Lots to talk about today.
- The most important bit of news is something you've no doubt heard already. Trey Burke has decided to enter the NBA draft after just one season at Michigan. The reports first rushed out of CBS's Jeff Goodman and have since made the rounds to all the media outlets. Nick Baumgartner of AnnArbor.com got ahold of Burke's father, who seemed to say there is still a chance that Trey returns, and then Burke's dad went even farther on twitter.
Trey Burke has not declared for the NBA draft. He is still enrolled at the University of Michigan.— Benji Burke (@Benjib10) April 4, 2012
Apparently Benji Burke's twitter account is real, or else this is an epic troll job by some enterprising Buckeye fan.
So with all of that, what is the story?
Burke is gone. Face it, the writing has been on the wall for this one for quite some time. Burke from the very beginning has taken this process much more seriously than just a kid trying to figure out his draft stock. That he is still enrolled is merely a technicality. There is a chance, but let's not get too crazy.
As for options, Burke's departure leaves Michigan between a rock and a hard place. Point guard Derrick Walton won't be joining the team until 2013, and the PG depth chart this year reads: Eso Akunne, some shooting guard playing wildly out of position, freshman, DOOM!!!!!!
One of those freshman could be point guard Spike Albrecht, who the staff has had an eye on recently. Albrecht will be visiting today, and if all goes well he will choose Michigan over Appalachian State (no, I'm not kidding, it is down to Michigan and Appalachian State. This could be rage inducing). There is still room for Amedeo Della Valle as well.
Welcome to the worst case scenario.
- Remember back when the BCS started discussing the idea of a playoff and we all said, "hey, how simple is a four team playoff. They couldn't possibly screw this up." Well, that feeling was short lived.
In the latter plan, the four highest-ranked teams at the end of the regular season would meet in semifinals unless the Big Ten or Pac-12 champion, or both, were among the top four. Those leagues' teams still would meet in the Rose, and the next highest-ranked team or teams would slide into the semis. The national championship finalists would be selected after those three games.
So let's get this straight, the BCS is going to institute a four team playoff that could include six teams, and then has the nerve to call the three first round games (including the Rose Bowl) the semi final, then the national championship game participants would be chosen from the pool of three?
CBS's Eye on College Football blog has a rather simple solution:
Big Ten or Pac12 team, choose one.
- Rose Bowl
See how much tradition matters when it comes to passing up a shot at the national championship. If a Big Ten or Pac12 team bolts for the playoff, just substitute in the second place finisher, you know, like already happens.
Let's run down the rest of the links:
Michigan announces incentives for spring game donations to children's hospital - Going to the spring game? Want a Brady Hoke autographed helmet? It's only going to cost you $500. It will be for an exceedingly good cause.
If you have $500 dollars laying around and want to treat your favorite Michigan blogger to the gift of a lifetime, that's cool too. If he says no, you can always send the helmet to me.
Big Ten Basketball Landscape: The Doomed
Was it really all Bruce Weber's fault? If you look at this roster it's filled with guys who should have better stats than they do. Paul shot 44% from 2 and 33% from three because he got Dion Harris'd playing with a 7'1" lottery pick. At some point that has to be on the guy in the suit jumping up and down like a lunatic.
Brian at mgoblog finished his three part series on next year's conference landscape. No, Michigan didn't plummet to the cellar. Yes, Nebraska is going to be unfathomably bad, and Tim Fraizer might become the first player to play 100% of his teams minutes and either score every point or assist every basket.
Three Things To Love in 2012: Penn State Offense
Business Logistics. Gone is the laborious and murky playcalling system that frustrated Penn State fans and confounded fans of our opponents. "Wait, you guys do what? Seriously? How does that even work?" As the legend went, a decision was made to run or pass. Based on that, either Jay Paterno or Galen Hall called the play. It was relayed to Mike McQueary, who in turn relayed the play to a substituting player. That player ran the call into the huddle, usually with less than ten seconds left on the play clock. Sometimes, Joe Paterno himself got involved in the process. Not exactly the most streamlined chain of command. During the unbelievable opening drive against Alabama in which Penn State burned all three timeouts due to clock management, one of the timeouts was called because the sent-in play not even being on Rob Bolden's wristband.
You might be a Penn State fan if...you get excited that your team might finally have a logical progression for calling plays.
Surprisingly, quarterback play doesn't make this list. Who would have guessed?
A few weeks later, a university employee arrived at Paterno's home and carted away a 25-year-old beige telephone and a dilapidated fax machine.
I agree with firing the guy, but taking his two-and-a-half decade old fax machine? Cold blooded.
B1G 2012//Thursday Wildcard: Where We Lay A Path To A Bowl Game For Indiana
Am I being overly optimistic? Well, of course. I mean, it's not like we're talking about a traditional power program that ran into a couple years of mediocrity, like Michigan, or a couple decades, like Notre Dame. We're talking a program that has been historically bad. They've only won two conference titles (5 less than the University of Chicago Maroons, who last won a title in 1924 and left the B1G in 1939), didn't win the only Rose Bowl they ever went to, and have only been to 9 bowl games in their history. And they've been playing football at Indiana since 1887. Really, Hoosiers? Really?
Yay for spring hypotheticals.
Defending the 'Spread': Scrape Exchange - I really like the work that Ross Fulton is doing over at Eleven Warriors breaking down the nuances of the spread option offense and the defensive adjustments to it, but I can't help but think the OSU fanbase could have saved itself a lot of time by hitting the mgoblog archives to read about all this stuff that Brian wrote about three years ago. Still, Fulton is definitely worth the read here.