"Jim's a tough guy and you can see his personality is all over this football team," Fitzgerald said.
Updated. The depth chart by class has been updated. Let me know if there are errors. I believe Brandin Hawthorne is gunning for a medical redshirt and that Nick Sheridan is going the GA route this year. I put Baquer Sayed on it since he seems like he has a chance to contribute. By my count, Michigan has 13 to give right now, so a class of 18 or so is probably in the cards next year.
Jalen winners. The four winners of signed Jalen Rose t-shirts: Lauren Leb, Brandon Cox, Nathan McFeters, and Brooks Dunn. Congrats. As a bonus, Jalen roped in Jimmy King so your shirts have bonus signatures.
This happened, technically. There was a meeting about the NCAA thing:
The University of Michigan Board of Regents discussed the NCAA investigation into the football program on Wednesday, The Associated Press has learned.
A person familiar with the session confirmed the probe was part of the discussion. The person spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the school is not disclosing any details of what it calls an informal meeting.
Really? Fascinating. Details?
The person did not discuss any details with the AP.
Outstanding. Obviously, if I hear anything that qualifies as information I will relay it.
Antonio Bass, in repose. Outstanding article in the Daily on Antonio Bass, a man with cojones:
Late that night, Carr’s phone rang.
“Coach, I just wanted to tell you,” Bass said in a slow, deliberate voice. “I’ve made my decision. I’m going to Michigan State.”
Bass today says he could feel Carr’s normally warm, welcoming personality, the one Carr reserved for all his players, stiffening up. His voice became cold, formal.
“Well, Antonio, I wish you luck up there,” Carr said.
Silence. Bass held in a chuckle as long as he could before blurting out, “Nah, coach, I’m just playing. I’m ready to be a Wolverine.”
If deadly silences could kill, eh? Bass is walking in May with a communications degree.
CONEOFF. The Coner has graduated, but there must be another goofy fan favorite backup quarterback who pwns Michigan's I-AA opponent. Candidate #1 is obvious: Conelius Jones. His name is Cone from the future.
Candidate #2 has the flow, though, and support from spectacularly named walk-on Ohene Opong-Owusu. Here's Jack Kennedy:
It's… kind of good. Isn't it? I mean, given your expectations going in it vastly exceeded them, right?
In the Times. Two(!) relevant items, one of them with a big honking picture of Michigan's new athletic director and quotes from Mary Sue Coleman. It, unsurprisingly, is a trend piece on athletic departments hiring corporate CEOs:
“That business experience is almost essential,” said Mary Sue Coleman, the Michigan president, who said she also hired Brandon because he had strong ties to the university, having played football for the Wolverines and served as a university regent.
Still, she said, “It’s hard for me to imagine a successful athletic director these days that doesn’t have a deep understanding and skills for the financial side of an athletic department.”
The other is an analysis of the possible ripple effects from Big Ten expansion. OSU's president is the guy most heavily quoted. This is the most disturbing quote:
“I do think the Big Ten holds a key, maybe the key, in terms of what is going to be the next phase of college athletics,” Ohio State’s Gee said. “We need to explore this carefully. The law of unintended consequences applies most specifically to college athletics.”
I hope that this does not imply one of those super conference things that ends up with 30-team Big Ten facing off with 30-team SEC.
(Brandon HT: The Ann Arbor Chronicle.)
In the year 2000. Mike Hart's ambition remains the same:
Hart has been through a lot in his first two NFL seasons, from a torn ACL as a rookie last year to being waived and re-signed by the Colts twice this season. And he admits he contemplated calling it a career last fall and getting started on "my real life."
And just what might that be?
"I want to coach," Hart said. "And hopefully I'll be the head coach at Michigan one day. That's my goal."
"No joke," Hart said, smiling. "That's ultimately what I want to do. I love Michigan. That's a big part of me."
When Fred Jackson retires (in four years?), every Michigan fan on the planet will want one guy. No matter if it makes any sense, which it might not.
That article also contains a by now standard response to the standard "so… Rich Rodriguez?" question posed all former Michigan football players kicking around the NFL: I support Rodriguez, but he has to win.
Update: Parker to Washington, Dorsey to Michigan, no decommits. Bumping this to the top.
Your stream-of-consciousness will take place in the handy box below. Most important updates (i.e. commitment posts) will be added to the main page. Hold on to your hats, this should be an exciting one!
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Going into today everyone expected that Michigan would pick up Sean Parker and lose out on Demar Dorsey, but this has now reversed itself. TomVH on the twitters:
Take this FWIW, but I just talked to a source that has heard Demar Dorsey will be choosing Michigan tomorrow.
There's confirmation elsewhere if you've got the premium. Meanwhile, the latest tea leaves on Sean Parker say "Washington… seriously, Washington":
The same sources that tipped us that Harbor City (Cal.) Narbonne four-star safety Sean Parker has had a late change of heart and they feel he will likely pick Washington tomorrow over Michigan and USC. That is the latest at this time.
This is so late-breaking that an 8PM post on a Seattle Times blog cites a plugged-in Allen Wallace dismissing UW's chances of adding Parker.
I don't care as long as Michigan gets one of them, but if Parker does choose Washington at 10 AM there will be an uncomfortable wait until Dorsey's 1PM press conference.
And now for the most timely podcast in the history of the site: the Signing Day Espectaculo, which is actually posted the day before the event in question. This was taped Sunday so we did not know that Rashad Knight was headed to Rutgers. Obviously we still do not know what's up with Sean Parker and Demar Dorsey. We also didn't know that Richard Ash was wavering, though apparently his wavering is wavering.
Our assumption was that Michigan gets one or two of the safeties on the board and keeps the defensive tackles. Hopefully that is not a silly assumption.
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|WHAT||Michigan v. Northwestern|
February 2nd, 2010
|THE LINE||Michigan +2.5|
*Line provided by online sports betting site Sportsbetting.com.
When Last We Met
Michigan came out of the gates a little sluggish, but raced out to a lead of 17 points with just four minutes left before the break. Freshman Drew Crawford scored 12 points (on 3/3 shooting behind the arc and a trio of free throws) to help Northwestern close to within 9 points by halftime. After the break, the Cats upped the pressure in their 1-3-1 defense, forcing 11 Michigan turnovers. On the other end of the court, Michigan continued to let Crawford light up the nets.
After scoring 28 in the first half, Northwestern scored 40 after the break. They held Michigan to just 25 after the Wolverines scored 37 prior to halftime. Northwestern's defense and Michigan's lack thereof was the story in the second frame, and Michigan limped out of Crisler Arena on the wrong end of a 68-62 decision.
Since Last We Met
Immediately after the choke to Northwestern, Michigan exacted revenge on Indiana for beating them in December, then upset UConn in Crisler. A tough three-game stretch at Wisconsin, at Purdue, and against Michigan State led to a three-game losing streak, but the Wolverines pasted Iowa at home on Saturday to break the streak. Michigan's transformation into a very good defensive team has continued, while the offense has stabilized, and maybe even gotten slightly worse (though the Iowa game is misleading, because Michigan could have scored nearly every trip down the court if they wanted to exert the necessary effort).
In Evanston, Northwestern has fallen from "FIRST TIME EVER NCAA TOURNAMENT BABY WOO!!" to a bubble team that has some serious work to do to ensure a tournament bid. They lost a home game to Wisconsin, while dropping roadies against Ohio State, Michigan State, and an otherwise-struggling Minnesota squad. At home, they've knocked off Purdue and Illinois, keeping the tourney dream alive. They'll be playing with a sense of urgency to keep that going.
If you need an explanation of the stats, check out Ken Pomeroy.
|Michigan v. Northwestern: National Ranks|
|Category||Michigan Rank||Northwestern Rank||Advantage|
|Mich eFG% v. NU Def eFG%||203||120||N|
|Mich Def eFG% v. NU eFG%||143||86||N|
|Mich TO% v. NU Def TO%
|Mich Def TO% v. NU TO%||67||25||N|
|Mich OReb% v. NU DReb%
|Mich DReb% v. NU OReb%||221||283||M|
|Mich FTR v. NU Opp FTR
|Mich Opp FTR v. NU FTR
|Mich AdjO v. NU AdjD||100||100||-|
|Mich AdjD v. NU AdjO||38||51||M|
Difference of more than 10 places in the national rankings get a 1-letter advantage, more than 100 gets a 2-letter advantage, more than 200 gets a 3-letter advantage, etc.
This is a super-even battle statistically, with Michigan barely edging Northwestern in overall efficiency. When you take into account recent play, Michigan is on a much better run than the Wildcats, with improvement all over the board, while Northwestern has stayed mostly stagnant.
Michigan should have a big advantage in holding onto the ball against Northwestern's defense, but we saw how that worked out last time these two teams squared off. It's imperative that the Wolverines don't turn it over, and given recent results against non-baby-seal-esque competition, and the continuing improvement of Darius Morris, that hopefully won't be much of an issue.
Vegas gives the Wildcats 2.5 points on the road, and Ken Pomeroy likes them by 3. IN case the tone of this preview didn't tip my hand, I don't see that being the case. I think Michigan will be able to knock of Northwestern in Evanston.