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Date Title Body
07/19/2018 - 11:13am I know essentially nothing…

I know essentially nothing about professional cycling, but I am curious about something I heard somewhere:  the teams were reduced in size from 9 cyclists to 8 this year.

(a) Why?  and (b) Has that had any noticeable effect on the race?  

My assumption is that the less wealthy teams are helped by this (because presumably the 9th best cyclist on a wealthy team is much better than the 9th best on a poor team), but I don't know if they are helped to the extent that a fan of the sport would notice it.

07/10/2018 - 12:29pm But rugby.

Rugby is also a…

But rugby.

Rugby is also a sporting event that is completed in under 2 hours.  Rugby is like soccer, except the clock is visible not just to the referee, but also to the players, spectators, and television viewers.  There are no commercial breaks during either half of play.  The only difference is that the official stops the clock when a player is injured or another extended delay takes place.  The time is kept on the scoreboard.

I would also point to team handball and field hockey as sports that have generally running clocks, stoppages for injuries, and no commercials during either half, but the official time is kept on the scoreboard and not on the referee's wrist.

If you were inventing soccer today, nobody in their right mind would suggest that the referee be given discretion, or even the appearance of it, on when to end the game.

06/21/2018 - 5:52pm Regarding the goalie…

Regarding the goalie situation, what they are doing makes a lot of sense.  Michigan was probably going to have to bring in 2 goalies in 2020 if Lafontaine had stayed.  Now Lafontaine will be a redshirt Senior in 2020/21.

The bottom line was that Lafontaine wasn't going to see significant ice time in 2018/19 or in 2019/20.  This is a way of redshirting him for the 2020/21 season but also getting him some ice time while being redshirted.  And if he chooses not to come back to Michigan, they can take a walkon (to replace Catt) in 2019 and then add a scholarship goalie (to replace Levigne) in 2020.

 

06/07/2018 - 12:16pm I think he was eligible. …

I think he was eligible.  For some reason, I understood that anybody is eligible at the first draft after their 21st birthday.

So you can get drafted on 3 occasions:

(1) The year you graduate high school,

(2) Three years later or the year you turn 21 or when you finish a JuCo program, whichever comes first, and

(3) The year you finish college or declare you are finished with college.

I think people just interpret #2 to mean after 3 years of college, even though that's not always the case.

06/01/2018 - 1:14pm Freshman year

Will probably be 2021/22. 

05/31/2018 - 4:47pm Why the noon start?

They're not starting at noon "because that's how Bo liked it" or for any of the other reasons you suggest.  They're starting at noon because that's when the TV network has dictated it will start.

 

05/30/2018 - 3:07pm Changing the subject.

These weren't meant for corporate buyers, as you correctly pointed out earlier.  They weren't corporate giveaways, and nobody's asking you to bother to try to "keep track of" them.  Of course there are thousands of those tickets.

These tickets, though, were given to Coca-Cola for the sole purpose of distributing to students (again--you correctly stated that above)!  Even the AD acknowledged that:  it was a "retail activation," they said.  If you were Coca-Cola, how would you have undertaken that task?  If you were the athletic department representative, how would you have expected Coca-Cola to have undertaken that task?

The AD wanted these tickets given away.  It happened.  It bounced back on them, as so many things did at the time, and they said anything they could to try to convince people that what was plainly happening wasn't actually happening.

But fine.  If you toe the party line--it was a "retail activation" gone wrong--you still can't get me to pretend that everything was all right with attendance in 2013.  It wasn't.  If you were going to the games, you recognized it.

05/30/2018 - 2:37pm Good question.

And yes, I also linked to a "mainstream" article so nobody would make the issue revolve around their opinion of Deadspin.

But my question for you still stands:  what do you imagine that the AD wanted Coca-Cola to do with that packet of free tickets they were given?

05/30/2018 - 2:34pm No!

Kickoff was at 4:15 pm Chicago time.

05/30/2018 - 2:33pm This was pretty much it.

Michigan played a game on May 12, 1883, plus a 2-game set against Notre Dame on April 20 & 21, 1888.  Those are the only games that did not take place between late August and early January.

Even in 1879, the Eastern schools that played football had already established October & November as "football season."  It wasn't really in Michigan's power to change that, especially because baseball and track had already established themselves as Spring sports for colleges.

05/30/2018 - 2:28pm Football in May.

That's an interesting counter-factual:  what if football had become a Spring sport instead of a Fall sport?

The culture was actually pretty much the same in a major way:  Memorial Day (then called "Decoration Day") was already a traditional day for sporting events.  Baseball games and horse races were traditional at the time.

White Stockings Park in Chicago was the home of the team that is now called the Chicago Cubs.  Unfortunately for the owners of the park, the White Stockings were on a road trip to the East coast on Decoration Day.  Fortunately for them, though, somebody approached them about an alternate sporting event for the day--a college football game.

05/30/2018 - 2:10pm Massive Retail Activation, then.

Let's be even more clear.  The "Michigan Union contractor" was Coca-Cola.  It "had some extra tickets" because it was given the tickets by the athletic department to give away.

They were given the tickets for the sole purpose of giving them away.  How else are they going to give them away, other than by exchanging them for the purchase of a Coca-Cola product?  Here is an idea of what it looked like to the general public:

https://deadspin.com/michigan-pretends-it-isnt-desperate-to-give-away-t…

Or you can see a less snarky version with the same facts here:

http://www.mlive.com/wolverines/index.ssf/2014/09/promotion_selling_two…

Of course, the athletic department later denied that they wanted Coca-Cola to give away the tickets like that.  But I am interested in your theory:  what was supposed to happen with those tickets when the athletic department gave them to Coca-Cola?

05/29/2018 - 11:07am Thanks.

But...somebody is wrong on the internet!!

Okay, now that I have typed that, you're right.  Consider it gone.

 

05/29/2018 - 11:03am I will pay you the dollar.

ahspam (at) comcast (dot) net.

Although...that part wasn't a rule citation. I still don't see a pre-approval rule (or a description of a process) in the manual.

 

05/29/2018 - 10:44am Yes, those are all rules.

The teams are responsible for complying with the rules of the NCAA.  There are a lot of rules.  Nothing in the rules of the NCAA requires notification of the NCAA (or approval by them) of the venue of a game.  

I think people think of "The NCAA" the same way they think of "The NFL" or whatever.  That's not how college sports are run, though--it's not a top down model.  The President of the NCAA (or the compliance department) has no right of refusal, has no rule-setting powers.  

05/29/2018 - 10:40am I don't think I do.

"I'll bet you a dollar there is some approval process for playing a game at a neutral site."

I still say there is no such approval process, but I am willing to hear a rule citation to the contrary.  UMBig11 posted several rules relating to home & neutral site games, but none of them indicate an "approval process" in which the NCAA takes part.

05/29/2018 - 10:25am Disagree.

Yes, there is a myriad of compliance issues for everything.  The teams are responsible for compliance, not the NCAA.  Compliance just doesn't do things like approve venues.  

Licensing agreements etc are under the purview of the contract between the teams (or the conference, if it were a conference game).  The NCAA takes no recognition at all of television contracts--they are not even allowed to take recognition of television contracts since 1984 or so.

 

05/29/2018 - 10:05am It's a bet.

There is no approval process.  The NCAA is not in charge of regular season football games, period.

 

05/29/2018 - 9:49am "Works for the NCAA"?

What in the world does working for the NCAA have to do with knowing where this game will be played?  The NCAA doesn't know or care where the game takes place, and The NCAA would be just about the last organization to know about it.

 

05/29/2018 - 9:45am Also

Former Wolverine Kelly McCrimmon is their Assistant General Manager.  McCrimmon was captain of the 1983-84 Michigan team, and has spent most of the intervening time as Head Coach & GM of the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL, and has been the franchise owner since 2000.

05/26/2018 - 3:58pm Wait, though.

The offside rule only constrains the offense, not the defense.

You are saying, I think, that this rule that constrains the offense causes the defense to play worse than they would without the rule?  The purpose of the rule is to make the defense play a less-than-ideal strategy, thereby opening up the game for the offense?

Also, it is interesting to look at field hockey as an example here--they got rid of their offside rule (which was the same as soccer's offside rule) about a decade ago, and the change has apparently been met with universal acclaim from the sort of people who enjoy field hockey.

05/23/2018 - 7:23pm Yeah, afraid so.

That ending of the regular season was less than ideal.  Maybe 3 wins and a loss in the final gets them in, but i wouldn't count on it. 

05/23/2018 - 7:16pm No official word

You have to think it will be Ben Dragani, who has been the #2 pitcher all year.  Kauffmann, the #3, did a little better against Purdue last week, but not so much that it would make sense to switch the rotation, IMO.

A win tomorrow is huge:  the winner gets Friday off and then gets 2 chances to win 1 game Saturday to advance to the Sunday championship game.

05/23/2018 - 2:19pm 4 jumpman logos.

Each jumpman is wearing a tiny shirt with a jumpman logo on it.

05/23/2018 - 1:59pm MJ?

What is the "MJ" supposed to signify?

05/20/2018 - 11:31am TV for Sunday at noon

The M v Notre Dame elimination game will be on ESPN.

 

05/20/2018 - 10:26am It would be 2 today & 1 tomorrow.

If the noon winner beats Kentucky in the 2:30 game, the "if necessary" game will be played on Monday, time tba depending on the weather forecast.

05/19/2018 - 1:42pm Correction to something I posted.

I said, in a previous thread, that the regional must be complete by midnight Tuesday.

I was wrong about that, looking at the NCAA manual:  they can not start a game after 11 pm on Monday, unless it is the "if necessary" game immediately following game 6.  The amount of rain forecast for Lexington makes me wonder how close we are going to come to that deadline.

(Midnight Tuesday is the baseball rule; 11 pm Monday is the softball rule).

05/19/2018 - 11:30am Disagree.

This is a losers bracket game; no real reason to show it, especially if it's Illinois-Chicago.  There are 5 winners bracket games that start at noon or 1:00--those are the ones that are going to be on ESPN main networks.

The TV will be ESPN3 only.

Oh--also, the first game was delayed half an hour, so Michigan will now be playing at 1:00, not 12:30.

05/19/2018 - 9:06am A little later.

I'm pretty sure the game isn't on January 1.  It's "part of" the winter classic but not the same day as the winter classic.  The M-ND game will be on the 6th of January--or maybe the 7th.

05/19/2018 - 8:41am I'm complaining

But I'm not making excuses.  Of course they lost because they didn't hit.  So, question for you:  how would you suggest they get better at hitting (other than, obviously, recruiting better hitters)? 

Let me give you my suggestion first, though.  I suggest that if they had faced better pitchers during the two months leading up to the NCAA tournament, they would be better at hitting right now.

I am stating, as I have several times over the last couple of years, that the (regionalized) Big Ten softball schedule works to the disadvantage of Michigan, and I would be happier if it were changed to mimic the (non-regionalized) Big Ten baseball schedule format instead.

05/19/2018 - 8:31am Maybe.

My assumption is that this isn't about getting money; I think he is "downsizing" in advance of a move to a home that's a more appropriate size for a retired couple.  I'm sure he asked the kids about what they wanted him to keep and what they wanted him to sell.

Note that he isn't selling much of anything from his best teams at Michigan.

05/18/2018 - 11:17pm The only rule

The only rule is that the regional has to end by midnight on Tuesday.  If the regional isn't over at that point, the highest seeded undefeated team advances (if nobody is undefeated, then the winner of the most recent game between the 2 one-loss teams advances).

They will do everything they can to avoid making teams play 3 full games in a day, which explains the schedule for Saturday.

05/18/2018 - 11:15pm I see this as a huge bonus.

Instead of having to win 2 on Saturday and 2 on Sunday, Michigan now has to win 1 on Saturday, 2 on Sunday and 1 on Monday.

Whomever Michigan plays Saturday, Kentucky or Illinois-Chicago, they will be coming off an early morning loss and Michigan will get to sleep in.  That's a pretty good advantage for advancing to the losers bracket final.

 

05/18/2018 - 7:45pm Game 2 postponed

Kentucky v Illinois-Chicago game will not be played tonight.

They haven't announced a revised schedule yet, but the Michigan game might not start until 5:00 or so, instead of the originally planned time of 2:30. 

05/18/2018 - 6:35pm Ranked.

The polls were very kind to Michigan.  On the other hand, they finished the regular season outside the RPI top 30 for the first time, I think, since 1994.

05/18/2018 - 4:52pm I wouldn't say "ages."

They didn't regionalize the conference schedule until 2012, when Nebraska joined the conference.  But yes, as you point out, 5 series in region and 3 out of region is much better than the 6 & 2 that they do now.

05/18/2018 - 4:46pm No

No, I would not.  Would you?

05/18/2018 - 4:39pm What needs to be discussed...

Is the Big Ten schedule.  Michigan spent 2 months not playing a single good team, and nobody should be surprised by what is happening here.  This is clearly the worst Michigan softball team of the last 20 years.  Not only is it not close, it isn't even close to being close.

But they won the Big Ten.  While that's a good thing, not a bad thing, we need to ask ourselves (and ask the conference) whether this unbalanced schedule format, split out by region, is the best thing for the conference's long-term success.

 

05/17/2018 - 1:45pm I'm a little concerned.

So the guy is the individual champion in one of the 6 NCAA regionals, and his prize is...a pin flag?  With the OSU logo?  (Yes, I understand OSU was the host, but still).

Hopefully he will eventually get a trophy with his name on it.  It really seems a little stingy if he doesn't get a trophy.

05/16/2018 - 2:39pm "Their own team bus"!!!

"Their own team bus"

 

05/16/2018 - 12:16pm Read the article.

The $75MM is being held in escrow in case any more victims come forward.

 

05/16/2018 - 11:20am Big series at Purdue.

According to what BA seems to think, the 3 games at Purdue starting tomorrow might be a play-in series, with the winner in the tournament and the loser staying home.

Of course, there's always the opportunity to win your way in during the conference tournament.  It will be interesting to see if Michigan starts playing with the rotation a little; the best pitchers aren't necessarily the ones getting the earlier starts right now.  

05/16/2018 - 11:15am Non conference

Indiana had quite a successful non-conference season.  Also, when you have only 42% of your games in-conference, that's pretty different from most sports where about 2/3 of your games are in-conference.  As a result, conference results can be pretty inconsistent with seeding.

Indiana took 2/3 from Pacific, 3/4 from San Diego (all on the road, of course), plus wins over Coastal Carolina and Louisville.

05/15/2018 - 2:59pm I don't know.

A first baseman hitting "north of .250" (all singles, hardly any walks) isn't quite as special as you seem to think.

05/15/2018 - 2:17pm Still...

Injured or not, this keeps him out of the Hall of Fame, right?  At least until the several players much better than him who are being kept out because of PEDs get in.

That's a pretty big punishment.

05/15/2018 - 1:51pm Answers, I hope.

(1) An NHL team can recall a player from the OHL, play him a few games (up to 10, I think), and then send him back down to his OHL team.  As a result, the OHL is considered a minor league--and therefore professional--by the NCAA.  OHL teams can draft anybody who meets the age/residency requirements, so being drafted doesn't affect eligibility.  If a player wants to go to college, they will generally play in the USHL instead of the OHL.

(2) Players commit to colleges and then go to OHL all of the time.  Whether because they changed their minds, or committed to a "big time" college in order to get a better deal from the OHL, it's pretty normal.  There are more and less desirable OHL teams, and a player can use their college commitment as a bargaining chip to avoid having to play in Sault Ste. Marie.    Just like high school baseball players committing to a college but then signing a minor league contract out of high school--Derek Jeter comes to mind.  The Montreal Expos could have drafted him, but if they had, he would have gone to Michigan to play baseball, and they knew that.  So Montreal passed and the Yankees drafted him instead, knowing that they could sign him.  Jeter got everything he wanted out of his commitment to Michigan--a better team drafted him.

(3)  People argue about this all of the time.  A frozen four NCAA team is just about as good as a Memorial Cup CHL team, in terms of the number of future NHLers on the team.  The CHL team might have more "future superstars," and the NCAA team might have more total future professionals.  If you look at the dregs of the leagues, though, the OHL beats the NCAA.  The NCAA players also are 2 years older on average than the OHL players, so the OHL can rightfully claim that it is the "fastest path" to the NHL.

(4) "Under USA's wing" is referring to the USNTDP program.  The National Team Development Program takes the best 16 & 17 year olds in the USA and has them play together as a team.  Michigan gets a lot of kids who end up going to the USNTDP, and a large majority (80-90 percent) of the USNTDP players end up going the NCAA route.  It really does give the top players in the US something to do to develop their talents other than going to the OHL.  The program kind of "protects" most of those 40 players for college hockey.  A 5-star USA player will end up at the USNTDP when he is 17, but a 5-star Canadian will have to pick either the USHL or the (higher-level) Canadian Junior leagues.

05/14/2018 - 10:54am Crazy?

I disagreed, so I'm probably the person you have in mind.  In my defense, I never said "crazy" though.  You were right, I was wrong.

I guess I needed once again to absorb the fact that geographic proximity trumps all.  I was going under the assumption that Ohio State would get the Kentucky regional, but that would have meant an extra flight for a 2-seed. 

What I don't think happened, though, is that Michigan was treated as a high 2 seed.  What happened was that they have a mandate to minimize the number of flights they have to pay for, and the only way to do that was to send Michigan to Kentucky.

 

05/11/2018 - 1:09pm Basic strategy.

You're up 4 with 2 runners on.  In the last inning, the team with the lead has 2 basic responsibilities on defense:  keep the tying run from advancing, and keep the winning run from advancing.  

If you pitch to her, there is about a 40 percent chance that the tying run comes to the plate (assuming her OBP = .400).  If you pitch around her, there is a 100 percent chance that the tying run comes to the plate.

 

05/11/2018 - 11:20am 4:30 CDT = 5:30 EDT

Michigan's game is at 5:30 EDT.  The other games in your post have the EDT times listed correctly.

I don't get the logic of M being treated as a high 2.  Michigan will be a low 2--one of the lowest.  They have given the committee zero reason to elevate them above where their RPI puts them.  If they lose to MSU, they might end up as a very high 3-seed instead.

Also, the west coast has such a deficit of 2-seeds that I think the most logical trip for Michigan is to a Pac-12 team.  That's almost always what happens when Michigan is a 2.  Look for UCLA or Washington as their regional host.

I'm going to stand by my prediction of last week:  UCLA v Fullerton, Michigan v Mississippi.