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07/17/2018 - 12:24pm It will be interesting to…

It will be interesting to see how the US players at European academies fare. Another aspect maybe the level of play in the MLS. If they can lure more mid career players over it might improve the overall quality of play. 

04/13/2018 - 6:03pm don't make a school rivalry thing

1. This is too serious and important issue to make it part of any school rivalry.

2. Don't always agree with him, but Jack Lessenberry had a good take.

3. Each day, Jim Hackett's whole handling of things while he was at Michigan shows why he was successful. When he is done at Ford, I'm keen on having him as a regent.

04/13/2018 - 5:58pm squib kicks


1. There is always a chance the receiving team's up-men will be hit by the ball, otherwise touch the ball or mishandle it, allowing for a recovery.

2. Screws up most efforts to set up a return.

3. Rather than booming, high arching kicks, kickers will practice line drives or hot bouncers. I'm sure they can figure this out with some practice. Might need a holder.

03/28/2018 - 11:24am Should be an interesting final

Caruana was very solid except for the Karjakin game.  He had the most wins(3) with the black pieces.

I see that it has already been scheduled for London in the fall. Too bad, if it was in St. Louis, would have made a field trip.

There are some interesting games - Aronian-Kramnik showed Kramnik's class but unfortunately time has caught up with him. Aronian was really off - ? this was supposed to be a big year for him. He didn't seem his usual self. 

Wesley So is a top 10 player but had a difficult time scoring with the white pieces.



03/28/2018 - 11:24am Should be an interesting final

Caruana was very solid except for the Karjakin game.  He had the most wins(3) with the black pieces.

I see that it has already been scheduled for London in the fall. Too bad, if it was in St. Louis, would have made a field trip.

There are some interesting games - Aronian-Kramnik showed Kramnik's class but unfortunately time has caught up with him. Aronian was really off - ? this was supposed to be a big year for him. He didn't seem his usual self. 

Wesley So is a top 10 player but had a difficult time scoring with the white pieces.



02/24/2018 - 9:36am Two runs

Back when shamateurism was still a thing in the olympics, the pro-ski tour events in the US would race side by side but with two runs, so that each racer ran the same side of the hill.

Skiing must be really feeling some pressure somewhere because you notice they've added and adopted a lot of newer events and the whole x-game style events.

The team alpine event where the huge skiers basically smashed their way though the gates was new.

02/24/2018 - 9:36am Two runs

Back when shamateurism was still a thing in the olympics, the pro-ski tour events in the US would race side by side but with two runs, so that each racer ran the same side of the hill.

Skiing must be really feeling some pressure somewhere because you notice they've added and adopted a lot of newer events and the whole x-game style events.

The team alpine event where the huge skiers basically smashed their way though the gates was new.

02/17/2018 - 10:44am two questions about snowboarding and ski racing

Hi, since there are a few people who seem to really know the details.

1. Why don't the snowboarders race down against the clock?The snowboard races I've seen so far, are all as heats - where racers race relative to each other as opposed to an absolute time. ? tradition ? history ? If they raised against the clock one by one it would eiminate any possible conflicts where one racer can interfere with one another.

2. The ski racers are going down very steep icy slopes - it is hard to see at times but every few runs there is a TV shot where the steepness of the slope can be seen and it looks like 45 degrees or more. It seems like the slope of the snowboard hills is less steep - so is the top end speed of the snowboarders less - ? I'm asking never having skiied or snowboarded - only went down a tobaggon and sled.


02/01/2018 - 11:45pm ? The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter?

Mycroft appears later in The Bruce-Partington Plans, The Empty House and the Final Problem.

01/27/2018 - 9:10am Hidden issue

Behind the many obvious causes: heavy competition from the Internet, is a more important factor - the leveraged buyout that allowed the group fronted by Dave Brandon to buy the company. This saddled Toys R Us with a huge debt load - and they were actually meeting it for a while. See this video:

It starts a bit slow covering the history of Toys R Us, at the 4 minute mark it starts getting into the details.

01/25/2018 - 6:45pm legit point

When I started thinking about this, it struck me that one of the many reasons why competing leagues didn't do well was the large start up costs of getting a stadium and the logistics of travel. 

Most of the top teams actually draw fans from well outside their area. Consider the top team sports teams in the world: Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Chelsea, the much hated Yankees, Dallas Cowboys, Oakland/LA/Las Vegas Raiders, Green Packers - they have international following that transcends anyone actually going to the game. Look at how some people will tune in to watch a team anywhere in the world, so that fandom does exist - can it transcend location completely?

I think it could. People will tune in to watch star players, great performances, nail biting games and the structure of the scheduling - pitting teams with the same record each week means the best teams at the time will be playing each other and all of the other games will be competitive.

If people want, pick theme and create a team, get a sponsor - the Spacely Sprockets Spacemen, Cogswell Cogs Chargers, Tamaribuchi-Matsumura Mr. Sparkles,etc. 

People will root for good teams, good players and good play. They follow teams, like they follow TV shows. I know this is a stretch for many people - I will follow UM football regardless of which kid is the QB and who is the HC, but for a lot of people, it is just one more form of entertainment. If you start looking at that way, and need to sell it some TV channel or media supplier (Amazon, Netflix), it makes sense to just make it a total on-line/broadcast thing.

So I get your point, but if someone/group had the money for a start up league (hundreds of millions), they are already not in the same mindset as the people who are the current owners. They don't want to "join the owners club". They want to create something completely different and control it. Most of your team sports revenue was always going to be from TV, so why not cut out the "middle man" costs (stadium, travel). People will watch - so long as the performances are good and the results are honest (not fixed). This is a way to do so. The players won't mind - they can all live near the big media centers and endorsement options will be easier and there will be no "ugh I don't want to play for this x weather city" crap. 

01/25/2018 - 1:16pm For the record ...

IF they do actually put up a rival league ... you saw it here first....

1. Do it in the spring - don't compete with the NFL in the fall. No TV ad dollars.

2. Don't worry about franchises. It is a pure TV league. Have 10 or 12 teams divided into two divisions. One broadcasts out of a East Coast studio and one out of a West Coast studio. 

3. All games last 2 hours - minimal half times (no bands, no shows because minimal in studio audience) - use college OT rules. No TV time outs - run the ads as a box around the view screen, as banners on the side or projected on the field.

4. There are no stadiums but a football studio - An old airliner hanger with a field and grow lights,  every 5 yards has a camera sited down it. Every end line, goal line and side line has a camera sited down them. Overhead cameras, and on every play you have individual cameras tracking the lines, every offensive player, LB and DB. Continuous stat update. Lots of video available. No stadiums, no live crowds mean less cost and less municipal stuff to deal with - it is a TV show.

5. Same ref team but have a ref watching everygame give rapid review. Refs see what TV audience sees and vice versa.

6. All players and coaches work for the company. Each HC/staff/admin and staff draft players. Winners share a preset prize fund.

7. Game schedule not pre-sent but pairs teams with the same record. (look up Swiss Pairing System if you are curious) - this system will produce a credible top two teams after just 6-7 games. The pairing system will guarantee a "good" game each week and a two bad teams but interesting betting game each week. Example: after 4 weeks, there will be a few 4-0 teams, some 3-1, some 2-2, some 1-3 and a few 0-4 teams. By matching up like records, even those games will be competitive and for the degenerate gamblers hard to resist. For pure game fans there will always be a good game - so by week 6 or 7 you will be seeing two winning teams (7-0 or 6-1 playing another good team, even if there are repeats). By having everyone work for the company and live near the two broadcast cities, there is NO travel issue.

8. The championship game is between the two division winners

9. End of the year, top four teams get to stay intact, but lose 10% of players to re-draft. Every other team and HC/admin team are dissolved and have to re-apply.

10. All monies for players are guaranteed for that season and multi-year contracts could be signed but with the company - again guaranteed like a TV or movie deal with sequels.

Key advantages: no travel costs, no stadium lease costs, all players and coaches and staff can live near the studio, ideal TV images, pairing system guarantees a good game each week and a good wagering game each week.

Key disadvantage: take someone really willing to take a whole fresh look at how the game is broadcast.

01/23/2018 - 10:44pm Freudian slip?

"There's so many (worse) things going on at the Univeristy than this Nasser thing." Maybe that is really why this was blurted out.

12/31/2017 - 4:08pm Yes, it was the perfect way to end the 0-16 season

The QB Kizer looked like he would be sacked - but slips free. It looks like he could run for the 1st down but he throws it - and there looks like there were multiple open receivers. It hits the receiver right in the hands and he lets it slide right through.

Well, the 0-16 Lions now aren't the only 0-16 team.

12/26/2017 - 8:44am Doubt the Fords will ever sell

When the William Clay Ford originally acquired the team, it was just another way for a rich guy to waste his money. It didn't cost much (relative to today), the players all worked off season jobs, some even sold cars, and it was more a rich guy diversion, like how some of these people buy yachts today. 

But things changed. Now, it is a serious big money business. The Fords won't sell cheaply because a franchise now is worth close to a $1 billion - some teams are less but some are right at that mark. Sure, there are still some supraplutocrat owners where this is just an expensive way to pass time but for many it is becoming a major item in their business holdings. Don't know all the details, but the team may actually be the single most valuable holding the family has. The preferred stock in Ford automative has to be divvied up among the various cousins and relatives so their individual benefit is much smaller now than back in the days of Henry Ford II.

So long as the Lions print money, nothing dramatic will change. Some owners desperately want a winning team, that is a life goal for them, but others just want a money making one. For owners like the latter, they can often get good football people who are looking for a low pressure place where the goals are low (field a good team, keep attendance up, get into the playoffs now and then) Don't forget even some arguably bad owners often want a championship team - they are just jerks and idiots, so can't get good football people to work for them, but they do want to a great team.

12/14/2017 - 4:52pm Inevitable

Ultimately everything predicted on the show will come true!

12/13/2017 - 8:46pm Exactly

THe NFL is about 2/3rds or more passing so a RB needs to be a good pass blocker, a good pass catcher and then a classic runner.

12/08/2017 - 8:16pm Yes, glad that searched down through the posts!

Exactly my thoughts - get that Leopold Stotch kid to help you. He helped take down the OC crew.

12/05/2017 - 12:36pm like many ills that plague us today

Like many ills that plague us today, there are two reasons why:

David Brandon as AD and Jim Delaney as Commissioner.

12/03/2017 - 8:53am more fuel to two movements: pro referees and expanded playoff

Uniform national standard of referring just got one more little push. 

IF another team gets leap frogged over a conference champ making winning the conference meaningless, then let's just go the whole MBB route and get a larger field with 8 teams. Winning your conference will get you an easier seeding or a game closer to home.


12/03/2017 - 8:42am It is the committee's own mess and changing world of bowls.

Had they in previous years not leap frogged OSU over th conference champ this would be easy.

Big Ten champ - in, SEC champ - in, ACC champ -in, and this year Big 12 champ - in.

But because they chose to do what they did, they have this mess - the above solution would be more palatable politically because if they pick two teams from one conference AND a snub a conference champ again, then we'll just see a faster push to a 8 team playoff.

Michigan and most Big Ten schools will always be a big draw for most bowls simply because of the size of the alumni and football fandom. With the CFP there isn't actually any reason for any sort of ranking or algorithm that picks which teams play each other. The Rose Bowl may have great sentimental and traditional meaning for Wolverine fans but for a lot of the kids and casual fans, it is a trip to Pasadena, LA, Disneyland, etc.

The bowls are purely for fun, for ways of showcasing the teams and schools and for the development office to do some on-site work. The notion of a team going somewhere just because it was higher ranked really has no meaning any more. This is a team that went to Italy and for many members will be going on to some place else next summer (?Australia, South America) so going to someplace just because it is warm is not a huge plum.

The UM should just cut a deal that has good terms for it (minimal mandated tickets, band allocation) and good hotel terms. The organizers of many of these bowls rival the IOC and FIDE as pocket liners and gougers.

12/01/2017 - 10:04pm The WR had a step

Had it been led just a bit more - it would have been a TD.

12/01/2017 - 4:13pm Definition of dysfunction

Basically no one is actually in charge.

Why would anyone want to work in this type of situation except out of desperation. The job is already tough enough - your existence week to week depends at times on the judgement of 17-22 year old young men.

Each year, Jim Hackett's handling of things looks better and better and note he was wise enough to get out and not be the permanent AD - he knew what his primary mission was, he did it, and he moved on.

11/30/2017 - 10:42pm Sure, why not

He realizes that he will never coach a major college team ever again.

11/28/2017 - 10:10am wow

If the statistics are right, that is amazing considering the number of type defensive linemen and we had Jabril Peppers blitzing a lot.

That is clearly statisitically unlikely without bias.

11/27/2017 - 8:14pm Brady had it worse

I believe Brady felt he was better than Griese but didn't get the nod. Then he had Drew Henson and very open popular fan support for Drew. He stuck it out - he talked with Greg Harden who pointed out that yes, he could transfer but if it was his ambition to be a pro player at some point he had to compete with someone and face competition each year potentially so he might as well get used to it. 

This might be an interesting topic for more detailed analysis - how often do QB transfers turn out well? (set a low bar - make it to a NFL roster)? I can think of a few high profile examples like Troy AIkman going from Oklahoma to UCLA, Russell Wilson from NC State to Wisconsin, ? others.


11/27/2017 - 1:00pm any word about what may happen with Brady Hoke?

Just curious - I don't suppose he is a viable candidate there.

11/26/2017 - 10:59pm Hope it is Arizona

I'd like to see Karan Higdon get 1000 yards - he needs like 60 yards and Chris Evans needs a career day with 200 yards. Arizona - it is possible.

11/26/2017 - 7:37pm Like that line in real estate

You know that line in real estate - "what matters is location, location, location."

In college coaching what seems to matter is networking, networking, networking. That Mike DeBord could be out of coaching and then bounce back to be OC at Tennessee and now at IU should be proof of this. He's called in favors from people he helped on the way up. Butch Jones had worked for DeBord at CMU.

11/26/2017 - 7:28pm Just stunned

Haven't checked in for a while.

Stunned that Speight is transferring.

Stunned that he is transferring and announcing it now.

He looked OK until he was hurt and has looked better each year, so does this mean he thinks he is so far behind Peters that over the summer he won't be as good if not better?

11/26/2017 - 7:17pm What??

I get it that the kid Brandon Peters looks good but it is by no means certain that he is a lock. Speight has experience and the physical tools. He just need to continue to work over the summer. He actually has a good long ball. 

I guess the lesson from that the whole Drew Henson Tom Brady time was lost. Brady stayed and competed and only got better - he didn't get all of the game time, but got used to the habit of competing and working. He talked with Greg Harden a lot and decided NOT to transfer and stuck it out. 

11/25/2017 - 7:50am interesting post: 2 thoughts

1. The pro game seeing a lot of spread run-pass QBs becoming available changes their approach and becomes more like the college game. Teams rather than seeking a "franchise" QB like so many have sought the Holy Grail, the head waters of the Nile, the Northwest Passage over the pole to East Asia and an easier route than the Oregon Trail, instead have on their roster 3 QBs and play all three during the year. They don't expect one QB to be able to run and pass and survive a whole season. This will then change the college game as well.

2. Defenses have yet to find a consistent answer to the spread based attacks. Attacking defenses and players in the "viper" role seem to be the trend - there will always be someone sent on every play against the QB.

Go Blue!

11/19/2017 - 1:37pm Might also add ...

1. The defense remains good - not perfect but good despite losing Jabril Peppers.

2. We see real break away threats at RB - Karan HIgdon, Chris Evans and Ty Isaacs all have shown they can break a long run.

3. Heart - we don't see the team cracking up after adversity. We don't see a purple faced coach making things worse. 

11/16/2017 - 4:35pm Some background

Here is some background. Pretty good info and seems fair.

If the debt sustained to buy the company is actually on the company books, then keeping up a good flow of income is crucial. But if it was never the goal to keep the company viable but to milk it for what could be taken, then this seems inevitable.

If you are in a hurry skip to the 4 minute mark.

11/16/2017 - 11:38am double post


11/16/2017 - 11:36am Like real estate saying

Like that old saying in real estate:location, location, location. Mike DeBord popping here and there shows the value of networking. Networking, networking. Everyone of those hires were with people DeBord either hired when he was a head coach or major assistant and gave someone their first real job or someone he worked with. Networking. That is the lesson here.

11/16/2017 - 11:10am hard to believe until you saw it

I watched the Nebraska Minnesota game. Missed tackles left and right by Nebraska and Minnesota looked like they were a running powerhouse. 

11/16/2017 - 11:08am double post

That SAVE button is on a hair trigger.


11/14/2017 - 5:25pm One point that was not covered

The system Chip Kelly prefers to run will get the QB hit. That is a big issue in addition to the wonderful analysis in Smart Football. BUT consider if there was a owner and GM that have the nerve to do something different. Consider that during his time in Philadelphia, he could have had these three QBs: Tim Tebow, RGIII, Terrell Pryor. All three were available - and if they were signed, it could be possible to run a QB - all three will play - and with three of them, it may be possible to get through the season with someone making it to the end. 

Would this work? Maybe? But again, it would take a radical approach. Right now, everyone is looking for another Tom Brady or Aaron Rogers. 

11/14/2017 - 11:17am nice

delete double post - boy that save button is on a hair trigger


11/14/2017 - 11:16am nice

very nice. And yet some would say punning is the lowest form of humor. :)

11/14/2017 - 11:13am Great!

Terrifc news!

11/13/2017 - 9:21am Why the Michigan love?

I get why some may not get it appreciate the love shown TB on this site.

After all he is in the pros and it has been a long time since he played for the Maize and Blue.

Here are plausible reasons.

1. He remains a supporter of the program long after his HC has retired. Many players have a deep bond with their HC and when they leave, retire or are fired the relationship with the school and the program ceases. TB has been back under Harbaugh and Hoke. I don’t know but from what is available in the press and in TV it seems he actually left with a strained relationship because of the Drew Henson situation. Ironically that may have helped push him to be what he is today as a player.

2. The top prospects want to play in the NFL. Like him or not he is the most prominent ex Wolverine and plays a position that Harbaugh and most coaches need to recruit well, a passing QB. That is one of the selling points under Harbaugh. He was a high level pro coach. He knows what it takes and the implicit message to the recruits is that if you have the talent and desire he can help mold you so that you have a chance at the next level. Having some one like TB show up and throw the ball around with Harbaugh before a game like he did last year is a PR moment that is priceless.

3. He is very skillful. No one ever crows about his physical gifts. Yet, he is still effective and very accurate. Like Roger Federer in tennis he makes it look so easy and simple. This is an under appreciated point. Because it looks so easy and smooth it is easier for viewers to think “wow that doesn’t look hard, I could almost do it. “ For most of us couch potatoes that is just some amusing self deception but for a talented prospect that is very alluring. It makes the dream just one step closer to reality. Subconsciously it gives the UM recruiter a tiny advantage when talking to QB prospects.

4. This years’s Big Ten season has shown that one can have many of the parts of a great team: defense, running game, etc, but you still need solid QB play. Iowa won with great enthusiasm but also a career day at QB when JT Barrett had his worst game.

5. I am not enameled with the pseudoscience stuff he is into which has a kernel of truth: pro athletes should take better care of themselves and get lots of sleep.

Anyway, just wanted to point out why there are some very good practical reasons why Wolverine fans even those who liked Henson more might be TB12 fans today.

11/12/2017 - 4:42pm Yup

He is the ideal edge player - strong enough to stay on the field against power running, fast enough to rush the passer and quick enough to stay with a fast RB/H back coming out of the backfield.

Using him like a traditional deep safety is to help double up on a WR is to lose a lot of his effectiveness. But like Denard Robinson, there is an inherent reluctance in the NFL to do something that everyone else isn't already doing.

11/12/2017 - 9:25am Yes, but let's be realistic

Is the defense a very good and at times great defense? Yes. 

Is the running game very good and at times great? Yes, but we need a healthy Higdon and having a healthy Ty Isaacs. The trio of Evans, Issacs and Higdon is really a great bunch of RBs.

The big weakness is at QB. Brandon Peters has done a good job but he is still the 3rd QB. The disruption at QB is going to make it very hard to run and keep the defense off the field.

Also forgotten in all of the discussion about the QB is development. Remember Jake Rudock? He got much better at the end of the season. Had we had him one more year, the team would have won even more. Speight going down lost the opportunity to learn and develop further. He has the physical size and skills to throw deep and accurately. He needed this season to work on improving his reading of defenses and in-game decision making. We lost that. 

With just two games left, we will be competitive. From what we've seen from Iowa, it is possible to play one great game based on emotion. I just hope Peters continues to improve.

11/11/2017 - 9:54pm Pick Six for Miami

Sorry - double post. Held that button too long after the INT.



11/11/2017 - 9:49pm Pick Six for Miami

That is three INT.



Turnover Margin

% of 2013 games


Avg. scoring margin

+5 or more
























11/11/2017 - 9:26pm They have to face reality ... like we did

After many years, they are facing the same reality many here have long realized. Any great institution has many advantages accrued over the decades of excellence, but those benefits are not permanent and are not the key factors of their past success. It is the quality of the people involved. 

It is scary that we've seen them go through the same pattern.

We tried an innovative genius (and I still believe RR is an offensive football genius just like Clark Shaughnessy was for the T formation) who unfortunately was not a complete coach.

We had an AD who despite playing under Bo didn't seem to really understand what Bo was about and what the team was about.

We had a very nice guy who understood the social and community role of the HC but just wasn't a HC at the level needed.

Finally we were darn lucky to have an interim AD whose business experience was about building up businesses and not flipping and stripping businesses. He saw what was needed and went out and hired the best fit HC available. He did this all quietly.

Good luck to them. Met a family that came here years ago on that Taylor Martinez team and they explained that the Cornhuskers are the only sporting entity in the state. Here was the Tigers, Pistons, and Red Wings. Out there it is a long winter, spring and summer.

11/11/2017 - 9:07pm agreed

I like to believe that people will do their best and inherently are good and given the opportunity to do good, they will. The screaming coach is the complete opposite of that.

11/11/2017 - 9:05pm Yes

I've travelled to other stadiums lately and I know this is hardly an unbiased opinion, but:

1. The Big House is really special. The sight lines are really good and you have a unique experience of sitting in a classic stadium. Less appreciated but more so is that the whole build and appearance of the stadium is well thought out. Say what you will about the athletic coaching hires of Bill Martin, but that man does know his building and construction.  

2. Every place and every team have their own hype videos and their musical traditions. The Michigan Marching Band has very good volume and clarity.

3. The other places have as many ad placements as a Michael Bay movie. With apologies to these local firms for using them as an example, but I'm glad not to see an ad for Zingerman's, Meijer's, etc. 

4. We do not have regular fireworks and I'm ok with that.