...says Denzel Valentine of Big Ten Tourney favorite MSU, which is 5-7 in its last 12 games. Cumong, man.
OK, I'll admit it. I have coach envy! I would really like to have Chris Petersen (Boise State) as the coach at University of Michigan.
1) He is a good recruiter and seems to get the most out of the talent he has.
2) His players make plays UNDER PRESSURE...something UM players DON'T. See: fumbles...
3) His offense and play calling is as innovative and unpredictable as any out there.
4) He seems like a stand up guy that the players, media and other coaches really like.
Was he ever considered for the UM opening after Carr? It's entirely possible that UM could be searching for a new coach in the next year or 2. Not hopin', just sayin...thoughts?
So what do we see for this year? Here's the schedule, home games in caps:
Sept. 4 ~ CONNECTICUT
Sept. 11 ~ Notre Dame
Sept. 18 ~ MASSACHUSETTS
Sept. 25 ~ BOWLING GREEN
Oct. 2 ~ Indiana
Oct. 9 ~ MICHIGAN STATE
Oct. 16 ~ IOWA
Oct. 30 ~ Penn State
Nov. 6 ~ ILLINOIS
Nov. 13 ~ Purdue
Nov. 20 ~ WISCONSIN
Nov. 27 ~ Ohio State
This is the same conference schedule as last year, in the same order. Only the stadiums are changing.
One key difference is all the non-conference games are on the front end. No baby seals on the menu in the midst of conference play. I see that as a good thing. It definitely didn't help last year -- the feast just seemed to leave the team lethargic the next week against Penn State.
Win or lose, UConn is a great way to prepare for ND the following week. The Huskies are probably about right in competitive terms for a hungry UM team coming off a disappointing season, so it should be a good, hard-fought game. Just what the doctor ordered. I give the Wolverines the edge at home.
Notre Dame is an unknown. New coaching staff, star quarterback and running back gone. Two very good seniors gone on the offensive line. Sound familiar? Nonetheless, they open against Purdue at home, so they will be primed and ready to go when UM comes in the next week. But I like having a tough early road game. Last year, the first road game was the first loss. There were no road wins. Four home games in a row is not a good way to start a season.
So even if Michigan goes 1-1 in the first two games, the team will at least know the drill when they go on the road to Indiana to start the Big Ten season. IU will be out for revenge, but let's say we score enough points to win going away, like 40 or something.
Thus, like last year, it's not inconceivable the team could have three wins going into Big Ten play, and four when they play State. The big difference being that this time Michigan will have the experience of a gut-check road game in South Bend under their belts, and after Indiana we are looking at back-to-back home games against State and Iowa. This is a much better outlook than last year, which was the opposite.
Iowa is homecoming, followed by a bye week and then a five-game grind beginning at Happy Valley and ending in the Horseshoe. This is a tougher way to finish the season than last year, but if we play Penn State at 5-2 again it will be a more seasoned, mature 5-2, with at least a few more wins to be expected. [That is, more than none!] Plus, there was no bye week last year. The team played every week. An extra week to heal at mid-season should help matters.
I doubt 9-3 is realistic, but 7-5 or even 8-4 seems possible. I expect a lot of carnage (i.e., parity) in the Big Ten this year, much like last year (UM's dismal results notwithstanding), so even 7-5 could mean a decent bowl berth.
Per TheWolverine.com Josh Furman will be announcing tonight whether he'll be headed to Michigan or Virginia Tech. Would love to get a speedy linebacker, especially if Brandon Smith decides to transfer.
The article is here, in convenient one page format. An excerpt is below; if this is still too long, feel free to call me an idiot and tell me to fix it.
This is a comparison that a lot of coaches like to make -- sometimes earnestly, sometimes defensively. They compare their team to a family. But there are fundamental differences between a college football team and a family. I mean, if my son did what Glenn Winston or Roderick Jenrette did, I would be heartbroken, but I would not kick him out of my family. (Of course, the little dude has to learn to walk before he can commit a crime.)
My family is mine. Dantonio's team belongs to Michigan State University. And he has two problems here that he needs to address.
One is that second-chance policy. He doesn't have to get rid of it, but he absolutely should tighten it. When players commit violent or otherwise serious crimes, Dantonio should err on the side of dismissing the players. He still can be their father figure, their friend, their mentor or whatever else he wants to be. But sometimes a first offense is serious enough to warrant dismissal.
This would help address the second problem: the culture of the team. Dantonio said that 20 of his 21 seniors were on pace to graduate this spring (with the 21st planning to come back for a fifth year), and that is great. But the fact is that 13 of his players thought it was OK to go to a dorm potluck to confront somebody in an ongoing feud with a fraternity.
I know someone here was discussing this earlier in the week, but Drew Sharp was on Rome is Burning today and said the Lions should absolutely trade Calvin Johnson. That he's worth more as draft picks than as our WR.
He also said we could potentially uncover 2nd and 3rd round WR's like a lot of other teams, even though someone mentioned there are so many busts out there as well. He didn't have a very good response to how that would leave Matthew Stafford a sitting duck.
Discuss Sharp's idiocy...
Apparently the Detroit News thinks that Boubacar has a shot at returning to the team, and Rodriguez left the door open for a possible return.
Cissoko can still develop into a decent to good corner, and if nothing else, could provide us with some experience going into next year