I'VE HAD JUST ABOUT ENOUGH OF YOU SONNY
Say hello. Also that's a foul.
Per Go Blue Wolverine.
Update: Sims is rated #39 by Rivals and their #12 small forward, though he'll probably be a power forward in college. Scout has him #37. He seems like a perfect fit for Amaker's motion offense (hold the cynicism for a moment), as he has offensive game from everywhere from the block to the three-point line, the perfect guy to operate in the high post. Sims may actually rise a little bit when the rankings get revised as he was impressive in recent AAU tournaments.
Important recruit? Absolutely. Michigan's highest rated since, uh... wow. Lavell probably. Also an in-state guy from Detroit who, in combination with Tory Jackson, will probably help recruit fellow '06 Michigan prospect Tom Herzog, a 7-foot center being compared to Chris Kaman and one of the few post recruits on Michigan's radar at the moment.
Also: Da Chairman at Prep Spotlight says that Tory Jackson has chosen Michigan(AR) and will announce it in September. Chair also provides the scoop on three UM targets in the '07 class:
WOTS is that Alex Legion will not pick an out-of-state school. Yes, there have been public statements about it, but WOTS it's also what is being discussed privately. At this point, not many would put money on Alex leaving the state. An earlier east coast trip may have had something to do with that...
And speaking of Kalin Lucas, WOTS is that he may trip to East Lansing this week to get a run in. Lucas is fastly becoming a regular at both MSU and U-M open gym runs, as he tripped to Ann Arbor last week. WOTS is that MSU and U-M are co-leaders for his services.
WOTS is that Trotwood, Ohio's super '07 athlete Chris Wright "really" likes U-M. While there are some in Ohio that are trying to keep him in-state, WOTS is that he's really feeling the U-M staff.
And let's get all the basketball in one coherent post: PrepSpotlight also has a nice free article on cause of mgoblog apprehension (and incoming freshman) Jerrett Smith.
The JJ Defcon Level has been raised to 4 over at Yost Built (you'll have to go to the main page to see the Defcon chart) because of this article in the (No City Given) News And Observer stating that Carolina has offered Johnson the rookie max (approximately $850,000). I still don't think that will change Johnson's opinion much. It was pretty much a given that Carolina was going to offer the max. After all, Johnson was the third pick in the draft, is the most hyped American defenseman in a long time, and was drafted by, you know, Carolina.
Still, it would be very Michigan Hockey Summer for Johnson to bolt now after all the articles we've gotten. Might send my martyr complex re: Michigan hockey to unhealthy(-ier) levels.
Oh boy! Nancy Clark is interviewed by EDSBS. I was going to excerpt, but I realized that I was just pulling the stuff that made her look uninformed [JOKE ABOUT GENERAL UNINFORMEDNESS PULLED FOR RESPECTABILITY'S SAKE]. Fanblogs notes that the accusations she levels against bloggers turn up zero hits in the major blog search engines. Ok. I am going to excerpt this, on Iowa:
OS: Tell me about the Iowa Hawkeyes this year.
NC: I was just at their media day on Monday. They'Â’re feeling really good about their running back situation after having five running backs going down last year. Not only do they have five guys coming back, they've added a few new guys. Coach Ferentz said he'Â’s not concerned about the position now that they have nine guys at running back. Plus they'Â’ve got Drew Tate back, which is a good thing.
A good example of the corrupting influence of access. No doubt Ferentz did say that. Is it true? That's the sort of thing every coach says going into the year, and it's accepted without question by those who have access and would like to maintain it. Clark actually touches on that subject, too, so she's aware of the limitations that come with the privileges afforded the MSM. Like I say, symbiosis, we all get along, etc.
Ok, ok, just to prove that I really don't care about this stuff, Forde and Maisel over at ESPN both tabbed the Big Ten as the nation's best conference this year. Don't care. The competition levels to be found in the ACC, SEC, Big Twelve, Pac Ten, and Big Ten are close enough so that the relative strength levels are irrelevant. This was not the case back in the days when the ACC was Florida State and a bunch of basketball schools.
Forde also has that article about how the Big Ten isn't just Michigan and Ohio State any more that I've been reading for the past ten years. Odds on this thing appearing next year? Like, 90%, anyone?
Is it on? Oh, it's on!
Jesus Effing Christ, do not piss Vijay at IBFC off. Because then he will destroy you. Stewart Mandel came in for a drubbing yesterday in this space but good God, if I had only known the tremendous bitchslap he was in for from IBFC, I wouldn't have bothered.
Elsewhere in the Wolverine-o-sphere, Blah Me To Death puts a percentage chance of victory on every Michigan game this year and comes up with 9-2. That's no fun, but it's always what happens when you try to do such an exercise. Perhaps a reminder that Lloyd Carr isn't so bad. Perhaps not, if you think the percentages are only low because of the coaching.
A group of Georgia football fans took up a collection to pay for a Boise State player's father to fly from Baghdad to see his son play against the Bulldogs in Athens.
But the NCAA rule book got in the way.
NCAA action... it's FAAANtastic!
Finally, Bruce Feldman's blog($) has gotten quite interesting in recent weeks. Clearly the guy knows his stuff. Witness his latest list, the top ten X-factors in the BCS title race. A player from Michigan checks in at #2:
2. Brandent Englemon, Michigan SS: I'm not sure there's any defensive position that's been more scrutinized over the past nine months. The reason is, for as much talent as the Wolverines have (in layman's terms I think it's called a "crapload"), they just got destroyed by mobile quarterbacks (see: Troy Smith and Vince Young) and gave up almost 400 rushing yards to Michigan State. Five-foot-11, 199-pound Englemon doesn't have anywhere near the size of his predecessor, Ernest Shazor, or the guy he's battling for the job, Jamar Adams, but he does run better than Shazor. I suspect Michigan will do some things schemewise to put its people in better position to make plays. I do think with the zone Young was in that day, he would've embarrassed a lot of defenses.
Wow. Now that's something I didn't expect a national media member to say. There's a lot more interesting stuff in his latest entry but since it's all premium content and stuff I'm pretty sure taking a chunk any bigger than I did is a no-no. Anyway. If it keeps up like it is right now it's probably worth 50% of the ESPN Insider subscription all by its lonesome.
Yes, Stewart, Michigan is always overrated. Mandel makes the case against Michigan #4, and hits on the same points everyone's discussed: we can't stop mobile quarterbacks. Secondary, bleh, linebackers, bleh. Etc. Includes your standard annoying reference to drinking "the Maize and Blue Kool-Aid." Includes your standard "OMG they lost Braylon and Marlin and Shazor." Includes extremely common gamblers'-fallacy thinking. I don't really want to go in-depth here because it'll all show up in the Michigan preview, and I'd like to avoid repeating myself as much as possible.
What I'd like to highlight is the following validation for the BlogPoll's existence:
Maybe the problem is that voters don't necessarily view their preseason votes as any sort of prediction of a team's final ranking. After all, Michigan's position was hardly the only one in the coaches poll that caught my eyes. How about the team that finished one spot higher, Tennessee? The Vols have an excellent team on paper, no question about it, but does anyone actually look at schedules when they fill out their ballots?
Why should they look at the schedules? Isn't your poll a ranking of football teams, not football schedules? The fact that this confusion exists in Mandel's head--Mandel is a new AP voter, by the way--and likely the heads of many other voters makes the AP poll highly suspicious. It's fundamentally incoherent to make your vote a prediction of what the final poll will look like. Remember top-10 West Virginia? A mediocre team with an easy schedule gets way overrated. If it keeps winning it creeps up the polls as others drop around it. In the end it's rated highly specifically because it hasn't proven itself. The poll becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
And then Mandel goes and dogs Michigan even though all three NC games are at home, the road opener hex will be tested against a Wisconsin team that looks very shaky, and Ohio State is at home. Incoherence. Especially when he gets down on the defense for finishing... gasp... 42nd in scoring D. Isn't that above average? No, it isn't great, but how is Michigan's defense more of an issue than Ohio State's offense, which was 71st in scoring last year?
It's really easy to do this sort of hack job on any team in the country. "X Y and Z graduated and last year A happened so death." Everyone has questions, everyone has holes. That's the nature of college football, and part of what makes it so fun. Even USC fans have to be sort of nervous about the defensive line. Michigan has one flagrant issue. Find me a team that doesn't that isn't USC. #4 is fine.
(I've previously said I like Mandel, and I still sort of do. What I've noticed is this: when he writes a straight news or feature story, it's well researched and good and extremely worthwhile. When he tries to analyze things systematically we get CFN-worthy analysis.)
Holy Unibrow, Batman! Via EDSBS comes this:
I wonder what Lloyd Carr looked like in the 70s. Anyone with pictoral evidence of such, contact me immediately.
Der ball der bounce, Big Ten section, is previewed by Yoni Cohen of yocohoops on FoxSports.com. Michigan's mentioned in the middle tier of the conference, but there's a picture of Amaker yelling at someone. So we've got that going for us.
The Blade has another in the "hometown dudes playing for Michigan" genre. The Toledo-ans playing for Michigan are guard/long snapper Pat Sharrow and FS Willis Barringer.
Yes, I am concerned about MSU this year. So articles like this one in the Lansing State Journal make me happy. MSU's corner situation is a disaster at the moment. Jaren Hayes is suspended due to an off-field incident. Redshirt freshmen Brian Brighton and Eric Hines are probably out for the year with injuries. Freshman Kendall Davis is dealing with some NCAA clearinghouse issues. The guys currently listed as starters are senior Ashton Watson, who's proven to be pretty meh so far, and sophomore and former walk-on Travis Key. Past that are converted WRs, JUCOs, and walk-ons.
We're #4 again. This time it's in SI's college football preview. The article focuses on Breaston, who is apparently a fledgling slam poet. Witness:
See, whenever I was young, I spent a dollar twenty-five/On a book that had inside/Men who could fly/Who wore mind-grabbing costumes/ And these men couldn't die.
I actually see my share of slam poetry for reasons of time-overlap with standup and I can safely say that since Breaston's apparently isn't five minutes of screaming about eeeeevil Republicans, it's the best slam poetry ever. Also, it's reassuring that the most damage Breaston can inflict on himself via hobby is a paper cut. (No wise remarks about that knocking him out of action, please.)
One of my friend's friends is Neal Pollack's friend. I think. Also I've just experienced that weird cognative dissonance thing where you burn yourself out on a particular word and it looks strange, alien, horrible. The meaning escapes you. The point of this? Well, Pollack wrote an excellent article taking the "OMG Wacky Athlete Yoga" sportwriting crutch to school (yo).
Update 8/10: Removed NJ WR Andrey Baskin, who dropped us. Also removed DT Aundre Henderson, who committed to Minnesota... Minnesota? Linked to a couple articles, one in the Seattle Times on Taylor Mays and Steve Schilling, the other a Rivals article on Mays citing the Times article.
Editorial Opinion: The decision of Mays (clumsy and dorky sounding, but the possessive "Mays's" I could not stand) could come at any time. Michigan boards are ominously silent on his decision. Joey says it looks like USC, which would make my previously published unsubstantiated hunch totally wrong, but I think Joey just tries to be as pessimistic as he can about everything to prevent heartbreak--clearly Michigan football is way, way too important to him. A kindred spirit.
Anyway: I still think there's a decent chance Mays picks UM, but not a great one.
Numbers are getting really thin at defensive tackle now. Looking increasingly likely that Michigan will forgo DT entirely in this class, unless you count Marques Slocum, which you certainly could.
Oh, Media Day... you siren you. Everyone is talking and talking. After hearing Mike Hart say things and Chad Henne say things and everyone saying saying saying and everything to be wonderful miraculous and like 49-10 every game and eventually my brain just shuts down and this is the result:
YES BANANA KICK ASS PICKLE ROSE BOWL PEPPER NCAA CHAMPION.
Safari or UM Media Day? You make the call!
Article flood: Hart more Hart we should Tackle the Quarterback also Henne Hart we have Lofty Goals dude you're a Cynical Daily Guy Henne good Hart good(Blade article, sorry Tony) Carr Press Conference boring Offense Kickass sweet Grady Train annoying nickname South Bend fears Hart oh yeah Sam Sword, LB Coach Woodley Bring w00d destroy! Saginaw kids Womyn's Music Festival what? Carr no Retire 4 QBs going at it at NIU
Shazor showed up. FYI.
Mark Hasty sort of weighs in on the whole Nancy Clark hubbub in fine fashion:
With one inflammatory column, Clark raised her profile by playing to the one advantage newsies know they have over bloggers: There is no piece of bait so stinky that some blogger somewhere won't swallow it. (This, by the way, becomes Hasty's Sixth Axiom of Blogging.)
Guilty. Hook, line, and sinker. Mmmm sinker. Hasty also points out a more measured look at the blog thing in the very same Des Moines Register:
The mainstream media are in a semi-panic over blogs. Many, perhaps most, news organizations are starting their own blogs to meet the perceived competition. Yet blogs for the most part do not originate news. They merely offer endless chatter about news that was originated somewhere else - mostly in newspapers.
Yes. mgoblog is a consumer of news, not a producer. I engulf the bits and process them into something (debatably) cool. Without the MSM there would be little to engulf. Why do we fight so? Symbiotic we are.