Unverified Voracity Is Twitchy About 3-4 Comment Count

Brian May 24th, 2011 at 11:47 AM


Internet: frighteningly comprehensive. Don't ask about Rule 54 here.

Update on a deceased fellow. I made some offhanded reference to Horace Prettyman, how ridiculous a name that was, and how it was obviously a few guys on the football team having a laugh a couple days ago, but a reader points out one Horace Greely Prettyman has his own extensively researched wikipedia article detailing a life full of accomplishments. Specifically, he scored the first-ever touchdown in Ann Arbor:

In 1883, Michigan resumed a schedule of intercollegiate football, and Prettyman played "forward" for the team. The team played its first ever home game at the Ann Arbor Fairgrounds in March 1883, a 40-5 win over the Detroit Independents. Prettyman scored the first touchdown at the Fairgrounds at the 14-minute mark of the "first inning" and went on to score a second touchdown before the end of the inning.

The team played its remaining games as part of an Eastern trip in November 1883. The trip consisted of four road games in eight days at Wesleyan and Yale in Connecticut, Harvard in Massachusetts, and Stevens Institute in Hoboken, New Jersey.

The trip cost $3,000 and was arranged "to both represent and advertise the college among the Eastern cities and universities."Prettyman was placed in charge of the trip, and The Michigan Argonaut praised his management: "All the boys are most hearty in their commendation of Prettyman's excellent management of the financial interests of the trip and his success is seen by the fact that every expense of the trip has been paid to the last cent."

If Prettyman hadn't died in 1945 there's a good chance he would have tracked me down—he was the local postmaster for a long time—and strangled me.

And as long as we're looking up very old photographs of football players, here's Yost with a killer mustache in 1896:


Mustache Wednesday? Come on, baby.

Er, well then. Yesterday's post on Full Cost Of Attendance—apparently this year's conference expansion— made a large assumption: the change would be localizable to certain athletes. Adam Rittenberg says this is wrong:

If the proposal is adopted at the NCAA level (more on this later), it would affect every athlete on a full scholarship. A women's soccer goalie would have the same scholarship structure as a quarterback. "What we're talking about is not limited to football and men's basketball," Hawley said. The proposal wouldn't impact athletes on partial scholarships.

Or is it? The only "headcount" sports—no dividing scholarships—are basketball, football, women's tennis, women's gymnastics, and women's volleyball. Schools that don't wish to put the world on FCOA could just offer partial scholarships in sports that aren't the above.

But that still increases the burden of FCOA considerably, especially at football schools that almost universally feature volleyball for Title IX purposes. Jim Delany Machiavelli Rating: incremented.

Happening? Happening. Mike Slive is on board with this, by the way. SEC + Big Ten equals probably happening.

Good advice for anyone. Nate Silver is an interesting guy, and here's a speech he gave to a bunch of prospective journalists about what they should do in This Environment. The Big Lead contrasts this with Rick Reilly's "don't write for free" speech. The former is useful, the latter clueless.

This is good advice for anyone:

Learn how to make an argument. This is something that came naturally
to me as a former high school debater. One of the things that distinguishes (quote unquote) "new journalism" from some of its more traditional forms is that the reader is really going to be looking for analysis, meaning, context, argument. Unless you come across some really fresh and proprietary information ‐‐ it's great to get a scoop, but it won't happen very often ‐‐ it's not enough just to present the information verbatim.

One of the flaws of political journalism, in fact, is that a lot of what amounts to spin is given authority by being reported at face value.

Instead, the reader is going to be asking you to develop a hypothesis, weigh the evidence, and come to some conclusion about it ‐‐ it's really very much analogous to the scientific method. Good journalism has always done this ‐‐ but now it needs to be done more explicitly.

If you don't know how to make an argument you spend a large amount of time putting together statistics on how many college athletes get arrested only to find yourself widely ridiculed for not even bothering to provide context. In the past you could just say something and the worst that would happen would be a nasty letter to the editor from a crotchety old guy; now your arguments have to be bulletproof (or at least, you know, try a little) lest you get eviscerated.

Silver also suggests journalists learn what to do with numbers, which is something I harp on consistently.

APR bite. While football APR penalties have generally been restricted to the San Jose States of the world, small squad sizes and NBA departures have made the APR an actual toothy thing in college basketball. A couple years ago Indiana, Purdue, and Ohio State all got hit in the offseason. This year UConn feels the wrath:

The national champion Connecticut men's basketball program will lose two scholarships for the upcoming season as a result of a poor Academic Performance Rating from the NCAA. …

The rating puts the basketball program's four-year rating at 893, below the NCAA minimum score of 925. The score for the 2009-10 academic year is 826.

The NCAA's real minimum is 900 but it's interesting that UConn is failing where Kentucky is apparently succeeding. I wonder what they're doing differently in Lexington. The Huskies won't be getting off the mat any time soon, either: their score from last year is 844. Barring a miracle their APR is going to be under 900 for the next few years.

The full report is supposed to come out today; I'll get Michigan's scores up ASAP but probably not as quickly as the guy with the fastest trigger finger on the message board.

What's this oh those are my multiple defense hives welcome back hives I hate you I hate you I hate you aaaah. You may have noticed that Michigan has recruited a lot of linebackers. Farmington Hill Harrison's Mario Ojemudia, a high school defensive tackle who people are projecting as a WDE, wasn't supposed to be one of them but showed up at the recently completed Columbus Nike camp looking like a linebacker, and not one of those linebackers you can turn into a WDE. This may be the cause for another round of "are we moving to a 3-4" last featured in a mailbag here; this time it's a post at Maize N Brew detailing the various teams that moved to the 3-4 and how they mostly got a bunch better.

I don't think this is happening. As I mentioned in that mailbag post, moving to a 3-4 does not reduce your linebacker overage because a well-stocked spot—WDE—becomes a linebacker spot filled by—surprise—those WDEs. I think Mattison has explicitly stated he will run a 4-3 under at Michigan and only a 4-3 under even if I can't find the quote right now, and GOOD LORD LET'S JUST DO ONE THING FAIRLY WELL BEFORE WE START CHANGING AGAIN AAAAAAH—


Etc.: Yost Built profiles new defenseman Mike Chiasson, who does mean no Burlon next year. Unusually for Michigan, Chiasson is 20 now and will be one of those 24-year old seniors popular amongst teams that don't have a lot of NHL draft picks on their rosters. Chad Langlais was the most recent example at Michigan and that worked out well.



May 24th, 2011 at 12:03 PM ^

I will LMAO if Mattison decides to go with three linemen. (Aside: I trust the guy and I have no problem with the general idea.)

To the numerous defensive geniuses on this board, just putting an extra lineman in the game last year would have reduced the average opponent rushing attempt by twenty yards.


May 24th, 2011 at 1:30 PM ^

in play. People who routinely go through and downrate people they don't like get first dibs. People in bad moods or with dyspepsia rule, wrongly. While we're at it, maybe a simple "Agree," an uprate you give because you concur with the poster, should be one option. 


May 24th, 2011 at 12:30 PM ^

It's that Mattison runs a lot of different looking defenses out of his base 4-3 Under look.  There was some 30 front packages, some basic 4-3 alignments, over and under shifts, some 50 fronts, and some zone blitz plays that had the NT dropping into the middle.  Even though the Big Ten Channel coverage is hard to see the alignment, there was a lot going on there, but it all started out of the base look. 

One of Bo's 8 Commandments of Defense was to be able to do everything out of your base defense.  It seems like Mattison gets that philosophy in that it's best to do one thing really well then to do 5 things in mediocracy. 


EZ Bud

May 24th, 2011 at 12:42 PM ^

the origin of "unverified voracity"? I've been wanting to ask this question for quite some time, but anticipated people jumping down my throat.


May 24th, 2011 at 12:46 PM ^



  • "Unverified Voracity"? Voracity is a weird word to come after "unverified," especially when dealing with a sports blog and not, say, a blog about rumored hunger. The deal: back when the sporadic link-filled posts were untitled, some Iowa sportswriter penned what was to the the first in a long line of intemperate columns ragging on blogs for having the audacity to not be written by sportswriters. Unfortunately for that sportswriter, she inserted the following sentence:


    In the new "journalism of assertion," as the report calls it, information is offered with little time and little attempt to independently verify its voracity. [sic]

    Sarcasm being what it is, UV was born shortly after.


May 24th, 2011 at 12:44 PM ^

I think Ojemudia can grow into a WDE. He's somewhere around 215 right now and has around 27 months until his RS freshman season begins. If he puts on around a pound a month over that period (not unrealistic for a thin guy his age) he would be over 240 by that time. Since I still don't expect him to start at that point, he'll be in good shape.


May 24th, 2011 at 1:06 PM ^

Is it possible to use means testing before awarding FCOA?  If athletes with wealthy parents get a free ride (scholarship, housing), I don't see the need to hand out extra walking around money to them.  On the other hand, athletes that come from impoverished backgrounds need more assistance since the university is taking up all of their free time (i.e. no time for a job) and since they are more suceptible to temptation from the Ed Martin's of the world.

I have no immediate opinion regarding where to draw the line or how to work out a formula for this.  However, it seems to me that the decision regarding FCOA should be based on the athlete's personal situation, not which sport s/he plays or their gender. 

I have not heard this discussed.  Maybe there is a very good reason why not and someone needs to set me straight.  Or, maybe I am on to something.



May 24th, 2011 at 1:43 PM ^

From the New York Times account of the 1888 game against the Chicago University Club, which was an all-star team of former college players who lived in Chicago:

"Shortly after the play began, Mr. Prettyman, the Michigan giant, became irritated.  The rush line of Chicago was very evidently too strong for the Ann Arbor men, and Peters was as large and more tricky than he.  All the Chicago men were playing the tricks they had learned on the winning teams of America, and Michigan was playing by the book.  Plays that had the effects of fouls were not such under the rules.  Mr. Prettyman lost his temper and struck Peters in the mouth twice with his fist.  The Yale giant mildly expostulated and requested the umpire to disqualify the Michigander.  This was promptly done and the backbone of the Michigan rush line left the field."



turd ferguson

May 24th, 2011 at 2:04 PM ^

Great find.  Sports writing sure isn't what it used to be.  Every article should open with something this amazing:

"Three thousand persons, largely drawn from the most fashionable people of Chicago, witnessed this afternoon what was undoubtedly the greatest football event that ever took place in the West."



May 24th, 2011 at 3:27 PM ^

A couple months ago, I got involved in an MGoBoard discussion about whether the word that follows "than" is an object or a subject.  Behold:

"The rush line of Chicago was very evidently too strong for the Ann Arbor men, and Peters was as large and more tricky than he." 

All of you who think this should be "him" should take note.

(I am also of the "Michigander," not the "Michiganian," camp, another reason to like this article.  Not to mention the sudden outbreak of violence.)

Horace Prettyman

May 24th, 2011 at 1:44 PM ^

It was my dying wish to have my own MGoBlog label. My children were a little confused at the time considering that they didn't know what an Internet (or an MGoBlog) was. But now my dreams have been fulfilled.


May 24th, 2011 at 1:44 PM ^

I don't remember Mattison saying it, but Hoke said that we might run a little 4-3 OVER as well.

By the way, Michigan will NOT always have four men down, unless the spring game was a lie.  There will be times where only three guys are down, especially in nickel packages.

Never trust a statement that uses "always" or "never" because there are always exceptions.


May 24th, 2011 at 4:19 PM ^

Is Mario Ojemudia's size really that big of a deal for a SDE in the 4-3 under? iirc, Shawn Crable played a bit of that position, no? Woodley too, and both played linebacker at the next level. 


May 24th, 2011 at 5:53 PM ^

Crable was 6'5", 245 lbs.  Woodley was 6'2", 260.

Ojemudia is 215 lbs. and there are varying reports on how tall he is - some say 6'1", some say 6'3".  He's still got a long way to get to the size of either of those guys.

Also, Crable was mainly a SAM, although he did play from a 3-point stance sometimes.


May 25th, 2011 at 12:02 AM ^

Isn't the worst case scenario we have two good SAM linebackers now?

Of the four linebackers we've recruited odds are one of the four either get hurt or don't meet the hype or something. Having a 4th option doesn't seem to bad (besides the fact that scholarships are limited everywhere but the SEC).