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Date Title Body
05/23/2018 - 2:14pm This is terrible in every way

This is terrible in every way and no one should buy or wear it.  

In fact, so far, all of the Nike M stuff I've seen for the 2018 season is extremely weak.  

04/15/2018 - 12:25pm And don't forget the new

And don't forget the new strength and conditioning regime.  Last year was a perfect storm in several ways, but I think a largely unheralded factor was player fatigue late in the game. You can see it on both sides of the ball.

04/11/2018 - 2:11pm Always.

Always.

03/31/2018 - 11:08pm Yes, but Patterson's petition

Yes, but Patterson's petition apparently turns on what he was told by Ole Miss about the sanctions -- that is an issue distinct from the findings that led to the sanctions. The NCAA therefore could maintain its stance on the underlying cheating while nevertheless finding that Michigan did not carry its burden of proof with respect to what Patterson was told.

To be clear, I'm not suggesting that this scenario is likely.  It's certainly possible, though.

03/31/2018 - 11:02pm As a litigator, I agree this

As a litigator, I agree this is concerning. Without knowing the details of Michigan's submission or OM's response, I can only speculate as to the strategy, but I think these are the most likely possibilities:

First, Michigan's lawyers may have disagreed with Patterson's lawyers over the quality of the evidence.  While Patterson's lawyer is motivated only by getting eligibility for Patterson, Michigan has to also consider its reputation with the NCAA (or later, possibly a court).  If a particular piece of evidence was very compelling but impossible to verify (for example), Patterson's lawyer may have rightly pushed it while Michigan's lawyers may have rightly rejected it.

Second, Michigan's lawyers may have miscalculated by assuming a common world view between Michigan and OM -- e.g., that both institutions value the well-being of the student athlete above all else.  Here, Michigan's lawyers may have assumed OM had nothing to gain by responding and that they would value a nonresponse because of a desire not to harm Patterson. In fact, while the choice to respond was non-obvious, OM may have been motivated by a desire to hurt Patterson or Michigan, or may have placed no value on Patterson while believing a response would have some value in OM's NCAA sanctions appeal.

Third, Michigan may have miscalculated by deciding not to open a new line of attack against OM, beliving that would encourage a nonresponse.  While the NCAA penalties are directed at particular institutional violations, Michigan's allegations go beyond that by alleging Patterson was told things about the penalties that were untrue.  Michigan's reasoning may have been that  supporting these allegations with particularly damning evidence may have necessitated a response by OM, while holding its fire may encourage a nonresponse.

Regardless, this is bad news, and it may suggest that a severe miscalculation was made.

03/20/2018 - 11:28pm We can only speculate what

We can only speculate what effect this may have had on Harbaugh or the players, but I too am glad it's done and the players can focus solely on football.  That said, the trailer speaks volumes about the integrity of Harbaugh and the program.  If the rest of the show is anything like this, it's going to be both captivating and a great explanation of what Michigan football is all about. 

12/19/2017 - 1:15am Weird -- opposite reaction

Weird -- opposite reaction here on his speed.  Guess we'll find out.

12/19/2017 - 1:13am Yeah, if you're a

Yeah, if you're a star-counter, you'll miss this kid and that would be a shame.  I'm not sure whether or not he has elite speed.  To me, it seemed like he did in this video, but it's hard to tell given the performance of those chasing him.  His hands certainly look good and he has good, instinctive moves, which is what I'll bet Harbaugh liked.  Seems like he needs much better ball protection and needs much more muscle.  Those are things that can be developed so he could be a great addition.

12/19/2017 - 1:08am I think of this as reversion

I think of this as reversion to the mean.  We had exceptional classes when Coach Harbaugh was the new hotness.  Now that he's an established Michigan coach, we have the classes that one would expect of a Michigan team that performs as ours has.  That's not a horrible development, since it's probably temporary.  If you believe as I do that this year tracked expectations because of certain remaining Hoke-holes, young players, and bad luck, then you probably also believe 2018 will be *much* better.  If it does, recruiting will follow.

With regard to this kid, well, that's what Harbaugh does well -- he and his staff are pretty good at identifying talent that hasn't necessarily been recognized already, and he has a taste for multi-dimensional athletes.  If you agree with that, then you also have to acknowledge that this reduces the ranking of the class relative to the talent within it.

12/12/2017 - 12:37pm The NCAA has a strong

The NCAA has a strong interest in facilitating transfers out of dirty programs.  Allowing athletes to immediately play elsewhere is good for the athletes, it enhances the effect of NCAA sanctions, and the only party even arguably harmed is the one least likely to have valid recourse against the NCAA.  I expect the transferring players wil get their eligibility.

12/08/2017 - 2:47pm Pretty sure the author of

Pretty sure the author of that one didn’t pass the Bar Exam.

11/18/2017 - 1:44pm Wisconsin will have to air it

Wisconsin will have to air it out more, which is ideal for our defense.  If Peters and our wide receivers have a spectacular second half and our running game holds up okay, we win.

11/06/2017 - 12:13am He has to sit out because he

He has to sit out because he was targeting with his mind.

09/25/2017 - 10:23pm Exactly right.  These Purdue

Exactly right.  These Purdue statements were nonsense.  A walk-through does not in any way indicate approval of current conditions, nor is is a waiver of any complaints.  For all we know, Michigan was outraged during the walk-through.

09/25/2017 - 10:18pm That's a fantastic idea.  The

That's a fantastic idea.  The visitor locker room doesn't necessarily have to be as nice as the home locker room (i.e., standard metal lockers are fine, etc.), but it should at least meet a verifiable minimum set of standards.  And if it doesn't, the visitors get the choice.

09/25/2017 - 10:12pm I have no desire to even know

I have no desire to even know a person who would try to spin Harbaugh's remarks as anything other than a coach caring about the health and safety of his players.  I'd feel the same way if it were Urban Meyer leading this charge.  And Harbaugh did it the best, most-Michigan way possible: by saying we need to lead by example.  And as you pointed out, he did it after a win so there can be no credible suggestion by anyone that this was sour grapes.  It makes me damn proud that this man is the Michigan coach.

Seriously, what is up with these reporters.  This was a genuinely newsworthy subject until one or more of these reporters tried to spin it as anti-toughness.  And did none of them want to know anything about actual football?

09/23/2017 - 10:16pm Exactly.  Iowa's pink paint

Exactly.  Iowa's pink paint is a fun, harmless taunt.  Football should be full of stuff like that.  The lack of air conditioning, on the other hand, endangers players.  On a day as hot as today, it conceivably could lead to disaster -- not of a football kind.

09/23/2017 - 10:11pm Seriously? I thought Brohm

Seriously? I thought Brohm and his staff were doing just what they needed to on the sideline.  They were fired up -- which Purdue's players badly need -- and they were vigorously arguing Purdue's position on officiating.  Not only that, but I think Brohm had a point on the PI call he was so upset about.  

Also, Brohm's comments after the game duly credited Michigan as "the better team" and took responsibility for Purdue's overconfidence and poor third down performance.  He was anything but petty.

As to the lack of air conditioning in the visitor's locker room, though, that is unconscionable, and I agree it should be against the rules.  It's frankly unbelievable that so many of Purdue's fans are whining about their black uniforms when their team got to spend pregame and halftime in an air-conditioned room while ours did not.  Someone at Purdue needs to get this corrected really damn quickly.

09/23/2017 - 9:56pm Absodamnlutely.  He was a

Absodamnlutely.  He was a beast, and a beast that showed up everywhere the ball was.

09/23/2017 - 9:54pm Agreed -- that one play

Agreed -- that one play transformed this from an escape-the-upset game to a game players and fans alike can feel really good about.  It was clutch, and at a critical time.  We would have won with our defense anyway, but the offense badly needed that spark.

Like everyone, I hope Speight is healthy and I wish him all the best.  But O'Korn just earned the starting job in my opinion.

09/18/2017 - 1:59pm The fact that sports fans

The fact that sports fans often don't assign blame correctly doesn't mean certain issues can't be traced to their source.  The unavailability of experienced, top-level offensive linemen is directly traceable to Brady Hoke's recruiting. I don't even think there's a serious question about that.  We even knew going into this season that the OL was going to be a weak spot -- it couldn't have been otherwise.  The only question was whether the OL was going to experience severe growing pains or whether it might be good enough.  Like it or not, that issue is traceable to Hoke's recruiting.  Personnel replacement simply takes time in college football.

QB is a closer call, but much was written at the time about Hoke's failure to recruit the usual numbers of top QBs.  And Harbaugh has a track record of QB development that's unblemished (until now, anyway).  I think Harbaugh deserves benefit of the doubt on that as well.

What does this leave to blame Harbaugh for?  Not much, right now.  We couldn't have asked for better performance from our young defense this year.  Special teams in this game were spot on.  That leaves the offense.  Apart from the above, our young WR corps is doing pretty well, an Ty Isaac improved more than anyone expected.  Play calling has been lackadasical, so that's really the only area of coaching-related concern right now, in my view.  And there are reasonable potential explanations even for that.

I'm not suggesting Harbaugh and staff should get a free pass, but they have earned a right to a long rope. 

 

 

 

09/11/2017 - 9:54am It's good practice generally

It's good practice generally to pay attention when someone is offended by something said to them, but it's also possible -- in my opinion -- to go too far in that direction.  With "Ann Arbor is a Whore," I see no obvious misogyny.  The "insult" is the use of a term that is always insulting, except when used ironically.  The fact that it's gender-specific obviously relates to "Ann."  Merely using a gender-specific insult in a gender-specific context doesn't equal misogyny, though it may be impolite or stupid.  Personally, I hate these shirts and others with profanity generally because I don't want a Michigan football game to be the reason I have to explain those concepts to my children.

"Pussy" and "bitch" come closer to misogyny.  While "pussy's" male counterpart, "dick," is used just about as often, the context is often different.  With "pussy," the typical use is to equate a man with a woman as though the woman's inherent characterictics are inferior.  That is equivilent to calling someone a "fag," which similarly implies that being gay is undesirable.  I would hope we could all agree that type of use is to be avoided.  On the other hand, "pussy" could be used as simple slang for the vagina, and can be a useful term that way.  (The recent use of "grab a woman by the pussy" is obviously misogynistic, though not because it uses that slang.) "Bitch" might be similarly unacceptable when it suggests that a characteristic such as assertiveness is undesirable when it emanates from a woman.  But that word, and especially "bitchy" have already evolved to describe both genders in many contexts.

Being a "whore," i.e., a prostitute, is always insulting.  By contrast with "pussy" and "bitch" that actually makes it less likely to be misogynistic.  My concern here is that we don't demonize those who might wear such a shirt but who do not intend the phrase to insult women generally (for this phrase, I'm guessing that describes most of the people who wear the shirt), and that we don't become so judgmental that we over-police this issue.  I'm not suggesting that OP and others are guilty of that; it's just something that can happen, and it can turn good people against each other.

09/09/2017 - 9:46am I would strongly support MMB

I would strongly support MMB only.  The rawk is something any stadium anywhere could pipe in, but only Michigan has the MMB.

09/03/2017 - 11:57pm Speight was throwing to

Speight was throwing to Epanadapants.  Empanada is Taco's younger, hipper brother.  And he's at least as tall.

08/30/2017 - 9:23pm 38-10 M

38-10 M

08/29/2017 - 9:07am Florida no doubt knows who

Florida no doubt knows who among their quarterbacks is starting as well.  

08/29/2017 - 9:00am There was no "FOIA victory."

There was no "FOIA victory."  NJ.com requested the roster and U-M responded that there was no responsive document.  NJ.com then sought a different category of information -- a list of scholarship players, which was already public information.  Michigan provided that in response to the "clarified" request.  It still has not released the team roster originally sought by NJ.com, which will be publicly released tomorrow.

08/28/2017 - 10:47pm Recruits hate alternate uniforms.

Hopefully that informationless view will be as informative as the informationless view to the contrary.

08/28/2017 - 2:42pm This should put an end to the

This should put an end to the "but the recruits love it!" arguments for uniformz.  Unless we're recruiting Minions.

08/28/2017 - 2:28pm This sounds like a reason to

This sounds like a reason to avoid all-maize jerseys altogether.  It will be weird saying "Go Blue" during this game, and that's a problem.

Hopefully the team will pull together to overcome this early adversity.

08/06/2017 - 11:18am That's the worst thing about

That's the worst thing about April Fools Day "satire" pieces (other than that they are now everywhere and very rarely funny): they resurface when it isn't April Fools Day and they suck up our time and brain cells in the process.

08/06/2017 - 11:13am It's a bad idea.  It will be

It's a bad idea.  It will be a terrible experience for your child, who at best will be bored and at worst will be seriously unnerved by the screaming, etc.  Also, do some research on early childhood auditory development -- without extremely good ear protection, there's a non-negligable chance of permanent (although probably slight) hearing loss.  

Needless to say, if you have a one-year old child with you, neither of you should be screaming at the game, but how fair is that to the team, the occasion, and the people around you?  Worse, the people around you may feel a need to keep their noise level down to protect your child.  That would really suck.

She'll get nothing from this experience -- to be blunt, it would be all about you and your husband.  Just don't.

07/14/2017 - 11:28pm Just fantastic.  Anyone who

Just fantastic.  Anyone who thinks football doesn't build character should read this.

07/11/2017 - 5:12pm Love it and miss it.  It was

Love it and miss it.  It was a perfect dose of swagger right after a big win.  And launching right into the 4/4 version right after that was a great exclamation point.

06/03/2017 - 11:28pm Here's the difficulty that

Here's the difficulty that always arises in these types of cases: criminal law imposes a different standard than what might make sense for an educational institution, and criminal cases proceed at a pace that might not make sense for decision-making in an educational environment.  If a football team were simply to follow criminal courts on issues such as these, players who ultimately are acquitted would nevertheless be prevented from playing where the cases had not been fully adjudicated.  That's not fair to the players.  On the other hand, the lack of a conviction doesn't necessarily mean a crime wasn't committed, and nothing should stop coaches from exercising common sense where appropriate.  

Bottom line is that you need good reason -- which is some cases may exist separate from a criminal conviction -- to assess the conduct of team members.  Here, absent good reason to think Harbaugh acted unethically, we should give him some benefit of the doubt.

05/02/2017 - 10:23am I still can barely wrap my

I still can barely wrap my head around the fact that our football team has photo books shot by a Pulitzer Prize-winning documentary photographer.  Talk about The Michigan Difference.

04/08/2017 - 3:36pm What the f is that.

What the f is that.

04/08/2017 - 10:53am If they have to use a mascot

If they have to use a mascot just for this competition, it should be something like Deflated Brutus or Flaccid Sparty.  We could get on board with this in a big way if they just used a rotating series of mascots designed solely to tweak our opponents.

03/23/2017 - 11:34pm Also, that aggressive defense

Also, that aggressive defense doesn't work against us most nights because the team is so deadly with three-point conversions.  Just not tonight.

01/25/2017 - 11:03am Love pink and hate cancer,

Love pink and hate cancer, but Michigan's colors are Maize and Blue.  No reason we have to wear uniformz to raise money for breast cancer.  (Also, wouldn't it be enough for the teams to simply agree to use a pink ball?)

01/08/2017 - 4:58pm A guy conversant with dealing

A guy conversant with dealing with enormous media attention would have known how to shut this down -- that's true enough.  But he could have been genuinely undecided or he may not have possessed a great deal of media savvy when he made the "just show up" plan and simply decided at the end to let it run its course.  Or maybe he liked the attention, which for a guy wanting to be a star athlete is not the worst failing in the world.  

My view is that it doesn't really matter whether he was trying to cultivate attention or not.  What matters is whether he was honest and forthcoming with the coaches involved, and none of them are going to tell us the whole story about that.  Absent a reason to believe he strung out Michigan's staff unfairly, we really have to take this as 'crootin and let it go.  Losing him is big, but being in the hunt with him is big as well, and Bama is certainly worthy competition in that respect.  Whether Harris is a man of character will reveal itself over time.

01/08/2017 - 1:34am Why? I'm from the South and like Ann Arbor worlds better.

Why? I'm from the South and like Ann Arbor worlds better.

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01/08/2017 - 1:31am All those things are

All those things are consistent with being genuinely conflicted. It's not always an easy or clear decision.

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01/07/2017 - 4:48pm Sensible kid and sensible

Sensible kid and sensible mom. He should choose Blue of course, but I'm going enjoy watching his career either way.

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01/05/2017 - 12:49am Obama seems like the likely

Obama seems like the likely choice. He has strong Midwest ties, has kept one gig for years, but is up for a change with the coming departure of his team. He knows Harbaugh, would be conversant in law if Judge Judy came up in conversation, and is accustomed to entering rooms with a rousing song that starts with "Hail!"

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12/15/2016 - 10:58am So, wait -- both the intent

So, wait -- both the intent and effect is a comment on an unsigned recruit? I don't know the rule, but this seems to skate dangerously close to your description of it.

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12/09/2016 - 11:24am I was wondering the same

I was wondering the same thing. In my experience, student-faculty relationships aren't viewed as problematic at all so long as they are voluntary, the student is old enough to legally consent, and the faculty member has no supervisory authority whatsoever over the student. Student-faculty sexual relationships were fairly common in my field, and not particularly controversial (unless one of the above tenants was violated or it was otherwise controversial (e.g., extra-marital).

I don't know the details here, but I would imagine there is no prohibition on the football coach hooking up with a track girl unless other factors exist.

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12/07/2016 - 4:58pm Don't let the haters get you

Don't let the haters get you down. From what I've seen, the consensus view is very supportive and respectful toward Morris -- great kid and athlete who maybe didn't end up where he wanted to be but who was always there for his teammates and fans. Those things show huge character and it's hard to overstate how much having someone like Morris helps a program.

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11/28/2016 - 10:04pm Interesting. I was expecting

Interesting. I was expecting that we would see a front-page piece that addressed the spot in detail. I realize it's been touched on, but I thought it deserved more attention here, both because of the importance of the issue and to refute some of the misinformation and doctored images floating around. Also, when I see posts about this elsewhere, there seems to be a rather consistent misunderstanding of the rule -- people assume the spot should be the point where forward progress ends rather than where the ball is when the play is blown dead. This blog could do a huge public service by setting people straight on that.

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11/28/2016 - 2:17pm Agreed.  The defense was

Agreed.  The defense was clearly winded, but they had been fantastic for nearly the entire game while our offense had struggled in short-yardage situations.  Relying on the defense was clearly defensible, and I think they gave us the best chance to win.