Back in February 2006, I started Michigan Sports Center as nothing more than a hobby. Quickly it became something much bigger, however, and ever since it has led to numerous awesome opportunities, including running Pride of Detroit, SB Nation’s Lions blog. The newest opportunity that has come my way is to be the managing editor of SB Nation Detroit, which launched last night. SB Nation Detroit is one of 20 regional sites that will launch as part of the SB Nation network this month, and I’m very excited about what is in store for this new venture.
Although this is an awesome opportunity and I’m pumped for it, the one down side is that effective today, I will be done updating Michigan Sports Center. With the time I need to dedicate to SB Nation Detroit and the fact that I will be writing about U-M sports there, it was simply not feasible to continue updating MSC. After all, as you probably noticed the last few months, I haven’t had a ton of time for MSC in the first place, so it would have been unrealistic to try to keep this blog going, update Pride of Detroit and SB Nation Detroit, and have time to worry about my classes.
It was certainly an interesting four years of Michigan sports for me to cover. The first year of this blog, I was lucky enough to cover the 2006 football team, which just barely missed out on going undefeated in the regular season but did earn a trip to the Rose Bowl. Then in 2007, well, it was quite the roller coaster ride. Disaster happened when Michigan lost to Appalachian State and then was demolished a week later by Oregon. Michigan got its season turned around, however, and was able to send Lloyd Carr, who announced his plans to retire following the Ohio State game, out a winner by beating Florida in the Capital One Bowl.
Probably the most interesting single story to follow was the coaching search that immediately began following Carr’s retirement announcement. Every day there were new rumors about the latest hot name in the coaching search, and who could forget the Les Miles saga that Kirk Herbstreit helped create on the day of the SEC championship game? In the end Rich Rodriguez ended up getting the job, and we all know how that has gone. Rodriguez’s first season coincided with my first year at U-M, and to say things went poorly would be an understatement. Then, a year later, a promising 4-0 start resulted in a 5-7 finish. Oh, and there was practicegate and NCAA violations. Perhaps you heard about that, too.
This blog was also around for the firing of Tommy Amaker and the hiring of John Beilein. Beilein struggled mightily in his first season at Michigan, but season two was the highlight of my freshman year at U-M. The basketball team upset UCLA and Duke and made a strong late-season run to make its first NCAA tournament in a long, long time. Watching the selection show at Crisler was an absolutely awesome experience, and watching Michigan beat Clemson in the first round of the tourney was even better. Things didn’t go according to plan this past season and the future is very uncertain with Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims gone, but there’s no denying how great the 2008-09 season was.
The hockey team was the most consistent of the big three sports during the four years of this blog. Every year until this past season Michigan was consistently ranked near the top of the polls. Of course, Michigan still had an amazing season this year after making an unremarkable run to the NCAA tournament, and that run would have continued to the Frozen Four had it not been for some incompetent officiating. The Wolverines did make it to the Frozen Four once during the four years of this blog, but unfortunately they lost to Notre Dame in overtime in the semifinals.
The non-big three sports provided some memorable moments as well. There were plenty of Big Ten titles, a few club titles (lacrosse), and one national title (men’s gymnastics team) from the non-revenue sports teams, and the success of the baseball and softball programs has been great to watch. Who could forget the baseball team’s upset of Vanderbilt to make it to the super regional of the NCAA tournament a few years back? And for softball, well, they’re contenders for the College World Series every year, even if they didn’t make it this season.
Overall, it has been quite the ride to cover Michigan sports these last four years. There have been many highs and many lows, but all in all it has been very fun. And even though my role at SB Nation Detroit will require me to cover more than just Michigan sports (I even get to write about MSU too now. How fun!), you can bet I will still be writing about the Wolverines quite a bit. I won’t be able to cover every little tidbit of Michigan-related news, but it’s not like there is a shortage of awesome U-M sports blogs, so I’m sure you will all manage to get by.
Anyways, I just want to say thanks to everyone that read Michigan Sports Center over these last four years (coincidentally, the site just crossed 3,000,000 views yesterday), and I hope you will check out Pride of Detroit and SB Nation Detroit. I imagine there may be some future moments where I pop in here for a post every now and again, but to continue to follow my coverage of U-M sports, make sure to check out the Michigan football and basketball pages on SB Nation Detroit.
Thanks again for everything and Go Blue!
Between finals and covering the NFL Draft for Pride of Detroit, I’ve been absolutely swamped for the last week or so and haven’t had time for MSC. Well, the good news is I’m done with finals and I’m on the verge of escaping the draft bubble, meaning new content is coming. My plan to get all caught up is to do a few quick hits posts on a variety of topics, including Big Ten expansion, football, hockey, and basketball. That way I can run through all of the news I’ve missed and keep it organized so it’s not just one big post. So look out for those posts later tonight and throughout the day on Wednesday.
I just want to wish everybody a Merry Christmas and say that I hope everybody has a wonderful holiday season. Since there are no sports or anything going on until the GLI next week, I’m going to take a couple extra days off both for Christmas and just to relax. Barring any big news, I will see you back here sometime next week. Until then, Merry Christmas!
As you may or may not have noticed, Michigan Sports Center was slightly redesigned over the weekend. I switched over to WordPress and made a few alterations to the site’s template. The look is still a work in progress, though, so don’t be surprised if some things get moved around or changed up a bit in the near future. My hope is to have a final design ironed out in the next week or so, but I wanted to make the switch to WordPress during a time when people were less apt to visit the site. That way the downtime that occurred when the switch was made wasn’t during a busy time of posting.
Aside from the site’s look, there are a few other features on the horizon that I hope to have in place in the next couple of months. In the meantime, make sure to check out the football, basketball, and hockey sections in the navbar, as they currently feature schedules (past, present, and future) and recruiting information. I will likely add more to the different sports sections in the future, but as mentioned, some of the features are still in development.
If you experience any issues with the site or think something doesn’t look right, please contact me. I’ve tested the site across multiple browsers, but I doubt I caught every bug out there. So if you notice a problem, let me know. (One issue I’m already aware of is that the “Share” feature in each post isn’t functioning correctly, but I am in the process of fixing the problem.)
And by on vacation, I mean I am busy studying for my final exams and covering the NFL Draft for Pride of Detroit. Those two things are taking up all of my time right now, and there isn’t a whole lot of Michigan-related news anyways. If something big breaks, I will put up a post about it, but barring that, I will be back next week.
I’m going to be busy watching football and the Red Wings all day long, so I won’t have new content up until tomorrow. I will recap the Wisconsin game (Michigan lost 73-61) and get you updated on the latest regarding William Campbell when I do return. Until then, Happy New Year!
I will be back with new content on Monday. My bowl predictions will still be posted, but I have scheduled those to go up on the day of the games. Also, since the GLI doesn’t conclude until Sunday night, don’t expect any updates on that until Monday, either.
Until then, Merry Christmas and Go Blue!
- With my exams out of the way and the semester over (for me, anyways), I plan on working on some site-related things in the next few weeks. I don’t think there will be any major changes to the design of the site, but we’ll just have to wait and see what happens. Also, even though Michigan isn’t in a bowl game, I still planning on doing predictions and things like that for all 34 games. I will also probably post a bowl schedule like I did last year in the coming days.
- According to Rich Rodriguez, Carson Butler is probably going to enter into the NFL Draft, Avery Horn may transfer, and Sam McGuffie’s future is still uncertain. Rodriguez also expects Brandon Graham to return, which makes sense considering Graham was recruiting Will Campbell at the basketball game and rushed the court with the recruits.
- Despite the win over Duke, Michigan is not ranked in either of the major college basketball polls. Michigan is 28th in the AP Poll and 31st in the ESPN/USA Today Poll.
- When I rushed the court after the Duke game there were two not-so-great moments that I was nearly involved in. A Duke student manager or assistant of some sort was actually physically grabbing and pushing fans out of the way so Mike Krzyzewski had a clear path to leave the court. I understand why they wanted Krzyzewski out of there, but I felt it was unnecessary to physically move students out of the way like the Duke person did.
Also, as I made my way onto the court, a couple people in front of me actually fell. A police officer thankfully made his way over to help them up, but I was worried they were going to get trampled. Now I see why rushing the court can be dangerous.
- Speaking of rushing the court, a few different videos of the aftermath of the Duke game are on YouTube.
- UM Hoops has a video of John Beilein’s speech before the Duke game.
- C.J. Lee’s reaction to the Duke game has been posted on MGoBlue.
- Whether or not freshman center Ben Cronin will redshirt is likely going to be decided this week. My guess is that he will redshirt, as it still looks like he is still being bothered by a hip injury.
- As mentioned in the recap of the Duke game, Rich Rodriguez, his wife and son, William Campbell, William Gholston, and Brandon Graham were all in attendance. The three players (as well as other recruits) rushed the court after the game. Some of the other recruits for both basketball and football at Crisler on Saturday were Tim Hardaway’s son, Matt Poches, Brandan Kearney (basketball recruits), all three of Michigan’s football commits from Ohio, and commits Thomas Gordon and Teric Jones from Cass Tech.
- Basketball commit Jordan Morgan was ejected from his first game of the season for getting two technical fouls.
- Laval Lucas-Perry was wearing a kick ass suit on Saturday. If he plays half as well as he dresses, Michigan will be in good shape at the point guard position.
- Freshman David Wohlberg was named the CCHA Player of the Week.
- Nearly 1300 teddy bears were tossed on the ice during the first intermission of the Michigan-Michigan State hockey game. The teddy bears will be given to kids at Mott Hospital.
- “Ann Arbor’s Big Show” will debut today on WTKA from 3-6 p.m. The show will be hosted by Jeff DeFran and Ben Holden. John Bacon will join the show in the New Year. I guess that explains why none of Bacon’s classes at the University of Michigan were offered for the upcoming semester. I was disappointed, as I wanted to take one or more of them, but a radio show definitely would conflict with them.
- Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford, who may win the Heisman Trophy on Saturday, committed to OU just days after Lloyd Carr was unable to call him to offer a scholarship due to the birth of a grandchild.
- Kicker Brendan Gibbons, a Michigan commit, was selected to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl that will be played on January 3.
- Football commit Craig Roh is Arizona’s Gatorade Football Player of the Year.
- The Spawn of MZone put Ohio State players into the ElfYourself website. The video that was produced is hilarious.
- Eastern Michigan’s basketball coach was suspended for three days due to an altercation with a student. The coach will be back on Thursday, so he will be on the bench for Saturday’s game at Michigan.
- USC offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian is Washington’s new football coach.
- Illinois offensive coordinator Mike Locksley, who is a great assistant and even better recruiter, is New Mexico’s new head coach.
- Texas quarterback Colt McCoy is going to return for his senior season.
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