Monday Quick Hits: More Big Chill News

By · Monday, May 3, 2010 · 2:42 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • Close to 96,000 tickets have now been sold to The Big Chill.  It’s only a matter of time until the ticket counter goes over 100,000.
  • Michigan is going to wear throwback jerseys from the 1940s in The Big Chill game against Michigan State.  (Lots more about the game can be found in a great article at Athletic Business.  Hat tip to The Blog That Yost Built.)
  • Three high school hockey games are going to be played at Michigan Stadium on December 5, six days before Michigan and Michigan State hit the ice.
  • The CCHA has essentially adopted the Big Ten basketball tournament’s setup for its playoffs since it will only have 11 teams starting next season.  Like the BTT, five teams will receive a first-round bye.  The 4 and 5 seeds will be scheduled to play each other from the beginning of the playoffs, but they won’t have to do the series until the second week of action.
  • Brandon Graham (pictured here with fellow senior DeShawn Sims) graduated and met President Obama, who spoke at Michigan’s commencement, on Saturday.
  • Donovan Warren, who is going to play free safety for the Jets, is blaming the NFL’s Draft Advisory Board for his decision to leave Michigan a year early only to go undrafted.
  • Anthony Wright’s basketball career at Michigan may be over, but with another year of eligibility left, he may play for one more season at a Division II or NAIA school.
  • Michigan’s lacrosse team is the top overall seed in the MCLA tournament.

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.

Monday Quick Hits: Michigan Will Play Miami in CCHA Semifinals

By · Monday, March 15, 2010 · 9:50 AM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • Michigan’s path to the NCAA tournament will have to go through the top team in the conference, as the Miami Redhawks beat Ohio State last night to advance to the CCHA semifinals.  Because Miami is the top seed in the playoffs, it will play Michigan, the lowest remaining seed.

    The time for Friday’s game hasn’t been set just yet, but considering the second CCHA semifinal will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network, it’s a pretty safe bet that Michigan and Miami will face off at 8:05 p.m.  If Michigan beats Miami, it will play in the CCHA championship game at 7:35 p.m. on Saturday.  That game will be broadcast on FS Detroit as far as I know.  If Michigan loses to Miami, it will play in the third-place game at 3:35 p.m.  Let’s hope that doesn’t happen, though, because to reach the NCAA tournament, Michigan has to beat Miami and then beat the winner of the Northern Michigan/Ferris State game.  There is no room for error at this point.

  • MGoBlue has a cool video of Michigan’s locker room celebration after Saturday’s win against Michigan State.
  • The men’s bracket is out for the NCAA basketball tournament, and quite honestly I think it was an overall terrible job by the selection committee.  Either way, I can’t wait for the action to get started despite the fact that Michigan is not a part of it this year.  That may not be the case for the women’s bracket, however.  The women’s field of teams will be released tonight, and Michigan has a shot at going dancing.  On ESPN’s bracketology page for the women’s tournament, the Wolverines are one of the last four teams in, so they definitely have a shot.  Hopefully they will get a bid and give Michigan one basketball team in the NCAA tournament this year.
  • The NIT bracket is also out, and Michigan unsurprisingly didn’t make it into the field of 32 teams.
  • Manny Harris opted not to talk about if he will go pro after the Ohio State game.
  • Jimmy King would like to see the Fab Five’s banners put back up at some point in the future.  I tend to agree with him just because it would be good for recruits to come to Crisler Arena and see the Final Four banners, but then again, technically those Final Fours didn’t happen and the Fab Five didn’t exist, so I’m not exactly sure what should be done with them.
  • A new photo gallery of Michigan Stadium is up on MGoBlue.  This particular gallery looks at the entrance to the tunnel, which is being overhauled right now, as well as the installation of speakers in the north scoreboard (they used to be on the press box).
  • Jordan Kovacs will likely be placed on scholarship this fall.
  • Brandon Graham and Donovan Warren are going to work out for pro scouts on April 8 since both have been dealing with injuries.
  • Angelique Chengelis has a great idea for the spring game: play it at night.
  • Jake Long is a large man.
  • Desmond Howard, Jumbo Elliott, and Rob Lytle are candidates for the College Football Hall of Fame.
  • Serious knee and ankle injuries are apparently more likely to happen on FieldTurf compared to grass.
  • Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, who pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary last week, has been suspended for the entire 2010 season.

Monday Quick Hits: Jack Johnson and Team USA Earn Silver Medal

By · Monday, March 1, 2010 · 1:01 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • Jack Johnson and Team USA lost to Canada in a thrilling gold medal game, but they still left Vancouver with a silver.
  • Friday’s game against Lake Superior State will be broadcast on Comcast and Saturday’s will be on FS Detroit.  Both are set to start at 7:35 p.m., and Sunday’s start time is still to be determined.
  • Brandon Graham tweaked his hamstring at the NFL Combine and was unable to finish his workout.
  • Graham was recently asked about Rich Rodriguez’s status as Michigan’s coach, and he basically summed up the situation by saying that Rodriguez has one year left to get things turned around.  If Michigan doesn’t start winning next season, chances are there will be a new coach in 2011.
  • Ben Cronin’s spring break will be spent doing relief work in Haiti.
http://twitter.com/Michigan_mbball/status/9788770449

Saturday Quick Hits: Michigan to Play FAU in 2012?

By · Saturday, February 27, 2010 · 7:22 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • Michigan and Florida Atlantic are reportedly close to agreeing to a deal that would bring the Owls to the Big House in 2012.  FAU played at Michigan State last season and will play at Spartan Stadium again in 2011.  This year FAU will play MSU at Ford Field, which is where the Owls played in 2008 for the Motor City Bowl.
  • Brian of mgoblog interviewed the author of Bylaw Blog about the allegations against Michigan.  It is very interesting and provides a look at what sanctions Michigan could be facing.  Also at mgoblog is a look at some past cases that are similar to what Michigan is going through and what sanctions came from them.
  • A user on mgoblog compared the Free Press’ allegations with what the NCAA actually found, and it’s pretty amazing just how off the paper was in so many instances.
  • NFL.com has combine videos of Zoltan Mesko and Brandon Graham.
  • AnnArbor.com has a video of Graham getting ready for the combine with Mike Barwis.
  • Tony Gibson thinks Donovan Warren will have a great career in the NFL.
  • New England Patriots and former Michigan linebacker Pierre Woods is working out in Ann Arbor to stay in shape during the offseason.  Considering how he and Lloyd Carr never seemed to be on the same page during his time at Michigan, it’s good to see him back around the program again.
  • MGoBlue has news aerial photos of Michigan Stadium.
  • Dave Brandon’s last full day at Domino’s included a nice surprise.
  • Goalie Shawn Hunwick, who won his first career collegiate game on Thursday, is the scoreboard operator at Alumni Field (softball).  You learn something new every day.
  • Baseball great Barry Larkin originally came to Michigan to play football for Bo Schembechler.
  • Despite multiple reports to the contrary, Texas’ athletic director claims that the school hasn’t had any talks with the Big Ten.
  • Some information about NCAA Football 11 is out, and it looks like EA Sports is finally going to add some features that have been missing from the game for way too long.  That said, not much of this info is gameplay-related, which is what I’m really looking forward to hearing about.

Wednesday Quick Hits: U-M Students Win Silver Medal; Shawn Conway Commits to Michigan

By · Wednesday, February 24, 2010 · 3:11 AM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • Michigan students Meryl Davis and Charlie White won a silver medal in ice dancing at the Olympics, and fellow students Emily Samuelson and Evan Bates finished 11th.
  • Birmingham Seaholm wide receiver Shawn Conway committed to Michigan over the weekend after being offered a scholarship.  Conway, Michigan’s third commitment for 2011, is a definite sleeper considering that Michigan is his only offer so far.  I know many fans out there are concerned over the fact that Conway has flown under the radar so much, but let’s keep in mind that it is only February.  A lot of times players that are sleepers will suddenly jump up in the rankings after their senior year or simply once they gain more attention.  That’s not to say that will for sure happen in Conway’s case, but he has good size and good hands, making it seem like he could be a solid possession receiver for Michigan someday.  For more on Conway, check out mgoblog.
  • AnnArbor.com has a recap and various videos of the Victors Rally that was held on Sunday.  The Wolverine Blog also has a few videos from the event.
  • Coaches almost decided to play Justin Turner and burn his redshirt last season.  Although I imagine he would have helped the secondary, in the long run I think that was a good decision.
  • Brandon Graham’s stock soared after the Senior Bowl, and if he manages to run a 4.5 40-yard dash in Indianapolis like he did in practice recently it could continue to be on the rise.
  • Bill Martin’s official title from March 8 (after Dave Brandon officially becomes the athletic director) to September 4 of this year will be “special adviser to the president.”
  • The USA Today profiled Dave Brandon.
  • Fielding Yost was a curler back in the day.
  • Five Michigan hockey recruits are in Rivals’ top 50 rankings.  Two of them have five stars.
  • I think John Beilein’s expression during the Penn State game last Saturday just about sums up my overall expression for Michigan sports since October.
  • Beilein doesn’t expect Ben Cronin to play basketball again.
  • Michigan has submitted bids to host NIT games for both the men’s and women’s teams.  At this point I don’t think Michigan will even have to worry about hosting anything for the men’s NIT.
  • UM Hoops and The Wolverine Blog put together a two-part Q&A on where things stand with basketball recruiting.
  • Brent Petway is headed to France to play basketball.
  • Former Michigan basketball player Dommanic Ingerson was arrested last week in Oakland after stealing a purse and a jacket from two women and proceeding to swim in a lake naked.
  • George Sisler, who played baseball at Michigan from 1913-15, was elected to the College Baseball Hall of Fame.
  • The Big Ten has hired a research firm to analyze schools that could join the Big Ten.  The initial list included 15 schools.  Texas was not on the list, but you don’t need to really do research to know how big of an impact adding the Longhorns to the conference would have.
  • Michigan Sports Center turned four on Sunday.

Tuesday Quick Hits: Jack Johnson Hits the Ice for Team USA

By · Tuesday, February 16, 2010 · 3:43 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 

Monday Quick Hits: Brandon Graham Named Senior Bowl MVP

By · Monday, February 1, 2010 · 11:13 AM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • Brandon Graham tore things up all week during Senior Bowl practice and did the same during the actual game on Saturday.  Graham had a couple sacks to go along with a forced fumble and was named the game’s MVP.  He was viewed as a second-round pick with an outside shot at the first-round by most going into Senior Bowl week, but now he is seemingly for sure a first-rounder and could even be a top-20 pick depending on who you talk to.
  • We are less than 37 hours (at the time of this post) away from signing day.  Right now there are three uncommitted recruits still considering Michigan that will be worth watching on Wednesday — defensive backs Sean Parker, Rashad Knight, and Demar Dorsey.  It’s really too tough to guess at this point, but if all goes according to plan Michigan should get at least one of those three players.  Parker seems like the most likely to end up at Michigan based on what Sam Webb has said on WTKA lately, but you never know with USC being the other team still in play.  Knight is down to Michigan and Rutgers, and that one seems like it could go either way.  Finally, Dorsey was rumored to have committed to Florida State last week, and though the Seminoles are on his final list, I don’t believe a final decision has been made yet.  USC and Michigan are the other two schools on his final list.  He is probably the biggest long shot of the three, but signing day is always good for a surprise or two.  (By the way, Dorsey is Denard Robinson’s cousin, so that connection should help Michigan’s chances.)
  • According to Rich Rodriguez, Michigan has room for all three of the aforementioned players if what would simply be an amazing signing day happens and Parker, Knight, and Dorsey choose the Wolverines.  Rodriguez said on Saturday the max Michigan can take is 29, and unless there is an unforeseen decommit, that leaves three open spots in the 2010 recruiting class.
  • Rodriguez also said that this spring some offensive players may switch to defense since there isn’t a ton of depth on that side of the ball right now.  Once the entire recruiting class arrives on campus in the summer depth won’t be as big of an issue, but right now Michigan just needs more bodies on defense.
  • A defensive assistant coach should be hired in the next week or so, but not until after signing day.  I think the reason for that, based on what someone told me, is because Michigan gave recruiting coordinator Chris Singletary coach status so he could go on the road to recruit.  I suppose a coach could be hired now since all of the visits have wrapped up, but Rich Rodriguez probably just wants to get signing day out of the way first.
  • Former commit Adrian Witty, who was set to come to Michigan until the admissions department supposedly prevented that from happening, is headed to Cincinnati instead.
  • Tony Grimes, who was once viewed as a Michigan lean, committed to Ole Miss.
  • Associate head basketball coach Jerry Dunn is expected to return to the team after taking a leave of absence.
  • John Bacon provided some insight into what Manny Harris did to get suspended on the day before the Purdue game.
  • MLive’s It’s Just Sports interviewed Courtney Sims.
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