Unverified Voracity Stays On Target

Submitted by Brian on March 9th, 2010 at 1:59 PM

Hello: Dave Brandon. Another media flurry with Dave Brandon's official ascension to the top job in the Michigan athletic department. Here's a jerko on Fox business acting all jerky:

I feel like that fat X-Wing pilot… "stay on messsage. Stay on message. Roghbaobahraraha"


Anyway, there were a ton of articles mostly rehashing what we already know about Brandon or reflecting on Bill Martin's tenure. There are a few relevant new quotes. The first is undoubtedly a response to a "what does Rodriguez have to do to not get fired?" question:

“Much like your boss, there’s a lot of different things you look at,” he told AnnArbor.com last month. “Certainly you need to see progress and some of that’s measured by wins and losses, but it’s also measured a lot of other ways. And when I’m in a position where I can evaluate as closely as I need to and I want to, all those metrics and all those measures will be clear between the coach and me.”

Stay on message:

Brandon backed his coach then and on Monday reiterated his support for Rodriguez.

"He's our coach for this season," Brandon said. "There's nothing within the framework of the NCAA allegations that led me to believe that it should change his status as our coach."

Some people are making a deal out of Brandon explicitly stating "this season," interpreting it as an implicit threat. FWIW, I interpreted it as a way to avoid questions about Rodriguez getting fired in August or October or whatever. No one can scurry off to write an article about Rodriguez getting canned once Michigan goes in front of the committee.

Birkett asked some excellent questions that got stuck in a sidebar-type object. Advertising in Michigan Stadium? Very likely not:

"When I was a regent and this subject came up, we went out and did pretty qualified, professional, third-party research on the views of our fans, our season-ticket holders, the people who are the most important to us in terms of paying customers of the game-day experience at Michigan Stadium. And the research I saw at that time caused me to conclude that the thing that was the most objectionable, the thing that turned off the fan the most, was the idea that they would come to a football game and they would be blasted with advertising. ... I think it was Sam Walton who said if you don’t know what to do ask your customer. I asked my customers a lot before I make these kinds of decisions, and at least the last time I looked at the data our customers would tell us that they really didn’t want to go there and so I think we should be very, very careful and sensitive to that."

Unfortunately, Brandon is an anti-playoff luddite, but no one's perfect.

The city that time forgot. It's Toledo! I have no idea what the header is supposed to mean. Fearless Leader headed across the border into Toledo to speak at the National Football Foundation dinner, and he brought his zingers. Don't take my word for it, listen to the Blade's Ryan Autullo:

“It's good to be invited anywhere,” Rodriguez said, in the first of several zingers that drew laughter from the crowd.

Zingers. You see, Rudy? Part of that article is an interview with Rodriguez that hints at some maturity issues with Tate Forcier last year:

"I've told Tate as you get older I'm going to expect more out of you. I really think he's done a great job in the weight room the last six or seven weeks, but that's not an issue for him as far as commitment to football. It's everything that's encompasses being a UM athlete. Tate went through some freshmen trials with that and now it's time for him to grow up and go.”

"With that?" I could just be imagining things but that seems to be an indication that Forcier was somewhat less than dedicated at points last year. Supporting evidence: the Facebook explosion that led to the gut-churning week of transfer rumors. There's not a whole lot else that's new, but this is… odd to contemplate:

How would you describe your relationship with Ohio State coach Jim Tressel?
“We've got a great relationship. We got to know each other a few years back at various functions. Apparel companies will send you on a little week's vacation — the coaches and their spouses — so we got to know each other there."

Also, Orson responds to a Rodriguez quote on the media coverage of his program. First, Rodriguez being diplomatic:

The media coverage of your program has been tough. In your opinion, has it been fair?
"That's an interesting question. I've never really thought about it much. You understand it's part of the job. A lot of people say there's so much more media coverage [at UM] but really, at West Virginia, we had quite a bit of media coverage, and good media coverage.

Orson then brings down the thunder:

"Did RichRod just not grant us superiority over the West Virginia media?" Ann Arbor Media Scrutiny Force, assemble and strike for the Fourth Estate! <---most inflated sense of self-importance in any small media market ever and that includes Alabama football media oh yeah bitch you read that right. Rich Rodriguez has been appropriating office supplies at a breakneck, reckless pace AND WE HAVE FILM!

Final aerial. I really think these tempo-free aerials should be centered on the league average instead of 1.00, because this sort of looks like Michigan is totally average at everything:

tempo-freeThey're not. Remarkably, Michigan's actually much better on defense than offense in the Kenpom numbers and I assume that a conference-only Kenpom would  be even better since Michigan's early attempts to roll out the 1-3-1 were totally disastrous and the thing was scrapped entirely by the time conference play rolled around. The offense did not undergo any similar improvement, though Minnesota fans will be forgiven for thinking otherwise. I bet a dollar Michigan's two inexplicable outbursts against the Gophers are a major reason they're underwater defensively, and headed for the NIT despite checking in at a strong-for-the-bubble 35 in the Kenpom rankings. I'd feel bad for them except that "eeeeeh Gophers" cheer is irritating.

The next 2010, for now. Yost Built summarizes some recent recruiting news. The biggest item is news that spectacularly-named Ontario forward Matia Marcantuoni will definitely end up at Michigan if he heads to college. Marcantuoni is a potential #1 OHL draft pick and would team with Boo Nieves to make Michigan' early 2012 recruting class a spectacular one both on the ice and the back of the jersey. That goes double since Michigan is apparently hot after goalie Dalton Izyk in the same class. Izyk is a Nieves teammate and was the #1 goalie at the Select 15 camp this fall.

In re: Izyk and a couple other goalie names for down the road, Yost Built asks this question:

Izyk is an early-94 as well. Assuming he'd be scheduled to come in in 2012, that brings up an interesting issue: Would you go for a goalie for 2010, have him compete with Hogan as a freshman, start as a sophomore, and then compete with your youngster as a junior and senior, or would you roll with what we've got again next year and hope to get the kid to accelerate and come in as the starter in 2011?

That answer seems totally obvious to me: get a goalie this year and leave Hypothetical 2012 Goalie in the class of 2012. Goalies are erratic, tough to predict, and develop slowly. The last guy Michigan brought in early was Billy Sauer, who was flat bad his first two years (.898 and .896) before dropping a damn good junior year (.924) that ended with Nickelback and Creed in the Frozen Four. Hogan won the job as a sophomore, but even so Sauer's save percentage in 13 games as a senior was 0.921. Hogan had a .914.

Instead of going the Sauer route again, I'd much rather bring in a guy right now and have two viable goalies on the roster next year in case Hogan does not rebound from his poor play, have a sophomore in 2011, and then real competition past that. There are two good to excellent prospects out there in Jeff Teglia, the save percentage leader in the USHL, and probable mid-round NHL draft pick Joel Vienneau of the OPJHL. Neither is Jack Campbell but both have better pedigrees than Hogan, who had a save percentage of .889 on a good USHL team (they were 27-13-3 with Hogan in net and only gave up 25 shots per game; Teglia's team gives up 29) and did not get drafted. If Michigan can get either one of them, they definitely should.

Oy. Really? We divert you from your regularly-scheduled Free Press bashing for this from the News's Terry Foster:

Wolverine fans were thrilled that Beilein finally got Michigan into the tournament and acted like that was some major accomplishment. It isn't. If you are in the Big Ten you should have at least a 50 percent chance of making the tournament.

Meanwhile Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan, Oakland University and of course Michigan State have all played in NCAA tournament games since Michigan last did.

That's true for one of those schools, actually, and is something you mentioned in the previous paragraph. But thanks for playing. BONUS:

Sims will probably leave after this season and it will be interested to see what a frustrated Harris does.

What say you, page 25 of a Google image search for "fail"?


There's tossed off nonsense and there's a total ignorance of many things, including Michigan basketball and time.

(HT: Maize n Brew.)

Etc.: Improving on pythagoran wins. Birkett on the OL.



March 9th, 2010 at 2:12 PM ^

Dave Brandon is the freakin' man. Extremely impressive fellow. At first I was a little iffy, but between this and his handling of the NCAA press conference, he is without a doubt the right man for the job.


March 9th, 2010 at 2:23 PM ^

Why was the guy interviewing Brandon being such a wuss with the firing question? If he wanted to ask him whether he was going to fire Rodriguez, he should have just asked that directly.

Fall of the Ho…

March 9th, 2010 at 2:24 PM ^

Foster is so choice, he could write for the F*** Pr***. Recall his attempt at backpedaling around the time of the Beilein hire, which was something to the effect of "I never said that he wouldn't be able to recruit the PSL. I only said that he wouldn't be able to recruit the PSL." Got it, Chubs.

His Dudeness

March 9th, 2010 at 2:30 PM ^

Goodbye Terry Foster
Though I never knew you at all
You had the grace to embarrass yourself
While those around you crawled

They crawled out of the woodwork
And they whispered "Get Rodriguez Fired" into your brain
They set you on a treadmill
And they made you change your name

And it seems to me, you lived your life
Like a shitty columnist in the wind
Never knowing who to cling to
When the reason and logic set in
And I would have liked to have thrown something at you
But I was just a grown-up
Your candle burned out long before
Your legend ever did

Lonliness was tough
The toughest role you ever played
You created a shitty column
And pain was the price we paid

Goodbye Terry Foster

James Howlett

March 9th, 2010 at 2:31 PM ^

"lies, damn lies, and statistics". But, according to that graph, Iowa, had both a bad offense AND(and here's the outrage, kids.)a bad defense???

What?!?!? Ok, yeah, inspite of the best OL in the conference: bad offense--meet Rick Stanzi, and a series of third-fourth string Rb's(who actually, weren't that bad). Bad defense--meet Pat Angerer, Adrian Clayborn, Karl Klug, Amari Spievey, Tyler "jimmer-jammer" Sash, AJ Edds...umm, these guys all finished first or second team All-Conference. Most of the remaining memebers of the defense were honorable mention all-conference players. Iowa, finished 10th in the country in scoring defense. Top 5 in passing effiency defense. Put a massive beatdown on one of the top three rushing teams in the country in the bowl game. Kept every team they played below their season scoring averages. Bad defense?

Thinking that someone didn't put the right numbers into the computer or set the defensive effiency paramaters is a WAC fan.


March 9th, 2010 at 7:22 PM ^

Or perhaps an 11-0-0 ... gets rid of the safety/corner/linebacker problem all at once ... screw dropping into coverage ... just lay out the QB on every play, lean over him and say, "You have been weighed, measured and found wanting."


March 9th, 2010 at 3:13 PM ^

The Sims comment was stupid, but I thought the overall point of the article was sound. Let's face it, Beilein has a worse record than Ellerbe and Amaker did in their first three seasons. Ellerbe also made a second round tourney run with another coach's players like Beilein. There is no doubt that Beilein is a better coach than Amaker and Ellerbe, but his recruiting thus far seems to be suspect at best. I will be more optimistic if Beilein lands Trey Zeigler, but I'm not holding by breath. This season has been a total disaster!

Cosmic Blue

March 9th, 2010 at 3:04 PM ^

there wasnt anything wrong with this paragraph...

Meanwhile Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan, Oakland University and of course Michigan State have all played in NCAA tournament games since Michigan last did.

from wikipedia,last NCAA tourny appearance:
Western - 2004
Eastern - 1998
Central - 2003
Oakland - 2005

our previous one was 1998 (or 1995 if you expunge some years...)


March 9th, 2010 at 3:12 PM ^

i thought the writer's point was that between our last NCAA tourney experience and last year's bid, all of those other teams had also made the tournament. Thus, though a tourney bid was exciting, it wasn't exactly some watershed moment considering all the other relevant Michigan teams had done the same thing.


March 9th, 2010 at 3:20 PM ^

But that's not the way it's written. If you take that paragraph on its own, it's wrong.

As is, it's extremely confusing. He should have written that those other teams "HAD played in NCAA tournament games before Michigan did last year" or something to that effect.

And the idiotic comment about Sims shows he mailed this column in. You can tell when a writer is being lazy. The work is full of thoughtless mistakes.


March 9th, 2010 at 3:29 PM ^

When it changes the meaning of something. The goal of writing is to express a point clearly. This was not done. If you just pasted that paragraph without the preceding paragraph, it would be incorrect.

Let's eat, Grandpa.
Let's eat Grandpa.

Is forgetting the comma minor?

I was confused reading it and I wasn't the only one.

Cosmic Blue

March 9th, 2010 at 4:06 PM ^

i guess that's why context is important. maybe we cant just read one paragraph and expect to get every point clearly. when i read the whole article i had no trouble understanding the point.

you could find an someone misusing have vs had in a great number of articles and just because this one says something negative about M doesnt mean we have to start the jihad talks. i just think if we want to continue our crusade against the detroit msm we should pick our battles more poignantly.


March 9th, 2010 at 4:22 PM ^

I'll pick a battle when I disagree with the point and see weak reasoning behind it.

I happen to think it was a semi-big deal for Michigan to make the tournament last year given the prior state of the program. Just the same, not making it this year was a big disappointment for me.

The poor phrasing employed by Foster did annoy, so I pointed it out. I'm a writer and editor so, yeah, I'm going to nit-pick. When you see problems such as the wrong tense and the silly statement about Sims, those are big red flags for an editor that this story might be full of land mines.

Good journalism jobs are very scarce, so I think the people lucky enough to have them should be held to a high standard. I certainly am.

Cosmic Blue

March 9th, 2010 at 4:35 PM ^

i wasnt trying to be funny with that (outside of the crusade vs jihad bit). i was just trying to say that we shouldnt jump over every mistake people make, just the ones showing bias/corruption.

and to stache, i agree with you in that the standard of journalism has fallen dramatically in recent years. we should all be upset with the quality of such writers, but thats more the business of a different blog

Tha Quiet Storm

March 9th, 2010 at 2:56 PM ^

I don't know who is less intelligent - Terry Foster for writing those 2 blatantly untrue statements, or the editor for not catching them. Are they aware that fact-checking is not a sign of weakness and that google is free?


March 9th, 2010 at 3:14 PM ^

Best I can tell from Fox Business web site, this is the name of the guy that interviewed Brandon.

What a douchebag! blue2000 points out that he inexplicably continued to beat around the bush about firing when all he really needed to do was reach into the fucking bush and ask, "are you going to fire Rich Rodriguez?".

But thats only one point to make with regard to what a hack he is. Anybody notice that he asked about the stadium renovation something like "wasn't it about $100 million?" To which Brandon politely said "yeah, it was about $225 million..."

And back to the obsession about firing. I think most of us want to know how being the CEO of an athletic department is different than being the CEO of a big corporation. That's why the producer of the show lined up Brandon to do the interview. So, the hack, frustrated that he's not getting an answer on firing, decides to hijack the interview's primary reason for being just so he can show off his journalistic doggedness.

Did I mention DOUCHEBAG?


March 9th, 2010 at 3:43 PM ^

i keep fearing that you'll turn out to be the cool, handsome kid in all those 80s movies where he tries to maintain his coolness and not get co-opted by the system and the man but he slowly, almost, gets co-opted then figures out how to head up the newest corporate division and still stay true and then we all leave the theater with a smile on our face and maybe there's Tears for Fears playing over the credits.