Unverified Voracity Sinks WR Ships

Submitted by Brian on May 3rd, 2012 at 12:13 PM

WR ALERT. Devin Gardner's facebook:

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Stop everything you're doing for the next three months and talk about this. Certain packages are likely to include the redzone and third down stuff when Michigan has four WRs on the field. 20-30 catches maybe? Unless an enraged Al Borges refuses to field a leaker?

UPDATE: Michigan says that's not actually Devin Gardner's facebook page. Woo!

Wow. Of all the quotes to put on Joe Paterno's grave, this is the best one:

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No idea if that was planned previously and now takes on a vastly sadder meaning in the aftermath or someone in the family calling a ballsy audible. But, yeah.

When Irish legs are drunkenly crane-kicking you. Tommy Rees was at a party in South Bend that was broken up because it's South Bend. City motto: Where Fun Goes to Die. He got some tickets and stuff, but then the crushing weight of life in rural Indiana finally got to him and he went "wwrrroaaaaaAAHHHH" at a cop:

Officers saw five people jumping a fence to run away and they chased them down, catching Rees and Calabrese.

In an attempt to get away, Trent says Rees kneed an officer in the stomach.

Rees got pepper-sprayed—internet, where is the Tommy Rees getting it from Pepper Spray Cop image?—and arrested on various charges including a felony that has a zero point zero percent chance of sticking.

This is par for the Tommy Rees decision-making course. Confronted by police, the options he considered included:

  1. calmly taking the ticket and going home
  2. wwwwrrrroooaaaAAAAAAHHHH!
  3. licking Manti Te'o's face just to see what would happen
  4. detaching his arm, insisting that it was actually Tommy Rees and he was Steve Miller of Steve Miller band
  5. transferring to any school coached by a non-mauve person

ANSWER KEY: #5: 10 points. #1: 5 points. #2: one point. #4: zero points. #5: you have been eaten by a grue'o.

So he could have done worse. Irish fans are hoping this disqualifies him from starting this fall. Opponents are hoping for his safe, addled return.

BONUS: Carlo Calabrese is as connected as you would expect a guy named "Carlo Calabrese" to be:

At 1 point, (Carlo) Calabrese allegedly told officers, "my people will get you," per police reports.

DOUBLE DRAGON BONUS: Jacobi uses the Furman suspension to troll Notre Dame about their lack of character. Well done. (BR link!)

Give us back our New Year's Day, and do so by taking it away. Remember when New Year's Day was reserved for teams that had won, like, eight games? Yeah, man, back then you really had to eke out a mediocre season to play on January first. No longer:

At the 2010 Outback Bowl, Auburn became the first team in 62 years to play on New Year’s Day with a losing conference record. Five more teams have done that since then: Northwestern, Texas Tech, Michigan, Florida and Ohio State.

In the past five years, 10 of the 27 New Year’s Day bowls featured a team without a winning conference record. That occurred in just six of the 221 New Year’s Day bowls from 1968 to 2007.

Fans have been treated like suckers. The powers-that-be figured by putting something on New Year’s Day — even if it was undeserving teams — you’d keep filling seats, watching on TV and building up ratings for BCS bowls in the coming days.

You can't even blame TV since the Big Ten's desire to cram every game they're in onto New Year's Day means four games I'd watch if given the option are on at the same time. As long as we're banning 6-6 teams from the postseason, let's ban teams with more than three losses from New Year's Day.

The erosion of NYD is a fine example of the stuff that drives me nuts the increasingly short-term thinking plaguing of college athletics: you have an institution that is loved, so you milk it for dollars until you've destroyed the meaning of that institution. Get The Picture:

The thing is, it’s not like that happened in a vacuum.  It wasn’t an accident.  It’s what TV wanted.  And the conference commissioners were more than happy to comply with the request, as long as the checks rolled in.  Now the panic has set in as the numbers decline.  But who’s to say that the guys who drove the bus into the ditch in the first place are qualified to pilot the tow truck to pull the bowl season out of the ditch?  Does anybody really believe they’d place the sanctity of New Year’s Day above a few more dollars?

On the national level this results in Gator Bowls between 7-5 teams on NYD; on the local level it results in the reseating of Crisler with absolutely no consideration given to the guys who have had tickets for the last crappy decade.

Alienating your most loyal fans is rarely a winner unless you're winding down an industry. (See: profitable but debt-laden newspapers slashing content willy-nilly.)

How to do it. I may expand this into a larger post later, but amongst an avalanche of head-nods and "you go girl" exclamations while I read Dan Wetzel's latest article on how to construct playoffs I found myself having a serious disagreement. It's here:

There is no good way to choose the field. None. There has to be a subjective decision made, and no one likes subjective decisions.

The best of a bad situation is to have that subjectivity hashed out in a cool, calm and studied environment and then make the selection process as transparent as possible.

As such, the sport would be best served if it created a single computer formula. People could decide how important strength of schedule (preferably giving extra credence to tough nonconference scheduling) or margin of victory or home-field/road-game criteria should be. They could program the formula accordingly and then test and tweak the next two seasons.

Most importantly, they could offer it up to everyone so that teams can plan ahead, know what they are up against and track the progress as the season goes along.

I'm a math guy, but that's not going to work. There is just not enough data in a 12-game season with very little meaningful overlap between conferences. Adding MOV helps, but not enough. Even computer models that try to take every drive or play into account spit out weird results like Virginia Tech #3 overall in 2009. While any selection mechanism would fall on the descriptive side of the descriptive/predictive rankings divide*, I just don't see a computer ranking ever getting fine enough that it will be right as much as a dedicated selection committee.

You need the committee to override groupthink like "Oregon has more losses than Stanford because it played LSU, so Stanford makes it."

In other playoff ideas, I do like the idea that a conference champ ranked 5 or 6 gets in over someone who didn't win the conference. Without that limitation you get some squirrelly fields. That one seems good to me since it solves that Oregon issue.

*[IE: rankings either describe what you've done—evaluate who's had the best season—or attempt to predict the future by ignoring noisy wins and losses for a more robust underlying model.]

Stop, collaborate, and listen. Joe Stapleton talked with Zak Irvin's AAU coach and came back with some tantalizing tidbits. He's his loaded AAU team's go-to scorer and we also get some additional indication he could be BRJ 3000:

“Defensively, he’s our stopper,” Green said. “We put him on the other team’s best player. So sometimes you’ve got the best offensive guy, he’s going to work, but then he’s got to turn around and play defense against the other team’s best player. He’s capable of doing both.”

When the All-Stars were in zone, Irvin played at the top and was disruptive.  His 6-foot-6 frame and long arms made it nearly impossible for smaller guards to get a lob pass over him, and his quickness allowed him to hound the ball without getting taken advantage of.

When the All-Stars were in man-to-man, Irvin guarded the opposing team’s best player and gave them plenty of trouble.  Irvin’s combination of size and quickness allowed him to guard post players and wing players equally effectively.

“His best attribute right now is being a lockdown defender,” Green said. “Defensively, he’s always been a lockdown defender and that’s never going to change.”

I love players who can add value without using possessions, whether they're Aaron Craft or Ben Wallace. Irvin is going to use possessions, possibly at a Hardaway rate—in AAU the dude is an aggressive shooter. Add in a lot more value than Hardaway has at the other end of the floor, where he's an indifferent defender, and an inch or two of height and Irvin sounds like a top 50 player easy.

Etc.: Various coaches on playoffs. Considerable speculation that Alabama's projected starting tailback may not be ready for the Jerryworld game. They would plug in a five-star freshman in his stead. You are annihilating the EDSBS fundraiser. Good luck, St. Louis group trying to get a Big 10-SEC bowl game there. Seriously, good luck.

Andy Staples knows who Terrence Talbott is. More Tommy Rees jokes at EDSBS.

Comments

PurpleStuff

May 3rd, 2012 at 12:29 PM ^

Haven't the New Year's Day bowls remained pretty constant for a while?  It seems like the Gator, Citrus, and Outback have all been around for quite some time on New Year's Day.  Is the apparent dilution really about the bowls trying to cram teams/games down our throat or just the result of conference expansion (fewer independents with pristine records), the addition of an extra BCS title game (two more post Jan 1bowl teams), and the fact that the Big Ten and SEC are getting two BCS-level bids nearly every year when in the past that wouldn't have been the case.

zlionsfan

May 3rd, 2012 at 12:57 PM ^

The change to Outback Bowl and Tampa (in 1986) was followed shortly by a move to January 1 (for the 1987 season on 1/1/88). I was at the 2000 game (grr failed two-point logic walrus grr blown lead), but didn't realize it went back so far on New Year's.

The Citrus Bowl actually started on New Year's as the Tangerine Bowl, so in those days, I guess it had a legitimate claim to the date. It slid back in 1960 toward mid-December, but then after becoming the Citrus Bowl, it moved to New Year's for the 1/1/87 game.

The Gator Bowl also dates back to the '40s and also started on New Year's, then slid back to December, then was pushed forward onto the 1st, but it didn't rejoin the club permanently until 1/1/96.

So ... for younger people, yeah, those bowls are pretty much NYD fixtures. For older people, not so much (most likely defined by the Cotton Bowl: if you remember it as a big deal, you probably think of these other bowls as interlopers).

I think it's the simultaneity that makes it so obvious these days. The fact that there are garbage bowls played nearly a week afterward doesn't help either.

M-Wolverine

May 3rd, 2012 at 1:17 PM ^

Used to be you could wake up to the Outback at 11 am, get the Citrus at 12 or 1, with the formerly non-Big Ten Gator around the same time, with the Cotton a little later, leading into the Rose. There actually used to be MORE bowls, because you'd have the Fiesta up against the Rose Bowl, and then both the Orange and Sugar Bowl at night.  The threshold problem is when you have a team that should be in the Alamo Bowl now getting in New Year's Day because the possibly 5th/6th Big Ten team (with how many times 2 BCS teams are taken) is more valuable than the winning record/more wins in conference Big East team or whoever the Gator used to get.

Edit: I just got that there was no OP /s in a St. Louis bowl possibility...wait, there's an objection to places like San Antonio and Tampa, but GO St. Louis!! as a bowl destination??

Everyone Murders

May 3rd, 2012 at 12:38 PM ^

Rees got pepper-sprayed—internet, where is the Tommy Rees getting it from Pepper Spray Cop image?—and arrested on various charges including a felony that has a zero point zero percent chance of sticking.

I disagree on the 0% chance of sticking comment. If the facts roll in that Rees in fact purposely kneed/kicked/similar a police officer while trying to evade arrest, that's not a hard charge to make stick. Now I realize that this is the sort of charge that often gets plead down, so ultimately there may not be a felony conviction here. But if Rees fights this charge, I would not say this is a sure loser for the prosecutor. I'm not even sure I'd bet against the prosecutor - again contingent upon the facts as they develop.

There is a strong political element to "assault on an officer" charges that makes this an interesting case to watch.  Prosecutors often feel pressure to pursue these charges, since they work arm-in-arm with the police.  I recognize that NDU is a big presence in South Bend (understatement of the month award, please), but the tie between prosecutors and police is usually very strong.

Avant's Hands

May 3rd, 2012 at 6:59 PM ^

This. I'm sure cops are in better shape than the general population, but college football players are not normal people. And not too many of the SB police I have met look like they can hop a fence and win a sprinting contest with a 20 year old athlete. Kelly, please start Rees in the fall.

profitgoblue

May 3rd, 2012 at 1:02 PM ^

Maybe we should start a movement:  Gardner for Bubble Screens in 2012!

[Edit:  Whoever can convice Heiko to ask Borges at one of his press conferences whether he'd put Gardner in for a bubble screen will win a spot in MGoLore and 1,000,000,000 MGoPoints (if that's even possible).]

 

travelingblue

May 3rd, 2012 at 1:03 PM ^

You left out the most likely thing running through Reese's head when he's under significant pressure: "Throw to Michael Floyd! Throw to Michael Floyd!" The real problem is that Floyd is in the NFL now...things were bound to fall apart for Reese, his binky is gone.

rkfischer

May 3rd, 2012 at 1:04 PM ^

Brian is correct about needing to have common sense, fairness and a policy driven process to help make selections for the top four teams in the new football playoff system. You cannot just quantify it as was proven many times over the past few years of BCS rankings. A computer can help with the process but it should not be the only criteria.

In the meantime, I'm very excited about the possibility of some of these games being hosted and played in the midwest. Hopefully, at the home field of the B1G champion. Even the writer Rick Reilly is excited (in a satirical kind of way http://espn.go.com/espn/story/_/id/7877172/bcs-gets-right).

Too bad this couldn't happen this year. NYD NHL game in the afternoon, Semi-final game, later (under the lights, NYD). Cool.

M-Wolverine

May 3rd, 2012 at 1:14 PM ^

....but someone HAD to step up and say that with the way things ended at Penn State talking about  "a man's reach and grasp" is just really a bad idea.  And that's not even trying to be funny; it's just not well thought out. 

I didn't look at it that way till I read all the WRRRAAAAOOOOAAAHHHH stuff, but I'm expecting the Rees Hulk transformation gif anytime now. And linking Bleacher Report? The enemy of my enemy and all that....?

Irvin, Irvin, baby. Word to your mother.

burtcomma

May 3rd, 2012 at 5:57 PM ^

Why not use a similar formula to the one that is used by various state high school athletic associations to pick the teams and also be sure that it has a big strength of schedule component so that teams are rewarded for playing other good teams and punished for playing the little sisters of the poor?

Have a committee use that specific formula and ignore all the damn sportwriter and coaches polls and pick the 6 best teams using this as a guide.

Nice thing is that it still makes every game count even for teams that are not in the hunt because those games effect how those in the hunt are ranked because of their opponents records.

 

pfholland

May 3rd, 2012 at 8:50 PM ^

The Zork reference may be the funniest thing I've read all week.  I think it's safe to say that Brian has monopolized the demographic defined by the intersection of the sets "Michigan football fans" and "computer engineers."