Brady Hoke

Fan blames Michigan, OC Al Borges for drunk-driving charge


When a fan’s team is struggling, the old chestnut goes, it’s enough to drive a man to drinking.

In the case of a Michigan fan, that’s precisely what transpired a couple of weekends ago.  At least, that’s what he claimed during a non-sober moment (allegedly).

According to the Dearborn Press & Guide, a 25-year-old man was arrested on a drunk-driving charge very early in the morning of Nov. 3.  The man was found asleep/passed out in his vehicle by police officers and was ultimately determined to have a BAC of .24, which the paper notes is “above the state’s .17 super-drunk standard”

The man, who acknowledged to police that he was drunk and had urinated on himself — another super-drunk standard, I believe — was very candid with police as to what led to his binge:

While he was being booked, he said he drank so much because he was upset that the University of Michigan’s football team lost 29-6 at Michigan State University the day before. He said he also was upset with the play-calling of Offensive Coordinator Al Borges, whose Wolverines rushed for a negative-48 yards, the worst ground performance since the school started playing football in 1879.

In fairness to the unidentified man, he’s likely not the only Wolverine fan who’s turned to barley and hops and distilled spirits to assuage their anguish over their team’s performance of late.

UM stands at 6-3 in a season that began with high expectations, and could be below .500 were it not for a pair of narrow September escapes against Akron and UConn.  The Wolverines have plummeted to 97th in rushing yards per game and are 83rd in total offense.  The past two weeks, both losses, they’ve managed just 19 points as they’ve played their way out of contention for a division title and shot at a Big Ten title game berth.

Hell, after reading that, I need a beer or two and I’m not even a UM fan…

Wisconsin announces 10-year agreement with Under Armour

Joel Stave
Associated Press

What has long been rumored became fact Friday, as Wisconsin announced a 10-year agreement with Under Armour.

“I am absolutely thrilled about our new partnership with Under Armour,” AD Barry Alvarez said in a statement. “Kevin Plank and his team have established a brand that fits perfectly with the Wisconsin athletics story and culture. Our primary focus at Wisconsin is, of course, our student-athletes, and Under Armour’s passion and commitment to high quality and innovation will benefit our student-athletes for years to come. Our entire department is looking forward to a long and mutually productive relationship with the Under Armour team.”

The new deal will pay the Badgers a total of $7 million in cash and product in 2015-16 and is valued at $96 million over the life of the contract, good for second in the Big Ten, trailing only Nike’s new contract with Michigan.

Hidden within the contract are two nuggets that UA offered to sway the Badgers away from Adidas, from the Portland Business Journal:

Wisconsin will get as much as $500,000 from Under Armour to “rebrand” athletic facilities. It’ll get $150,000 to build out an Under Armour retail space in a campus gift shop called Bucky’s Locker Room. It also gets two summer internships for students at Under Armour’s Baltimore headquarters.

“The University of Wisconsin is an institution built on the highest values of academic excellence, and we are extremely proud to be teaming up with one of the most vibrant, distinctive and successful athletic programs in the country to help elevate the performance of all Badgers with innovative footwear and apparel,” added Plank.

Wisconsin’s departure continues to weaken the stronghold Adidas had built in the Midwest after losing Michigan to Nike and Notre Dame to Under Armour in recent years (the company still owns apparel rights for Indiana and Nebraska). The Badgers are now the 41st Division I athletics department and 17th FBS program to join UA.

Video: There’s nothing wrong with Cardale Jones

Getty Images

In the minds of some in the media and even more in the fan base, Ohio State in general and Cardale Jones specifically have been underwhelming through the first five games of the 2015 season.

Jones, in particular, has been a rather large target of much of the angst.  Coming off a Cinderella-like three-game postseason run that helped OSU to a national championship, the perception is that Jones has been underwhelming and underperforming; even head coach Urban Meyer appeared to be leaning in that direction as he considered making the switch to J.T. Barrett prior to the Western Michigan win before reaffirming his commitment to the redshirt junior.

Is that perception valid?  Statistically, he’s not that far off from where he was in the 2014 postseason, at least in a couple of categories.

He’s completing 61.3 percent of his passes this season compared to 59.4 percent in the games against Wisconsin, Alabama and Oregon.  It was 9.9 yards per attempt in that three-game stretch last season, 8.2 in five games this season.  When it comes to scoring and turning the ball over, however, that’s another matter entirely.

He threw a touchdown pass every 15 pass attempts in the 2014 postseason; this season, it’s one every 21 attempts.  Even more glaring, he’s currently throwing an interception every 21 attempts as well.  During the run that made him a household name, it was one pick every 37.5 throws.

So, fewer touchdowns plus more turnovers equals validation of the angst, right?  Not so fast, at least as far as the college arm of Pro Football Focus goes.