WTKA Roundtable 12/13/2018: Change Alone Endures Comment Count

Seth December 14th, 2018 at 7:33 AM

Things discussed

  • Florida's same things are exactly the opposite: mitigated the pass pro problem, up and down season
  • McElwain leaves and Michigan's receiver recruiting ticks up
  • Who's playing? Gary's out. Bush might not but he's the heart of the defense. The corners don't have enough tape. Other guys weighing their options: Metellus, Hudson.
  • Stueber was alright vs OSU, the TEs were not
  • More Florida: they will blitz and get after you up front
  • Caller: Does Saban just enjoy tormenting Harbaugh? Addressing crootin cynicism
    -Malik McDowell's mom was right about Michigan State
    -Craig's theory: Tyrell Pryor strung Michigan along to make it harder for Rodriguez to sign a 2008 QB
    -Aubrey Solomon: Committed to Michigan the day after the "FU" video
    -Daxton Hill committed at the trough of the season. When the dust settles, Sam will lay out the timeline but he isn't going to make things more difficult for Michigan in an ongoing recruitment
  • Don Brown: $2 million. Pay the players. Big XII has interest in him of course. We're paying Pep Hamilton $1.45 million (highest-paid OC?)
  • Sam goes through Michigan's real time playcalling, which is weird and leads to fighting the clock
  • Developing the short game, and the Evans game
  • Promise next time will be basketball

You can catch the entire episode on Michigan Insider's podcast stream on Podbean.

Segment two is here. Segment three is here.


I wrote it down while writing about the Lions



December 14th, 2018 at 7:49 AM ^

It is interesting to see the RB screen starting to be used a bit more again in the pro game-to counter the increased blitz packages. Patterson, McCaffrey and Milton would be well-served to have this incorporated into the Michigan offense more heavily...not to mention Evans and the RB corp.


December 14th, 2018 at 8:18 AM ^

I saw the Chargers-Chiefs game yesterday. For as much as Mahomes is, rightfully, being praised for his downfield success...there were a lot of TE screens and RB dump offs that were really really successful as well.

It's my dream to someday see Chris Evans used like the Patriots use James White. Or how the Saints use Alvin Kamara. In the bowl game, when Evans' first carry (and second and third and fourth) goes straight into the line for no gain, I might have a stroke.

Fast shifty players need to be used like fast shifty players dammit. 


December 14th, 2018 at 7:56 AM ^

Enough with the "pay the players" argument.  If people are THAT concerned that students who, almost to a man, are getting a full ride (plus side perks/benefits) at one of the nation's premier academic institutions - all for simply doing an extracurricular school activity - are not getting their "fair share", then these people should instead be lobbying hard for the advancement of a alternative for-profit league where players who simply want athletic developement and exposure for NFL scouts can go.  Leave college ball for those who actually want to go to classes and graduate (and be grateful for the opportunity to do so - which is NOT available to everyone).


December 14th, 2018 at 8:53 AM ^

Pie in the sky pontificating won't answer a thing...

I don't know about paying them outright - I don't think that is workable in the grand scheme of all things Title IX related.  But allowing them to earn income off their likeness - through ad campaigns featuring them, or video game royalties, or even royalties from just putting their names on a jersey - is something that should be immediately allowed.  If nobody wants you for such a purpose, then maybe you need to get better at your sport and/or the ancillary things pertaining to earning income from your name alone.

Just giving them a paycheck won't solve a thing.  Nor will complaining that a scholarship is all they need...


December 14th, 2018 at 9:26 AM ^

It doesn't sound like that is what Brian is advocating for, though.  I think that is my disconnect from the position he typically takes, which is not "allowing them to profit from their likeness," but it is to outright pay them.  For somebody who seems to think fairly deeply about a lot of topics, his analysis of this one imposes a simplicity on the issue that does not match up to the reality.  He ignores obvious debilitating issues that permeate the entire concept.  It is not as simple as he makes it out to be, and I don't think he goes into it any deeper than his surface take because he knows be can't advance good counters to those issues.


December 14th, 2018 at 9:41 AM ^

Why do you care if guys get paid at school?  It's not your money.  They already get some money in addition to scholarships, and that's been in place for a couple years now.  So it's not like the barrier hasn't been broken already. 

And so what if they already get a scholarship?  They are also asked to partake in a sport that nets every school in the conference, including the ones run by people who cover up domestic violence,  sexual assaults, and the death of athletes, millions of dollars.  Who am I to stop them getting a raise?

And while it's hard not to hear the dog whistling going on with comments about making it available to guys who want to actually attend class and graduate, I hope you are aware that UM graduates 87% of it's football players.  So yeah, the vast majority of them do take advantage of the classroom.  But they can also, and should also, be able to get a piece of the billion-dollar organization they help fund.  

This is a debate that will never end, and I don't know why I keep engaging with it, but if you can give me real, concrete reasons why paying all scholarship athletes is untenable (and don't just scream title IX because that has been shown to be unequal for years already), then so be it.  But it reads as jealousy and puritanical bullshit about a status quo maintained by guys like Jim Delaney and the bowl sponsors who get $500k for generating content for ESPN on December 26th.

Reggie Dunlop

December 14th, 2018 at 9:53 AM ^

Because it's not a job. If you pay players it becomes a job. That's not what we're doing here.

I would rather the entire college football system be shut down than pay the players. End it altogether. Then a semi-pro/minor league will inevitably pop up where these money-first, education-off-the-radar kids can go train for their NFL shot.

Then colleges will organically start club football teams which would eventually grow back into what this is supposed to be today. There are a million kids playing college football. 99% of them are at FCS or non-scholarship D-III, or toiling away at the bottom of the MAC and actually playing sports to represent their school and fund their education. That's what this is.

I don't need to prove this is untenable. It's tenable. It's just not the point. College baseball and college hockey have parallel avenues for those that want to go to college and those that want to get a paycheck. They are separate and both survive just fine. If it's so important for these kids to get paid, give them a league and pay them. That's not what college athletics is for.


December 14th, 2018 at 10:04 AM ^

Holy shit.  This makes two in a row.  We agreed that the "concerns" over the basketball team at this point were nonsense.  And now this? 

I completely agree.  Just let the kids go pro and allow the NFL to figure out what to do with them if they are not ready to compete in the NFL yet.  Allow NFL teams to draft players straight out of high school and put them in a minor league to develop.  Paying college athletes flat out will destroy the entire construct of college athletics anyway (in ways that most people who advocate to pay them don't or won't understand), so if the other option is to pay the players than just implode the system and allow a new one to form in its place instead of flailing around and trying to develop a "hybrid student-employee" model that will be completely ridiculous from the jump.

I actually think that a slim majority of high end talent would just go to college anyway if the three year rule was eliminated.  Very few college football players have NFL success and the college degree that they get from a school like Michigan is really valuable.  Most of them know that.


December 14th, 2018 at 12:41 PM ^

Reggie is right on point here.  These are supposed to be full-time students that happen to engage in an extracurricular activity, not fundamentally different than the hundreds of other extracurricular school-sponsored clubs on campus.  In fact, they have such special status that they can get a full ride from just this club.  Not a bad deal.

It makes no difference if what other people make from "administering" this activity (which is ridiculously high anyway due to outside factors).


December 14th, 2018 at 9:29 AM ^

Now that he's gone I guess it isn't relevant, but I don't get the McElwain hate.  Brian keeps saying "oh, those guys going from freshman to sophomores is a big part of their improvement", but both Crawford and McDoom regressed terribly making that same leap only a year before.  Would I want him to be coaching my full team?  Probably not.  But McElwain has been a good coach for years and the idea he didn't make this team better with him on the staff seems based on a huge amount of personal animus for a guy who didn't like a joke about him humping a dead shark.


December 14th, 2018 at 9:58 AM ^

It's all confirmation bias.

I don't think you can really evaluate Jim's contribution to the team from the outside. The WRs had an inexperienced GA coaching them last year. This year they had Jim AND a more experienced GA coaching them. Even if Jim sucks, he's probably better than the nothing the WRs had the year before. 


December 14th, 2018 at 9:36 AM ^

Does anyone else think that Sam is basically saying dax is completely no to UM? When he answered the guy in the phone it sounded like he was suggesting such


December 14th, 2018 at 2:06 PM ^

It's been brought up before. Harbaugh asks for a pass from Pep or a run from Warinner. If he doesn't like it he asks the other guy for a play or thinks of one himself. Then Harbaugh makes the call. It's not a fast process but it has each guy looking for specific things he sees: Pep weaknesses in the pass D, Ed weaknesses in the run D, and Harbaugh is watching the whole picture and what's set up.


December 14th, 2018 at 10:01 AM ^

Brian's aversion to any discussion of the Ohio state game continues to be embarassing. We get it. It sucks. We're not elite, but we're one step away. Analyze WHY we got our asses kicked so we as fans can understand the problems this team has and the improvements that need to be made. 

Also, why the fuck we paying pep 1.5 million an offense that's barely top 25 in S&P when we have such elite talent at the skill positions? If we had an AD that wasn't Harbaugh's lapdog and a complete pushover, he'd make Harbaugh give up control of the offense and hire a spread guy. We can't keep having a one dimensional, defensive team. Defense doesn't win championships any more, offense does. That's why Oklahoma is in the playoff and we're in the Peach Bowl. 


December 14th, 2018 at 10:18 AM ^

<raises hand> I'm interested in hearing about the Peach Bowl.

I mean, I'm excited about basketball, but as I understand it, we're not playing anyone of interest until after the Peach Bowl, right?  Just talking about how the guys might play when we get to see good opposition again next year isn't that interesting to me.

And football is the sport I love.

I guess this does bring up a good question.  Are bowl games dead now that we have playoffs?  I mean, here we are, #7 team in the country, playing in one of the very top non-playoff bowl games, and much of the fanbase including Brian just seem to have no interest.  Plus of course we have some of our best players literally checking out.  Nothing against them, it's perfectly understandable, but it does make it all feel like a flashy exhibition game.  Except it will make everyone feel even more shirty if we lose, which isn't right if it's an exhibition game.  I dunno...


December 14th, 2018 at 10:37 AM ^

Bowl games are suffering, they are not completely dead, but they are not what there were even five years ago.  This has been discussed quite a bit.  It depends on who you ask.  Some have the opinion that bowl games were always this BS exhibition game that didn't matter.  I don't think history supports that and believe that the Playoff's "in" or you don't matter construct has had a serious negative impact on both bowl games and the sport in general.

With regard to the Peach Bowl.  First, what you are kind feeling from the fan base has less to do wit the actual bowl we are playing in and more to do with how much the OSU game cost us.  It was not just the Playoff, it was the Playoff, the BTT, and possibly the Rose Bowl as the only legit consolation prize remaining in college football.  If Maryland would have beaten OSU and OSU would have beaten us, we would have gone to Indy and destroyed NW and gone to the Rose Bowl. A ton of fans and alums would have flocked to the Rose Bowl this year if we had gone and you would not be feeling as of this intense dissatisfaction to the extent you are and the OSU game would largely already been forgotten (or at least sufficiently suppressed).

With regard to the Peach Bowl, I sincerely hope the team and the players that are playing are more into it than the fan-base.  The sneaky thing about this bowl is that Florida is occupying the same mental space that we were in 2015 when we killed them in the Citrus Bowl.  New coach, looking for anything to build upon and roll over into momentum for the next season.  Add to that that frankly Michigan has handed Florida three consecutive kind of embarrassing losses and I think Florida is going to be playing like it is the national championship.  We as fans may not think this game matters but I promise you that Dan Mullens, Florida, and Florida fans disagree.  Michigan needs to come to play in this game because there is an ugly scenario out there that could play out if they don't.


December 14th, 2018 at 10:58 AM ^

" Except it will make everyone feel even more shirty if we lose, which isn't right if it's an exhibition game" - Exactly. And Craig said it as well in the pod cast. 

People saying bowl games don't matter and then incorporate the result of that bowl game into their narrative about the team are being hypocritical. 

The turd we laid against South Carolina last year and the loss to FSU certainly affected the narrative about how Harbaugh supposedly can't win big games. How is it a big game if it doesn't matter?

Do non-conference games matter for teams who don't have a shot at the playoffs? Why does a bowl game differ except that it is at the end of the season?