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Harbaugh, gastronome of a sort. The Washington Post surveys the chain-restaurant landscape and arrives at the same conclusion Jim Harbaugh has:
1. Cracker Barrel
Especially after eating a lot of food that tasted as if it came from a factory rather than a kitchen, it was clear: No other chain restaurant in my months-long survey comes as close to home cooking as this operation. If the chicken dumplings are a little doughy and the corn bread muffins prove a tad salty, just about everything else that crossed my lips in this barn-size dining room dressed with lanterns and license plates is something I’d be happy to try again. Seconds, please, of the tasty meatloaf streaked with vegetables, tender roast beef with peppery brown gravy, and lemony, skin-on trout fillets, a weekly special. You don’t have to eat rich here; a side of fruit brims with fresh pineapple, blackberries and blueberries, although the not-too-sweet pecan pie is worth the detour from any diet.
It will not surprise you that Columbus-based trash purveyor Buffalo Wild Wings finishes dead last. Because they don't even have plates. You want a plate? What does this look like, civilization? Here, eat your fried glop out of falling-apart cardboard, peon. You deserve it for coming here, the worst place on earth.
Also our abbreviation doesn't make any sense. We've only got two Ws! Two Ws and zero plates.
Patterson on the move. FWIW, he again asserts he'll likely be eligible immediately:
“It’s in God’s hands,” said Patterson, who would compete with Brandon Peters and Dylan McCaffrey for the starting job. “From what I’m hearing, I’m pretty sure that I will win that and be able to play next year. If I don’t, I’ll work as hard as I can learning the offense and I’ll be Playing the year after.”
“I had a really good feeling around the players,” Patterson said. “How professional and business-like they were in practice really attracted me. It was just awesome meeting with coach Harbaugh. I could definitely see myself playing for someone like him.”
I imagine Ole Miss practices seem rather like... oh... I don't know... a Sonic run by Brady Hoke's younger brother.
Puttin' curly fries in the milkshakes! That's not how we do it around here, Auston! You are disrespecting me, the Sonic franchise, and your parents, Auston! Don't get a tattoo on your face, neither! Fired up about chain restaurants today! Fired up!
Oh well. Deontay Anderson tweeted that he is "wide open," and given that previous reports held that he had made a decision for Michigan as long as his transfer went through it's clear that the transfer did not go through. I'd imagine it's the same for Van Jefferson; if either guy wants to be on campus at his new school by January there's no time to waste.
Since neither of these guys is named Greg Little or Shea Patterson that's fairly shrug-worthy. Jefferson would have helped as an established competent person at WR; Michigan's pursuit of Anderson was always a bit odd since they get both safeties back and have brought in 4-5 over the 2017 and 2018 recruiting classes. Neither was an urgent, urgent need. I wonder just how bad these transcripts are. Is this an "I can get into Louisville" situation or an "I can get into a JUCO" situation? We'll see. Pretty pretty sure Ole Miss wasn't taking care of Anderson's eligibility for the past year.
Money for the dead. JFC:
Power 5 programs are paying a combined $69.01 Million in buyouts this year alone...you could give every Power 5 football player around $10,000 with that money...Institutions of higher education are paying $69,010,000 to seven individuals for them to not work #crazy
— Joel Klatt (@joelklatt) December 12, 2017
Standard rant about the NCAA goes here.
This is new. Texas blog Barking Carnival expresses... open frustration at their offense after playing Michigan? In basketball?
The Cavalcade of Missed Shots
Texas shot 43% from two, which is a dozen points lower than normal. Texas hitting 55% from two is six more points on the scoreboard, and the last four minutes potentially plays out much differently. Well, at least until Dylan Osetkowski throws another People’s Elbow at a defender in the paint. He’s lucky as hell not to get hit with a flagrant on that thing; he really is Texas’ version of Eduardo Najera.
Texas can't shoot and doesn't have a lot of skill despite back to back #6 classes reeled in by Shaka Smart, but that's not how I expected the game recap to go. I am still somewhat leery of getting on board the We Defense Good Now train if only because Michigan got eviscerated by North Carolina. And still starts Duncan Robinson and Mo Wagner at the 4 and 5. But those years when Michigan finished in the triple digits on defense are hopefully in the rear view mirror.
Wagner is probably okay. Michigan has a couple weeks here against tomato cans that should let Mo Wagner get healthy after twisting his ankle late in the Texas game. Beilein's postgame statement:
"It looks like a slight ankle sprain," John Beilein said after Michigan's 59-52 win over Texas Tuesday. "I really didn't see. They gave me the old 'day to day.' We'll wait and see. We've been here before. We don't think it's serious at this point. We'll know more tomorrow."
There has not been an update since.
Michigan's RPI, though... Those tomato cans are going to hurt. User "LS And Play":
Following Michigan's two big wins the last 5 days, I thought I would take look at our RPI as it stands today and how it will play out for the rest of the season. Fair or not**, the RPI is a big factor in determining seed lines. Brian and many others have been critical of Beilein's inability (or unwillingness) to game the RPI by playing #125-175 teams as opposed to #250+ teams.
RPI as of today: #21. Terrific, right?
In the next three weeks, Michigan will play #260 Detroit, #327 Jacksonville, and and #347 Alabama A&M. Live-rpi.com has a neat little tool that allows you to simulate results to give you an estimate of RPI in the future. Let's assume that Michigan gets the three wins as anticipated.
RPI as of January 1: #52. And this is after three wins.
Brutal. Another commenter points out that substituting some not-completely-horrible teams ranked around #150 in leaves Michigan's RPI basically where it is today. Now, there is a reason to play Detroit in Detroit: recruiting. Also, Detroit-Mercy has historically been at least all right. Playing SWAC teams you know are horrible is another thing entirely.
Etc.: Roll tide. Mo Hurst has some impressive numbers. MSU's leadership should suffer for their years-long coddling of a predator.