Unverified Voracity Starts And Ends With Canada

Submitted by Brian on December 6th, 2012 at 12:33 PM

IMPORTANT. McGary sings Beiber, endorses Teen Wolf:

IMPORTANT AS WELL. You kind of felt this was on the table when the Big Ten Network put up a survey that asked you whether you knew which division your team was in and you instinctively knew that even if you could figure it out by remembering that Michigan is not in the one mentioned by their fight song, you should put down "no." And then you thought about it and knew everyone else would do the same thing too. So yeah this happened at some conference that is apparently going on today:

Delany says names of Legends and Leaders TBD.

I mean who could question a decision to expand coming from the people who gave us Legends and Leaders? Speaking of:

So I went to a Maryland basketball game last night. They played a MEAC team Kenpom ranked 345th, and played like it. I have seen more people at a basketball game.


I am pretty sure I have seen more people at a softball game.

The arena itself is cool, and amongst the few people around me were some old guys who had clearly been getting seats adjacent to each other since the dawn of time. At one point the cheerleaders held up big cardboard cutout credit cards and asked people to wave theirs around for some sort of prize that was probably FREEEE PIZZAAAA, and I marveled at… that.

I came away with an excellent picture of why Maryland's in such dire financial straights and with an unformed joke about how Northwestern should start calling themselves WASHINGTON'S BIG TEN TEAM™ because the position is most certainly open.

Meanwhile, Maryland forms a commission to consider re-adding some of the seven sports they recently dropped.

Mercenaries for… wait what? Yesterday's Bielema-related bombshell was the revelation that Arkansas offered him a whopping 600k extra to move to a school that has never won an SEC title and is probably never going to. Bielema was forced to say the usual things, added in some nonsense about how his first year he lost to Michigan 27-13 because of a bad call, and said this:

"When I began to have more and more success at Wisconsin, I stayed but a lot of my coaches left," he said. "I just wasn't able to compensate them in the way other coaches were. I know I'm hiring the right guys, because everybody keeps taking them from me."

Bielema lost six assistants last year, and he noted that three of them went from salaries around $225,000 per year to over $400,000 annually. He said that hours after the Badgers won the Big Ten title game last Saturday, three of his assistants told him they'd been contacted by other schools and were offered significant raises. He said he wouldn't have been able to match those offers.

"Wisconsin isn't wired to do that at this point," he said. "With what I wanted to accomplish, I needed to have that ability to do that. I've found that here at Arkansas."

If that's true—and I'm skeptical that people fleeing Wisconsin are not actually fleeing Bielema himself—that's another way in which the money is just not a factor. Wisconsin has that, and they are just choosing not to spend it because…? Because they need to build world-class facilities for non-revenue sports? Is that the answer?

That can't actually be the answer. But Wisconsin was the 8 team in revenue as of 2008 and I find it hard to believe they've dipped much what with the BTN. That year they brought in 30 million more than Arkansas. And yet…

Don't give me recruiting budget stuff either. Wisconsin spent 466k less than Arkansas in 2011, which is a big gap but it is also chump change. I don't know what the problem is, but adding more money to the huge and ever-growing money spigot isn't going to fix it. If it would, it already would have.

The problem is cultural: as Bielema said, we don't want to be like the SEC at all. Probably the best thing Brandon has done is pay the assistants the relative chump change that makes them happy.

The least the Big Ten can do for us as they set every tradition they can find on fire is actually spend the money on the stuff fans care about like "keeping that guy who has gone to three straight Rose Bowls."

BIG TENNNNN. Darrell Hazell is introduced as Purdue's next head coach and the world gets a terrifying glimpse into the reality of being a beat reporter in West Lafayette:


if I could summon the energy to do anything it would be obtain the sweet release of death

Darrell Hazell, by the way, is a wild-ass swing at another MAC coach of exceedingly short tenure (two years) who has shown little other than the ability to inherit a team that floats to the top of the MAC talent hierarchy for reasons unknown. And he'll just fly the coop if he works out anyway. Expanding the league does not fix this. Purdue is still Purdue.

But maybe they can be Purdue in another division! Here we go again:

"There are some advantages to 16 (teams) compared to 14," Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis told ESPN on Wednesday. "Fourteen is clumsy. We're not out looking for two teams, but basically we will continue to survey the landscape."

At this point I endorse all Big Ten expansions in an effort to get to the Bargaining Phase post. With 16 we we can chuck the Indiana teams into the other football division and pretend none of this ever happened.

But it's about academics you guys! No, no it is not. It is not about academics in any way whatsoever.

Professors at the meeting alleged that the Athletic Department did not consult the ABIA on the addition of the Maryland and Rutgers to the Big Ten Conference.

“I happen to think that the implications of expanding the conference ... are significant academic matters, and I was personally very disappointed when I heard it on the radio,” Political Science Prof. Edie Goldenberg, an ABIA member, said.

If it was about academics, the academics would know about it.

Explaining to do, attempted. Michigan nixed a charity run at the Big House in two steps.

Champions for Charity is a for-profit limited liability company, though Highfield says all of the money a team raises prior to the race goes directly to a charity of the participant’s choice.

"It's just a little mom-and-pop organization," Highfield told AnnArbor.com.

Champions for Charity rented the stadium each previous year for roughly $7,000. Highfield was astonished when the school more than doubled the old rate, charging just under $16,000 for the next annual run.

The next step was just cancelling the thing entirely, because:

Really the decision in the end came down to our external focus," said Ablauf. The department announced last monththat it would begin partnering with the Special Olympics of Michigan for community service efforts. The first event of that partnership is the "Polar Plunge" at Michigan Stadium on Feb. 23, 2013.

That partnership, Ablauf said, has become the department's priority. Ablauf said the run had become "a very challenging event ... to fit into our stadium."

"We have our own private rental program, we're doing stuff with the Special Olympics and we have a lot of things we do now in the stadium," Ablauf offered.

I was waiting to sputter about this until the athletic department had its say, and… that's it? You can't spare the stadium for one day in April and one of the reasons you state for this is because you rent the thing out for profit (and annoy everyone at every football game by constantly repeating that fact)? I'm feeling a sputter comin' on you guys!

Actually, I don't have anything to say on this that I haven't already said a lot. I mean, this is a great thing to have people do from the ol' branding standpoint:


someone had a super idea once and people liked it

The thing had a lot of traction and if there was some problem with the organizational nature of the thing that was not organized as a non-profit it doesn't seem to be that hard to work through the issues. But I'm neither surprised or even disappointed that this happened. It's just how things work these days.

Antidote! Hey Charlie Strong seems like a good good dude.

Strong: I was 9-10, and (Jurich) hands me an extension...How do you walk away from someone who trusts and believes in you. …

Strong said his ego had him thinking abt what he coud do in the SEC. "It's not abt that. It's about people and how you affect their lives."

Yes Virginia, there are Bo-like people still around. One of them is Michigan's coach, and that's nice. 

Anti-antidote. Mario Cristobal is fired by FIU after one bad year when he turned down opportunities to move up in the world after he took the fledgling program from an 0-12 national joke to a couple bowl games.

STAUSKAS. As always, Canada bails us out of feeling bad. John Gasaway ranks his top 25 freshmen in college basketball and Stauskas comes in third($):

3. Nik Stauskas, G, Michigan Wolverines
Stauskas is merely Michigan's third option on offense, and you may think being rated the No. 3 freshman in the nation is self-evidently disproportionate for a role player. In the abstract I agree wholeheartedly, but exactly how much tribute do we give to a player who has helped his team's offense to the very limit allowed by the sport itself? Stauskas has an offensive rating (152.8) that's in another zip code entirely from what even the amazing likes of Bennett (127.5) and Adams (122.8) have posted. He is a normal carbon-based player in only one facet of the game: Stauskas inside the arc with the clock running is a mere mortal. But if he's at the line (89 percent) or, heaven help the opponent, outside the arc (64 percent), he's Stauskasesque.

His numbers will correct downward from this point forward, but the larger point is that for a second consecutive season John Beliein has a freshman who arrived in Ann Arbor as a lightly regarded recruit and then promptly began stomping on opponents like Mothra.

Stauskas was a little less lightly-regarded than Burke but yeah I mean seriously the hobbit at NC State was a burger guy. Oh right and that GRIII guy comes in ninth, which probably gives Michigan the best recruiting class in the country as of December what with adding in McGary and LeVert and Albrecht.

Etc.: Annual bowl swag update. Here is a tiny fraction of the money in gift cards because we can't give you cash. Tom Izzo goes full Holtz after MSU beats up on a SWAC team. Bielema fallout. More fallout. UMHoops podcast. David Merritt stops by to suggest his Merit fundraiser. Hockey coaches can now call CCHA reffing a joke in public. Gordon Gee is either lying now or lied to Urban Meyer.


matty blue

December 6th, 2012 at 1:52 PM ^

you need to find some neckbearded comic book dude - i was listening to a podcast recently where the hosts honestly and without irony tried to figure out how much the thing (the stone guy in the fantastic four) could lift with one hand. 

one of those guys has probably already calculated the mothra thing, but i'm afraid to google it.


December 6th, 2012 at 2:00 PM ^

Wouldn't all you have to do is figure out how much the average person can lift with one hand, compared to how much they can lift total, and just use that percentage vs. what the Thing could lift? I would guess since normal calculations would be "lifting your own body weight", one arm could maybe do close to half that (less for balance and all that). So half of whatever strength level the version of whoever they're talking about can currently lift?

Edit: And I'm sure this thread of conversation is exactly what Brian hoped for when he put all this time and work into this post.

matty blue

December 7th, 2012 at 11:17 PM ^

no apology necessary...it was a tangent in a tech / productivity podcast that i listen to called 'back to work' with a guy named merlin mann.  he's a productivity guy, but also a comics fan and like going off on tangents.  funny as hell.

the podcast is on itunes or at 5by5.tv


December 6th, 2012 at 2:05 PM ^

If you look more closely, it's not a greenhouse, but some special military structure covering a giant egg.

Apparently it can go from 180 meters long, to 80 with a 250 meter wingspan. Then you calculate for the increase in mass, etc. (Which if you really did would have to include mutations that make the bones harder than diamond to support all that additional weight.  But then they do shrug off missle attacks).

I mean, she has to be big enough to fight Godzilla.

Though I agree any one foot wouldn't do much stomping. I'm not sure it could even support it's own weight. Might just be guides to land on all fours and balance as it rests its weight down on the ground. 


December 6th, 2012 at 1:50 PM ^

Regarding the CCHA reffing, I don't think I've seen this many disallowed goals affecting games since the "crease rule" days in the NHL. What's up with that?

French West Indian

December 6th, 2012 at 1:52 PM ^

...that the "jocks" today like shitty pop music when they also seem to be pre-occupied with exotic uniform color combinations?  Who'd have thought sports would turn into the province of pansies?


December 6th, 2012 at 2:00 PM ^

and if a couple sections of calc 2 students are a good sample (probably not) Bielema was not all that well liked here before he jumped ship. I am also hearing (from a friend with a friend in the AD, so take it for what it's worth) that Bielema thought he was on the hot seat if the team didn't do better next year. 


December 6th, 2012 at 2:20 PM ^

I wouldn't normally correct your use of "straights" instead of "straits" in regards to Maryland's financial situation, but I saw it as an opportunity to post this badass video:


December 6th, 2012 at 2:48 PM ^

I respect Brian and think he does great things here and for the greater Michigan community, but the one element that drives me crazy about this site is how frequently the OUTRAGE spills over from genuine opinions to the same rote narrative of every internet conversation centering around "those guys don't GET IT!"  I saw it with the RR coaching move, the Free Press fiasco, then The Process, and apparently now conference expansion.  Yes, adding Maryland and Rutgers was a money grab, and you can make the argument that it "dilutes" tradition if you think that not being able to play Wisconsin ever couple of years is a loss, but at some point can we just move on and stop with the faux outrage that the world isn't "Little Giants"?

We complain about the "MBA suits" not getting sports, but what evidence do we have that college or professional sports have ever been more than entertainment for the masses that generates significant sacks of cash for a couple of people at the top?  Not to get political, but this is the underpinning of capitalism, and the only difference now versus 20 years ago is that guys like Brandon are just being more naked in their ambitions.  Sports have always been about getting people to watch you and spend money instead of doing something else.  To stave off competition, both college and pro rely on tropes like colors, mascots, fight songs, and others forms of personal identification to create a sense of belonging and, to some extent, addiction in its denizens.  College sports have the added advantage of binding one's education to performance on the field, a neat trick that gets otherwise intelligent and thoughtful people to merge their past matriculation at an institution with the capacity of 20-year-old kids to tackle others or shot a basketball through a hoop and allow their perceived value or self-worth rise and fall with that performance.  Maybe when I was 12 I thought the guys wearing the uniform of my team were the "good guys", but that changed around the time Chris Webber took thousands of dollars from Ed Martin or Craig James killed 5 hookers. 

So yeah, Bielema complaining about not having a big enough budget makes the whole "more money" argument look weak, but as you noted that is a priorities issue and not a resources one.  OSU pays its coordinators top-dollar (just like Alabama), and they were undefeated.  Iowa pays Kirk Ferentz more money than God and they are mediocre (same with Auburn and Tennessee).  But I don't think the unwillingness and/or inability of a school to take advantage of its resources should preclude a good business deal from going forward.  And for all the posts about how the subscription cable model is dying, I have a sense that the smart guys involved in business deals like this will find a way to monetize whatever delivery model used to deliver their product to consumers; that's only been the goal (and consistent success) of content providers since man started bartering with other men for dead animal pelts.    

Adding Maryland and Rutgers won't cost the conference money in the long run, and even in the shorter term won't be a massive drag on anyone.  They expand the footprint, keep the conference competitive with the other super-conferences that are forming elsewhere, and are not nearly as "horrible" pick-ups athletically or academically as this blog seems to think.  Nebraska was by far the weakest academic institution to join the B1G, and outside of some token complaints nobody seemed overly worried.  Sure, adding these two schools wasn't done for academic reasons, but no expansion is for that reason.  In academic circles, people do or don't work with a professor or school because they reside in a different athletic conference - they make decisions based on the particular PI, the research being performed, resources, and a million other factors beyond how full the f'ing basketball arena is against a MEAC school in December. 

And while we're dancing around sports, it's not like Nebraska brings much to the table beyond a moderately-successful football program (since the mid-90s) and gymnastics.  Rutgers and Mayland aren't Notre Dame (which seems to be the real issue here), but they aren't going to besmirch the conference's reputation or performance on the playing field.

I guess my complaint is that I get this blog is unhappy with their addition, but at some point just get over it.  The basketball team is doing great, the football team is on the upswing, and hockey is roping us in for another late-season run to the Frozen Four (I can feel it!).  If you are short on material in the off season, give some coverage to women's basketball, wrestling, etc.  Do a recap of the cross-country seasons, or talk about baseball and softball.  And yeah, I could just ignore these sections and quit complaining, but then again this blog could just ignore expansion and focus on something else. 


December 6th, 2012 at 4:03 PM ^

about my outrage at conference expansion. conference expansion is just the most recent

college football, as a niche sport, has a different kind of fan than the NBA, baseball or NFL, its hard to say what it is, its more than dedication, but there is some sort of tribal allegiance that many of us share with our team that gives us the sensation of power or ownership - i know more about the history and meaning of this one little thing than most people know about their professions. we could be convined that we were different because we could go to an NFL game and feel it was different.

yes, the college football champion was most years arrived at by some suspect means and yes, there was more money to be made in all of these avenues and the people that inflated nascar to its highest ratings before moving on, and the people that pumped up the NHL to the sunbelt before moving on arrived and devised all sorts of ways to monetize us before they move on to the next place to advertise product. and when they are gone, what are we left with? ask nascar's plummeting viewership, high ticket prices and nonsense championship race. ask the NHL's die hard fans. ask me in five years when my home ticket package consists of directional michigan, random out west school, sparty, iowa, maryland and purdue and my PSL, the ultimate money grab, is double what it is now even though the team is raking in dough from cable subscribers that are a rapidly declining group.

well, it turns out that feeling of power or control that having and paying for season tickets and road trips and merchandise and bleeding maize and blue and not sleeping after 2011 iowa or getting in a playground fight with a spartan fan after desmond got tripped in the endzone because he did trip and the ground can't cause a fumble or willingly not sourcing a product for 7 years because i know that product's salesmen is a buckeye fan and doing this over and over for 40 years was an illusion all along and it hurts to see it gone forever because that is exactly how long i plan on being a michigan fan.


December 6th, 2012 at 9:42 PM ^

I'm sorry your already tired of it, but it's going to be a topic of conversation until it happens and we see the effects. Your logic is "Hey, we'll get more money" so B1G programs can compete in terms of salaries, but why is that a slam dunk, medium/long term, with this reckless expansion?

It's all based on TV, right? Well, look at the ratings of the most recent championship games outside of the SEC. They were bad to terrible (e.g., B1G down 42%).


These championships games are the result of expansion. Why, in the future, will sports networks pay big money for games that draw 3.3's and 1.4's ratings? Why will cable customers pay for channels for games they don't care about?

You seem to think every conference will expand to 14 or 16 and that will be the end of it. I forsee there being a collapse, as these unwieldy conglomerations of institutions that have nothing to do with each other realize that not many more people attend or watch a Maryland-Purdue football game than they do a Maryland-MEAC basketball game. College football is not the NFL - people won't watch just any old teams play each other. People care about rivals and nurse grudges from decades ago (heck see Bielema complaining about a long-ago Michigan loss this week. He still hasn't gotten over it!)

Winter is coming for the sports media landscape. It's like the housing market in 2003 right now, but you can see a bubble forming that will pop. And in the meantime, Michigan fans will end up with more games against teams we don't care about (or at least I don't care about; I'd much rather play Wisconsin, Minnesota or Purdue than Rutgers or Maryland). And for what? More money for Brett Bielema, that Wisconsin could have afforded anyway, pre-expansion?


December 6th, 2012 at 3:00 PM ^

staying in some sort of minimum athletic shape? That lazy slob in the front row of the W.L. presser with the pot belly and front butt looks like he wandered in off the street looking for free food. Where's the professional pride?


December 6th, 2012 at 3:26 PM ^

What the hell is Bielema talking about?  What bad call cost him the 2006 game?  Our defense absolutely dominated them in the second half.  We pinned them deep and forced several 3 and outs.  The Badgers had 60 total yards rushing all day.  That game wasn't even as close as the final score.

The thing I remember most about that game is one of his players trying to twist Steve Breaston's leg off after a punt return.  Bielema didn't suspend him and brushed the whole thing off when asked about it at a press conference a few days later.  So he can kiss my ass. 

That 2006 Wisconsin team reminded me alot of Barry Alvarez's Rose Bowl teams.  Racking up 11 wins against 11 unranked opponents and losing to the one top ten you play during the regular season and not having to play the other top Big Ten team. 


December 7th, 2012 at 1:09 AM ^

Michigan will end up in the "East" division, maintaining the tradition that you can "figure it out by remembering that Michigan is not in the one mentioned by their fight song."


December 7th, 2012 at 9:45 AM ^

I'm more disappointed than Brian since I am a runner that started about 3 years ago. I wasn't able to be involved in the race due to scheduling issues but had pretty much set my mind to do it this year. I didn't think I had to worry since it was such a success. However it appears that Brandon is really going to focus on U of M run things. Hopefully he sees that running a race that finishes in the Big House is a good idea.

Also hopefully he finds some people to jump in a cold tub in Feb at the Big House. That really doesn't sound fun.

Bando Calrissian

December 7th, 2012 at 10:37 AM ^

I guess all you need to know about Wisconsin's athletics culture is the fact that Bo interviewed there in the 60s, got jerked around, and didn't take the job.  Then when his buddy Bobby Knight called up a few years later saying Wisconsin just offered him their job, Bo told him to run away as fast as he could.

Wisconsin could have had the Bo/Bobby tandem in Madison when it could have turned around both of those programs forever.  Think about that for a second.