there would have to be some to wash away
Instead of my content, here's a fun diary I've bumped. Actually, wait, this is extremely painful. Dammit.
Football is such a game of inches. If you could go back in time and gently nudge a single play in Michigan’s favor, which would you choose to change? I’m not talking about randomly adding 7 points to a game, but rather a minor change to an actual play that has a huge effect. This is my list:
10. Michigan v Nebraska, 2005 Alamo Bowl – Steve Breaston is RIGHT THERE and you don’t flip the ball to him? Oh Ecker. I would go back and have you make one little pitch. Although this game had no global impact or anything, it would’ve been nice to beat Nebraska.
9. Michigan v Northwestern, 2000 - Did we really deserve to win this game? Probably not. But we certainly would have but for one little fumble, almost an unforced error by Anthony Thomas (one of my favorite players.) If he just puts both arms on the ball in the waning minutes, Michigan wins an odd Big Ten shootout.
8. Michigan v Michigan State, 1990 – We got jobbed on the 2-pt conversion. If Desmond can hold on for just another .5 seconds, it’s good. This game marks my first sports bet. It, um, wasn’t my last.
7. Michigan v Ohio State, 2006 – How many plays in this game could’ve gotten us a victory? I’ll focus on 2, though both involve the same player, Shawn Crable. Crable had Beanie Wells for a loss in the backfield, and let him get by for 7. Then he gets the infamous penalty on Troy Smith, and if his head were just a few inches lower he’s probably in the clear and we have a shot at the win. This game isn’t on the list as a guaranteed win, but I’d just have liked to see us with the chance at the end. That’s why it isn’t higher.
6. Michigan v Texas, 2005 Rose Bowl – Vince Young loses if Dusty Mangum’s FG attempt is blocked. I forget which defender it was, but one Wolverine was literally an inch or two from blocking it. It certainly appeared to me that if he didn’t touch the football, he felt the breeze on his hand as it went by. Would’ve been nice to have won this one, and we were maybe an inch away.
5. Michigan v ND, 1990 – This game was on ESPN Classic the other day. Michigan was leading by 28-14 in the 4th quarter and driving deep in Irish territory. I’m thinking, how the hell did we lose this game? Then Elvis tossed a bad interception to Michael Stonebreaker, and the rest is history. If that ball is just tipped or dropped, or sails over his head, we kick a FG and win easily. Sigh.
4. Michigan v ND, 1988 – Mike Gillette’s field goal attempt sailed wide by inches. Lou Holtz goes on to win a MNC, and I generally hate life for awhile. This one was personal, though Michigan only lost 2 games (and tied Iowa) and had a great season.
3. Michigan v Appalachian State, 2007 – Shawn Crable, can’t you just block the guy? Seriously? Or Steve Brown, can’t you just tackle the guy in the first quarter? Really? Truth is you could probably pick 10 plays from this game an inch here or there and it goes the other way.
2. Michigan v Iowa, 1985 - If that damn field goal at the end misses, or one Wolverine hand gets on it, chances are Michigan wins a National Championship for Bo a year after going 6-6. Yes, Michigan tied Iowa, but I personally believe that if we’d topped Iowa we’d have beaten Illinois. Just the impact of that game alone warrants being very high on this list, but for me personally, well. We all have that first loss when you’re old enough to know what’s really going on and you’ve developed enough of a passion that it *matters*. This was that game for me personally. It hurt. A lot.
1. Michigan v Colorado, 1994 - I don’t even really have to say which play, do I? It would be nice to avoid sitting there in the stands for a half hour after the game just looking at the crumpled up freebie program and thinking about the meaninglessness of existence. Feel free to share your own, I'm sure I've forgotten a ton. And please let me know if you have a time machine I can borrow.
If you had to field the ultimate Michigan offense, who would start at every position? You can choose anyone from the entire history of UM football, but I will keep mine to players I personally witnessed. I will assume you mean the player at his best, whether that was in college or the pros.
The first choice is at QB, and this is a tough one. If I had to choose one guy to win a game for me it would be Tom Brady. I know his time at Michigan wasn't as prolific as many other Michigan QB's, but the guy's a leader. His accuracy is deadly, and his decision making is fantastic.
My all time favorite tailback is Mike Hart. This guy could take the team on his back and will us to a win. Three consecutive 200 yard games in the Big Ten is no small feat either. If I had to pick a backup for him, it would be Tyrone Wheatley. I almost chose Jaime Morris, but Ty was hard to bring down, and would provide a better change of pace with Mike at the starting spot. For fullback, why not put Anthony Thomas back there? He could block with the best of them, and get tough yards when you need 'em.
The WR spot would be crowded with talent, and there wouldn't be enough time to get everyone the ball. For the sake of this discussion, let's just have an "X" "Y" & a "Z." At the X spot, I would have to put Anthony Carter. This dude was the guy you want to convert big plays for you when you need them desperately. The slot reciever, or "Y" would be David Terrell. Although he didn't do well in the NFL, this guy had amazing hands and used his body to shield defenders away from the ball better than anybody. My Z reciever would be Braylon Edwards. Just throw it deep and let him go get it. He likes to jump out of the stadium to snag TD's.
Tight end is another one that's tough. Jerame Tuman had almost 1,300 yards and 13 touchdowns. He wasn't just a pass catching guy either, and that makes him my first choice. Bennie Joppru is my second choice mostly because his stats are more impressive than Jay Riemersma. I liked Jay though, and maybe if he started at TE instead of QB he would have come out with better all time stats. Joppru gets the nod for making the top 25 all time leading recievers list (including WR's).
Now to the big uglies! Jake Long has to be the anchor at left tackle. Just his appearance scared the opponent, and giving up only one sack in college while starting almost every game is awesome. At left guard, I would put David Baas. David was a mauler for a run blocker, and a dancing bear when it came to pass-pro. At Center, Rod Payne seems like a good choice. He started 40 games at Michigan, and dominated OSU every time. Right guard would be Steve Hutchinson. This guy has made every line he played with better, and he even dominates in the NFL. At right Tackle I would play John Jansen. This guy won back to back First team All American at right tackle, and just recently found his way back to Michigan...
So who would you start, and why? Go Blue!!!
I want to repost this, just to see if I can generate discussion. If anybody has any thoughts about the wrestling program, I'd love to find people to talk with about it!!:
So last night, after Michigan's big 31-6 blow out of Penn State, me and another poster were having an IM conversation about Michigan Wrestling in the future. It got me to thinking about how awesome this team could be in 2 years. Here's a breakdown of a potential lineup for next year. Note the lack of seniors. This is why I think 2 years from now could be SPECIAL:
125: Sean Boyle (Blair Academy, NJ): Boyle is currently ranked 4th in the nation at 119 pounds in all classes. Blair is the premier wrestling program in American and is the same school that produced Michigan's current 141 pounder, Kellen Russell. With Michael Watts graduating and no immediate high profile pickups waiting in the wings, Boyle could start as a true freshman.
133: Eric Grajales (Brandon, FL): Grajales is also currently a highly rated HS recruit. He's #1 in the nation across all classes at 135 pounds. He will almost certainly start as a true freshman. Other options here include moving him up to 149 and keeping Zac Stevens in at 133 for another year, or moving him to 141 and bumping Russell to 149. For now, let's just say he goes 133.
141: Kellen Russell (Blair Academy, NJ): Russell is currently a sophomore and one of Michigan's most talented wrestlers. He finished with a 32-7 record and was Big Ten Champion at 141 pounds as a true freshman last year. He's currently ranked 5th in the country according to InterMat.com. He most certainly will start again, either here, or as previously stated, at 149 pounds.
149: Assuming my prediction is correct and Grajales and Russell cover 133/141, there are two options here. Mark Beaudry (Pueblo South, CO) is the current starter. However, Mark Weber (Goodrich, MI) was a 4x MHSAA champion and was 2nd in the nation at 135 as a senior last year. Weber is currently in his true freshman year and is not using his redshirt. He could use his redshirt next year, or become the starter.
157: Aaron Hynes (Flint Kearsley, MI): Before becoming a starter this year, Hynes had a 45-13 record in open tournaments. The sophomore is beginning to adjust nicely to the starting lineup. The 2x state champion should start the next two years beyond this one.
165: Justin Zeerip (Hesperia, MI): Just a redshirt freshman, Zeerip has struggled for much of this season. However, in his redshirt year, Zeerip went 23-6 in opens last season. He was a 4x undefeated state champ (260-0) in HS and took 3rd in the nation as a senior. He was a high profile recruit and should have a bright future. Perhaps a glimpse of that future was seen just last night when he defeated a Penn State wrestler who took 3rd at the NCAA's last year.
174: With Steve Luke graduating and nobody listed as a 174 pounder, Michigan might have to scratch to fill this spot next year. If anybody has an idea for 174, I'd love to hear it.
184: Hunter Collins (Gilroy, CA): Collins was one of the top recruits in last years class. He's currently taking his redshirt, but likely has a bright future as a 4 year starter. This year, he's lost in the numbers game amongst the veteran upper weights. He was a 4x California all-state wrestler. (California HS's compete in only ONE division, so this is a big deal). He was a Reno Champ in high school, and took 2nd in the nation at 171 pounds as a senior, losing to 3x Michigan champ and current CMU wrestler Ben Bennett in the finals.
197: Anthony Biondo (Chippewa Valley, MI): Currently ranked 13th in the nation at 184 pounds, Biondo will be entering his junior year next year. He was a 3x Michigan champ and an all-american as a senior. He could also remain at 184 with Collins coming up next year. However, this might be the better option with Biondo, the older wrestler, taking the higher weight. Keep in mind, Biondo was Michgian's starter here before switching weights with current senior Ty Todd this year.
285: Eddie Phillips (Lakewood, MI): Phillips is a sophomore and is a very athletic heavy. He was Michigan's 189 champ as a senior at Lakewood. He struggles at times, but has become a serviceable starter. Maybe he breaks out as a junior next year? He'll be pushed by Romeo's Chad Bleske for this spot.
Incoming recruits: Currently, I know of 4 recruits coming in next year. Dan Boyle and Eric Grajales were both mentioned as possible starters in the light weights. Michigan is also bring in Brandon Zeerip. Zeerip is the younger brother of current starter Justin. The younger Zeerip is the 10th ranked 152 pound wrestler in the country. Michigan also brings in a more unheralded national level recruit in Dundee's Pete Rendina. It is unclear at this time what type of future Rendina would have at Michigan, but he is a top senior in Michigan this year. His pull could also help with current HS sophomore Joey Rendina. Joey may be a top 5 in-state recruit as a senior.
Any more thoughts, I'd love to hear them.
I was curious about what a "player map" of the home states of
Michigan's athletes would look like. I used the rosters of the various teams on MGoBlue to make a tally and wished I had the talent to make a map with the states in proporation to their number of athletes better than a second grader.
Sweet Wife laughed at the drawing and wanted to know the number of scholarships for each sport. They are available in the NCAA Division 1 Manual. at:
Maximum scholarship: Tuition and required fees, room and board, books and required supplies for an academic year--fall and winter. Summer is a separate deal. At Michigan, this full-ride is worth at least $21,000 in-state, $44,000 out of state--much more if summer is included.
It is not a requirement that full-rides be given in any sport. However, there is usually a positive relationship between cost and quality.
Men's and Women's Basketball, Football, Women's Gymnastics, Women's Tennis, and Women's Vollyball are limited by the number of scholarship recipients they can have. While the value of the scholarships can range from a token to a full-ride, the number of scholarship athletes is limited.
Most of the other sports are limited by the number of scholarships but not by the number of recipients. They may spread the jam as thinly as they believe is effective. The NCAA terms them "counter" and "equivalency" sports. And, of course, there are two exceptions--"counter equivalency" sports.
Bill Martin has often stated that Michigan fully funds all
scholarships and recruits without concerns about the difference between in-state and out of state tuition. Few athletic departments can do this across the board.
Now, the question of the hour is how in the hell do coachs allocate the fractional scholarships among their players?
So, keeping in mind that not everyone on a roster has a scholarship and starting with an exception:
Baseball 11.7 Scholarships. 27 or fewer recipients, no
scholarship less than one-fourth of a full boat.
Michigan 19; AZ 1; CA 2; GA 1; IL 1; IN 2; MA 2; MN 1; NJ 1; OH 2; TX 1; VA 1; Ontario 1.
Basketball Men 13 scholarship recipients.
Michigan 8; IN 2; NY 2; VA 1; Ontario 1.
Basketball Women 15 recipients.
Michigan 5; IL 2; MN 2; OH 2; Ontario 1; Saskatchewan 1.
Cross Country/Track/Field Men 12.6 Scholarships, unlimited recipients.
Michigan 8; IL 2; NJ 1; NY 1; OH 1; WA 1; Ireland 1.
Michigan 24; AZ 1; CA 3; IL 5; IN 1; MD 1; NJ 2; NY 1; OH 1; RI 1; TX 1; WA 1; WI 1; Ireland 1; Jamaica 1.
Cross Country/Track/Field Women 18 Scholarships, unlimited
Michigan 11; KS 1; KY 1; MN 1; NJ 1; OH 3; Manitoba 1;
Michigan 32; CA 1; IL 1; IN 1; IA 1; KS 1; KY 1; MD 1; MN 1; NV 1; NJ 1; OH 4; PA 1; Ontario 1.
Field Hockey 12 Scholarships, unlimited recipients.
CA 4; CO 1; IL 1; ME 2; NJ 3; OH 2; PA 5; TX 1; British Columbia 1.
Football, Spring Roster 85 recipients.
Michigan 43; CA 5; CO 2; FL 8; GA 2; IL 5; IN 2; LA 1; MA 1; NJ 3; NY 2; MO 1; NV 1; OH 8; SC 3; TX 5; VA 2; WA 1; Quebec 1.
Golf Men 4.5 Scholarships
Michigan 4; FL 1; GA 1; IL 1; MO 1; NY 1; Indonesia 1.
Golf Women 6 Scholarships
Michigan 5; Az 1; IL 1; IN 1; Malaysia 1; Puerto Rico 1.
Gymnastics Men 6.2 Scholarships
Michigan 2; CA 1; CT 1; FL 3; GA 3; IL 2; IN 1; KS 1; MA 1; NH 1; NJ 5; NC 1; OR 1; Singapore 1.
Gymnastics Women 12 Scholarship recipients
Michigan 3; FL 1; IL 3; IA 1; NV 1; NY 1; NC 1; OH 1.
Ice Hockey 18 Scholarships with a maximum of 30 recipients
Michigan 17; CA 1; MO 1; NY 1; WA 1; British Columbia 2; Ontario 2; Sweden 1.
Rowing 20 Scholarships
Michigan 8; CA 3; CT 1; FL 2; IL 2; MA 2; NH 1; NJ 1; NY 2; OH 1; OR 1; PA 2; VA 1; WA 4; Ontario 2; Western Australia 1.
Soccer Men 9.9 Scholarships
Michigan 12; CA 2; CO 1; DC 1; GA 1; IL 3; NY 1; TX 1; WA 2; Sweden 1.
Soccer Women 14 Scholarships
Michigan 11; CA 2; CO 1; IL 2; MA 1; NY 1; OH 5; OR 1; PA 1; TX 1.
Softball 12 Scholarships
Michigan 8; CA 2; IL 3; KS 1; MO 1; NV 1; NJ 1; VA 1.
Swimming/Diving Men 9.9 Scholarships
Michigan 8; AZ 1; CA 1; CT 1; DE 1; FL 1; IL 4; MD 1; MA 1; MN 2 NC 2; NH 1; NJ 2; OH 2; TX 1; WA 1; Brazil 1; Isreal 1.
Swimming/Diving Women 14 Scholarships
Michigan 19; CA 2; CT 1; DE 1; FL 1; IL 4; ID 2; IA 1; KY 1; MO 1; NC 1; PA 2; VA 1.
Tennis Men 4.5 Scholarships
Michigan 2; CA 2; FL 2; KS 1; NJ 1; NY 1.
Tennis Women 8 Scholarship recipients
CA 3; IL 1; MN 1; NJ 1; VA 1; Alberta 1.
Volleyball 12 Scholarship recipients
Michigan 3; CA 1; GA 1; KY 1; IL 3; IN 3; OH 2; Brazil 1.
Waterpolo 8 Scholarships
Michigan 5; CA 15; FL 3; IL 1; TX 1.
Wrestling 9.9 Scholarships
Michigan 18; CA 1; CO 1; IL 1; MT 1; NJ 1; OH 2; UT 1.
And, as an added bonus:
Men's Lacrosse 12.6 Scholarships
Women's Lacrosse 12 Scholarships
Men's Rowing (Crew) is not an NCAA Division 1 sport. The sky's the limit.
The following statements are dangerously biased, and they come from a result of a lifetime of trips to AA, games with my closest 110,000 friends, and too many brats soaked in beer.
You should all stop worrying so much. I know that last year had moments that made us furious, throw objects, and swear up and down for hours. This was all a necessary evil to start this new era of Michigan football. Metamorphosis is a painful process that yields amazing results. Now all the new schemes are in place. The offensive linemen know what to do and how to do it. The backs and recievers have bought in. Those who didn't buy in are gone. We have a dual threat QB to run a system that looks really awkward with a pro-style guy back there. I know Tate is a true freshman, but he fits this system like a glove. When RR unleashes this team this fall, they will start to dominate like many of his teams have in his second year. Year two is when the players stop thinking too much, and start making plays.
The wins will come in bunches this year. Michigan will have two 1,000 yard rushers (Tate, Minor). The defense will not be put in so many bad situations throughout games. They will start off beating WMU, then ND. Notre Dame beats Hawaii last year after going .500 and the whole fan base thinks they will contend for a title. Until they fire Charlie, this team isn't going much of anywhere. We gave them the ball on turnovers 9 times last year and still could have won in the 4th quarter. I almost want to type that sentence twice, but please just read it again. The "immaculate front butt" will be run out of town by January. After embarassing the golden domers, Michigan beats EMU & IU and they are sitting at 4-0.
From there, who knows. What I do know is that UM will go to a bowl game, set records on offense this year, and show everyone that the giant just took a little cat nap, and now he's ready to break some skulls. When the nation knows Michigan is back, and on it's way to global domination - the recruits will pour in faster than we can sign 'em. So my message is simple. Unwrinkle your panties, get ready for a great season, buy tickets, and join me this year in the best stadium in the world. Go Blue!!!
This post was spurred by the mention of the new Rose Bowl rule incorporating non-BCS teams covered by Brian yesterday and today. I post it mainly because it's June, but also because I'm interested in the blogs' overall verdict on this proposition:
Resolved, in a perfect (non-lawsuit) world, non-BCS schools should not be involved in BCS Bowls or the BCS championship game. Rationale: because they are not as good**. Agree or disagree?
My sentiments are betrayed in the subject line, but I'll attempt to briefly elaborate. The three main arguments in favor of non-BCS inclusion are: 1- it's fair, 2- the BCS is an illegal monopoly, and 3- superior non-BCS teams deserve to be in, and recent bowls have proven they belong.
For brevity's sake I won't address #2 as it's economic in nature. And regarding #1, I'll say this: so? The existence of the BCS, polls, life, and any number of things that won't change shows that life is not fair. And adding one team doesn't change that. Did you know that "According to Jim" is still on the air?
On to #3. While it's perfectly legitimate to say that Boise and Utah proved their worth by winning, I say "not so fast my friend." I have an explanation that may or may not be persuasive: the BCS itself. This unfortunate creation has not only warped the system, making it's presence felt in scheduling (cupcakes for non-conference games), but it has also devalued every bowl except the Championship game When Alabama and Oklahoma played in those prestigious Bowls, they were actually DISAPPOINTED to be there. Teams in that situation are always in potential trouble of not playing to their usual level. If Bama has to play, say, LSU or USC, some of that is mitigated by the glamour of the matchup and the challenge of playing a top program. If they have to play Utah, who they believe, in their non-media interview hearts they should easily beat, then watch out. And when a decent team like Utah has everything to play for and the team they face does not, upsets are thus created. Which then perpetuate the (IMO false) notion that those teams belong in the first place.
I don't know anyone who believes the quality of the football played in the Mountain West/MAC/WAC equals the B10 the Big East or even the ACC. And from players sent to the NFL, recruiting rankings of the current players, strength of schedule, and records against outside ranked teams, most data supports what we intuitively know. IMO Utah would have finished no better than 4th in the B10, so for Brian to say that it would be a wash between a non-BCS team and the 2nd place P10 team, I revolt.
The Bowl system is an oligarchy, but one of (mostly) merit, based upon getting though the best conferences with the highest level of talent with the best records. Why make a flawed system even more flawed by including teams that never would get there if they were playing in the top conferences in the first place?
Agree or not?
* Kind of a dumb statement in itself but meant to drive readership so I can get a general sense of the blog while still conveying my innermost, slightly sheepish feelings.
** See above