- Brandon Smith is apparently planning on or strongly thinking about transferring. Smith was a redshirt freshman this past season and switched back and forth between safety and linebacker. He started at safety against Wisconsin, but that was about it as far as his non-special teams playing time went. Smith was recruited to Michigan initially by Lloyd Carr as a fairly highly-rated athlete. When he came to Michigan it was unclear what position he would play (LB or S), and that uncertainty continued this past season, as he got shifted around quite a bit. I hope Smith reconsiders and decides to stay at Michigan, but it certainly doesn’t look like that will happen.
- UPDATE: The video is now back up on MGoBlue.A video of Rich Rodriguez’s speech at the Michigan football bust was posted on MGoBlue over the weekend, but it has since been pulled. There were some issues with the video not working at certain points, so maybe they are just fixing it before putting it back up.
Either way, I finally got a chance to hear the context of what Rodriguez said about New Orleans and hurricanes, which caused some people to criticize him. Rodriguez was making a point about overcoming adversity and said something about New Orleans and what it went through with Hurricane Katrina. As mentioned, Rodriguez received some criticism for comparing going through practicegate to being hit by Hurricane Katrina, but he was simply making a point about adversity based on what was originally brought up by a U-M Regent who spoke earlier (her speech was also in the video). She brought up the Saints and what they overcame as an example of how people overcome adversity. What she and Rodriguez said was not trying to liken a tragedy like Hurricane Katrina to Michigan rebuilding its football program; it was simply an example of overcoming adversity.
- The Wolverine has a recap of what the seniors had to say at the bust.
- Rodriguez opened his speech by making it sound like he was going to talk about rumors regarding his job security, but he instead joked about the Notre Dame opening:
“There’s been a lot of innuendo,” Rodriguez said about his future. ” … I just want to set the record straight: I am not a candidate for the University of Notre Dame.”
That got a big laugh from the crowd and loosened things up a bit before Rodriguez spoke with a more serious tone, talking about how proud he is of the team and the seniors and how championships will come eventually. All in all it was a very good speech, and I hope it is posted again soon on MGoBlue so you all can watch it.
- Speaking of Notre Dame, how lame are they? ND actually decided not to play in a bowl game because of what their athletic director called “unique circumstances.” In reality, ND probably didn’t want to go to a game like the GMAC Bowl, where it would have had to face Central Michigan and probably would have lost. Sure, Notre Dame is without a coach, but it’s not like that is a reason to not go to a bowl.
- A full bowl schedule can be found here.
- I was really hoping that TCU and Boise State would play against BCS opponents in their bowl games, but instead they will play each other in the Fiesta Bowl. That is a really crappy matchup to me simply because I was hoping to see what each team is really made of. Playing each other, just as they did last season, will not prove anything, whereas playing against Florida, Iowa, Georgia Tech, or Cincinnati would have given the nation a chance to see how deserving these non-BCS teams are of someday getting a shot at the national title. Utah and Boise State have already proved that mid-majors deserve to play in the BCS, but this could have been the year where the system was really brought down if TCU and Boise State took care of their opponents. Instead, it will be TCU vs. Boise State, and while the matchup is certainly intriguing, it won’t do anything to bring the BCS one step closer to making some serious changes.
- Football commit Cullen Christian has been named a U.S. Army All-American.
- Burgeoning Wolverine Star took a look at what Michigan’s defense would be like next season without Donovan Warren. My exact reaction when I read the post was “ahh” due to the scariness of a Warren-less defense.
- Anthony Wright is now a father.
- UM Hoops has another commit diary with Evan Smotrycz.
- Ohio State’s Evan Turner is out for two months after breaking bones in his back on a missed dunk attempt on Saturday. Michigan plays Ohio State on January 3 and February 27/28, meaning that the Wolverines for sure won’t have to worry about Turner in the first meeting.