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WTKA Roundtable 6/23/2022: The Lithuanian Boxer from 1950

WTKA Roundtable 6/23/2022: The Lithuanian Boxer from 1950

June 23, 2022

Things discussed:

  • Re: Bakich, Sam says Seth was right, Seth says Seth was wrong, or at least needs to amend his comments on summer baseball: Semi-Pro ball is a big deal to the baseball world. Replacing a 100-year-old structure may be a good idea, but it's a very BIG idea and would take a massive risk of the kind that the Big Ten won't ever take.
  • Baker: Just a Houstan™, but that's something we needed. Set shooter, fills a spot as a backup 2 or 3, was a top-40 recruit so if his hip heals okay he should be an alright defender of 3s. Was on a great offense so okay that he was only 10 min/game at Duke.
  • Emoni Bates: The kind of guy Howard protects you from, because he's seen the circus and won't make the same mistake most coaches do. They just lost Frankie Collins to a down move because of a shitty parent. Not actually a good basketball player.
  • Youssef: All in favor, good shooting stroke, has skill, can be a Franz lite. Can we win a Zoom recruitment?
  • Dug: Best passer at Michigan since? Seth: Makes sense, since Howard probably saw he has two guys named Howard on the roster, and sorted the 247 rankings by best passer.
  • Football recruiting: Do we panic? No. Do we worry? Yes. Sam's starting to believe Dante Moore is more likely to go to Oregon now. If you're chasing Michigan State you have a problem. Michigan's new tack sounds like a morality play and is going to blow up in their faces. Players have value to their institutions before they play: they have earned it.
  • The players create themselves more than the coaches. Michigan has a good talent evaluation program but so does Notre Dame, and they will get in on these guys too. Hassan Haskins was a great player in high school—the system is getting better at identifying those guys.
  • Off-air: This NIL approach is exactly like what got Michigan to fall behind in the 1950s. Oosterbaan and Crisler thought they had a solid program because they won in '47 and '48, and didn't figure out until it was way too late that they really were missing a major shift in CFB history and allowing MSU, OSU, and ND to thrive when Michigan should have dominated the early TV era.
WTKA Roundtable 6/9/2022: Raw Team Fight

WTKA Roundtable 6/9/2022: Raw Team Fight

June 9, 2022

Things discussed:

  • Baseball gets robbed: L'ville got six outs in the 8th inning to come back. NCAA is so committed to amateurism they're using local fanboys as umps. Craig lays out his grand conspiracy.
  • Michigan losing on bad officiating, for some reason, is always couch-burning affair in East Lansing.
  • Keeping Eric 'Fire' Bakich: No argument he's the perfect guy for Michigan, but Michigan is in a mid-major conference.
  • Seth: $1.3 million/year in college baseball is Saban to LSU. If Clemson is going to throw money at him to build a rival to UNC, the only way to match that is to commit to changing the paradigm.
  • Sam: Can Michigan Kim Barnes-Arico this? Seth: The difference is you can build a national contender at Michigan in the current WBB landscape; you can't do that with a Big Ten baseball team when you only get three weeks to play home games and 12 scholarships to spread around the roster.
  • The system has to change, and Michigan has to lead. Baseball/softball right now is set up for UCF to have more advantages than Michigan or Notre Dame. The early season tournaments and May tournament are terrible for baseball—even teams in the lower Midlands are screwed by January baseball.
  • Where is Kevin Warren? He should be livid. He should be pulling the Big Ten out of the NCAA.
  • If you let Bakich go, you're conceding you're mid-major. Guess what: We are, unless we change that now. Let's have BASEBALL in this country!
  • CJ Carr to Notre Dame: Michigan lost their momentum by losing both coordinators and Courtney Morgan, and having Harbaugh put proof to the rivals' constant refrain that he doesn't want to be here. The turnover is a feature of the program, and it holds them back.
  • Courtney Morgan is a bigger loss than CJ Carr; this makes Dante Moore more likely.
  • Seth questions whether Mike Hart and Denard Robinson are able to do their jobs, but takes it back: How can they when they haven't been in those positions?
  • Michigan's back-end recruiting was excellent in 2022, though Sam points out a lot of those wins (Dent, Spurlock, Berry) were Courtney Morgan; front-end recruiting is where they're falling behind.
  • Morgan: Wasn't just money. DeBoer was a close friend who made him his right hand man; he wasn't going to be Harbaugh's right hand man.
WTKA Roundtable 6/2/2022: Somebody Believes in Me

WTKA Roundtable 6/2/2022: Somebody Believes in Me

June 2, 2022

Things discussed:

  • Craig has a Nadal take.
  • Baseball: bats came alive in the tournament.
  • Joe Stewart: Makes Sparties so mad. Team came together when MSU threw at his head and they (and he) responded.
  • We do NOT trust the pitching. Good news: it's a hitter's regional. Louisville and Oregon are bat teams. So is everyone in the Big Ten save Iowa.
  • Rutgers got hosed. Kevin Warren would have said something if it was Ohio State.
  • Willie Weiss: Bakich's theory on his pitching turnaround is he overloaded his credits.
  • "MICHIGAN CHEATERS!"? Dude, he faced 2 batters. Also: it's baseball. Yankee fans are still mad about Kenny Rogers, but nobody else clutches their pearls over this. He's just bad at hiding it; give him a few years in the Astros farm system and he'll be better at hiding it.
  • Anyone else think the balls were hopping off the bats in Omaha? A couple of those homers were fly ball swings.
  • Michigan hoops: Need a 4, unless TW can improve his defense, or Jett is there. He'll be more active than Houstan; dirty secret is neither guy staying in the draft was
  • Craig's hot take: Caleb Houstan is Kam Chatman.
  • NIL and bigs: These guys are valuable in college like they're not in the NBA, and their personalities can shine here too. Helps less with the 5-star one-and-done types, because (see: Diabate, Houstan) they have to cash in now, and their freshman years are not as valuable as what they'll become.
  • Changes how we think Michigan should replace recruiting.
  • Softball: Why are their best players leaving? Is it competitiveness, or (Seth says) they have a big class coming in that they recruited pre-pandemic, and just 12 scholarships.
WTKA Roundtable 5/26/2022: The University of Werner Heisenberg

WTKA Roundtable 5/26/2022: The University of Werner Heisenberg

May 26, 2022

Things discussed:

  • Big Ten rescheduling: Not in favor of replays, don't need the divisions but better that than replays. Absolutely gross to play Michigan-Ohio State in an antiseptic NFL stadium one week after The Game.
  • Seth: No replays ever. If you lost to a team in the playoffs, you're out of the playoffs (sorry, Georgia).
  • Conspiracy: Ohio State was about to be locked in with Wisconsin; if it's not unfair Ohio State thinks it's not fair.
  • Showcase, Showcase, Showcase! You ALWAYS get the best games.
  • NIL: Once this gets normalized it should be okay for Michigan, but they're being way too careful about following the intent of a rule that had no intent other than to not get sued.
  • Sam: What if players want what the other player got? Seth: We figured this out already.
  • Sam throws cold water on us. Michigan is intent on living in a world that nobody else is in.
  • It's already pay for play. Look at the Fortnite ad: Nobody was like "Ooh, I'm gonna go play Fortnite" they're like "Hell yeah, my boy Roman Wilson is getting paid!"
  • It's true that the system, especially the transfer portal is out of control.
  • Hockey: Craig thinks they're going to be *BETTER* this year? Brian disagrees: they're going to be kids, set back to the 2-year cycle.
  • Hobey for Hughes? He'll be the best player in college hockey, but that's rarely who wins the Hobey.
  • Softball: Read Alex's column. Short version: Hutch has to adapt again. She has before!
WTKA Roundtable 5/19/2022: Superfreak

WTKA Roundtable 5/19/2022: Superfreak

May 19, 2022

Things discussed:

  • Nick Saban is mad that the kettle can be black too.
  • Seth: This is what the party people in Russia sounded like when communism fell. When you're the beneficiary of a corrupt system, anything that rocks the boat is bad.
  • Brian: Bama will be fine; Saban always gripes then adapts. He complained that the spread offense was going to cause injuries, then he went and got a spread offense.
  • Hope for a 1950s Pac-style circular firing squad? Maybe it will change how the NCAA regulates itself.
  • Big Ten realignment/championship game? Seth makes his case for the Showcase system.
  • Moussa Diabate's athletic testing: yeah he gone. Houstan? We're starting to assume he's gone because nobody from Michigan seems to understand what's going on while he's getting mocked to Okie City.
  • Transfer portal shopping? We think a push for Pete Nance is the first move (Illinois leading but is Michigan's hat in there?). Other options.
  • Pistons at 5: Murray or Ivey?
WTKA Roundtable 5/12/2022: Put That Beer Under Your Coats!

WTKA Roundtable 5/12/2022: Put That Beer Under Your Coats!

May 12, 2022

Things discussed:

  • Some people on this podcast have never seen Brady Bunch, or Seinfeld, or both!
  • Long NIL discussion: The NCAA is in "We gotta do something" mode but have no ability to actually do something.
  • They can't do anything because they're hamstrung by their own legal arguments that deny them a way to have players sign contracts, and hamstrung by their enforcement mechanism which is the schools investigate their own.
  • How do you even define "inducements"? What if Michigan gives every player a Corvette because this is the school where the people who engineer American automobiles go and that's a good marketing strategy for the Big Three?
  • Craig: The NCAA's stance here is "Please hide your beers or we'll tell you to hide your beers!"
  • What's the college model? Brian: the D3 level is still that model. Seth: Even that is still an exchange of goods (degree) for services. Why draw lines in the first place?
  • There are needs for control. Capping salaries at different levels for competitive balance. Having players sign contracts so they can't be poached, because that's not going to stop.
  • Caleb Houstan: Why did he pull out of the combine? Who's offering to draft him on workouts? Or is something else going on?

Sam's sitdown with Saddi and Phil: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

WTKA Roundtable 5/5/2022: Make the World You Want to Live In

WTKA Roundtable 5/5/2022: Make the World You Want to Live In

May 5, 2022

Things discussed:

  • Michigan draft picks: DE production in college translates. Love Dax on the Bengals—fixes a major "you drafted a Buckeye cornerback" mistake. Nice to have the Ravens to snatch up any leftover Michigan players.
  • So many Georgia picks: and the best player on that defense slipped to the 3rd round. Why? College football's playoff system had all the players who wanted to play in the playoffs collect in the three or four schools that make the playoffs with regularity. We're seeing a reflection of an unprecedented amount of talent pooling at the top.
  • Frankie's transfer: people around him were oversensitive to playing time. He also wasn't very good on ball screens last year—and won't ever be a shooter. Was pretty clear Michigan needed another guard, and one of the reasons was to get some shooting on the floor when Michigan's down. Unfortunate that the state of things are such that a guy like Frankie can even consider going to Arizona State.
  • Llewellyn is now a point guard—offense is going to run through Dickinson and be fine, but defense is now an issue, unless Kobe Bufkin takes some huge strides.
  • Emoni Bates? Lol. Michigan wasn't interested; seems like Bates was but we already had forwards coming out of our ears. Hot take: he should have gone to MSU.
  • NIL and Hunter Dickinson's comments: Glad to see someone at Michigan is finally taking leadership in the conversation. NCAA wants Congress to bail them out. Shouldn't be a Title IX issue if Michigan is facilitating payments, not making the payments themselves.
  • Michigan *could* be awesome at this. We have donors who support the program rather than just look for access or ask "What do I get for my money?" and that makes us a more attractive school than a Texas, LSU, or Ole Miss where the donors want you to dance.
  • Mel Pearson's contract? We don't know, but Michigan had their opportunity to run away, and we think they probably would have if they didn't have some belief—perhaps a verbal communication about the WilmerHale Report's contents—that they won't have to fire him. Can't discount the possibility that they're sweeping it under the rug, or twiddling their thumbs while they wait for the report to be published.
WTKA Roundtable 4/28/2022: Let’s Go Losers!

WTKA Roundtable 4/28/2022: Let’s Go Losers!

April 28, 2022

Things discussed:

  • Hunter Dickinson: This is why NIL is good for the game. In college he's the cornerstone of a very good team, a heel, and a constant presence; no NBA fans are going "Ah man, I hope my team drafts you."
  • Illinois is falling apart: nobody wants to play for Brad Underwood.
  • NCAA vs NIL: They're going to lose—their latest fig leaf just got blown up by Mississippi and Tennessee. Emmert firing isn't going to change this. They serve the presidents who serve the donors. Opportunity here for the players to unionize and fill the power void.
  • The future is contracts whether they want it or not, because the schools are parties who want services, and are hunting for someone to make a deal with because the NCAA can't protect them anymore.
  • Players unionizing?
  • Transfer portal shopping: Shannon seems like an NIL duel with Texas Tech, who wants to keep him.
  • Portal problem for Michigan is transferring credits, because they have a matching system where the classes you took have to match classes offered at Michigan, and the people who could change that are, by design, siloed from people who want to make that change for sports reasons.
  • Where Michigan is on NIL versus where they should be are miles apart.
  • NCAA has imbalances that have grown up from years. Stop caring who's advantaged; no matter what changes you make to a system there will be a change in advantage. What matters is what's moral—what's right for the game and for its participants.
  • Example: small schools like playing over-agers and Michigan doesn't like it because our players out of high school are better than theirs. But it's good for the players and good for college hockey and good for people getting an education and participating in college sports who aren't going to be pros, which matters more than Michigan's traditionalist needs.
  • Mel: does he have a job? When are they going to say something?
  • Lions/Hutchinson. Seth says the Lions can't take Aidan Hutchinson because he is a winner and the Lions are losers.
  • All me to explain, off-air: The Lions are the only franchise in professional sports that knows how to make losing fun.
The Michigan Hockeycast 4.26: Next Man Up

The Michigan Hockeycast 4.26: Next Man Up

April 27, 2022

With David Nasternak and Alex Drain

This Podcast Has a Sponsor: Michigan Law Grad Jonathan Paul is the guy with the C you want skating next to the ref and pleading your case. He's also a good guy to sit next to at the hockey games.

[Writeup after THE JUMP]

---------------------------------

Segment 1: The Forwards

  • Already Been Drafted
  • Forwards in the 2022 Draft
  • Defensemen in the 2022 Draft
  • The 2023 Folks

Segment 2: Defense, Goaltending, Overalls

  • Forwards Coming Back
  • Defense Mostly Set
  • Goalies? Check.
  • Any line combos? Special Teamers?
  • Anything Else? Takes?

---------------------------------

MUSIC

  • NHL on ESPN Theme
  • "Closing Time" -- Semisonic
  • Ice Hockey (NES) theme
WTKA Roundtable 4/21/2022: The Medal of Honor

WTKA Roundtable 4/21/2022: The Medal of Honor

April 21, 2022

Things discussed:

  • Miggy Theater 3000
  • Terrence Shannon would be a perfect fit—Charles Matthews with better outside shooting and not as good at bad shots. 97%ile on spot-ups, is a 6'6" wing defender who played for TTU. If Diabate goes to the NBA, you bump up Houstan to the four and Shannon is a three.
  • Admissions? That seems to be the real question. He might lose a lot of credits.
  • Is there a scholarship? No way you get another 8 months without losing at least someone on the team right now. If they do, can one of Juwan's sons (Jace, probably, because of NCAA rules for blue shirts) redshirt?
  • Football scholarship situation? They're at 87 by my count, and they know they'll lose a couple more before the season.
  • Jay Wright: Didn't make it about himself. Can you name another coach who knocked us out of the tournament twice and each time we were like "Yeah, he deserves it."
  • Is the NIL/transfer system good? Complaints from those who benefited from the rot of the old system (Saban, Dabo) you can ignore right out. As for the rest, the NCAA needs to look at how to regulate this with incentives to stay at your school, and incentives for the schools to develop their own.
  • Who are the NCAA serving? The guys who want labor to be cheap.
  • If Michigan loses both Dante Moore and CJ Carr, there's a major problem with recruiting.
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