Monday Quick Hits: Michigan Softball Advances to Super Regional

By · Monday, May 24, 2010 · 2:20 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • The Michigan softball team rolled through its regional, beating Wright State once and Notre Dame twice in dominating fashion over the weekend.  Michigan will now host Tennessee, the No. 15 seed in the tournament, in a super regional in Ann Arbor.  Thursday’s game starts at 7:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN.  Friday’s first game starts at 4:30 p.m. on ESPNU.  The second game, if necessary, will also be shown on ESPNU.
  • Michigan’s response to the NCAA over practicegate was expected to be submitted today.  We should hear about the details of the response on Tuesday.
  • Although Michigan and Notre Dame announced a 20-year extension of their rivalry a few years ago, there is no contract making it official.  Dave Brandon wants to make it official at some point, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be a game played every single year.  Remember, the rivalry is taking two years off in the future, and honestly, that is something I’d like to see more often.  If the Notre Dame game is going to prevent Michigan from playing in big-time home and home series, then I’d rather play ND every other year or for two years and then take a two year break.  That would give Michigan more flexibility with its schedule and allow for matchups with the big-time programs in college football like Ohio State has been doing.
  • Tate Forcier is excited to play against San Diego State in 2011 because he feels they didn’t show him much love when he was being recruited in high school.
  • Soony Saad, an incoming freshman for Michigan, received the honor of being named Gatorade’s National Soccer Player of the Year.
  • That Big Ten expansion rumor from a couple weeks ago was complete BS, as confirmed by Jim Delany.  Delany also said that the Big Ten is going to stick to its timetable, meaning we shouldn’t expect a sudden expansion announcement to happen this summer.
  • Lloyd Carr’s opinion on Big Ten expansion is that “it’s inevitable.”
  • In addition to some of Braylon Edwards’ former teammates at Michigan, Mark Sanchez, Darrelle Revis, Santonio Holmes, Donte’ Stallworth, and Kerry Rhodes also are scheduled to participate in his charity basketball game at Crisler Arena next month.  Tickets are now available.
  • WolverineHistorian uploaded a video of the trophy presentation after Michigan won the Big Ten title in 2003.  As you’ll see in the video, Chris Perry was happy, to say the least.

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.

Big Ten Expansion Quick Hits: Talk of 14 or 16 Teams Heats Up

By · Wednesday, April 28, 2010 · 11:38 AM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • Big Ten expansion talk has been heating up in the last couple of weeks on blogs and message boards because there was a report of an “accelerated timetable.”  That turned out to not be true and was refuted by Jim Delaney, but Big Ten expansion is still a hot topic because it looks certain that at least a few teams will be added rather than just one.  Some even think the conference could expand to 16 teams, which would completely change the landscape of college sports.  I personally have been against going that big and would much rather just add Notre Dame and call it a day.  I suppose if each team is a big name then it would be worth it, but maybe this is all just to scare ND into accepting an invite because if they don’t, the Big East could be a goner, which would screw them over in every sport outside of hockey and football.  We’ll see, I guess.
  • Dave Brandon doesn’t really care how big the conference gets, but he made one thing clear: “Anybody who comes up with a proposal that said Michigan shouldn’t play Ohio State should be institutionalized.”  Amen.
  • Adam Rittenberg put together a post breaking down how the process of voting on Big Ten expansion works.
  • Frank the Tank, who has been all over potential Big Ten expansion, broke down what TV value possible new members would bring to the conference.  His current prediction for a 16-team conference is that Notre Dame, Nebraska, Missouri, Pittsburgh, and Rutgers would be added, which would make sense geographically and would open up the Big Ten to a number of new markets.  More than anything, it would effectively destroy the Big 12 and Big East, completely turning the college sports world upside down.
  • Brian Kelly doesn’t want Notre Dame to join a conference for football.
  • Joe Paterno wants the Big Ten to add three teams to get up to 14 total.
  • If the Big Ten dramatically expands, the SEC could be next in line to add new teams.
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