"Rodrick Williams Jr.'s 10-month old, 2-foot-long savannah monitor named "Kill" gets the RB some strange looks when they go for walks together."
This week I've completely redrawn the top of Notre Dame's Hesburgh Library mosaic to make Touchdown Jesus signal "no good" (or incomplete). The stone textures and colors were all recreated using a reference photo of the original and have been enhanced for use on desktops, iPads and mobile phones.
The image below is a preview only. You can get this week's high resolution wallpaper at The Art. The Art. The Art!.
I am designing a new Michigan Football 2010 schedule wallpaper every Monday this season. I'm focusing the content of each wallpaper on Michigan's opponent and making widescreen, 4:3, iPad and mobile versions every week.
Why? Because I'm a little obsessed with Michigan football and a little obsessed with design and very obsessed with Michigan football-related design. Also, I wanted to always have the schedule handy. I decided to make a new wallpaper every week so that I wouldn't get sick of the same picture and am taking the "make fun of opponent mascot, history & tradition" approach because it is fun to make fun of opponents. I am making these public because I know of at least one person (other than my wife) who likes the idea. Feel free to pass on the link if you think anyone besides me, my friend and my wife will like this.
All of the 2010 Schedule Wallpapers
A few people have requested a look at some names recruiting wise that could potentially be affected by Michigan's record this year. There have been plenty of recruits that openly said they're waiting to see what happens during Michigan's season, and will decide once they've seen enough progress, or haven't seen enough. Here's some names to keep an eye on if Michigan keeps up their winning pace later into the season. (Note: I'm not saying we will get these recruits, but they're prospects that there's potential with. Don't take this as a definitive "if we win, we get these" post. It's just a look at kids that are watching closely.)
|Defensive End||Ogemaw Heights/Michigan|
Probably the most known on this list for waiting the season out is Zettel. He's said publicly that he wants to wait and see what happens with Michigan's season before he decides. If Michigan wins, there's a good chance he's on our commit list.
Cooper has Michigan listed in his top group of schools, and is coming back sometime in the winter to stay with Delonte Hollowell and his family. They struck up a friendship at the Big House BBQ, and have stayed close ever since. He has also stated that he's watching what happens at Michigan closely, and how their season pans out will largely play into his final decision. Unfortunately he hasn't been able to watch any of the games yet, but he has told me he's impressed with the wins so far. Keep it up, and we're in the money.
Bryant is very high on Michigan, and had originally planned to already have his commitment done. He decided to wait a few games into the season to see how everyone was doing. There's a chance that he will visit soon, and if he does, I wouldn't be surprised to see a commitment come soon after. Win, and you're in the driver's seat.
|Tight End||Red Bank/New Jersey|
Tabb, much like Bryant, originally wanted to get his decision out of the way early. He took a quick visit to Michigan, and all of the sudden things slowed down for him. North Carolina and Michigan are two of his top choices, and potentially his top two choices. Both are in the midst of NCAA regulations and scrutinized seasons. He is now planning on taking his official visits, and seeing what plays out with sanctions and probation. I think Michigan has a very good shot, especially since UNC is seemingly about to be in quite a bit of trouble.
Did you forget about Ol' Ray? Did you forget that Ray's dad is good friends with Rich Rodriguez, and that Ray himself is good friends with current Michigan commit Jack Miller? Well you shouldn't have. If Michigan continues their progress, and can show more of how the tight ends are involved with the offense, then we still have a shot. It also doesn't hurt to have his good friend that may be committed to Michigan trying to sell the program to him either. He still really likes what Iowa offers him, but it's not out of the question yet. Michigan has shown that they want a tight end in this class, and Ray was one of their first choices.
Wisconsin leads for AJ right now, but as I've said recently I think Michigan is gaining on them. Whether it will be enough, I'm not sure. Jordan was at the U Conn game, but will also be taking an official visit to Wisconsin this weekend. His visit this weekend could put the Badgers over the top. If he decides to wait and see how the season progresses, it will give Michigan a better chance. The season so far has not gone unnoticed though.
I said this yesterday, and wrote an article on this very subject, but Karlos is keeping an eye on what Michigan does. He told me that he thinks Michigan is showing that they want to be an elite team again. He also told me that he's still committed to FSU, which is where his brother plays. it's going to be difficult for any team to swing him from the Seminoles, but Michigan definitely has a chance. Williams is a monster athlete, and could end up at either safety or linebacker, or in our system both. He's one prospect that could be an immediate difference maker on our roster.
|Quarterback||Mallard Creek High/North Carolina|
This is an interesting one since Michigan already took a commitment from Kevin Sousa. They offered Williams first, and only offered Sousa once Marquise committed to North Carolina, and the coaches didn't think they had a shot with anyone else. Since the allegations have come out against North Carolina, Marquise has said that he is still committed, but is definitely keeping his options open. One of those options is Michigan, and he'll be on hand for an official visit on October 9th for the Michigan State game. He says he's still very much interested in Michigan, and don't forget he's good friends with ATH Kris Frost, who will also be in attendance for the MSU game. This is one to keep an eye on, depending on if the coaches want to pursue him or not.
Thomas is a long shot, but he did tell me that if Michigan decides to offer he will potentially take an official visit. You might be asking yourself, why haven't the coaches offered a five star that could be an outstanding slot receiver, or a really good cornerback. I don't have an answer, I was just saying that's probably what you're asking yourself. He's still very much committed to USC, but Michigan's new found fame in the spotlight will definitely be noticed by Thomas. There first needs to be communication with the coaches before an offer happens, and before a visit happens. If that communication starts up, then there might be something to watch. Until then, don't hold your breath.
Recently, I have experienced a different feeling in my football psyche. A feeling that Texas fans had with Vince Young or Florida Fans had with Tim Tebow. It’s a feeling that no matter what team we’re playing, no situation is too much for Denard’s abilities.
Many people are comparing Denard and UM’s hot start of 2010 to Tate and UM’s hot start of 2009. Here are the goods:
Like a grenade with the pin pulled, the UM fan base was ready to explode at the first sign of something good. Enter Tate Forcier. Tate, a freshman, came in and because his name wasn’t Sheridan or Threet, was already a better “fit” for RR and his offense. Throw in a win against Western Michigan, the first home opener win in 3 years, and the UM fan base and national media started to salivate. Next up, Notre Dame. Tate seemed unflappable in a thrilling win, which included Tate’s iconic cut back run. All these things added up to UM fans and the media needing to raise up somebody and who better than Tate. The QB at UM IS the notable position. Tate was winning(to that point). Tate was a QB. Tate was a freshman (and hey, no freshman has ever won the Heisman before, so why not Tate). And Tate had some good stats:
I’ll sum it up
Total through first 4 games:
54/87 671 yds 7 TDs 2 INT
40 carries 127 yds
Passing: 62% Completion Rate
Rushing: 3.2 YPC
Those stats coupled with a big, emotional win against Notre Dame and then starting 4-0, made for some pretty sweet tasting TATE = HEISMAN kool-aid or purple drink, if you prefer. And we drank it, and we loved it.
Then events transpired and we arrived at the 2010 football season with a lot of questions. QB? Bowl game? Transfers? Tacopants?
Enter Denard Robinson.
Now, when Tate was thrilling UM fans last year, it was good, but he wasn’t doing anything that hadn’t already been done before. We’ve had hot starts. We’ve had a freshman QB. We’ve had Heisman hopefuls. With Denard, we have something we’ve NEVER had. We’ve got a kid that in his first start, set the all-time UM total yards in a game record. And what did he do as an encore? Destroy that record and not worrying ‘bout stats. His game against Notre Dame, given the circumstances, is probably in the top 10 of ALL-TIME individual performances during the college football regular season.
Through the first 2 games, he has 885 total yards! The first two games! That ranks Denard 34th in the Nation in total yards just behind Stanford and in front of 87 other football teams including: Wisconsin, West Virginia, USC, Florida State, Washington and Texas, just to name a few.
The very fact that every time he touches the ball he has the ability to get into the end zone is amazing. The last player I could honestly say that about is Desmond. Hellooo Heisman.
Finally! Michigan has a truly special player that makes other fan bases cringe when they see Michigan on the schedule. Don’t get me wrong, 2009 Tate was good, but 2009 Tate wasn’t making any opposing fans nervous last year. You can’t say that about Denard.
As UM fans, we have gone through more in the past 4-5 years than most teams go through in 100 years. Undefeated going into tOSU, Bo dies, we lose. The expectations of 2007 and then The HORROR. 2008 enough said. 2009 Tate hype and then the fall. NCAA violations, transfer galore, and too many questions about UM football. In 2010, we need to stand up and keep giving praise to UM football and Denard because Denard 2010 is not Tate 2009. HE16MAN!!
Note: This isn't meant to be anti-Tate; it is meant to be pro-Denarnd. I love Tate and believe that if he wouldn't have gotten hurt last year, he would have had a really good season.
Through the first two weeks of the season, here is what my ballot looks like.
|Rank||Team||Conf||Preseason PAN||In Season PAN|
|4||Ohio St||Big Ten||11.8||13.6|
|9||Oklahoma St||Big XII||5.0||10.9|
|13||Texas Tech||Big XII||7.0||9.8|
|18||W Virginia||Big East||8.2||8.4|
Other Big 10 Teams
30 Notre Dame
34 Michigan St
36 Penn St
This is a purely data driven poll, there is no human intervention or manipulation. PAN stands for Points Above Normal. It equates directly to points scored Oregon at +20 PAN is 20 points better than the average team and about 12.5 points better than Michigan (+7.5 PAN) is projected at this time. The normal that it used is the average of the 120 FBS/1-A schools. For BCS conferences like the Big Ten, about 3/4 of the conference is usually above Normal.
Games against FCS/1-AA schools are not included in the calculation unless the FCS team wins, in which case a game score of –30 PAN is applied to the losing FBS team.
The pre-season metric is calculated based on team PAN’s for previous years. The In-season metric is calculated with each game played so far this year worth 25% and the remainder made up of the preseason number. Michigan is 50% actual and 50% preseason since they have played two qualifying games. Purdue is 75% preseason and 25% actual since they have only played one FBS opponent.
I will use this methodology for the first month of so of the season until all teams have played at least two FBS games to do a proper in season accounting of strength of schedule. Until then opponent strength will be accounted for based solely on the preseason rating.
UMass: 100% win likelihood
Bowling Green: 100%
At Indiana: 80%
Michigan St: 66%
At Penn St: 49%
At Purdue: 59%
At Ohio St: 23%
Putting the rest of the season together, yields an average win total of 8.7 wins which of course is impossible. Running a Monte Carlo simulation on these odds yields the following spread:
Nine wins (5-3 in conference) is the most likely scenario with about a 75% likelihood of 8-10 wins. This picture will change over the course of the next 2-3 weeks as we get more interplay between FBS teams and get a better gauge of team strength, but based on performance to date Michigan is obviously grading out very well.
Week 2 Recap
Officially, Michigan State and FAU had 36,000 people at the game. Half of them must have been in the bathroom whenever the cameras showed the crowd, though. Eastern Michigan dropped a close one to Miami(NTM) 21-28, and so, like groundhog day, Toledo stays in Ohio for another year. Wisconsin did well against SJSU, but Tolzien was 15-22 passing, which must have hurt their numbers. The Cupcake award therefore posthumously goes to Maryland (!) for putting up 62 on Morgan State. And last but not least, Louisvile scored all 23 points in the second quarter to beat East Kentucky by 10.
Week 3 Preview
The "Torch and Pitchfork" Game of the Week is Virginia Tech versus East Carolina. VT needs a win, and ECU has scored 100 points in their first two games. Get ready for more schadenfreude from the Hokies.
The "Think of the Children" game this week is Boise State versus Wyoming. Boise needs to destroy everyone in their path, thanks to Virginia Tech, and Wyoming is coming off a 34-7 loss to Texas last week. I expect Boise State to score just under 100.
As I refuse to taunt the gods of I-AA, I won't put Michigan versus UMass in, and instead give Washington State versus SMU the "One Legged Man Ass-Kicking" award. WSU sqeaked out a win against Montana State, while SMU beat UAB 28-7. Plus, WSU has USC next week to look forward to, which is nice.
Since everybody here at Mgoblog obviously needs a Denard Robinson wallpaper to fully demonstrate their Michigan fandom, I put together a few I thought you guys (and gals) might like. If there's one you think is totally awesome except you'd prefer a slight adjustment/addition/subtraction to what I have here, just let me know and I'll see what I can do.
Also, I realize that this post won't be very visually appealing, but I'm leaving the photos in ginormous form for your downloading pleasure.
Here are your options (so far):