also duty-free guys falling over and grabbing their shins
Reader David Williams passes along a number of photos of the new practice facility for your perusal. Click for big—now with swanky lightbox!
Oh, no: I've been tripped up by my own prohibition against Diaries shorter than 200 words. Hoist upon my own petard, as it were, and forced to ramble on aimlessly as I watch the word counter in Windows Live Writer inch towards the minimum. Go, word count, go. You are so far away and only getting closer so slowly. It seems impossible to get to 200 words. How do I do this on a regular basis? Hell, I publish things 10 times that length on a regular basis and oh god I'm just barely getting to 100 right now. This is probably a lesson about subjective perception. Like if I was to eat a lime after a week-long fast I'd probably be pretty okay with that, whereas now like ick. Once there was a point at which we had three different fancy whiskeys around and going back to the stuff that's 20 bucks in a 1.75 L plastic bottle—which had tasted okay before—was agony. But you get used to it again. In the future when I'm wealthier—
Home Blog contains my scoring system and the schedule of events, as well as the top classes I have done so far.
Purdue's rosters got here Monday. Good thing. Means that I can start working on them and actually get some information. I have back to WWII, minus a few years, so that's good.
I'm going to stop summarizing with my first paragraph at the bottom. You can all figure out what the numbers mean.
This is my second of two Michigan classes in a row, and then I'm going to try to find enough information to do the next one down on my list... we will see how that goes, really. Playing it by ear on schools not named Michigan (or Purdue now).
Set the Stage:
Head Coach: Bo Schembechler (1989), Gary Moeller (1990-1993)
1988 Performance: 9-2-1, AP 4th, Big Ten 1st
New Blood: 19
Mini Recruiting Board Lives Here:
The 1989 was recruited off of what had been a standard 9-win Big Ten Title season. The class was strongly balanced, with a good mix of every position. I do not know if Bo thought this was his last season by the time this season started, but it is clear that he was intending on leaving a strong foundation for his successor.
How They Did:
Overall Record: 46-11-3
Varsity Letters: 46
Graduated on Team: 16
Started a Game: 10
Full Eligibility: 12
5th Year Seniors: 10
- Derrick Alexander, WR, All-American 1992, All-Conference 1992 1993
- Tony McGee, TE, All-Conference 1992
- Buster Stanley, DT, All-Conference 1993
- Derrick Alexander, 1994, 1st Round, 29 Overall
- Tony McGee, 1993, 2nd Round, 37 Overall
So, besides being the year I was born, 1989 is famously known as the year after Desmond Howard was recruited, or Bo's last year coaching. That's about it. The class produced two draftees, but they went in rounds 1 and 2, so that is redeeming. One All-American honor was awarded, to Derrick Alexander, who also was All-Big Ten twice and a first-round draft pick. Alexander was solely responsible for .0700 points of this class, giving the class a strong boost. This class only started 15.9% of possible starts, implying that the surrounding classes will be much stronger.
This class also had a very weird senior season Senior season (9-0-3), and a weak 5th Year (8-4-0). When I get more data points, I'm going to try to link 4th year record to recruiting score, so I'd consider their senior year to be 10.5 wins.
On Aug 3, 2009
Dear Professors Haithcock and Boerma,
As a fellow musician and student at the University of Michigan, let me first
congratulate you on putting a product out in the U of M marching band year-in and year-out that is entertaining, classy, and above all else, skilled. However, something must be done about a glaring problem at the University of Michigan football games : the student section cannot hear much sound from the marching band as a whole, except for the mobile percussion. As a result, students are unable to appreciate the excellent and fun music that is being performed; they are also hindered from cheering as loudly and intimidating opposing teams on the football field.
Increased fan/band participation should be something that is striven towards as part of an integral "game-day experience", giving a two-fold effect: fans (and especially students) are much more able to appreciate the workmanship of the musicians, and by creating a louder, more intimidating atmosphere for opposing teams, the student athletes will benefit as well.
Please try anything possible to maximize our game-day experience.
Thanks for your note and the polished expression of your concerns. I will leave the details to Prof. Boerma going forward. In short, the situation you describe is due to the Athletic Department's decision regarding where to seat the band and the fact that each band student seat within the student section makes other seats available at a more expensive price. This is a recent move after more than a decade of the MMB sitting across the field from the student section.
You are not alone in your concern but understand that the band has limited options as electronic support of the sound is against NCAA rules. In that large space, acoustics can only do so much.
This is basically what everyone has hinted at, but I just thought I'd like to give some solid proof as to where things stand, right from the horse's mouth.
I asked him how it compared to his other visits, and he said, "It wasn't the same, but it was the same excitement being around a college atmosphere. I mean, it's the University of Michigan. The tradition there is so much greater than any other school. (laughs) The Big House, there's no comparison to any other school, or stadium. That was the icing on the cake. Walking down that tunnel; I got chills. I wanted to put my pads on right there. Walking on that grass, there's been so many great players to play on that field."
One of the most important things for Brandon was to get to know the coaches better, and get a feel for them. Although the Big House was overwhelming, it seems like the coaches were the best part. "I had a good connection with all of them, I liked them a lot. They were really straight forward, and that was cool. I'm pretty laid back, so I liked that. The best part of the whole visit was talking with coach Rodriguez. He was just so laid back, and he really made me feel like he wanted to get to know me as a person. Most coaches talk about their program, and football. He made me feel like I was his friend, and he cared about what I liked. It was just a normal guy, that was talking to me about football and life. There was no big spotlight, or big ceremony, it was just real," he told me.
Besides Rodriguez, the coach that caught Ifill's attention the most was, of course, Mike Barwis. "(laughing) That guy, wow. I spent most of my time with him. From what I've heard, and what I've seen, he's the best. His whole philosophy is incredible. He's somebody that can motivate you to be the best, and pull the best out of you. Just to see him that fired up about what he does is great. I've never met anyone like him before," said Ifill.
Brandon spoke to Cullen Christian, his teammate, about the visit, and expressed his excitement about everything he saw. The only thing in the way of a commitment now seems to be time. Brandon said, "I'm just waiting to build a better relationship with the coaches. I want to talk to them more, and get more comfortable with them. Everything was great, so I just want to see how that relationship gets built."
Editor's note: with the recent influx of quality diary entries I'm reviving a short-lived plan from last football season and bumping my favorite to the front page once a week.This might be tricky during football season but we'll play it by ear.
UConn taking popular choice Virginia to the woodshed 45-10 last year (sorry MaizeandBlueWahoo)
Donald Brown the 27th overall choice of the 2009 NFL Draft
Okay, it's UConn, the general reaction from the MGoCommunity has been, "UConn, why would we play them for the opener? Bill Martin is an idiot!" UConn's blog has caught wind of the opener and is pretty excited but has however noted our comments on the situation.
Man UCONN would be a HORRIBLE game. We all had illusions of grandeur for a huge opponent and per usual they get blown to bits.
It’s a lose/lose for UM! We win and no one really cares outside the fan base. We lose and we just lost to a middling to low BCS team from a weak, weak conference. I’d rather schedule a true pansy and just annihilate them.
UConn is worse than WMU. I hope it’s not them because a 7-5 team in the Big East does not deserve a home and home.
Ouch. Not our highest praise for the Huskies, they even said MGoBlog was "a simply fantastic website devoted to Michigan football". We do have a basketball program too, even if it is nothing like yours. To be fair, Connecticut, a program that has been in a BCS conference for less than a decade, is not our illusion of the Wolverines taking on the Bulldogs (no, not Fresno State) nor the Broncos. It's not the big splash that we anticipated to be sure, but this late in the process it's not totally a terrible "MAC-level opponent." They play in a BCS conference (the BCS is not every conference in the FCS Division, there are six BCS Conferences. The Big East is one).
Another reason that we are angry with this choice is the fact that it is indeed a home-and-home with the 2013 return game being played here. Rentschler stadium is not the Big House, it's only approximately 36% of the capacity. Michigan fans are frustrated with the fact that a precious OOC road game that isn't in South Bend is being played at a relatively tiny staium, and that Connecticut is getting a home-and-home instead of a 2-for-1 at least. Proposed locations for the return game include Gillette Stadium, Yankee Stadium, and the Meadowlands but are not legitimate choices because of this. Notre Dame screwed over UConn with the "5 games in South Bend, and the rest not in Connecticut" schedule which UConn did to get some exposure and go from "basketball school who has a new football team" to "big-time major college football program."
Not the Big House
Thus Michigan is resigned to play a game in the state of Connecticut , which is nice for the East Coast fans and alumni who haven't seen a game out there since Michigan defeated Boston College in 1994, but not great for many others. Brodie proposed going to the Yale Bowl, which has more capacity than Rentschler. Michigan will be the biggest name ever to play there, and UConn is lucky to have a big-time team there while only sacrificing one away game.
The MGoCommunity is also not too happy with the fact that UConn is not a team with the "prestige" of another potential BCS opponent, such as Virginia (see above). The point is, Michigan doesn't need a phenomenal (read conference championship contender in a BCS conference) opponent next year. Reasons are here, in Michigan Arrogance's excellent diary.
Some quick facts on Connecticut, not a lot is known around here about the Huskies. Most historical information (that being said, not much) found here:
- The Huskies have been playing football since 1896, and in 1-A since 2001. (Interestingly, they and Villanova were both given the choice to become a football member in the Big East. Obviously Villanova passed).
- They have been to three bowl games, going 2-1.
- UConn tied West Virginia for their only Big East title, but WVU got the BCS berth because of this loss at the hands of Rich Rodriguez. More on Rich Rod versus Connecticut here.
- Coach Randy Edsall is 58-60 at UConn, 49-36 in the FCS, and was rumored to be a candidate for the Syracuse job vacated by Michigan Defensive Coordinator Greg Robinson.
- This is how the Huskies have fared since entering the Big East in 2004, not phenomenal but pretty successful at 34-29:
- In 2009, the Huskies look to replace 4(!) first day draft choices including Brown (above). They have a new offensive coordinator who looks to ignite an anemic passing game, which reminds me of Michigan's last year. They have a four-star former Notre Dame quarterback Zach Frazer who looks to lock down the starting job and a stable of backs to replace Brown. CFN, NY Times on Connecticut's 2009 season. We will be rooting for the Huskies this year because we want Michigan to beat a good team* in the opener. They are a young team and figure to be more experienced and successful next year.
Dan Orlovsky, former HuskyThus, 'tis Connecticut. A bunch of anonymous MGoBloggers will not change Bill Martin's mind (or a contract for that matter). This move does make sense as it is a BCS opponent, Michigan has a good chance of winning since by then Rodriguez should have the ball moving, and it is far harder to schedule and defeat a big-name opponent in real life than it is in a video game (I note your examples of Alabama-Penn State, and Ohio State-USC and counter with the seven mediocre opponents that PSU and OSU combine for OOC this year). Martin is reaching out to a very large alumni base out east and giving them a game in their vicinity for the first time in a long time, even if it is in a small stadium and a home-and-home (the largest athletic department in the country scheduled a home-and-home in Laramie, Texas plays at Wyoming this year). It's hard to call UConn a great, up-and-coming program, but the Huskies are improving and playing good football. Maybe it wasn't the Gameday game we were looking for, but it should still be a good game (which we will have a far greater chance of winning than if it was against Boise State or Georgia), the comparisons to the 2006 game against Vanderbilt are not fair. Kudos to Martin for scheduling the Huskies.
I think we can all pretty much agree that Michigan’s top four rivals are OSU, MSU, ND and PSU. I was thinking about this the other day and trying to decide which ones are the most important to beat in 2009 and 2010? I thought it would be interesting to get everyone’s perspective and see how these four rank overall and for giving them a good beating this year and next. Rank the four teams in order of importance and, on a scale of 1-5, 5 being most important, that we beat them in 2009 and in 2010. Of course, Ohio State is the biggest, but the real question is who is number 2, 3 and 4 and why. Also, of these rivals, which ones are most important to defeat in 2009 and why? Which ones, if not all in 2010? <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
Some of this may seem trivial, but if one assumes that Michigan will not beat each of its four biggest rivals this season, which ones are most important this year and next? The value of the question can be looked at from many different perspectives. Is a “progression” over the course of the season more important or simply beating the best teams? How would certain victories look to pollsters or bowl selection committees? Are bragging rights a major issue, or is it simply pride that makes one game more important than another.
With the debacles of last season still lingering, is revenge a huge factor or is simply ending a losing streak more important? Does the perception that one team is believed to be so much better this season make the game this year less important, but more important next year because we should be better next year? Does the fact that a game is at home make it more important? How much does recruiting affect your choices? There are many reasons why you might choose one over another.
With the longest off-season I can remember, (Nov.-Sept) the idea of which rivalry games are most important to me this season seemed intriguing. Boredom generates some crazy thoughts and this seemed like an interesting topic. Although I could be wrong I did a lot drinking while kayaking on the Kalamazoo River yesterday and my judgment could be very clouded. Lord knows, my head is.
1) OSU (5) Must end the streak. Respectability and maintaining this as truly a rivalry is huge
2) MSU (5) The first road game, setting a tone for the conference season and truly gauging the defense
3) ND (4) Need this to start the season right, build confidence and destroy Jimmah and the whale
4) PSU (3) Would like to get this, seems doubtful, but its at home and we have dominated them for so long
1) OSU (5) New Years Day bowl at stake, Restablish our place in the conference
2) ND (5) Will solidify that the program is back
3) MSU (5) Recruiting, bragging rights and keep little brother in place
4) PSU (4) Important for rankings and exposure at their place, and simply HATE happy valley
2011: Win ‘em all MNC dominate college football