“On the offense last year, they had great spacing. That’s what I remember. Great spacing, great shooters, like Nik Stauskas, who’s not there right now. But they always have someone to fill the roles. They have a cutting offense, kind of hard to guard.”
Yes, I know this isn't Michigan hockey per se, but it's CCHA action, and I know there's enough hockey fans out there to make this worthwhile -- and I'm sure there's even more of you who love to see tOSU taken down a peg regardless of the sport.
Anyways, Friday night's Ohio State/UAF hockey game here in Fairbanks wasn't even close. The Nanooks jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first period, tacked on another goal in the first half of the second period, and broke things open in the third by scoring two goals. Ohio State managed a single goal in the third period to avoid the crushing shutout.
What makes this so shocking (for those of you unfamiliar with UAF this year) is that the Nooks' offense has been atrocious and near the bottom of the CCHA. Their defense, on the other hand, is No. 2 in the country. Basically, what Virginia Tech is to football, UAF is to hockey right now.
But Ohio State did have an excuse -- the legendary Alaska home-ice advantage. I'm not talking about the great fans we have here, though that is important -- I'm talking about the distance and time required to travel here. Ohio State was delayed 11 hours on the trip out here. Instead of arriving on Thursday, being able to sleep all night, practice early Friday, then play tonight, they arrived early Friday and reportedly had to go directly to practice.
In short, they were miserably tired and played like it. We saw a similar situation when Michigan traveled here earlier in the year -- the Wolverines came out tired and lost the first game of their set. In the Saturday game, Michigan was adjusted, rested, and won. It remains to be seen if this even-tireder Buckeyes team can do the same.
I was reading some of the expert predictions about uncommitted recruits. While I thought that was interesting, I decided to throw my own ideas down here, FWIW. Some may be obvious, but others are debatable.
Rivals Rankings 250
2. Rueben Randle - LSU
10. Jelani Jenkins - Florida
11. Dre Kirkpatrick - Alabama
12. Manti T'eo - USC
27. Greg Reid - Georgia
49. Morgan Moses - Virginia
50. Patrick Patterson - Ole Miss
52. Marcus Hall - Ohio State
53. Marlon Brown - Tennessee
62. Orson Charles - Georgia
63. Xavier Su'a Filo - Utah
67. Tana Patrick - Alabama
72. Jarvis Jones - Florida
98. Byron Moore- Notre Dame
107. Rolando Jefferson - Oregon
110. Sam Montgomery - North Carolina
112. Jawanza Starling - Georgia
116. Eddie Lacy - Alabama
132. Larvez Mars - FIU (Gallon's high school, did UM pursue?)
133. Darren Miles - LSU
139. Jayron Hosley - South Florida
141. Frankie Telfort - FLorida
155. Bark Mingo - LSU
165. Dontae Aycock - Georgia Tech
167. Kendall Kelly - Alabama
168. DJ Hunter - Cincinatti
188. Denard Robinson - Michigan
202. Justin Brown - Penn State
207. Corey Gaines - Arkansas
213. Quinton Washington - Miami
222. Isaac Holmes - Rutgers
235. Bradley McDouglad - Kansas
It looks like LSU, Alabama, Tennesse, Georgia and Florida will have a dog fight over most of these recruits until signing day.
6. Trent Richardson - Alabama
9. Vontaze Burfict - Arizona State
99. Alshon Jeffrey - South Carolina
104. Je'Ron Stokes - Michigan
At the beginning of this diary, let me be clear that I don't want any snide remarks in the comments to the question above
not that anyone is going to listen to it
THE KNOWLEDGE is going to construct this diary a little bit differently because there is currently no coach search going on. so, THE KNOWLEDGE shall answer the question noted in the title. but, before answering that, THE KNOWLEDGE would like to give a quiz
Question: Who is THE KNOWLEDGE?
A. Someone with a PhD in engineering from U of M
B. Someone with a little bit of inside info into the M football program
C. Someone who makes posts that generate a lot of activity
D. All of the above
Have you answered yet?
Of course, the answer is D. The answer is always D in such questions. If you don't know this, you are an idiot
THE KNOWLEDGE obtained a PhD in Chemical Engineering not too long ago from U of M, and does indeed have a connection to an insider
Due to the connection, THE KNOWLEDGE is privy to some info that most others aren't. So, THE KNOWLEDGE knew in advance that Shafer will be let go and made a post about it. There was no harm in writing this, and so THE KNOWLEDGE did
However, the DC situation was different
THE KNOWLEDGE mentioned that the 3 candidates for the post were: Lebeau, Tuberville, and Ryan. Obviously, Lebeau and Ryan - the two top D coordinators in the NFL - were just a joke to appeal to the fringe elements of the fan base and evoke some interesting responses. But, it is TRUE that Tubby was interviewed, but he didn't gel with RR and so it didn't work out
G-Rob was only the third choice after Tubby and an unnamed NFL linebackers coach. RR was not left with many options after Chavis and other guys were picked up
there is still one unanwered question
why did THE KNOWLEDGE predict Sarkisian as the HC last year?
the answer is obvious. if it's not, THE KNOWLEDGE will post about it later
since there is no coaching search happening, and football season is a long way away, THE KNOWLEDGE will post even less frequently henceforth
but once the season starteth, THE KNOWLEDGE shall post some insider info on how T. Forcier and D. Robinson are handling sharing the QB duties with S. Threet for the first 3 games
I’m always a big fan of the best names in our favorite sport. Tshimanga Biakabutuka will always be remembered for crushing Ohio State, but the name is equally memorable.
Here is the 2009 Recruiting Year All Name Team (subtitled “Names That Make Mike Patrick Sweat and Have Another Gin and Tonic”):
QB (pro) - Nyk McKissic
QB (dual) - Shavodrick Beaver (you will be missed. Sigh.)
RB1 - Dasatre Yarnway
RB2 - TIE Nubian Peak, Dontae Aycock (wink wink, nudge nudge on both)
FB - Simione Vehikite
WR1 - Vondrae Tostenson
WR2 - De'Von Flournoy
WR3 - Uzoma Nwachukwu
TE - Zico Pasut
OL - JerQuari Schofield
OL - Claudyson Calixte
OL - Caylin Hauptman
OL - Fono Vakalahi
OL - Laman Toiaivao
DL - Stansly Maponga
DL - Tevita Finau
DL - Radermon Scypion
LB - Vontaze Burfict
LB - Abdallah Homayed
LB - Quetzalcoatl Carrasco
LB - Barkevious Mingo
DB - Prinz Kande
DB - Jideofo Okwudiri
DB - Vladimir Emilien
DB - Romel Dismuke
ATH - Ebenezer Makinde
Amazingly there were no kickers that really made the cut, although I admit after reading a bazillion names the bar kept getting higher.
I would like to point out that for some reason this year, USC really cleaned up in the bizarre name department. And I'd also like to point out that it’s more than likely if Hawaii played LSU that would make even Pat Summerall cry.
We hope you enjoyed this edition, and we further hope Mike Patrick is considering a move to PBS or Alcoholics Anonymous.
See you all next year.
When I close my eyes, I see Michigan basketball players bricking three-point shots. Over and over and over again.
I can’t say anything about last night’s game that others have not already said. Brian has thrown in the towel regarding an NCAA tournament bid. Dylan at UMHoops has the breakdown of one of the worst offensive performances of the season. Meanwhile, Tim at Varsity Blue corrects a flaw in the BTN analysis, while pointing out any NCAA bid will come down to home games next month against MSU and Purdue.
I don’t think all is lost for an NCAA bid. Michigan is going through the hardest patch of their season. Beginning with last night’s game, the team was staring at the likelihood of dropping three of its next four games. When that stretch is over, Michigan won’t be in anybody’s mock bracket, but they’ll have plenty of games over the season’s final month to spruce their resume up and buck for a spot in the final field.
Michigan’s possible bid into the Dance will come down to defending home turf in the month of February against the likes of Penn St, Michigan St, Purdue and Minnesota. Win those games and steal a road win at, for example, Iowa or Northwestern and it will hard to deny Michigan a bid. Any combination of five to six more regular season wins ought to do the trick. With the Big 10 as well regarded now as its been in years, there will be impressive wins in that bunch that would only add to Michigan’s nice looking list of wins already.
A road map to a bid exists. The question is do the slumping Wolverines have the moxie to follow it? In the meantime, the best we can do is hope that fellow bubble teams continue to crash and burn. Tonight’s action does not bring much opportunity for that, but there are still games—including showdowns in the Big 10 and Pac 10—that will impact Michigan’s resume and ultimate RPI numbers.
Hokies look to play Giant Killer……again
Thanks to a week that included road upsets at Wake Forest and Miami, Virginia Tech has begun to make appearances in mock brackets. The Hokies earn a 9-seed from ESPN and an 8-seed from Rivals. With a fairly manageable schedule the next couple of weeks, tonight’s contest against Clemson (7pm ESPN2, Clemson -1) looms as a big contest in Blacksburg . A win might cement their position and only a February collapse could keep them out of the field.
The Hokies have earned a defensive reputation since joining the ACC, but it’s their offense that propelling their latest winning streak. Behind the run is one the league’s most underrated players Malcolm Delaney, another in a long line of Baltimore cagers who have made an impact.
Clemson appears to be more of the real deal than in recent years. One reason is their improved free throw shooting, which might not be the worst in the ACC for the first time in four seasons. As a result, they’ve been much better in close games. That might come in handy tonight against the Hokies, who seem to do nothing but play close games. Clemson fans appear worried about this game as they’ve seen this kind of Hokie surge before.
Illini try Blackjack Gophers
Has Illinois really won 20 in a row over the Minnesota? Yikes! That dates back to the 1990s. Tonight’s matchup (7 pm, BTN, Illini -1)features a pair of 17-3 teams. Crunching numbers, one Gopher observer is not so optimistic that streak ends tonight.
The Gophers are always strong at The Barn, and, despite the streak, Illini boosters aren’t taking this game for granted. The Gophers have lost two in a row at home, burning some of my money in the process. Illinois, meanwhile, is 11-4-1 against the number, including 5-1-1 against the Big 10. Vegas has made the Illini a slight 1-point road favorite tonight, in a series where the favored team has covered 10 out of 13 times. Hmm, intriguing. I know the Illini are a good team. I am not sure how good the Gophers are. Losing their 21st straight to the Illini would be bad news for the Gophers. Losing Tubby Smith as coach would be worse
NoCal versus SoCal
Northern California meets Southern California as the Pac 10 round robin brings us a series on Golden State battles over the next 48 hours. Tonight Cal plays at UCLA and Stanford plays at USC. On Saturday, the opponents flip flop. All four of the games ought to have some lingering aspects on the bubble and Michigan’s resume.
First place is on the line when the Bears and Bruins hook up tonight (10:30, FSN, UCLA -9.5). Michigan’s resume needs all the polish possible, so Wolverine fans hope UCLA has found some answers to the problems plaguing them during their recent slide. For the first time in a long time, the Bruins might be vulnerable in the Pac 10 race. Cal is having a resurgent season under former Stanford Mike Montgomery. One reason for their turnaround is this freshmen find from south of the border.
In the other contest between the Trojans and Cardinal (10:30, no TV, USC -6), it’s hard to discern who exactly Wolverine fans should be cheering against. Neither Stanford nor USC appear in any of the primary mock brackets. Both, however, are among the final groups of teams left out of the mocks. As I see it, Michigan benefits if the both teams lose on Saturday, making this particular game less relevant. The Trojans expect to get some healthy bodies back for tonight’s affair.
Showdown in Pacific Northwest
Cal and UCLA is not the only showdown with first place on the line along the left coast this evening. St. Mary’s travels to Gonzaga (11pm, ESPN2, Zags -9) tonight with the top spot in the West Coast Conference on the line. Little Bubble impact will be felt, however, as both teams are ranked in the top 25 and expected to get bids into the dance come Selection Sunday. But, its as big a rivalry as you’ll find among the mid major conferences. Night owls should find plenty fun watching and here’s a primer from a Zag perspective to help track the action.
Also of note tonight is Alabama at Arkansas. The Hogs have played themselves out of the field with a 0-4 SEC start. They need to close with an 8-4 record just to even have bubble hopes. Meanwhile, in Tucson, Arizona hosts Washington. Hard to believe the fall the Wildcats have taken this year. They’re 2-5 in league play and need a major run over the next month just to put them in consideration. They’re an underdog on their home floor, and, no, the person in this poster is not me.
Zack Novak deserves to ride the bench for 1-1.5 games. He's a freshman who allowed game frustration and immaturity to cloud his judgement and pull a stupid move.
Here's video of the Michigan/OSU game. The elbow incident starts at 1:28. Watching it in real-time, the elbow looks suspect and you award Novak the red-card (THAT'S CRIMINAL JIM!). However, when you watch the slow-motion replay you see Hill sells the elbow completely. To the point he's facing the rim and then goes "oh heads go back when they get hit" and throws his head back completely, in the middle of SPAAAAAAAAACE.
If Zack Novak had been recruited from Clear-head, Indiana, there might be a better view but before Columbus police throw the cuffs on Novak, an eyebrow has to be raised about how much of this, especially when Hill claims he "warned officials and referees that Novak was going to do it," is a late sell. Shit at least Purdue's guy fell down and looked in pain. Hill just looks around for the foul. And I know Hill said he got hit. He's been sure to let every news source know how awful of a person Novak is and how bad his chin hurt. I just don't see Novak's arm stop at all (like, you know, when you connect with a hard object), a line of contact where his elbow would have been at chin-level, or any reaction from Hill except in open space when he snaps his head back to sell the hit.
Zack Novak - god have mercy on you during practice today. You deserve any punishment that would have come had you connected. I'm just not buying that he got him.
Cue MSU/OSU anger and fury!