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.

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.

Thursday Quick Hits: Talking Crisler Renovations, Recruiting, and More

By · Thursday, January 7, 2010 · 6:32 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • The first phase of Crisler Arena renovations will be up for approval at the next Board of Regents meeting (on January 21).  Below is a look at what this part of the renovation would entail:

    If approved, the project will begin in 2011, cost almost $20 million and the first portion of the renovation would deal with plumbing, heating, the Crisler roof, the replacement of lower bowl seats and aisle realignment, according to the Free Press.

    John Beilein, as you might imagine, is excited for the renovation.  Not only is he getting a practice facility, but finally Crisler will be renovated (assuming the Regents sign off on it).

  • Jordan Dumars, son of Joe Dumars, has officially transferred to Michigan.  He will not be a scholarship player, but rather a preferred walk-on.
  • Darius Morris is dealing with elbow tendinitis.
  • Michigan takes on Penn State tonight at 7 p.m. in Happy Valley.  The game can be seen on ESPN2.
  • In case you missed it, Braylon Edwards made headlines for saying that he was from “Lloyd Carr’s University of Michigan” during the introductions for last Sunday night’s Jets-Bengals game.  The immediate reaction most had to the comment was that Braylon was taking a shot at Rich Rodriguez by trying to disassociate himself from the current coach.  Braylon released a statement on Monday to deny that, saying the comment was a “tribute” to Lloyd Carr.  I’m not sure what to think about the statement, but perception-wise it certainly didn’t do Rodriguez any favors.
  • Dhani Jones talked quite a bit about Rich Rodriguez and the current state of the Michigan football program on Jim Rome’s show earlier this week.
  • Devin Gardner, who threw a touchdown pass in the Under Armour All-America Game last Saturday, was hoping to enroll early at Michigan, but he was unable to graduate early from Inkster because the school is on trimesters.  Marvin Robinson had also hoped to enroll early, but he also wasn’t able to.  The six players who did enroll early are Stephen Hopkins, Austin White, Jerald Robinson, Ricardo Miller, Jeremy Jackson, and Christian Pace, all offensive players.
  • It doesn’t appear that running back commit Tony Drake will actually become a Wolverine, as there are rumors about him being a long ways away from qualifying.  Although Adrian Witty did qualify, I don’t believe he made it to Ann Arbor for the winter semester, which was the original plan.  The rumor about that situation is that there is a hang up in the admissions department, which apparently may not accept Witty to Michigan.
  • Michigan commits Cullen Christian and Will Hagerup will play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Saturday.
  • Detroit Southeastern defensive tackle Jonathan Hankins committed to Ohio State over Michigan, ending what can only be described as a strange recruitment.
  • Brandon Graham and Zoltan Mesko are going to play in the Senior Bowl.
  • 24 former Michigan football players and coaches are on the rosters/coaching staffs of NFL playoff teams.
  • Michigan picked up a commitment from hockey player Cristoval “Boo” Nieves.
  • Former Michigan hockey players Jack Johnson and Mike Komisarek are going to play for the United States in the Winter Olympics.
  • Notre Dame’s new hockey arena is going to be based on Yost Arena, similar to how Notre Dame Stadium is based on Michigan Stadium. (HT: mgoblog)
  • Former Michigan women’s track coach Red Simmons turned 100 last week, and AnnArbor.com had a couple great articles about what an amazing life he has lived.  MVictors got the chance to interview him and shot some interesting videos of Simmons.
  • Supposedly the Big Ten might consider expanding to 14 or even 16 teams, but after reading these two in-depth posts about the topic of Big Ten expansion, that seems beyond unlikely unless the new teams are all high-profile, big-name colleges.
  • Bill Sheridan, father of Nick Sheridan, was fired by the Giants.
  • The following Big Ten players have declared for the NFL Draft in the last few days: Ohio State’s Thaddeus Gibson, Penn State’s Navarro Bowman, and Iowa’s Bryan BulagaPenn State’s Evan Royster and Ohio State’s Chimdi Chekwa and Cameron Heyward have decided to return for another year.

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.

Thursday Quick Hits: Brown Misses Practice; Woolfolk Practices at CB

By · Thursday, October 8, 2009 · 8:28 AM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • Former cornerback and current safety Troy Woolfolk may be moving back to his old position.  He practiced at corner on Wednesday, and if the coaches decide to move him there permanently, Michael Williams and Jordan Kovacs would be the team’s starting safeties.  Obviously the coaches aren’t satisfied with the play of J.T. Floyd and Boubacar Cissoko, which is why Woolfolk is practicing at CB and could play there on Saturday.
  • Carlos Brown missed yesterday’s practice due to an injury.  Brandon Minor, on the other hand, is as healthy as he has been all season, so it looks like he could start on Saturday.
  • After being limited on Monday and Tuesday, Tate Forcier fully practiced yesterday.
  • Forcier and Denard Robinson lined up in the backfield together during a QB/RB drill yesterday.
  • As expected, Michigan dropped out of this week’s BlogPoll.
  • Kicker Jason Olesnavage was put on scholarship after the Western Michigan game.
  • If you enjoy watching Big Ten teams play SEC teams on New Year’s Day, then I’ve got good news for you: The Gator Bowl will likely feature another Big Ten/SEC matchup.  I personally would like to see the Big Ten matchup against another conference, but I guess it’s obvious that the two conferences do a good job of making a successful bowl game.  (The Big Ten’s full bowl lineup apparently will be released next week.)
  • The Wolverine Blog previewed the hockey season by interviewing Michael Spath.
  • Speaking of the hockey team, they are headed to Alaska this weekend for the Kendall Hockey Classic.  Most players’ thoughts on the long trip are that it is a good bonding experience, but in general it’s not fun to be traveling that much.
  • Braylon Edwards was traded to the New York Jets yesterday.  Hopefully the change of scenery will do him some good.
  • I haven’t even considered buying a college basketball game since the 2k series was shut down, but NCAA Basketball 10 looks promising based on the presentation.  This year it will have all CBS graphics and a broadcast team of Gus Johnson and Bill Raftery, making it feel like you’re watching a real game.

Tuesday Quick Hits: Schedule Set for Michigan Madness

By · Tuesday, October 6, 2009 · 4:40 AM |  Share | 4 Comments 
  • Michigan’s night game against Iowa on Saturday is going to be nationally broadcast on ABC.
  • The Delaware State game on October 17 will start at noon and be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.
  • The E:60 story about Elliott Mealer is going to air tonight at 7 p.m. on ESPN.
  • The schedule for Michigan Madness, which takes place a week from Friday, has been released.  Gates to Crisler Arena won’t open until 8 p.m., but “Borseth’s BBQ” for Michigan students will start at 7 p.m. and be held outside of Crisler.  The basketball-related activities will get started shortly after 8, and the list of events includes a skills competition, a three-point shootout, a dunk contest featuring DeShawn Sims, Manny Harris, Zack Novak, and Darius Morris, and finally a 10-minute long scrimmage for the women’s team and another one for the men’s team.
  • It looks like freshman cornerback J.T. Turner is going to be redshirted.  Obviously there is still a chance that he could play, but considering he hasn’t even played yet at a position hurting for talent outside of Donovan Warren, I highly doubt he will progress enough to see the field this season.
  • Braylon Edwards allegedly hit a friend of LeBron James early Monday morning outside of a club.  The situation definitely doesn’t look good for Braylon, especially now that LeBron has called him out for what he described as “childish” actions.

Monday Quick Hits: Dann O’Neill Transfers to Western Michigan

By · Monday, July 13, 2009 · 12:26 PM |  Share | 2 Comments 
  • Contrary to some rumors that Dann O’Neill was giving up football, he has instead decided to transfer to Western Michigan, citing that he just wasn’t a good fit in Michigan’s spread offense.  At Western, he will be teammates with his older brother and a couple friends from his hometown of Grand Haven.
  • The Blog That Yost Built is reporting that Michigan’s hockey jerseys aren’t going to be changing next season.  I didn’t mind the design on MGoBlueShop, but I was a big fan of the jerseys the team wore last year, so I’m happy with this news.
  • Boise State is apparently close to finalizing a contract with a team for its season opener in 2010, and there is some speculation that that team is Michigan.   It is only speculation at this point, but a Michigan-Boise State matchup certainly would be intriguing.  Bill Martin did say that he wants to schedule a BCS team as Michigan’s opponent in the 2010 opener, but I think Boise State is just as good.  They are going to be more apt to schedule a game without it being part of a home-and-home series, so all it may take is a big check and the appeal of playing in Michigan’s first post-renovation home game. (HT: Maize n Brew)
  • Ace at The Wolverine Blog offered his suggestions on how to make the football student section better.  I agree with him on all fronts, especially his points about making the section general seating and putting your keys away on big plays.

    Making the student section general seating would be a good way to encourage people to show up earlier to games, which only adds to the atmosphere of the stadium.  For big games in the afternoon students stroll in after kickoff, so imagine how bad it is for a noon start against a MAC team.  The section never completely fills up for those types of games anyways, but a lot of people don’t even get there until midway through the first quarter if they bother to come at all.

    As for the anti-keys argument, that has been rehashed quite a bit over the last few years.  Some people do make noise by screaming even when jingling their keys, but way too many people seem to think that their keys are sufficient enough.  The scoreboard operator needs to stop encouraging this by displaying a “GET LOUD” message on third downs and other big plays rather than the “KEY PLAY” one that even has images of keys.

  • Also at The Wolverine Blog is a recap of the site’s Top 15 of the Last 15 series, which includes a cool video of Charles Woodson and Braylon Edwards.
  • Dr. Saturday looked at Michigan in his “Premature Assessments” series last week.
  • ESPN has announced its new announcing teams for next season.  Notable moves include Brad Nessler heading to ESPN’s primetime game, Mike Patrick going to the afternoon slot on ABC, Bob Griese joining Chris Spielman and Dave Pasch, and Matt Millen being added to an ABC afternoon game.  That last move bothers me the most, as we already have to listen to the buffoon that is Matt Millen during Monday Night Countdown and NFL Network games.  Considering Michigan is in the 3:30 spot quite a bit already, it seems like Millen will be calling our games at least a few times next season.  Thankfully for me it looks like most of those games will be at home, meaning I won’t have to listen to him, but if he ever announces an away game, the mute button seems like a better option than actually listening to him.

Monday Quick Hits: Maize Rage Rapidly Expanding

By · Monday, June 29, 2009 · 1:11 PM |  Share | Leave a Comment 
  • The latest number of sold student season-tickets for next basketball season is 2,076. That is just amazing considering less than 500 tickets were sold last season. I guess it just goes to show what an effect a winning season can have, especially when that winning season came after the football team struggled so much. It also shows the effect that putting an option to buy basketball tickets on the football application had as well. I’m sure quite a few of the new season-ticket holders decided that for only $99, it was more than worth it to add basketball tickets to their list of purchases when buying them for football.

    Since most games next season (aside from the couple premium ones) are going to be first-come, first-served, getting to Crisler early will be very important. That will only add to the atmosphere, but it will also be necessary if students want to sit in the bleachers. I don’t know where they will find room for 2,000 students, but based on the current size of the bleachers, the vast majority of those 2,000 will be stuck sitting behind the band or in the upper deck. Of course, not every season-ticket holder will go to every single game, but even smaller crowds will be much larger than usual.

    If the team can sustain its success from last season and keep interest in the program up on a consistent basis, it would not surprise me if the bleachers were expanded in the near future. It’ll take consistency both from the team and in the sales department, but assuming demand remains high, the bleachers will someday begin to expand around the lower bowl. The dream would be to have them go around the entire lower bowl (similar to the Izzone’s setup), but I’m probably getting a little ahead of myself at this point.

  • Two of Michigan’s 2009 hockey recruits were second-round picks at the NHL Draft on Saturday. A 2010 recruit was selected in the third round, showing off just how talented some of these incoming players are. I just hope they all make it to Ann Arbor, as professional hockey will be calling for some.
  • The bleachers in Yost Arena will probably be replaced next summer, just in time for the start of the 2010-11 season. This probably won’t be too noticeable of an improvement to many, but it’s very necessary. The bleachers, at least in the student section, are in fairly rough shape. Part of the reason for that is because many times students stand on them during games, but even then, they probably shouldn’t rock back and forth when there are students on them. It’s only a matter of time until a row breaks and causes some injuries.
  • There is no beef between Braylon Edwards and Rich Rodriguez anymore. Last summer Edwards went on the radio and complained about how Rodriguez gave the No. 1 jersey to a freshman defensive back. The problem was that Rodriguez wasn’t made aware of the scholarship that Edwards endowed for the No. 1 jersey, nor the tradition behind it. Once he found out about the whole concept of the No. 1 jersey, no players were assigned it and whatever problem there was with him and Edwards was squashed.
  • Michigan came in fifth in the final Directors’ Cup standings.
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