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Date Title Body
03/07/2018 - 8:37pm "and also Screw ND"

I believe the phrase is "To Hell with Notre Dame." :-)

02/23/2018 - 3:28pm Get real

A parent taking $500 is not going to be what takes Izzo down. It's not clear that the sexual assault scanda/cover-up/culture is going to even touch him. The parent will be asked to pay it back and that will be it. We're talking about the NCAA. 

01/31/2018 - 3:56pm Well done

Well done, as usual, Brian. 

I have very little faith that things will get properly investigated/punished/rectified at MSU in part because, as you point out, it's not just the university, but other entities that should be checking the school's power, i.e. local police, local prosecutors, etc, are actually crooked too. Everybody is so focused on MSU that the connected but external corruption outside the university seems to be going unnoticed. 

What really concerns me is that athletic departments and schools around the country, obviously M being the most important to me, are not learning the lessons of history from Baylor, Penn State, MSU and on and on. While there are fewer troubling signs at M, they are there and they don't seem to be getting much attention and scrutiny. Manuel isn't a giant ass like his predecessor, but he does seem content to sit back and let troubling policies and practices continue on their course. He just stays out of the public eye to a staggering degree, which is dangerous in its own way.

The question is, how do we effect meaningful change both at that the athletic deparment and overall University level, like with our terrible FOIA practices? I feel a bit powerless now living out of state but want to add my voice to others in a way that actually gets the attention of the powers that be. Does anyone know of efforts being made to get the university to quit being a FOIA douche, for example, that one could support?

 

Go Blue.

 

 

09/19/2017 - 7:28pm Speight decision making

I'm certainly not with the pitchfork crowd when it comes to Speight, mainly for the deficiencies on the line and with young WRs, but there have been times when he makes inexplicably bad decisions. Two come to mind immediatley from the AF game, one minor and one major, both both should be givens for a quarterback with as much experience as Speight does. The first was not simply throwing it out of bounds on one play where he was headed to the sideline and it was obvious he was going to lose 3-4 yards if he didn't. It didn't look like it even crossed his mind. 

The second could have been a disaster and that was when he attempted to throw the ball basically from his back as he was getting sacked. What?! his arm ended up hitting the leg of his own lineman and I believe it was a fumble that M recovered (It's possible it was rule incomplete, but the point was it was he was lucky it wasn't a turnover of the variety that is easily preventable). I was flabergasted that was even a thought in his head and at the same time that Harbaugh's head didn't explode. Mine almost did.

I think it's going to take time to solve many of these issues and am hopeful the D is good enough to get us to Penn State unscathed, but I feel like we're pretty much on upset alert until they prove they have put some of these issues past them. Hopefully one factor is swallowing sections of the playbook for strategic deployment as the season continues (and that it doesn't cost us in the meantime).

Ugh.

04/24/2017 - 12:03pm Hooray!

While I would have been quite pleased to have landed one of the big names not directly tied to M, I'm elated this worked out in the end. It seems like the assistant situation is likely to work out well considering all of the options available. This process has also shown us that there are several former Red players who will be quite viable the next time this opens up.

 

WELL DONE WARDE!

 

GO BLUE!!

09/30/2016 - 8:55pm Where the cheese go?

I am blown away that Ween's quarter-assed attempt at a Pizza Hut commercial makes an appearance here. Blown away and tickled.  

08/23/2016 - 3:16pm Hoke+Oregon=fascinating

I know it's just a blip on this UV, but the Hoke-Oregon thing is going to be interesting. I live out in Oregon, so will get to see plenty of it up close.

However, in the linked article, Lindsay Schnell does one of those things that, as a fellow journalist, I can't stand and see way too much of, basically making something up. She refers to Hoke as "one of the best defensive minds in college football." If you say so ...

This is a near total fabrication. Perhaps it draws on something that is true. Hoke is certainly a well-liked coach, perhaps even well respected, but it has never been for his "mind." The context is that outsiders doubt Hoke and Oregon, but she doesn't explore the doubts or piles of evidence for those doubts at all. 

Hoke is not known for a scheme or for Xs and Os. He's known for being a great motivator, a great position coach (DL). How can he be known for the cerebral or tactical aspect of D when he has never even been a coordinator? How much of Michigan's defense, the scheme or philosophy of it, can he really be credited for? Even then, Michigan's defenses under Hoke still struggled against good spread teams, especially spread to run ones. I bet RichRod is licking his chops for that match up. No one feared playing Michigan because Hoke was in the dark machinating devilish ways to trip you up or confuse you (unlike now, praised be the Jimmy!) It seems rather, he was more the opposite, a dull disciple of Lloyd Carr's reliance on talent to win out because Michigan was usually going to have more of it.

Tactically, as a head coach or with his team's offenses and defense, Hoke isn't known for being cutting edge. If anything, he's too vanilla, too conservative and has shown a resistence to, you know, acually using logic or even thinking when evaluating non-traditional strategies or formations? Spread punt anyone? Turn perhaps the best running quarterback in college history into a pocket passer? Go ahead Borges. 

Ugh. 

I'm eager to see what he does with Oregon. If I had to guess, he will run a pretty vanilla 4-3 with good but not great talent and the results will be mediocre. There will be some highlights. There will be a few abect disasters. If he has time to build a top D-Line, which I don't think they have on this roster, maybe that would be enough to make the Oregon D effective enough overall, but I expect he's going to have to rely too much on blitzing. Against average teams that will work out fine, but the Ducks will get outcoached and burned by the RichRods, get mixed results against passing spread teams in the Pac-12, and get outmuscled or just beat superior talents that run pro-style, like USC, UCLA and Stanford. 

I have only a glimmer of hope that given the chance to actually run a defense himself without having to carry all the weight of being Michigan's head coach, he will either bone up on how modern defenses are adapting or become even vaguely innovative. Doesn't feel likely. 

 

Yeesh. 

 

09/16/2015 - 8:01pm 55-10 Blue!

55-10 M. 

09/10/2015 - 3:13pm For the record ...

For the record, it's Riley, not Reily. 

09/09/2015 - 8:05pm 37-16 Mich

37-16 Michigan.

09/01/2015 - 5:00pm Utah 29, Michigan 19.

Utah 29, Michigan 19.

12/29/2014 - 5:40pm Don't forget

Don't forget that Harbaugh's comments, which, like Brian said, were from the hip in true Jimmy fashion (with maybe some selfish agenda in there too), actually changed things for the better at Michigan. The leadership of the athletic-academic counseling department was shed after the Ann Arbor News investigation, which I know was spurred by those very comments.

The fact is that Michigan IS BETTER for him having called it out. It's the difference between blind patriotism, which smells an awful lot like M's tendency in the late-Carr and post-Carr eras to turn a blind eye to reality in favor of to turning the be-all-end-all of tradition as, and true patriotism, which is calling out something you love because it has lost its way. His response to Mike Hart's comments were also refreshingly truthful about the Michigan Man concept at a time when said concept was already twisted out of context and about to become completely hollow in the same way our tradition did.

12/29/2014 - 5:18pm warms my heart with soothing layer of hot grease

"He will not get yelled at when ordering at Blimpy"

 

As an Ann Arbor native and former long-time employee, this just warms my heart with a soothing layer of hot grease. 

 

Gotta Love Brian. Gotta Love Jim.

 

Welcome home.

02/14/2014 - 12:18am beaten to the punch

argh

10/11/2013 - 3:19am Watt isn't just an NFL

Watt isn't just an NFL starter. Try almost unanimous defensive player of the year. 

09/19/2013 - 8:38pm 44-16 M

44-16 M

08/09/2013 - 8:34pm You heard it hear first ...

... Ace is predicting that James Ross will bolt for the NFL after his junior year: 

When Wangler gets to campus, James Ross and Royce Jenkins-Stone will both be juniors ... Assuming Wangler takes a redshirt year, he'll compete for Ross's open spot as a redshirt freshman ...

I'm pretty sure I'm reading the first part correct, that Ross will be a senior when Wangler is a redshirt freshman, but if Blue's human missle blows up to the point where he's ready to jump to the pros after year three (as a linebacker, no less), that bodes especially well for his 2014 campaign and, hopefully, this fall!

 

Of course, this could be a simple error (either mine or Ace's), but we prefer to be bold in our predicitions around hear, amirite?

 

Welcome to the family Jared. 

GO BLUE!

07/28/2013 - 7:34am Frankly, I'd prefer he just

Frankly, I'd prefer he just stay under a rock tootin his own busted horn.

07/28/2013 - 7:31am Scary awesome

Dangnabit this is awesome news, though scary how football recruiting, for Michigan and in general, is beginning to catch up with basketball recruiting in terms of building classes a year or more in advance of signing day. I think it's definitely going that way with  and it's good to see Michigan at the leading edge and doing so well at the same time. It really bodes well for a long and illustrious Hoke era. GO BLUE!

07/12/2013 - 11:23pm Packard and Stadium

I grew up just off that corner and have no idea how that plays into the Little Brown Jug. Can't wait to find out!

06/28/2013 - 10:58pm "But continuity is never a

"But continuity is never a bad thing." I understand you're really talking about players, and especially offensive lines as a group, but that's a pretty a tough blanket to throw out there considering GEEERRRGGG. I know he's a coach, but did anyone get better under his tenure?

 

Interesting look at Penn State. Looks to me like just one automatic loss and three tossups to small dogs (Mich, Nebraska, Wisco -- with M and Neb at home and Wisco probably leaning strongly to a loss being in Camp Randall -- but who knows whats up with the Badgers now?) The easily could get tripped up in spots like last year, then upend someone in return. Considering the depth and the true frosh qb, I'd say 7.5 wins is the over under and it becomes personal preference as to which way you go. The schedule looks pretty cake, so I'd lean slightly to 8-5. 

06/22/2013 - 2:10am I don't think what he's

I don't think what he's saying is mutually exclusive to a recruit getting a chance to spend time with Borges and learn how he would be used. A lot of recruiting is the constant contact, time spent in person visiting the athlete on their turf, etc. Borges can be a weak recruiter and still spend enough on-campus time with recruits so they can get to know each other. It could be that's not enough, but recent results say otherwise.

06/22/2013 - 1:48am To your first point, that

To your first point, that reeks of coach speak: there is a kernel of truth in there that is pretty solid but can't be extrapolated to all situations and in those is a nice way for a coach to hedge their bet and keep expectations realistic. I think Henne as a freshman is an example. What does Borges mean by "learn the offense?" It seems he means knowing and operating it at a certain, profficient level. I don't think anyone would argue that Henne knew the whole offense by the end of his freshman year, but he didn't have to be to have success, or lead the team to success, which is what I think a lot of the comments on this post are about. The coaches pared the offense down and tailored it to Henne's strengths, rate of learning, and the strengths of the offense in general (BRAYLON being the closest thing to Tacopants anyone has actually seen with eyeballs and not their imagination). They gave him more and more by the end of the year and he lit up Texas in the Rose Bowl. 

 

As to not getting the burning of a redshirt, I don't know how you don't get that if you watched the Nebraska game. Bellomy, even in year 2, is so very likely not an option in most situations.     If Morris is a better option to come in and win a close game or start for a few against the Indianas and Minnesotas of the world, the coaches will and should take that. Coaches don't just give up on games now for future success and based on what we know of Bellomy, that is exactly what they would be doing. Who knows though? Maybe with the whole team running the more pro-style Borges offense, Bellomy will approach something like a capable backup, especially if it's a late-game situation and not a season-long one. If Gardner goes down for the season, you absolutely play Morris and get his learning curve started. Bellomy just seems like a huge long shot to be a starter at any point. A lot of that will depend on how quickly Morris takes to things and recovers from missing a lot of his senior year, and how much Bellomy has progressed. 

Lastly, a national title seems quite unlikely if Morris is in his first year as a starter in 2015, even with two years of waiting in the wings. It would actually be much more likely if his redshirt was burned and he had some experience to build on that a title could even be a possibility. You'd likely feel good about a run in 2016 either way, with 2017 being the dream situation if we can manage to get him a redshirt this fall. 

06/22/2013 - 1:28am To me, that screams out ...

To me that screams out Lloyd coaching him to err strongly on the conservative side as a freshman. As another commenter noted, that first Notre Dame game on the road, they didn't even give him many chances to go downfield with the ball, or at least that was my memory. I had the distinct impression, most of all in that game, early in the season that Carr had him totally reined in and didn't loosen up until he had gotten more experience and had adjusted somewhat  to the speed and what defenses were throwing at him.

06/22/2013 - 1:17am Ehhh ....

"2700 yards and 25TD are his best marks from his 4 years of starting." Keep in mind that was the only season he had Braylon, and a lot of that WAS Braylon catching jump balls over midgets. I found it interesting that he didn't have a better than average impact according to this statistic, so it's nice to have another data point for evaluating that season. It was was his best season in some senses statistically. I haven't looked at the breakdowns much (or in a while), but it's possible that, mainly because of Braylon, his supporting cast was better as a freshman than as a junior. That team was so much better than his freshman season because of the defense and he was a mature quarterback who wasn't asked to put up points like he was as a freshman. Always fun looking back on the Henne years. 

06/19/2013 - 5:15pm Schroedinger's Jake Long ....

.... that's guiness-commericial-grade brilliant. We're spoiled in that department, but it's appreciated none the less. 

06/08/2013 - 1:37am what about 2013

I know Brian has touched on it in a few different posts, but probably in reference to single recruits. It would be interesting (and probably a good bit of work) to see the breakdown for 2013. 

Great work. 

05/22/2013 - 8:51pm Well done, but I smell a madlibs contest

"MSU sources are indicating they dropped him like..."

a match on a couch.

 

What say ye?

04/05/2013 - 12:42am a word type substance

Conversationally, a valid word it be. Wrote is as well, but "written" be the one preferred by context.

-Yoda Trebek

02/24/2013 - 1:26am Christ on a cracker ...

... alert the grilled-cheese-Jesus and Virgin-Mary-in-anything nutjobs!

02/24/2013 - 1:24am crap this didn't post where I meant it to

Holy Christ on a cracker ....... alert the grilled-cheese-jesus and virgin-mary-in-anything nutjobs! 

06/11/2012 - 11:03pm 2-star???

It may very well have been said tongue in cheek, but did anybody think it was crazy for the Hokester to claim Brady would have been a 2-star prospect if recruting sites had been at their current level in the mid '90s? I would posit he would have been a solid 4-star coming out of De LaSalle in Cali as I recall him being fairly touted. A 3-star at the very least.

10/05/2011 - 4:42am The real deal

Having lived in Oregon the last two years, I can tell you Tyner is L-E-G-I-T. I was amazed at his size at the state track and field championships. He seems to be getting bigger and faster at the same time, which, wow. So I was stoked to see the Introducing entry and that Michigan is at least testing the waters with him. That said, I would guess he's a longshot to go Blue. He seems likely to continue pursuing track and field, which would give Oregon (although not known per se as a sprinter school) a big edge in addition to their home-state advantage.

 

Go Blue

06/20/2011 - 7:56pm ... I am probably not even going to take my computer

Almost touching (almost sad) that you'd even consider the feelings of us addicted to the site. (Maybe you're actually taking your own addictions into consideration?) Anyhoo, congratulations to the both of you, enjoy your time off and don't even consider bringing your computer!

 

 

12/11/2010 - 2:43pm forgot about that moment ....

... the dorm "yeahs." I remember actually getting in trouble for it because it was during "quiet hours" and people had finals coming up. Classic.

11/29/2010 - 1:32pm Wow, did you even read that?

I'm surprised by the number of MGO points you have, because you don't seem to have read this post or the hundreds of others it's built upon. It's sot simply, "we expected 7-5, so we can't fire him." It's what were REASONABLE expectations given as much information as possible (thank you infernets) going into the season. Even then, it's not "so we should keep him." The expectations are just the start of it. It continues with, knowing he's messed up in several talked-to-death categories, it's a matter of weighing results versus reasonable expectations AND considering who would be the best coach moving forward. As Brian has said, he's for keeping him with the knowledge that some of the problems are his fault, but not all of them, coupled with what he has done right with the offense and the recycling of shit that would happen if you hired ANYBODY new at this point.

The reasoned response to this argument, also examined over and over, is that you UNDERSTAND all those factors, but still believe his errors are too egregious for him to stay and you're willing to roll the dice on brining a new guy in despite the fact the offense should take another giant leap forward next year. But you already said you don't understand, that, so ....

08/27/2010 - 2:43am I hope

.. you're right. If this had been just between UM and OSU, maybe it would have been squashed as quickly as the sponsorship fiasco was. But, they're dealing with other schools with their own agendas and likely the suits that are trying to make a buck selling the sould of college football. Who of those two groups do you think will be harder to convince to do the right thing?

08/27/2010 - 2:39am more ammo for geographic divisions

If the Game gets moved and Michigan and OSU are in different brackets, what happens to all of the other traditional season-ending rivalries already in the conference (Illinois-NU, Purdue-IU, etc..)? This should be something that a common point for Michigan/OSU and the rest of the league. If you go geographic for divisions, pretty much everybody gets to maintain their rivalries in their current form.

Regardless of the e-mail, if this is about the perennial also rans (I'm looking at you Sparty) thinking it will be easier to get to the title game by going with this short-sighted approach of "balanced" divisions, then they are screwing themselves in the long run. They would be screwing themselves in pretty much the same way UM/OSU would be screwing themselves. The health of the Game is very important, not the end-all-be-all, to the health of the league as a whole. It is a very big asset that the league has, one that the other schools benefit from, no matter how much they may whine. By going geographic, I think both divisions are very competitive, but a natural ebb and flow will always happen, just like it did in the SEC. Does the rest of the league actually think splitting up UM/OSU so they could potentially (like most have said, once in 10 years) twice in one season is actually that good for the conference, especially at the expense of their own rivalries? I sure hope not.

I just think this is situation where the health of the Game and the health of the conference as a whole are actually on the same side of the argument. Let's be realistic, too, should what the Indianas and Illiniois of the world be calling the shots? No. Should they be ignored? No. But Michigan and Ohio State have driven the success of the league more than any other schools and to weaken the tradition they have built hurts everybody.

I just hope the presidents and ADs actually step back and realize that what is best for all teams and the conference as a whole is a geographic split,. If they are divided, they won't be able to stop the TV suits and Delaney from completely screwing this up. I can't believe anybody else would be pushing this idea but them. Who else would be so stupid (looking at you again, Sparty)? It should take any college football fan worth his salt about two seconds to shoot the following statement down: "Wouldn't it be great for UM and OSU to play twice?" No. The only type of person who thinks that is a TV suit. Like many have said, playing ONCE a year at the same time is part of what makes it so important and BIG. This is why separate divisions for UM/OSU is bad even if they play the last week of the season. I don't want to see a rematch a week later (again, said before) in a souless NFL stadium.
Thus, geographic divisions is the only sane solution. Would I take different divisions and the game remaining where it is, yes, but it wouldn't be best for anybody. I would also take that, because we already know the rematch thing would be rare enough that it wouldn't ruin things anywhere as much as moving the Game would.

08/20/2010 - 6:49pm Exactly

Why the hell are people so scared of a tough division? What the hell is wrong with having to beat Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan State as division rivals in order to make the championship game. How is that so frickin different from now? Just because it makes the road harder, doesn't mean it's not better. The Big Ten should be fricking hard and these things move in cycles. The SEC east was stacked for a while, but now the west looks tough as hell with Alabama back, LSU, and Auburn on the rise again. The east is weaker with Florida, then maybe South Carolina as the second best team as Georgia struggles and Tennessee rebuilds.  Who cares if it makes an easier road for Nebraska, Iowa or Wisconsin to the championship game because whoever emerges from the East (UM, OSU, PSU, MSU, Indiana, Purdue) division by definitiion has be frickin good and would probably beat them like the Big 12 south usually does to the North, except a Big Ten West (led by Nebraska, Iowa and Wisconsin, but occaisionally getting a contender from Northwestern, Illiniois and Minnesota) is way better than than the big 12 north ever was.

This is not to mention that yes, The Game would stay as the last of the year and still have major stakes because in most years it will have serious implications on who wins the division and goes to the title game. This also preserves all natural rivalries in the conference (UM-OSU, PSU-MSU, PSU-OSU, Indiana-Purdue in the east, Iowa-W, W-Minnesota, Miinnesota-Iowa and Northwestern-Illinois, plus intersting new ones involving Nebraska's closest potential geographical rivals like Iowa and Wisconsin).

This also doesn't eff up the rest of the sports by going strictly off football, and specifically by going off football as measured by how good schools are right now. Like I said, you never know how things evolve (If you can't see that after the last two years at Michigan, your head deserves to stay up your own anal cavity) and shouldn't base the long term health of the league, and therefore M, on such thinking.

I'm sure Brian has said most of this many times before, but clearly it isn't sinking in. Big ups to those working to channel the RAGE to the ears of Brandon and those who might have a chance to stop the TV suits from calling the shots and effing the whole conference up. Now is the only chance to get it right. If they don't, the conference will suffer even more in the national landscape.

08/02/2010 - 3:27pm Cheesy Chesney

They unveiled uber goober Chesney's football video on Sportscenter. It has two Michigan clips in the highlight reel, one of the players touching the banner and of manningham's dagger-heart catch from robo-Henne at Michigan State. That probably explains the photos on campus.

Not suprisingly, the slow country song works as hype-up anthem about as well as a Barney song. God help us if they play it at Michigan Stadium. If they do, it might fit in about 2 hours before kickoff when the kickers are warming up, that's how much energy it has. Again, not surprising.

06/09/2010 - 2:12am Wow...

First of all, very strong work by Tom on getting this interview at a moment in time when Dorsey isn't talking to ANYBODY else.

Second, this is disappointing on so many levels. I couldn't agree more with Brian's post that this reeks of the  horrible lack of communication that plagued M for the whole FP Jihad, except that now it's admissions. I also hope the coaching staff steps up their communication with Dorsey and that he gets the treatment any recruit deserves during a process like this.

I can't say there isn't an absolute cut-off when it comes to admitting athletes with a poor academic history in high school, but it doesn't seem like it's an open and shut case when it comes to Dorsey. In other words, considering he was signed off at one point by at least one person, he isn't the epitome of an athlete whose academics are so bad that he shouldn't be admitted however good an athlete he is. My guess is that such an athlete does exist, but I think the whole point is that when admissions looks at recruits, just like regular students, they do it from a broad perspective that includes character, grades, test scores, athletic ability, extracurricular activitiesand an accurate understanding of any trouble that person has gotten into. In most cases, athletic ability is pretty analagous to many other extracurricular activities, like music, for example. A kid might not be the best student, but a musical genius who (again considering many factors) is deemed to be a worthy addition to the university. It sure seems like Dorsey's case is at least open for discussion, and therefore all the bulls**t grandstanding by the media and academic elites is just that, bulls**t.

With that said, it would be horrible form for the university and the program to recind at this point. At the very least, make it a learning situation for the program and the admissions office so things will be handled more smoothly in the future.

Good luck to Demar, wherever you end up.

06/03/2010 - 2:14pm Not a chance

There is no way Pryor is ready to go pro by the end of this year. That was a good performance in the Rose Bowl, but it wasn't Vince Young in the Rose Bowl (version 1 or 2).

05/28/2010 - 2:46am Writing about and debating

Writing about and debating this now is just a big mental and virtual circle jerk. Have fun with that.

 

Are you serious?  It's the offseason and there's a media storm whipping about the NCAA violations that only fuels the fire for those who wanted RR's head on a stick as soon as he stepped on campus. It couldn't be more relevant to dissect how expectations for next season will and should affect RR's keeping his job. Do you have a better idea of what to talk about now? God I hope you were being sarcastic.

02/18/2010 - 4:17pm Purple Gang

While football has been up and down since the two state championships in the 1980s, Pioneer has been dominant in a plethora of other sports. Pioneer consistently wins state titles in tennis and swimming for both boys and girls. The girls track team is the most dominant in the state, and the same goes for field hockey. Both water polo teams are not only state, but regional powers. Add in that teams like boys cross country, boys track, boys basketball, baseball and golf (both) have won or competed for state titles in the last few years and the Pioneer AD looks even better. The Pioneers were also consistently the best program in Class and top 3 overall every year when the Ann Arbor News tabulated a Director's Cup-like formulation for the top school in the state based on team performance in state tournaments. When SI did a thing on top high school programs in the country, it was criminal that Pioneer was left out, especially because they listed a UP school as the top program, when those schools don't even compete with the rest of the state in most sports!

01/10/2010 - 9:13pm It's not that simple ... but you still have a valid point.

Although I think you have several valid points, picking apart the Free Press' shortcomings on this "faction" thing isn't as simple as you propose. That doesn't mean your wrong, exactly, either.

Reporting on something like factions inside the athletic department, or the community of former players coaches and influential boosters, is tricky in and of itself because of the nature of such factions. They aren't something you can disprove or prove, in most cases. Even if there are factions, and a reporter is able to both identify and interview someone within that faction, in most cases that person or people won't be willing to go on the record. In probably more cases, people in such a faction say exactly the opposite in public, or will recant or clarify any actions or statements that show their true feelings. This could be the case with Braylon's statement. I'm not saying it is, but that's exactly the point, we don't know. It's up to each reader/fan to decide if they believe Braylon is being truthful in his clarification.
And this is what makes reporting on factions both difficult and a slippery slope. Put yourself in the shoes of a journalist in the following situation and some of the ethical problems and decisions come to light.

The situation (in broad terms): You're a reporter who has a source within the AD, but one who won't go on the record on all subjects. This person is willing (perhaps with their own agenda) to tell you that there is a faction of people within the department or community and that the source himself/herself belongs to it. Is it then wrong to ask the new athletic director about factions? Maybe, but probably not. What is questionable, like you say, is making (or slanting) the story about the new AD towards factions based solely on his responses at his first press conference.

One obvious way this kind of thing happens, also, is through poor and misleading headlines. Most of this definitely falls on the editors at the Free Press, because they have been absolutely terrible job in creating or letting such headlines through to the final product.

This brings us to the larger issues of what to do with the information provided by such sources on the kind of topic like factions within a department. How this often happens is reporters get info from their sources, which leads them to doing further research, i.e. getting people willing to go on the record to talk about and base the story on that info. Here again, I think the Free Press hasn't been exactly wrong, but certainly hasn't been right either. Making the judgment call on whether to run a story that depends mostly (or all) on unnamed sources can certainly be tricky, but it seems the Freep hasn't been very stringent in its requirements when it comes to many stories on UM football topics. As a journalist, how can you stay objective if you are using information supplied by a source who may have his own agenda in providing said information? You can't, which is why can't use the unnamed sources as the main basis for stories. This may be why the Freep stories FEEL so wrong to many Michigan fans. Chances are if these questions come up a lot in your stories, you're doing something wrong and that something wrong is proving you're subjective.

Finally, back to Brandon and the factions. Do I think they exist? Probably. Do I think they are actively working from the inside to bring Rodriquez down? I have no idea, but they certainly could be. Feeding the Free Press on practice time/CARA/factions etc certainly would be a great way of doing that, but we in the public will likely never know who and how influential the people in these factions are.

01/09/2010 - 2:10am sorry

Sorry, I misunderstood your point. I wholeheartedly agree about the byes.

01/08/2010 - 9:08pm Durr....

I won't go into great detail, partly because the idea is so ridiculous and partly because Bleedin9blue did that already (thank you, well done, btw). I don't know how you thought your "plan" would fit into a serious discussion about a college football playoff because it is both so dumb and completely implausible. Were you trying to derail or slow down the discussion?

01/08/2010 - 9:06pm perhaps...

Perhaps the most intelligent discussion of the "playoff problem" I have seen yet, so thanks again Brian. I am with some of the other posters in that I believe 8 or 12 teams would make a better playoff, but I could very easily live with your six team system, especially if the selection committee operated with some integrity. I don't have anything worked out, but I would think a system that integrates the playoffs and a bowl would be easier to get approved by the powers that be. In order to have them exist side by side, specifically that the bowls still have relevance and drawing power, I think the semifinals must be played well before the bowl season. This seems to be the case in your plan, but is a general point I feel needs to be made in this discussion. In such a plan fans, especially of the teams in the NC game, can plan ahead of time to attend. If say, the semifinals were played in two of the existing bowls, like many have suggested, it doesn't seem feasible for fans to attend the NC game just a week (or two) after attending a bowl during winter break. This is not to mention that most fans simply wouldn't be able to travel to a game that doesn't take place inside most colleges' winter break. This is big reason why whatever playoff system must have the pre-championship games played at school sites. The biggest obstacle to this aspect of any plans is that the season has already been extended to 12 (or 13 for conference title participants) games. So to pull this off, a system to shorten the regular season back to 11 games would probably have to be adopted, which is probably a hard sell with the state of the economy and the level to which athletic departments fund themselves on the backs of home games.

01/07/2010 - 4:02pm Once again, spot on Brian!

Not only was your characterization of Bleed Scarlett (conveniently for us we can refer to it is as BS) spot on, but the reference was delicious to boot. I assume any further arguments from Karl Hungus over there will be along the lines of: "But she cut off her toe!" Speaking of Big Lebowski, if BS is Karl Hungus/Uli Kunkel, who is Brian? The Dude? That seems to be most fitting, but raises interesting questions as what blogs could be the other characters? I would be interested to hear Brian's take on that, but would submit that WLA would be Walter. Would Dr. Saturday be the wise narrator who tells the dude to watch his language? And who would be Donny, especially as in "Shut the fuck up Donny!"?

12/13/2009 - 8:18pm Hallelujah!

. . . To all of your points, especially about non-revenue sports and travel for these "outlier" candidates. It just won't work for all sports outside football and basketball. Also dead on that the Big Ten doesn't need to make any drastic or geographically-challenged moves as it is (relatively) healthy.