- 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.
- Bill Davidson, a University of Michigan graduate and owner of the Pistons and Shock, passed away at the age of 86 on Friday.
- Michigan beat Western Michigan last night to take a 1-0 series lead. The Wolverines led 3-0 after the first period and proceeded to let WMU make it 3-2 in the second. In the third, though, Michigan put the clamps down and took a 4-2 lead after finally coming out on the good side of a goal review. Carl Hagelin put in an empty netter with around a minute left in the game to give Michigan a 5-2 victory. Game two of the series is tonight at 7:05 p.m. and can be seen on FSN Detroit.
- Michigan’s spring football roster is out, as practice begins today.
- The second annual Night of Champions took place yesterday. It is basically a team-wide competition consisting of nine events, and the team that won was coached by Bruce Tall and consisted of Tate Forcier, Kevin Grady, Will Heininger, Elias Kos, Zoltan Mesko, David Moosman, Renaldo Sagesse, Vincent Smith, Ben Sutton and Mike Williams.
- MGoBlue has a recap of Michigan’s pro day, which went very well. Will Johnson had 47 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press, breaking Jake Long’s NFL combine record of 42 reps. Also, Carson Butler ran an impressive 4.5 40-yard dash. Many players did well in the 40.
- In the pro day photo gallery, it appears that Mike Hart and Lloyd Carr were at the event.
- Rich Rodriguez supposedly is now on Twitter. It seems pretty authentic, but I will be skeptical until it is confirmed to be him.
- Andre Criswell, who would have been a fifth-year senior in 2009, is now working as a student assistant and is on a medical scholarship.
- A fan received three tickets to the Iowa game on Thursday from Anthony Wright thanks to Facebook.
- UM Hoops has a guide to which teams we should root for today.
- Mike Bellotti resigned as head coach of Oregon to take the athletic director job. Chip Kelly, the offensive coordinator and coach-in-waiting, takes over for Bellotti.
- Michigan’s hopes of making the NCAA tournament are quickly fading, as the Wolverines lost their third straight game last night. Penn State beat Michigan 73-58 in what was yet another pathetic performance on the road. Michigan again struggled shooting the ball, especially from behind the arc. Out of 30 attempts, Michigan made only 5 three-pointers. That alone should sum up how bad this game went, but it really doesn’t. What does is this stat: Penn State shot 58% from the field (and 52.9% from three-point land). Michigan’s defense was nearly as bad as its offense, making for a game that quickly became a blowout in the second half.
- At this point, it doesn’t look like Michigan is going to make the NCAA tournament unless they have a drastic turnaround in the immediate future. I don’t know what has happened to them, but this is not the same team that beat Duke and UCLA. I guess there’s always the risk of falling apart when a team relies on the three-pointer so much, but Michigan’s poor shooting is only one of the many problems with this team.
The lack of an inside presence, for example, is right at the top of the list of problems right now. Although DeShawn Sims had a good night with 19 points and 10 rebounds, Penn State absolutely killed Michigan in the paint, which opened up their outside game in the second half. I guess this was to be expected with a four-guard lineup, but Michigan was able to make it work up until the last few games.
- Like Sims against Illinois and Ohio State, Manny Harris disappeared last night, scoring only 6 points and going 2-10 from the field. He missed all five of his three-point attempts and had only 4 rebounds.
- Laval Lucas-Perry and Zack Novak also struggled from three-point land. Lucas-Perry missed all 6 of his three-point attempts and Novak missed all 3. The two each scored 6 points and went a combined 3-12 from the field.
- Stu Douglass scored 9 points and made 3 of his 8 three-pointers. He didn’t play great, but this was his second decent game in a row.
- Jevohn Shepherd actually played for a change and made a couple of plays in the first half that kept Michigan hanging around at the time. He made a basket and was fouled, but missed the free throw. Shortly after, he made a ridiculous move and somehow got to the basket off his pivot foot to score. Those two baskets were the only ones he made, though.
- There was also an Anthony Wright sighting in the final minute or so. Wright took one three-pointer and missed it.
- Michigan returns to Crisler Arena on Saturday to host Northwestern. This game is absolutely a must-win if Michigan wants to keep their NCAA tournament hopes alive. A loss would not only hurt their tournament resume, but it would likely commence an end of season collapse.
Following the Northwestern game, Michigan’s schedule looks like this: at Ohio State, at Purdue, vs. Penn State, at Connecticut, vs. Michigan State, at Northwestern, vs. Minnesota, at Iowa, vs. Purdue, at Wisconsin, and at Minnesota. There aren’t a whole lot of games that seem winnable right now, so like I said earlier, Michigan better get things turned around ASAP. Saturday’s game starts at 8 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.
- Courtney Sims, a former Michigan center, was signed to a 10-day contract by the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday.
- Michigan’s softball team is ranked 8th in a preseason poll.
- Former Michigan football player James Whitley was charged with rape on Tuesday.
- Michigan graduate Stephen Ross is now the owner of the Miami Dolphins.
- Jake Long is now a Pro-Bowler.
- It seems all of the Jon Gruden to Notre Dame rumors didn’t originate from South Bend. Notre Dame’s director of football media relations actually released a statement about the rumors and called them “ridiculous.” He said that the rumors are trying to sabotage Notre Dame’s recruiting efforts, as the speculation is that Charlie Weis would be fired and replaced with Gruden after signing day.
I’m all for sabotaging Notre Dame’s recruiting efforts, and there does seem to be an awful lot of smoke out there. However, it doesn’t seem like these rumors are accurate now that a statement has been released. Obviously the statement could just be part of the charade until signing day, but if that were the case, Notre Dame would have a big image problem to worry about in the future. I just don’t see them making such a concrete statement if there is any chance it could be false.
- All of the local shows on WDFN were cut yesterday and replaced with Fox Sports Radio.
- The latest BlogPoll is out, and just like last week, I finished second for the title of Mr. Numb Existence by 0.01 of a point.
- The hockey team hosts Niagara tonight, and The Blog That Yost Built posted 10 things to know about them.
- Shavodrick Beaver is out for 4-6 months after having surgery on his left (non-throwing) shoulder. He plans on being at the Michigan State game on Saturday, but some of the after effects of his surgery may keep him from making the trip to Ann Arbor.
Since Beaver will be out until February at the earliest and April at the latest, I’m not exactly sure if he will be back for in time for spring practice. He is going to enroll early, so he still will be able to learn the offense and build up his strength with Mike Barwis, but his status to actually practice in the spring is definitely up in the air.
- MLive has audio of Rich Rodriguez from this week’s Big Ten teleconference.
- Jake Long may not have the appetite of Michael Phelps, but he still eats a lot of food.
- The Big Ten Network seems to be hiring an awful lot of hot sideline reporters.
- First things first, kudos to the crowd on Saturday. From the blimp shots on ABC, the maize out looked great. It probably was the best one Michigan has had yet, which likely has to do with the fact that maize shirts were being passed out to fans at some gates as they entered the stadium. AT&T sponsored the shirts to give Michigan the ability to pass them out.
- Another aspect of the crowd that I have to give big props to is those that organized and were part of the navy block “M” in the student section. I was very wrong about how it would turn out as it was anything but an epic failure. The “M” itself looked good and it actually stayed together for the entire game. According to the organizer of this whole thing, a block “M” in the student section may become a regular occurrence.
- One final thing I want to mention about the crowd is how loud it was in the second half once Michigan made this a game. The student section was loud on every play following the Kevin Koger touchdown, and other areas of the stadium were actually getting into it as well. I think it was probably the loudest the stadium had ever been for a sustained period of time, and when John Thompson scored on the interception return, that specific moment may have been the loudest I had ever heard Michigan Stadium.
- John Thompson’s interception that was returned for a touchdown is a Pontiac Game Changing Performance nominee this week. Head on over to ESPN to vote for Thompson.
- Michigan’s 27-25 win over Wisconsin featured the program’s second largest comeback ever and the largest comeback by a Michigan team at Michigan Stadium.
- At halftime, Terrance Taylor delivered a speech to his teammates that seemed to get them pumped up.
“I was very loud at halftime,” Taylor said. “Very vocal.” [...]
“It was a lot of things,” said Taylor, who had eight tackles and a fumble recovery in Michigan’s 27-25 comeback victory. “Just the situation, my last year, my first last Big Ten game at home, the 500th game, getting booed off the field.”
Taylor’s speech came before the coaches even got to the locker room, showing the leadership he has.
- Rich Rodriguez got a Gatorade shower after he shook Bret Bielema’s hand following the game.
- Carson Butler did not play at all against Wisconsin, which is likely a direct result of him getting ejected against Notre Dame. Kevin Koger got his first playing time of the season and did an excellent job of filling in. He didn’t have any penalties, did a nice job of blocking, and caught Michigan’s first touchdown of the game that started the comeback.
- There were so many familiar faces on the sidelines watching this game. Of course, the most recognizable to most was probably Michael Phelps, who got a huge standing ovation. Phelps was honored with other Michigan Olympians before the game and even spoke to the team prior to kickoff as well.
- On top of the Olympians, there were a ton of former players at the game. Just off the top of my head, here is the list of who I remember being there: Drew Henson, Jeff Backus, Ronald Bellamy, Adam Kraus, Mike Hart, Marlin Jackson, Jake Long, Pierre Woods, Shawn Crable, Mario Manningham, Jamar Adams, Ryan Mundy, John Navarre, Anthony Thomas, Rueben Riley, and Ali Haji-Sheikh. Nick Sheridan’s dad, Bill, who is a coach for the New York Giants, also was at the game. I’m sure I missed a few simply because so many former players were at the game.
- Isiah Thomas was also at the game as he is sort of touring the nation each week to watch college football. He had a Michigan hat on and is actually a fan as it turns out.
“I went to a lot of Michigan games and am a Michigan fan,” said Thomas, who played two years of basketball at Indiana and won the national championship. “I was an IU basketball fan, but all of us adopted Michigan as our football team.”
MVictors has a picture of Isiah from the game.
- Even though Michigan Stadium’s capacity is lower than usual this season, the Big House still had a bigger crowd on Saturday compared to the Penn State-Illinois game. Specifically, there were 109,833 at the Michigan-Wisconsin game and 109,626 at Penn State’s game.
- To commemorate Michigan Stadium’s 500th game, there were markings on both 25-yard lines that indicated the feat. Again, MVictors has a picture of what I’m talking about.
- If you’re a student, please do not sell your ticket to an opposing fan. I can’t even describe how annoying it was to see a countless number of Wisconsin fans in the student section. I had the pleasure of sitting behind two of them. Although they weren’t douchebags like many of the other Wisconsin fans at the game, I disliked the fact that I even had to be near an opposing fan in the student section. They did leave after the third quarter, but still, if you’re a student, make sure you sell your tickets to Michigan fans.
- A lot has been made about how the team was booed off the field at halftime. Although I understand why people dislike the idea of booing the team, I can understand why people did considering it was the worst half of offense I had ever seen. I’ll admit it; I booed as the first half came to a close. However, I did so only because Rich Rodriguez and the coaches decided to not take a knee to end the half. Instead, they decided to have Steven Threet attempt a Hail Mary. Threet was hit when he threw the ball and it was intercepted and returned all the way back to the 8-yard line. In that situation it would have been better to just take a knee as the chances of actually scoring were very low and only something bad could happen as we nearly saw.
- John Thompson had to have stitches after he “busted” his chin and tongue up.
- A couple Wisconsin fans that were in the student section got ejected at halftime. I didn’t see what sparked the incident, but they were standing up and shouting at Michigan fans and were getting stuff thrown at them. I have no idea if they provoked the Michigan fans or what, but the incident ended with them getting ejected.
- Jason Gingell took over the kickoff duties after Michigan’s first kickoff of the game. Gingell actually kicked the ball out of the end zone once, so hopefully we see more of that in the future.
- There is some confusion over why Travis Beckum, who is arguably one of Wisconsin’s best offensive players, didn’t play until the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game.
- I mentioned last week that I wanted everyone to boo the Wisconsin band for their actions the last time they were in Ann Arbor. They were booed, but that wasn’t the only punishment they faced apparently. For the post-game band show, Michigan went by themselves while the Wisconsin band just sat off to the side and waited for U-M to finish. Once Michigan did finish and marched completely out of the stadium, Wisconsin then did the “Fifth Quarter.” I could be wrong, but it appeared that Michigan wasn’t even going to give Wisconsin a chance to be unclassy this time around, so they made UW wait to do anything until they were gone.
- Two temporary lights were placed on the top of the east side steel structure. In the past, portable lights have been brought in with trucks parked outside of the bowl. Since there are structures that support the lights now, trucks are no longer necessary.
- It looked like the south videoboard had something wrong in the middle of the screen. I don’t know if it was just the glare of the sun or what, but it seemed like there were pixels that were constantly white and never changed. Problem or not, it is time to start considering the addition of HD videoboards. It would be tough to replace the old scoreboard since a project like that would cost some money, but hey, what’s another $10 million or so at this point?
- After the game ended, some students in the lower rows attempted to rush the field. A few made it onto the field only to be abruptly met by police. I did notice a couple students running around the field with the team, but it didn’t appear that the police noticed them.
- When the team came over to the student section after the game, any idea of rushing the field quickly ended since the team was already with the students. Some players jumped up onto the walls to really get close to the students and others celebrated from the field. This is a new tradition that happens after a win anyways, but it really was fun considering how great the game was. Most of the student section stayed until the team left, which was nice to see.
- The halftime show was very unique and very entertaining.
- The Hoover Street Rag really wrote up a nice post about the game.
- Photo galleries: GoBlueWolverine (of recruits at the game; I like how Will Campbell dressed), Detroit News, Free Press, and MGoBlue.
- Michigan’s offensive line has been constantly changing due to injuries this season, and more changes are on the way for tomorrow’s game.
Left guard Tim McAvoy has worked at left tackle, coach Rich Rodriguez said, and backup right guard John Ferrara has been getting repetitions at left guard. Those moves were precipitated by injuries to starting left tackle Mark Ortmann and his backup, Perry Dorrestein.
Ortmann, who missed Michigan’s loss to Notre Dame with a dislocated right elbow, practiced in a green, non-contact jersey Wednesday. Rodriguez said before practice that Ortmann would be able to play against the Badgers. He wasn’t so optimistic about Dorrestein, who donned a green practice jersey because of a knee injury.
Thankfully Mark Huyge should be returning from an injury he suffered before the season even started. Any added depth at this point is needed because Michigan is only an injury or two on the offensive line away from complete disaster.
- Along with Michael Phelps and other Michigan Olympians, Mike Hart, Jake Long, and Mario Manningham also will be at the Wisconsin game since their NFL teams have a bye this week. (HT: MGoBlog)
- Michigan will open the 2008 basketball season against Michigan Tech in the first-round of the 2K Sports Classic (aka Coaches vs. Cancer). If Michigan gets by Michigan Tech then they will play the winner of the Northeastern-IUPUI game. It was originally thought that UMass would be in Michigan’s regional, but since they are not I would expect Michigan to advance out of their regional and to Madison Square Garden. If that happens, the Wolverines would likely play UCLA or Southern Illinois. Duke also will probably make it to the semi-finals, but since Michigan plays them in December, my guess is that the Blue Devils are on the other side of the bracket.
- An article on ESPN discussed how some high school athletes are homeschooled, and Tate Forcier was mentioned quite a bit.
- Football recruit Thomas Gordon, a player from Cass Tech High School, is announcing his college decision after his game this afternoon. Gordon’s final two is Michigan and Michigan State, and all indications are that he is going to pick Michigan.
- Greg Mathews likes brownies, especially ones made by Rich Rodriguez’s son.
- The top of the polls are going to look much different next week as Oregon State upset #1 USC last night. The Beavers got out to a 21-0 lead after the first half and managed to stave off a USC comeback to win 27-21. Even though USC had more talent, Oregon State outplayed them.
Oregon State running back Jacquizz Rodgers ran for 186 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He was able to find room to run on nearly every play thanks to his lack of size. Being only 5’6″, he disappeared after getting the ball and really was dominant against a usually great USC defense. James Rodgers, the brother of Jacquizz, scored two touchdowns as well. He was on the receiving end of a couple TD passes from QB Lyle Moevao, meaning the two brothers played a big part in helping Oregon State take down USC.
- MGoBlue has posted an article detailing some of the notable things from Michigan’s first day of practice. Also included in the article is a link to audio from Rich Rodriguez and a few players discussing yesterday’s practice.
- Freshman quarterback Justin Feagin switched his number twice before settling on wearing the #3 jersey. Feagin was originally #5, but switched to #14 and then made the move to #3.
- With the #5 jersey opening back up, tight end Carson Butler decided to switch his number from 85 to 5.
- Despite being suspended indefinitely, Kevin Grady practiced with the team. Rich Rodriguez stated in his press conference that Grady is still suspended from playing in actual games, but is being allowed to practice.
- Carlos Brown finally returned to practice after suffering a finger injury, and in his return he took some snaps at quarterback. Although Brown is a running back, he lined up at QB in high school. Brown is someone that could come in at QB a few times a game to mix things up a bit as he has great speed and can throw the ball as well.
- Michigan won’t practice in pads until Friday and won’t get into a two-a-days format until Saturday.
- Ever since signing day came and went, much has been made about what ever happened to long snapper George Morales. Morales accepted a scholarship offer from Lloyd Carr just days before he retired, and the new coaching staff was expected to honor that. However, there was never any confirmation that Morales signed his letter of intent and up until yesterday nobody really knew whether or not he was coming to Michigan.
As it turns out, Morales is in fact at Michigan and according to Rich Rodriguez he is on scholarship and is the backup long snapper. I have no idea why it took until now for Morales to show up on the official roster, but I’m glad he did as the mystery of what happened to him is solved.
- Utah is expecting Michigan to run a spread offense that is similar to theirs. Also, Utah may want to work on its conditioning as there was lots of puking going on during their first day of practice.
And behind me there’s a lot of puking, which is a little disconcerting considering the practice seemed relatively easy. There was no hitting. It was basic drills and the ones and threes didn’t even do conditioning after the practice. I’m told defensive back Lamar Champman, a junior college transfer, was given chocolate milk after practice and it didn’t agree with him. I’m not versed in college football nutrition, but chocolate milk after a practice in the heat? Some of the players tell me it’s a proven recovery drink, but that seems like a recipe for disaster. All I know is it was the longest puking series I ever heard. Sorry for being so graphic, but it’s Division I football.
It’s interesting to read that Utah is giving its players chocolate milk as Mike Barwis does the same thing after sessions in the weight room. I have no idea if Michigan’s players get chocolate milk after practice as well, but it does seem to work if you can keep it down.
- ESPN.com’s Adam Rittenberg did a great job of covering practice yesterday as he had loads of info about Michigan. Specifically, he interviewed offensive coordinator Calvin Magee and defensive coordinator Scott Shafer, and posted some observations from his day in Ann Arbor. One of those observations included a look at how Michigan’s players have been progressing in the weight room, and the numbers were very interesting.
Walking through Michigan’s weight room on the way out, I stopped to check out the team-high totals for several categories. Johnson tops the bench-press chart at 500 pounds, Taylor squatted a team-best 625 pounds and cornerback Morgan Trent ran a 4.13 in the 40-yard dash.
I have to assume that Morgan Trent’s time in the 40-yard dash is a misprint. Either that or it was a time for some other drill (shuttle?), but there is no way that Trent could have run a 4.13.
- To simulate crowd noise, external relations/administrative assistant Dusty Rutledge acted as the DJ and played Motown music.
- The Free Press and Detroit News both have photo galleries up from yesterday’s practice. I have to say, the new road jerseys actually don’t look that bad in action. I still need to see them on padded players before forming a final opinion on them, but I’m coming around to them.
- Via MVictors, a video from WDIV (Channel 4 in Detroit) has been uploaded to YouTube that features interviews with Bill Martin, Red Berenson, and Lloyd Carr regarding them being diagnosed with melanoma. It sounds as though all three were diagnosed early on, which is great news. You can watch the full video below.
- My first ever set of Michigan football season tickets arrived in the mail yesterday. All season ticket holders should be getting theirs soon if they haven’t already as my dad’s tickets came last week.
- Michigan will face off against Texas in the quarterfinals of ESPN’s Helmet Clash on Wednesday.
UPDATE: A reader has pointed out that voting is already going on despite the date being listed as August 6. Michigan is down right now, so cast a vote for the Wolverines.
- Jake Long is already starting for the Miami Dolphins at left tackle.
- Michigan hosted a hockey alumni weekend, and Kevin Porter enjoyed it. He, Chad Kolarik, and Matt Hunwick have actually been in Ann Arbor this summer training with, you guessed it, Mike Barwis.
- If you were to look up the term “douche bag” (in name-calling context) in the dictionary, I’m pretty sure you would find these pictures of Jimmy Clausen.
- The Free Press profiled Mike Barwis.
- The BTN compiled a list of people from the Big Ten that qualified for the Olympics. Michigan had the most by far with 28 qualifiers.
- Ball State head coach and former Michigan assistant Brady Hoke thinks Toledo “will do great” when they play at U-M on October 11.
- Jake Long got some punches thrown at him by Phillip Merling after Merling was being dominated by Long.
- Pete Fiutak previews Michigan.
- Andrew Carter, an offensive lineman recruit that Michigan was going after, committed to Illinois.
- West Virginia is expecting to receive a $2.5 million check from Michigan to take care of part of Rich Rodriguez’s buyout.
- ESPN’s Mark Schlabach has Michigan 6th on his list of the most hated teams in the country.
- A Big Ten official that missed a crucial call in last year’s Ohio State-Illinois game reportedly didn’t have his contract renewed for this coming season.
- Two Penn State defensive tackles were kicked off the team by Joe Paterno.
- Central Michigan quarterback Dan LeFevour will be featured on a giant Joey Harrington-like billboard on the back of Comerica Park’s scoreboard.
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