no wonder we hired Hunter Lochmann
Hello everyone, Six Zero here with the latest installment of:
SIX QUESTIONS WITH BLAZEFIRE
Inspired by the official site’s “Two Minute Drill” series and TomVH’s famous Q&A segments with potential recruits, this weekly feature highlights some of the more famous personalities here at MGoBlog. Without pulling back the infamous veil of blog anonymity, we’ll get to know some of your favorite posters better and possibly shed some light on their definition of why it’s so darn Great, To Be, A Michigan Wolverine.
When this new series was announced, there was plans to spotlight some of the official staff, some of the more unique personalities who fill a certain niche of our audience, and of course some of the core people who make up the main table of MGoBlog. I would assume that early on, several of you probably imagined a short list of people that simply must be part of this project, or perhaps even assembled a list of your own. Either way, that short list did indeed exist since the very beginning of MGoProfile, and probably one of the names everyone expected was Blazefire. And yes, of course his name is on the list, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to this interview. So, without further ado, let’s get to it:
1. What would MGoBlog be like without Blazefire?
Without me, MGoBlog would shed the last vestiges of geekery and finally be able to sit at the cool kids' table in the cafeteria at lunch.
Actually, that's an excellent question. I have been a member of various forums online for many years now, so I joined the board very, very shortly after discovering MGoBlog and picked up the rules as I went along. As such, I don't really have much context for what it was like before I came along. I don't necessarily think I bring anything terribly unique to the table, except perhaps a propensity for verbosity and a dedication to being entertaining. I'm not a math guy. We have lots of those on the board, and they do an exceptional job. I like to think maybe the board would have a few less laughs and definitely a few less puns without me.
And also a few less MGoPoints. Over 15,000, to be exact. FIFTEEN THOUSAND. Although we know they have no literal value, I would bet you can argue that it has allowed you a certain level of notoriety as a true MGoGold Card Member. How does one accrue this much recognition, and in your own words, what have you earned from it?
The MGoPoints mostly come at night. Mostly. < /Aliens Reference >
Actually, mostly it's just that I post quite a bit. I am busy at work, but with busy work, most of which is done with a very old and slow computer program. While it's processing, I post. I can tell you that most of my points have come in bits and pieces, from this or that post. I don't try to accrue them. I don't try to say the popular thing. I also don't try to be controversial or raise issues, too much. By and large, as I said, I like to be entertaining, and I like to be positive. You can't go wrong that way. That said, I can tell you that I earned about 1% of my total MGoPoints on a single post. The Mike Rosenberg peeking in from the side gif was really popular.
2. You're one of the select few among us who, for lack of a better
term, are something of a watchdog. Grammar, unproven claims of fact, utter crap, whatever. Describe the responsibility of this role, and what prompts you to fly into action above all else?
Yup, you pegged me. I suspect a lot of this comes from growing up in the house that I did. My parents are very wonderful people, and I love them dearly. That said, my father is a big-time 'do it right or don't do it at all' kind of guy. He didn't always expect A+'s or anything, but dinner table discussion often focused on this or that "yahoo" and how they'd screwed up. I'm a little more willing to forgive those errors than he is, but I still feel compelled to point them out.
That said, I try to avoid overstepping my bounds, because I'm far from infallible, but often times the innate character of my father comes through. I've learned over the years to try and always make sure that I'm right before I say anything, or at least that I can back up with some authority what I think is true, because often enough, it's come back to bite me, or those with me. As a younger teenager (maybe 14), I went to Kohl's once with my mom, and we decided to get me a new pillow.
The pillow was marked with a particular price, but it rang up about $10 more. As you may know, most stores will give you the marked price, but Kohl's, for whatever reason, will not. Well, I, all of 14 years old, laid into that clerk, and I was prepared to go as far as necessary to get the marked price. My mother, on the other hand, is not of the same mentality that holds people (or stores) accountable for their mistakes. But of course, being the adult in the situation, the clerk, and then manager, got lippy with HER when I was the one arguing their points. She does not have the chutzpa for those kind of arguments, and it was not pretty.
+1 for use of the term chutzpa. My next question may be related to the last... Why Judge Dredd? And, I already know the answer to this one, but let's humor the masses: Why are you being choked, and by whom?
Why not Judge Dredd? If you can protect Mega City One, you've got some massive cojones. That said, I don't think I actually view myself as an enforcer or police officer, but then again, I do have a deep seated disgust for those that would hurt or take advantage of others, and I want to see them stopped, so you never know. Maybe I'm in the wrong career.
I actually first 'fell in love' with JD during junior high. As an elective, I took a Sci-Fi and Fantasy art class, which was a very cool class. I found out there that I'm just not a very good drawer or painter. I'm more into the concept and design end of things, rather than the rendering. Anyhow, as part of the class, we were supposed to buy a comic book, from which we would choose a page and learn how to create a big painting from a small drawing, by plotting it out on graph paper. I chose an issue from my local super market, Judge Dredd versus Predator, and my infatuation was born.
As for the choking, that was rendered not too terribly long after I'd chosen JD as my avatar. Misopogon crafted that beautiful wonder in response to a little nazism I just couldn't resist. It was all in good humor, I'm sure. >.> <.<
3. Since the series began, I have been patiently waiting to ask you this question: Describe your sense of humor.
Oh, you want more detail. Alright, lets see here. Let me start by listing off the funniest people on the planet for you (past and present), to give you a sense of where I come from.
Groucho Marx, Gallagher, Hawkeye Pierce, Lewis Black, Robin Williams and Stephen Lynch. If you took them, rolled them all together and then made them way, way less funny, you'd have me. I'm a sucker for puns, a clever play on words, fast paced changes, jokes that engage your brain, and a willingness to make a complete fool of oneself for a good laugh. I have often thought I'd really like to make a go at an open mike night, but I've called around, and any open mike nights at clubs near me actually require you to pay the club. My wife says I should do it if my routine makes her laugh, which is normally easy except when I try a routine. Then she's like a beefeater or something. You can't get her to crack a smile when you really want to.
4. Wives are funny like that—they force us to consistently be the man they married. Now, we’ve covered the humor, let’s move onto a more serious topic. One of my favorite pieces written by you, or anyone on MGoBlog, for that matter, was the "Relax" op-ed. piece a few weeks back. Tell us about the motivation, creation, and response of this work.
Truthfully? This was crafted for two reasons. The first, and foremost, was because I really did feel like posts that worried too much about the stresses and strains put on coach Rodriguez were becoming extremely common place. I saw posts asking how much before he voluntarily left, and all of that. It's just another thing we as fans don't need to worry about.A football coach worries about winning games. Not about what Joe-John at the corner store thinks of him. I wanted to really get people thinking about how the minds of those in power work, and maybe, I dunno, nip yet another problem in the bud.
The second reason, and I'm a little bit ashamed to admit it, but it is what it is, was jealousy. As I said above, I'm no sabermetrician. While I find the posts on it terribly interesting and I can follow most of the statistical analysis pretty well, my own ability to do math effectively stopped with Trig 1 in high school. I realized that while other people could learn the formulas and then apply them over and over, I had to relearn the formulas for every single problem, every time. But their posts, so full of knowledge, so applicable to the sport I love, they shame me with my inability to compete. It's like reading about successful business people. You feel good for them, but at the same time, you wonder why you can't do that. Well, I said to myself, "so what if I'm not a mathematician. I didn't get my degree in PR for nothing." I felt compelled to find a use for my skills in reference to the sport I love as well. And so, I crafted the best darn piece I could with what I knew well, hoping to enlighten half as much as others do. I'm glad to know it seems to have hit its mark.
5. Without divulging too much information, can you describe what you do for a living? And what do you like to do for fun on your own time?
My official job title is Communications Coordinator. In reality, that's only a small portion of what I do. The company I work for is an industrial equipment manufacturer, and I do a variety of things there. I run shipping and receiving, I run the inventory and invoicing program on the non-managerial end (they order and set prices. I make sure things are entered correctly and log and make changes), and communications wise, I create the technical manuals for the equipment. All of the equipment is custom, so each needs its own manual. Between all of that, I keep pretty busy.
For fun on my own time, I'm a pretty normal guy. I like to work on my house or in my yard. I've always got some little project going on. My dad has a stunning 72 Corvette with the 454 Big Block in it (it's mine in the will!), so we take that to shows on summer weekends a lot. I love to cook, so I'm always working on this or that recipe when I have the time. And finally, I'm really, really looking forward to the release of StarCraft II in a couple of weeks. I fear for my sleep patterns.
I'm sure you are not alone. Let’s move on… describe the perfect meal.
I was dreading this one, because I love food, and it's so hard to choose. I'm a big time fine dining guy, so while a good home made meal suits me fine, I think I should go that way.
Dinner would begin with a small amuse bouche, perhaps a small spiced tuna preparation, paired with a glass of soft riesling. After that, a small bowl of a creamy seafood bique with a crusty slice of baguette. For the entree, I think I'll go with a horseradish crusted halibut, broiled, with a side of asparagus in hollandaise and some roasted dill redskin potatoes. I'd probably have a glass of semi-dry Syrah with this, or perhaps a big, bold Cab to counter the horseradish. Dessert would have to be a cheese course (a soft goat cheese, a semi-soft, and an aged firm) with a glass of royal tokaji 5 puttonyos 2003 dessert wine. I'd top the whole thing off with a cappuccino and a butter cookie.
Aw man. Now I'm hungry.
6. Finally, the staple questions: can you explain why you are a Michigan fan?
Both sides of the family are Michigan fans. Well, I have one uncle on each side that went to MSU, so most of the family are also Spartan fans, but I grew up in the era of Michigan dominance, so MSU was always an afterthought during my formative years. By the time I was old enough to recognize them as an actual football team too, and not just... well, whatever I thought they were, my natural hatred of all things not Maize and Blue had already set in. Now, you couldn't get me to say "Go State" if you threatened me with, well, whatever it is that they threaten people with to get them to be State fans in the first place.
Intellectual effort? Finally, who's your all-time favorite Wolverine?
I've got so many, but I'll have to go with old Timmy B. Biakabutuka was Michigan right about the time I truly started developing an interest in following Michigan in earnest, and not just on Saturdays during the season. That, and to this day, my mom still laughs saying his name.’
Blazefire. For some on the blog, it is a name that prompts fear. Fear, not because he’ll actually harm anyone—like the mall cop that chased you when you were ten or your first girlfriend’s unimpressed father, it is not about the danger of any physical attack that makes you cautious, but rather it is the threat of being put in one’s place. Blazefire is nowhere and everywhere at once, waiting for someone to misspell “Martavious” or to lay unresearched claims to Carlos Brown’s statistics from 2007. He is not vicious or vindictive, he simply recognizes a certain level of quality from the blog and expects others to maintain it.
For the rest of us on MGoBlog, he is something quite different. Class clown, prankster, the veritable Jokey Smurf of our tribe. I’ll admit, I’ve always looked upon Blazefire more as a source of comedy than anything else, but I do know others who are cautious of his reading their posts. Either way, his contributions never go unnoticed, and he is clearly one of the regulars at the bar. I hope you enjoyed this inside look at the man behind the madness, and I’ll see you all next week for another exciting edition of MGoProfile!
Note: this post from 2008 evaporated, so I'm reposting it since i just pointed people to it.
SB Nation's excellent Missouri blog Rock M Nation will be joining the BlogPoll this fall, and they've thrown out a question to their readers: how the hell should we put together our ballots? This shows seriousness, which is an admirable quality in a voter, but a lack of deference to the poll's President For Life, which is neither admirable nor uncommon.
I've learned over time that I can't tell people what philosophy they should follow when compiling a top 25 poll. Or, rather, I've learned I can tell people what philosophy to follow and they'll just do what they want to anyway. There's only so much control you can pretend to have when the most respected college football blogger around thumbs his nose at some of the poll's published guidelines and the funniest one slaps up haphazard ballots 30 minutes after the deadline, usually after IMing me something like "oh crap give me a few minutes."
So vote how you like, with one exception. This is the exception: ballots designed to call attention to themselves are verboten. The lone spiked ballot in poll history came from Notre Dame uber-blog Blue Gray Sky after the first week of the season. Because I am stupid I deleted it, but by BGS's own admission it was designed to highlight how silly releasing a college football poll after one week of play is. This is a perfectly fine argument to make, and one I might even agree with, but your ballot is not the place to make it. Some voters tend to call attention to their ballots by their voting patterns, whether it's Straight Bangin's sadly prescient Michigan pessimism or SMQ's resume-only first week ballot or Double Extra Point's uncanny ability to have the most boring ballot; these are okay because their notability is a side effect of the voter's habits, not the entire point.
Other than that, feel free to be stupid -- because you will be stupid, iron law of polling, that -- in whatever way you want to. But I do think a unified philosophy benefits polling. SMQ highlights how goofy this polling enterprise can be:
But no one involved with any of the mainstream polls, despite their all-too-frequent use of the term, has ever defined exactly what they mean by the concept of the best team, or how they reach that judgment in comparison with that team's peers. Most of the time, the terms are described in an abstract way, as a mental sum of perceived parts, as if there existed a secret rating system, EA Sports-style, that could settle the issue once and for all.
The BlogPoll's concept of the best team in a sentence: the BlogPoll attempts to rank teams in order of season quality. This is impossible to do before the season and silly to do in the first few weeks, and at these times the poll should be regarded as an approximate guess of which teams will end the year with the highest season quality.
Suggestions to effect this ideal follow.
Once you have enough information, vote by resume only. What qualifies as "enough information" will vary from voter to voter, but I'm sure most will agree once teams are eight or so games into their schedules there's plenty of evidence to go on. Personally, by week five I try to excise everything except results. At that point there's no reason to look at future schedules, no reason to look at preaseason expectations or shiny offensive baubles. Just the facts, m'am.
When you don't have enough information, vote by your guess at team strength, not schedule. In an ideal world everyone would play an identically difficult schedule and this wouldn't be an issue. This is far from an ideal world, and some team just have nummy soft schedules. This is often cited as a reason to rank them high -- SMQ explicitly calls it out as a factor in his preseason ballot -- and drives me crazy.
Place great importance on schedule strength. The poll's greatest development in three years of existence was its continued, extreme skepticism of a Hawaii team that barely eked out victories against poor WAC teams and found itself in the top ten of most major polls and in the BCS against Georgia. That ended with Warrior limbs flung across most of New Orleans and everyone hurredly pretending like that never happened. You should take schedules into account more than it seems the other polls do, IMO.
Style counts. This is really tricky. If a team has three fluke plays go against them and loses a game it statistically dominated, what do you do? Dan Steinberg's pet Vegas Top 25 virtually ignores fluky results and thus can claim to be a better predictive device for upcoming games. The BlogPoll aims to be descriptive, not predictive.
The sad reality of college football these days is that schedules are so watered down and multiple teams will have the same records or nearly identical records at the end of the year but they'll have taken different routes to get there. So, yeah, team A had a better season if it crushed all comers and were under serious threat only a few times while team B squeezed by by the skin of its teeth, assuming schedules are approximately constant.
Back to SMQ for a pithy summary:
That is, assumptions about "the best" are frequently proven wrong by actual events. The best system, then, is not a rigid assessment of perceived strength, but an extremely fluid, strictly achievement-based approach that systematically rejects assumptions and accounts for chaos -- the inevitable black swan -- as the natural order. If South Florida's resumé is the second-best in the country in late October, then yes, it's the second-best team at that point. But probably not for long.
Co-sign. Man the ballot stations.
Hey all. Over at my blog, I have ended my flirtation with soccer, and I am finally getting back into some college football writing. That, combined with point spreads already being released for certain games of the year, mean we are inching closer to the season. We're basically seven weeks away and within the 50-day window of the first football being kicked off in anger. I'm excited. So should you. So get pumped, people!
Anyway, one of the recurring features over at the JCB will be sneak peaks at the various non league games the Big 10 will be playing this year. I take a look at three of those games in a post over there today. Included in that is this very limited sneak peak at our opener against what surely will be a feisty UConn squad. This is hardly a comprehensive preview of the game. More will be said on this game by yours truly on both blogs, not to mention by many other people, in the upcoming weeks. But I do think I've highlighted one of the better positional matchups we're going to see in this contest. I thought folks over here would like to read that portion and maybe get some discussion going on this and other matchups within the UConn game. So, I present that portion of my post as a Diary over here. And, why not? It's a cheap 10 MGoPoints and a way to pimp to my blog.
UCONN at Michigan, 3:30, 9/4. Line, Michigan -3 (Spread courtesy of the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas
Interested in what kind of game the Michigan defensive front has without the menacing presence of Brandon Graham? Well game-freaking-on in the opener against UConn when Michigan faces what will be one of the biggest offensive lines on its schedule. Things sometimes didn't go well when Michigan faced beefier fronts in 2009. And, when we last saw the Wolverines they were being more than generous on defense yielding yards and paths in running lanes like it was their major. In their last five games a year ago--all losses--the Wolverines allowed 230 yards rushing per game and 5 yards per carry. Whether it was a more traditional approach like Penn State or Wisconsin, or something more modern in the zone read genre from Illinois or Ohio State, the Wolverines had so many issues stopping the run down the stretch that Michigan really had no chance defensively in November. Even early in the season, Notre Dame's Armando Allen had one of his best games of the year against the Maize and Blue and against the large Indiana frontline, Darius Willis happened.
The chore will be sizeable against UConn. The Huskies return four starters from last year's line. Across the board, the line checks in at 315 pounds a person. Not only are they experienced and large, but they've proven an effective blocking front two years running. In 2008, they paved the way for 2,000 yard rusher Donald Brown despite an horrific passing game allowing defenses to stack the box all day. Last year, with new featured running backs, two Huskies churned out 1,000 yard seasons behind this line. One of them, Jordan Toddman, returns. In 300 career carries, he's averaged 5.6 yards a carry. He has 17 of the Huskies 57 rushing touchdowns over the last two years. Center Moe Petrus and Guard Zach Hurd are already multi-year starters up front for Randy Edsall's teams. Both earned first-team, All Big East honors a year ago. Hurd will combine with Tackle Mike Ryan, a starter a year ago, to form one of the largest right sides of an offensive line that Michigan will play all year. Folks, this is a legit rushing attack and Michigan's 3-3-5 look will be tested right out of the gate to stand its ground and keep UConn from taking over the football game the way every team did a year ago during Michigan's horrific losing streak to close 2009. The Huskies wont line up in the traditional, pro-style, power-I. They will spread the field with 3-4 wides often and allow their big lineman one on one matches to free up running space. They have no problem throwing rock all day despite coming out in fancier formations.
For the star power crowd, this ought to be a mismatch up front. In the guru approval game, there is no question Michigan has more raw talent on its first line of defense than UConn has on its offensive line. The Huskies starting offensive line is manned by four 2-star and a 3-star recruits, although with 66 combined starts the Huskies experience on the O-line makes those recruiting rankings somewhat outdated and irrelevent. Michigan, meanwhile, will counter with Mike Martin and William Campbell in the tackle spots, a 4-star and 5-star recruit respectively per Rivals, Ryan Van Bergen, a 4-star, at DE and Craig Roh, a 4-star playing OLB, but who will see plenty of time, in a variety of formations as a de facto fourth D linemen.
As a Michigan fan, there's a lot to be scared about defensively. The secondary worries me because its been a disaster for two years running, and the hope is an influx of new faces will help steady it this year. Outside of some Shawn Crable plays in Lloyd Carr's last season, the Wolverines havent had good linebacker playing since 2006. We're all worried about the Wolverine's guarding the pass, but dont forget this club was 92nd nationally in stopping the run. That's in the bottom quarter of all teams. Football is a simple game. Stop the run and even a defnese limited in talent can be effective. Michigan has the talent, skill and new found size up front to hold off the good Huskie offensive line. Can the rest of the defense fill the gaps? If it can and is able to slow the UConn rushing attack, then Michigan may walk away with an easier than expected victory in the opener. If we're treated to run after run with safety Cam Gordon or even Jordan Kovacs holding on for dear life as the last line of defense, then's its going to do a long, uncomfortable day for the Maize and Blue.
When the University of Michigan football season opens on Sept. 4 against Connecticut, Michigan Stadium will once again reclaim the title of the largest stadium in the United States for college and/or professional football. The seating capacity will be 109,901 for 2010 when the historic home of Wolverine football will have the bulk of the renovations completed.
“The stadium structures on the east and west side will be complete and all new premium seats will be on line,” said Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Dave Brandon. “We are very excited to have the club seats and suites completed for the upcoming season and we continue to get great reaction from fans who tour those seating areas.”
Certain sections will be adjusted for the 2010 season as aisles and seats are widened on the east side of the stadium. Similar modifications inside the seating bowl will be phased in over the next few seasons. Hand rails will also be added in the aisle ways.
“The upper concourses on the east and west sidelines should also make a huge improvement to circulation, and we are happy to add the new restrooms and concessions in those areas,” added Brandon.
Lloyd Carr Retires From the University of Michigan
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- After 30 years of distinguished service to the University of Michigan, associate athletic director and former U-M head football coach Lloyd Carr will officially retire from the athletic department on Sept. 1.
“I am thankful for the wonderful opportunity to assist two great coaches here in Bo Schembechler and Gary Moeller and I will always appreciate Joe Roberson’s decision to name me the head coach in 1995,” said Carr. “I am also appreciative for those I worked with and for all the great friendships I have developed.
“Most of all, I am thankful for the young men I coached and for all the memories I have from my time at Michigan.”
Carr’s accomplishments off the field can be measured by his success as a fundraiser for many charitable causes, including his role as Co-Chair for the campaign to build a new C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital which will open in the fall of 2011. He will remain active in fundraising and keep his position as co-chair for the fundraising effort for the hospitals. He has also aided both the athletic department and the university as a highly sought-after speaker, serving on special committees, and providing helpful advice and mentoring to coaches and staff.
“Lloyd Carr's legacy is an impressive and important part of Michigan's rich history and tradition of excellence in football,” said U-M President Mary Sue Coleman. “He has served the University as well through his advocacy and passion for a number of philanthropic causes. We are grateful for his long and successful service and wish him well in retirement.”
“I have known Lloyd since he came to Michigan as an assistant coach,” said Dave Brandon, U-M Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. “Coach Carr is a man of integrity. I admire and appreciate his love for all of our student-athletes and his many contributions to not only our University, but his work on behalf of numerous charitable causes throughout the State of Michigan.”
Carr is retiring after two-and-one-half years as an associate athletic director, but his accomplishments as U-M’s 17th head football coach will be an enduring memory.
Following the 2008 Capital One Bowl, Carr retired as U-M football coach with an overall record of 122-40 (81-23 Big Ten), a national championship and five Big Ten Conference titles. He is one of only three U-M coaches to win more than 100 games, an achievement only surpassed by Bo Schembechler and Fielding H. Yost. He is the only coach to have taken Michigan teams to a bowl game in each year he served as head coach and he is only the fifth head football coach to lead Michigan to a national title (1997).
Carr became just the second Big Ten coach to post an undefeated regular season record in just his third year of head coaching. He also wrote himself into the NCAA record books, becoming just the seventh coach in NCAA history to have reached 29 wins in just three seasons of coaching.
Carr has also been involved in the university, community and coaching fraternity. He has been active in support of women's athletics, endowing a women's athletics scholarship that is presented annually to a U-M female student-athlete. He initiated the Women's Football Academy and U-M Men's Fantasy Football Experience which donate all proceeds to the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center through the establishment of the Coach Carr Cancer Fund in 1998 in memory of his mother, Pauline, who died of breast cancer. The “Carr Wash for Kids” was an annual event benefiting the Mott Children’s Hospital which is a cause he continues to support today. He also serves as spokesperson for Mentor Michigan to help recruit men and women to help children in need. He has been involved with local charities such as the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, Shelter Association of Washtenaw County, Washtenaw Literacy and the United Way.
In the past, he also worked with Special Olympics, served on the NCAA Rules Committee and was a member of the American Football Coaches Association Board of Trustees. He annually hosts the Hall of Fame football camp in his hometown of Riverview, Mich. He was also given the Philip Hart Public Service Award from the Michigan Women’s Studies Association and the Dodge National Athletic Lifetime Achievement Award.
Carr is married to the former Laurie McCartney. They have six children: Melissa, Brett, Jason, Ryan, Emily and Jarrett. Jason was a quarterback at U-M and Emily lettered in volleyball. He has 11 grandchildren: Tyler John McCartney, Brendan Massey McCartney, Drew Elizabeth Vigo, Austin Patrick McCartney, Colin Lloyd McCartney, Sydney Ann Vigo, Ethan Michael McCartney, Casey Carr Vigo, Noah Thomas McCartney, Curtis Jason (C.J.) Carr and Thomas Lloyd Carr with another grandson expected in October.
CAREER COACHING HIGHLIGHTS
1995-2007: Overall record 122–40 (81-23 Big Ten)
5-Big Ten (1997–1998, 2000, 2003–2004)
AFCA Coach of the Year (1997)
Walter Camp Coach of the Year (1997)
Paul “Bear” Bryant Award (1997)
AFQ/Schutt Coach of the Year (1997)
Northern Michigan University Hall of Fame (1997)
Catholic League Hall of Fame (1997)
Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year (2007)
Robert R. Neyland Award (2008)
1976–77 Assistant (Eastern Michigan)
1978–79 Assistant (Illinois)
1980–86 Defensive Backs (Michigan)
1987–94 Defensive Coordinator (Michigan)
1995–2007 Head Coach (Michigan)
High School Coaching
1968-69 Assistant Nativity HS (Detroit)
1970-73 Assistant Belleville (Mich.)
1973-75 Head coach Westland (Mich.) John Glenn
Regional Class A Coach of the Year (1975)
This is a big week for visits but other than that it's pretty slow since coaches are on vacation. Here's a look at who's visiting with some updates elsewhere.
Visiting July 13th:
- Jake Fisher - Instate lineman is coming down from Traverse City to visit both MSU, and Michigan. I spoke with him about the visits and his timeline: he's visiting MSU first, then Michigan. Take from that what you will, other than that MSU happens to come first geographically on his trip. He is on commit watch.
Fisher: "I'd like to make my decision shortly after these visits. I might have a leader right now (laughing), but I don't want to say who."
- Cyrus Hobbi - As mentioned in last week's update, Hobbi is coming up to Michigan on his way to a family trip in New York. That is a huge break for Michigan. Without it, it's safe to say that Cyrus wouldn't have been able to get up to Michigan for an unofficial visit before the season. If Cyrus likes what he sees, it should give Michigan a serious shot at landing the big lineman. West coast schools are the main competition.
- Jordan Walsh - As it was noted in my interview with Jordan this past week, he is also making a trip to Ann Arbor on Tuesday. If you didn't read the article, here's how his mom feels about Michigan.
"She loved the junior day visit, too. When Coach Rodriguez offered me, she started crying."
All of these visits could be big for Michigan. I would be very happy with pulling two out of the three from this list.
5'8, 190 lbs.
Everyone's favorite recruit to discuss and one of the most important in this class. Hart was recently at the Nike 7 on 7 tournament in Oregon. ESPN gives you a synopsis of how he did and how he keeps the media guessing.
I spoke to Hart's teammate, Roderick Ryles, the other day. Ryles told me that he and LaQuentin Smith are going up to Arkansas, while Demetrius Hart and (2012 QB) Nick Patti are coming up to Michigan this week. I also spoke with Hart, and he wasn't 100% sure the visit is going to happen:
I'm not sure we're coming up yet. I still have to figure it out. I think we are, but it's not final.
Hart came up earlier this year and planned a second trip for the Spring Game but could not make it. Even if he can't scrape together the cash and time to get up to Michigan for a second unofficial, his interest in making one is genuine and he will visit officially in the fall.
5'8, 156 lbs.
Sicklerville, New Jersey
Byrd is a (very) speedy slot guy who already has offers from Florida, West Virginia, Iowa, Pitt, South Carolina, and Nebraska, amongst others. Michigan doesn't have much of a need for tiny slots in this class, but I had an interesting conversation with Byrd the other day. He recently narrowed down his list to 7 top schools. I asked him if Michigan were to offer, would they be able to get back in it.
Yeah, I would consider them again. I really liked it when I went up there, so they would still have a chance.
This doesn't really matter right now because he doesn't have an offer from the Wolverines. If they miss out on a few wide receiver targets down the road they might look to Byrd.
- [Ed.: LA CB Darren Kitchen has gotten an offer from recruiter Fred Jackson. This is not an official written offer and can't be committed to until Rodriguez gets back from vacation and issues it. If and when that does occur, Kitchen has said straight out he will commit.]