by Mid October.  A playoff makes more games much more interesting for the average fan than does the current system.  

 Example:  it's Halloween night and  #1 Alabama is playing unranked Ole Miss @ Ole Miss on CBS.  On ESPN2 we have #10 LSU vs #15 Auburn. ABC has # 8 Wisconsin hosting #15 Penn St.

In the BCS example the Alabama game is the only thing that matters, so you tune in and hope for Ole Miss to pull the shocker, but about 80% of the time Alabama is up 14-20 at half time and you turn it off.  You got about 1 qtr of BCS implications.  If you have a playoff you have teams from 1-40 mostly  playing meaningful games trying to make the playoff.

Sure there is a very minute chance a game could be played with zero implications but with rivalries and byes and playoffs on the line the amount of games that could possibly "ruin" vs the games it could enhance it is no contest.

MI Expat NY

March 15th, 2011 at 1:49 PM ^

I see what you're saying, but all three of those games do presumably matter under the current system.  The BCS title game isn't the only thing that matters.  Conference championships matter, having great seasons matters.  Under your scenario, LSU and Auburn are likely playing an elimination game for SEC West championship possibilities.  Wisconsin and Penn State are likely playing for a chance at the lead in the Big 10, or at least keeping pace.  There's a good chance that either of these games is more compelling to the average fan than a BCS leader taking on an unranked (presumably, if it's Ole Miss) opponent.  

I don't like that the BCS has given the impression that only games featuring teams in the top two of the BCS rankings matter.  But I also don't like people pretending that that impression is accurate.  

JeepinBen

March 15th, 2011 at 2:04 PM ^

But I think that a playoff =/= no bowl games. I love that so many teams can end their season with a win. Why not 6 (or 10, or...) of the top teams go to the playoffs and everyone else gets their normal bowl game? 

Without the bowl system we wouldnt have had this:

Am i wrong to want the best of both worlds? 

MI Expat NY

March 15th, 2011 at 2:33 PM ^

I wasn't referring to the Bowl Games, only regular season games.  My point was only that fan bases still live and die with their team's games, all season long, even if they have no realistic shot at being in the BCS top 2.  The games still matter, and they can still provide compelling matchups when teams in contention for the BCS title play poor opponents.

On your request for the best of both worlds.  I'm not sure it's possible.  My stance above was specific to the regular season.  I do believe that the BCS has made the remainder of the bowl games, less important.  Obviously, the games are still important to a degree, just less than it was pre-BCS.  I can only see that effect being exasperated if a playoff system of 5-15 games (which covers any system of 6-16 teams).

WolverineHistorian

March 15th, 2011 at 1:51 PM ^

Does anyone know what position Cicero played at OSU? 

I have the 1983 Mich/OSU game from the big house on tape.  (24-21 win by the good guys).  And I thought I would try to look for him. 

Bodogblog

March 15th, 2011 at 1:55 PM ^

was incredible.  He still has 2 years to make similar leaps in passing and reading of defenses.  It's too early to preclude playing QB in the NFL.  And Vick is the model, not Brees.

st barth

March 15th, 2011 at 2:03 PM ^

"Create a system that guarantees the last team standing also has the best resume."

With the expansion of the Pac Ten & Big Ten conferences and the addition of conference championship games, a renewal of the traditional Rose Bowl BigTen/PacTen matchup would be dangerously close to providing this.  Hypothetically speaking, the winner of the Rose Bowl would have finished off the season with at least two straight wins against top competition in the Rose Bowl itself, as well as, it's play-in game (i.e., it's respective conference championship game).

And if the Pac Ten & Big Ten were to expand just a little bit more by sucking in Texas & Notre Dame, then it would have 8 of the 10 most winning programs and nearly coast-to-coast market exposure.   F the BCS and tell the SEC to suck it!

PRod

March 15th, 2011 at 2:17 PM ^

Sounds like we should not even watch the games next season and just let Brian tell us how things are going to happen.  How many times does Borges have to say he is going to use DR's talents?  Last I checked the offense from last year had alot of yards and points, but there is alot of room for improvement, especially in the red zone against quality opponents.  I also do not know why he dimisses the bootleg.  If they are able to run downhill, the bootleg is going to be a huge weapon by the goal line.  If nothing else Brian sets himself up to second guess anything that goes wrong next year and I am sure tell us how he would do things differently.

cutter60

March 15th, 2011 at 2:58 PM ^

I think the only way you can get the conferences to sign off on this is if the conference champions from the Big Six get autobids.  I would add one caveat to this--in order to get into the playoff, that conference champion must be in the Top 20 of the BCS standings or whatever evaluation standard is used to rank the programs and to select the two at-large teams.  In the case of last season, that would mean Connecticut wouldn't get into the playoff and that there'd be a third at-large team into the postseason setup.

I'd have all the playoff games at the home stadium of the highest ranked team with the final game at the Rose Bowl (I mean the stadium, not the Rose Bowl game).  Teams not in the playoffs would be available for the existing bowl games. 

Using the BCS rankings from last year (http://www.bcsfootball.org/), here's how the playoff first round would look like:

#8 Virginia Tech (ACC Champion) at #1 Auburn (SEC Champion)

#5 Wisconsin (Big Ten Champion) at #4 Stanford (Pac 10 At Large)

#7 Oklahoma (Big XII Champion) at #2 Oregon (Pac 10 Champion)

#6 Ohio State (Big Ten At Large) at #3 Texas Christian (MWC Champion - At Large)

The first round is played in mid-December.  Using last year's calendar, the four games of the first round would be 11 December with the second and third rounds on the 18th and 25th (yes, there would be CFB on Xmas Day).  Bowl games get played during the usual time frame (perhaps 1 January could become a big bowl game day again) with the national championship game on 8 January.

Here's a list of teams from last year that could fill in the four major bowls (currently in the BCS):  Arkansas, Michigan State, Boise State, LSU, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Alabama.  Hypothetically, those major bowls could look like this (with actual bowl matchup from last year in brackens):

Rose - Michigan State v. Boise State (Wisconsin-TCU)

Sugar - Arkansas v. Oklahoma State (Arkansas-OSU)

Fiesta - LSU v. Missouri (Oklahoma-UConn)

Orange - West Virginia or Connecticut v. Alabama (Stanford-Va Tech)

With four of the Big Six Conferences now having conference championship games, you can pretty much rest assured that those contests will have even higher stakes to them because they're usually the difference between being in the playoff or going to a bowl game.  Teams will have motivation in place to play hard throughout the season because the higher seeded teams get the home field advantage in the playoff in each of the rounds prior to the final game. 

If the Big Six Conference all go to 12-team configurations in the future, then this system will be somewhat more uniform.  That's not to say that some conferences won't be stronger than others, but it would mean they'd all get through essentially the same process to get into the playoff, i.e., win conference championship game.

Programs outside the Big Six Conferences and the independents (ND, BYU, USNA, USMA) would get in solely as an at large team.  That'd give a program like Boise State a chance to participate in the playoffs if it went undefeated (like TCU would be in the playoff last season with its perfect record).    

SeancePrime

March 15th, 2011 at 4:22 PM ^

I worked for the University in the ticket office opening PSD's and the assumption that Michigan is running out of people on the waitlist is not correct at all. I opened thousands of letters and about 1/4 of all the letters I had recieved were people on the wait list.

Craig

March 15th, 2011 at 4:27 PM ^

I thought one of the reasons behind the towers and box seats being built was to make renovations to the stadium without increasing normal ticket prices. WTF?

Indiana Blue

March 15th, 2011 at 5:02 PM ^

will issue a statement to the effect that they do not expect to increase ticket prices for the next 2 - 3 years.  I can certainly understand an increase if there has been none in the last 7 years ... though I thought there were some minor (like $5) increases over the last few years.  But a ~40% increase for those lower tier games seems a little overboard (weren't they like $50), and could very likely impact attendance (not Western being the opener ... but Eastern @ $70 will be the most anyone on the planet has paid to see Eastern !!!

Go Blue !

 

mikoyan

March 16th, 2011 at 1:41 AM ^

And that was precisely the reason I did not go to see my Alma Mater get its ass handed to it. I was kind of curious to see the Shoe. But I did not want to give those bums that kind of cash. I will however go see my Alma Mater get its ass kicked in the Big House. Although those prices are kind of pushing my limit especially when you consider the various hassles of going to the game. But I guess the experience outweighs those.h

M-Wolverine

March 15th, 2011 at 11:33 PM ^

Being lied to. Because that's how they justified the "separating the rich from the poor" nonsense by saying that it would keep the bowl affordable for people. Now I never thought it meant they'd never raise ticket prices again; but I thought they'd wait more than the year after the rededication to actually have the balls to do it.

itauditbill

March 15th, 2011 at 5:13 PM ^

In a word Wow... That's near NFL prices, or more if you look at the nose bleed seats.

Well I guess that's what the market will bear, but I admit it's too much for my pocket book when you factor in gas, parking, and food. You can see the game better at home on the big screen.

I guess I'm getting old. That's cool. I'll cheer from home, somebody has to do it!

Indiana Blue

March 16th, 2011 at 9:23 AM ^

$5 per game parking increase.  I think I was paying $30 per game last year ... so add on another $240 on top of those 2 season tickets @ $960 and I'm at $150 per game.  Plus driving from Indiana ... gas ....  oh well ... best money I spend every year !!!

Go Blue !

wjknox3

March 16th, 2011 at 12:42 PM ^

The thing that occurred to me after reading this is that IF you take stock in what the NCAA has said recently on two of the highest profile issues they’ve confronted (Cam Newton and Tattoogate) is that in both instances, the NCAA made a HUGE deal about lack of knowledge being the main mitigating factor.  “Sure Cammy Cam can play for the crystal because there is no proof that he knew Pappa was passing the collection plate” and “Sure the Buckeye 5 can play in the Sugar because OSU didn’t know about it beforehand and/or the players didn’t know it was impermissible because they lacked the proper compliance training.”  In Tres’ case, we now know that HE KNEW.  He admitted….errrr his e-mails finally forced him to admit that he knew and at THREE crucial junctures, his knowledge didn’t deter him from going forward. 

 

Seriously, if the NCAA actually believes in what it’s been saying--that knowledge of the wrongdoing is the key factor--then while OSU may have thought that the NCAA “Can’t touch this” at its presser, to me, it’s looking like it’s HAMMER TIME.  Hey OOOOOOOOOO!  Besides, unlike in Cammy’s case, OSU/Tres used the supposed lack of knowledge not just as a shield to hide behind, but as a sword to get more—namely getting the NCAA to cut it a break on the Sugar Bowl.  NCAA was flat out used by a guy trying to trade on his Pat Boone rep and they are going to be PISSED.