The nutty Michigan coverage isn't so much about Harbaugh as it is a signal to the Big Ten that Fox wants to party.
[EDIT: updated with Sunday's results]
Here’s a recap of Saturday’s significant action:
- This was on Friday, not Saturday, but still: David Wohlberg was sandwiched hard by two BG players as he reached for the puck, and Red Berenson said that he’s probably done for the season. Ugh. However, we could have Louie Caporusso back next weekend, so we’ve got that going for us. Which is nice.
Denver completed its sweep of MSU (NTMSU), knocking the
Screaming EaglesMavericks out of the ranks of the TUC, and obliterating Denver’s TUC record as a result. If you have a problem with how this works, by the way, check out everyone quoting the basketball team’s record against the RPI top 50, which went from something like 1-9 to 6-10 this weekend, thanks to MSU and Penn State. Anyway, this makes it impossible for Denver to pass Michigan now without Michigan losing.
- Notre Dame lost to Lake Superior. You want this to happen again today, which would set up a Michigan-LSSU semifinal. Should Notre Dame win, Michigan would play the winner of the Western-Ferris series, currently tied 1-1. Either way, it’s really hard for Notre Dame to pass us now, even if they beat us at the Joe, because our RPI will be much better.
- Miami swept Alaska, and is now tied with Michigan in the Pairwise. In fact, if both teams reach the finals, Miami will probably be ahead of Michigan in the Pairwise going into that game. However, it looks like Michigan would have to lose, either to Miami or to someone else, for Miami to pass Michigan, so the closeness of this comparison is a little irrelevant, since at least one of the two teams will definitely lose. The most important thing to say is that you are rooting really really hard for Miami to lose.
- Merrimack completed its sweep of the same Maine team that embarrassed them just two weeks ago. This gives Merrimack a lead in their comparison against us. However, they will play either BC or New Hampshire in the Hockey East semis. If Merrimack wins out, they win the comparison. If they play New Hampshire in either the semis or finals, and UNH beats them, we will win the comparison even with one loss at the Joe, because the Common Opponents record would be tied, and we would win RPI. If Merrimack loses to BC in the semis, we will win the comparison with higher RPI and tied TUC record, even with one loss at the Joe. If Merrimack loses to BC in the finals, we win the comparison if we win out.
- Bemidji State completed its sweep of UNO, so the Mavericks are done, and we will own our comparison against them. Yay! By the way, Bemidji has 14 wins in 36 games this year. They are 5-0-1 against a UNO team that went 21-10-1 against everyone else. Weird.
- Union lost to Colgate. This wiped out their RPI advantage over us to the point where we are basically tied, and means they have to beat Colgate tomorrow to stay alive in the ECAC tournament. The good news is that Union played Bemidji State earlier in the season and lost. Bemidji is now a TUC, and should stay that way even if they lose their next game in the WCHA tournament. This slight wound to Union’s TUC record means that if both teams win out, Michigan would win the comparison.
- Union lost to Colgate, so they are done. They can only pass us if we lose both games at the Joe, at which point it doesn't really matter that they passed us.
- Yale won their quarterfinal, but the Union loss makes that irrelevant.
- Notre Dame defeated Lake Superior, and Western defeated Ferris. So the CCHA matchups are Michigan-WMU and Notre Dame-Miami.
- Northeastern defeated BU, so Merrimack plays UNH in one Hockey East semifinal, and BC plays Northeastern.
- If Michigan wins its two games at the Joe, they will likely get a #1 seed. Apart from the top 3, only Merrimack would be able to win a comparison against us. Even then, they might lose a comparison to someone else, and then we’d get the top seed with our better RPI. Should Michigan and Merrimack win out and Merrimack get the last #1 seed, it will be in St. Louis, and we’d probably be the #2 seed there, and I’m fine with that. A better way to look at this is: win out and you go to St. Louis, which is far more preferable than all the other regions.
- The most important teams to root against are now Miami and Merrimack. Unleash all of your psychic rage and voodoo magic upon them.
- A loss at any point for Michigan almost certainly means a #2 seed, and brings in the possibility that we’d get sent to the east coast to face UNH and BC in Manchester, or be in Yale’s regional in Bridgeport. If we had to lose, the best loss would be to ND in the finals.
By the way, I think it’s about time we got to host our own regional again. The Northeast regional is always within an hour drive of Boston. Yale is hosting this year and next. The Frozen Four is in Minneapolis-St. Paul this year, and they host a regional next year. Green Bay hosts this year and next, if Wisconsin could every get there. And that means that there are regionals in both Minnesota and Wisconsin, which is stupid. Why is Michigan punished for having better fans than everyone else? If you don’t want it in Yost, I understand (although I think it's time we stopped having to pay for the 1998 championship), but can we at least have a Detroit regional? /rant
Edit: I get that the regional-hosting decision, at least the decision to even bid, is based on money, which is why the Joe doesn't host. There are some sites that haven't hosted, though, that I'm surprised haven't bid (or haven't won a bid). I think Toledo would be a good regional site, as well as Cleveland. Actually, with Dan Gilbert being a MSU guy, maybe someone could prevail upon him to bring a regional, or even the Frozen Four, to Cleveland, so that 1) I can go, and 2) he can bring in a bunch of outside people to rent his arena and go to his hopefully-soon-to-open casino. Half of the CCHA is within a very reasonable drive of Cleveland, as are a couple others (Mercyhurst, Robert Morris, Niagara, Penn State). While it is the Worst State Ever, it's a lot closer than St. Louis.
And now, on to the Joe. Go Blue!
Kaiwan Lewis (6'2", 230 lbs) is a linebacker prospect out of St. Joseph High School in New Jersey and has started to pick up momentum with his recruitment. With big time offers from all over the country including Arkansas, Cal, LSU, Miami, and South Carolina among others, Lewis is starting to hear more from the Michigan coaches. Here's a look at his film and what he's hearing from the Wolverines.
TOM: Have you heard anything new from the Michigan coaches recently?
KAIWAN: Yes, they really like me. They said they just have to get the head coach to view my film and I may be getting an offer.
TOM: What coach from Michigan has been recruiting you, and is Michigan a school that you want to learn more about?
KAIWAN: Coach Curt Mallory, and yes we'll see what happens.
TOM: I know you have a good amount of offers now, are you pretty open right now, and where are you at in the process?
KAIWAN: Yeah, I'm open. I'm just ready to take visits and cut the schools that I don't talk to. That will make it easier for me because I know I can't get out to every school.
TOM: When are you going to start taking these visits?
KAIWAN: Spring break.
TOM: If Michigan offers are they going to be one of your trips?
KAIWAN: Yes, I believe so. It just depends on how they recruit me because there's so many schools to get to know. I have to go see schools that catch my interest and recruit me like I'm needed or wanted.
TOM: What position is Michigan recruiting you for?
KAIWAN: Middle linebacker. They said they need big fast linebackers.
TOM: I just watched your film, and it looks like you fit that. It seems like you really like to hit.
KAIWAN: Yeah, I guess it just comes with the game. You know if people could hit me like that, or harder, they wouldn't miss the chance so I'm not going to miss mine.
TOM: When do you want to make your final decision, do you know yet?
KAIWAN: I'll wait until national signing day.
Michigan has offered eight quarterbacks so far with two of those prospects already committed to other schools [Brewer - Texas, Kline - Cal]. Evaluations and new offers will definitely be forthcoming, and Ohio quarterback Austin Appleby may be one of those candidates. The 6-foot-5, 225-pound signal caller is trying to plan a trip to Ann Arbor this weekend to find out more about Michigan's interest in him. Here's a look at his film and where he's at in the process.
TOM: I know you have offers from Toledo, Kent State, and Temple, but where are you at right now? What schools are you starting to hear from?
AUSTIN: Everything is going very well. I visited Pitt and Akron this weekend, and they both pulled me aside from the junior day groups to talk to the head coach. They told me how much they liked me and that I was at the top of their quarterback lists. I'll also be going to Michigan, U Conn, and Florida over the next few weeks, so I'm very busy.
TOM: That is busy. Did you set a date yet for the Michigan visit?
AUSTIN: We're trying to schedule it for this weekend. They invited me out on March 26th, but we are already booked for Florida that day. My dad is trying to confirm a visit to Michigan for the 13th, and then we'll go to U Conn on the 19th.
TOM: If Michigan were to offer where would that put them in your rankings, or where would they stand overall for you?
AUSTIN: I want to keep all my options open right now. I am very interested in the Big Ten and Michigan. Right now we're in the information gathering process. Every team that has offered me is very high on my list, so based on that they would be high on my list.
TOM: Do you know when you want to try to narrow everything down and when you want to make your final decision?
AUSTIN: In a perfect world, by the end of June or early July. I am planning on attending a few camps and I don't know what doors may open. I know it will be by August 1st for sure.
Big Ten Wrestling Tournament
Michigan took 5thwith 1 champion in Kellen Russell, who also won the tournaments outstanding wrestler award. This was about where I thought they would end up, with some exceeding expectations and some falling short. It averaged out, however, one would be curious to see if the ones falling short, pulled through a little better, where they might have ended up. Probably not enough to move their placing, but, would have put them more in the mix with Minnesota and Wisconsin for 3rdand 4th. Instead they stand alone as the clear 5thbest with an 86.5 score. 6thand 7thwere 64(ILL) and 62(NW) respectively. Wisconsin was 4that 103.5 and Minnesota 3rdwith 109.5. The tournament came down to the last weight with Penn State edgeing out Iowa 139 to 138 for their 1stBig Ten Title.
- Penn State – 139
- Iowa – 138
- Minnesota – 109.5
- Wisconsin – 103.5
- Michigan – 86.5
- Illinois – 64
- Northwestern – 62
- Ohio State – 57
- Purdue – 51
- Indiana – 50
- Michigan State – 49.5
Here’s a weight by weight break down of the tournament:
As far as the favorites, everything went as expected with McDonough(Iowa) and Precin(NW) meeting in the finals. After falling to Precin in the semi’s, Sanders(Minn) wrestled to 3rdof Boyle(UM). Surprises here would be the fall of Pataky(PSU), a 4 seed taking 7thand Eppert(PUR), Kelliher(UW) taking 5thand 6thas 7thand 8thseeds.
Michigan: Boyle won his key match in the quarters over PSU’s Pataky, keeping him away from Sanders in consolations until the 3rdplace match. He held serve against everyone he should have beat losing only to eventual champion McDonough and 3 seed Sanders. Placing 4th, Boyle earns a bid into NCAA’s
- 1st– McDonough(Iowa) 3-1 Dec over Precin(NW)
- 3rd– Sanders(Minn) 12-4 Maj Dec over Boyle(UM)
- 5th– Eppert(PUR) 3-0 Dec over Kelliher(UM)
- 7th– Pataky(PSU) Tech Fall 16-1 over Olanowski(MSU)
A 1 and 2 seed final with Long(PSU) winning a tight one over Graff(UW) for the title. The other half of the 4 contenders placed in the top 4. The surprise was probably the fall of Mele(NW), a 5 seed taking 8th. Stevens(UM) and Paddock(OSU) were two low seeds that placed above expectations.
Michigan: Stevens came in a 7 seed and lost his first match to Graff(UW). From there he wrestled to a key match with Thorn(Minn) where the win was the difference between wrestling for 5thor 7th. His 5thplace finish earns him an automatic bid to NCAA’s.
- 1st– Long(PSU) 7-3 Dec over Graff(UW)
- 3rd– Ramos(Iowa) 6-2 Dec over Futrell(ILL)
- 5th– Stevens(UM) Forfeit over Paddock(OSU)
- 7th– Thorn(Minn) 6-4 Dec over Mele(NW)
Michigan’s Russell walked away with outstanding Wrestler of the tournament after winning the toughest weight in the Big Ten. The top 4 wrestlers in the nation placed in the top 4 here with Russell beating Thorn(Minn). Thorn won in OT over Marion(Iowa) who he lost to in the dual. Marion’s hype as the guy that could knock off Russell took a big hit as he ended up in 4th.
Michigan: Russell was the winner and Outstanding Wrestler. He beat eventual 3rdplace Kennedy(ILL) in the semi’s before winning his final over Thorn(Minn). He was Michigan lone champion and of course earns a bid into NCAA’s
- 1st– Russell(UM) 8-4 Dec over Thorn(Minn)
- 3rd– Kennedy(ILL) 9-6 Dec over Marion(Iowa)
- 5th– Alton(PSU) 6-4 Dec over Friedley(NW)
- 7th– Richey(IU) 5-3ot Dec over Fleckenstein(PUR)
First big surprise matched the expected in the finals as 6thseed Grajales(UM) took on 1stseed Molinaro(PSU). The dream run came to an end here for Grajales though. It certainly wasn’t an easy path, beating the eventual 3rdand 4thplace finishers. Nadhir(NW) the 2ndseed fell to 4thas one of the victumes of Grajales. Schmitt(UW) the 5thseed came in after a poor showing since returning from injury. He finished 8th.
Michigan: Grajales went on a tear here beating Ballweg(Iowa), #3 seed Kinser(IU) and 2ndseed Nadhir(NW) before falling to #1 Molinaro(PSU) in the finals. A great run for the freshman. In his match against Molinaro, you could see the difference between the favored veteran and Grajales. He didn’t have much chance, but, put together a good fight. He’s earned his bid to NCAA’s and should be fun to watch in the future.
- 1st– Molinaro(PSU) 3-0 Dec over Grajales(UM)
- 3rd– Kinser(IU) 6-4ot Dec over Nadhir(NW)
- 5th– Terrazas(ILL) 9-1 Maj Dec over Zilverburg(Minn)
- 7th– Osterman(MSU) FALL 1:00 over Schmitt(UW)
Expected final between Taylor(PSU) and St. John(Iowa), with Taylor winning by a little closer then expected. He was the clear cut favorite. Only surprises were at the bottom half of the places with Michigan native and Illini Morse(ILL) having an impressive tournament, finishing 7th.
Michigan: Not a good showing for Zeerip. A 6 seed coming in, he went 0-2, ending his tournament as a victim of Morse(ILL) by a Maj Dec. Zeerip is someone I thought could possible fight his way into the 5thplace match and could settle for 7th. Not placing doesn’t get him an bid to NCAA’s and his showing makes an at-large bid unlikely.
- 1st– Taylor(PSU) 8-3 Dec over St. John(Iowa)
- 3rd– Welch(NW) 4-3 Dec over Young(IU)
- 5th– Salazar(PUR) 4-2 Dec over McMurray(MSU)
- 7th– Morse(ILL) 4-0 Dec over Nemec(OSU)
A lot of questions were surrounding the return of Howe(UW) from injury as this was his first appearance since. He looked back to form, winning his 3rdBig Ten Title. The 4 and 3 seed flipped places as Janssen(Iowa) got revenge on Yohn(Minn) from their dual.
Michigan: Yates won an overtime match against Vollrath(PSU) to guarantee the 5thplace match, where he had to come from behind and pin the 5thseed Polz(ILL). That win got him the last bid at that weight for NCAA’s.
- 1st- Howe(UW) 3-1ot Dec over Sponseller(OSU)
- 3rd– Janssen(Iowa) 4-2 Dec over Yohn(Minn)
- 5th– Yates(UM) FALL 3:22 over Polz(ILL)
- 7th– Vollrath(PSU) FALL :57 over Bialka(NW)
Wide open weight after eventual champion Ruth(PSU). He won by beating Heflin(OSU) who edged out each match along the way to the finals. Lofthouse(Iowa) had a good tournament as a 5 seed taking 3rdwhile Glasser(Minn) didn’t as the 3rdseed taking 5th.
Michigan: Bad tournament for the other Zeerip brother. He lost to Heflin(OSU) by 1 and would have taken on Jordan(UW) in the semi’s, who he has beat already this year. Instead he fell into consolations and lost to Glasser(Minn), another guy he beat earlier in their dual. This sent him into the 7thplace match against MSU’s Jacobs where he lost in OT. A could have 2ndplace finish turned into 8th. Luckily 8thgot him the last NCAA bid.
- 1st- Ruth(PSU) 8-5 Dec over Heflin(OSU)
- 3rd– Lofthouse(Iowa) 4-1 Dec over Manuel(PUR)
- 5th– Glasser(Minn) 6-1 Dec over Jordan(UW)
- 7th– Jacobs(MSU) 6-5ot Dec over Zeerip(UM)
The shock of the tournament. 8thseed Wright(PSU) made a dream run to win the weight class and in turn, won the team title for PSU. He knocked off #1 Rutt(UW) in the quarters and beat #2 Steinhaus(Minn) in the finals who had Majored him not too long ago. 7thseed Magrum(OSU) fought his way to a 4thplace finish. The upset of Rutt effected Gambrall’s(Iowa) path as he settled for 5th.
Michigan: Collins was unseeded and lost first to the eventual champion Wright(PSU) 10-2. Then he lost in the consolations to Magrum(OSU). Finished 0-2, not placing and not getting any bids.
- 1st– Wright(PSU) 4-3 Dec over Steinhaus(Minn)
- 3rd– Rutt(UW) 6-0 Dec over Magrum(OSU)
- 5th– Gambrall(Iowa) 10-2 Maj Dec over Dallago(ILL)
- 7th– Kissel(PUR) 5-3ot Dec over Hinton(MSU)
The top 2 seeds Brandvold(UW) and Lofthouse(Iowa) got to the finals with Brandvold winning. Powless(IU) took a tough path after losing in the first round to an unseeded Dickenson(MSU), only to win out and finish 3rd, beating Dickenson in his final.
Michigan: Unlucky tournament for Biondo. His first match took 3rdseed Brown(PUR) into OT before losing and dropping him into the consolation bracket. In his first match there, he got 4thseed Powless(IU) who was upset in the first round and eventually took 3rd. That took Biondo out of the tournament with no auto-bid and puts his hopes on an at-large spot. He’ll be near the top of the list ranked 11thnationally.
- 1st– Brandvold(UW) 5-2 Dec over Lofthouse(Iowa)
- 3rd– Powless(IU) 6-2 Dec over Dickenson(MSU)
- 5th– Yohn(Minn) 3-2 Dec over Brown(PUR)
- 7th– Capone(OSU) 2-0 Dec over Barczak(ILL)
I have to eat me words here. Rasing(Iowa) did have a favorable route though. He missed 2ndseed Alcala(IU) who was upset by Rizqallah(MSU) in the quarters and didn’t have to deal with top seed Wade(PSU), who had a bad tournament, in the finals. Instead he used his size advantage to beat redshirt Freshman Nelson(Minn) to win it all. A big surprise came from Bugenhagen(UW). A 6thseed with no impressive wins on the year, beats #2 Alcala and #1 Wade on his way to finishing 3rd. Wade did redeem himself with a Maj Dec over Apland(UM) for 5ththat sealed the title for Penn State.
Michigan: Apland has been an inconsistent wrestler for Michigan this year. He lost early to Nelson(Minn) in the quarters and had to work his way through the consolation bracket until he fell to Rizqallah(MSU) in OT to get into the 3rdplace match. That sent him to 5thwhere he was majored by Wade(PSU). Finishing 6thdoes get him the last auto-bid for NCAA’s
- 1st– Rasing(Iowa) 5-2 Dec over Nelson(Minn)
- 3rd– Bugenhagen(UW) 6-1 Dec over Rizqallah(MSU)
- 5th– Wade(PSU) 9-0 Maj Dec over Apland(UM)
- 7th– Alcala(IU) 5-2 Dec over Kuhar(NW)
Michigan finishes with 7/10 placers, with all 7 also getting bids to NCAA’s. They’ll have Biondo(197) and B. Zeerip(157) hoping for at-large spots.
NCAA Tournament starts March 17thand runs through the 19thin Philadelphia, PA. I’ll get together a pre-view for the Michigan grapplers.
As we're getting closer to spring ball we will start to see more visits being scheduled and more lists being narrowed down. Michigan is firing up visits. Here's a look at some of those trips that have been scheduled and what a few recruits have to say about the Wolverines. As always, you can follow me on twitter for more updates, and feel free to email me at TomVH@MGoBlog.com with any tips or questions.
5'11", 185 lbs.
West Roxbury, Massachusetts
The Massachusetts athlete and teammate of LB Camren Williams has a Michigan offer and plans on taking a visit this month.
I have 12 offers right now, so I'm kind of taking everything in. Michigan is definitely a school I want to see, I think we're going there either March 26th or the 19th. Coach Mallory is the one recruiting me, and they're telling me I could play cornerback. It doesn't matter to me, wherever I can play the fastest.
Reeves is currently playing basketball for his high school, so he hasn't focused too much on the process. He does know what his timeline will look like.
My final decision will probably be no later than December or January, I'm not going to drag it out. I'll visit all the schools that have offered first, then narrow it down. I'm really looking for a school with good academics, good coaching staff, and what the campus around it is like.
So far Armani has been to Rutgers, North Carolina, Wake Forest, and Maryland. Reeves will be visiting Michigan with his teammate Camren Williams, who is also being recruited by Michigan.
Me and Camren are just enjoying the process together. We've been friends since 4th grade so he's like my brother. We don't base everything on going to school together, it's just a blessing to go through it together. Hopefully we can pick the same school.
This upcoming trip to Ann Arbor should make things more clear for the pair. Williams is looking to make his decision in June, so the visit will be crucial for him.
6'2", 277 lbs.
Johnson does not have an offer from Michigan yet, but they have been in constant communication. He has definite interest.
I do think they'll offer me soon, and I know I want to get up there for a visit. I just have to put some dates in order and check my schedule to see when I have off. I think it will be during spring, since I have that time off, either way I will visit [Michigan]. I don't have a top list yet, but they're definitely a school that sticks out to me.
Defensive tackle is going to be a major focus for Michigan. Despite the fact that Johnson doesn't have an offer from Michigan yet, I believe that he could eventually get one. As other DT prospects make their decisions Michigan will have to look to kids like Johnson to try to shore up that hole on the depth chart.
These visit dates seem to be changing every day, so I will update them as I confirm what they are. Some of the recruits weren't positive on the dates, which tells me it might change. Here's a list of visitors that I have confirmed so far in the next coming weeks.
Michigan DT Matt Godin (6'5", 260 lbs) was in Ann Arbor this past weekend for the Michigan vs. MSU basketball game.
Illinois OL Dan Voltz (6'5", 289 lbs) visiting Michigan this weekend. He'll be making his final decision in the next couple months, so this is a big visit. I think Michigan is a little behind right now.
Wisconsin LB Vince Biegel (6'3", 210 lbs) also visiting Ann Arbor this weekend. This date could change, but as of yesterday it was still the right day. Vince has Michigan in his top three with BYU, and Wisconsin. The coaching changes at Wisconsin made him take a step back, so he'll visit Michigan and BYU next, then likely make his decision.
Michigan LB Royce Jenkins-Stone (6'2", 215 lbs) said he thinks he'll be up to Ann Arbor on March 12th, but it sounded like it wasn't set in stone. This one might change.
Ohio TE AJ Williams (6'6", 260 lbs) has a trip planned for March 19th.
Ohio DE Pharaoh Brown (6'6", 220 lbs) also coming up on March 19th.
As mentioned, Mass LB Camren Williams (6'2", 215 lbs) wasn't sure of the exact date, but it's either March 19th or the 25th. I'll confirm with him in the future.
Mass ATH Armani Reeves (5'11", 185 lbs) teammate of Camren Williams, and will be visiting the same time as Williams.
New York DB Wayne Morgan (5'11", 188 lbs) will be visiting on March 25th. Morgan plays quarterback, corner, and free safety for his high school team now. Very versatile, very good athlete.
Indiana TE/DE Pierre Aka (6'4", 250 lbs) is planning a trip on the 25th as well. He thinks Michigan may offer on the visit. If Michigan offered they could hear his decision shortly after.
This is who I've confirmed so far. I'll be spending time this week trying to confirm more, so this list is going to go up from here.
- Mass LB Camren Williams says Michigan is in his top five, and grew up a Michigan fan. Visiting this month.
- The Good Counsel prospects have interest in Michigan, and vice versa.
- Ohio DE Ifeadi Odenigbo will visit Michigan in June, and says that Michigan is not in his top five yet. A visit may change that, but I believe Ohio State and Stanford are the teams to beat.
- Texas LB Jeremiah Tshimanga didn't make it up to Ann Arbor this weekend, but is hoping to make it up soon.
- Kentucky QB Zeke Pike (6'5", 220 lbs) told me that he plans on visiting Michigan sometime this spring. He doesn't have an exact date yet, but he will make it up. Remember that 2011 Michigan signee TE Chris Barnett is friends with Pike, and has been trying to convince him to pick the Wolverines.
FlyRy4 - This was such a good post that I hope you don't mind I copy/pasted it for you.....Great nuggets below....Enjoy
I know this is different than the title, however, I do not have enough points for my own post. Maybe someone else can start a new post and copy/paste.
I thought this was great stuff.