The Michigan Melodrama


By: Jeff Yoder

Good Morning 

Basketball and soccer dominated yesterday’s highlight reels, but the story that never stops leads off today’s edition. It’s a heavyweight fight — Michigan vs. The Big Ten  And we’re all watching…

Letter Rip!


Chapter 2: Michigan vs. The Big Ten

Photo: Mike Mulholland / Getty Images

Potential Michigan Sign-Stealing Punishment Could Be Announced Today, But U-of-M Warns Big Ten of the Precedent It Will Set

Perhaps the biggest sports story over the past two weeks has been the ongoing saga surrounding Michigan football’s sign-stealing allegations. What began as accusations quickly turned into a chain of evidence involving Michigan staffer, Connor Stalions. Stalions, who purchased tickets to opponent’s games in order to steal play-calling signs for the Wolverines’ advantage, was even spotted in disguise on the sidelines of a Central Michigan game. The NCAA is investigating Stalions’ role and the potential appearance at CMU. Regardless, he was fired by Michigan over the weekend.

Sign-Stealing, Explained

Gaining knowledge of signals used by opposing teams is not directly against the rules, but using off-campus scouting of other games is 100 percent prohibited by the NCAA. 

Chapter 2: Michigan vs. The Big Ten  

The story has spiraled into chaos in Chapter 2 this week with Michigan pointing the finger back at other Big Ten schools, claiming Purdue, Ohio State and Rutgers colluded against U-of-M to steal their signs. And down the rabbit hole we go. Now, there’s more.

On Wednesday, Michigan responded to the Big Ten’s notice of disciplinary action and warned the conference of setting a dangerous precedent considering how often sign-stealing occurs within the conference. Michigan also argued that any sanctions at this stage would break the league’s bylaws.

That leaves Big Ten commissioner Tony Petitti with a decision to make in the coming days. Reports suggest any potential punishments from Petitti and the Big Ten could come as early as today. We’ll learn more as the day progresses and update you in tomorrow’s edition.

Who Gets Punished?

At this time, all potential punishments would likely be levied against coaches, not players, meaning there is little chance Michigan would forfeit any wins or college football playoff opportunities that would impact the players this season. Head coach Jim Harbaugh, who served a three-game suspension to start the season for recruiting violations, would likely receive some form of suspension or sanctions.

With Harbaugh linked to a possible NFL return, any new punishments could be the final domino that sends him back to the pros.

Read More

WaPo: Big Ten Should Throw the Book at Jim Harbaugh. He’ll Never See It Coming ($)

AP: Michigan Prepared to Take Big Ten to Court if Punished Without Full Investigation

The Athletic: 94% of College Football Coaches Say Michigan Crossed A Line



The Hardwood Collection

Photo: Tim Nwachukwu / Getty Images

NBA Download: Embiid Still MVP-Esque — Wemby’s 1st Game at the Garden — Giannis Gets Tossed

Wednesday night in the NBA was nothing short of excellent. A total of 14 games hit the hardwood (28 teams), and it certainly feels like winter is coming. The nightly supply of regular-season ball can get a little repetitive throughout the year, so we’ll try to mix up the coverage night in and night out. Plenty of early-season storylines are emerging, but the two players accounting for the last three MVPs are still playing like juggernauts. Nikola Jokic has the Nuggets at 8-1, and Joel Embiid has the Sixers at 7-1. Embiid doesn’t seem to miss James Harden at all, and it shows. Trust the process! Let’s do some highlights from the hardwood collection.

Embiid Proves MVP Status in East Battle

Philly and Boston went head-to-head for a matchup of the top-two teams in the East last night. The Sixers held off a late Celtics rally, and Joel Embiid (27-10-4) is still playing like the reigning MVP. 76ers def. Celtics (106-103)

Wemby’s Growing Pains at MSG

The bright lights of Madison Square Garden showed some growing pains for rookie Victor Wembanyama. The Knicks ran over the Spurs and held Wemby to just 14 points on 4-for-14 shooting. Knicks def. Spurs (126-105)

Pacers Offense Pops Off Again

Jordan Clarkson went for 33 for the Jazz, but Utah couldn’t keep pace with the high-octane Pacers. Indiana kept their foot on the gas with their fourth game of 130-plus points. Pacers def. Jazz (134-118)

Suns Survive Bulls in OT

Bradley Beal (13) made his debut for the Suns last night, but it was Grayson Allen’s career-high six 3s (26 points) and a late winner from Jusuf Nurkic that pushed Phoenix over Chicago. Suns def. Bulls (116-115, OT)

Lakers Struggles Continue

The Lakers’ early-season slump has L.A. searching for answers again. Last night’s 34-point loss to the Rockets was their worst of the season, and LeBron’s boys are just 3-5 to start. Rockets def. Lakers (128-94)

SGA Ignites 43-Point Game for OKC

The Thunder rolled past the Cavs thanks to a league-high 43 points from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and OKC is now 5-3 after winning two straight. Thunder def. Cavaliers (128-120)

Last 2 Champions Go Toe-to-Toe

The Nuggets held off the Warriors in Denver as the last two NBA champs went head-to-head. Nikola Jokic had 35 points, and Klay Thompson’s game-tying 3 attempt at the buzzer slipped out of his hands. Nuggets def. Warriors (108-105)

Giannis Gets Tossed, Dame Drops 34

Milwaukee played a wild one at Fiserv Forum, watching Giannis Antetokounmpo get ejected before Damian Lillard (34) dropped 18 in the 4th to beat Detroit. Bucks def. Pistons (120-118)

Other NBA Scores & Highlights

Kings def. Blazers (121-118, OT)
Wizards def. Hornets (132-116)

Nets def. Clippers (100-93)

Heat def. Grizzlies (108-102)

Timberwolves def. Pelicans (122-101)

Raptors def. Mavericks (127-116)

Early NBA Stat Leaders

Scoring Leaders

1. Joel Embiid (PHI) — 31.7 ppg

2. Luka Doncic (DAL) — 31.5 ppg

3. Donovan Mitchell (CLE) — 30.7 ppg

4. Stephen Curry (GSW) — 30.0 ppg

5. Kevin Durant (PHX) — 29.3

Rebounding Leaders

1. Rudy Gobert (MIN) — 13.6 rpg

T2. Deandre Ayton (POR) — 12.9 rpg

T2. Domantis Sabonis (SAC) — 12.9 rpg

T2. Nikola Jokic (DEN) — 12.9 rpg

5. Mitchell Robinson (NYK) — 12.4 rpg

Assist Leaders

1. Tyrese Haliburton (IND) — 11.9 apg

2. Trae Young (ATL) — 10.4 apg

3. LaMelo Ball (CHA) — 9.0 apg

4. Luka Doncic (DAL) — 8.8 rpg

5. Fred VanVleet (HOU) — 8.4 apg

Blocks: Anthony Davis (LAL) — 3.3 blk

StealsMarcus Smart (MEM) — 2.6 stl



Matchday 4: Danish Delight

Photo: Jan Christensen / Getty Images

Champions League Group Stage Standings After Copenhagen Shocks Man. United (4-3)

Four matches of the Champions League Group Stage are in the books following Wednesday’s slate, and some surprises have risen up the standings. Among yesterday’s matches was a stunner that leaves Manchester United dead last in Group A. Copenhagen shocked the Premier League giants when they reversed a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 win with two goals in the final 10 minutes of play. Bayern Munich, Arsenal, Real Madrid and Manchester City are all soaring towards the Knockout Stage. Here’s a rewind of yesterday’s highlights and a snapshot of the group standings.

Highlights (Matchday 4 of 6)

Copenhagen def. Man. United (4-3)

Inter def. RB Salzburg (1-0)

Arsenal def. Sevilla (2-0)

Bayern def. Galatasaray (2-1)

Real Madrid def. Braga (3-0)

Group Standings

  • Group A: Bayern (12 pts), Copenhagen (4 pts), Galatasaray (4 pts), Man. United (3 pts)
  • Group B: Arsenal (9 pts), PSV (5 pts), Lens (5 pts), Sevilla (2 pts)
  • Group C: Real Madrid (12 pts), Napoli (7 pts), Braga (3 pts), Union Berlin (1 pt)
  • Group D: Real Sociedad (10 pts), Inter (10 pts), RB Salzburg (3 pts), Benfica (0 pts)
  • Group E: Atletico Madrid (8 pts), Lazio (7 pts), Feyenoord (6 pts), Celtic (1 pt)
  • Group F: Dortmund (7 pts), PSG (6 pts), Milan (5 pts), Newcastle (4 pts)
  • Group G: Man. City (12 pts), RB Leipzig (9 pts), Crvena Zvezda (1 pt), Young Boys (1 pt)
  • Group H: Barcelona (9 pts), Porto (9 pts), Shakhtar Donetsk (6 pts), Antwerp (0 pts)

Read More

Telegraph: Manchester United Implode After Marcus Rashford Red Card

The Athletic: Champions League Permutations: Who Can Reach the Knockouts — And Who’s On the Way Out?



 NFL Week 10 Fantasy Rankings

It’s Week 10 of the 2023 fantasy football campaign, which means the stretch run is nearly here. No matter your situation, we’re here to help you make Week 10 a successful one, with position-by-position rankings, some matchups to target and avoid. (B/R)

 10 Bold MLB Offseason Predictions

We’re still waiting for the first major move of the 2023-24 MLB offseason. That’s not unusual though. Baseball’s offseason is a marathon, not a sprint, much like the season itself. Things — big things — will happen soon enough. Don’t worry. (CBS Sports)

 The NBA’s Old Guard

In a league that’s always searching for what’s next, let’s appreciate the astonishing late-career production of three all-time greats — Steph, LeBron, and KD. Plus, rookie standouts, and more from the NBA in this week’s Kram Session. (The Ringer)





Today’s Must-Watch List

 Thursday Night Football

Panthers at Bears (8:15 pm ET, PRIME)

 College Football

Virginia at #11 Louisville (7:30 pm ET, ESPN)


Bucks at Pacers (7:00 pm ET, NBATV)

Hawks at Magic (9:30 pm ET, NBATV)


Islanders at Bruins (7:00 pm ET, ESPN+)

Canadiens at Red Wings (7:00 pm ET, ESPN+)

Coyotes at Blues (8:00 pm ET, ESPN+)

Kraken at Avalanche (9:00 pm ET, ESPN+)

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