Unverified Voracity Watches TV, Apparently Comment Count

Brian January 21st, 2010 at 1:17 PM

Hey, how about that labrum? File under "Lincoln hunts dinosaurs," probably, but yeah Tate Forcier's shoulder was a bit more exploded than anyone let on last year:

The shoulder injury Michigan quarterback Tate Forcier played through last season was a slightly torn right labrum, a person familiar with the injury said Friday.

Forcier was diagnosed with the injury when he underwent an MRI while home for Christmas break. He’s rehabbing the shoulder now and doesn’t need surgery, and he’s also recovering from a staph infection in his right knee, the person said.

Tate's older brother Jason said something to the effect of "Tate is hurt more than people let on," and this is evidently what he meant. Not that he knew that at the time. Tate did have good games against Purdue and Wisconsin late—even his Ohio State game was physically capable, if interception fraught—so it was probably healed up enough as November progressed.

Optimistic take: he should be better when healthy. Pessimistic take: what do you mean "when"?


Good decisions are for people taller than 5'6". Boubacar Cissoko got caught with pot and admitted to police he intended to sell the stuff. This closes the door on Cissoko's vaguely possible return to the team; Cass Tech coach Thomas Wilcher said said door is now "bolted on both sides."

Meanwhile… man, if you are going to make the life choice that finds you arrested for possession of marijuana you should probably make the life choice to tell the police it is for your personal consumption. Or better yet don't consent to a search of your car when it has pot in it. I don't get people sometimes.

Hopefully moot. So… yeah, Jim Harbaugh turned down overtures from the Raiders and Bills. Unless Mike Garrett is insane he also shot down USC before they went with Kiffin. (Other people Garrett called before placing his bets on Hello Kiffin: Chan Gailey, Shamwow Vince, myself, and the skeleton of a paleolithic deer.) Meanwhile around these parts, Rich Rodriguez is going to be under serious pressure to get to a bowl and have a winning record.

I have a Sporting Blog take on these developments, but in short: turning down the Raiders job merely means you have the will to live; turning down a functional, if somewhat moribund, Bills franchise kind of implies you're sticking around to see what opens up in the next couple years. If Rodriguez doesn't make it—which seems like a 50-50 proposition nowadays—there are going to be some hellacious internet fights about the forgivability of Harbaugh's shots at Michigan's academics.

We are very watched. The Big Ten's lasting television appeal—enough to have its own damn network—is something of a mystery. If the population drain in the Midwest is so severe and 94% (or whatever it actually is) of Alabamans identify themselves as foamingly rabid college football fans, how this?


Seriously: how this? I guess the SEC is hauled down by the fact that they managed to horn ten freakin' teams into bowls and they've got more lame games where Kentucky takes on East Albania State, but still. Also, DETROIT = RATINGS:

The most unusual rating may belong to the Little Caesars Bowl, previously known as the Motor City. Played the day after Christmas, Marshall-Ohio drew a 2.6. That beat four bowls featuring two BCS-­conference teams: Indepen­dence (Georgia-Texas A&M), Music City (Ken­tucky-Clemson), [PizzaWebsite.com] (South Carolina-Con­necticut) and Insight (Iowa State-­Minnesota).

That's kind of what I'm saying, I guess: Kentucky Clemson and UConn-South Carolina should outdraw Marshall-Ohio. (Iowa State and Minnesota… not so much.)


Hockey recruiting news of a decidedly weird variety. So Michigan's got a boatload of kids coming in from the NTDP next year, except one of them isn't with the program any more and two are currently suspended. The suspended guys are Kevin Clare and John Merrill, both highly touted defensemen. The departure is Jacob Fallon, a forward, and it's unclear as to whether he's involved in the thing with the suspensions or not:

Jacob Fallon, a 5.10 forward who had committed to Michigan for next season has left the program. According to a USA Hockey official Fallon left the team and program voluntarily. I've read some scouting reports that have compared him to Patrick Kane, however most rankings I've seen have him as a mid 3rd rounder right now. Fallon, who hails from Texas, was listed by the Seattle Thunderbirds. Fallon was reportedly not suspended, but chose to leave the program after speaking with the coaching staff. I'm just guessing here but it sounds like this could be the Seattle Thunderbirds gain.

Ugh. Options here are either this guy is wrong and Fallon's departure from the program was less than voluntary—which was , in which case he's mixed up in seemingly serious team rules violations, or he's just taking off for the CHL. A later post says Seattle has been in contact with him but have not gotten a response.

Mike Spath of The Wolverine says that Michigan will not stop recruiting any of the kids; the issue for Fallon will be his patience. He can either sit out the rest of the season or play with Seattle right now.

In slightly more positive news, Mac Bennett is in the USHL All-Star game.

Etc.: Matt Hayes, yes, a man I once called "Horseface," has a sympathetic piece on Rodriguez with reference to stupid pills. Phil Brabbs talked with the football team a couple days ago. If you ever wanted an up-to-date breakdown of where NFL players come from, Drill provides a wall of text for you. This NSFW recounting of one guy's trip to the national championship-type game glories in paint and is awesome. MVictors interviews Sam Webb. UMHoops goes in depth on Zack Novak.



January 21st, 2010 at 1:29 PM ^

I got neg-bombed into oblivion for saying RR was out after the 2010 season.

You've come around, Brian. Let's hope we're both wrong and what you and many others thought *would* happen once RR took over from Lloyd actually eventually sort of does happen.

But it won't. It's Amaker 2. It all seems perfect but for a number of reasons it's just not gonna happen. No matter how long we wait.

As for Cissoko. Man, a full ride scholarship at Michigan, or a petty criminal in Detroit. Sad is the only way to describe that.

Those who stay will be champions.

As always, go blue!


January 21st, 2010 at 2:32 PM ^

Of the many differences between the RR and Amaker situations, look no further than the coaches. Amaker had a 66-58 record at Seton Hall before coming to UM, getting past the first round of any tournament once (the NCAA Sweet 16 in 99-00); beyond that, he had 3 first-round losses in the NIT. RR went 60-26 at WVU, finishing in the top-25 3 straight years before he left and creating one of the few top-tier teams to come out of the Big East since Miami and co. left. Amaker was a mediocre coach who won (somewhat) because he was a decent recruiter and because in basketball talent at a few key places can win you more games than in football. RR is an innovator on offense who has proven for years that he can take even middling talent and run roughshod over far more talented squads.

I agree that RR leaving after 2010 is a more realistic possibility than in years past, but he is nothing like Amaker.


January 21st, 2010 at 2:53 PM ^

Everyone *wanted* to believe. Everyone was certain it would work out -- and deliver (multiple!) national championships. Everyone wanted to think that just one more year....

Talk up RR's *past* all you want. In 2 years he's won -- at MICHIGAN -- a combined total of what Lloyd won in his single worst year.

Michigan deserves better. Michigan has earned better.

matty blue

January 21st, 2010 at 3:42 PM ^

...but i LOVE revisionism.

seriously, after tommy amaker's first year, did you really think that he was the guy to lead us to "multiple national championships?" really? i can't see you, but you can't possibly have a straight face when you say that.

the reason i'm not willing to give up on rodriguez is because i don't think he's definitively shown that he CAN'T win a national championship here.


January 21st, 2010 at 8:46 PM ^

I was at UM when Amaker was at the helm, and trust me, nobody was talking about him as a possible coach of a NCAA championship team. They were screwed out of a NCAA spot maybe 1 year in his tenure, and even that was a stretch. People liked him because he ran a relatively clean program after the Fisher/Ellerbe era, and it was a nice hire for all the reasons others have noted before. But he always looked lost out there as a coach, and toward the end his recruiting also took a turn for the worse. Fans just wanted a team that didn't embarrass them, and Amaker gave them that. He is doing a good job at Harvard, and I wish him the best of luck. But no logical fan entertained notions of Amaker hanging anything other than a NIT banner in Crisler.

And stop with the "Lloyd was never this bad" argument - he lost to a IAA team, at home, and had some rather disappointing seasons in the end. If he stuck around, maybe UM goes 7-5, 8-4, but you still have an erosion of depth and recruiting talent and this team never gets closer to competing with the elite teams in America. Listen, I love Lloyd Carr, and I think he was a great ambassador for the school and a good recruiter. But throw out 2006 (and even that showed some of the cracks in the UM armor), and you have a series of progressively worse seasons with the talent and scheme gap between the elite teams and UM expanding. As has been noted ad nauseum both here and at other sites, RR is taking a program from one whole system on offense to another, inheriting a team lacking in serious depth and playmakers at key positions. RR has had all of 2 years to implement his system, and with a bunch of freshmen on offense and a defense with a series of walk-ons and cast-offs in the secondary nearly got this team into a bowl game. I know that it is shocking for the casual fan to accept, but UM's run of 40+ years of "goodness" is an immense outlier in college sports. Teams are going to struggle as coaches leave and programs transform. UM had an amazing streak, but these are the struggles that virtually all other great programs have gone through over the past few decades - UM was just later than the others.

los barcos

January 21st, 2010 at 3:24 PM ^

think the amaker argument is fairly weak analogy to subscribe to in order to say "rr needs more time". amaker was tolling around mediocrity for his entire career, and even had his worse year in season 4. seems to me fans were waiting for something more that never came.

in contrast, it would seem if amaker lit the world on fire his last years there would be an argument to "See what can happen if we give him time..." as it stands, he was a mediocre coach with a mediocre record who continued to be mediocre.

and the argument that RR is a better coach, though has some weight, also has flaws. amaker, who may not have the history of winning that rr had, still arguable had better first 2 years than the OMG WTF HEADASPLODE we've seen from rr's first 2 years.

note: i didnt say that amaker was a better coach than rr, just at some point its time to move on past rr's record at wvu


January 21st, 2010 at 1:32 PM ^

"Or better yet don't consent to a search of your car when it has pot in it. I don't get people sometimes."

Will someone with legal knowledge please clarify the whole consenting to search your property thing for me? I have a close friend who was pulled over a couple of years ago. Since he had drug paraphernalia in his car he did not consent to a search. So everyone sat tight until a warrant was issued and then the car was searched. Nothing changed, just that the process was delayed a bit. The cops still found what he had in the car, and everyone was a bit less lenient on him for "not being forthright" in the first place. What is the legal advantage to not consenting to a search?

J. Lichty

January 21st, 2010 at 1:47 PM ^

The fourt amendment prevents unreasonable searches and seizures. While there is a long and detailed history of how traffic stops play into that, in short, absent certain circumstances, warrantless searches of a vehicle on a routine traffic stop can only be done through the consent of the person with authority to consent to the search, or with a warrant.

That being said, the police do not always call the bluff and get warrants in such circumstances. Also, there is an added layer of protection in that the state needs to make a probable cause showing why a warrant is justified, judges this standard is higher than a mere hunch or suspicion.

Blue in Seattle

January 21st, 2010 at 4:38 PM ^

To get a warrant you have to convince a judge that you have reasonable evidence that you will find drugs when you search. Basically you have tell state what you are looking for, and why you think they have it.

This is actually the same rule for traffic stops, the police have to have a reason to pull you over in the first place, they just don't need a warrant, but that's also why they can't expand their privilege beyond just stopping you for the traffic violation. For traffic there are lots of easy reasons to find to pull you over.

BUT, just because you didn't signal is not evidence that you are transporting drugs. Police rely on the stupidity of young people to freak out, and if they've profiled someone and track them until they commit a "traffic violation", then they pressure them to give up their rights and consent to a search, and when they find something they pat themselves on the back for doing "great police work".


January 22nd, 2010 at 9:36 AM ^

I think the police also benefit from a common misperception that you will be treated more leniently by the prosecutor if you cooperated with the police investigation (such as by consenting to the search or, for that matter, admitting that you intended to sell the drugs, rather than remaining silent). Andy Sipowitz always used to tell his suspects that on NYPD Blue, so maybe it comes from TV?

Feat of Clay

January 21st, 2010 at 1:51 PM ^

And I'll be eager to see the answer.

Sort of on the same subject, last night I got sucked into this awful/awesome show called "lawman" which is like the reality show cops, except it's Stephen Segall (!!) on his job with a sheriff's department in Louisiana. Stop laughing, it was fascinating. And maybe I couldn't find the remote.

In several of the episodes I watched, morons would get pulled over and then they'd consent to a search even though they had something in the car they didn't want found. But what was really smooth was the way the police would handle it. They'd be treating the motorist/suspect with respect but with this little hint of threat in it, like, things are cool now because you're being cooperative. And then they'd quickly ask something like "it's okay with you if we search your car, RIGHT?" It really struck me how hard it was to answer no, the way they asked it, just sliding it into the conversation, the way it was always a leading question, their tone that implied "because that's what a reasonable person who doesn't want more trouble would do." Everything about the situation makes it seem like you're going to take things to a new, unpleasant level if you say "stop, wait, no, actually, it's not okay." It's not like they take the motorist aside, pull out a legal document and a pen, and say "Do I have your full legal consent to search your car? Answer yes or no."

It seemed to me to be a pretty slick tactic on the part of the officers--and they were good at it. In their shoes, I'd probably consent to a search even if I had the freshly-kidnapped president of the U.S. tied up in the trunk, lying on top of a stash of counterfeit money, opium bricks, and kiddie porn.


January 21st, 2010 at 2:06 PM ^

As I understand the rules of evidence and criminal procedure (two of my weaker subjects in law school), this basically played out how it should. The police have some leeway to search for evidence if there is a chance it will disappear before a warrant can be obtained if they have a reasonable suspicion of the crime, but usually they just hold the individual until a proper search warrant is obtained. Either way, if they have enough proof to obtain a warrant (which admittedly is not a massive hurdle), then they don't mind holding you up until the warrant arrives to search. Also, if the person is arrested, then the police have a right under the 4th A/T (I believe) to search the cabin of the vehicle for weapons or contraband, but cannot search the trunk and some additional containers (this is where it gets a bit fuzzy for me) without a warrant.

It is a fluid situation highly dependent on the circumstances, but generally if you smell like pot or otherwise give the police a reason to believe you have drugs and/or weapons, whether or not you agree to the search is almost irrelevant. One means they search now, the other means you sit for a bit until the warrant arrives and everyone gets a little more annoyed.


January 21st, 2010 at 2:23 PM ^

Thanks for the explanation. Another question, or clarification on an assumption I've had: in MI isn't possession of a certain amount of marijuana automatically charged as "with intent to sell" regardless of the situation? Now, if he had some pot and a box of ziplock bags - different story.

I would do a little googling to see if I could find some info on the subject on my own but my employer might be suspicious in seeing a bunch of "marijuana possession laws Michigan" google searches.


January 21st, 2010 at 2:42 PM ^

You know, years ago I actually knew this because of the bar exam, but right now I'm not sure. My guess is that while there is no explicit law that states 25 grams = intention to sell, there can be some presumption based on the amount found and any paraphernalia that might accompany it. Again, kind of a sliding scale, though I'm not sure if there is any set amount that automatically makes it a intent to sell offense.

Here's a link to the Michigan Compiled Laws section that seems appropriate.

Crime Reporter

January 22nd, 2010 at 12:16 PM ^

It's not a lot really. I know they have converter calculators online. I failed math, so I wouldn't want to guess.

Like I said, it's statute to charge them with intent to sell/distribute here in Florida if the amount exceeds 20 grams. I would imagine it is similar in Michigan. Most of the time, however, the person accepts a plea deal for a lesser charge and gets probation.

Crime Reporter

January 21st, 2010 at 2:10 PM ^

In these situations, especially around these parts of Florida, the police will call in a K-9 unit when they suspect the person has something illegal. I've seen it many times, even when the person does not consent to search. Authorities use "probable cause," and the K-9 is their ace in the hole. They will find the contraband if they suspect you have something. Either way, Boubacar was screwed.


January 21st, 2010 at 1:42 PM ^

How is it a 50-50 proposition that Rodriguez gets fired next year? Especially when Coleman and Martin have all publicly declared their commitment for the guy extending beyond three years (Coleman referencing the length of Amaker's tenure is pretty revealing).

One day Brian is writing about the intricacies of having one glaring weakness bringing a whole team down (QB or secondary - neither was Rodriguez's fault), and the next he's making allusions to the level of success Rodriguez must reach or risk getting canned.

So is the 50-50 bit your opinion of what should happen? In which case you're ignoring your own recent posts. Or is this some vague assessment of the "mood of the people"? If so, what's the source? And where is the source that anyone in a position to make any decisions based on that (Coleman, etc) gives a damn?

Clearly this is riling me up more than it should, but its the same kind of thing that drives me nuts with the media. When discussing a policy or a decision, instead of clearly speaking their own opinion, or instead of clearly sourcing the opinions of others, you get weasely statements like "some say this" or "it is believed that". Christ, wikipedia has an entire entry on the subject:

If there is real evidence that Rodriguez must hit a certain threshold next year, then say so and source it. But continually hammering this notion that there is a level he must reach so as not to be fired in spite of all the statements from the President and AD that say otherwise is just rumormongering.


January 21st, 2010 at 2:53 PM ^

This statement is true for every coach in every sport at every school ever. You are taking the last two years and acting as if they are reliant on the coach, yet your example treats the coach as a wholly independent variable with no effect on the team. Yes, anyone could have two losing seasons at a row at UM; hell, a mop could if it did absolutely nothing. But in no way are you connecting that to RR as a coach or even as an entity; by your logic, the losses are due completely to the players/schemes and nothing with the coach at the helm, just as wins are due to some mystical property beyond the control of man. By that same token, anyone could have replaced Urban Meyer at Florida, Pete Carroll at USC, or even RR at WVU and won, since they too apparently didn't "do" anything for those wins to occur.

I understand what you are trying to say - RR has certainly not lived up to fans' expectations in terms of wins and losses. But this statement reads like a train of thought that missed its connection in Toledo and wound up in WTFville.


January 21st, 2010 at 3:06 PM ^

Actually, i think your logic is off. My comment implies that the poor performance is directly tied to him, as I compare his results to one we could have achieved with a "monkey on rollerskates." I don't think performance independent of coaching was implied in the slightest.

Regardless, it was intended as a light-hearted way to show that RR couldn't have possibly done any worse in his first two years (well, he could have gone 0-24, but you get the point).


January 21st, 2010 at 3:25 PM ^

I'd argue its more than rumormongering. It feeds into the theme that Rodriguez is on thin ice. Short of a complete collapse (i.e. 2-10 and 10 guys quit or something of that sort) the school should give the man five years to get his system up and running with all of his recruits. If he needs to reach certain "benchmarks" to retain his job beyond 2010, then he should have just been fired at the end of this past season.


January 21st, 2010 at 1:52 PM ^

watch more college football in late December and early January than people in the South and West Coast. Gee, I don't know, could weather be a factor?

Wolverine In Exile

January 22nd, 2010 at 8:19 AM ^

why cool places like Los Angeles, Seattle, etc can't support an NFL team while metro Detroit in the throws of the worst economic situation in at least 70 years still supports 4 thriving (in revenue at least-- Thanks Lions!) professional sports teams, 2 major college football & basketball programs and successful MAC programs in football. It's because when you grow up in the Midwest, you learn to love sports, rather than go surfing, or action sports skating, or spelunking, or whatever else bullshit stuff kids in those areas do nowadays. TV ratings for Red Wing playoff games rival Super Bowl numbers in the rest of the country and GREAT JEEBUS PLEASE if the Lions ever get close to a Super Bowl again (like in 1991), the area will turn into a madhouse and ratings bonanza.

Now get off my lawn!


January 21st, 2010 at 1:56 PM ^

they love their animated .gifs. like they really love them, like amorously.

i am not sure i have seen any such gifs on mgoblog, just the "shock" one that turns yellow and blue.

are we lame?


January 21st, 2010 at 2:20 PM ^

Brian didn’t say that RR was a 50/50 shot to get fired next year. He said “the next couple [of] years.”

The fact that Mary Sue Coleman and Bob Martin claim to be 100 percent behind Rodriguez means nothing. No sane president or A.D. would publicly announce anything less than full support for their coach, until they are ready to fire him; to do otherwise would poison the program, to say nothing of the recruiting class.

While Brian is only speculating (as we all are), his hypothesis does make some sense. Rodriguez has a six-year contract. A couple of years from now, he’ll be four years into it, and management will need to decide if he deserves an extension. To go into years five and six without an extension would be a sure sign of weakness, because recruits generally want to know that the guy they’re signing with is going to be there for a while. That is why practically no one coaches in the final year of an unextended contract.

So yeah, two years from now is likely to be the date of reckoning for the Rodriguez program. How well does Rodriguez need to do, to get the thumbs up? That’s open to reasonable debate, but you’re talking about a program that, until recently, won at least 10+ games a year routinely. It has already fallen wide of that mark for two years running, and virtually nobody thinks Michigan will reach that goal next year. How many years does he get?

I do think Rodriguez is highly unlikely to be fired after the 2010 season, but if he doesn’t go at least 0.500 in Big Ten play I think it will at least be considered. I mean, to be in your third year and still not yet even average in your conference is a pretty sorry state of affairs. If he fails to make a bowl in 2010, then I think he is almost certainly gone, and I am not positive that barely making one is sufficient.

In light of that, Brian’s 50/50 guess certainly seems defensible. You could argue that it’s something slightly different, but there is no denying that Rodriguez needs to start showing a marked improvement...and soon.


January 21st, 2010 at 3:34 PM ^

Michigan won at least ten games in 6 of Lloyd Carr’s last 11 seasons—in other words, slightly over half the time. I think you will find that in any year that Michigan won fewer than ten games, the generally held view was that Michigan had had a subpar year.

Over the 38 seasons that Michigan was coached by either Bo, Moeller, or Carr, the team averaged 9.5 wins per year. During most of that period, there were either 10 or 11 regular-season games, rather than the current 12; and for the first six years of that period, only one Big Ten team could go to a bowl.


January 21st, 2010 at 3:44 PM ^

Here's how I have Carr's wins per season:

'95 - 8
'96 - 8
'97 - 12
'98 - 10
'99 - 10
'00 - 9
'01 - 8
'02 - 9
'03 - 10
'04 - 9
'05 - 7
'06 - 11
'07 - 9

I only see 5 seasons with 10 wins, and one could also say that in Carr's last 8 years he only won 10 games 2x.

blue in ak

January 21st, 2010 at 7:19 PM ^

You could also say that out of his last 1 years, he had a 10 game season. Or out of his last three years, he only had one 10+ game season. Or out of his last four years, he only had one 10+ game season.

My point: 8 years seems a bit arbitrary. It looks like you're making an argument by bending the stats.


January 21st, 2010 at 5:13 PM ^

The one thing I would add is there are other aspects than the fans, boosters and AD / MSC. If say we don't go over .500 in the Big Ten next year, and the negativity continues at a constant or higher level:
1) Rich may get to the point where he decides to look around.
2) The players get to the point where many stop believing. (IMO this is part of what happened at ND).

At serious risk is how I would term the current prospect for Rich.


January 21st, 2010 at 5:14 PM ^

The one thing I would add is there are other aspects than the fans, boosters and AD / MSC. If say we don't go over .500 in the Big Ten next year, and the negativity continues at a constant or higher level:
1) Rich may get to the point where he decides to look around.
2) The players get to the point where many stop believing. (IMO this is part of what happened at ND).

At serious risk is how I would term the current prospect for Rich.