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10/17/2018 - 7:24pm There is no "bargain" and…

There is no "bargain" and there is no "contract."  NCAA rules state explicitly that a scholarship is not given in exchange for a player's labor, and that the player is playing for the love of the game only.


10/15/2018 - 3:55pm This is correct.  The two…

This is correct.  The top 2 receivers, Donovan Peoples-Jones and Nico Collins, were both set up in the second echelon of players.  Their job was to field the kick if it came their way.  The front row's job is to step forward and block (unless the ball fails to bounce, when they can fall on it).


10/15/2018 - 3:41pm b4 =/= after.

b4 =/= after.

10/15/2018 - 2:47pm McCaffrey can't redshirt; he…

McCaffrey can't redshirt; he already did that last season.

10/15/2018 - 8:59am Another "Valenti" thread;…

Another "Valenti" thread; the second in a week.

It's specifically against the rules to create threads about him (see rule #4 in this OP, for example) and it's a very very good rule.  Can this be deleted this time?  Really, he is a nobody.  Threads about him put money in his pocket for no good reason.  He doesn't deserve this attention--he has done nothing to earn it, and never will.

10/12/2018 - 11:47am Brandon asking Hoke to not…

Brandon asking Hoke to not negotiate his salary before the press conference:  Hoke was very very smart to agree to that!  Hoke ended up getting about $2 million more than he was actually worth, because the contract negotiations came after Brandon announced that Hoke had taken the job.

Brandon, brilliant businessman that he is, was completely over a barrel:  he pretty much had to accept anything Hoke asked for at that point, or he would have had to go out and find somebody else.

10/12/2018 - 9:15am No, it would give a result…

No, it would give a result half the size.

So...let's say hypothetically that home field in a loud stadium is worth 5 points.  Every "loud stadium" team would do 10 points better at home than on the road.  But "quiet stadium" teams would only do 5 points better at home than on the road.

So my metric is not flawed.  "Quiet Stadium" teams, if you buy the Loud Stadium Theory of home field advantage, would have a smaller difference between home and road performance than "Loud Stadium" teams would have.

10/12/2018 - 8:52am Every actual piece of…

Every actual piece of evidence says that Michigan has a huge home field advantage.  Look at how well Michigan plays at home compared with how well Michigan plays on the road.  There is, you have to admit, a very large difference between the two--bigger than almost any other team I can think of. would you suggest measuring home field advantage other than (performance at home) minus (performance on the road)?


10/11/2018 - 4:30pm Make no mistake:  this is a…

Make no mistake:  this is a huge, huge deal.

An untrained person is over-ruling the call made by the trained person in the booth and backed up by the trained person in the Conference review center.  I actually don't see how any official with any integrity, especially a replay official, would be willing to take a single assignment for the Pac 12 conference again.  My resignation would be on the commissioner's desk today.

If I were an AD in the rest of the NCAA, I would refuse to play any non-conference game (including a bowl game) with Pac 12 officials.  If I were an AD in the Pac 12, I would call for an independent review of officiating and also for the immediate firing of this Senior Vice President who over-ruled the replay officials' call.

10/11/2018 - 4:19pm Since you say "major…

Since you say "major conference," I assume your WH friend is working in an 8-man crew?  What he says about double teaming surprises me.  If it were a 7-man crew (like in lower divisions of the NCAA) or a 6-man crew (like in HS), that's understandable, of course--it's the difference between having 3 officials (out of 8) watching the line play versus 2 officials (out of 6 or 7).

Since so many "chop blocks" are called at the NCAA level, and those all involve a double team by definition, I'm a bit curious about his statement that he doesn't pay as much attention to the double teams.

10/11/2018 - 11:34am The second party is the…

The second party is the replay official in the Pac 12 review center.  The first party (the person who submitted the report) is the booth replay official.  

10/10/2018 - 1:11pm This is correct.


This is correct.

For whatever reason, the casinos don't trust you to show up and pay them if you lose your bet, so they take your wager before the event & then give it back if you win (or tie).


10/09/2018 - 5:01pm Good stuff.

And a good rule…

Good stuff.

And a good rule of thumb to translate prices into "modern" money, any time from 1815 to 1915 you can use a multiplier somewhere between 20 and 30.  Except from 1864-1867 or so, when you should probably use 15 instead.

So a ticket being scalped for $8.50 would be about $200 today, give or take.

10/09/2018 - 2:51pm "Don, my seven-year-old…

"Don, my seven-year-old daughter Katie, who doesn't really care about lizard aliens at all, knows that they have all been moved to a bunker inside the Denver Airport."

10/09/2018 - 1:04am Valenti thread, in violation…

Valenti thread, in violation of Rule #4 ("professional trolls").

Let's not give this guy undeserved attention.

10/08/2018 - 2:53pm Yep.  And having commercials…

Yep.  And having commercials during the too-frequent injury timeouts on Saturday made those commercials a little less noticeable.

Really, it's all perception.  ABC, ESPN and even BTN have no fewer commercials than FOX, but everybody notices the FOX commercial breaks because FOX is more willing to bunch them up.  It seems FOX really tries to get all 4 breaks in between the 12-minute and the 6-minute marks each quarter, while the other networks tend to spread them out a little more.

10/08/2018 - 2:39pm Commercials:

Instead of 4…


Instead of 4 per quarter, which is standard, they had only 2 in the first quarter.  The other 3 quarters did have 4 each, though, so they really only cut out 2 commercials (i.e., about 5 minutes) for the whole game.

They also cut the halftime break from 20 minutes to 17 minutes.  That meant that the game lasted about 8 minutes less than it should have.  On the other hand, the breaks they did have were closer to 3 minutes rather than 2.5, so maybe they didn't really cut any time at all.

10/08/2018 - 12:44pm I believe that every network…

I believe that every network (ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, FOX, FS1, BTN) has the same number and same length of commercials--4 commercial breaks a quarter of about 2.5 minutes each.  The perception that the FOX commercials are longer or more frequent is simply incorrect.

What is different is that FOX seems to be a little more willing to bunch the commercials closer together--the infamous "touchdown-commercial-kickoff-commercial" type sequence. 


10/08/2018 - 12:04pm So PSU will likely be a…

So PSU will likely be a night game, although that's unconfirmed until October 22.

Either Indiana or Rutgers must by rule be on BTN, and I would guess that it's Rutgers.  Which leaves Indiana for something like FS1 or ESPN or noon ABC.

OSU will be noon on FOX.


10/07/2018 - 11:15pm You have 100 percent…

You have 100 percent agreement from me:  assuming the rule was properly enforced on Saturday, the rule is a bad one and needs to be changed.  Maryland gained yards because they were called for a foul.  No sane person would design a rule so that could happen, but here we are.

10/07/2018 - 7:41pm They are not in conflict if…

They are not in conflict if you give it a more technical reading.

Note the differing words:  Rule 10-1-1:  "penalty."  Rule 10-1-4:  "foul."

Players commit fouls, teams are assessed penalties (sometimes) when one of their players commits a foul.  Confusing, I know, but it's the key here.

So what 10-1-4 says is that if there are live ball fouls by both teams on a play, there is no penalty.  What 10-1-1 says is that a penalty can be declined.  What happened on this weird play on Saturday is that there were 2 fouls, they offset, so there was no penalty (other than the ejection) and therefore there was nothing to be declined.

Make sense?

10/07/2018 - 2:40pm Here's what the rule book…

Here's what the rule book does say (10-1-4):  "If live-ball fouls on both teams are reported to the referee, the fouls offset and the down is repeated."

Note the words:  "reported to the referee."  They chose "reported to the referee" rather than "accepted" as the wording. 

So as soon as the referee becomes aware of a foul on Team A and a foul on Team B, then that's it--the fouls offset and the down is repeated.  No mention of a possibility to decline the foul.

Yes, that is obviously broken and needs to be fixed.


10/07/2018 - 2:15pm A personal foul may be…

A personal foul may be declined.

Rule 10-1-1-b:  "Any penalty may be declined, but a disqualified player must leave the game whether the penalty is accepted or declined."


10/07/2018 - 2:11pm No, that's not true.  You…

No, that's not true.  You can decline any penalty, even a dead ball penalty.

It happens sometimes that a team on the 1-yard-line takes a delay of game penalty to set up an easier angle for a field goal, only to have the defense decline the penalty.

10/03/2018 - 3:21pm Dolce gets most of the prime…

Dolce gets most of the prime assignments for Linesmen in the Big Ten.  Over the last 4 years, he has been assigned to 1 conference championship, 2 New Years Six bowls including 1 national semifinal, and 1 national championship game (last year's Alabama-Georgia game).

No other Linesman has received as many "prime" assignments from the conference, and only 3 other Big Ten officials have 4 or more in the last 4 years.  So there you go.

10/03/2018 - 2:41pm The guy who threw the Higdon…

The guy who threw the Higdon flag was the Linesman, Mike Dolce.

10/03/2018 - 2:39pm You aren't going to get…

You aren't going to get better refs by making them full-time, especially if you are going to push them out of their officiating jobs well before a normal retirement age as you suggest.

I'm 100 percent with you on having younger refs who can keep up with the game.  Unfortunately, getting noticed is amazingly political and the demand for younger refs is just going to make everything even more political.

What do I mean by "political"?  At every level, you get big assignments by being friends with important assigners.  If you don't get big assignments, you don't go anywhere, no matter how good you are.  If you were to look at the people working in the Big Ten feeder leagues (MAC, MVC, GLIAC, etc.), about half are there because they are good, about half are there because they or their dads are drinking buddies with the people in charge of hiring.  And maybe I'm being a little generous on the ratios.

10/03/2018 - 1:10pm It's kind of puzzling to me…

It's kind of puzzling to me why people are confused by this.  The rule didn't change.  Let's say a player wants to transfer after their Freshman year.


2008 Freshman year:  does not play (transfers after season)
2009 Sophomore year:  mandatory year in residence
2010 Junior year:  "Redshirt sophomore"
2011 Senior year:  "Redshirt junior"
2012 Fifth year:  "Fifth year senior"


2018 Freshman year:  plays 4 games (transfers after season)
2019 Sophomore year:  mandatory year in residence
2020 Junior year:  "Redshirt sophomore"
2021 Senior year:  "Redshirt junior"
2022 Fifth year:  "Fifth year senior"

10/02/2018 - 4:41pm But...  Brandon said "The TV…

But...  Brandon said "The TV Networks were fighting" over who got to broadcast the game.

And now we know that ESPN2 can beat ESPN and ABC in a fight.

10/01/2018 - 2:01pm Overly technical correction:…

Overly technical correction:  it was the Head Linesman ("H"), not the Line Judge ("L"), who threw the flag on Higdon.

The "H" lines up on the press box side in the first half and on the sticks side in the second half.  To be even more technical, the NCAA refers to the position as simply "Linesman."

09/19/2018 - 12:56pm I actually think there is no…

I actually think there is no mechanism at all for kicking a team out of the conference, except for punishment for multiple major rules violations.


(1) No Big Ten rule permits kicking Rutgers out of the conference.

(2) Theoretically, I guess, 10 or 12 teams could withdraw from the conference and form a new conference, but there would be massive legal and contractual issues to settle if that happened (and a pretty good chance of a court invalidating the whole thing as a result).

(3) The only truly viable way to get Rutgers out of the conference would be to pay them to leave, and I think the amount of money it would take would not be worth it.


09/18/2018 - 2:17pm Remember when Michigan…

Remember when Michigan bragged about how much money they give back to the University General Fund?  

They don't do that any more, and they haven't for a decade or more.  They spend every dime, whether they need to spend it or not.  Even when they can't spend it all, they put it into something called (I think) the "athletic building fund," paying for future improvements that haven't even been approved yet.

09/18/2018 - 2:01pm Well... you have to consider…

Well... you have to consider the idea that some schools will do that.  When athletic scholarships started to become common, the University of Chicago and the Ivy League schools decided to stop paying to play at the highest level.

I can certainly see that some schools will say "this is no longer part of our mission" if the move from scholarships to salaries is made...even if it means leaving money on the table, as the University of Chicago clearly did back in the late 1930s.

I kind of doubt that the University of Wisconsin would be one of those schools, but I guess that's up to their Regents or Trustees or whatever.

09/18/2018 - 11:31am Re: timeouts.

I would like…

Re: timeouts.

I would like to go back to the rule that only players on the field may call timeouts.  I would even say that only players between the hashmarks should be able to call a timeout.  No more coaches running down the sideline calling a TO because the play clock is under 5.

09/18/2018 - 11:28am All right.  This is…

All right.  This is obviously too late to get any attention, and I will make a more thoughtful post along these lines later this year.

So here is the deal:

* 4 commercial breaks a quarter, 2.5 minutes each.

* commercial breaks between the 1st/2nd and 3rd/4th quarters of 2.5 minutes each.

What this means is 9 commercial breaks a half, 2.5 minutes each, for a total of 45 minutes a game.  I don't care what happens at halftime; a 20 minute break then is fine with pretty much everybody.

So, the only changes to be made are:  (a) reduce the commercial time from 45 minutes to something more manageable, (b) Keep the 45 minutes, but have fewer and longer breaks, or (c) Keep the 45 minutes, but have more and shorter breaks.

I'm going to assume (a) is off the table.  I hate it, but those 45 minutes are here to stay, forever, or at least until people actually stop watching.  (b) is a terrible idea--2.5 minutes is already unbearable.  The only interesting idea is to have 0 commercial breaks during each quarter, but have 3 halftime ("quartertime?") shows--1 after each quarter.  But no, that's stupid.  Interesting, but stupid.

So (c).  Let's think about that.  What if, instead of having 2.5 minute breaks 4 times a quarter, we instead have 2.5 minutes between quarters, 2 minute breaks after every touchdown or field goal attempt, and 1 minute after every punt and during every time out and video review?  And then, once we reach 45 minutes, play the rest of the game commercial-free?

I think those breaks would actually end up being less obtrusive for the fans in the stands, and the fact that everybody would know what was coming and when it was coming would make things a little more palatable as well.

09/18/2018 - 10:56am Yes, this.

Listen to a Bob…

Yes, this.

Listen to a Bob Ufer broadcast tape.  Yes, he was enthusiastic.  Yes, he was knowledgeable.  But his best feature was his skill in painting a picture of the game.  Every single play, he would:

* Announce down, distance, and where the ball was between the hash marks,
* Announce the formation, naming the tailback(s) and fullback, as appropriate,
* Announce the names of the wide receivers, and whether they were split left or right
* Name the quarterback, and announce whether he was under center or in a shotgun
* Describe the play, announcing the yard line where the play ended and the new down and distance.

Every series or two, he would work in the names of the offensive line, the defensive "front seven" and the defensive backs.

I understand this won't all be possible in the no-huddle era of multiple personnel packages, but it's sad to see how far the state of announcing has fallen.

09/18/2018 - 9:48am A blowout can get out of the…

A blowout can get out of the ref's control, though.  Think of the 78-0 Rutgers game.  Is there anything the refs could have done to get Rutgers to cover?  Absolutely not, at least not without becoming so conspicuously a part of the game--all on one side--that they would actually face consequences.

If you bet the "over," though, you can screw up calls on both sides, as long as you make your big calls against the defense.  "Wow, what a weirdly officiated game," people will say, and then never really think about it again, because somebody else will say "it's not like they changed the outcome of the game."  If you get assigned to a game that should end up 38-3, but make a bad call or two and the game ends up 45-20 or something like that, you win your "over" bet and nobody calls the league office to demand that you get fired.

That's how Tim Donaghy got away with it in the NBA:  he bet the over, he called a few tight fouls in the first quarter, and he watched his bet win as both defenses backed off in response to the foul calls.

Not that I think these refs were cheating; it's just that this is exactly what would have happened if the refs had actually been cheating.

09/17/2018 - 6:09pm "Bomb Juice"

"Bomb Juice"

09/17/2018 - 1:23pm If they aren't announced pre…

If they aren't announced pre-season, they don't announce game times until either 13 or 6 days before kickoff.

So there is no news, just speculation and educated guesses.

09/17/2018 - 12:49pm To be fair, I don't think…

To be fair, I don't think Schwarzel's flag left his pocket the entire game.

Those questionable PI calls all came from the wings--the H, L, S and F.  Especially, I recall, the "H" Kole Knueppel.

09/17/2018 - 12:29pm No, they were Big Ten refs. …

No, they were Big Ten refs.  All 8 did Big Ten conference games last year.

09/17/2018 - 11:43am EDT.

It's late because FOX…


It's late because FOX has a 1 pm MLB game.  If the baseball game goes over 3.5 hours, be ready for yet another Fox Business Channel search.

09/17/2018 - 10:45am (1) I'm not going to buy…

(1) I'm not going to buy into any conspiracy theories.  Incompetence is much more common than evil.  Look at your own job--are your incompetent co-workers that way because they're being paid to hurt the company, or is it just that they are no good at their job?


(2) If a ref is trying to make money by betting on the game, we know it's more likely that they are trying to make money on the total ("over/under") than on the line.  Just bet the over and call lots of pass interference on the defense, ignore holding by the offense, give the offense an extra foot or two every time you spot the ball, and maybe kick out a top defender if you can.


09/17/2018 - 10:03am Nope.  Big Ten.

Not a crew,…

Nope.  Big Ten.

Not a crew, though.  There were too many Big Ten games this week, so some crews were split up and mixed with MAC officials.  This group was all Big Ten refs, but split from many different crews so they weren't used to working together.

09/17/2018 - 10:01am Those were not Sun Belt…

Those were not Sun Belt referees.  They were all Big Ten officials.

09/16/2018 - 2:55pm There is no such rule.


There is no such rule.

3-3-4:  "When timeouts are not exhausted, an official shall allow a charged team timeout when requested by any player or head coach when the ball is dead."

So you can call all 3 right in a row if you want to.

09/16/2018 - 10:19am Sun Belt?  Certainly not. …

Sun Belt?  Certainly not.  All 8 of the refs on the field were Big Ten refs.

The "L" (Line Judge), Patrick Holt, and the "C" (Center Judge), Mike Stumberg, were actually in the National Championship game in January.


09/10/2018 - 4:11pm There's also this page:

There's also this page:

It's better in that it separates out who played on offense, defense, and special teams, and what position, and approximately where they are on the depth chart.  Unfortunately, those pages often have glaring errors.  This week's glaring error is that O'Maury Samuels is not listed as having played, when he clearly did.

09/10/2018 - 2:57pm I think it's entirely for…

I think it's entirely for the fans.  The "red hat" on the field knows exactly when to signal to the officiating crew; he's wearing headsets and getting a countdown (he signals the referee at 60, 30, 15 and 0 seconds).  The guy on the field isn't looking at the scoreboard.

I agree with Brian, for some weird reason it made the delays less annoying.

08/30/2018 - 12:04pm If you think the Michigan…

If you think the Michigan Stadium video board is awful, you haven't been to Yost Arena lately.

Michigan scores.  The scoreboard spends the next 45 seconds showing the band.  Then the student section.  Then the replay of the goal (the replay starts about 2 seconds before the puck goes in the net, not showing any of the play development, and spends more time showing the celebration than the goal).  Also, the replay usually isn't finished by the time they drop the puck and start the game back up.

As you point out, it's true in Michigan Stadium as well, so I have to think they have hired directors / camera operators who don't really know anything about sports in general or the sport they are covering in particular.  Are they student interns?