LIST OF WWE PERSONNEL?!?
I guess just for completeness... most people watching will probably be away from home.
Update: Briefish thoughts @ The Fanhouse. Obviously not thrilled but unless Sears and Stewart are our starting cornerbacks in two weeks I don't think it has much relevance to Ohio State. Michigan's big weakness under Carr has always been treating inferior teams like they're full of retarded Armenian six-year-olds instead of actual players, lip-service or no. Lifting the starters as early as Carr did was ridiculous.
But does that have any bearing on Armageddon? Not really. A suggestion, though: let's catch the damn passes Henne throws.
Note: Comment moderation has been enabled. I don't think it's any secret that the signal to noise ratio has gotten hideously low in recent weeks and this is an endeavor to change that. Anything I think is going to lead to noise will stew in limbo. Anything really angry is in that category, as is anything posted by Buckeyes that does not specifically strike my fancy as useful. I'm tired of being condescended to by people who couldn't spell their name in three tries. I'm tired of wading through a bunch of crap. So no more crap.
Upshot: if your comment doesn't appear right away it's being held. Things should get back to normal after the OSU game.
Ball State sucks.
Update: The Hoover Street Rag has a real preview, if you like. "Real" means "with content," in this case.
Tomorrow being senior day, MGoBlog presents haiku in commemoration of those graduating. You might want to get a box of kleenex for this. Make it two.
#3, P Ross Ryan
Once I thought you were
Kevin Grady but no more
As you hit harder
#4, CB Darnell Hood
Somebody dug up
Your modeling pictures
In brief: sex miner
#6, LB Prescott Burgess
We're all glad Clarett
Stole your girlfriend, no offense
Because you now kick ass
#9, S Anton Campbell
Hey: kickoff coverage
Is the noble art of speed
Applied to face masks
#15, WR Steve Breaston
A wind through the trees
Line-drive punt tumbling earthward
Who would need a seat?
(Addendum: BLOCK THE DAMN GUNNERS.)
#17, WR Carl Tabb
'03: Avant out,
Tabb in, converting third downs.
And you're still fast.
#19, S Willis Barringer
What's wrong with your hand?
I mean, I'm seriously:
It's always broken.
#24, RB Jerome Jackson
Many lives pass without
Plunging in overtime endzone
#26, RB Alijah Bradley
You're really, really
really, really, really, real-
-ly, really quite short.
#29, CB Leon Hall
Too bad re: Woodson
Otherwise "Best corner since?"
Would be a debate.
#35, TE Brian Thompson
Reach down, snatch the ball
Hidden cog in Braylonfest
So, yeah, thanks for that
#38, ST BJ Opong-Owusu
Hey, did you know this?
An entire line
#38, K Garrett Rivas
Well, compared to
The Brabbs/Neinberg/Finley year
You're more than all right
#40, FB Obi Oluigbo
When you're coming through
Linebackers should know better
And run far away
#45, LB David Harris
On one of these days
You are going to kill someone
I'm okay with that
#50, DE Jeremy Van Alstyne
You've got Barringer's
Hands in your knees, so it's hard
to play much football
#54, C Mark Bihl
I can't think about you
Without seeing a bloody
newborn cow. So... yeah.
#56, DE Lamarr Woodley
If you were to sack
A QB with eye lasers
Only mild surprise here
#61, LS Turner Booth
You're the long snapper
I've never thought about you
Therefore: good job, Booth
#72, OT Rueben Riley
Guard? Tackle? Neither?
Say both, focus on Riley
Does what Lloyd Carr needs
#76, OT Mike Kolodziej
Sorry about the
Whatever it was. So weird.
Enjoy life despite
#89, TE Tyler Ecker
Leaping grabs, missed blocks
You can't have everything
Heal that ankle soon
#91, DE Rondell Biggs
Biggs: the anti-Watson
Arrives: nothing; leaves: starter
By sheer force of will
Have any of your own? Fire away.
Since Last Update: Status quo. I guess we are more or less officially out with Barksdale. Rumors hold that Martez Wilson, an OMG shirtless DE, is parting ways with ND and we may have a shot.
Needs: Minor. Marques Slocum will finally join the team next year. Last year's class also included four -- now five -- defensive linemen: John Ferrara, Jason Kates, Adam Patterson, Greg Banks, and Brandon Graham. All but Patterson and Graham are redshirting.
Commitments: Depending on who you listen to, Whitehall's Ryan Van Bergen is either k-rad or merely meh. Rivals gives him three stars, but R-V-B finds himself in the Scout top 100 -- a wild difference of opinion. At 6'5" and 250 pounds going into his senior season, he could end up at either end or tackle.
Prospects: Joseph Barksdale still drops Michigan's name occasionally but the chances of him ending up here are zero. At last report, DT-desperate Notre Dame had "backed off of him," which is either face-saving bull or indication that Barksdale's considerable rep is... uh... Watsonian. Rolando Melancon once listed Michigan as his leader but has backed off that stance. He's from Louisiana, too, which means it'll be difficult to pull him from the south. Devon Still and Josh Brent, a four-star-ish end and tackle, respectively, both list Michigan but have Ohio State as their leader. It's unlikley we get either.
Then there's Wilson, long thought to be a Notre Dame lock. That's no longer the case, and he'll take a look at Michigan.
Projection: We get one guy, probably someone sleeper-ish who we haven't heard of yet.
Panic: Minor, though it would be nice to pick up another player or two.
Since Last Update: Manny Abreu committed to Rutgers.
Needs: Moderate. Michigan brought in four a year ago, but Brandon Graham showed up at 270 pounds and was instantly moved to the defensive line. Quintin Patilla, Cobrani Mixon, and Obi Ezeh are redshirting.
Prospects: Floridian Ronnie St. Fleur is listed as having high interest in Michigan by both sites and was featured in a recent Wolverine article titled "St. Fleur has one on top." Draw your own conclusions. He made a soft verbal to Minnesota in July, but then backed off. He's a middling recruit but has offers from Iowa-level schools now.
Other than that... uh... Lorenzo Edwards, a former teammate of freshman WR Greg Mathews, took an official visit earlier in the year and seemed to like it quite a bit. He's another one of the safety OLB/tweeners we're stockpiling like mad.
Projection: We pick up one or two. St. Fleur, I guess, and someone else from out of the blue.
Panic: Moderate. With Graham on the DL, our LB class from last year looks... speculative. Mixon was well-regarded but Patilla and Ezeh were sleepers. Our current LB corps shows that sometimes having blue-chippers is nice: Burgess and Crable were both heavily hyped. David Harris not so much, though.
Since Last Update: Status Quo.
Needs: Vast. No cornerbacks a year ago; Harrison, Richards, and Sears the year before that. None were can't miss prospects and only Harrison has established himself as a contributor to this defense.
Commitments: Sleeper and Michigan legacy Troy Woolfolk committed at camp. Californian Zion Babb says he's been recruited as a wide receiver but is open to a position switch, and switch positions he shall.
Prospects: Ron Johnson, Ron Johnson, Ron Johnson. Dionte Allen's decision to pursue academics at Florida State leaves Michigan in a bind. They need Johnson badly. They should get him, if reports are correct, but that's what they said about Allen.
Also being heavily pursued by Michigan is Michael Williams, a California quarterback who's been down to Michigan and Notre Dame since around March. He's coming in for a visit this weekend and will decide soon thereafter. Notre Dame seems more confident than Michigan at this point but it's around 50-50, IMO.
In the "speculative" area: rumors swirl around a Dionte Allen decommit but I wouldn't get your hopes up. #1 JUCO (yeah, JUCO) Woodny Turrene is listing us. Top-100 corner Donovan Warren, also from California, officially visited and is considering us but USC is probably the favorite. Three-star Cris Hill from Virginia has the offer list of a star and will visit after the season.
Projection: We get Johnson and someone else, hopefully Williams.
Panic: Moderate trending to minor if Johnson commits. We've got the two back-end guys we wanted for depth purposes but neither seems particularly likely to bust out and be a star. The last blue-chip corner recruit we got was either Hall or Marlin Jackson, depending on your definition of blue-chip. We need another.
Since Last Update: Status quo.
Needs: Moderate. Two safeties came in in the last class but there were none the year before that.
Commitments: Indianans Jerimy Finch and Artis Chambers were both early commitments. Finch is technically a "soft" verbal, but his latest visit is to Indiana. I don't think we have much to worry about. Chambers is a three-star-ish recruit who's been forced to play quarterback for his high school team this year but will be a safety on arrival. Finch is in the Scout top 50 but only the Rivals 250
Prospects: No one on the board who's got an offer.
Projection: It's likely Michigan is finished, but if they find themselves with a spare scholarship towards the end of the year they may take a shot at someone.
Panic: Minor. Depends on whether or not Finch and Mouton, both of whom have been mentioned as potential weakside linebackers, stay at safety. Presumably at least one of them will. Michigan should be fine at safety for the next few years. Freshman Stevie Brown has been a standout on kick coverage and will probably start seeing time in the secondary next year. Mouton's redshirting.
C+, same as earlier. Van Bergen and Finch are nice recruits but whiffing on Dionte Allen still stings. Our options on the DL and at LB are few and far between. At corner a large portion of our eggs are in the basket of Ron Johnson. If he commits like most expect him to, this class will be fine but uninspiring. If he doesn't we'll be playing with makeshift corners for at least a year or two and people will be muttering about Todd Howard and such.
Commenting OUTRAGE(!) plus email on this whole Herbstreit-smack thing has been going on for a couple days. So let's address it and get it out of the way. What we're talking about:
"(Receiver Steve) Breaston can go back to whatever he's doing these days, if they could ever find a way to actually apply him in the offense. He's worthless in my mind, outside of returning a few punts. I'll say that, and he'll end up winning the game for them on Nov. 18. But he hasn't done anything since his freshman year."
The "worthless" has gotten a lot of play. I am guilty myself, putting it in the headline of my post on the matter @ The Fanhouse. It makes good distorted, headline-grabbing copy, but distorted is the key word. In context, Herbstreit's statement is clearly about Breaston's value as a football player and one that many Michigan fans have expressed themselves. It's not out of bounds or over the top or requiring censure or whatever. It's clearly exaggerated (Rose Bowl, last year's Iowa and Penn State games) and wrong, but it doesn't cross the line. If he had said "useless" this never would have spilled outside the realm of inadvisable bulletin-board material. It's poor wording and nothing else.
(Side note: what, exactly, is the way to apply a willow-thin wide receiver who's not much for catching the ball? As a third WR -- which is what he'll be once Mario returns -- he's not bad, though.)
A reader sends along a snippet from Herbstreit's chat this afternoon on this topic:
Rick (New York): When you call Steve Breaston "worthless", and promise to meet Eddie George at his restaurant for the OSU "victory party" over U-M, don't you lose your credibility as a national journalist? I bet you don't even have the guts to answer this question.
Kirk Herbstreit: (3:27 PM ET ) First of all, I did not call Steve Breaston worthless. I called his production in the Michigan offense worthless since his freshman year. That was probably said more out of frustration for Steve and wishing that he were more of a factor because of his ability to make big plays. I really regret that the newspaper painted me into a corner, making it look as if I called Steve worthless, which I never did. And I would never call any player worthless. But the facts are the facts and he has not been involved in this offense consistently since his freshman year.
Kirk Herbstreit: (3:27 PM ET ) The other thing that really ticked me off about that article was the headline that said that I feel that the Michigan defense will fail against Ohio State. I NEVER said Michigan's defense would "fail". I simply said they would not be able to dominate the Ohio State offense the way they've enjoyed dominating everybody they've played up to this point. I take a lot of pride in the fact that I'm an objective analyst, and anybody who's listened to me analyze Michigan over the last 11 years on ESPN, if they were being honest with themselves, would have to say I've always been fair to Michigan. If there's any regret that I have, it would be in using the word "worthless" to describe Breaston's productivity in the Michigan offense. That was not a term that I would ever use about a player and the person who he is. And it was clearly misconstrued, misrepresented and mean-spirited by the paper. I will continue to be objective and I will continue to enjoy seeing Michigan play well. As far as Eddie George's party, for me and my travels, I don't get a chance to see former players very often and I took Eddie's comments about a get-together as just that, win or lose that a bunch of former players were all going to get together. I hope all of the Michigan fans understand that this was clearly an attempt to paint me into a corner, as being anti-Michigan, which is the furthest thing from the truth. I've talked with Bill Martin, the Athletic Director and I have a call into coach Carr. And I'm looking forward to seeing Michigan win their next two games and I literally can't sleep because of my excitement about the Maize and Blue and Scarlet and Gray meeting to decide which of the two teams will play for the national title.
He's right, though the only thing the News did to paint him into a corner is provide a provocative headline. The rest of the article was just Herbstreit quotes provided with context. Other than that, he's right.
So can we focus on something else, like the fairly high probability something nasty will happen to me if I go to the game? And that anyone with a spare ticket or two should email me immediately?
Wonk: Back. The indispensable Big Ten Wonk has returned. He starts off his third season by talking... football?
Last year Notre Dame achieved something truly striking. They combined within one team one of the best offenses in the nation (perhaps only Texas was better) with one of the worst defenses in [a major conference]. ... In other words, not even an offense as good as Notre Dame's could overcome a defense as bad as Notre Dame's.
Oh. It turns out that the Irish basketball team has more in common with its football team than a lot of incredibly ugly white guys. Alphabetically-sensitive preseason walkthroughs have begun; will notify you when Michigan arrives.
It's a major award. Lamarr Woodley is a strong second in this week's MaxwellPundit balloting, well behind first-place Troy Smith but within striking distance of the Robot Assassin. Should Michigan defeat Ohio State and should Woodley turn in an impressive performance, he just may win the least prestigious individual award in college football (No offense, Rakes), which once again proves that blogz rool.
Yes, they are crazy. A letter in a recent edition of the Ann Arbor News:
Michigan Stadium plans a little too Nazi Germany
So at last we see the drawings for the new Michigan Stadium. Pretty imperial, and uncomfortably like something in 1930s Nuremberg (www.thirdreichruins.com/nuernberg3.htm). I had thought that Albert Speer died in 1981, but perhaps not. And all those the luxury boxes: for the "FÃ¼hrers and best?''
David G. Winter, Ann Arbor
For comparison, here's Hitler Stadium (no, not the one in Columbus):
Aaaand here's a the proposed expansion of Michigan Stadium:
Unless Mr. Winter thinks the arch is a sinister Nazi invention, he's crazy. Even if the arch was a sinister Nazi invention, he's still crazy. Anyway, I'd like to thank Mr. Winter for invoking Godwin's Law. I declare the anti-box forces defeated. It's V-Luudite Day.