Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Miscellaneous Minutiae, 12/19/12

So, it's been of a bit of a slow time, hence all the Bulls stuff. Bowl season has only just started and Michigan basketball only plays two more times before the new year. Here are some links to tide you over. 

Oh, they mad. I'm not sure what to say about this fairly insane brawl footage from the Pioneer-Huron game on Oct. 12, released yesterday (HT:

If this story is new to you, you should know that each team's head coach resigned as a result.

Ain't got time for this. This was a thing that somebody asked Barrett Jones, apparently: 

I'm sorry, reporter guy, but Nick Saban does not have time for your theological conflicts of interest. Besides, moran, why would the Bear mind if Nick Saban brought the Tide another title? Do you even lift do any research?

Speaking of's only a matter of time before Saban and the rest of the SEC takes advantage of this technology:
Creating implants that improve cognitive capabilities, such as an enhanced vision “gadget” that can be taken from a shelf and plugged into our brain, or implants that can restore or enhance brain function is understandably a much tougher task. But some research groups are being to make some inroads.

Dear science, please don't let this fall into the wrong person's hands, and by "wrong person" I definitely don't not mean Nick Saban.

From Logan to Madison. I admittedly have not been paying too much attention to the Wisconsin head coaching search, but after reading rumblings about Mike Riley last week, I was surprised to see that Wisconsin had ultimately tapped Utah State's Gary Andersen.

Like Dave Brandon re: Hoke, Athletic Director Barry Alvarez says that Anderson was his top choice. Is that true? Who knows, but I don't think it matters much.

This is an interesting hire to say the least. Andersen was 27-24 in four seasons in Logan, Utah; the Aggies recently finished up an 11-2 season with a drubbing of Toledo in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Saturday.

At 48, Andersen is six years Bielema's senior. All of his prior coaching stops in the last 15 years have been in the state of Utah. Standard "can he recruit the type of guy that goes to Wisconsin" point goes here.

USU runs a spread, which is what makes this a seemingly incongruent hire. Then again, the Badgers did hire Matt Canada as their offensive coordinator to take Paul Chryst's place; Canada is also a spread guy, formerly at Northern Illinois. With that said, I'm not sure what difference Canada made vis-a-vis Wisconsin's playcalling, and hiring a head coach who will run the show is far different than hiring a coordinator who may or may not even be calling the plays that end up being executed.

As always, quarterback will be an issue. Sophomore USU QB Chuckie Keeton passed for 3,373 yards (27 TDs, 9 INTs) and rushed for 619 on 4.9 YPC (8 TDs) this season. He was the team's second-leading rusher. Keeton led the Aggies to that almost-upset of Auburn last season on opening weekend. With Keeton only becoming a junior next season, it would have been interesting to see if Utah State would have had a shot at supplanting Boise State and Utah (although not so much them now that they're in a major conference) as the team that challenges for a BCS spot from the ranks of the forgotten non-AQ conferences.

Curt Phillips is a senior and Joel Stave, who broke his collar bone in October after taking the reins from the ineffective Danny O'Brien, does not seem to fit the mold of a run-based spread QB. With that said, it is a run-based spread, which should put Wisconsin fans at ease. Some opinions on the hire, starting with Dave Miller of the National Football Post:
While his offense will change at Wisconsin, as the run-oriented Power O will remain in Madison, Andersen helped develop dynamic dual-threat signal-caller Chuckie Keeton over the last two seasons at Utah State. He also oversaw a stout defense that helped the Aggies to their 11 wins. And keep in mind that Andersen, who posted a 26-24 mark in four seasons in Logan, was the defensive coordinator at Utah under Kyle Whittingham when the Utes knocked off Alabama in the Sugar Bowl following the 2008 season.
While the brands of football may differ a bit, Utah State has played a physical style of football like Wisconsin, ranking No. 25 in the nation in rushing in 2012 while the defense ranked No. 15 in the nation in yards per game.
 Land-Grant Holy Land:
While some might be inclined to think this wasn't the sexy, splashy hire they would've assumed Alvarez would've targeted, Andersen's done great work and has been coveted from fan bases ranging from Texas to USC. By going 18-8 in two seasons in Logan, Utah, where previously wins were certainly hard to come by, Andersen's shown he's game for stout rebuilding jobs.
 Tom Fornelli at CBS's Eye on College Football
Considering that Wisconsin was somewhat late to the game thanks to Bielema's sudden departure, this is a solid hire by the Badgers. Andersen took over a Utah State program that hadn't accomplished much in the past and after only four seasons he not only led the Aggies to that 11-2 record and first conference title since it won the Big West in 1997, but into both the AP and Coaches polls. 

 Bucky's 5th Quarter is also compiling a running list of reactions from all over.

Personally, my gut feeling is that this is a good hire. Andersen has proven that he can when at places where winning isn't the norm, like Hoke, and Utah State ended the year with the #15 total defense and the #25 rushing offense, two quick and easy facts that should assuage any oh my gawd spread offense concerns.

More? Michigan basketball takes on EMU Thursday (I'll have a preview up over at Maize n Brew)...for now, I just want to note how there are almost as many suited up folks in their team picture as there are players. I guess Embracing the Process also involves JoS. A. Bank.

If you want a cool vintage Michigan calendar, go to Maize n Brew and relate a Christmas shopping story (remember that one time? oh man! definitely tell that story).

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