As Fred Durst put it, 'Now, I know you be lovin' this shit right here!' What the hell are we talking about? Not even we know. But in projecting Illinois 5th in the Big Ten, we'd like to point out again just how down this conference is in '07-08. In a good conference like the ACC or Pac-10, Illinois would probably be dead last.

2006-07 Record: 23-12 (9-7)
Projected Finish: 5th
Returning Starters: 3
Head Coach: Bruce Weber
Best Player: Brian Randle (11.0 PPG, 52.9 FG%)

3 Reasons for Optimism:

1) The Illini return two of the Big Ten's premier big men (and by that, we mean "very average") in Shaun Pruitt and Brian Randle in a conference lacking size. Randle's about as injury prone as Larry Hughes, but could have a big year if he stays healthy. Illinois also returns Chester Frazier, who is desperately trying to look like Dee Brown, but unfortunately isn't nearly as good.

2) The nightmare of last season is finally over. Their season was ruined from the start after Jamar Smith got busted for a DUI after wrecking his car and leaving teammate Brian Carlwell for dead... literally

(Side note: Talk about awkward! Can't you just picture Jamar showing up at Carlwell's hospital bed:

Jamar: "Dog, I'm so sorry..."
Brian: "You crazy?! I wouldn't be here today if you hadn't gotten help - I've never seen you run so fast, kid!..."
Jamar: "Uh... yeah dog. No problem slug nut."
Brian: "Road dogs for life..." - exchange of fist pounds)

Then Brian Randle went down with plantar fasciitis (isn't that what Barbaro had?). A fresh start could do wonders for this team.

3) They've got Heir Jordan on their team! I mean, how far can the apple far from the tree?! (By the way, we love his bio on fightingillini.com: "Father's basketball accomplishments are far too great to even attempt listing.") Apparently, pretty far. As has been widely reported, Jeffrey isn't on scholarship. And don't be expecting one anytime soon. His stat line through 6 games: 1 PTS, 0-3 FG, 4 TO.

3 Reasons for Pessimism:

1) The Illini are still reeling from the loss of their emotional and spiritual leader, The Chief, who retired during last year's home finale during Michigan. Man, that guy was a douche:

An even bigger douche than the guy running chiefforever.com.

2) B Web scrambled to put together a pretty decent recruiting class this year, but is it too late? The guy inherited Deron Williams, Dee Brown and Luther Head from Bill Self, then couldn't even get weasel-like Jon Scheyer to attend Illinois after his brother coached Scheyer in high school. After originally committing to Illinois, losing superfrosh Eric Gordon - we know him simply as "The Doughboy" in these parts - to Indiana might be the nail in the coffin.

3) Their scheduling might really come back to haunt them. Illinois already lost to Duke and a very mediocre Maryland team and still has Arizona and Missouri left on the nonconference slate. If they go 0-4 in these games, making the tournament again will be a reach.

After going 37-2 and appearing in the national championship game, Illinois has fallen way back to mediocrity. After barely making the Tourney as a #12 seed, Illini fans were none too pleased when they blew a huge lead to Virginia Tech and lost in the first round last year.

After losing Scheyer and Gordon, Weber is definitely on the hot seat this season. If you saw his team play last night, it doesn't look like he's getting off anytime soon. Illinois will be slightly above average in the Big Ten simply because they have experience most other teams are lacking. Brian Randle has shown flashes of being explosive, but are too often interrupted by ridiculous injuries - i.e. breaking his hand while punching a wall.

Sorry Bruce, we love your enthusiasm, but it might be time to hang up the orange jacket.



Surprise: The Big Ten Preview is back! Granted, our projections have been tainted by the fact we're still previewing the league in December. But no matter! The Big Ten Network has nothing on The Realests when it comes to conference coverage. We expect a check from Jim Delaney to be in the mail already.

2006-07 Record: 22-12 (9-7)
Projected Finish: 6th
Returning Starters: 2
Head Coach: Matt Painter
Best Player: E'Twaun Moore (12.0 PPG)

3 Reasons for Optimism: (Didn't there use to be 5 of these? Sorry folks, there have been some budget cuts here at The Realests. Hey, do you want this thing done by Christmas or not?)

1) Gene who? Matt Painter looks like the next John Wooden (Pop Quiz: Did you know the Wizard of Westwood played for the Boilers?) Purdue was one of the biggest surprises in the NCAA last year, going toe-to-toe with Florida in the second round of the Big Dance after being a Big Ten doormat the year before with just 9 wins.

2) This Painter guy can recruit too, with four blue-chip freshmen in E'Twaun Moore (#27 Scouts.com rating), Scott Martin (#29), JaJuan Johnson (#47) and Robbie Hummel (#51) - which means he's obviously borrowed coke and strippers from Ron Zook. Martin & Moore haven't disappointed, combining to average 25 points in Purdue's first four games.

3) Purdue is virtually unbeatable at Mackey Arena, going 16-1 there last year.

3 Reasons for Pessimism:

1) Their two best players, Carl Landry and David Teague, are both gone. Landry was the forgotten man in the Big Ten last year with Oden, Tucker and Conley, but the guy was sick even without his brother's stupid Rec-Specs.

2) That Atlantic Sun: So hot right now. But beating Lipscomb by four points at home? That's pretty pathetic considering the Bisons have already lost to Centenary College, Winston-Salem State and Appalachian State. Ugh, don't remind us.

3) The team might want to spend the holidays at the Betty Ford Clinic. A starter last year, Gordon Watts got the boot for a DWI and Keaton Grant was suspended three games for being in the car. Oh yeah, and former blue-chipper Jonathan Uchendu transferred to Arkansas-Little Rock after "suspicion" of public intoxication (what does that mean anyway, like whipping your dong out or something?)

Purdue is in the same boat as Michigan, with some really solid young talent. They just played a good Clemson team to the wire in South Carolina, but that Lipscomb game was a huge red flag. It's just hard to see guys like Martin banging down low for an entire season in the Big Ten (seriously, someone feed this kid!).

Don't count on Purdue making it back to the NCAA Tournament again this year but don't be fooled, Painter has this program in the right direction.



Is that the Horseman of Pestilence I see riding up on Barbaro in the distance?

Normally we don't blog about things you've probably already seen on Deadspin. But in this case, we're making an exception.

Marko Jaric has just replaced Luis Scola as our least favorite foreign player after news arrived that he is dating Victoria's Secret super model Adriana Lima - the most famous virgin since A.C. Green.

This Marko Jaric? The one that can't put his shirt on forward?

What is this world coming to?


Via Chris Burke via a Michigan message board via The Wolverine (in other words, this is fourth-hand information, so Ferentz could be getting introduced as Michigan's new head coach right now):

"According to a source extremely credible and close to the situation, Ferentz is no longer an option for the Wolverines. It's over, done with - he will not be the next head coach at the University of Michigan, we are confident to report today."

We shall see. Sounds like The Realests were right again. At what point do we cross over from experts to prophets?


How the hell did this kid get into Harvard? Basically this guy just wants to show how much he knows about rap music and show he's got street cred even though he goes to Hah-vuhd. What a douche. I'm just surprised he doesn't write for the Daily Arts staff.

(Update: Apparently the site was down - obviously it wasn't prepared for the enormous amount of traffic we routed there. But now it's back up!).


Did anyone else wake up just dreading to turn on ESPNEWS for the latest on Sean Taylor?

While staring at the Breaking News of his death, my whole mind just went numb. I just couldn't pull my eyes from the words, "Sean Taylor dies."

What else is there to say?

I know this isn't possible, but as a huge Redskins fan, I just wish they could cancel their season today and let everyone mourn until they could mourn no more without the media reporting every second of their grief. Please, please don't let this turn into a media circus.

This will go down with Len Bias, Hank Gathers and Roberto Clemente as the most shocking death in American sports history (I'm not sure what to call it, but Chris Benoit is in a whole different category). And the fact that it was a homicide just makes it even more sickening. As stated yesterday, hopefully some serious steps are taking by pro leagues to protect their athletes which are the source of ridiculous jealousy among their old communities.

And hopefully athletes start turning to the authorities to solve their problems instead of trying to handle it themselves. The whole "Stop Snitchin" controversy is about to come roaring back. Let's hope it doesn't overshadow the real story here: A 24-year-old kid is dead. Period.

Taylor always seemed to be a tortured soul but I never thought it would end like this. Damn.



If the latest rumor at MGoBlog is true, Brian Cook is the Bob Woodward of Michigan football.

In his own words, his "high level summary" is that "Ferentz is the #1 candidate and either has already been or will be offered the job."

First let us state that as evidenced by breaking Lloyd Carr's retirement, it's MGoBlog's world - we're just a squirrel trying to get a nut.

Side note: Major props to Brian for putting the mainstream media on blast after giving him zero credit for breaking the story. Seriously, if you want to ignore blogs altogether, that's fine. But don't dick ride their material and cite the report as just "internet gossip" to fall back on if it's false - then claim you reported it when it turns out to be legit.

Now on to Ferentz. Our guess is that Bill Martin started raving inside the department about Ferentz about speaking/meeting with him and people jumped to conclusions since Bill Martin makes his mind up quickly. With all due respect to Brian, we believe his source might have gooed his pants after seeing MGoBlog break Lloyd's retirement and is itching to be cited as the "inside source" again.

Why are we so skeptical? If Bill Martin has known about Lloyd Carr's retirement for almost a year, as Mike Rosenberg reported, and made up his mind on Carr's replacement within a week of the Ohio State game, the man is a compulsive maniac.

You all know we aren't Les Miles fans, but if this rumor is true, Bill Martin will have passed on the man who many believe (or at least believed until he was exposed on Saturday) to be the perfect hire without even an interview.

Unless Martin has been holding secret meetings with coaches across the country William Walker-style, it appears Martin will be leaving his legacy up to one interview when almost any coach in America is there for the taking.

And that's not even mentioning Ferentz's near-.500 record over the last three seasons (19-18). Personally we think the criticism he's received over cheap housing and lawless players is very weak and will have no effect on his hiring.

As for our "inside" information, we have little to offer. Yeah, his oldest daughter went to Michigan (she's now in grad school at Iowa) and lived in South Quad freshman year - obviously a favor from Mary Sue Coleman. His daughter loved Michigan (who wouldn't?!) but proclaimed to "bleed black and gold!" Ferentz's son, Brian, played center for the Hawkeyes and Ferentz's other daughter also currently goes to Iowa.

Keep in mind that Ferentz has been shipped all around the country for the past 20 years. He's certainly found a home in Iowa City and though his kids are all growns up, we just can't see him moving (although a college job certainly offers more stability than an NFL head coaching gig).

All this combined with his allegiance to Hayden Frye makes it hard to believe Ferentz would bite.

Our guess is that Mary Sue Coleman is head-over-heels in love with him and is ringing in Bill Martin's ear. Ferentz is funny, charming, a complete class act and the nicest guy you'll ever meet. Oh yeah, and he single-handedly brought Iowa football back from the dead before she left for UM in 2002.

So for our executive summary: We think rumors of Ferentz-to-Michigan are greatly exaggerated and he will not be our coach in 2007 whether Bill Martin wants him to be or not.

Now back to being asinine dopes.


We obviously know Sean Taylor has had a very troubled past (we even referred to him as "Teflon Sean" - yes, that's another Jay-Z rip-off).

But at this time, it appears he was a victim of a random act of violence. Currently he is listed in critical condition with the Washington Post's Jason La Canfora reporting Taylor is fighting for his life.

Here are the victims of sports homicides we can think of off the top of our head. We haven't found anything like this except notable sports deaths on Wikipedia. Hopefully it will help put the epidemic in perspective.

Darrent Williams (Denver Broncos): Jan. 1, 2007
Bryan Pata (University of Miami): Nov. 7, 2006
Taylor Bradford (University of Memphis): Sept. 30, 2007
Fred Lane (Carolina Panthers): July 6, 2000*

Patrick Dennehy (Baylor University): June 2003
Ryan Francis (USC): May 13, 2006

And that's even mentioning the following
- Duquesne basketball team shooting last year
- Brandon Meriweather's shootout at Miami last year
- Michigan's Markus Curry and Carl Diggs getting shot in 2002
- Antoine Walker, Eddy Curry and Dunta Robinson getting held at gun point in their homes
- Paul Pierce stabbed 11 times in 2000

* Lane was shot and killed by his wife which is obviously a very unusual circumstance

"Alarming" is obviously a massive understatement. Not to justify it, but as Seth Wickersham recently wrote, now you know why Tank Johnson is strapped at all times. Let's hope Sean pulls through and something is done to stop all this immediately.



Like many other Michigan fans, I had mixed emotions watching the LSU-Arkansas game yesterday. On the one hand, I wanted LSU to win because I would smash a lamp shade over my head if Ohio State gets to play for the national championship. On the other, a loss to Arkansas might be the only thing keeping Les Miles from the Michigan job.

We're sticking to our guns that Miles will be the next Michigan coach for all the aforementioned reasons but what a difference a day makes. Bill Martin must have shit his pants as Arkansas tried to give the game away over and over again, just to come out on top in the end. Miles once again had no concept of clock management (insert clip of last year's Tennessee game here). And the entire LSU coaching staff looked like fools after R-Kansas (seriously Les, you can't be that stupid... can you?) converted a 4th and 10 in the first overtime in which there was zero pressure and a complete mixup in the secondary.

So now Martin is in the unenviable position of deciding whether the coach of the top-ranked team in the country is worthy of Michigan (as we've said before, in our minds it's a foregone conclusion Miles would take the UM job).

Miles' resume still looks great. He's still 32-5 at LSU and presumably headed to a second straight BCS bowl game. If Martin has already picked Miles as his man, he's got plenty of stats to support the hire.

But - as we all know - this hire will be Bill Martin's legacy and two (Amaker, Burnett) of his major three hires since taking over as AD have been failures (the other, Rich Maloney, was an absolutely genius move).

Aside from running a clean program, the Michigan basketball program is no better off after his five years in Ann Arbor. Let us clarify that. Winning the NIT was a huge step for the program, but now we're back at square one.

Amaker's lack of success reflected extremely poor on Martin because he ignored huge red flags by hiring T.A. Coming off a trip to the Sweet Sixteen in 2000 and signing superprep Eddie Griffin, he was annointed the hot young coach in college hoops (much like Billy Gillespie now) and people expected The Hall to make the 2001 Final Four.

Instead, all hell broke loose once they started conference play. The Hall went 5-11 in conference before rallying for a decent run in the Big East Tournament. Along the way, Griffin punched Ty Shine in the face in the locker room and many wondered if Amaker had lost control of his players (obviously, in retrospective, controlling Eddie Griffin was an impossible task).

Martin also chose to ignore the red flags that accompanied Cheryl Burnett before he hired her. After a curious resignation in 2002 from Missouri State, rumors started flying after she couldn't find a job for two years (she covered it up by claiming she was "on a sabbatical").

After a miserable four-year run at Michigan, now people are talking about how many players had the same issues with her that led to Sue Guevara's ouster. I think it's fair to say Bill and Megan McCallister didn't learn from their mistakes that time.

So here Martin sits, deciding whether to go the classic Michigan route: Hire Miles, slap his LSU accolades on the front page of the media guide and sit back while the majority of media and alumni applaud the decision. But Martin knows that if Miles comes in and proves to be all balls and no brains and gets eaten alive by Jim Tressel (and next year's game could get real ugly anyway), it's going to be Martin on the hot seat this time.

What puts Martin in an impossible position is that there is no one left that wouldn't completely overhaul the Michigan program. Bo would be rolling over in his grave if we ran the spread with - dare I say it? - a black quarterback (gasp!) (Note: everyone calm down, we aren't calling Bo a racist.)

Let's take a quick look at the names being thrown out right now:

Kirk Ferentz: Rule of thumb: Never hire a coach that is already on the hot seat at his current job (let's call it the Herm Edwards rule). Are we the only ones that have noticed Ferentz has gone just over .500 since winning the Big Ten in 2004?

Urban Meyer: This is so ludicrous it doesn't even deserve a snarky comment.

Brian Kelly: Why wouldn't Bill Martin hire the Cincinnati football coach? BECAUSE WE'RE FUCKIN' MICHIGAN! Oh yeah, and he's racist.

Gary Pinkel: This guy's the Wayne Fontes of college football. They've been calling for his head for years until he flip mctwerked it this season. Michigan's way too good for a One Year Wonder.

Rich Rodriguez: Offensive genius and slightly crazy (which we like), but the guy coached Pacman and Chris Henry. Or how about current LB Pat Lazear, who still got offered a scholarship to West Virginia after knocking off a Smoothie King outside D.C. Throw in the dirty reputation he personally gained last offseason while using Georgia to jack up the price on his alma mater. Let's just he isn't the prototypical "Michigan Man."

Greg Schiano: We won't even start talking about overhyped Schiano is. The man isn't going anywhere just like he proved last offseason.

Jeff Tedford: See Kirk Ferentz explanation above. A team that was ranked #2 in the country has now lost 5 of 6 including last weekend's loss to Washington. Hey, whatever happened to DeSean Jackson for Heisman????

Mike Trgovac: A well respected NFL coordinator with no coaching experience. Look how well that worked out for Charlie Weis.

John Cooper: OK, just kidding. You say old washed up hack, we say Michigan savior. How great would Cooper vs. Tressel I be?

In all honesty, the only way I see Miles losing this job is if Rodriguez wins the national championship making it just impossible for Martin to pass this guy over (we don't know about you, but we are suddenly huge Mountaineers fans),

Other than that, get the Les Miles countdown clock started.



We bet you thought we'd forgotten about the Big Ten Preview... well we just flipped it on your face because with 7 spots left, we're just picking up steam. Next on the countdown: Penn State and the annually overrated Nittany Lions. At this pace, we should have the preview done just in time for the Big Ten Tournament.

2006-07 Record: 11-19 (2-14)
Projected Finish: 7th
Returning Starters: 4
Head Coach: Ed DeChellis
Best Player: Geary Claxton (16.3 PPG, 8.0 RPG)

5 Reasons for Optimism:

1) Geary Claxton. It defies logic that Penn State could be so bad with Claxton on their team. He's the Big Tens leading returning rebounder and second leading returing scorer and was named to the preseason All-Big Ten Team for the second year in a row.

2) They played eventual national runner-up Ohio State close both times, losing by 2 in State College and by 8 in Columbus.

3) The Big Ten is a joke this year. While conferences like the Pac-10 are talking about getting 8 teams in the tournament, the Big Ten will be lucky to get 5. With Michigan, Minnesota, Northwestern and Iowa on the slate, even these jokers have to win more than 2 conference games.

4) If the wheels come off like last year, DeChellis already knows what to do: Just blame Jo Pa.

5) Pittsburgh superprep Terrelle Pryor is actually considering Penn State (we're sure he will come to his senses soon, though...)

5 Reasons for Pessimism:

1) Everyone predicted a breakout year from Penn State last year and they turned out to be the worst in the Big Ten. Even with Claxton and Jamelle Cornley back, why will it be any different this year?

2) Even the Penn State web site is in loser denial over last year, claiming Penn State beat the Boilers in West Lafayette when, in fact, they lost. PSU might have the worst Division I web site, but that's a new low even for gopsusports.com.

3) If Claxton gets hurt, DeChellis might as well start filling out Burger King application forms. Last year in his absence, the Lions lost to Stony Brook, who finished the year 9-20 playing in the America East. Oh yeah, and Cornley is already gimpy too after hurting himself in the team's scrimmage.

4) Fun fact: Penn State's number of NCAA Tournament appearances? Eight. North Carolina A&T has nine.

5) They just lost to Rider. Oy vey.

Call us suckers, but with a preseason All-Big Ten Teamer in Claxton and a former Big Ten Freshman of the Year coming back, Penn State can't be as horrible as the Big Ten bottom feeders that have little talent and no experience. Then again, maybe Claxton and Cornley just look good because the guys next to them are so horrible. We're not sure how else to explain today's loss to Rider.

It would have been very poetic if DeChellis - a PSU alum - would have built the Penn State basketball program from the ground up. Unfortunately, it looks like his days are numbers. Hey, we hear Rene Portland is looking for a job as long as Penn State doesn't mind a homophobic racist calling the shots.


With Tommy Amaker now at Harvard, we decided it was time to update the "Ever Shrinking Coach K Coaching Tree" as Mike Krzyzewski embarks on his 28th season in Durham.

There are just five remaining pupils on Coach K's web page: T.A., Mike Brey (Notre Dame), Jeff Capel (Oklahoma), Mike Dement (UNC-Greensboro) and Neil Dougherty (TCU) - Dougherty certainly won't have a job much longer.

And no, we aren't counting Duke assistants as part of his coaching tree. That's just absurd.

Now compare that to Dean Smith's coaching tree (granted, he was at UNC for 36 years). But that's not what got us fired up for this post.

What chapped our asses is that the "pupils page" has mysteriously dropped former Missouri coach and ticking time bomb Quin Snyder (who I always thought looked the guy from Weekend at Bernie's), the current coach of the NBDL's Austin Toros (yes, he is Dennis Johnson's successor after the tragic death in February).

If Harvard is considered a real head coaching job, the D-League sure as shit should be too. And with Kevin Pittsnogle and a mascot with major ups (see below), this team could be a real sleeper come, well, whenever the D-League holds its playoffs:

Shame on you Coach K for abandonding a former player just like you left the Duke lacrosse team out to dry!

Oh snap, that was a little harsh...



Just when it looked like this was turning into the new East Coast-West Coast beef and we were ready to wile out like Snoop Dogg at the Source Awards, we get this message precisely 33 minutes after our post on Kevin Durant's new nickname being "The Realest" from the blogger of The Blowtorch:

No worries. The Realest will not end up as his nickname.

We have to admit, we were caught a little off guard. We've been in the blog game so long and been through so many beefs that this is kind of sadly anticlimactic.

I guess it's like 2Pac said after all: "It takes skill to be real, time to heal each other."

- Real


There are no words to describe how angry we were after my college roommate sent this link of a blog trying to nickname Kevin Durant "The Realest."

We're like Marty McFly when someone calls him "chicken." It's just blind rage - literally. V went temporarily blind. I almost strapped on my Redskins helmet and ran straight into our living room TV.

Then we listened to "The Takeover" 30 times in a row.

Now I thought I'd settled this over 3 years ago when we mistakenly thought Allen Iverson and Reebok laid claim to the throne. There's no mistake about this.

We demand an immediate apology and retraction. We could go on and on, but this is like Mopp Deep coming at Jay-Z; it's not even worth our time to deal with this small fry (though we encourage our readers to fill his inbox with nasty e-mails).

And just for the record, there is nothing real about Kevin Durant. Not his baby face. Not his tattoo-less Olive Oyl body and definitely not his lime green Polo shirts.



As you can tell, Saturday's loss was especially tough on us. We're just coming off a 3-day bender that ended with taking ourselves hostage in our own apartment and vivid hallucinations of Jim Tressel doing his weasel laugh.

I spent my entire Saturday doing this to myself:

V thought he was repelling down Mt. Vesuvius.

Fortunately, the NYPD stormed our place right as I was about to hit the "Delete Blog" button on Blogspot.

We should be up and blogging again soon unless there is an unexpected relapse or LSD flashback. Please bare with us at this time.



Fans of THE Ohio State University never cease to amaze us.

As mentioned earlier, there was no better feeling than watching 100,000 hicks in shock as Illinois stunned the Bucks. As ABC panned across the Horseshoe to old white dudes with helmets painted onto their bald heads, screaming their heads off and just looking wasted in general... well, it was probably our proudest moment as Michigan fans since winning The Game in 2003.

This picture doesn't top that - but it comes close.

(Editor's Note: Do we have any idea if this guy is really an OSU fan? No. Do we care? No.)



The Soulja Boy is no fade-away jump shot. Let's get that straight right away. No 17-year old kid will ever be as gritty and grimey as Jim Jones.

But this Soulja Boy thing had a good run as the "next big thing" in sports. Then Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson got put on blast for doing it in the booth on Saturday. But it was forgivable. They just kind of waddled and laughed at each other for being white.

But this.... this is a whole new level. We thought we'd seen it all when Pat Riley busted out the Yung Joc moves during the Heat's victory parade in 2005.

Well check out this sparkling, cinema-quality short (seriously, who shot this thing???) of Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan crankin' it to go along with a spectular "Superman dat ho" (by the way, he also does a mean Hambone):

Hmmm, wonder if anyone's told Ryan what the Superman is yet...

This might be the biggest blow to white people since Vanilla Ice.


Everyone knows Lloyd Carr is a master motivator.

It's been well chronicled that Carr showed clips of Cinderella Man last year as a source of inspiration after a 7-5 season in 2005. If you didn't hear about it last year, you certainly did when Russell Crowe showed up for this year's Notre Dame game to get Lloyd's back.

Well, we have it on good authority that Carr has busted out the bag of trick and movie clips again, turning to none other than You Got Served in what could be his final OSU game. Kind of a strange choice we must say, but a valiant attempt to connect with today's youth:

Obviously, there wasn't a dry eye in the house afterward.

We hear it was between this, Baby Geniuses, John Tucker Must Die (known as just JTMD around these parts...), this and Who's Your Caddy? Good choice, Lloyd.

Hey, does this mean we'll see Omarion and Marques Houston on the sidelines this weekend???



We aren't really into Buckeye Bashing (really, what is there to be said that hasn't been said before?), but this clip of Tony Henderson going WWF on Kirk Herbstreit in 1991 is very deserving of an honorary Realest of the Week. This is one of the filthiest plays you will ever see:



We got a little slowed up, but the Big 10 Preview continues. We tried to put this off as long as we can, but with a new coach and four underclassmen in the starting lineup, Michigan rolls in projected at 8th in the Big 10. And to answer your question, yes, this is the slowest preview ever.

2006-07 Record: 22-13 (8-8)
Projected Finish: 8th
Returning Starters: 1
Head Coach: John Beilein
Best Player: DeShawn Sims (3.4 PPG, 33.3 FG%)

5 Reasons for Optimism:

1) What else could the #1 reason be: Amaker's gone! The swirly finger offense has been replaced by the Princeton offense and the rock defense has gotten the boot for the 1-3-1 zone defense (explained beautifully here by Brian at MGoBlog).

2) Deshawn Sims and Courtney Sims have no relation.

3) "Sims, Harris and Grady" isn't exactly "Webber, Howard and Rose" but we'll take it. For how much we make fun of Amaker, he left Beilein with some great building blocks for the future. Now with some coaching, the sky's the limit.

4) Alex Legion decommitted and took his T.O. act to Kentucky. We've gotten totally screwed in the past with decommittments (Al Horford and Joe Crawford in '04, Patrick Beverley last year), but this is a blessing.

5) We've got the inside recruiting edge on Kevin Pittsnogle's son, Kwynsie (seriously Snoggle, who names their kid Kwynsie?).

5 Reasons for Pessimism:

1) Let's just come out and say it: DeShawn Sims was a disaster last year. While freshmen around the country dominated the college game, Sims averaged 3.4 PPG and 33% shooting. But who can blame the kid after his brother was shot and killed two days before last season's opener?

2) Granted, there's only two seniors on this team, but Ohio State already has two of the top 15 players committed to play in Columbus to go along with another sick freshman class this year. We better hurry up before we get left in the dust again.

3) Our best returning player averaged 3.4 PPG last year! We're basically starting from scratch.

4) Adam Block, Eric Puls, C.J. Lee, Zack Gibson? Who ARE these guys?

5) No Brent Petway for comedic relief:


We still think Rudy T. was the perfect hire (or what about Cazzie Russell? Savannah College of Art and Design is really on the rise!), but Beilein is one of the best coaches, hands down. Leading West Virginia to within minutes of the Final Four was a remarkable accomplishment (although the Mountaineers will probably be even better with Huggins since criminal records are no issue).

Michigan has a brutal nonconference schedule with Georgetown, Boston College, UCLA and Duke (does anyone remember the last two times at Duke - 2000 and 2002? No seriously, we blacked out during both games....)

But circle Dec. 1 on your calendar, folks! Beilein vs. Amaker 1 will be a dandy although we fully expect Amaker to come down with the flu at the last minute.

All in all, this team is just way too young to compete in most Big 10 games. Unlike the Amaker years, we expect vast improvement by the end of the year but unfortunately, that will probably be in the NIT, er, MIT.

We'll see you fools in New York (hey, there was free beer last time at MSG, so it ain't all bad)!


I woke up this morning to a voice mail from a very knowledgeable source that said: "Lloyd Carr is retiring." Now MGoBlog is reporting this, which is obviously much more reliable than this site.

This is in no way surprising news (the guy's 62 years old and seems even older than that) but the timing is a quite odd. Why get the Ann Arbor rumor mill in a frenzy the week of The Game?

Not sure what to make of this one except Lloyd is trying to draw attention away from his 1-5 record against Tressel. Well, that's one way of dealing with it...



Yeah suckas!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is the greatest feeling in the world. Ron Zook is an absolute mad scientist and our hero. Even shitty Florida coaches have OSU's number.

Watching Juice Williams run the ball down Ohio State's throat over and over again is one of the top 10 sports moments of our lives.

Enjoy this one, Michigan fans. This is a million times better than us beating Wisconsin today. tOSU has been exposed as a fraud for the second straight year and the weight of the world has been lifted off our shoulders.

Oh what a glorious day!


The Tommy Amaker honeymoon didn't last very long.

If you're still shaking off your hangover, Stanford destroyed Harvard 111-56 last night in the Crimson's season opener.

The 5 Virtues went straight out the window as the statistics seem straight out of Procrastination Station:

- Trailed by 35 at halftime
- Allowed 65% shooting from the field
- Were outrebounded 50-19
- Stanford's 6th highest point total in school history

Always Mr. Positive, Amaker had this to say after the game:

"I thought the way we competed all the way to the end was a real positive."

Uh, whatever you say, coach. On a side note, after reading this T.A. feature by Jackie MacMullan of the Boston Globe, we almost feel sorry the guy: Coach K thinks this could be his last coaching job EVER. Yoinks!



There are some pretty bad tattoos in sports right now.

There's the Richard Jefferson "R.J." bubble tattoo, Vince Young's "V. Young" tat, the DeShawn Steven entire jersey tattoo (still in progress), this dufus and - of course - the Mike Tyson face tattoo.

(It's not all bad though. Stephen Jackson's desert eagle tattoo on the other hand is totally sweet.)

But LeBron's new "Witness" tattoo is up there in stupidity. It's a great Nike campaign and all, but that shit doesn't even make sense.

What are you trying to say, LBJ: You're so good, you're witnessing yourself?

Now if Gilbert Arenas got that tattoo it'd be funny. Instead, LeBron just looks like Nike's personal billboard - and a jackass.

Let's hope LeBron takes a page out of his high school book and covers that garbage up.

Of course, many would say this is a case of "The pot calling the kettle black" since we just got matching "Realest" tattoos our foreheads. So maybe we shouldn't talk.


The Big 10 Preview rolls into Day 3. How bad was last year’s Minnesota team? Dan Monson “resigned” after just seven games. We challenge anyone to find a coach fired in a shorter amount of time. In comes Tubby Smith fresh off getting shoved out the door at his old job too (By the way, what the hell is he doing in this picture, "hailing" to Minnesota? Nice try, Tubby.).

2006-07 Record: 9-22 (3-14)
Projected Finish: 9th
Returning Starters: 5
Head Coach: Tubby Smith
Best Player: Lawrence McKenzie (14.9 PPG)

5 Reasons for Optimism:

1) Tubby has been to 14 straight NCAA Tournaments. That streak will certainly come to an end this year, but the guy knows how to get into the Big Dance - that's for sure.

2) Flip Saunders’ son, Ryan, is a senior walk-on. Gopher players rave about how Ryan’s like having another crappy coach on the floor. Unfortunately, he's only scored 5 points in his whole career.

3) On Dec. 3, the Gophers get a chance to avenge their football loss to North Dakota State. Payback’s a bitch, Bison!

4) Unlike Northwestern, it’s been proven you can win at Minnesota. Clem Haskins led Bobby Jackson and Co. to the Final Four just 10 years ago. Of course, he was cheating the whole time – so there is that.

5) If freshman Blake Hoffarber can perfect this infamous YouTube shot, Minnesota will be entertaining if nothing else.

5 Reasons for Pessimism:

1) Their record doesn't reflect how horrible the Gophers were last season. The nonconference slate included losses to Marist, Montana, UAB and Arkansas-Little Rock...

2) And aside from the game in Ann Arbor, every single loss in the Big 10 was by double digits.

3) As the team point guard, McKenzie had more turnovers than assists. Even Dion Harris didn’t accomplish that.

4) The Gophers were just 1-14 away from Williams Arena last year and there should be an asterisk by that because Welsh-Ryan Arena is really a second home for everyone in the Big 10.

5) They lost to Tommy Amaker three times in one year – the horror!

After essentially getting fired in Lexington, Tubby must have been laughing his ass off downing Ho Hos on his couch while watching Gardner-Webb defeat Kentucky. Looking at Tubby’s UK numbers, it’s easy to defend him. But the fact is, the Wildcats are nowhere near the program they were when he took over.

Why Minnesota? Who knows. We’re still trying to figure out why Herb Sendek went to Arizona State. There certainly won’t be any pressure in Minneapolis, which is a welcome change. If Tubby actually spent some time recruiting, he could have Minnesota back to national prominence within five years. Getting Ralph Sampson III is a pretty good start.

As for this year: The Gophers should be much more competitive with Tubby’s rigorous defense. Unfortunately, Tubby’s teams have also never been able to score in the half court. The Gophers averaged just 61 PPG last year to start with. Expect a lot of slugfests this season and one surprising win over the Big 10 elite.



Even Charlie Rose is slurping Jay-Z! Gotta love how Rose refers to Diddy and "Big" like they're he's closest friends, then laughing his ass off even though Chuck has no idea what Jay is talking about.

Personally, we think it went a little too far at the end when Rose closed the segment by screaming "Hovi's Home!"

You be the judge:



The Big 10 Preview rolls into Day 2 with the Steve Alford-less Iowa Hawkeyes, another team headed for a miserable season. What does it say about Minnesota and Northwestern when the Big 10 favorites lose to Grand Valley St. and Findlay in exhibition? The Big 10/ACC Challenge should be a debacle again this year. Now on with the countdown...

2006-07 Record: 17-14 (9-7)
Projected Finish: 10th
Returning Starters: 2
Head Coach: Todd Lickliter (pictured)
Best Player: Tony Freeman (7.5 PPG, 3.7 APG)

5 Reasons for Optimism:

1) Steve Alford is gone! Iowa fans hated this guy. Lickliter is a major upgrade for in-game coaching, but Alford got the last evil laugh by cleaning out the cupboard on his way out the door (By the way, has anyone had a bigger one-year drop-off than Steve Alford? This guy went from a leading candidate for the Indiana job to the New Mexico coach... On the other hand, he should be right at home coaching thugs like J.R. Giddens.)

2) If Lickliter can take Butler to the Sweet Sixteen (2003, 2007), doing it with Iowa should be a piece of cake.

3) David Palmer has returned from the dead to play forward for the Hawkeyes. What a trooper this guy is...

4) One of the easiest nonconference schedules you will ever see. Seriously, who put this thing together, Glen Mason? The Hawkeyes should be 11-2 on January 1st, which is completely absurd.

5) Pierre Pierce is finally out of the slammer! Think the NCAA will make an exception to give this guy another year of eligibility?

5 Reasons for Pessimism:

1) All-Big Ten first teamer Adam Haluska and his 20.5 points per game have graduated, while standout freshman Tyler Smith (14.9 PPG) transferred to Tennessee.

2) They're leading returning scorer on opening night will be Seth Gorney, who averaged 5.5 PPG last year. Iowa could already rival the Tommy Amaker "point a minute" teams, the likes of which we thought we'd never see again.

3) The Hawkeyes ring in the New Year (and Big 10 schedule) at Wisconsin, at Ohio State, vs. Michigan State and vs. Purdue. Expect the wheels to come flying off at this point.

4) Their best player - Tony Freeman - is a career 38% shooter. In other words, he's the Dion Harris of Iowa. Oh yeah, and he's out for the first month of the season.

5) Lickliter recently asked NBA superstar Ricky Davis to help out with recruiting. Ricky D's response? "Fuck that shit, bitch!"

We aren't going to sit here and support Steve Alford. We will always support a coach getting run out of town. Alford asked for it too, pissing off the locals, recruiting thugs and bombing during the NCAA Tournament.

But the folks in Iowa City are a little greedy. Tom Davis was shoved out in 1999 after making 9 of 13 NCAAs (including the Sweet Sixteen in his final year), and the Hawkeyes have been headed backward ever since.

Lickliter did a ridiculous job at Butler and many hoped he would end up in Ann Arbor. He should eventually have them competing for Big 10 titles again. But will that be enough? Iowa seems unsatisfied with anything less competing for Final Fours which we don't see in our crystal ball unless Ricky Davis Jr. walks into Carver-Hawkeye Arena.


I went to the record store the minute it opened to buy Kanye West's "Graduation." Did the same thing for Lupe's "Food and Liquor." Ditto for "Hell Hath No Fury." Last weekend I went to Harlem to watch Denzel and Russell face off in "American Gangster" during its opening weekend. I guess it's no surprise then that I was at the Virgin Megastore at midnight to pick up Jay-Z's "American Gangster."

I like events. I like the idea of anticipating someone doing something great. When the Pats played the Colts this weekend, I was pulling for the Colts but part of me wanted to witness the Patriots taking another step that no one else could take. I like the idea of good people doing great things in their comfort zone. There's something comforting and inspiring about it. And even though it's not like I can identify with these people in reality, I have a really active imagination.

American Gangster is good. It's a throwback but still very much stuck in the present. After the misstep of Kingdom Come, this is a record that Jay-Z owed anyone that's bought all of his records. When I told someone that Jay was my favorite rapper about a year ago they said, "So what? Everyone likes Jay-Z. He's pop." That shit infuriated me. And then dropped he Kingdom Come and proved them right and me wrong. That shit infuriated me. I have no problem with pop Jay-Z...he's good at it. But there was something so incredibly fake and forced about Kingdom Come. It was a generic album - not in the formulaic way that most rap songs are generic (club song, beef song, slow jam with anonymous R&B artist) - but in the sense that it lacked specifics. Yeah, he name checked about a million designer brands just like he details the minutia of street life - and I don't really know anything about either of those two things - but the difference on Kingdom Come was that I think the he felt that he had to be rapping about that kind of stuff, that he was supposed to express to us how far he'd come and how good it was. And that's bullshit.

That's where American Gangster becomes a throwback. He feels comfortable rapping about what he's rapping about and it seems effortless. This record is not going to be a monster - it'll put up huge numbers on the strength of Jay alone, but not because it was made to be a monster. It was made to be a record. I like thing that are cohesive and know where they are going. Lost does that. The Wire does that. Hell Hath did that. The Office does that. I know these are all random things, but you get the idea. If you put the work in, I'll appreciate it. And if you're more talented than everyone else that does it, then I'll appreciate it that much.

And that's where I stand with American Gangster. It's cohesive in every sense - thematically, sonically, lyrically. Everyone has used the phrase, "drenched in 70's era soul," when describing the album. And that's correct - it is. And it's a great thing - the smooth sounding music perfectly matches Jay-Z delivery. He's made a career out of just delivering and being smooth with his flow. That's where he differs from Biggie and Pac - they wanted you to feel every word out of their mouth. Jay wants the same thing but he does it by being understated rather than bashing your head open.

My favorite tracks (in no particular order):

1) Hello Brooklyn - The bass on the beat is incredibly woozy - makes me miss driving my car through the suburbs with the windows rattling. Also, I've realized that I like Wayne solely because of his delivery - his lyrical content is subpar compared to the best rappers, but the way he uses his voice as an instrument is almost unparalleled. On this track Wayne slithers his way through the spaces that the base and drum claps leave him, while Jay just rides the beat.

2) Roc Boys - One of the best opening verses to a song that I've heard in a long time. The beat is infectious. The chorus also kind of gets stuck in your head. And when the girl's voice is splashed over the chorus near the end, it starts off as kind of cheesy, but grows on you.

3) Ignorant Shit - Beanie Siegel delivers a good half verse and then Jay cuts him off to talk about the Imus controversy. Also love this song because I think Jay wisely continues his trend of taking real words and turning them into fake words, much like "mag-e-nats" in Excuse Me Miss. Here he goes with celebutantes and pulpittin'. Not sure if those are in Webster's.

4) Success - On the strength of the beat alone. Everything else is icing.

5) Fallin'
- Could have fit in on the Blueprint with a great flow. Also, is he mocking Ballin'?

Anyway, tomorrow I'll have 5 new favorite songs on the album.

And I guess there's the inevitable debate of where this album falls within the spectrum of Jay albums. I'm hesitant to give my opinion (no, actually I'm not) because I think that ranking albums is too subjective. Case in point - my two favorite Jay albums to listen to are The Dynasty and Vol. 1 (you'd be hard pressed to find someone else with that feeling) but the two best Jay-Z albums are Blueprint and Reasonable Doubt. This album is up there with the two of them, but since I've listened to it for less than a day I'll have to withhold my judgment.

Either way, it's the Roc bitches.


With Michigan's opener against Radford three days away, it’s time for our biannual team-by-team Big Ten Breakdown. Starting in reverse order of projected finish, we start with the aforementioned Northwestern Wildcats - the only BCS school never to make the Big Dance.

2006-07 Record: 13-18 (2-14)
Projected Finish: 11th
Returning Starters: 3
Head Coach: Bill Carmody
Best Player: Kevin Coble (13.4 PPG, 5.2 RPG)

5 Reasons for Optimism:

1) Along with Mike Conley and Greg Oden, Kevin Coble (pictured) was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team... that's the last time you will ever see those three names mentioned together.

2) The Wildcats have only one senior, but their young players are all very experienced... at losing.

3) With Iowa and Michigan starting from scratch and Penn State and Minnesota being Penn State and Minnesota, NU should be able to surpass two conference wins.

4) Doubled the number of black players from last year - let freedom ring!

5) Freshman PG Juice Thompson was actually recruited by other programs (Oklahoma St., Clemson) and considered a 3-star recruit by Rivals along with Kelvin Grady.

5 Reasons for Pessimism:

1) Coble is taking a leave of absence to care for his mother and who knows when he'll be back.

2) Of Northwestern's 14 players, 10 are white. 10! They're like the reverse Georgetown Hoyas. We don't want to call Bill Carmody a racist (OK, that's a lie), but when there's smoke...

3) Having one senior also means there will be just one scholarship to offer a real basketball player in recruiting.

4) The Cats were outrebounded last year by nearly 10 boards per game (zero players over 6-8), which is an especially big problem when you suck at shooting too.

5) Aside from going 2-14 in the Big Ten, Northwestern also lost to Cornell and Tennessee Tech.

Carmody is a good coach. The guy led Princeton to postseason appearances each season after taking over for Pete Carril (2 NCAA, 2 NIT).

The problem is that Carmody is trying to run the Princeton offense with Princeton players. Thompson and Coble are a start, but this team is seriously lacking in talent and athleticism. Expect another long season in Evanston which could be Carmody's last unless the Cats show some real improvement by the end of the year.



If I'm a Michigan tax payer or a current U of M student, I'm a little perturbed right now after finding out my money is going to former Penn State basketball coach Jerry Dunn - Michigan's new associate head basketball coach.

This despite the fact we could have sworn we saw J.D. eating out of a trash can in Union Square the other week, which was actually less surprising than this.

In fact, looking at our coaching staff, Beilein's got a bigger posse than Hansel, M.C. Hammer and Juan Gonzalez combined (our new graduate assistant manager was teaching middle school literature at this time last year).

Is this what Michigan basketball has become: Social security for bad Big Ten coaches? Why not bring Dan Monson and Mike Davis aboard too (heck, we only beat him once in six years at IU).

This guy should definitely be coaching in the D-League with Dave Bliss, Quin Snyder and Jim Harrick.

It just puzzling from such a great coach like Beilein. Maybe this is like having to hang around with the fat-chick best friend to date a hot chick...


(Update: Mark Dantonio and State are already crying like little girls about being disrespected, calling Mike Hart classless, etc. etc.. Their motto: "It's personal now." Hey, that was our line! Oh whatever, you can have it...)

There aren't enough game balls to go around after Michigan's comeback victory over Sparty on Saturday - not necessarily for anything that happened during the game, but what immediately followed.

Game ball #1 goes to whoever thought of our "moment of silence" for Michigan State (big props to Scott Bell for writing a whole column on this). It gets perfect marks for originality, realness and disrespect. Sadly, there was no Drew Sharp column talking about how classless and immature it was (don't worry, we just e-mailed him).

Game ball #2 to Chad Henne:

Perfect bombs to Mathews and Manningham aside, gotta love Chad face planting, getting up and smacking the banner over the entrance. You show 'em, Chad! Does anyone else picture Chad having horrifying flashbacks to this moment whenever he does something stupid? Please let it be so.

Game ball #3: Mike Hart for openly mocking Michigan State in the postgame as a pathetic little brother.

Sometimes it's easy to forget this is the same school of the Fab Five, The Pose and Charles Woodson.

It's about damn time we started being jackasses again. It's what we do best.

The only thing left is for Lloyd Carr to get in on the act by A) Predicting we're going to "do OSU in the pooper" or B) Performing the Soulja Boy dance in the locker room with bozacks in hand.

Go Blue.



You already know how much we hate Football Night in America.

Watching Bob Costas and Keith Olbermann giggle like school girls while trying to outwit each other with pithy dialogue is just misery. But apparently we're not being tortured enough, as NBC will be "going green" by (wait for it....) turning off the lights while on-air (note irony here about NBC being owned by General Electric).

Reports Michael Hiestand of USA Today:

"We're thinking of having Cris Collinsworth wear a miner's helmet with a light," says show producer Michael Weisman, seemingly serious. "And have candles. Or maybe Glow Sticks."

Weisman added that "We're opening ourselves up for ridicule and sarcasm."

You mean by turning your halftime show into a rave? Really, you think?

We have a better idea to go green: Turn off Football Night in America.

Man, we're geniuses.