Fun With Depth Charts. EEE DEPTH CHART IS OUT FOR WEEK ONE EEE (link PDF). A couple of notes:
- APAKILYPSE NOW - In case you've been wandering through the barren wastelands of the Mongolian steppe since Friday afternoon and haven't heard, there is no mention of Jewel Hampton. There's an equal lack of Jeff Brinson and Brandon Wegher. The week one starting halfback is a former walk-on, and his backup was playing safety 6 months ago. Those drills they taught you in school aren't going to help; unless you have a fortified bomb shelter, it's probably better to sit on your porch, put on some sunglasses, and enjoy your last few moments on Earth as the shockwave from the PAKIBOMB washes over you.
- DJKO'd - If it's a motivational tactic. it's being taken to absurd lengths: Marvin McNutt is starting at split end, and Derrell Johnson-Koulianos is the backup. Either McNutt truly is the velcro-handed speed demon promised this spring, or Kirk Ferentz is playing an absurd game of chicken with a player poised to break every significant career receiving record in Iowa history. Neither would surprise me. (Oh, and Colin Sandeman is conspicuous in his absence from the entirety of the depth chart, while The Veep is backing up Stross).
- The Icky Shuffle - Lord only knows what's going on with the offensive line, as injuries (Vandevelde) and suspensions (Calloway) change a group ranked tops in the conference by Phil Steele into a Three's Company rerun. Your starters, from left to right on your FM dial: Bulaga, Gettis, Eubanks, Doering, Richardson. Over/under on number of starters still playing in those positions by Penn State week: 2.5, and the under is the proper play. Subthoughts: Gettis is getting rave reviews and looks significantly bigger; KF told Rivals Friday ($$) that Eubanks had his best three weeks of practice since joining the program; the Doering/Richardson combo on the right fills me with melancholy, as the bookend tackles we were promised instead line up side-by-side for exactly one game, then retreat to diminished roles; the fact that Dace is playing tackle on those knees shows The Mad Russian isn't ready; Andy Kuempel just can't catch a fucking break.
- Returning Starters - How did we not see this coming? Your punt returner is not Colin Sandeman. It's not Brandon Wegher. It's not Paul Chaney. It's obviously not Jewel Hampton. No, the returner is Amari Spievey (he'll also be handling kick returns with DAS PAKIBOMB). This is both brilliant (is there anyone on the roster that is more likely to break a big play?) and monumentally stupid. I love it with all my heart, and yet it is clearly even dumber than the hairbrained Jewel Hampton idea from earlier this summer. Not only is Spievey arguably the best player on the team, but there's this...
- Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cornerbacks - I've been reading these depth charts for years, and there is always one thing that strikes fear deep into my black heart: The dreaded "or" line. Typically reserved for backups or genuine position battles, the "or" signifies mass hysteria in the ranks. It is also almost always a precursor to getting three names on the two-deep; if two guys occupy the same line, then a third name is needed to fill in the blanks. Well, not only is left cornerback carrying the dreaded "or" line, but there is no third name. Greg Castillo and Willie Lowe are co-starters, and the loser is the listed backup AT BOTH CORNER POSITIONS. Micah Hyde is nowhere to be found, and is almost certainly redshirting. Shaun Prater will serve his two-game suspension. We are, in essence, one catastrophic injury from starting a true sophomore and redshirt freshman at corner with no backups. Tell me again why we're sending Spievey out with a target on his jersey to catch an oblong ball out of the air and attempt to make 225-pound human lawn darts miss him.
- Other Than That, Mrs. Lincoln, How Was the Show? - No decision yet on backup QB; Ballard is officially listed at DT; kicker is a toss-up; Cody Hundertmark, long thought to be a potential starter at DT, is now backing up Broderick Binns at defensive end.
SANCTIONPORN. This weekend, I went to a party in North Liberty (clad in The Leman, of course, because I'm classy), drank a few beers, played some poker and table tennis, cleaned my kitchen, and caught up on my sleep. It was uneventful.
How was your weekend, Michigan?
The University of Michigan football team consistently has violated NCAA rules governing off-season workouts, in-season demands on players and mandatory summer activities under coach Rich Rodriguez, numerous players told the Free Press.
Players on the 2008 and 2009 teams described training and practice sessions that far exceeded limits set by the NCAA, which governs college athletics. The restrictions are designed to protect players’ well-being, ensure adequate study time and prevent schools from gaining an unfair competitive advantage.
The players, who did not want to be identified because they feared repercussions from coaches, said the violations occurred routinely at the direction of Rodriguez’s staff.
Of course, the upper peninsula of Blogfrica is losing its collective mind: MGoBlog got its spider monkey on, like Emilio Estevez at the end of Young Guns: They questioned the messenger, chronicled the allegations (in a completely reasonable and measured manner), took the word of two freshmen players' parents -- neither of which are directly involved with the team or college coaching in general, and one of which who admitted he hadn't yet read the article -- as gospel, then tortured and killed the messenger (Brian, you know I love you, but there's a Grand Fucking Canyon in the logic when the "nobody -- not the players, not the former players, not the reporter -- knows the rules" post is right next to the "these players' parents who are not affiliated with anything say we're totally cool and stuff" post.)
UPDATE: Reason and sanity, thy name is Cook.
No, it's Beuford (and Doc Saturday, and Rittenberg, and I think Brian in the initial post) who get this right: Sure, Rodriguez and Barwis probably bent the rules, but not significantly more than 90% of the programs in college football today; for instance, I will guarantee the Iowa guys are going through voluntary-but-not-really workouts with the training staff throughout the year and putting in ungodly hours during the season. The difference here is that Lloyd Carr didn't bend those rules (after all, his weight program was based on the muscle-building properties of mozzarella cheese), and so players at Michigan before Captain Snake Oil came to town are in the rare position of knowing the difference. Throw in a healthy dose of resistance to change and VOILA. It's not quite much ado about nothing, because there's probably going to be some sort of NCAA investigation in the middle of a football season, but it's as close as you can get when "NCAA investigation" is involved.
Sigh. Roy, Roy, Roy:
According to Iowa Courts Online records, [Roy Marble, Sr.] was arrested Monday in Cedar County and charged with driving while barred-habitual offender, driving with a denied or revoked license, distribution of ephedrine and possession of drug paraphernalia....
Marble, who played for the Iowa basketball team from 1985 to 1989 and remains the team's all-time leading career scorer, was stopped for speeding in Tipton, according to authorities. The drug-related charges were filed Tuesday, according to online court records.
Marble, 42, said a friend drove him and Marble's son, Roy Marble Jr., 16, from Cedar Rapids to Southfield, Mich., to take Roy Marble Jr. home. Marble's son is an incoming Iowa basketball recruit. Marble said his friend decided not to return to Iowa and that he had no choice but to drive his friend's car back Monday.
"I did not participate in any drug activity," he said. "I was not doing any drugs or drinking on the road."
Innocent until proven guily, it's all allegations, all that, sure. But we know what happened to Roy once he left Iowa, and given his recent problems -- he had a DUI in 2006 that led to the barred license, his business in Cedar Rapids was destroyed in the flood, and apparently he claims that he's borrowing cars from junkies to give his son a ride to Michigan -- this does not look good. Roy's post-Hawkeye career has always felt like a Shakespearian tragedy, and he's running out of time and opportunities for an ending that doesn't channel Hamlet.
Pat Harty, in his latest attempt to take Skip Bayless' job on ESPN, hops on his blog and writes 500 words about how Roy shouldn't put his son in situations like these, as if we needed to be told that a son might not be happy when his dad is arrested on drug charges. Thanks for that principled stand, Pat.
- Jayme Murphy is officially done at Iowa, after back surgery late last week. He was a terrormonster on special teams, but never found a position that stuck. Of course, it was probably that terrormonstering that caused the back injury in the first place.
- Jayme might want to talk to Alex Kanellis, who had his career cut short by concussions. Kanellis chronicles his post-football life for the P-C ("I never looked past playing Iowa football. That's as far ahead as I ever thought.") Alex is now coaching the offensive line at Iowa City Regina under head coach Marv Cook.
- On the eve of FRYFest, Hlas scores an interview with Bill Colbert, the guy who created the Tiger Hawk in 1979.
- I'm not sure which is funnier: The sheer volume of errors in this post from Fargo, ND on the Iowa-ISU rivalry, or the fact that the Iowa State fan who posts a comment to chronicle the errors misspells his own head coach's name.