An onslaught of news spurred by the second, COMPLETELY AWESOME second day of, um, Big Ten Media Day, singular, -- we have such a nomenclature issue in this conference -- coupled with being knocked offline at an inopportune time reduces the amount of time I have to provide comment. So this is a lightning round edition of UV.
Burgess knockin' fools out. Willis McGahee just got pwned:
The first hour of the first day of training camp had barely passed when a rookie linebacker named Prescott Burgess lowered his head into Willis McGahee's chest.This is the point at which I rend my garments, observe the projected starter at WLB, and curse Burgess' useless freshman year that did not contain a redshirt.
McGahee, the prized running back going at half speed, fell to the ground and fumbled away the football.
There was a gasp, and not the kind you want to hear in the first hour of the first day of any NFL training camp.
This was always a slam dunk, but Dave Heller relays a comment from Chad Henne: WOTS is that the Wisconsin game will be at night.
Many talents. Cole Slaw Blog on McGuffie:
I read on some message board that Sam McGuffie was on the Cy-Fair swim team his freshman year, but then got disqualified because he always ran across the water. After Cy-Fair's first home game last fall, Sam McGuffie wanted to celebrate, so he took five loaves of bread and two fishes, and made fish tacos for the entire crowd of 4,000. At practice, Sam McGuffie isn't allowed to drink water, because the water always turns into wine, and everyone knows that high school kids are too young to drink at football practice. Sam McGuffie's geometry teacher had a shriveled hand: Sam decided to heal it, but when he touched it the teacher's hand turned into an awesome bear paw. One day Sam McGuffie brought salvation to a prostitute who spammed his MySpace profile; she's now an assistant professor in Michigan's Classics Department. On the bus ride home from a game last fall, Sam McGuffie saw a fig tree through the window. The fig tree made Sam angry, so he yelled at the fig tree and it withered.Be advised that for some reason whenever I think the word "McGuffie" a tiny, flag-o-Japan-headband-wearing karate master screams MCGUFFIEAAAAAAAH in my head, as if that's his name. McGuffieaaaaaaaaah.
When they were lads. Rivals has put up high school video of seniors to be Chad Henne and Mike Hart:
I done seen that deep ball many a time; its parabolic beauty is a sight to behold.
Wait... wtf? Rivals decides to put up some footage of the all time leader in high school rushing touchdowns and an All-American running back and they go with the defensive stuff? Heads should roll, I say.
There is also this of more recent vintage from Rivals, a piece on Henne winning the "accuracy" challenge as a counselor at the Elite 11, where he was tres impressive according to everyone. It would make it embeddable, but the last time I did that they were displeased. You'll have to do with the downloading and the etc., etc. Sorry. But... trust me. You're going to want to do this. Go do it now, then come back. I don't want to spoil it.
So... Henne gets thrown a shirt, launches into an impromptu motivational speech that, as you might imagine, is not particularly motivational, at at one point says:
Excellence is good.To be fair: public speaking is a bitch for almost everyone not named Mike Hart and he did complete that thought with "but perfection is better"; still, I must admit that in the awkward pause after the above-quoted thought I believed he had finished and that those were his last words of wisdom to the collected campers and I laughed and laughed. Then I made a shirt.
Home field... bunk? Interesting piece from wonky 'Bama blog Outside the Sidelines on home field advantage. Over the last five years, which teams have the most intimidating, most vicious homefield advantage? Ole Miss and Mississippi State. Wha? OTS also cites a Football Outsiders article I somehow missed:
Brian C. Fremeau, who publishes a college football rating system called the Fremeau Efficiency Index, did the research for a November 9th, 2006 column at Football Outsiders. In it, he compiled a list of every Division 1-A college football game that was decided by seven points or less, and he came to the conclusion that 172 games fell into that category in the 2006 regular season. Want to guess the home record and the road record? All told, in the 172 games, home teams went 86-86 (.500), and road teams went 86-86 (.500).How to square this with the widely-held belief that Vegas comes up with a neutral-site spread for games, then adds or subtracts three from the line based on location -- a near-touchdown swing? Dunno.
Not all borings all the time. Bill Martin does a little bit to assuage fears that Michigan's only interesting nonconference game ever will be against Notre Dame:
"You're not going to have a steady diet,'' Martin said Tuesday. "Every now and then.''This is why I liked not getting an ND-OSU rotation going; Martin has an incentive to schedule someone between "decent" and "big time" when the two are on the road.
Some years Michigan might host Notre Dame, go on the road to play a Big 12 opponent, for instance, then host two Mid-American Conference foes to fill out its four nonconference games. A season when Michigan travels to South Bend, Ind., might be a good time to spice things up at home with a top-flight opponent.
"We want to have the flexibility to play other major programs in the country,'' Martin said. "This gave me the flexibility to keep Notre Dame on the schedule long term and still be able to bring in other teams if we so choose.''
Etc.: Autumn Thunder has EDSBS-level bad photoshop... and the scoop on the ND-M series renewal.