that is nice bonus change
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
UPDATE:Voting has ended on this round. Stay tuned for the Final Four!
The regions have champions!
And it wasn't easy -- for example, in the Sweet 16 round, the OP screwed up the use of the word cagers. In the end, however, the cagers (meaning the basketball team) flamed out, losing all three of their remaining unis. It's down to two hockey sweaters, the baseball whites, and, oh yeah, those rags the football team's been sportin' since before yer daddy was born.
So now it's down to four men's and (once voting is completed) four women's unis. Just eight elites from the best-dressed university in America.
By now, you know the drill. The one difference: click on the images to vote.
Ice Hockey - Maize (Gallery)
Standing Out from the Crowd Champ
Use: The least-worn alternate of three sweaters for the Icers, primarily worn for home games (worn 8 games last year).
How They Got Here: Defeated 7th-seed Soccer - maize; 4th seed Baseball -blues, and 1st seed Basketball - maize.
First Worn: The current Adidas version was a carryover from the old Nike sweaters, which replaced the old maize alternate (a Block M version) for the 2006-07 season.
Wings Factor: The icers were the second team among Michigan athletics to adopt the winged helmet, when Red Berenson handed them out before the 1989 CCHA Playoffs - 2/3.
Claim to Fame: When The MGoBlueShop unveiled new for-sale sweaters for 2009-'10, all three sweaters (maize, white and blue) will use the diagonal "MICHIGAN" design. Howeva: the team will continue wearing its three mixed unis (HT: jcgary).
Football - Home (Gallery)
Not Everyone Looks Good in Blue Champ
Use: Worn for home games and occasionally bowl games.
How They Got Here: Trounced 8th seed Gymnastics, Obliterated 5th seed Soccer - blues, and Alan-Branch-on-Anthony-Morelli'ed 2nd seed Basketball - blue.
First Worn: The blue jerseys originated in the 19th century, and the maize leggins' joined in the 1910s, but this uniform wasn't complete until Coach Herbert O. "Fritz" Crisler brought the iconic helmet design in 1938.
Wings Factor: It all started here, from a practice Fritz carried over from Princeton - 3/3.
Claim to Fame: ESPN named it the Best Uniform in All of Sports. New York Daily News agreed. Also: About. Longhorns blog "40 Acres" puts it second to the Longhorns. Etc.
Ice Hockey - Blue (Gallery)
In My Day We Wore X Champ
Use: Worn in 2008-'09 season as the team's primary uniform (18 of 40 games last year).
How They Got Here: Handily upset 2nd seed '89 Hoops Throwbacks, upset the OP by taking out the 3rd seed Ice Hockey '60s throwbacks, then rolled over the last remaining football away uniform (the '05-'07s).
First Worn: Blue sweaters with big maize block M's were not a new invention. But the current affairs appeared after the 1997-'98 National Championship Season. After the team hardly wore their old blue alternates that year, the Icers switched the blue alts to a similar design as their whites.The look was refined in 2000-'01, experiencing some minor changes (like added white stripes) since.
Wings Factor: The icers were the second team among Michigan athletics to adopt the winged helmet, when Red Berenson handed them out before the 1989 CCHA Playoffs - 2/3.
Claim to Fame: When the hockey team went with three different looks last year, the Block M blues (11-7), got more wear than the whites (12-3), and maizes (6-2). Round 2 reader "mytrlebeachmaizenblue" explains.
Baseball - Whites (Gallery)
Scientifically Speaking, I'm Actually Wearing Every Color Right Now Champ
Use: Most commonly worn uniform for home games.
How They Got Here: Beat 5th seed Lacrosse - white, won a squeaker over their 8th seed gray dopplegangers, then upset 2nd seed Hoops - white.
First Worn: Though the Wolverines spent the '70s, '80s and '90s in pullovers, script versions, and plainer fare, this classic look has been around, changed little (lots more), since the button piping was added after WWII.
Wings Factor: Only the catcher wears the wings and stripes (seen here with the blue alts), and then only when the Wolverines are on defense (ironic considering Fritz first used them to assist on offense). (1/3)
Claim to Fame: Since adding back the stripes in 2001, the boys of summer have had just one (2002 under Chris Harrison) losing season.
Hello, I'm a First time/ long time (if sports-talk radio lingo applies to the blogging realm). I was intrigued by the mention made in the "Barwis effect" entry and early main page recruiting articles of the comparison of Colt McCoy and Tate Forcier. Although the original comparison was simply about size and stature, I couldnt help but thinking that if Tate becomes the caliber player that Coly McCoy is, we will be in pretty good shape. Upon the first thought, they both have the "pretty boy" type look, first names that could be nothing other than big-time quarterback's names, impressive H.S. stats and athletic abilities that turn eyes. But after a decent look and more in depth analysis, the similarities are few and far between. McCoy was a 3 star recruit, sought after as a passer into a Texas offense with Vince Young that was comparable to the Penn State of recent years, what I consider to be a Pro style/ spread hybrid. Here's what he looked like out of High School.
Wt: 180 lbs
Forty: 4.72 secs
Bench reps: 12
Vertical: 29 inches
Shuttle: 4.85 secs
(courtesy of Rivals)
Now I highly doubt he grew 2 inches after high school, 'nuff said. He was redshirted as a true Freshman, then started as a RS Freshman pretty much by default (Vince Young left early and the other guy graduated.) Here are his first season numbers. Not bad at all.
Now an unnecessary review of Tate. (according to Rivals)
Wt: 184 lbs
Forty: 4.55 secs
Vertical: 35 inches
Shuttle: 4.41 secs
Now I can either look at this brief overview and say that Tate is faster, quicker and a more accurate passer (77% his junior year) compared to Colt McCoy, is going to be amazing, and will have incredible numbers and lead us to a 10-3 season and a bowl victory as Colt did his first season. Or we can separate the apples from the oranges and simple take it for what its worth, a note worthy comparison that only time will tell if it has any validity.