Unverified Voracity Shames Itself

Submitted by Brian on August 21st, 2009 at 12:11 PM

And fin. Wolverine Historian's expanded versions of 1997 games have hit that year's Rose Bowl; this one is a three-parter and it's gooooood:

Part Two and Part Three are lightboxed for your viewing pleasure. Part Three gets a little misty.

Odds. I've seen the line for Michigan's game against Western at anywhere between 8 and 13 points, but it appears it's settled at Michigan –12. This is good. Phil Steele's published a useful list of spreads and their correspondence to victory and a spread as big as that one is tough to overcome:

Favorite of # of GMS Lost Outright %
31+ pts 382 5 1.3%
24.5-31 617 24 3.9%
17.5-24 1013 71 7.0%
14.5-17 650 88 13.5%
10.5-14 1146 242 21.1%
7.5-10 1056 279 26.4%
3.5-7 1930 658 34.1%
3 or less 1269 621 48.9%

It would be nice to start the year off with one of those win things for a change.

Don't Messner with Texas. MVictors has posted an interview with Wolverine great Mark Messner; I celebrate by craft the worst bolded introductory phrase in the history of Unverified Voracity. The section Greg excerpts is mostly on Michigan State, Tony Mandarich, and steroids. It comes with some outstanding stories:

He did get me once and that’s when I realized that there was something strange going on with this man, because no man should ever do that.  It was my junior year.  We were watching film getting ready for Michigan State and I was like, “Look at this thing! He’s destroying people.” In that game I got out of position and he got underneath me. He picked me up off my feet and ran with me for fifteen yards with my feet just dangling. He threw me like a rag doll into the Michigan State bench.

More at the link.

Was anybody healthy? Anybody? This offseason's seen a bevy of injury revelations from Mike Shaw's sports hernia to Donovan Warren's bone chips to Jonas Mouton's shoulder. We already knew Brandon Minor had some wrist issues, but I don't think we knew they were this severe:

Minor underwent two surgeries in the offseason and gutted through 11 games last fall a virtual one-armed man. The pain was so intense he couldn't carry the ball in his right arm and couldn't lift weights.

“I could barely get 145 (pounds) up,” Minor said.

This might explain Minor's sparing use early in the year, and his tendency to put the ball on the turf. Place your bets for the next starter to reveal a crippling 2008 injury. I've got Obi Ezeh with the peg leg in the kitchen.

Hey, what's that: bird, plane, basketball program? Michigan's going to have a Midnight Madness event for the first time… ever? Probably ever. John Beilein probably isn't going rappel from the rafters riding a horse and a motorcycle, but it should be cool anyway. Details:

To kick off the 2009-10 season, both the men's and women's basketball teams will be participating in Michigan Madness on Friday, Oct. 16, the first day of practice allowed by the NCAA. Crisler Arena doors will open at 8 p.m. and admission is free.

The official basketball program will begin at 9 p.m. with player introductions. A skills competition and scrimmages will follow, allowing students and fans to get a first glimpse of the season's upcoming teams.

That's right: Michigan's midnight madness is at 9PM. Which okay. I don't know if we're at the point where we can expect anyone to show up well past their bedtime.

If you spin any faster you might drill straight into the magma. It's getting tough out there for BCS schools looking for suitable tomato cans to whack, as Michigan's home-and-home with UConn demonstrates. Heck, UConn has Tennessee lined up for a home and home, too. Further evidence:

Billed as the Celebrate the State Football Series, Michigan State will play 12 games against the directional Michigan schools during the next 10 years.

The agreement includes road contests against each MAC team, beginning in 2012 with a trip to Central Michigan. The Spartans have never visited Central Michigan or Western Michigan and last played a MAC team on the road in 1899.

Ouch. I guess if you have to line up road games (three of them!) against MAC schools it's nice to be able to turn it into yet more meaningless PR about owning the state. I mean… even if you successfully own the state, then what? Then you have a team that goes 7-5 on average instead of Michigan State's historical long-term 6-6. Woo! Michigan isn't Florida.

Etc.: Those who hate key jinglers are going to double hate towels. Michigan Stadium makes the next cut in the USA's World Cup bid. (Note to guy who posted this on the messageboard: AAAARGH it's on topic. It's about Michigan Stadium.) And this is apropos of little but there's a team named "Trollhattan" in the second level of Swedish soccer. There's a terribly funny joke about the internet in there somewhere.


matty blue

August 21st, 2009 at 1:37 PM ^

playing them isn't a p.r. thing - picking up tomato cans for easy wins can only be considered a p.r. thing in that a good record = good p.r.

YAPPING about it as if you're doing some service to life in these united states IS, however. geez, what a load of self-righteous crapola.

doesn't northern michigan have a team, too? and grand valley is awfully good. don't they deserve a shot?

[email protected]

August 21st, 2009 at 2:55 PM ^

The fact that the deal involves playing a MAC school every year isn't news. That was going to happen (as it does at just about every Big Ten school) regardless.

The road games are the news--and what's being spun for PR purposes. It it spin? Absolutely. That's what big organizations do when they announce financial deals. I don't buy the "we're saving the state's economy" line any more than you do.

Brian implied in the post, though, that MSU was somehow forced into doing this by a lack of negotiating leverage. That does not appear to be the case.


August 21st, 2009 at 5:16 PM ^

"It still sucks."
And I'm a die-hard MSU fan, one who is well-nigh guaranteed to gloat on this board after we school Michigan again this year. That's levitation, Holmes.

I love how Hollis basically said, "Bill Martin didn't want any part of this action, he wears miniskirts." Umm, and why would he? Playing a road game at any of these schools is, i dunno, the dumbest idea in history. It ranks right up there with reinstating Winston so fast (here, take off that orange jumpsuit and put on this uni). I love Hollis, but this is a stupid, no payoff, bush league move. Play better schools if you have to play road games!


August 21st, 2009 at 7:35 PM ^

I really don't see how this would have any positive effect on the Michigan economy. Bring in teams from other states, who will then bring in fans from other states, who will spend their money here. Hell, I was at the Utah game last year and they brought a lot of people all the way from Utah. Those people ate at our restaurants, stayed in our hotels, and shopped at our malls. If we are trying to help the economy, bring in as many out-of-staters as possible, every MAC team we play should be from Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. Those small school fans get excited to watch their team play in a real stadium, they will come here and stimulate us.

Other Andrew

August 21st, 2009 at 12:25 PM ^

I'd like Steele to separate out Week #1 spreads from the general pool. College football spreads always feature a number of poor evaluations early in the season. Western is likely underrated by the casual sports gambler right now, and Michigan, even coming off the disaster that was last year, is still Michigan and will therefore get bonus points. Sorry to be the killjoy. I still think we win though! (fingers crossed)


August 21st, 2009 at 12:28 PM ^

is right after the birth of my son and daughter on my personal highlight reel. After the offensive interference on WSU's last drive, wheh Woodson was pushed to the turf by the WR in front of the Cougars bench, my wife and I truned to each other and said in unison "If we lose this game, I'm storming the field." I'm really glad it didn't come to that ...


August 21st, 2009 at 12:58 PM ^

But I did storm the field after the win against Ohio State. It was a bit tricky b/c they brought out the police in right gear and they were hitting the students with clubs, spraying them with pepper spray, and stomping on them. I got by unscathed and had a great time though.


August 21st, 2009 at 12:32 PM ^

I'm not too proud to admit that pathetic, whiny, teenage tears were streaming down my face when that happened, as I screamed "That's BULLSHIT!!!" over an over again.

Man, I hated that non-call.


August 21st, 2009 at 12:34 PM ^

I have not seen the line less than 11.5 points at any place that actually accepts wagers. In fact, every place I use has 11.5 as the line as of this morning.

When you see the line as low as 8, for example, I dont think that's a betting house as much as it is either a capper's site giving what he thinks the spread should be or a place like LVSC which does not take wagers, but produces suggested lines.

Overall, thats good intel from Steele.

If you want a casual tip, be on the lookout for teams who lose outright as double digit favorites. Then, bet on them the following week if they are a road dog or bet against them the following week if they are home favorites. You will win 2 out of every three bets doing this.


August 21st, 2009 at 12:39 PM ^

The towel is probably better than the keys. People think they're making NOIZE with the keys, thus less inclined to yell and risk drowning out the terrorizing sounds of small pieces of partially-covered-in-plastic metal. Towels make no sound, so there's no excuse for not yelling. Plus, physically twirling it around might facilitate some volume.


August 21st, 2009 at 1:06 PM ^

I like the keys. It is tradition. I don't care if it doesn't make noise, that is what your voice is for. Keys make more noise than a towel. And towels are so tired they are almost retro. A towel is better than a thunderstick, but in no way do I look forward to seeing them waving in the stadium.


August 21st, 2009 at 1:22 PM ^

Really, the keys are tradition? When was the first time this happened at The Stadium?

I never saw it growing up and attending games in the 1970s and 1980s. First time I ever saw "key play" and shake your keys accordingly was my freshmen year at IU. Never saw it at the Big House until about 10 years ago.

But, fill me in otherwise.

I think the whole key play things is basic and kinda lame. We need to be told what a key play is?

Other Andrew

August 21st, 2009 at 1:47 PM ^

They were definitely there in full force in '93, my freshman year. It wasn't until sophomore year that I nearly drunkenly lost them (pulled 'em out of my pocket and they went flying about four rows back). I stopped drinking before games after that.

Can anyone go back farther?


August 21st, 2009 at 1:51 PM ^

That's interesting. I doubted it went that far back, but then my seats growing up were a ways a way from the Student Section. I never saw anyone do the key thing in Section 14 until the new fancy scoreboard began telling us too, so I figured it had started around that time.

Chuck Harbaugh

August 21st, 2009 at 5:12 PM ^

We did a key wave at a Purdue game because we were being told to shut up - too much noise (back when this was a potential penalty on the home team) we also did "ssh waves" in response to the PA, FWIW. That is the first time I saw the 3rd down key play thing. Seemed like a lame pun at the time, but it was fun. Of course, doing it EVERY third down would suck...

Blue Durham

August 21st, 2009 at 8:12 PM ^

the "key play" was there. I have to admit, at first I didn't know what the f**k everyone was doing and why, but it didn't take long.

I saw this through my grad school days there as well.

I have to admit, although the "key play" thing doesn't really pump my 'nads, but I am not revolted by it either. My observation was that the women in the stadium seemed to like to do it, and if that was what it takes to get their attention and participation, then I am all for it.

matty blue

August 21st, 2009 at 1:41 PM ^

i don't care about the towels one way or the other (although they look great on tv at penn state and steeler games)...but the 'key play' thing is the height of lame. it was clever when i first heard it (i was, you know, thirteen) but after that? not so much.

put your damn keys away and shout, you nitwits!


August 21st, 2009 at 2:22 PM ^

In the student section one year,(what was basically the fraternity/sorority section) watching seniors take keys away from the freshmen who were shaking them like fucking jackasses and launching them as far as they could trying to get them out the top of the bowl. Kind of a dick move, but I hate the damn keys so I thought it was entertaining.


August 21st, 2009 at 12:42 PM ^

The Freep published a side-story on the making of the "Celebrate the State" deal this morning, portraying U-M in an unfavorable light and implying that it's an inside joke between the four participating schools.


August 21st, 2009 at 4:24 PM ^

Michigan has never played a MAC team on the road.

In fact, the last time we played a road game against a team not from a power conference (other than @Hawaii in 1998) was a 1944 game @Marquette*. If you chalk that oddity up to WWII (we played @ Grant Pre-Flight in 1943 - WTF is Grant Pre-Flight?), you have to go back all the way to 1924, when we played @Michigan State in the days when MSU still counted as a non-1A school.

*Note I am discounting @Cornell in 1951, as the Ivies were still legit football schools in those days.


August 21st, 2009 at 12:45 PM ^

If anyone has some contraption that would allow me to float over Kalamazoo during the riot that will surely precede, coincide, and then follow the MSU/Western Game let me know.


August 21st, 2009 at 12:47 PM ^

The officiating at the end of that game is just appalling. First the offensive interference where the ref takes the flag out of his pocket and doesn't throw it, then the next two plays where the timekeeper jobs WSU out of 2-3 seconds. They should have had another play, but never should have been down there in the first place.

Other Andrew

August 21st, 2009 at 1:10 PM ^

...I remember being utterly shocked that they chose to spike the ball in that situation. When the clock reads 0:02 that means you have between 1 and 2 seconds left. Why leave it up to the refs? I was in the WSU section (the only place I could find purchase with my accidentally-bought fake ticket). The Cougar fans around me were halfheartedly saying "We should have another play," but you could tell they all thought it was a really dumb decision in the first place.

(Note - not disagreeing with you. The previous play ended at 0:04, but it's not like Price couldn't see the clock.)


August 21st, 2009 at 12:49 PM ^

The Rose Bowl video concludes with Woodson shouting "we did it," Bob Griese praising his son, and Keith Jackson quoting Fritz Crisler as the camera pans the jubilant crowd. It's impossible to watch without choking up.


August 21st, 2009 at 12:49 PM ^

rampaging towards downtown after the game. It would be awesome to see them pillaging Real Seafood Co. fruitlessly in search of bangers and warm beer.


August 21st, 2009 at 12:58 PM ^

I seem to recall a Midnight Madness during or right after the Fab Five years. The highlight was a dunk contest where the players tried to out-do each other by jumping over progressively more teammates. Eventually, someone was gathering the entire team to sit down in the key so he could jump over all of them. The coaching staff was getting more and more nervous as this was going on, and I think they stopped the dunk contest before the player could jump over everyone, or, perhaps make a misstep, slip and injure half the team.

Does anyone share this memory? Am I making this up? I'm thinking it might have been Jimmy King and Ray Jackson's last year.



August 21st, 2009 at 1:14 PM ^

MSU Athletic Director: "I've always claimed I want to have a high school attitude at a big-time college athletic program."

Not sure that this has the positive connotations Hollis thinks it does.