"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
Just a reminder to any one who cares (which is probably very few of you) that the first official sports match of Michigan's 09-10 school year is tonight as the women's soccer team takes on Arkansas in Ann Arbor. Kick off is slated for 6pm at the U-M Soccer Complex. Live stats are available.
Arkansas was picked to finish second to last in the SEC West in the preseason coaches poll. They return seven of their top scorers from last year, but they also have a new coach. Michigan should be able to take this game, but it will still be tough. Make it out if you can tonight, the team would appreciate it.
They will also play a road game at Valparaiso on Sunday at 5pm. Valpo was picked 6th in the Horizon League in their preseason coaches poll. Michigan should be able to defeat the Crusaders easily, but only time will tell.
For more on the women's soccer team, check out last Sunday's Women's Soccer Season Preview.
The men's soccer team will play their second exhibition in Ann Arbor on Sunday at 2pm against West Virginia. Again, live stats are available. The team played to a 0-0 tie in their first exhibition against Marquette yesterday (Thursday). They will not have an official game until Tuesday September 1st at Notre Dame, and we will have a season preview up before they start.
UPDATE: Paul went to the game against Arkansas (Michigan lost 2-0). He'll give his thoughts on Sunday.
“Not the New Math, but the New New Math”
This is the tenth entry of the 2009 MGoShirt Alert, a design project that will enable MgoBlog readers to vote for upcoming designs in the brand spankin’ new MGoBlogStore.
It's no secret that, like many of you, one of my favorite players to don the maize and blue was LaMarr Woodley. Watching him wreck opposing quarterbacks was like watching Picasso paint, Gretzky pass, or Anna Kournikova, well, lay on a beach. I've always had a thing for the defensive end position, and Woodley was clearly one of the best in recent memory. Even if you hate the Steelers, you had to feel proud of our boy at the end of this year's Super Bowl if you're a true Michigan man.
And now we have this new guy. Kinda goofy off the field, apparently likes doing interviews without shoes. But when he gets out there he's all bid'ness, and is a threat to any offense we play. Brandon Lee Graham. Last year's Bo Shembechler Team MVP winner. Already tied for 8th on the all-time sacks chart, he has the chance to be something we haven't seen since, well, Woodley. Is it an unfair comparison? I don't think so-- if Graham is productive this year he'll be a force that can change games, and a surefire first round pick. There's even talk of him breaking the single-season sack record... discuss amongst yourselves.
Time to vote. What do you guys think?
|pollcode.com free polls|
|What do you think of MgoShirt #10?|
|Five Stars Four Stars Three Stars Two Stars One Star|
***** Five Stars: Graham gets 25 sacks, breaking Terrell Suggs NCAA record.
**** Four Stars: Turns in 15 sacks, breaking the UM single-season record.
*** Three Stars: A respectable but disappointing 9 1/2 sacks.
** Two Stars: Turns in a Gabe Watson-esque senior season, drafted on 2nd day.
* One Star: Graham gets h-- no, I can't even put it in print.
For the weekend, I need your collective help. Once again in the spirit of interactive democracy, I'm opening up a design for ideas from the MGoCommunity. I wanted to do a retro graphic shirt, and we settled on this design featuring a very Ozzie and Harriet-esque 50's couple who have received some troubling news:
Brian and I have been going back on this design for awhile now with varying degrees of success. So, why not LET YOU WRITE THE JOKE???!!
Yes, here's your chance to leave your mark on Monday's shirt design. We need a response (punch-line) from the dad, to go in the "A" area above. You may also choose to include some sort of tagline, to go in the "B" area below the graphic. I don't have to remind you that vulgarity, while sure to make this shirt pure win, may preclude your idea from becoming a mass production apparel piece.
For every entry submitted, please include an A. _____________ line, and a B. _____________ line if you'd like as well.
We'll leave this open for comments over the course of the weekend, and if a clear-cut winner emerges from the fog then you can expect it on Monday's shirt design. Otherwise I'll take a look at a few of the best and we'll make a decision from there. Until then, see you next time for another exciting edition of-- MGoShirt Alert!
Note: On Monday, I posted Sylvester McMonkey McBean Helps Settle the Pat White Question Once and for All, complete with annoying HTML that I couldn’t edit out of existence without starting over. Won’t make that mistake again. What follows is the digested feedback for improving the McBean Rating System, the purpose of which, to quote myself, is to develop “a collaborative, ongoing post-recruitment rating system that will allow us to determine if, in the Rich Rodriguez era, perfect-fit three-stars are more desirable than random four-stars.” Our goal is to settle the Pat White Question once and for all.
Thanks all for the quality feedback. In the original post, I proposed that players be rated over their career at Michigan using definitions that approximated the spirit of the Rivals star ratings to see if, on average, players exceeded or fell short of expectations. The effort would span the later Carr years and, of course, the Rodriguez era going forward. How players performed relative to expectations would give the mgocommunity interesting information on the ability of a coach’s system to evaluate and develop talent. For more detail, the original post.
We began with these definitions.
These were found to be too loose. SanDiegoWolverine dabbled with the idea of a two-faceted rating system, but my IQ will not permit that level of complexity, so I used the following comments to revise the definitions above.
I'm not sure that there is a 1:1 correlation between the Rivals rankings and the McBean rankings.UMFootballCrazy found some numerical guidelines in Rivals:
Example (5 star): Elite, Dominant player, Complete package. Projects to the highest level. vs. Stud. Multi-year starter. All-something. NFL player.
I'll take "All-Something" to mean First team All conference in a BCS conference. That is 6 conferences x 22 players per all conference team = 132 -- plus kickers -- 5 star players. Does Rivals hand out 100 5 star ratings that often?
Players are also ranked on their quality with a star ranking. A five-star prospect is considered to be one of the nation's top 25-30 players, four star is a top 250-300 or so player, three-stars is a top 750 level player, two stars means the player is a mid-major prospect and one star means the player is not ranked.It seems that unless there is some loyalty to the proportion of star ratings allocated, then the McBean Rating loses its credibility. For example, if we dole out twice as many McBean five stars, is that Michigan developing talent or is that rose-colored glasses? It seems the NFL draft can serve in an advisory capacity, part of a checks and balances system.
UMFootballCrazy develops this:
5 Star *****He has more good stuff, but I steal so much of it down below, that I won't repeat it here.
This is a player who was drafted in the 1st round of the NFL entry draft and is thus regarded as one of the top 32 players in the nation (mirroring Rivals top 25-30 prospects) or baring that was an All-American and/or a 4 or five year starter (i.e. started as a freshman and started virtually every game they played at Michigan) and played at an "elite" level during their playing career.
Nedved963 cautions, however:
[M]oving forward with Rodriguez it's admitted his style is for college, and success in the Pros is not that great a correlation for the skill and effectiveness of Michigan's current players.I think Colin boils it down:
How you determine those expectations could certainly be done incorporating NFL performance.
And I think that is key. We don't want the NFL draft or an NFL career to answer entirely the question as to whether a player fell short of or exceeded expectations at the University of Michigan (i.e., Tom Brady), but it can be a tie-breaker, if you will, a check against overrating our beloved players (Breaston a five-star?) and ensuring proportion to the Rivals system.
As a result, I offer for final review, the new McBean Rating System definitions. I use the Rivals definitions (d'oh!) for the Rivals definitions. Special thanks to UMFootballCrazy as I steal a great deal of his language, but shift the emphasis, using the NFL as sort of a tie-breaker for those players on the cusp in the McBean ratings. However, I move away from UMFootballCrazy's proposed definition for the lower star players because I think there is a potential hazard to mishandling the lower rated players*:
Thanks again. If we settle on these definitions, I will re-rate the 2002 through 2006 classes.
* Again, to quote myself: "To be honest, I think some of the most important rating will take place down at the bottom of the scale. If you look at the classes above, what drags down a class (and gives Lloyd's classes a slight "underperform" grade) is guys ending up as two stars...being "invisible."
That is an area that has more impact on this analysis than whether Breaston gets a fifth. Since Michigan almost never recruits two star position players, is it fair that so many recruits end up as two stars because they can't get on the field?"
Who's gonna start? Tate? Shoelace? Nick? This queston is the most common question right now but I really wanna know. I mean everyone is in love with Tate but as soon as Denard I mean "Shoelace" Came on campus people wanna marry him. I honestly think Denard should start because of his speed (imagine if he tied his shoelaces?) He is going to be very fun to watch and he is perfect for the spread offense. But Tate is doing great as well. We all know speed kills(FLORIDA) and that is why i want Shoelace to run this offense. I mean who do u guys want to run this Michigan offense? This Denard guy has impress me the most. I can really see him take Michigan to a high level. Its also easy to see Tate run this Michigan O as well. I want to see this QB competition heat up. I mean let's be honest Shoelace runs a 10.44 in the 100. This is just another Pat White or even better. I can't wait for the first game of the season against Western Michigan. I'm counting the days down and I can't wait for the starting QB walking out on that field and lead Michigan on a Victory!
I, for one, didn't expect this at all. I know he's been conditioned in the basketball program, but I thought the switch to football would've been too much of a change. I expected him to add depth at an already strong position, nothing more.
This is very impressive as we are stacked at that position with a lot of young talent. It's great to see Kelvin make his case - hopefully it will light a fire under his brother and make the RB position that much stronger as well.
We'll see if he's really good, or if it's just that our defense in practice isn't great (which hopefully isn't the case), but expect to see Kelvin making plays this fall.
Another tidbit, but this also makes me wonder about Greg Paulus. I wasn't too thrilled about bringing him in, but with Paulus' success in Syracuse's camp and Grady performing well in ours, maybe this PG - > College Football thing isn't a novelty after all.
In any case, I like our options at QB and can't wait to see them making plays with Grady and the other slots this fall.
“You say Goodbye, and I say Hello”
This is the ninth entry of the 2009 MGoShirt Alert, a design project that will enable MgoBlog readers to vote for upcoming designs in the brand spankin’ new MGoBlogStore.
As I discussed earlier this week, I sat down on Saturday morning and watched a DVR of the Friday night BTN UM practice, and fired up the laptop at the same time in case an idea or two came to me. It was clear that above all other topics, you all collectively wanted an MGoBlog insider shirt to feature Tacopants, and I had just asked all of you for Tacopants ideas on the previous day. It's a tricky concept, because Tacopants is very much a Henne/Coach Carr regime thing, and how could we possibly tie it together with the new and improved Rodriguez-era Wolverines?
Amidst the nasal inflections of Dave Resvine I came up with this design-- acknowledging the new, and signing off on the old. I've tried to avoid doing front-and-back designs, but this one pretty much demands it and might affect the final price. Naturally, this shirt is a bit dependent on the fact premise that Forcier will not suck and/or throw the ball like a 19-yr. old Chad Henne. It does put a certain amount of pressure on the young Californian as well-- which pretty much sums up this entire offseason nicely, if I do say so. Ha.
Now, in the event that Forcier loses the job to Denard Robinson, I've prepared this similar alternate version.
And... in the (gulp) scenario that neither are competent and the #8 returns under center, I give you this.
So, 2009 is here... thanks for the memories Tacopants. Now hit the road.
So, time to vote-- on the Forcier shirt, of course. What do you guys think?
|pollcode.com free polls|
|What do you think of MgoShirt #9?|
|Five Stars Four Stars Three Stars Two Stars One Star|
***** Five Stars: Tate The Forcier starts day one and never looks back.
**** Four Stars: Tate can't hold off the speed&talent of Denard Robinson.
*** Three Stars: Nick Sheridan is asked to again drop the clipboard and not suck.
** Two Stars: A very nervous Nader Furrha is handed the keys to the offense.
* One Star: Some guy named Kennedy takes the field. And we don't wake up.
Yesterday saw the last of any canine biology. I will say that the eee... Barwis shirt just looked pretty gay, and I even made a SuperGay version for all of the man-crushers out there, but on the sheer basis of defaming the entire Michigan fan base, I refused to use it. So that's your Barwis-- sorry. Besides, we already have Barwis's Gym. Tomorrow we'll be going with something nice and basic, and I have another Friday fun activity for all of you to take part in before the milk and cookies. So I'll see you then for another exciting edition of-- MGoShirt Alert!