Thursday Quick Hits: Start Time Announced for Iowa Game

By · Thursday, May 6, 2010 · 6:02 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • Michigan’s homecoming game against Iowa on October 16 is going to kick off at 3:30 p.m. ET and be broadcast nationally on ABC.  So far three game times have been announced for the 2010 season (you can check them all out here).
  • There is a new video of Brock Mealer training on BarwisMethods.com.  The goal is for Brock to lead the team out of the tunnel and under the banner before the UConn game without any assistance.  If he meets that goal, it seriously could be one of the greatest moments in Michigan Stadium history considering how far Brock has had to come from the injuries he sustained in that tragic car accident a few years ago.
  • The Insight Bowl inked a deal with ESPN, meaning it will no longer be stuck on NFL Network.
  • The groundbreaking ceremony for Michigan’s basketball practice facility is going to be held next Monday at 1 p.m.
  • Brian Ellerbe has been hired by DePaul as an assistant coach.  Why?  I don’t know either.
  • Kevin Borseth apparently offered a scholarship to an eighth-grader.
  • The Big Ten Network is making some serious dollars.  I have to say, back when the BTN first launched I never would have imagined it would be this successful already, but then again, I think it has exceeded everybody’s expectations.  It is a great asset for the conference not only in the sense of how much money it is making, but also for when expansion talks start to heat up, as we are already starting to see.

Tuesday Quick Hits: Idea of Notre Dame Ultimatum Nothing New

By · Tuesday, May 4, 2010 · 12:25 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • Maize n Brew found that talk of the Big East giving Notre Dame an ultimatum isn’t a new concept.  In fact, Rich Rodriguez brought up the idea back in 2002.

    “I know this agreement was made earlier,” Rodriguez said. “I’m just a football coach and our players are just players, but we don’t understand some of the political things. I don’t understand why Notre Dame is getting the best of both worlds.  “I think the Big East is a great league and we can stand on our own. In my opinion, Notre Dame either needs to get in or get out.”

    Personally I’m with Rodriguez and current Big East coaches on this issue.  On top of the fact that Notre Dame gets the benefits of being in the Big East in non-football sports (not counting hockey), the football team also benefits by having bowl tie-ins connected with the Big East, which is what caused the above-mentioned complaint.  Conference expansion may cause Notre Dame to get in or get out anyways, but if I were a Big East coach, I definitely don’t think the positives of ND having partial membership in the conference outweigh the negatives.

  • Jon Runyan was interviewed by mgoblog.
  • FedEx has decided to no longer sponsor the Orange Bowl, ending a 21-year partnership.
  • Although NCAA tournament expansion to 68 teams has been approved, the selection committee now must decide on how to add the three new teams.  I personally hope they just make a play-in game for each of the 16 seeds.  Yes, more teams from mid-major conferences will go to the bottom of the barrel seeding-wise, but I’d rather just keep the play-in games the same rather than have one for a 16 seed and another for a 12 seed and so on.  Plus, I’d argue that teams in the play-in games get more exposure than simply going out and being slaughtered by a 1 seed, especially if there are multiple games and something like “play-in game Tuesday” becomes its own big thing.

Football Quick Hits: Catching Up on Everything

By · Wednesday, April 28, 2010 · 2:32 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • Michigan’s game at Penn State on October 30 is going to be at night.
  • Brandon Graham was selected with the 13th pick of the 2010 NFL Draft last week by the Philadelphia Eagles, which traded up to get him.  Zoltan Mesko was picked by the Patriots in the fifth round and Stevie Brown went to the Raiders at the end of the seventh round.
  • The three players mentioned above were the only ones from Michigan drafted, meaning Donovan Warren really shouldn’t have decided to skip his senior season to go pro.  Just like Ernest Shazor, he left a year early only to go undrafted.  He did sign with the Jets as an undrafted free agent, which is a pretty good team to end up with, but another year in college would have helped his stock big time.
  • In other undrafted free agent news, Greg Mathews and Brandon Minor signed with the Bears, Mark Ortmann ended up with the Panthers, David Moosman joined a few other former Michigan players in Arizona with the Cardinals, Carlos Brown got a deal with the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints, and Marques Slocum, who left Michigan in 2008, signed with the Redskins.
  • The Free Press recapped what Graham’s draft night was like.
  • Maize n Brew interviewed Zoltan Mesko, and it is a must read.
  • Dave Brandon recently said this about Michigan’s current scoreboards at the Big House:

    “The reality is those scoreboards are old. They’re old technology and they’re old. I’ve already looked at sketches as to what that might look at and one of the scenarios could add a few seats.”

    Brandon also reiterated that construction of the new basketball practice facility will begin as soon as President Obama leaves town following this weekend’s commencement.  Also, while there may be advertising in Michigan Stadium for the spring game and The Big Chill, things will be different for normal football games, as Brandon understands the tradition of no ads in the Big House.

  • Rivals interviewed Elliott Mealer.
  • Troy Woolfolk, who has a split personality named T-Wolf, didn’t play in the spring game because a Devin Gardner pass in practice broke his pinky finger, causing the bone to go through the skin.
  • The Toledo Blade interviewed Mike Barwis.
  • Jamie Morris no longer is employed by the Michigan athletic department.
  • TomVH interviewed Demetrius Hart’s mom shortly after the spring game.  Hart and his mother visited Ann Arbor for the spring game, and he will be back next month for the BBQ at the Big House, where there’s a chance he could commit to Michigan.
  • Braylon Edwards is going to host a charity basketball game at Crisler Arena on June 19.
  • Chris Perry was arrested last week after getting into a fight with his cousin.  His mother is fighting cancer again, which is said to be the cause of tensions in his family.
  • Boubacar Cissoko allegedly attempted to rob a cab driver earlier this month and stole money from two deliverymen last month.  Some people just never learn.
  • Northwestern is going to play a football game at Wrigley Field.
  • The NCAA approved the Dallas Football Classic and Pinstripe Bowl, bringing the total number of bowl games to 35 for the next four years.

Tuesday Quick Hits: DeShawn Sims Shares MVP Award with Manny Harris

By · Tuesday, April 13, 2010 · 1:16 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • DeShawn Sims was named the basketball team’s MVP during its banquet last night, but he asked to share the award with Manny Harris, just as Harris did with Sims a year ago.
  • Eso Akunne is no longer on scholarship.  Also, it looks like Ben Cronin will be placed on medical scholarship because of his hip injury, opening up another regular scholarship for the team.
  • Kelvin Grady’s status with the basketball team going forward is uncertain, but John Beilein apparently doesn’t think he will be back.
  • Once Michigan’s basketball practice facility is built it will try to land the MHSAA state finals, which would be nice since they are held at Breslin Center currently.  I imagine that if the state finals were to ever return to Crisler Arena, it would be after the extensive renovations are completed down the road.
  • Trey Zeigler is finally going to make an announcement regarding where he will play college basketball sometime next week.  If I had to guess I’d say that he picks Central Michigan to play for his dad.
  • The Michigan Daily’s Ryan Kartje put together a great piece on Red Berenson.
  • Adam Rittenberg interviewed Rich Rodriguez.
  • The Big Ten re-upped its deal with the Little Caesars Bowl through 2013.  Chances are the matchup will usually feature a MAC and Sun Belt team, though.  I say that because the Little Caesars Bowl will get the eighth pick in the Big Ten’s bowl lineup, but since two teams make it to the BCS so often, that probably will be the ninth pick in reality.  I don’t expect the Big Ten to be producing that many bowl eligible teams year in and year out, and this bowl didn’t get Big Ten teams very often even when it had the seventh pick.

Monday Quick Hits: U-M’s Tournament Opener to Be Shown on Tape Delay

By · Monday, March 22, 2010 · 11:21 AM |  Share | 2 Comments 
  • Michigan’s game against Bemidji State on Saturday will air live only on ESPN360.com.  It will be shown on ESPNU on tape delay, and it could be syndicated live on a channel like Comcast 900 or something.  No word yet if that is going to happen, though.
  • Manny Harris doesn’t know if he will stay for his senior season or go pro.
  • Trey Zeigler is down to five teams, and Michigan is one of them.
  • Michigan’s women’s basketball team beat Kent State 69-34 on Friday and then beat Toledo 72-57 on Sunday in the NIT.
  • Stevie Brown performed quite well at Michigan’s pro day.
  • Jon Runyan is launching a campaign to run for Congress.
  • The International Bowl is going out of business.
  • Part 2 of my interview on The Michigan Man Podcast has been posted.

Saturday Quick Hits: Michigan Takes 1-0 Series Lead with 5-2 Victory

By · Saturday, March 6, 2010 · 1:35 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • Michigan opened the CCHA playoffs with a solid 5-2 win over Lake Superior State last night.  Michigan outshot LSSU 43-23 and the score reflected that considering the Wolverines never trailed.  Part of that was because Shawn Hunwick played well in net for Michigan.  Both of the goals he gave up went off of Michigan players and into the net, so they weren’t really his fault.  One hit off of A.J. Treais on a centering pass and went right past Hunwick for a goal, and the other one changed direction off of Chris Summers’ skate, causing Hunwick to let it go in.

    If Michigan wins tonight, it will advance to the quarterfinals of the CCHA playoffs and would likely play Michigan State next week.  If the Wolverines lose, there will be a third and deciding game at Yost tomorrow night.

  • Michigan can’t practice at Crisler Arena because the Big Ten wrestling championships are taking place there.  This is exactly why there is such a need for a practice facility.
  • The women’s basketball team lost to Michigan State on Friday by a score of 61-50.
  • Just days after establishing a top 10, Lawrence Thomas decided to go ahead and commit to Michigan State.  It was a given all along that he probably wasn’t coming to Michigan, but I’m surprised he made a commitment this early.  From the beginning it looked like he would end up at State, but for it to happen this quickly just sucks.  Say what you want about MSU, but they are going to have a great group of linebackers down the road if they all live up to the hype.
  • The Detroit News profiled Dave Brandon.
  • As expected, the Gator Bowl is headed to the ESPN family of networks next year (1:30 p.m. on ESPN2).  The move isn’t the only change for the New Year’s Day bowl lineup, as the Outback Bowl will now start at 1 p.m. on ABC.  The Capital One Bowl, which normally occupies that timeslot on ABC, is moving to ESPN at 1 p.m.  All three of these games feature Big Ten and SEC teams, so I don’t fully understand the thinking behind making them start at basically the same time.  Typically fans want to watch games involving their conference (at least I do), but now that will be tough to do with three going on at the same time.  There was overlap in the past with the Outback and Capital One Bowls, but not to the point where they started within minutes of each other.

Monday Quick Hits: Brandon Smith to Transfer?

By · Monday, December 7, 2009 · 6:56 AM |  Share | 4 Comments 
  • 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.

Wednesday Quick Hits: Penn State Game to Start at 3:30

By · Wednesday, October 14, 2009 · 2:02 AM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • As expected, the Penn State game will start at 3:30 p.m. and be broadcast regionally on ABC and ESPN.
  • The Big Ten’s bowl new bowl lineup was announced yesterday, confirming most of the previously-reported details and clearing up a few others.  There were four main things in question before the announcement that have now been cleared up: 1) The contract for the new bowl lineup will run from 2010-2013.  2) The Big Ten will play an SEC team in the Gator Bowl.  3) The Dallas Football Classic, as it is being called, will take place on New Year’s Day, giving the Big Ten five games on New Year’s Day.  There is another one on New Year’s Eve, meaning nearly all of the conference’s games will take place within a span of 24 hours.  4) The Big Ten’s opponent in the Dallas Football Classic will be from the Conference USA, which I am glad to hear.  (Adam Rittenberg’s sources suggest that the bowl “will also consider Big 12 opponents,” so take that for what it’s worth.)
  • One strange thing from the announcement was that there was no mention of the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl.  Apparently a deal with that bowl isn’t official just yet, but the Big Ten will likely still have a tie-in with the Detroit game.
  • Zoltan Mesko has been named the Big Ten’s Special Teams Player of the Week for his amazing punting performance against Iowa.  He had the second-highest single-game average in Michigan history — 53.8 yards on 5 punts.
  • Brandon Minor’s rushing touchdown against Iowa snapped the Hawkeye’s streak of 33 consecutive quarters without allowing an opponent into the end zone on the ground.
  • The media no longer have access to football practices mainly due to the specifics of some new plays being discussed in the Michigan Daily.
  • The sale of counterfeit tickets to Michigan football games is apparently starting to become a problem.
  • Brian of mgoblog made the trip to Iowa for Saturday’s game, and he has a report on the experience.
  • I am now tied for third in Big Ten Bloggers Pick’em.
  • MVictors took an interesting look at what should happen to the Little Brown Jug when it runs out of space for scores.
  • Just like they were for the Indiana game, bags will be prohibited from Michigan Stadium for the rest of the season.
  • The basketball team’s media day took place yesterday, and UM Hoops has a recap of what was discussed.
  • Don’t forget, Michigan Madness will take place on Friday night at Crisler Arena.
  • Michigan rebounded from its season-opening loss in hockey last Friday by beating Alaska-Anchorage by a score of 6-1 a day later.
  • Apparently there were a series of conference calls this past summer between Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Minnesota, and Wisconsin to talk about the possibility of creating a Big Ten hockey conference.  The talks didn’t get very far after Minnesota strongly opposed the idea, which isn’t surprising.  As cool as it would be to have some variation of the Big Ten in college hockey, they would need more than just five teams.  Beyond that, they would need to think about the smaller programs in the CCHA, as losing U-M, MSU, and OSU would be a big blow to many of the teams in this state and in the CCHA in general.  A couple of them are struggling to stay afloat as it is, and I imagine losing three big schools would be a crushing blow to the rest of the CCHA.
  • Michigan State’s Glenn Winston is out for the season because of a knee injury he suffered against Illinois this past Saturday.
  • I knew former West Virginia fullback Owen Schmitt was crazy, but I didn’t know he was quite this crazy.
  • Chad Henne and Braylon Edwards, as well as a few other Michigan men, sure played well on Monday Night Football.
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