Michigan Announces 2011 Football Schedule

By · Tuesday, May 18, 2010 · 2:39 PM |  Share | 3 Comments 

Michigan’s 2011 football schedule was made public earlier today, revealing that in addition to Notre Dame, the Wolverines’ non-conference opponents will be Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan, and San Diego State.  The full schedule can be found below or here:

9/3 – vs. Western Michigan
9/10 – vs. Notre Dame (8 p.m.)
9/17 – vs. Eastern Michigan
9/24 – vs. San Diego State
10/1 – Bye Week
10/8 – at Wisconsin
10/15 – vs. Indiana (Homecoming)
10/22 – at Michigan State
10/29 – at Iowa
11/5 – vs. Minnesota
11/12 – vs. Illinois
11/19 – at Northwestern
11/26 – vs. Ohio State

Michigan’s non-conference portion of the schedule presents one real tough game (Notre Dame at night) and three cupcakes.  Of course, by 2011 it’s possible that San Diego State could be tougher considering former Michigan assistant Brady Hoke is the head coach of the Aztecs, but still, there aren’t exactly any thrilling matchups outside of the ND night game.

The month of October is a little strange because Michigan only has one home game.  The month starts with a bye and a road game, has Indiana at home in the middle, and then finishes with two more road games.  In all, Michigan will play only one home game in a span of five weeks, which kind of sucks.

The season concludes in November with three home games and one road game.  2011 will be the first Ohio State game at home since the Big Ten season has been extended past Thanksgiving on a permanent basis, so it will be interesting to see what effect that has on the crowd, especially the student section.  Most students that live in the state of Michigan can go home for Thanksgiving and then come back for the game, but many out of state students fly home and then don’t come back until the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  If Michigan is playing for a Big Ten title or something big then students will be more inclined to stick around, but if not I fear there could be even more scarlet and gray in the stadium than there has been the last couple of OSU games.

One of the interesting things Dave Brandon told AnnArbor.com about scheduling in general is that a neutral-site game could be a possibility in the future.

Michigan also has been approached about playing a neutral-site game against a major-conference opponent, but so far there are no plans for that happen. One possibility could be defending national champion Alabama, perhaps in Atlanta around a future induction ceremony at the new College Football Hall of Fame.

“I like to look at all kinds of new, different stuff,” Brandon said. “Remember, I’m a change-is-good guy, so I’ll listen to whatever anybody wants to propose. But just because I’m listening doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. Too early to tell.”

Brandon also mentioned that there is no hurry to schedule games for 2012 and 2013 because it’s possible the Big Ten could look quite different in a couple years.  If the conference schedule changes as a result of expansion, it would be a pain to rearrange a bunch of non-conference games, so in that regard it looks like Brandon will wait to see what happens with the Big Ten before scheduling any big games too far down the road.

Monday Quick Hits: Michigan Wins Third-Straight Club Lacrosse Title

By · Monday, May 17, 2010 · 10:24 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • The Michigan club lacrosse team won its third-straight MCLA title on Saturday, downing Arizona State 12-11 in the championship game.  It certainly seems like it’s only a matter of time until lacrosse gets bumped up to the varsity level, but I just hope it happens sooner rather than later.
  • Michigan was trailing Northwestern in baseball 14-0 yesterday after only 2.5 innings.  The bad news obviously was that Michigan played so bad that it was down 14-0, but the good news was that it had plenty of time to get back into the game, and that is exactly what they did.  Michigan slowly but surely chipped away at the 14-run deficit and eventually tied the game on a 2-run homer in the bottom of the ninth.  Then, in the bottom of the tenth, Mike Dufek hit a walk-off home run to give Michigan the unbelievable 15-14 victory and to keep Michigan near the top of the Big Ten standings with one week left to play.  This was such a ridiculous game that it made SportsCenter, which isn’t too surprising considering teams don’t often come back from 14-run deficits and win on a walk-off homer.
  • The softball team received the No. 2 overall seed in the NCAA tournament and will be hosting a regional this weekend.
  • MGoBlue put together a piece on softball’s Bree Evans, who was seriously injured during a game last October but is once again healthy and playing for Michigan.
  • Michigan’s game in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge is going to be at Clemson on Tuesday, November 30.
  • Gil Brandt, the former longtime VP of player personnel for the Cowboys, said that whatever Rich Rodriguez told scouts about Morgan Trent was not why Trent dropped to the sixth round.  In fact, Brandt gave his own scouting report on Trent and explained exactly why the former Wolverine was only a sixth-round pick.
  • Mike Hart doesn’t regret using the phrase “little brother” to describe Michigan State after Michigan won the rivalry game in 2007.
  • If he could do it over again, Drew Henson would have stayed for his senior season at Michigan instead of signing with the Yankees.
  • Marvin Robinson is going to join the football team at some point in the next couple of weeks.
  • Johnny Sears has signed with the Bengals.
  • Dayeesha Hollins has left the women’s basketball team and is going to transfer somewhere closer to home.
  • Isaiah Sykes ended up deciding to play college basketball at Central Florida.
  • There may be some rule changes coming to NCAA hockey.
  • MVictors has a good post examining what exactly went down between Bo Schembechler and Ernie Harwell during that whole saga in the early 90s.
  • Purdue reinstated Justin Siller, the quarterback who torched Michigan in 2008.

Tuesday Quick Hits: Colton Christian Commits to Michigan

By · Tuesday, May 11, 2010 · 2:50 PM |  Share | 1 Comment 
  • Lloyd Carr spoke to Angelique Chengelis about the whole Morgan Trent/Rich Rodriguez draft book fiasco that developed over the weekend, clearing up exactly what his involvement in the situation was.

    “That paragraph is completely a distortion of my conversation with Morgan,” Carr said. “That is a complete distortion, and it is not accurate. I have never spoken with the author. I have never met him. I have never had a conversation with him to the best of my knowledge.”

    Trent also talked to Chengelis and backed off the assertion that Carr was the one who brought up what Rodriguez supposedly said and used specific quotes about it like the book implied.

    “Lloyd didn’t bring any of this to my attention,” Trent said. “When we spoke, I brought it up to him, and he said he had heard some of the same things.”

    This still isn’t a great situation, but at least we now know that Carr didn’t go running to Trent or the author of this book to share the specifics of how Rodriguez was trashing one of his former players to scouts.  That wasn’t necessarily what the book was trying to convey either, but the excerpt could easily be interpreted that way.

  • 2010 power forward Colton Christian has committed to Michigan.  Christian was originally set to go to Tulane, but he changed his mind after a coaching change.  Christian then made a few visits and picked up offers from Cal and Penn State before ultimately deciding on Michigan following a trip to Ann Arbor this past weekend.  He isn’t ranked on Rivals and only has two stars on Scout, but ESPN grades him as an 85, which isn’t bad.  This definitely seems like another sleeper type of recruit, but Christian did play at the Hargrave Military Academy this past year, prompting ESPN to give him this evaluation:

    Tulane may have landed a sleeper as Christian plays a very efficient, and college ready, brand of basketball. He isn’t going to dominate the game with his scoring but has some inside-out skills and impacts the game in a variety of ways. He’s a capable scorer on the block with a little jump hook and can also step out to 18 feet and shoot. He’s strong and very athletic off of two feet, bodies up well defending the post, and rebounds out of his area. Look for him to see immediate minutes next year at Tulane.

    The best part about getting Christian is that he adds more height to the team (Rivals lists him as being 6-7).  He isn’t a seven-footer or anything, but the added depth in the post will be very welcomed by John Beilein and company.  Plus, he becomes the fourth recruit to join the 2010 recruiting class, meaning he, Tim Hardaway Jr., Evan Smotrycz, and Jon Horford will be coming to Ann Arbor this summer as true freshmen ready to contribute to the 2010-11 Wolverines in some form.

  • UM Hoops has a recap of yesterday’s groundbreaking ceremony for the new basketball practice facility.  AnnArbor.com also has a recap of the event as well as some videos.
  • Patrick Beilein (John’s son), who has been a graduate manager at Michigan, is leaving to take an assistant coaching job at Dartmouth.
  • Some of the top matchups for the ACC-Big Ten Challenge have leaked out.  There’s no word on who Michigan will play yet, but its opponent will not be Duke, Virginia Tech, Florida State, North Carolina, N.C. State, or Miami (the ‘Canes aren’t participating in it this year).
  • Big Ten expansion rumors went crazy yet again yesterday when a radio station reported that Nebraska, Missouri, Notre Dame, and Rutgers had been invited to join the conference.  The rumor itself seemed like just another BS report, which was seemingly confirmed by the various denials issued throughout the day by the schools involved.  Even so, the rumor picked up steam and even caused ESPN to report on it, kicking discussion of expansion back into high gear.

    I will admit that I took the bait when the Pitt rumor came out a couple months ago, but since then each rumor has just really been annoying more than anything.  Until the Big Ten has deals in place to add teams to the conference, I doubt anything will be announced by them, and all of these other rumors just don’t seem too credible.  I’m sure there is some validity to the idea of where there’s smoke, there’s fire.  However, I will have a tough time believing any rumor until something official is announced by the Big Ten.

  • Personally, I think Black Heart Gold Pants’ take on Big Ten expansion was just about as credible as the rumor that popped up yesterday.

Monday Quick Hits: Germany Breaks Cold War Attendance Record

By · Monday, May 10, 2010 · 2:23 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • The hockey attendance record set by the Cold War at Spartan Stadium in 2001 is no more.  That is because Germany broke the record last week when 77,803 fans came out to watch the United States and Germany play in the opening game of the IIHF World Championships.  The record Michigan and Michigan State set back in 2001 was an attendance of 74,554 people.  That record had stood ever since but now moves down to No. 2 on the list.  Even so, Michigan and Michigan State should easily take the record back this December at Michigan Stadium.  Already more than 100,000 tickets have been sold to the event, so barring some really crappy weather, this new record of 77,803 should go by the wayside with ease.
  • It’s been a while since the last Rich Rodriguez controversy, so naturally this weekend there was a story written about how Morgan Trent was one of the players focused on in a book about the draft.  The story mentioned that the end of the book included something very interesting about Trent, Rich Rodriguez, and Lloyd Carr.

    At the end of the book, Deren describes the scene with Lloyd Carr, the former Michigan head coach that recruited Trent to Ann Arbor, breaking the news to Trent that current head coach Rich Rodriguez did him no favors.

    “Rodriguez had bad-mouthed him to every NFL scout he could,” Deren writes. “Rodriguez claimed that Morgan was lazy, he had an attitude problem and he was a big reason the Wolverines finished with a 3-9 record…”

    Trent admits the words were “jarring,” and they were hard to understand given that he was so serious about his career that he actually moved in with his brother and sister-in-law and their two small children while going to Michigan.

    But Trent was also worried about what Carr thought about his words showing up in the book. He talks to him, not Rodriguez.

    “I really like Coach Carr. He’s been very good to me,” Morgan says. “I think at first he was wondering, but I let him know it didn’t put him in a bad light. I would never do something like that to Lloyd. He’s great.”

    The claim here is that Carr let Trent know that Rodriguez had trashed Trent to NFL scouts.  Trent’s position coach from the Bengals didn’t talk to Rodriguez during the pre-draft process, but he did give some interesting insight about the situation.

    “When there is a coaching transition and the team ends up not having success, you have to step back and try to decipher what the truth really is,” Coyle says. “There was a lot of heat on those people and there was some pointing of blame. Plus, the players were somewhat chagrined, so you had to look at everything.”

    Rodriguez denied the supposed comments, saying the following:

    “The comments attributed to me are inaccurate and absolutely ridiculous.  I said just the opposite about Morgan Trent to NFL scouts and wish him well with the Bengals.”

    As Brian pointed out on mgoblog, by the time Rodriguez’s supposed comments got to the author of this book, they had been passed along by four or so different people, meaning the chances of them being 100% accurate weren’t great anyways.  What’s more, as Tim pointed out in the comments section on MVictors, this may be a case of Rodriguez giving an accurate assessment of Trent rather than badmouthing his former player.  It’s not like Trent was some great player that somehow fell to the sixth round of the draft.  He was a guy that struggled throughout his career and was downright awful in 2008, his final year at Michigan.  It’s no secret that Trent isn’t a fan of Rodriguez, and although this whole story is annoying in the sense that it’s more bad PR for Rodriguez, it’s not all that surprising given who the player involved is.

  • Michigan’s deal with adidas is at the top of the list when it comes college apparel contracts.
  • Manny Harris is officially gone since the deadline to withdraw from the NBA Draft was this past Saturday and no change to his status was made.
  • E’Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson, on the other hand, are both coming back to Purdue after originally declaring for the NBA Draft.
  • Apparently some “unnamed sources” from the Big 12 are upset that Nebraska and Missouri are so publicly interested in Big Ten expansion.  This all boils down to the fact that revenue sharing in the Big 12 isn’t equal, which is why Nebraska and Missouri have an interest in giving themselves leverage.  By expressing interest in potentially joining the Big Ten, they have quite a bit of leverage since they can threaten to leave the Big 12 if things go unchanged.  Of course, for that to actually work they would need to have an invite to the Big Ten waiting for them, and right now nothing is official.  We’re still in the rumor phase of possible Big Ten expansion, and these “unnamed sources” don’t like hearing Nebraska and Missouri mentioned so often.  I don’t know what will eventually happen with Big Ten expansion, but there could be chaos across the land of college sports, especially with the Big 12, regardless of what the Big Ten actually does.

Friday Quick Hits: The Big Chill Eclipses 100,000 Tickets Sold

By · Friday, May 7, 2010 · 1:33 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • Over 100,000 tickets to The Big Chill have now been sold, causing a ticket freeze so incoming students have a chance to purchase seats with their football or hockey season-ticket packages.  By the time that happens and the public gets one last crack at tickets (via a waiting list), chances are the total number of tickets sold will close to or at a sellout, which is pretty awesome.
  • The NCAA hockey tournament might be changing a bit in the future.
  • Michigan State lost another player to the NHL.
  • The Chicago Tribune’s Teddy Greenstein did a Q&A about Big Ten expansion.

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.

Wednesday Quick Hits: Michigan’s Entrance Comes to NCAA Football 11

By · Wednesday, May 5, 2010 · 3:08 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • NCAA Football 11 is going to have team entrances, and Michigan’s is one of them (watch the video in the link).  What’s more, the video reveals that Michigan’s renovation appears to be in the game as well.  There was some doubt over whether the renovation would make it in since it won’t technically be finished until this summer, but based on the below picture from the video it looks to be in. 
  • Per Martell Webb on Twitter, Michigan is getting new jerseys next season.  Before you panic, please note that Webb meant jerseys with a new fabric, not a new design.
  • WolverineHistorian uploaded a new two-part look at the 2000 Michigan-Ohio State game.
  • MVictors interviewed Michigan’s men’s soccer coach.

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.
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