...says Denzel Valentine of Big Ten Tourney favorite MSU, which is 5-7 in its last 12 games. Cumong, man.
I attend Bowling Green, and although I don't work directly with the team I've seen them a few times so I thought I'd like to share with you guys all I think I know about the Bowling Green football team so you'll be prepared for this upcoming weekend.
- Known to most people as the offensive coordinator at Tennessee that helped put an end to Phillip Fulmer's tenure as Tennessee's head coach a few years back, Dave Clawson is the current head coach at BG. He has a pretty darn good track record other than that one horrible year in Knoxville and will get a BCS-level job in the next few years. My guess would be Virginia Tech once Beamer is done, just because he's a prominant name in the Virginia-area, where he took the Richmond Spiders to the 1-AA semi-finals back in 2007 before losing to... well... uh... that one team with the really good quarterback... 55-37.
- The defense for BG has one hope, turn the ball over. There's not much after that because they are the standard bend but don't break team. They returned three interceptions for touchdowns last night (one was called back for block in the back). They play super soft coverage though. They've given up 30, 33, and 28 points this season and could struggle this weekend.
- The offense is what I imagine the 49ers west coast offense was like in the 80's, at least from what my Dad always described. Short passes to whoever is open within first two steps. That's how Freddie Barnes amassed 155 catches last season in 13 games(!!!) and how Jr. Kamar Jordan leads the nation this year with 34 receptions in three games this season.
- Despite the gaudy numbers by the recievers, Bowling Green has a redshirt freshman as starting quarterback, #7 Matt Schilz, who is smart with the ball but lacks serious arm strength, at least that's according to rivals. He was knocked out of last night's game in the third quarter with an injury. Backup quarter back is a sophomore, #14 Aaron Pankratz. Has more arm strength, a little bigger in the pocket, not quite as mobile. Think a 2-star version of John Navarre.
- The running back Willie Geter has dreads(!). The 5'7" running back has seriously quick acceleration but has been questioned on his top speed.
- BG has a starting freshman defensive back* (I stand corrected, he's not a cornerback) named... Booboo Gates. He's a little bigger than Michigan's Booboo was and he plays pretty well on the defensive side and returned an interception for a touchdown last night.
- Anybody else wish Michigan had an extra kicker on hand? Well, Bryan Wright could've been that guy, except he decided to take his talents down US 23 about 50 miles and spend his last year of eligibility kicking, punting, and kicking off. He's three for six on field goal attempts this season and surely could've been of at least some use for the winged helmets this year.
- Completely OT but Bowling Green has one of the sweetest rivalry trophy histories in the history of rivalry trophies. The "Peace Pipe" is the trophy and between 1947 and 1969 the basketball teams from Toledo and Bowling Green would smoke a substance from the pipe at halftime as a offering of peace to the other school! What was actually being smoked has never really been officially said... but it was the 60's... so take that for what you will. It's now just a trophy that is played for by the football teams each year.
So, to wrap this up for now, if you can't watch the game this weekend and can only read the box score with the stats sheet, do not be alarmed if Bowling Green has a reciever with 15 catches on Saturday and a player named "Booboo" with an interception. This game will not be Toledo 08', although BG has beaten them, including in 08', the last few years in the battle for I-75.
EDIT: I said Booboo was a cornerback, well, I just pretty much said that to compare him to Michigan's Booboo. He's a nickel back, but the comparison is there. He makes plays, and he's a freshman, and his name is Booboo. And so I love him for that.
I went to Bowling Green because I wanted quality education and BGSU provides that for me. I don't think there's much of a problem with me prepping Michigan fans on this upcoming weekend.
So to sum it up, I gave the Michigan fans my own personal thoughts on Bowling Green's football team without degrading the University in anyway possible. I'm going to the game as a fan Saturday, and I'm not wearing apparel of either school as to still be a professional.
The Denard Robinson Action Figure was created digitally. I thought it would be funny to fake a realistic-looking action figure of college football's brightest new star. Legal representation from the University of Michigan and the Heisman Trust didn't carefully read my explanation and therefore did not see the humor in what they assumed to be a production-ready toy meant for sale. I think I have that cleared up now. Anyway, you can read more below if you want a little information about how this artwork was created.
I had planned to release this during the bye week but couldn't wait...
When I started this weekly wallpaper project I decided that I would not design any wallpapers that show players or that focus on conventional Michigan imagery. There are several really nice wallpaper collections of that variety on this site already (see the awesome Wallpaper Denard-aganza by shorts) and I wanted to try something a little different.
In spite of my best efforts, I managed to get swept up in the excitement about Denard Robinson after last week's game. As an outlet for my excess fan energy, I started last Sunday on a concept for a new take on the "wallpaper as hero worship" phenomena.
So, I offer the Denard Robinson action figure "Heisman Candidate Edition" with "New! Rocket Arm Throwing Action" and lifelike, "Laces Untied."
The image below is a preview only. You can get this week's widescreen, 4:3, iPad and mobile wallpapers at The Art. The Art. The Art!.
How it was made
I'm pretty tired from several late nights obsessing over every little detail (Exactly how much tape shows over Denard's left sock? Is his left or right wristband blue? How many little holes are in his chin strap?) so I don't have time now for a full behind-the-scenes feature but I can tell those of you who are interested that the action figure is a store-bought and modified Tom Brady, that the dreads came from a Troy Palamalu action figure, that all of the modifications were done in Photoshop and that someday (probably the bye week) I will be publishing a step-by-step blog post that shows the makeover in unnecessarily and obsessively fine detail.
All of the 2010 Schedule Wallpapers
It's been no big secret that Denard Robinson is the hottest topic of conversation in college football these first two weeks. Game Day sent Erin Andrews to do a story on him. USA today is talking about the Heisman. Hell the Wall Street Journal did a story on him. Of course you all know what he did to UConn and Notre Dame.
Denard Robinson is flash dilithium!
There really is no argument about his awesomeness, everyone agrees on that. Like many awesome things there always has to be a "But". The big "but" everyone keeps throwing out there about Denard, is that he's going to get killed running the ball that much when Big 10 season starts.
Now look, I agree that carrying the ball 28.5 times per game will be a huge load to carry for an entire year. But that's not going to happen. It's just not. Let's make a couple assumptions about the year for him: the likelihood is that over the next three games or so, Shoelace, will see probably half that load. So let's be generous and say he has 15 carries per game for them. And then let's assume during those three games, the running backs get it going and you begin to see a balance. Again we'll be generous and say Denard carries 20 times per game over the remaining seven games. That puts him at 242 carries for the year or 22 carries per game.
Yes that is still high for a quarterback leading this style of attack (I still believe it will be lower as the defenses get tougher and DC's figure out that they need to take away his legs). But that average isn't crazy. Let's look at some similar QBs:
Pat White - 6'0" 197 his highest total was 15.92 per game his senior year (and that was missing a game).
Josh Nesbitt - 6'1" 217 his highest average was 19.9/game.
Tim Tebow - 6'2" 236 his highest average was 16.15 as a sophomore. But Tebow was a horse so I'm not sure he counts.
Eric Crouch - 6'0" 195 his highest was 16.91 his Heisman year.
Crouch and White are obviously the closest. So Denard will have 66 more carries if the above scenario comes to fruition. But neither of these guys got killed or couldn't hack it carrying the ball the majority of the time.
"But, the Big Ten!" you say. Yeah maybe the bruisers in the Big Ten are more dangerous than the Big East and Big 12 (ten years ago). I don't know, hard to say. So let's assume they are for argument sake.
To that I would like to submit, one, Antwaan Randle El.
Yeah remember him?
Let's see: 5'10" 190. Averaged 19.8 carries per game in 2000. Oh and by the way he freaking returned punts for Indiana! Punts! I think it's also fair to mention that Indiana's offensive line was pretty horrible so who knows how many times he had to take off running when protection wore down. And we should throw in that yeah he plays wide receiver in the NFL.
Ok, I'll give you that El is a really tough dude. He's a freak of an athlete (remember he played hoops and baseball at Indiana). And maybe he's a caliber of athlete above Denard. But I doubt it. I'm pretty sure Denard is very similar in athleticism as our friend Antwaan.
So the next time some hater decides to throw in the "yeah but Denard is going to get killed in the Big Ten", sit back, smile, take a drink and whisper: "Antwaan Randle El".
[Ed: Bumped for the line change info on Michigan's major step forward in Vegas. Since Vegas lines are year-in, year-out the most accurate prediction mechanisms available, this is heartening. Perhaps too heartening. BTW: Jamie and his merry band of degenerate gamblers cover all manner of things at Just Cover.]
Before getting into the meat of what will be a quick hitting MGoDiary, let's clean some things up from last week.
I might make a decent oddsmaker after all. Those four prop bets I came up with for the ND/Michigan game sure did confound people. Only one person did better than 2-2 and that was MGoTim, who checked in a 3-1. I guess it pays to be an insider. Not sure what his prize should be. Maybe a day off from cat chasing duties? Or a day where his posts get to breathe for two hours without a post on top of it? He certainly doesnt need the MGoPoints. In that same diary, I listed all the actual props that sports books had up for the Notre Dame game. A few brave souls put their necks out on the line and picked each one. And, you know what? They did pretty well, considering the number of props out there. Special kudos goes to Clarence Beeks who went 10-2-1 on his prop selections. Somebody get that man to Vegas, STAT. But, it's really no surprise. He's a Pittsburgh Steeler fan, so you know he is sharp as a tack. Nice work, Mr Beeks. Now, how are those Orange futures looking? Please advice.
Also, over at the JCB, the Pick-4 game for the week is up. Check it out. If you havent played yet, no worries. Jump on in. Once Ocotber rolls around there will be more points available to allow you to catch up, so dont worry if you're behind and just starting the contest this week. We'vre having a fun time with this and the more, the merrier.
On to the UMASS game. A lot of folks dont realize that the oddsmakers do release lines for FCS vs FBS teams. Some places will even have full betting boards for the FCS vs FCS games throughout the year. Just about everyone of them will have lines for all the levels of college football playoffs, too. That comes in handy every year when I wake up shaking that second Saturday of December with no bigtime college football to bet on anymore. Dont think for a second that that's the deepest we can go into depravity. I've noticed that 5dimes is also offering high school football lines for the bigger games across the country. No way, will I ever bet those. That's just being a degenerate. No way. Well, maybe if its the only game on TV. Or if there's some value in the line, maybe. But, you have to be a pretty dark soul to go this route. Completely unrelated, does anyone know who is starting for Hoover, Alabama at quarterback?
As of now, Michigan is favored tomorrow by 28.5 points. It's been a weird week tracking this line. At the start of the week, 5dimes listed it as just Michigan -21. That must have been a misprint, or they got hammered with so much Michigan money, because they took the line off the board for several hours and by Tuesday afternoon the line had ballooned up to 29.5 points. It crept to 30.5 by that evening. The line has been steadily coming down ever since. It was lodged at Michigan -27.5 for a couple of days before settling in at the 28.5 number this morning, with an Over/Under total of 51.5. THAT looks enticing. Two out of every three games in the Rodriguez Era have gone over the total, but none have this year. Should we play the percentages and expect an Over? With that out of the way, let me quickly rattle of the mock props for tomorrow.
Tate Forcier/Devin Gardner, total combined yards: O/U 250.5
Ray Vinopal, total combined tackles, INTs, PBUs: O/U 5.5
Fiztgerald Toussiant, total rushing yards: O/U 80.5
Will A Michigan Freshman Intercept A Pass: Yes/No
Jeremy Gallon, total yards, including returns: O/U 120.5
Try your hand at those.
I intended on waxing philosophical all the Denard Show, but what more can I really add at this point? For the second straight week, he produced a game and some plays I've never really seen from a Michigan QB before in the 30+ years I've been watching. Damn impressive so far. I say we sit back and enjoy the show. And work on our own dreads.
His emergence has also had a major impact on the odds for Michigan. The most notable being the fact that Denard is now one of the betting favorites to win the Heisman Trophy. Terrelle Pryor is technically the chalk at 3.5 to 1, but Denard is the second favorite bet at 4.5 to 1. Not bad for somebody who wasnt even on the board ten days ago. Kellen Moore is 8/1 and a series of players including Cam Newton, Mark Ingram and Ryan Mallett are at 10/1. Tate Forcier, by the way, remains on the board as a 30/1 shot to win the trophy. FACT: THAT MIGHT BE A SUCKER BET.
Michigan has also shifted from a 100/1 shot to win the BCS National Title all the way down to 30/1. That's a pretty big swing. We've also seen the pointspreads for Michigan's Big 10 showdowns start moving in the Wolverine's favor, some rather significantly. Here are where the Big 10 lines stand right now.
- Michigan -5.5 vs MSU (Line was UM -3 over the summer)
- Michigan pick 'em vs Iowa (Line was UM +3 over the summer)
- Michigan +3 at Penn State (Line was +10 over the summer.......oh, to have a +10 ticket in our pockets right now)
- Michigan -1 vs Wisconsin (Line was Michigan +3 over the summer)
- Michigan +13.5 at OSU (Line was Michigan +15.5 over the summer)
Denard is having an impact. The public wants to bet Michigan again. The average line movement since the season started is 3.7 points in Michigan's favor. I fully expect the MSU line to be -7 come game day. The others will continue to move towards Michigan. If you want to play the Homer card and bet Michigan, get these lines now before more value gets sucked out of it. For the the first time in the Rodirguez Era in Ann Arbor, bookies are adjusting lines to stem the amount of money rolling in on the Wolverines. That's progress, babby! And, it's a great thing to see.
[Ed: I cannot believe Michigan is actually a favorite against Wisconsin. The betting public now has Michigan at 8-2-1 on the season, which will be a neat trick.]
Hey all, wanted to post about this much earlier in the week, but I've been hella busy and haven't had the chance to log on, sit down, and give this proper treatment until now.
As many late-night Friday MGoPosters know, last Friday night, IUandUofM offered up an extra ticket to the ND game on Saturday, per here: http://mgoblog.com/mgoboard/free-notre-dame-ticket-someone-who-otherwise-could-not-go#comment-635907 . I lucked out, became the chosen one, promptly packed my things, got in my car at 1:45 AM, and drove 12.5 hours from North Carolina to South Bend.
By the way, IUandUofM should be pos-banged for all eternity for his generosity in offering up the extra ticket. A big thanks to him. It was fun to watch the game with a fellow MGoBlogger.
Here are some thoughts about my experience and some pics of my travels....
(The West Virginia sign....a bit blurry as it was taken while driving... I was on a schedule so I didn't get the chance to find RR's holler while in WV.)
A couple nice pics of the sunrise in Ohio:
(The following one was striking to me because it was 9/11...the telephone poles are reminiscent of the twin towers, and the sunrise reminds us of the endurance of hope.)
Once I got to South Bend, I must say I was extremely impressed with the way ND does parking. They are very, very quick and efficient. I was impressed with ND overall. While they razzed visiting fans, of course, they were hospitable, classy, and helpful. The campus is very nice as well.
As for the game itself, we were seated in the south end zone, with a bunch of other Michigan fans/alums. We were fairly high up, but the view of the game was great. This offered a much different perspective than you get on TV, and viewing the game from this angle really gave me an accurate sense of just how much RR stretches the field.... watching it on TV, from the side-to-side vantage point, you don't get much of a sense of this.
Also, in person, I got a much better sense of the fakes on the zone read. Denard's fakes are much more convincing in person than on TV. This was one of my beefs with the zone read last year....that on reads where the QB handed off, they didn't follow through with the rest of the play like Pat White often did at WVU. Denard is definitely doing that this year, which is great to see.
As for the 87 yard run, it was awesome to see that live!! The crowd in our section went nuts for that. Obviously this was a great game to be at.
Here are some pics from during the game:
The Band making an outline of the shape of the US at halftime:
Obviously the second half was awesome. The game was epic overall, probably the best sporting event I've ever been at. What amazed me was that between the penalties, the huge defensive mistakes....like we were finding every way possible to lose the game, and still won it. In the middle of the fourth quarter, the sun finally came out as well, and, the sun finally shined on us in South Bend. When the game ended, the people in our section went absolutely nuts!!
...Touchdown Jesus approves!!
On the way out, it was one of the coolest things ever as all the M fans poured out of the stadium, singing The Victors, and chanting "It's great!!...To be....A MICHIGAN WOLVERINE!!" filling ND stadium with our triumphant cheers. It's hard to describe in words, but, anyone that was there knows how awesome it was. It was awesome to, finally, have something to be *that* excited about relative to M football!!
After the game, we went around the stadium and found where the players exit to go to the buses. We met some of the coaching staff and many of the players.
- Barwis' voice is even more gravel-filled in real life than on YouTube. His wolves must have already been on the bus though, as I didn't see them.
- GERG is a very good looking man. (No homo) His hair is so shiny he could have his own Pantene Pro-V commercial
- I shook Devin's hand and his hands are very large. Should bode well for him holding onto the ball.
- I'm now much faster from the dilithium residue that remains on my hand after high-fiving Denard
- Tate signed a couple autographs, and seemed to be in good spirits, positive, and upbeat. Take it for what it's worth as it's an isolated incident, but, I think it bodes well for him staying and being an asset to the team. He seemed to have a good attitude and I took that as a positive.
- Vincent Smith is *tiny*. Wow. I think 5'8" may be generous. I'm thinking more like 5'7". Now that I've seen him in person, I find what he does on the field that much more amazing.
- Big Will is huge (obvsly)
- Also high fived Odoms, Kovacs, Molk, Schilling, Mouton, and many others. Wasn't able to get to Roh or Martin, but saw them.
Overall, it was an awesome time. Once again, a big thanks to IUandUofM for the opportunity to go.... If there's anything I forgot or left out, hopefully he'll chime in in the comments.
Two of Michigan's offensive line targets, who happen to be teammates, will be on hand for an unofficial visit this weekend at the UMass game. 2011 Chris Bryant (6'5", 330 lbs.), and 2012 recruit Jordan Diamond (6'6", 290 lbs), both of Simeon High School in Chicago will be there. I caught up with Jordan to ask about the visit, first film of Jordan at the Michigan Showcase, then the questions.
TOM: What made you decide to visit for this game?
JORDAN: I just wanted to see one of my favorite college teams play, and see what it's like to be in the Big House live.
TOM: What are you hoping to get out of this visit?
JORDAN: I want to see the tradition, I want to learn more about the offense, and hopefully talk to some of the players.
TOM: Who's coming with you?
JORDAN: My Mom, Aunt, and Chris (Bryant).
TOM: Is this your family's first time up to Michigan? What are they hoping to experience or see?
JORDAN: It's the first time for my Aunt, but it's the second time for my Mom. They're hoping for a good game, they want to meet the coaches. They want to sit in the Big House, and see that. I know they're excited about this trip.
TOM: You said Chris will be there too. Is his decision going to affect yours, and do you think he's going to make a decision this weekend?
JORDAN: It's going to affect me a little, but I'm going to make my decision based on me. If I feel like it could be my second home, then great. But, Chris is going to make his own decision. I don't think it will be this weekend, but you never know.
Jordan is also considering Arizona, LSU, Oregon, Ohio State, Illinois, Minnesota, MSU, and Stanford.