We has Video?

Midnight Maize's first video. This was the locker room tour. It was cool but to short. The workers were really pushing us through. Without the music, all you would hear is the staff keep saying "keep moving!" or "take the picture and move sir". I get why they do it but it's sorta annoying when all you wanna do is look at something. Anyway, I am glad I got the 1min tour. Enjoy the short video. There will be more I hope.. Once I Download a few torrents.

Midnight Maize 101

Midnight Maize 100th!! Awards Show.

Preview: NHL Playoffs Round 2

So I miraculously managed to predict exactly what would happen in the West, and then fail miserably in the East. At least I got the length correct of each series in the West in addition to the correct team. Anyways, here are my overviews for each series in the Conference Semi-Finals.

Eastern Conference:

4. Pittsburgh vs. 8 Montreal

How they got here: Pittsburgh demolished Ottawa like almost everyone (except me) predicted. Montreal shocked the Caps in 7 games, which almost no one expected.

Series Overview: Jaroslav Halak was Montreal's saving grace in Round 1 and will have to pull off a repeat performance for the Habs to have any shot of advancing. The Bell Centre crowd will have to channel the old Montreal Forum to give their team a shot when on home ice. Pittsburgh will have to get good goal-tending out of Fleury and good play out of Crosby, Malkin, and Staal. Look for an interesting series. If Montreal can get stellar goal-tending and consistent offense, watch out. I'm determined to pick against Pittsburgh, so I'll take the underdog once again. Series starts Friday at 7:00 PM on CBC, RDS, and Versus.

TV: CBC, Versus, RDS, NBC (Game 2 only)

Prediction: Montreal in 7

6. Boston vs 7. Philadelphia

How they got here: Both teams pulled off upsets, although Philadelphia's was much more surprising than Boston's. Brian Boucher outplayed Martin Broudeur to help the Flyers advance, while Tukka Rask outplayed Ryan Miller to help the Bruins advance.

Series Overview: Boston gets Marc Savard back, which is huge, as he is their main offensive threat. Tukka Rask will have to play well again in order for Boston to advance. Philadelphia will have to hope that Jeff Carter and Simon Gagne both get healthy in time for the series, while Brian Boucher will have to stand on his head again for the Flyers to advance. Should be an interesting match-up. Series starts Saturday at 12:30 PM on NBC and TSN.

TV: TSN, Versus, NBC (Game 1 only)

Prediction: Boston in 6

Western Conference:

1. San Jose vs. 5 Detroit

How they got here: Detroit beat the Cinderella story team Phoenix after a thrilling seven game tilt, while San Jose partially got rid of their title of "Consistent Choke Artists in the Playoffs" by defeating Colorado in 6 games, even after they lost one on an own goal by Dan Boyle.

Series Overview: Detroit will once again ride on experience while hoping for another solid performance from Jimmy Howard. Pavel Datsyuk needs to continue his recent hot streak, while Nick Lidstrom will have to elevate his play from the first round. A few good hits from Kronwall would not hurt either. San Jose must hope that Nabakov does not manage to collapse and that Joe Thornton actually shows up for this series. In the end, I believe that San Jose will once again manage to either throw away this series, or that the Wings will just simply outplay them. Series begins Thursday at 8:30 PM on TSN and Versus

TV: TSN and Versus

Prediction: Detroit in 6

2. Chicago vs. 3. Vancouver

How they got here: Chicago managed to finish off a pesky Nashville team that squandered a glorious chance to go up 3-2 in the series by giving up the tying goal in Game 5 with roughly 13 seconds to go. Chicago also got lucky that Marian Hossa was not suspended for his hit on Dan Hamuis, which was quite similar to Ovechkin's hit on Campbell at the end of the season, which netted him a 2 game suspension. Vancouver managed to finish off LA after an interesting tilt that saw them blow out LA in Game 5 7-2.

Series Overview: This series is probably the most intriguing of the second round match-ups. This a rematch of last year's Semi-Final which saw Chicago defeat Vancouver in 6 games, including a Game 6 7-5 thrashing, which earned Luongo the nickname 7uongo on some boards. This series will be determined by which team has the better goaltender, as both Niemi and Luongo have been prone to mistakes during the playoffs (Niemi in Game 1 against Nashville and Luongo in the aforementioned Game 6 last year). In terms of offense, Vancouver will need to have the Sedins play like they did at the end of the season (or Game 5 in the playoffs), while Chicago will need Hossa to not choke and Kane to continue his success against Vancouver from last year (hat-trick in Game 6). This series could easily go both ways, but I believe that Vancouver will exact revenge for last year's humiliating end and move on to the Conference Finals. Series starts Saturday at 8:00 PM on CBC and Versus.

TV: CBC, Versus

Prediction: Vancouver in 7

Note: No season series statistics were available at the time of this post. All times listed are EDT.

Current prediction record: 4-4.

MM 100th Episode Awards are a sham.

So I was talking with Drew Sharp this morning and in between his senseless ranting about Rich Rodriguez, an interesting topic came up. The dolphin puncher sez to me “DB do you realize that you’re up for best writer at MM?” I was shocked, I immediately shut off the (cough)video(cough) I was watching and stopped to scratch my head for an hour or so.

When I came out of my reverie I thought how can this be? Me up for best writer. This isn’t possible. I have never been up for best anything. Then I stopped to look at the awards. I was nominated for a few categories, including Best Writer, Worst Writer, Best MM’er, Worst MM’er, Biggest Douche, and last but not least The Clueless Award. The last one seems legit. Most of the time I feel like Alicia Silverstone in that god awful movie.

Where am I going with this? I AM NOT THE BEST ANYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can live with being the Worst whatever. But when you nominate me for the best of anything, it gives me a pesky little thing called hope. We all know what hope will get you. It will get you tied up to a bed in an Asian prostitutes bedroom who happens to think that a males organ is a collectors item. I can live without hope, I’ve done so for 76 years.

So in conclusion I’d like to thank Shredder for giving me this false sense of hope. I hope you can find said Asian Prostitutes room when I go missing these next few days.

Oh And Congrats to MM for making it to 100. You are THE MAN!


The 100th MM Live Blog Awards Nominees Show

Well the 100th Live blog is finally here. It seems just like yesterday that I stared this little blog. I had zero readers and spent most my nights alone,board and feeling silly for starting Midnight Maize. Well one night some dude named Hulk showed up on my door step. We chatted a bit and before you know it he was showing up every night. Hulk went on to help get others to come join MM and now have a good number of regulars and a handful of good writers.

I would like to thank all the MMers who show up almost every night and keep this guy company. Even in the dead of the boring off season where the hot topic might be "OMG OSD likes Harry Potter way too much", you guys keep coming and I just wanna thank you. Now off to the read carpet to see what awards we will be passing out at the 100th live blog!

Best Midnight Maizer
Dark Blue

Worst Midnight Maizer
Dark Blue

Best Lurker

Best Writer
Dark Blue

Worst Writer(poll)
Dark Blue
The Shredder

Best Meltdown

Biggest Douche
Dark Blue

Wish they would go away award

Best Rookie

Best ND fan 

Best Female MMers

The we don't really feel like we know you award

Topic I hate the most
NHL Hockey
OSD love affair with Harry Potter

Clueless Award
Dark Blue

Best Post(links/poll)
Seth9-Merits of Championships four parts
The Shredder-Damn that Fetuatitus
Tater-The End of Shamateurism: a Good Thing
Dark Blue-Must of got lost…
John S-Interview with 2011 Chaparral OL/DL Andre Yruretagoyena
SCS-Life at Yost

The 100th Midnight Maize Live Blog Awards have been brought to you by Tater's Fresh Rub Downs. For the freshest rub downs in the biz today!

Tune into the 100th Live Blog Wednesday night at 12am!

Midnight Maize 99

Midnight Maize 98

Shreds Top 15




Others receiving Votes-TheLastProphet,CWoodson,Chitown,Turd Ferguson.

The Shake Down

SCS keeps on cleaning up my messes. Even though I didnt have a live blog scheduled for Saturday night(draft night), SCS started one. TOB and JC move up due to some good info about a near possible commit. They bring some nice tidbit most nights. Will Robin ever jump Batman? Dark Blue drops only a bit. For no reason really. Others just stepped their games up(whatever that means). Seth9 with another great post about the Big 16 or 22..whatever, just read it. Sec20 seems to be opening up more,which only helps. OSD jumps a bit for watching some LOST. Tater drops due to having a day life but he will move up after his great night on Saturday night. Hulk started out at 1 and has dropped like a rock since. LOST mashing+humping a Bulaga Whale all night=A well deserved drop. Fly3 has showed up and done some nice things. Speaks his mind a bit and I hope to hear more from Fly. Jen drops out. Seems like she just shows up and meows.. Or doesn't answer my Droid question for a good 20 mins after asking 2729380 times. We will see what next week brings.

Shreds Top 15 has been brought to you by Mitzy Cat Food. The freshest tasting fish,red meat and turkey for your cat. Brought to your cat in tiny cat head shapes.

Big Ten Expansion and the New World Order #1

The issue of Big Ten Expansion is fascinating in its complexities. Should the Big Ten expand without simply adding Notre Dame, it will likely trigger full-scale conference realignment in college football. It is quite possible that the makeup of every conference will change as a result. Every conference and football program in the country is aware of this and thus they are thus attempting to either maneuver themselves so as to take advantage of an opportunity or simply survive the impending storm. This, in turn, leads to something of a mind game between schools and conferences, as each conference attempts to outthink the others in order to prosper (or at least remain in existence). And since it’s the offseason and there’s nothing else to do besides rehash old arguments about who will start at QB or what the makeup of our secondary will be, or lament how bad the previous year was and Hockey East referees are, it seems like the time to undertake the enterprise of attempting to decipher this game and speculate on and project the possible results of expansion.

In order to provide an arguably more original take on expansion, I will not begin by simply writing about individual teams that the Big Ten (or SEC or Pac 10) will take, but instead look at conference realignment in more macroscopic terms. Instead of evaluating say, how likely it is that Notre Dame will join the Big Ten, I will look at things such as what the Big Ten hopes to get out of expansion, and how Big Ten expansion could affect other conferences and how they would react. Then, using those ideas of a baseline, I will begin to speculate as to which specific teams will be involved in expansion. This will be accomplished in a series of posts. Today, I will begin by attempting to create a basic foundation of what I believe the motivations of the various conferences are.

So, to start off with, there are only three conferences that will definitely not lose teams, namely the Big Ten, SEC, and Pac 10, all of which may well expand before all is said and done. As these conferences are in the drivers seat, so to speak, any discussion concerning conference expansion and realignment must start with them. So to begin with, we’ll look at the motivations of these three conferences, as well as the restrictions on these conferences regarding expansion.

The Big Ten, SEC, and Pac 10 all occupy different niches geographically (obviously) and financially. By developing the Big Ten Network, the Big Ten’s primary focus became its geographic footprint. The Big Ten Network makes approximately 40% of its revenue from subscriber fees and 60% from advertising. Thus, the Big Ten has two major factors to consider regarding expansion. The first is to expand its footprint and thus increase subscriber-based revenue. The second is to improve the quality of its product by producing more live events and producing games that will have higher ratings (i.e. producing better games) so as to increase advertising revenue (see here for a more in depth look at the Big Ten Network's financial priorities). Meanwhile, the Big Ten has two sources of limitations on expansion. The first and most important is academic, as the Big Ten schools also belong to the prestigious CIC and do research together, and will therefore refuse to consider any subpar institutions regardless of their athletics and the academics of individual schools will be a major consideration as to which schools get invitations. The second restriction is a combination of location and culture, as the Big Ten wants a school in which the surrounding populace will be interested in watching other Big Ten teams and more importantly, a school that is a good fit with its current institutions. This mainly means that they’ll look first at state schools and big research schools first.

The SEC, meanwhile, has hitched themselves to the national networks of ESPN and CBS and currently holds the lion’s share of the national market. Their priority is to maintain, and if possible expand, their share of the national market. Should the Big Ten or Pac 10 expand, it is likely that the new teams will generate new and better games for the conferences, which will lead to more competition with the SEC nationally. This is relatively unimportant in the short term, as the SEC is contracted through most of the decade, but problematic in the long term because they would lose some of the athletic advantages they currently hold to other conferences. Thus, the SEC would have strong reason to expand should the Big Ten or Pac 10 make a move, even though this would further divide their television contract.

Like the Big Ten, the SEC also has limitations on teams they can take in expansion. First of all, they can only take schools from the south, as any other schools would simply not work from a cultural standpoint. Furthermore, they are limited by the problem of having to look to a small selection of teams from the ACC and Big 12. Finally, they are restricted by their low academic profile, which makes it impossible for them to get schools like Texas or North Carolina, whose faculties would block a move (something that Texas has already done). This also prohibits taking schools that really want to stay in the same conference of powerhouse academic institutions, meaning that schools like Texas A&M are probably out of the picture as well.

Finally, we have the Pac 10. The Pac 10 is untouchable by other conferences because of its geography, not its television contracts, which is actually less than the Big 12’s. However, the Pac 10 has multiple ways to woo other teams into the fold. First of all, the Pac 10 is going to renegotiate their contract this summer, which will almost certainly provide a somewhat substantial increase to their television revenue. Second of all, they have only ten teams, which allows them to divide revenue between fewer schools, which means that the money going to every individual school is greater. Thirdly, Pac 10 expansion would almost certainly yield a championship game, which would be worth an extra $10-15 million (this is also true for the Big Ten, but a championship game would not produce as big of an impact to Big Ten revenue as it would be a substantially smaller portion of the Big Ten TV revenue as compared to the Pac 10). Finally, the primary source of viable Pac 10 expansion candidates is the Big 12, which is highly unstable because it employs unequal revenue sharing practices that has led some schools (re: Missouri) to actively attempt to find a new and better home. Because the Big 12 could easily lose a large share of television revenue should any school defect (except for teams like Baylor and Kansas State that nobody wants anyway), and there are so many suitors for Big 12 teams, it is quite possible for the Pac 10 to take advantage of the uncertainty by either inviting a team who dislikes the structure of the Big 12 anyway, such as Colorado, or throwing out lifelines to other members of the Big 12 should an important team leave for the Big Ten and cause the conference to collapse.

Like the Big Ten and SEC, the Pac 10 has non-athletic limitations on expansion. These limitations are more significant in the Pac 10 than they are for any other conference because any school in the Pac 10 can veto a prospective candidate. This is a major problem when you consider that Stanford vetoed Texas (!) after the SWC collapsed and Texas needed a new home (apparently, Stanford and Texas had something of a rivalry at the time and Stanford decided to spite Texas by denying them admission in what was obviously an idiotic move in hindsight). While Texas would almost certainly get easy admission into the Pac 10 today, it does highlight the fact that a team must be a good fit with every member of the Pac 10 in order to get admission. This means that highly conservative schools such as BYU are pretty much automatically ruled out, because it is doubtful that Cal-Berkeley would be willing to associate with them. The same standard applies to tier 3 schools, as Stanford and Cal would almost assuredly veto them too (sorry Boise State). Combined with the problem of only being able to take western schools for geographic reasons, the candidate pool for the Pac 10 becomes heavily restricted.

Now, looking back at these motivations of the three most important conferences, we can see some definite possibilities begin to emerge. For instance, it is quite possible that each of the three conferences will raid the Big 12 of its strongest programs, in which case the remaining teams would have to combine with the strongest programs in the Mountain West (or the Mountain West may make a grab for the strongest survivors of a Big 12 bereft of Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Missouri, Nebraska, and Kansas, which would be kind of ironic in a cosmic sense). If the Big East is raided, the conference could dissolve or attempt to reconstruct itself by inviting the strongest mid-majors. The ACC may even lose teams to the SEC or Big Ten, in which case they would likely grab teams out of the Big East to replace them. There are a wide variety of fascinating possibilities for conference realignment based on a number of factors. Due to their complexity, they will be discussed in the next post, which is arguably anticlimactic, although I don’t really think this post really ever rose to the point where one could expect a climax in any sense…

Moving on, I’ll be able to post more often for the next few weeks as classes are over, so the follow-up to this should be up this week.

Midnight Maize 97

Midnight Maize 96

Midnight Maize 95

Thank you for Greatness

My brother called you "Bam GRAHAM!" I called you a man among boys. Thanks Brandon Graham for making the best of some tough times. Thanks for Murdering Glen Winston. Thanks for the MS Paint idea's. Thanks for being a Michigan Man. Thanks for never giving up. Enjoy the Eagles big 55. Thanks for the memories.

A walk down Brandon Graham MS Paint memory lane...

Midnight Maize 94

Midnight Maize 93

Spring Game Notes from the O

Went with a few buddies. We got to the big house at 9:00am. After parking in the free lot we made our way over to the locker room tour. It was really cool but a lot shorter then I thought it would be. There wasn't even a line. We made it through in like 5 mins.

We then played corn hole for a while. It was so windy the bean bags would fly to the left. It made it hard/not fun. Ate a few dogs and then went into the stadium for the alum game. I do like the idea of the alum game but it can get a bit boring after a bit. Maybe some bigger names would spice it up. I just watched the players warm up during most of the alum game. I couldn't even tell you who won.

The Game The Game

Everyone's favorite topic from now until UCONN and beyond.

Tate Forcier
Tate running with the 2s vs 1s will and does have impact. A lot of people have been pretty dramatic and have even thrown Tate under the bus. Which says a lot about some of our fan base... We eat our own. A kid shows so much guts and people start to give up on the kid. Its spring people. This is what spring is for. This diary at Mgoblog brings my piss to a boil. "Lost" in a spring game? Really? Alright I am getting off topic.

There were a few times where I said that's the same old Tate. The one being a almost INT to Mike Jones he should have not thrown and a fumble he got back after holding the ball like a loaf of bread. He still looks a bit uneasy in the pocket. Not staying put. He still needs work on the zone read. On the flip side, he still made some nice plays out of nothing and showed some leadership as he barked at Jeremy Jackson for not lining up right before he snapped the ball. I think this spring could be a good wake up call for Tate. I expect him to come out to Fall practice with something to prove and I think he will do that. It should make the week going into UCONN very interesting.

Denard Robinson
Denard was easily the best looking QB of the day. He made great reads in the hand off reads. There were times he was touched down that would have easily been a TD. Of course the crowd pleasing 89 yard throw to Roundtree. He just looked sharper. There were times he took off too early but there were times he hung in there and made a zip pass into a WR. He still struggled with short dink and dump passes.

He just looked more at ease. His arm looked good. He looked fast... So the starer come Fall? I don't know. I expect Tate to step up this fall and make this thing more complicated then it already is. Denard is the favorite horse to win the race but I feel it's far from over.

Devin Gardner
Devin came out with a lot of nerves. It was pretty laughable. You could tell he was very nervous. After a fumble and almost throwing a pick he settled in a bit. You can see how the upside is just oozing out of him. He made some great reads and when he runs he seems to be floating on air ala Young or Pryor.

He showed moments of greatness. Hanging in the pocket and throwing a strike down field(his best throw of the day dropped by Odoms). Than showed moments of being a freshmen. He was about to be sacked in the end zone and then threw a pick to Obi on about the 10 yard line. So an up and down day for Devin. It would be awesome to red shirt him but if one of our QBs get banged up he will be ready to go in. If you think there is a QB logjam this year, wait until next year..

Running Backs
Does anyone want the job?

My Running back rankings for the game.

1.Mike Cox-Had the best run of the game. Showed good burst.
2.Fitz-His had a nice showing. Broke tackles, made some nice cuts.
3.Shaw-Struggled but didnt get much carries. Seems like the QB kept the ball a lot when Shaw is in. Did have one TD.
4.Hopkins-Looked tough. He's a tank. I could see him getting a big role in the red zone. He trucked a few guys but he did get planted by Floyd(Devin's bad throw).
5.V.Smith-Out and still in the mix.
6.White-A fresh Red shirt coming up.

Wide Out

I am still down on the WRs. They might be the worst unit on the team. Lots of drops ion this game. A few frosh made some nice catches(Robinson,Miller). I can see Robinson seeing playing time. He looked solid. Stonum was no where to be seen. Odoms had a bomb from Devin dropped. Gallon did look shifty and T-Rob had a few nice grabs. I just expect more out of this group. Stokes you could tell wasn't a 100%. Stokes did have a nice attempt at a jump ball but could haul it in. I am not sure anyone has this team has "great" ball skills. Roundtree looked like the best of the bunch. Showed some nice speed in his 89 yard TD. He could be the goto WR. That's sorta my scrambled thoughts on the WRs. They still need work.

Strong like bull!

I am pretty limited in my o-line knowledge. I know they gave our qbs lots of time. On the same side of that there was no rushing the QB or anything like that. With Molk I expect this group to be one of the better units in the b10. They didnt make any gaping holes for a RB but played well. Seeing big ol 77 out there brought back warm fuzzy's.


Not much there. Nothing out of Koger. I think he had one catch. Moore had a nice grab from Devin and another catch later in the game. Webb had the catch from Forcier that should have been picked off. He showed good hands. Not much to report.

Be back with the the D in a few days.

Shreds Top 15


Well this week has been spotty. I called in one night and have been on vacation for the last 5 days. So not many live blogs as of late. Lets see how this thing shakes out.

1.SCS-Started the live blog Saturday night. I fell a sleep on the couch watching TV.... SCS has been there to clean up my mistakes.

2.Dark Blue-Made an effort to meet up at the spring game but forgot his phone.

3.Hulk-Good for x and o help.

4.TOB-Still holding down the 4th spot.

5.Seth9-Made a jump after getting the most votes besides "other". Not sure what that means.

6.JC-Keeps bringing good info on the whats going on at practice.

7.Tater-Good post about the spring game. Wish we could see more of tater. Always good.

8.Sec20-Gave us some inside on his life. Let us know about who,why,where,when and how.

9.OSD-Slipping down a rank. His LOST hate can only hurt him.

10.Jen-Holds onto that 10th spot. She made good efforts to meet up with me but I didnt get her email until I was in the car on my way out of AA.

12.Turd Ferguson-Changed name?
13.MMW-Co worker is hurting his ranking

Others receiving votes-gs85,NBL(are you lurking?),TheLastProphet(Could be in the top 15 soon),Tsimanga Cowabunga(MIA for a bit)

Be back tomorrow with my Spring Game findings. Also Live blog tomorrow night.

My Spring Game Observations

It was freaking cold……




Ah you thought that was it? No I’ve got some thoughts for you. I fully intended on meeting up with Shredder, however once I arrived in A2 I dug in my pocket only to realize I had left my phone in Grand Rapids. Brilliant simply Brilliant. So I sat through the Spring Game with my Dad(Father Son bonding anyone?), and had an absolute blast. I’ll definitely be back next year.

  1. In my opinion Denard Robinson was head and shoulders above the other two QB’s. He seemed to have great pocket presence, was able to throw (extremely) accurate, and made things happen with his legs. I’m taking nothing away from Forcier, but I think if the season started tomorrow D_Rob would be the starter.  
  2. I thought Will Campbell and Obi Ezeh looked really good. Big Will its such a dominating force in the middle, teams are going to have a hard time running though him. Obi seemed to be able to make plays when he needed to.
  3. The secondary looked “meh” . This isn’t a good sign for the Wolverines. The Robinson to Roundtree 97 yard touchdown pass burned the D to a crisp. Roundtree didn’t get caught this time which I guess is a plus.
  4. Roundtree was easily the best receiver anytime he was on the field. Gallon and Odoms played well but Roundtree will probably be the go to guy.
  5. Only about 5 months until we play UConn. That really sucks.


So there you have it DB’s not so good analysis of the Spring Game. The one thing to keep in mind, is that this offense should be able to score… ALOT!! Hopefully the D only gives up about 21 points a game. If that happens 10 wins is a big possibility.

Midnight Maize 92

Spring game impressions

Finally, after yet another week of anti-RR hysteria in the MSM, we got to watch the spring game. I will leave the deep analysis to those who are more qualified; I would rather give some quick impressions and miscellaneous observations.

1. Denard looks like a QB now.

After all these years of watching Michigan get killed by fast QB's who can throw just well enough to take advantage of their feet, Michigan now has one just like them. Last year, Denard looked like an athlete playing QB. This year, he looks like a QB with elite athletic ability. It remains to be seen what he can do against the number ones, but I would love to see RR play both Forcier and Denard most of the season if both stay healthy.

2. Tate Forcier gets no love

After his brave performances with injuries last season, it would seem that Forcier would have earned a "free pass" for the rest of his career at Michigan. Instead, it seems to be "shit on Tate Forcier" day among not only the fanbase but also on BTN. As we all know, he played with the twos against the number one offense. He wasn't as flashy as Denard, but he did move the ball against the number ones at a rate that would piss me off if I were GERG.

I know it will be trendy to label Forcier the backup and Denard as the new number one, but I fully expect Forcier to start the first game this season. After that, we'll see how both QB's perform. As I have said before, I am in favor of using both QB's each game and going with the "hot hand" at the end. I'm hoping that's how it works out. In the interim, though, Tate Forcier deserves a lot more respect than certain segments of the fanbase are giving him.

3. Is the defense really that bad?

The problem with spring games is that the more the offense gives us to cheer about, the more reason the defense gives us to be scared. The first team performed well against Forcier, but he still moved on them and scored enough to cause concern. I think they will be better than last year, but I also think the offense is once again going to have to shoulder a lot of the load for the team to win eight games this year.

4. DG redshirt: dream or possibility?

DG definitely showed why he was so highly-regarded. After a couple of freshman mistakes, he settled down and performed well. That being said, I think his status is up to Forcier and Denard. If they both play well and stay healthy, I think DG will get his redshirt. If, however, Forcier proves to have more heart than body, DG will move to number two and should see action. I hope he redshirts.

Spring game

I will be at the spring game. If anyone wants to hangout, just throw me an email.
There will be a live blog Saturday night so we can gush over the spring game results. All MMers have a fun and a safe time on Saturday.

Midnight Maize 91

Merits of Championships Part 4: The NBA

The NBA Playoffs are a mixed bag. On a structural level, the NBA Playoffs are decidedly flawed. Basically every structural element to the NBA Playoffs is terrible, and the only saving grace to this structure is that the various flaws actually serve to mitigate each other. The reason for this is that the NBA has recognized several of the idiotic elements of the playoff structure and adapted their playoff structure to mitigate the effects of these elements, rather than simply eliminate them.

On the other hand, the structural idiosyncrasies of the NBA Playoffs do yield several advantages from an entertainment standpoint to the NBA Playoffs. Combined with the inherent advantages of basketball games themselves, the NBA Playoffs become one of the most entertaining championship systems on a game-by-game basis. Unfortunately, this comes at the completely unnecessary expense of diminishing the overall narrative of the playoffs.

To begin with, let us look at the inherent advantage that basketball games have in a playoff atmosphere, namely that basketball is a high scoring sport, which leads to two positive results. Firstly, the score often changes multiple times every minute. In a playoff atmosphere the stakes are much higher than during the regular season, which in turn leads to elevated attention that lasts the entire game, unless it turns into a blowout, whether it is high or low scoring. Secondly, the high rate of scoring can lead to close games including multiple high-important scoring plays in the final minute, which can result in multiple swings of emotion for each team’s supporters in a way that slower paced sports cannot match. To look at this in another way, we can consider sports as a series of events (scoring) and buildup to events. As basketball is high scoring, it benefits from having a much higher number of events and buildups, which is beneficial in a playoff atmosphere where a fans attention to the game is already elevated.

This inherent advantage that springs from basketball games is the biggest positive of the NBA playoffs, as it makes every game exciting in a way that football, baseball, and hockey are not (this is not to say that football, baseball, and hockey do not have comparable merits, but they do not benefit as much from a playoff atmosphere). Unfortunately, the NBA Playoff structure is an abject failure of taking these individually games and turning them into an exciting narrative. The primary reason for this is that the NBA has too many teams in the playoffs.

Here are the records in games and series for the upper seed in the first round since 2003, the year that the first round became a best-of-seven series:

Matchup Game Wins Game Losses Game % Series Win Series Loss Series %
1-8 54 17 0.761 13 1 0.929
2-7 56 19 0.747 14 0 1.000
3-6 45 32 0.584 9 5 0.643
4-5 46 37 0.554 10 4 0.714

Notable here is that the 1 and 2 seeds have a combined series record of 27-1 (the lone loss being Golden State over Dallas a couple years back) and are 110-36 in individual games. Now, one could argue that this makes the 7 and 8 seeds underdogs that otherwise disinterested fans can root for, a la mid majors in the NCAA Tournament. While this is an interesting notion, it’s also inaccurate. Professional teams rarely can generate any type of national support unless there is something about the team itself that would lead fans to root for them. For instance, many people rooted for Golden State over Dallas because Golden State had been very bad for a long time and thus stirred national sympathy (the same thing exists for teams like the Cubs). However, there was no great outpouring of support for say, the Detroit Pistons against Cleveland last year. The result of this is that the 1-8 series and 2-7 series are typically uninteresting formalities featuring teams that generally do not deserve to make it to the playoffs.

The logical solution to this problem is to remove the 7 and 8 seeds. The 3-6 and 4-5 seeds could play either a play-in game or best-of-three series to face the 1 and 2 seeds, as that way the more deserving 5 and 6 seeds would still make the playoffs and the 1 and 2 seeds wouldn’t have a long layover that would make them rusty. Alternatively, the bottom four seeds could just be scrapped, an idea that has merit, as no team in the bottom half has made it past the conference semifinals since 8th seeded New York made it to the NBA Championship in 1999, a lockout-shortened season in which New York finished 6 games out of first place. Before that, the Houston Rockets won the NBA as a 6-seed in 1995, the lowest seed ever to win the championship.

To finish off, we will examine the two elements of the NBA Playoffs that unnecessarily detract from their ability to award the best team or most deserving team the championship. First of all, the expansion to three divisions, combined with division winners getting a guaranteed top 4 seed, is terrible in conception. The NBA has already had problems with this issue in 2006, when the worst team in the Western Conference Playoffs (Denver), was awarded a high seed for winning its division. This is patently unfair to teams who amass better records in the regular season, as it forces them to face a much more difficult path to the finals.

The other poor structure in question is the bracket used by the NBA. In the NCAA, the bracket structure to the tournament serves two purposes. The first is to make the tournament more entertaining, as it spawns bracket pools across the country. The other is practical in origin. It is impossible to play more than four games at a single site. If teams were reseeded after every round, they would either have to find a way to play an entire regional at one site, which would take a very long time, or go to the expense of flying teams around the country on with very short notice for both the teams and fans as to where their next game will be. Both of these measures are impractical, thus making reseeding impractical. These issues are non-issues for the NBA and the bracket fails to make the NBA Playoffs more compelling. Thus, it makes much more sense to reseed the teams every round rather than have a bracket system, because reseeding teams serves to lend weight to the regular season and thus give it more meaning. The NFL and NHL recognize this, which is why both leagues institute reseeding and thus have fairer playoffs. The only thing to be said about the bracket structure in the NBA is that it mitigates the problems of its asinine seeding structure, which really makes one wonder just what on Earth led the NBA to institute this system in the first place…

Probably something money related.

Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 for those interested. Next in the series will be the NFL, to round up the professional leagues.

Midnight Maize 90

Midnight Maize 89

Shreds Top 15


Out of boredom of the off season, I decided to create a top 15 user live blog poll. What factors go into coming up with the top 15 you ask? Well.... lots of things. The points DB has randomly taken and given to our users. Attendance,good info,good input,lurker points... Everything. I didn't want to include the foot clan but Dark Blue said it would be no fun unless I included everyone. It's hard to pick one writer over the other. It's like having kids. You love them all, even the ugly one(DB). So I give you the first official Shredders Top 15 Live blogging Users of Midnight Maize. I think this could move to top 25 once the season starts.

1.Hulk-This maybe a shocker.. Since we hate each other and always disagree, but... He was the first person to show up to my live blogs. He is a MM Pioneer and even helped get people to our late night shindigs. I don't know how long he could hold the number one spot but this is like the preseason poll. You know how those go.

2.SCS-Always helpful,good humor. Keeps the hockey pucks on this board happy. He also seems to rangle Jen very well.

3.Dark Blue-Gotta love DB's humor. He writes into randomness but I enjoy it. DB also gives out and takes away points. SCS love of soccer almost moved DB into the 2 spot but in the end, Dark Blue's love for odd porn knocked him down to three.

4.The Other Brian-Always brings some good info. His love,hate with Jen is always good once a night. Anything past that is a bit much. We all love us some TOB.

5.JC-A lot like TOB. Great info on the team. Has a good understanding of football. Always keeps us on topic.

6.Seth9-The newest member of the foot clan. He has already stormed the blog with great posts about things outside of UM football. I see Seth9 having a lot of upside and may move up the polls fast. He is also a time traveling nerd/LOST fan like myself so that can only help him.

7.Tater-Would be higher up the poll but he has a normal life, with a normal sleep pattern that I envy. So Tater isn't on as much as others. He does make great posts that piss of news papers and MSU fans everywhere.

8.osdihg-Our friend from a far might ask more questions then any MM user. He also gets points taken away faster than most users for his outlandish comments.

9.Sec20-Sorta of an mystery. Shows up often and always has good input. Been around a while.

10.Jen-Loud,drama and fun. Her joke about TOB going to bed early because he has the MEAP test the next day cracked me up to no end. We also share the same phone. That's gotta count for something.
12.Turd Ferguson

Others receiving votes-gs85(controversial/knows his football),NBL(great lurker),John S(MIA due to work),Evan Turner has the clap(that name alone gets one vote), Tsimanga Cowabunga(MIA for a bit)

That's how it stands as of now. I think we may see some shake ups as the weeks go on. Tune in next week for the most useless Top 15 poll on the internet.

Preview: NHL Playoffs

So, if you missed the Rangers-Flyers game earlier, you missed an outstanding exhibition of goaltending by Henrik Lundqvist, as well as an amazing game in itself. The Flyers won in a shootout (and that's a story for later), securing the seventh seed. And now, here are the match-ups, along with my (baseless) predictions of who will advance.

Eastern Conference:

1. Washington vs. 8 Montreal

Season series tied 2-2

If anyone has watched Montreal play recently, Jaroslav Halak has the ability to steal games for Montreal; however, Montreal has been playing really badly lately (lost to Toronto 4-3 in OT yesterday). Montreal also probably does not have the firepower to compete with Washington's offense. Questions surrounding Washington's goaltending and defensive playing remain, but should be covered up by Montreal's recent issues. If Montreal catches fire, and Halak can steal a few games, then the series could be more interesting.

Series Prediction: Washington in 5

2. New Jersey vs. 7 Philadelphia

Philadelphia wins season series 5-1

Philadelphia escaped the New York Rangers and made it into the playoffs with an advantage over Montreal in wins, therefore allowing them to make it into the playoffs as the seventh seed. New Jersey holds the obvious goaltending advantage, while Brian Boucher for Philly has not played in the playoffs in several years. New Jersey just needs to score, and they should be fine.

Prediction: New Jersey in 6

3. Boston vs. 6 Boston

Boston wins season series 4-2

Boston has been on a bit of a roll lately, even without Marc Savard. The loss of Savard might very well hurt them in the end, as beating Ryan Miller is a tall order. If Boston can make up for the offense lost by Savard's injury, they have the potential to make this series interesting. Tukka Rask has played well for Boston as a rookie, and if he falters, Tim Thomas won the Vezina last year and played well against Washington today. Look for this to be a low scoring and interesting match-up.

Prediction: Buffalo in 7

4. Pittsburgh vs. 5 Ottawa

Season series tied 2-2

This is another incredibly interesting series. These teams have met in the last two of the last three playoffs, and the winner went on to the Stanley Cup Finals and lost. Pittsburgh might be the favorite, but Ottawa is not as bad as everyone predicted. This Ottawa team also overachieved during the season, and lost one of their best players in Alex Kovalev (torn ACL, done for the year). Jason Spezza will have to step up to fill the void, which he is more than capable of doing. Ottawa also has goaltending questions, which could hamper their chances. Look for an exciting series that will probably go the distance.

Prediction: Ottawa in 7

Western Conference: (Note: The top 7 teams in the West finished with 100 or more points)

1. San Jose vs. 8 Colorado

Season series tied 2-2

Normally, this is the year where on places bets on how fast San Jose will be eliminated, and that could still be a possibility come the second round; however, they are facing a Colorado team that was spectacular during the first half of the season and has tanked during the second half. If Mueller continues to impress after his trade from Phoenix and Matt Duchene can continue to impress, then this series could be interesting. Side note, the home team won all games during the season series.

Prediction: San Jose in 6

2. Chicago vs. 7 Nashville

Chicago wins season series 4-2

This series features Chicago's firepower vs. Pekka Rinne. If Antti Niemi does not play well for Chicago, this could be an interesting series, with the potential for an upset. Rinne has stolen games before, don't be surprised to see excellent goaltending on Nashville's end. In the end, Chicago probably still has too much firepower for Nashville.

Prediction: Chicago in 6

3. Vancouver vs. 6 Los Angeles

Vancouver win season series 3-1

This is another interesting match-up featuring two hot teams. Vancouver has been lights out at home, and feature quite possibly the best goaltender in the West in Roberto Luongo. If Luongo can not implode like he did against Chicago last year, then Vancouver should move on. Do not count out LA though, as they have been a surprise team all year and have played extremely well. This is probably the second best series in the West after Detroit and Phoenix.

Prediction: Vancouver in 6

4. Phoenix vs. 5 Detroit

Season series tied 2-2

This could quite potentially be the most intriguing match-up of the playoffs. The feel good story of the year vs. the perennial powerhouse. No one expected Phoenix to make it into the playoffs, and Phoenix has had some unbelievable goaltending from Ilya Bryzgalov. This series could quite easily go back and forth for most of the way. Jimmy Howard needs to be spectacular, or if he fails, Chris Osgood needs to return to last year's playoff form in order for the Wings to advance. This has seven games written all over it. Note: The last time these two teams met in the playoffs in the first round, Detroit won in six and went on to win the cup.

Prediction: Detroit in 7

Check tsn.ca in the next few days for their playoff series overviews, which will include quite a few details that either I've left out or forgotten.

Was I not loved as a child?

I don’t want to go all WLA on you guys but after reading the entries in last nights live blog after I checked out for the evening I was left wondering, was osdihg not loved as a child?

I can picture this guy, alone in his mom’s basement, spreading his feces all over the wall, as he tries to get past world 1-2 in Super Mario Brothers. Loud screams waft up the stairs, “I LOVE ICE CREAM, MOM I POO’D IN MY PANTS, OHIO STATE SUCKS” .
In all seriousness though this post was brought on by our fearless leader’s announcement of a favorite live blogger pole. osdihg has my vote. Osd, I kid you with this post (Don’t get offended or Hulk will rip your arms off, I don’t think you are completely retarded) This guy has the ability to make me laugh out load 3-4 times per night. Sure ToB and JC always have good info, Jen has her rampant flirting, and Shredder has the MS-Paint touch. But osd you win live blogger of the year in my opinion.
Okay now back to not being gay and retarded. In all seriousness who would you vote for?

Midnight Maize 88

Merits of Championships Part 3: MLB

One of many traits that make Major League Baseball unique among major sports in the U.S. is its unparalleled focus on the regular season. Only eight teams out of 30 make the postseason, namely 26.7% of the league. The NFL allows 37.5% of teams to go to the postseason, while the NBA and NHL allow over 50% of teams to go to the postseason. College football allows 57.1% of teams to go to the postseason, although only two teams get to play for the championship. Of course, in college football, what happens during the regular season doesn’t determine the championship game as much as a bunch of idiots, partisans, and a few analysts who have to compare teams with wildly imbalanced schedules think. College basketball, baseball, and hockey actually invite comparable percentages of teams to their tournaments, but in all three cases, many teams have virtually zero chance of making the NCAA tournament without winning their conference regardless of their record. So, basically, in baseball, the regular season is paramount.

Another important trait of Major League Baseball (unlike collegiate baseball) is the parity in the sport. Ignoring the MLS and other leagues that nobody cares about, MLB is arguably the league with the greatest parity in American sports. A top team will often win 60% of its games. A bottom team will win 40% of the time. Contrast this with the NFL, where we’ve seen teams go both undefeated and winless this year, or the NBA, where we have the Cavaliers and the Nets this year. Hockey at least has comparable parity, although statistically, baseball teams are more even.

Now, as Major League Baseball has a low percentage of teams making the postseason and a high degree of parity, three things are necessary to make a good championship system. The first is a large number of games in the regular season to differentiate teams. As each team plays 162 games, this criteria is met. The other is to ensure that the system for selecting playoff teams will take only the best teams. This is not the case by a long shot. The third is to make sure that the playoffs themselves are fair and award the most deserving team, while being entertaining. This is probably accomplished as best as is possible.

To start with the actual playoffs, the system is to have two best-of-five series for each league, then a best-of-seven series for the league championship, then the best-of-seven World Series between the American League and National League. This format is pretty good, as only playing a best-of-five in the division series keeps the playoffs shorter, which is important as overdrawn playoffs make attention from fans fall off. Meanwhile, a best-of-seven is probably the longest you can make a series in which fans will follow each game, so having best-of-seven series are acceptable for the later series. The only real criticism I have for how MLB runs the playoffs themselves is that the scheduling is irritating, as there are too many days off which draws out the playoffs unnecessarily and screws over teams that win in a sweep, as they sometimes have to wait a full week to play again. Even so, the playoffs themselves are generally as exciting as one can hope while working to fairly award a championship.

The problem with baseball is that undeserving teams often make it to the playoffs. This decade, in 2003 (Twins over Mariners), 2005 (Padres over Phillies, Mets, and Marlins), 2006 (Cardinals over Phillies), 2007 (Cubs over Mets), 2008 (Dodgers over Mets), and 2009 (Twins over Rangers), a division winner has gotten into the playoffs over a team or teams with better records. This is completely ridiculous. The whole point of the regular season is to separate teams from each other and then reward the best teams with postseason berths. Instead, we get a system where more deserving teams are routinely passed over for other teams based on little more than geography. The reason for this system is to try to get a nationwide audience for the MLB playoffs, rather than determine a legitimate champion.

Overall, the MLB playoffs aren’t that bad. Part of its problems is that it goes on at the same time as the NFL and college football seasons, and thus tries to schedule around major football games, in order to boost ratings. On the other hand, you can also say that the MLB playoffs value ratings disproportionately to crowning a champion fairly. Of course, most leagues do this, but MLB is arguably the most blatant offender in professional sports. These complaints are rather small, however, when you look at the BCS (and possibly the NCAA Basketball Tournament, should those who hate America expand it to 96 teams).

Part 1 and Part 2 for those interested.

Midnight Maize 87



I am a Lost junkie. My wife and I tune in every Tuesday. We even make the same dinner(spaghetti). I even watch the episode again the next week when they replay it. I love lost. It got me thinking.. What Michigan players would be on the island? The one's who seem Lost right? Lets take a look at the players that would wondering the island looking for a way home and onto the playing field.

Terrance Robinson

Terrance has been wondering around the island now for two years. When he first got to the island he hurt himself which took his stay from short term to indefinite. Terrance spent a whole year on the island hurt and healing himself. The island in 08 was a better place to be anyway then on the field in Michigan Stadium. Last year Terrance tried to leave the island. The island made a deal that if he caught a 50 yard pass from David Cone(He has been on the island longer then Carl Tabb)then he would be moved off the island and free to return to the football field. The only "catch"(hehe)... The football was a coconut. Cone threw the coconut but Terrance could not haul it in and dropped it into the sand. Terrance was banished to another year to the island. A player by the name of Kelvin Grady transfered from the basketball island to the football island and was taken off the island and taken straight to the football field. Taking Terrance's place.

Any hope of getting off the island?
Yes, reports have been positive for Terrance this Spring. Many say the field is not far for Terrance. The island may test him during the spring game. I really think Terrance gets off the island and see's the field some what this season. If he can catch that coconut he will be fine.

Jonas Mouton

I know what many of you are saying.. What? Jonas was on the island last year? Now if you watch Lost you know the character Desmond can time travel with his mind and not by choice. It just happens. His body doesn't go but his mind does, blacking him out. Jonas Mouton has the same strange power/problem. During any given play last year Jonas would black out! His mind would go to the island. Almost like he belonged there. It was calling him. This would cause huge errors in Michigan's Defense. Lots of TD were scored and many big plays took place due to these "black outs", when Jonas would flash to the island. The coaches even sent him to the island for short periods of times hoping that it would make his mind right... It never did.

Any hope of getting off the island?
Well since he is physicaly off the island, yes. But will he stop flashing mentally? That remains to be seen. Any Senior before Jonas that had this condition seem to get over it. Prescott Burgess kicked it in his Senior Year and never flashed after the 06 ND game. I think with two years under coach Rob we can expect the flashes to stop. They will have to stop if UM has any chance this year stopping the run.

Martell Webb

Martell was a lot like Jonas. Martell didn't have flashing issues but cursed stone hands. Martell got cursed by the island in his Freshmen year while trying to escape the island and trying to sneak his way onto the depth chart. It didn't work and thus cursed. Webb was lucky enough to get taken off the island but the damage was done. His hands hurt him last year as he dropped many passes. Webb was never sent back to the island but can he stay off it is the question?

Any hope of staying off the island?
While rumors have been rumbling that Brandon Moore has been making plays this spring on the island, I think Martell can use his physical tools well enough from getting cursed with the "Underwood". It's old curse that the island did to an old RB by the name of David Underwood. A senior who was banished to the island forever. I have faith in Martell to break the curse of his stone hands and not add another curse. Two cures would be bad...Maybe some Devin Gardner baby/voodo talk can do the trick?

Adam Patterson

Adam has been on the island the longest. Adam came in a 4 star stud and has been buried on the island ever since. Walk ons have even left the island before Adam. Adam doesn't want to be a lifer on the island like many before him. Adam has always been like the extra's in lost. Just in the background wondering around. Never getting any camera time. Just there. You always see big 99 walking around the island wondering what happened. Will he finally get a role?

Any hope of getting off the island?
A lot of times if a player doesn't get it by now he never will and thus is stuck on the island. Adam is looking to change that. With a thin D line and even Rich Rod mentioning him in a presser, things are looking up for Adam. He may see spot duty on the field and may help here and there. He may not totally get off the island but may earn a few trips back to the main land for some spot duty.

Midnight Maize 85

Merits of Championships Part 2: the NHL

Having started by looking at the travesty that is the NCAA Hockey Tournament (and yeah, I forgot to mention that that the incompetence of NCAA hockey refs in general makes it more likely for them to determine who wins a game…[COUGH] Miami [COUGH]), it seems fitting to move on to the NHL playoffs. The NHL playoffs, much unlike the NCAA Hockey Tournament, are very well suited to the sport. This is not entirely fair to the NCAA Hockey Tournament, which has to acknowledge that it involves student-athletes, not professionals, and thus cannot have a playoff as long as the NHL’s is. That said, the NHL playoffs do very well at accomplishing the primary three goals of a championship system: crowning the most-deserving team, crowning the best team, and being entertaining.

To begin with, let’s look at the structure of the NHL playoffs. Eight teams are selected from each of the two fifteen team conferences. This means that the majority of the teams in the NHL make it to the playoffs every year. Now, taking the majority of teams from the NHL and putting them in the playoffs certainly serves to devalue the regular season. However, the effect of this devaluation is significantly reduced because of the inherent advantages that come through the seeding structure. In every playoff series, the higher seeded team gets the extra home game if the series goes all seven. More importantly, the teams are reseeded every round, meaning that the higher seeded team will always get the lowest remaining seed. Thus, an 8-seed will often have to play the 1, 2, and 3 seeds to make it to the Stanley Cup, while a 1-seed’s worst possible draw is an 8-seed, a 4-seed, and a 2-seed. Another advantage to having a larger playoff means that the better teams in a conference can rest players with minor injuries, which means that the better teams will be able to play their best players at 100% when playoff time comes around.

This leads to the best part of the NHL playoffs, namely that it features a higher quality of play than the regular season. This is important for two reasons. First of all, it makes the NHL playoffs a lot more entertaining than the regular season. Second of all, it means that the winning team won when most teams are playing their best hockey, so there is always a fair argument that the Stanley Cup winner is the best team in the NHL no matter what happened during the regular season.

The structure of the NHL playoffs also means that the Stanley Cup winner can always argue that they are the most deserving team. Winning the Stanley Cup requires a team to win 16 games against the upper tier of the NHL. Teams that were mediocre during the regular season have to do this against the best teams, while teams that were great get a comparatively easier draw. At any rate, winning the Stanley Cup will generally show that the winning team had a good record against a tough schedule and won head-to-head against the other really good teams in the NHL.

To conclude this entry, I will look at a couple other important elements in the NHL playoffs. First of all, there is that there is a lot of parity in the NHL as compared to the NBA and NFL, which means that lower seeds can beat the higher seeds and legitimately argue to be better teams when they win a seven game series against higher seeds. Second of all, the biggest problem with the NHL playoffs is that the officiating is noticeably different from the regular season. The reason for this is that referees do not want to make a call that might determine the outcome of the series and thus attempt to simply let the teams play. I have sympathy with this sentiment, but it is highly flawed because it makes officiating even more subjective than it already is and thus leads playoff officiating to become even less consistent than during regular season.

Every story needs a picture

Over at Mgoboard poster Crex spills his guts to all about his awkward tail of meeting his girl friends korean parents. It's like right out of a movie. Link Here. A must read.

Midnight Maize 84

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