The game times and networks for Michigan's two New England opponents were revealed today, via press release:
Game Time and TV Network Selected for UConn and UMass
PARK RIDGE, Ill. – The University of Michigan Athletic Department, the Big Ten Conference and its television partners announced today (Wednesday, May 26) the starting time and television network for home games against Connecticut and Massachusetts. The announcement was made regarding games played during the first three weeks of the season.
The rededication game of renovated Michigan Stadium will be played at 3:30 p.m. EDT against Connecticut on Sept. 4. The game will be televised regionally by ABC. The remainder of the country that does not get the game on ABC will be able to view it on ESPN2.
The final game time and TV selection announced during the early season was the match-up against Massachusetts. The Wolverines initial appearance on the Big Ten Network will take place against the Minutemen on Sept. 18. The nationally-televised affair will kickoff at noon EDT from the Big House.
This will be the first time that Michigan has faced either school.
The remaining games will be chosen on a six- or 12-day provision per the contract with the networks.
These two games join the Notre Dame, Iowa, and Penn State contests as having announced game times/networks. The game in South Bend will be at 3:30 on NBC, the homecoming contest against Iowa will be a 3:30 kickoff on ABC, and the game at Penn State will be an 8:00 contest, with coverage on ABC and ESPN2 or ESPN.
That leaves the following games as mysteries:
- Bowling Green (a lock to be on BTN)
- @ Indiana (probably BTN as well, maybe ESPN2)
- Michigan State
- Illinois (another likely BTN game, depending on the teams' seasons)
- @ Purdue (ditto above)
- @ Ohio State (it will be on ABC, the only question is whether it will be noon or 3:30)
Following media day at the Big Ten Baseball Tournament, the conference unveiled their All-Big Ten selections.
Michigan claims one first teamer in junior outfielder Ryan LaMarre. Ryan finished his season hitting .409 with 5 homers and 8 doubles in 132 at bats. His .659 slugging percentage easily led the Wolverines. LaMarre didn't get a unanimous selection, possibly hindered by his early season absence.
For the full list of honors, follow the jump:
[Editor's note: Tom's put out a torrent of content about this weekend's BBQ at the Big House. Other items in you may be interested in:
- MD DT Darian Cooper didn't name any leaders following the trip but did say Michigan helped themselves: "They weren't trying to hype anything, and I really liked that. We just got to sit back and talk about life and not all football, which was great."
- FL RB Demetrius Hart did not make it in due to the expense of two trips to Michigan back-to-back. "Nothing has changed" as far as the Harts' opinion of M.
- Michigan has offered three additional kids in Ohio: DE Austin Traylor, TE Nick Vannett, and C Ryan Kelly. Traylor says he will visit; the interest levels of the other guys is unknown. Vannett is reputed an OSU lock.
Now on with this particular show.]
One of the prospects in attendance at this past weekend's BBQ was McKeesport linebacker Branden Jackson. Branden is a 6-foot-5, 220-pound middle linebacker for his team who runs a 4.5-4.6 forty. Here's what he had to say about the trip, and his versatility.
TOM: What did you know about Michigan before this trip? Why did you have interest?
BRANDEN: I just knew that Michigan was always good. They have a good track record, a huge alumni base, and they have those nice helmets. I liked some of the players growing up, and I also knew they had the biggest stadium, but that was about it.
TOM: So what were you expecting out of this kind of visit?
BRANDEN: I was really just expecting to get a feel for the school, the players, and the environment. I wanted to see if I could fit in, and I got exactly that. Exactly what I thought I would.
TOM: What about the environment, or atmosphere, stood out to you?
BRANDEN: The campus was really nice. I knew it would be, but it was really nice. Once I got around some of the players, too, I knew I wouldn't be left out. Everyone was just real nice, and made you feel comfortable. They weren't hyping anything, they were just being real about what they go through. I hung out with Tate Forcier, and Roy Roundtree a little bit. Roy's hilarious, he was cracking jokes the whole time. I talked a little with Stephen Hopkins, too. It was good to hear from someone that just committed, and just got up there.
TOM: Did you get to have as much fun with any of the coaches?
BRANDEN: Yeah, coach Gib [Gibson]. Since I met him, he's been real cool. He's always been down to earth with me, and he's in to modern things, too. He's not too old school, and I like that. I actually talked to the defensive coordinator, too. He was a little older, so I didn't know how much we'd have in common, but he was real cool, too. I was surprised, he knew a lot about some modern things.
TOM: What was the conversation like between the coaches?
BRANDEN: We were just talking about the things I'd get out of Michigan. The education, how big the alumni base is, and how that can help with jobs. We talked about the defense, and if I came there, I would play outside linebacker. They like quick, aggressive, and athletic linebackers. We also talked about how the head coach wants to offer kids that will add to the family atmosphere, and help create a bigger family, which was cool.
TOM: Does the outside linebacker spot fit you? Are you comfortable with that?
BRANDEN: I'm 6-foot-5, and 220-pounds, but if you look at me, I don't look like I weigh that much. I have really good speed, and I feel like I'm smaller for the middle spot, so the outside is probably better for me. I actually used to play safety, but we were short on linebackers, so I had to play in the middle. I'm aggressive, though. I like to come off the edge, even though I'm in the middle, I cover tight ends all the time in our defense. I'm pretty versatile; I could really be anywhere on the field. The last time I ran the forty was around a year ago, and it was a 4.5 something.
TOM: I know you wanted your teammate, Delvon Simmons, to come with you, too. He didn't make it?
BRANDEN: No, he couldn't make it, but I'm going to tell him everything about it. He'll definitely want to come back up with me in the summer. We talk about going to the same school all the time. I say if it happens, it happens, but he says it's definitely going to happen. I don't really know yet. It's too early for me to narrow things down, until I take more visits. Michigan is definitely up there, but there's no list, yet.
Just a little bit of change since last week, but ESPN did tweak their ratings a bit. Action since last rankings:
5-16-10 Ohio State gains commitment from Michael Bennett.
5-18-10 Purdue gains commitment from Robert Kugler.
|Big Ten Recruiting Class Rankings|
|Rank||School||# of Commits||Rivals 250||Scout Average||ESPN 150|
I'll only make charts for the teams that currently have commits. Rivals 250 means that a given prospect is on the Rivals 250 to Watch, and ESPN 150 means that a prospect is on the Watch List for the ESPNU 150. Scout ratings are on the 5-star scale.
|#1 Ohio State - 11 Commits|
All of the Buckeyes' commits are now 3-stars or better to Scout, and they also pick up a talented lineman in Michael Bennett.
|#2 Notre Dame - 9 Commits|
Everyone but Brindza is now rated by Scout. He is also considered a soft commit to ESPN, for the record.
|#3 Michigan - 4 Commits|
No change for Michigan. This is a moderately depressing development following the BBQ at the Big House. Hopefully a couple will drop after Michigan announces their self-imposed sanctions this week.
|#4 Michigan State - 5 Commits|
Jones, Cook, and Sims pick up rankings. I'm personally of the opinion that a 2-star ranking is worse than a 1-star ranking, because it means that the Scouts have evaluated you, and they don't think you're any good.
|#5 Indiana - 8 Commits|
Big week for Indiana, as they go from one commit ranked on Scout to all of them (though they didn't grab anyone new). A trio of 3-stars headline the group.
|#6 Iowa - 3 Commits|
Iowa goes from nobody ranked on Scout to everybody ranked on Scout, and I noticed that Blythe is on the Rivals250 watchlist, which I missed last week. That moves the Hawkeyes up a couple spots.
|#7 Minnesota - 2 Commits|
Olson, who both Rivals and ESPN really like, picks up a curious 2-star rating from Scout. It will be interesting to see if the sites ever reach a consensus on him.
|#8 Wisconsin - 2 Commits|
Keefer picks up a 2-star rating from Scout, and Keefer remains constant. I think that bumps the Badgers below Minnesota.
|#9 Northwestern - 2 Commits|
Cotton and Williams get 3-star ratings from Scout.
|#10 Illinois - 2 Commits|
Illinois is a touch behind Northwestern, by the slimmest of margins (1 point on ESPN).
|#11 Purdue - 1 Commit|
Purdue comes into the picture, picking up a pretty good tight end in Robert Kugler, the son of Steelers OL coach Sean Kugler.
Maryland DT Darian Cooper is on his way home from the Big House BBQ, after he enjoying his visit. "Everything went really well," he said. "We got to see the new renovations and the field and everything. We also had a quick tour of the academic facilities, and the food was really good. I really liked the BBQ chicken, so that was nice."
Cooper and his mother got in Friday night, but got in late, so they didn't really get to take anything in until today [Saturday]. It was important for both Darian and his mother to build relationships on this visit, and he said that was accomplished. "My mom and I both sat down with coach Singletary, Dews, and coach Rodriguez. I like them to meet my mom, so I can get her opinion on everything, too. She liked everything, and even exchanged numbers with some of the other recruits parents. All the recruits kind of introduced themselves, too, so I got to know them a little bit."
His mother has now seen Michigan, Penn State, and Maryland with Darian, and they plan on trying to make as many visits as they can. "I'm going to try to get out to Michigan State, Clemson, and NC State, too. I'd really like to visit everyone that has offered me, because I feel like I owe them that respect, since they offered me," he said. Cooper doesn't have a leader after this event, and probably won't until he gets to see all the schools he wants.
Although he's not ready to name a leader yet, Michigan definitely did themselves a favor with this event. "I liked it a lot," Darian said. "It was real informal and laid back. They weren't trying to hype anything, and I really liked that. We just got to sit back and talk about life and not all football, which was great."
Michigan took two of three games at Penn State this weekend to claim a #2 seed in the Big Ten Tournament. While all three games had many great positives, the ending to game two is how this series will be remembered. Michigan held a 4 run lead going into the bottom of the 9th, and the bull pen collapsed.
Weekend recap, series thoughts, and a look at the Big Ten bracket after the jump