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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Rumors kicking. Anyone who's read the comments or any Michigan message board in the past couple days knows there's a rumor about one or two more Michigan OL packing it in floating out there. Do I have any information on this? No, not really. (Would I like some? Yes, please, if you've got it.)

One thing I can offer: a friend of mine was at the open portion of Michigan's first spring practice and talked to Justin Boren, one of the players made available to the media. The friend relayed Boren's impression the line would probably be Ortmann-Boren-Molk-?-Schilling from left to right. And then he said this:

JB said that Mitchell and Ciulla (guys he seemed to really like) had just run out of energy for football. My impression was---though he didn't express this in any specific way--- was that he was unhappy with the coaching changes but felt he really had limited choices. But this was just my sense. Nothing express.
Please don't take this too seriously, but since one of the names being kicked around by random speculators is Boren, I'm officially spooked. Would it make sense to transfer away from two assured years as a starter? Maybe not, but unlike every other Michigan offensive lineman since the dawn of time, Boren's transfer year could be a redshirt season and he would have two to play after.

Meanwhile, everyone's dying. Spring practice hates Carlos Brown. He's out with a broken finger. Potential starting center David Molk was also held out of some practices with a potential case of mono.

Word. Adam Wodon has more on the robotic rut the hockey tournament committee has gotten themselves into. Wodon has more insight into this than any other person person with an inclination to write on the subject and wields his long experience effectively:
It's only in the last five, six years or so that the committee actually sees the "Pairwise Standings," so to speak — i.e. the simple listing of teams, in order, of most "Comparison Wins." This was, by and large, a creation of the online community. Prior to this, the committee only ever saw a large printout of all the different individual comparisons. If you are unfamiliar with these individual comparisons, you can see them by going to the "grid" from our Pairwise page, and click on the links.

From the discussions with committee members over the years, it was clear that the committee looked at this pile of individual comparisons, and quickly determined a line in the sand where certain teams clearly deserved to be in. But then it came down to a "bubble" that involved an arbitrary amount of teams, and the committee then compared the teams within that bubble to each other, using the head-to-head comparisons.

Wodon cites the 2003 tournament as a tipping point when the committee went from the PWR as a useful and frequently adhered-to diagnostic tool to the Holy Freakin' Gospel; before that people got switched around frequently to create a bracket that made sense.

Ort. Via Michigan Hockey Net, the game after the St. Cloud game:

Man Ham on the rise. Er.

If you had a Wolverine -- like, a real live snarling animal version -- what would you call it? Probably not "Biff," right? "Biff the Wolverine".... no. Just no.

Well, apparently yes just yes:

Captain Bob Brown is straining to control the vicious beast that will tear the throat out of any Gopher player that comes within 500 yards of him. He is Noted for his Ferocity and Gameness in Battle. He is known by a dark and fey moniker the children of the prefecture are warned not to say aloud. He strikes fear into the heart of the mightiest axeman. He is Biff. Biff, the Wolverine.

Etc.: Tate Forcier's offer letter; hockey team is the quasi-favorite to win the whole thing; West Virginia versus Duke in the NYT.