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 2:21 PM ^

Actually, not all that surprising.

Marketers have been targeting the Midwest and Northeast after Christmas since the invention of TV. Before that, they targeted the Midwest and Northeast after Christmas on the radio. Before that, they sent the bandwagon.

It's the cold. It's cold here in December.

And the dark. It's dark here.

And because of that, few Yankees are leaving their homes the week between Christmas and New Years, and even more likely to be in front of a TV on those two days. What's more, we're less likely these days to be in church than the South.

The crummier the weather in Detroit, the better the ratings across the board. However "football mad" the SEC may consider itself, they still can't compete with the our masses of people plopped down in some living room or another and not moving.

Even if the viewers don't particularly care about the games, football is about the most popular thing you can put on for that living room crowd (especially since the more "chatty" guests don't vote).

That's the whole idea of the bowls in the first place! The Rose Bowl was originally conceived as a means for Midwesterners living in Pasadena to show off their warm new home to their old neighbors. This is why the bowl system seems so counter intuitive to the natural evolution of a major sport's postseason: They're not meant to be playoffs; they're exhibition games for Northerners to watch when stuck at home surrounded by 30 invading in-laws and the sun setting at 4 in the afternoon.

Blue in Seattle

January 21st, 2010 at 5:38 PM ^

1 - why won't the NCAA create a playoff

2 - Why is the SEC so jealous of the Big Ten?

1 - is caused by a playoff not being something that makes more money for TV than the Bowls

2 - is just a fact that there are more TV owners in Big Ten land than SEC land

I wonder if we could even extend this analysis to why the Michigan - Ohio State game is more watched than any other match up, including the fictional Big Ten/Twelve Championship game if Michigan and Ohio State aren't in it?

Sorry Penn State, it's just not gonna happen

J. Lichty

January 21st, 2010 at 2:36 PM ^

Not sure that anyone would have watched a terrible minnesota team play against a terrible iowa state team, but being on the NFL network which most people don't get would not be a huge ratings boost.


January 21st, 2010 at 2:37 PM ^

Brian, Brian. Everyone outside of Michigan and some level headed people inside the state see Harbaugh for what he is: A mediocre coach with a propensity for being a d-bag. I wish we could stop fantasizing about a coach who's best record has been 8-5 with one bowl in three years which they lost. He ran his mouth about Michigan, acted like a classless idiot in running up the score on SC (even if it was USC), and his future success as well as his character are still in question.
If Harbaugh ever gets the Michigan job I'll probably jump out of a building somewhere. You can't switch to a drastically different system and expect the program to progress after you already decided to change the system drastically. I'll be very happy when Rodriguez proves himself and we can stop wasting time talking about coaches who wouldn't be considered if they weren't a "Michigan man."
Neg away if you wish.


January 21st, 2010 at 2:59 PM ^

I agree that I never understood the infatuation with Harbaugh. Yes, he had a good year in a down Pac-10, but 8-5 doesn't scream savior as much as a guy who had a good season. And with respect to his recruiting classes and future prospects, I reserve judgment about how his teams will fair once they loss a Heisman runner-up and one of the more dominant players this year in Gerhardt.


January 21st, 2010 at 3:12 PM ^

The U of T link is great! Interesting to see that M Fans are not the only ones who love MS Paint.

As for the bowl game rating in Detroit - wouldn't that have to do with being the only bowl game on TV on the day after Christmas, when most of us are swooning from too much turkey/stuffing injections and wallowing in the surreal pile of gifts recieved, while trying to come up with lame excuses of why Daddy 'can't open up that 'pooping' doll, messy cans of paint or the why-did-grandma-give-her-the-lord-of-noisiest toys all the while trying to ignore the fact that a healthy (unhealthy?) collection of leftovers is waiting, baitingly, in the fridge? /end long_winded_sentence

I mean - clearly, you were going to watch football? Right?


January 21st, 2010 at 3:36 PM ^

"Tate did have good games against Purdue and Wisconsin late—even his Ohio State game was physically capable"

I have to respectfully disagree Brian. While he played ok in those games, I was very disappointed that he seemed to underthrow people repeatedly. Denard had a td against OSU for sure if Tate didn't underthrow it. I blame his noodle arm on the injury. Knowing he had a torn labrum makes me much more excited about his ceiling. I thought he would never give us the capability of a deep threat. I think Stonum, Stokes, Hemingway and, if he moves to wr, Robinson all possess the ability to stretch the D if Tate can get it there.

Clair Voyant

January 21st, 2010 at 5:14 PM ^

I concur wholeheartedly, Tate didn't have shit on his throws after his shoulder injury. Tate was throwing the ball like Jeff Garcia, yuk.

I am concerned with Tate's ability to stay healthy, if healthy, he will be good. Less runs for Tate would be nice, we have a stable of young backs and slots, let them do the brunt of the running.


January 21st, 2010 at 3:43 PM ^

brianshall, los barcos and helloheisman all in the same thread.

my head hurts from all the noise and alleged expertise. somebody introduce them to blogspot or wordpress or something.


January 21st, 2010 at 4:08 PM ^

The bowl ratings don't surprise me. Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio and Michigan are the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth-largest states in the union. These states have lost a lot of residents to other regions, but not enough to seriously dent their populations, and the people who have relocated elsewhere haven't necessarily given up their affiliations (see: the Forcier father).


January 21st, 2010 at 5:36 PM ^

Also - whereas the South is pretty insular, Big Ten students (and fans, I suppose) come from, and go to, everywhere in the country. I live in Los Angeles, and LA is chock full of Big Ten alums and fans. NYC also, to an even greater extent. SEC students and fans, for the most part, come from the south and stay in the south. Take a look at the enrollment of the SEC schools against the Big Ten (grad school or not) and you'll see the Big Ten graduates more alumni every year, I'm sure this is a contributing factor.

As for the UT BCS Champ game link, one of the best I've clicked in a long time. That guy's got skillz.

EDIT: I got curious and, via wikipedia, took a look at enrollments of the SEC against the Big Ten. Total enrollment (UG and grad) was the only number I could find for all schools, so I used that. Here is my data:

SEC total enrollment:

312,593 students, or 26,049 per school

Big Ten total enrollment:

446,705 students, or 40609 per school

This is a difference of 134,112 students. Let's say it takes all students an average of 4 years to graduate (some take longer, but many grad programs take less than 4 years) and the Big Ten pumps out 33,528 more alumni per year than the SEC. Let's say people live for about 50 years after the graduate (for argument sake) and there are about a million and a half more Big Ten alumni than SEC alumni. These are crude calculations, I admit, but it might suggest why the Big Ten has higher TV ratings.


January 21st, 2010 at 6:25 PM ^

I didn't realize the enrollments of Big Ten institutions were that much larger. Not only does that produce more alumni, it also means that there are probably a lot more total people with some kind of family tie (be it a parent, sibling, etc.) to Big Ten schools than to SEC schools.

Wolverine In Exile

January 22nd, 2010 at 8:28 AM ^

the breakdown of enrollment of students by origination state. One of the things I'm struck by when I go recruiting for UM every year when I look through the brochures is that the student body literally comes in siginifcant numbers from every state in the Union. I'm wondering if that's the same case in the SEC. I would guess that their distribution of student origination states is a much smaller set.


January 21st, 2010 at 5:18 PM ^

"When Rodriguez left Almost Heaven two years ago, his team was a game away from playing in the BCS national championship game—something Michigan has never done."

What does Matt Hayes mean by this. Were we not one Game, one roughing the passer penalty away from playing in the BCS NT game four seasons ago?


January 21st, 2010 at 6:01 PM ^

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

Brian -- do you really believe that the police wouldn't just search a car, even without "consent?"

I'm reminded of a scene from the NBC/TNT show Southland:

Rich blonde kid: "You can't search my car without probable cause."

LAPD Officer: "Son, you've been watching too much TV."

As a former state prosecutor in Michigan and federal prosecutor in Chicago and DC, I can tell you one simple fact of life: The police will search your car anytime they damn well please. Not saying that's right or fair, just trying to talk reality.


January 22nd, 2010 at 2:40 AM ^

If RR can not get us to a bowl game after the 2011 season, then it should be bye-bye RR. I hope we can get 6 wins this season but given the young D it may not happen. I'd like to say our young backs will do well next season but this will depend on how well the OL can run block. I hope your shoulder injury heals well Tate, since we may really need your arm to start out the season!

If we finish the 2010 season below .500, then RR should get one more season. The 2011 season, his first recruiting class will be Juniors and the depth chart should be much better! The only question down the road will be how long will we keep RR if he only manages 7 to 8 wins for multiple seasons after 2011? After these past two seasons 7 or 8 wins look pretty good. Have our expectations for a good season been lowered?

Only time will tell but I'm always hoping that RR can get the team to the next level!


January 22nd, 2010 at 1:26 PM ^

Never went to law school, but I had a moment where I really, really, really didn't want the cops to search my car during stops.

I was in high school and the would-be evidence was in the trunk (thank god). I was on my way to a party and the cops were searching every car that came close to the place. When they asked me if they could search my car, I was told to get out of the car. I put the keys in my pocket and refused to turn them over to the cop. They did the search of the cabin from outside the car and they told me to pop the trunk.

I was REASONABLY certain that they couldn't search there without a warrant, so I refused until they could produce a warrant. Their first attempt was, "C'mon kid...you're just making it hard on yourself."

Really? I'm already busted, what are you going to double-arrest me? So, I still refused. I asked them if they worked for the district attorney's office. If they didn't they should probably shut their piehole since they couldn't make a deal in a courtroom anymore than they could fly.

That got me put in handcuffs on the curb. In case anyone wanted to know if I truly was a stupid white kid from the suburbs...this would be a really good sign. Only people dumb enough to mouth off to cops like that.

Then they said they were going to open the trunk without my consent. I told them that they should probably go ahead and call in to their superiors that they were doing that. They were going to be explaining it anyway on how they messed up such a simple traffic stop...might as well get it over with while the details were fresh in their mind. That got me put in the patrol car.

Then they told me that they had a rubber-stamp judge who would give out warrants for anything. It would be no problem to get one...even at 10 p.m. Great...then stop complaining about how we're "doing it the hard way."

Two hours later, no warrant...they let me go. I missed the party. I damn sure didn't open the trunk until the car was safely in a friend's garage and I got rid of what was there as fast as possible.

I got lucky. But I wasn't going to make it easy. If you're already busted, you might as well maximize the opportunity to GET lucky.