i refuse to even consider this a possibility
June 1 - Thursday
Liveblog from game 5 of the Pistons vs. Heat Eastern Conference finals. Here is the box score if anyone is interested. Lots of good stuff here, but I will just add this early autobench gripe:
Then some other stuff happens... Wade gets his second and is yanked with 12 seconds let in the half, which brings me to a pet peeve of mine: why is it verboten to play Wade with 12 seconds left in the half but okay at the start of the third? Do you get spanked if you have a player with three fouls before the half?
A game recap to accompany the liveblog.
If -- and I want to stress "if," as the chances the Pistons win the next two are certainly below 50 percent -- the Pistons manage to win this series, then no matter what happens in the Finals they'll have cemented their reputation as best Rasputins in the history of the NBA*. Shot, stabbed, drowned, maimed, assaulted with hamburgers, attacked by leering gangs of bicyclists, thrown from a balloon, shot across the Channel in a V2 rocket, beaten, locked in a room with Stephen A. Smith on speed, run over by extremely determined ant skateboarders, abducted, or stuffed into the overhead compartment on a flight to hell: it matters not. What yesterday seemed like an insurmountable challenge is now just one slightly improbable road win followed by game seven in the Palace. It could happen. Maybe. Probably not. But maybe.
June 2 - Friday
Recruiting board update. Steve Paskorz commits to ND. Toney Clemons is Steve Breaston’s cousin.
June 3 - Saturday
The Pistons lost game 6 and the series. Brian says it was because they were out coached. Now, speculation begins on what Ben will do in the offseason.
June 5 - Monday
Brian gives fair warning that if you hate soccer, you’re not going to enjoy the upcoming contents of the blog (World Cup coverage). I must admit to only following soccer peripherally, so my comments on the soccer posts will be pretty light.
Brief recruiting board update mentioning John Ditto and Taurian Washington.
June 6 - Tuesday
Unverified Voracity: Yee Haw Hee Haw includes a comparison of top 100 rankings for Rivals and Scout. Also this is of interest to Lions’ fans:
Something you must know: Tennessee's Jim Bob Cooter was arrested for DUI. God willing, this was a moonshine incident.
June 7 - Wednesday
Brian gives a defense of soccer.
It seems the best way to shore up your average comment count is to declare that the World Cup is of interest and that you intend to post on it. It also helps if you then mis-date the next day's post so that the shocking revelation that you are some sort of hippie euro-snob fairy remains at or near the top of the blog for all red-white-and-blue blooded to see and fret over. If you, the blogger, do this, then you will return to see the soccer-sucks-no-it-doesn't sniping has bloomed like algae across any surface it can attach itself to. It's so bad that other noted college football bloggers have retreated to obscurer interwebs in a (thwarted) attempt to avoid serious loss of street cred.
June 8 - Thursday
There is a new MSU blog call Spartan Bob who is attacking the gameday atmosphere at the Big House. Brian’s assessment?
I do know that Spartan Stadium has all the atmosphere of your local Walmart and the class of the woman selling herself outside of it.
June 9 - Friday
The internet is down.
Unverified Voracity: Better Late. Chris Summers and Mark Mitera are looking good to join the hockey team.
June 10 - Saturday
Game recap of Trinidad and Tobago’s tie against Sweden.
June 12 - Monday
June 13 - Tuesday
Recruiting Board Update. Added David Molk and Troy Woolfolk. A few more notes about Molk camping at ND.
Zach Gibson is transferring to the basketball team from Rutgers, and Bryan Hogan has committed to the hockey team.
June 14 - Wednesday
There seems to be some progress in the attitude toward soccer in the US. There were various moments of outrage over the loss to the Czechs.
More hockey notes on Chris Summers and Mark Mitera.
June 15 - Thursday
A post containing various, murky insider tidbits. Some prove accurate (Junior Hemingway); some prove very murky (Ronald Johnson).
Edmonton beats Carolina to force game 6 in the Stanley Cup Finals (In case you didn’t read the May edition, Brian has become a huge Oilers fan).
June 16 - Friday
Updates and corrections on the recruiting tidbits from the previous day. Taurian Washington is likely to commit soon.
Brian’s answers for an offseason roundtable on another blog. Most interesting is that Brian has never purchased any CFB preview magazines.
June 17 - Saturday
The game ends in a tie. Sounds like the US scored a goal that was called off because of offsides. Brian is not happy.
June 19 - Monday
Unverified Voracity: Fried Ice Cream. There is a new ‘M’ blog (Michigan Football Saturdays). One of the first posts is to highlight the 3rd annual “Carr Wash”. Apparently, this was a regular thing where players would wash cars at the stadium to raise money for charity. The link to the original post is still active, and I would recommend it for some great pictures of Alan Branch.
Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals is about to begin. Brian pays tribute to the Cup and recaps Edmonton’s run through the playoffs.
June 20 - Tuesday
The Oilers lose game 7.
Still, today I'm going to shave the playoff beard and I will not be putting it in a plastic baggie carefully labeled Playoff Beard 2006(!) WOO! GOILERS! WOO! In times of stress I will not remove the baggie from its secure location, gingerly open it, and stroke the hairs therein as Michigan plays Notre Dame or my sixth wife says she wants to divorce me because I watch too much football or someone close to me is gravely ill or Michigan plays Ohio State.
June 21 - Wednesday
Unverified Voracity: They Will Suffer has details of the Big Ten’s renegotiated TV contract. Also this:
Also, the rumored Big Ten Channel is official. Coming next summer
June 22 - Thursday
USA vs. Ghana open thread (no content is still available).
Woolfolk is some sort of defensive back but is still sixteen and growing, so whether he ends up at corner or safety is yet to be determined.
Four years of college wouldn’t help to figure this out.
The US lost 2-1. Brian tries to figure out who to blame. I think soccer fans will find this line interesting:
Maybe the fault lies more at Donovan and Reyna and Beasley's feet than in Arena's head, but at this point I just want a Dutchman. Or Klinsmann. Or just anyone who doesn't remind me very strongly of Lloyd Carr with a two-touchdown lead.
June 23 - Friday
More NHL draft news regarding incoming ‘M’ freshmen.
June 26 - Monday
Recruiting Board Update. Lots about a legacy recruit named David Arnold. I couldn’t find much about him on the internet, but it looks like he might have ended up at Northwestern.
June 27 - Tuesday
Unverified Voracity: Seriously. Trevor Lewis, Mitera, and Summers were all taken in the 1st round of the NHL draft. Also, some quotes from Uni Watch about how the outrageous Oregon uniforms came to be.
Link to a helmet being auctioned off on Ebay. It has been signed by many current players and proceeds will go to charity.
June 28 - Wednesday
The first of the opponent previews. Up first: Michigan State.
On a micro level MSU is completely unpredictable week-to-week. On a macro level it's always Same Old Spartans.
In short, Stanton and Ringer are good. The O line, D line, and DBs are terrible. The linebackers are okay. (Also, a Josh Thornhill mention, so shoutout to his uncle Nay, a former co-worker of mine.)
June 29 - Thursday
Hello Reed Baker, and Brian is not pleased. It does sound pretty sketchy. He was dropped by the Citadel after their coach left, committed to Birmingham Southern but then they dropped from D-I to D-III because of finances, was offered a scholarship by the Air Force but couldn’t commit because of a severe peanut allergy, and finally was offered a scholarship by Amaker...who never saw him play in person. (It is interesting to contrast this to the leeway that Beilein still gets and deservedly so. “Oh, I guess he’s the next Spike Albrecht.”)
The Big 10 only had three team defenses give up fewer than 400 yards per game. Too much spread? Too many experienced QBs?
June 30 - Friday
Brian was born in Saudi Arabia? Here’s another offseason roundtable of bloggers, this one focusing on biographical information.
Also...Brian was in the World Series of Poker. Apparently we’re going to find out more in July.
If I get far enough to actually be on TV, and find myself in a big TV-worthy hand, I will tell the world that Lloyd Carr needs to stop punting on fourth and medium when a first down seals the game.
Unverified Voracity: Bakermania. Randy Walker has passed away. Also, more complaints about Reed Baker. Brian is fully on board with firing Amaker.
May 1 – Monday
The NFL draft happened over the past week and apparently the ‘M’ blogosphere is in a panic because only three players were taken, especially in comparison to many Buckeyes drafted. Brian says don’t worry about this; be rational. This could be a good mission statement for the blog:
This space strives to be reasonably balanced about all things largely because relentless neg- or pos-itivity is almost always irrational and therefore infuriating; I find this desire places me in the 95th percentile of Michigan (Internet) fans on the Pollyanna scale. I find this extraordinarily annoying.
May 2 – Tuesday
This appears to the first use of the MGoMailbag. This edition addresses the use of Carlos Brown. Will he play on defense or offense?
Ah Michigan football in 2006, when our biggest concern could be laughing at ridiculous, middle-aged, Notre Dame fans dancing during a tailgate. I think we’ve lost some innocence since then.
May 3 – Wednesday
Hello from Martell Webb. Reported that he wants to be a WR.
Here is a look back at Rivals top 50 from 2002. Brian rates each player based on college performance and determines that their rankings were fairly accurate. Top 5 were: Vince Young, Haloti Ngata, Lorenzo Booker, Ben Olson, and Reggie McNeal.
May 4 – Thursday
Recruiting Board Update. Brandon Saine has likely committed to the Buckeyes. This is surprising news.
May 8 – Monday
Hello from Epke Udoh. This is sort of prophetic:
Oklahoma post Epke Udoh has committed to Tommy Amaker and the star-crossed Michigan basketball program. Normally this would be grounds for massive skepticism and cynical jokes about his decommit ETA, but he's actually signed a letter of intent so the chances of that are slim.
May 9 – Tuesday
Ben Huff died. If I knew this at the time, I didn’t remember it. I mainly remember Huff for being one of those players who seemed like he was around forever (I think this was due to getting a 6th year, but I could be wrong).
A round up of hockey news. Trevor Lewis continues to impress.
May 10 – Wednesday
The Pistons are up 2-0 on the Cavs, and Brian is losing his mind. Looking back, I think of these as the frustrating years after the championship, but I forget how good this team continued to be. I guess they were frustrating because they were so good, but couldn’t get to the finals again. Also, Brian loves the TNT studio show (which is amazingly still going 10 years later):
More Barkley: "I took some good players over to Europe to play, and he [Dirk Nowitski] dropped 50 on us.... so I ask him 'How old are you' and he says '19' so I tell him 'I'll give you any amount of money in the world if you go to Auburn"
Kenny Smith: "Isn't that cheating?"
Charles Barkley: "We're in the SEC, if you aren't cheatin, you ain't tryin. We got Alabama, Georgia, Florida..."
May 11 – Thursday
Unverified Voracity: Hockey Drinking looks at how the new NHL is doing in the playoffs, specifically the Oilers-Sharks series. Also, there are plans to expand the student section, move the band back into the student section, and possibly…add microphones on the band so it can be heard throughout the stadium.
Recruiting Board Update with a Boubacar Cissko mention!
May 12 – Friday
Jerimy Finch says ‘M’ is his school of choice, and he looks like a great prospect to pick up.
Unverified Voracity: My Name is Bill Rock features the results of a caption contest of a no-longer-existing picture of Bill Laimbeer and Kid Rock. Also, Finch did indeed commit, though he’s going to take other visits and there is a small chance the commitment won’t stick (spoiler: it doesn’t).
May 15 – Monday
Unverified Voracity: links to a MSU preview. The prediction is 6-5, like normal.
May 16 – Tuesday
After winning the first two games, the Pistons have lost two in Cleveland. Defense isn’t a problem, but the offense is struggling.
May 17 – Wednesday
Brian will be gone to NYC.
May 22 – Monday
The Pistons finish off the Cavs, holding them to only 61 points.
· I continue to insist that Tayshaun Prince is one of the most underrated players in the league. He was probably the best player the Pistons had over the course of the series; in game seven he was killing the Cavs everywhere he went. Flip Murray couldn't check toast and got abused; Lebron ate a few layups, and whatever Prince missed he rebounded. Carmelo? Whatever.
I know the Darko pick will forever be seen as one of the worst ever, but that pick in light of what Dumars knew he had in Prince (and the faith in him), makes sense. I wouldn’t trade the ’04 championship and the following conference title round run for several years of a malcontent Carmelo (tough in hindsight I would have traded that 3rd pick for parts that could have furthered the run).
May 23 – Tuesday
Brian recaps all he’s missed the in the last week or so. Of note ten years later, the regents have approved Bill Martin’s plan for stadium renovation.
May 24 - Wednesday
May 25 – Thursday
Posts mainly about videos that longer work ten years later are mysterious.
May 26 – Friday
Bullets from the Pistons’ game, though no mention of what the score was. And yes this was written ten years ago, not three months ago after a certain ‘M’ basketball game.
· We all know ESPN is violent death as a sports broadcast, but really, that awful camera angle with the sliding camera that's way too close to see the corners and at an angle in which you can't understand anyone's movement is beyond even my expectations for their stupidity. As King Kaufman always says, "show the game."
May 29 – Monday
The Pistons lost to the Heat and are now down 2-1 in the Conference Finals. Interesting ideas about judgement over knowledge in making good decisions. Brian sides with judgement.
Prince struggles against Walker like he does against most players who are 50 pounds heavier than him. None of this makes any sense. Gladwell sounds the bell for the sports fan who can't believe how... why... aaargh:
The point is that knowledge and the ability to make a good decision correlate only sporadically, and there are plenty of times when knowledge gets in the way of judgement.
It's a cold comfort.
May 30 – Tuesday
I hate this losing stuff on a variety of levels, but since people actually started reading this thing the worst part is having to sit down and not call for assassinations. I try to keep an artificially even keel when things are in progress but going badly; when the need for a post-mortem arises one shall be given. This is not that time. Yet.
Unfortunately, Brian would be able to hone his skill of writing post-mortems in the coming years.
May 31 – Wednesday
The second half of Brian’s answers from a roundtable with Burnt Orange Nation.
Your head coach comes down with a mystery illness and has to step aside. You get to hand pick the replacement for the 2006 season. Who gets your vote?
Spurrier. Not only would Spurrier bring his frenetic offensive game, hilarious comments directed at opposing coaches, and visor, but he would probably cause noted anti-luxury-box crusader John Pollack's head to explode, Total Recall-style. I have nearly as much of a mancrush on Spurrier as the lads at EDSBS, and seeing phosphorus and water get together could be... wait for it... explosive. H!IKM*
I don't post topics very often, but was surfing somewhere near the edge of the internet and came across a very intriguing baseball history article about Ty Cobb. The article was derived from a speech given at Hillsdale College by author/professor/journalist Charles Leerhsen.
His book, Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty, is one of the first (only?) original sourced reports I've read about Cobb. The speech is an excellent primer for the book, or a great short read for those that don't have the time/interest.
In addition to unraveling some of Cobb's infamous traits, the book is an interesting study of journalism, particularly the laziness of sports journalist. That at least, was a topic I figured most of the board would appreciate for all the (just) lamenting we do.
April 1 – Saturday
Brian previews the Top Five Freaky Stud Freaks For ‘06. Here’s an appropriate statement to start every offseason.
Massive year-to-year roster turnover, somewhere between 30 and 40 major contributors per team, and the every-game-a-playoff regular season conspire to make the beginning of a college football season a uniquely stressful event for the fan. Across the nation, the mental well-being of slightly unbalanced folk depends on an array of unknown players like That Guy Wearing #21, Wait, That's Not Jason Avant, and Number 65 Is A Bit Of A Fatty, Isn't He(?). Every team has an set of unseen players suddenly thrust into the spotlight due to the graduation (or, in the case of Tennessee, arrest) of seniors that have gone before them. Some have more thrust upon them than others.
Here is his top 5:
5. Terrance Taylor
4. Adrian Arrington
3. Tim Jamison
2. Carson Butler
1. Johnny Sears
Well, numbers 5-3 weren’t too bad.
April 4 – Tuesday
Unverified Voracity: It’s Okay, There’s a Policy about OSU OL Alex Boone getting a DUI and receiving no punishment. Tressel says that they told their players to set their clocks an hour ahead, but the “message did not get through to everyone.” What?
April 5 – Wednesday
Hello Ryan Van Bergen. Some uncertainty of whether he will be a TE or DE. Probably a good thing he stuck at DE, given the future.
Recruiting Board Update still discussing running backs. Mostly Brandon Saine, but Robert Hughes and John Clay are also mentioned.
Uh oh, bad news about Alex Legion. He’s transferring from Country Day and reopening his recruitment.
If I hadn't had my basketball will to live beaten out of me already, this would probably spur some "aaargh." As it is: looks like Crawford/Horford redux.
April 6 – Thursday
Brian warns of a light posting day, but…Patrick Beverly is close to committing!
He follows that up with a post about the seedy nature of college basketball recruiting and how the main stream media doesn’t do anything to expose it. He also explains some of Alex Legion’s odd living circumstances. This sounds like it could be reposted today and could be completely accurate.
Meanwhile in college basketball, the conventional wisdom is not that a few coaches are bending, breaking, or flaunting the rules -- it's that all of them are.
April 7 – Friday
Unverified Voracity: Forbidden Donut. More details on how Braylon’s scholarship for the #1 jersey will happen. This is viewed as a good thing. Also, a great video of a Mike Hart TD run from high school. Incredible play.
A couple new blogs in the ‘M’ blogosphere. Including one (Stadium & Main) that still has available content, specifically an interesting recap of the 2001 season.
April 10 – Monday
The New York Times has taken up a story about a group protesting the potential addition of luxury boxes. Brian believes luxury boxes are a win-win. Here is his perspective from the different stakeholders:
· Loaded old people: Muffy and I no longer have to risk death by frostbite every fall. We obviously enjoy the idea of boxes, as we've voluntarily shelled out the GDP of Belize to sit here. I do sort of miss screaming "down in front" at impudent 50-year-olds with their crazy hair and stupid pet rocks and hula hoops and music videos applesauce applesauce let's sing the applesauce song.
· Joe Plebian in the stands: My, this extra 1.5 inches does make a difference... and there are many fewer crotchety old people yelling at me to sit down during exciting plays.
· Bill Martin: Now I have even more money I can roll around in, Demi-Moore style.
· Michigan players: Yes, it does seem somewhat louder in here, as the higher walls tend to keep in a bit more sound and those displaced to the luxury boxes never said peep in the first place.
· The basketball team: Yay, if Martin ever stops rubbing the money all over his naughty bits, we get the facilities we need to compete with George Mason.
April 11 – Tuesday
Recruiting Board Update. Jason Forcier is removed. He’s going to UCLA.
Spring Tea Leaves from Lloyd’s spring presser. Highlights include that Antonio Bass should only miss the 2006 season, Kevin Grady had “the best day of his career”…in practice, flipping Jake Long to LT is seen as “scrambling”, LB is “up for grabs” after Shawn Crable, and Charles Stewart has surprisingly shown himself as a candidate to start opposite of Leon Hall.
Unverified Voracity: Callooh, Callay. ‘M’ hockey might escape the offseason with no defections to the pros (re: Johnson, Hunwick, and Hensick).
April 12 – Wednesday
Brian is taking a day off.
April 13 – Thursday
So this is how MGoBlog works…
The industrious beaver-elf mulattos that sit next to the forge in my basement pumping out analysis after analysis of football/basketball/hockey minutiae dread the arrival of this coming Saturday more than any other, for it is then that I have no further use for them and set them free -- "set free," of course, being another way of putting "sell into Keebler slavery." I will then spend the summer tending their larva; in August the next generation will hatch and be introduced to their cruel half-cat, half-man taskmasters. Fettered, blindered, and abandoned, they will spend the next six to eight months of their lives painstakingly assembling the sentences offered in this space for your amusement
…now they are called Ace, Seth, BISB, Adam…
The point of the post is that the offseason is coming (after Saturday’s spring game), and posting will be light.
Unverified Voracity: Get Hed about the unintended meanings of poorly written headlines.
April 14 – Friday
What makes MGoBlog great? Using Nietsche to determine the ideal Heisman Trophy winner.
The ideal Heisman candidate is frightening to behold unless he is on your side, in which case he is your flagbearer and protector. The ideal candidate is a force of nature that rolls through his opposition against tremendous odds. His name is graven on the tombstone of instant replay's creator as a justification. He is not sunnily efficient, or competent, or a great fat beast who crushes only the weak. He is slightly terrifying. There is a small but real possibility that he is the escaped prototype of a CIA-developed breed of unkillable soldiers; he is not man; he is overman.
Brian gets interviewed on a Texas blog.
April 17 – Monday
Spring Game Impression. Most notably, it was 69 degrees and sunny. Also, this is pretty late in the semester for this to happen. The other thing that stood out to me is that EE Carlos Brown got an entire series as a QB doing zone read. That just seems weird considering that Mike DeBord was the new OC, Rodriguez was coming in another two years, and all that would come with the deep gulf between the various factions, highlighted by types of offenses.
April 18 – Tuesday
Unverified Voracity: Those Are Cat Eyes with links to more spring game reactions and concern on the Patrick Beverly front.
April 19 – Wednesday
And Beverly commits to Arkansas.
Amaker: am-a-ker, verb. To blow something long considered a fait accompli, especially in an unsually humiliating and frustrating fashion.
April 20 – Thursday
Brian recaps his dream about being enslaved on an alien planet, but awakening when he realized it would mean he couldn’t be at football games in the fall.
Brian then begins a discussion on CFB scheduling, outlining the current problems.
The ultimate test here is what teams eventually do with the twelfth game, since it's pure profit. The women's crew team is already provided for. The toilets, as mentioned, are golden and come with robotic servants that wipe for you. ADs should get a free pass for this year, as the 12th game was thrust upon them somewhat suddenly and the constricted schedule means that teams with championship games and the Big Ten have to find someone, anyone, to plug into the hole on their schedule. Going forward, however, there's another chance to test your mettle -- assuming you have some.
April 21 – Friday
Highlight video from the 2005 Iowa game. Video still exists!
Now the Detroit News writes an article on John Pollack and the anti-luxury box campaign. Brian goes off, and it’s entertaining.
You'll see that this grass-roots movement is so devoid of actual ideas that they resort to hilarious lies constantly. The idea that a football game with 50 dollar tickets and 500 dollar PSLs for the excellent seats which are doled out to people who write huge checks to the university is some sort of proletarian rally where all men are created equally patchouli- scented and be-dreadlocked is beyond inane. And standing? When I stand, I am crabbed at. What Pollack describes is Michigan Stadium in the mirror universe where Paris Hilton is a nuclear engineer, Dennis Dodd is competent, and Ohio State is a university. It's not just wrong: it's the exact opposite of reality.
April 24 – Monday
Here’s something you don’t see around MGoBlog any more, professional sports game recaps. The Pistons win their first game of the playoffs.
Ryan Mallett might make his decision within the next week, and things are looking very good.
April 25 – Tuesday
Mallett commits! The post doesn’t actually state this explicitly, but it does link to a Rivals article that is still available.
Active during the war. On August 4th, 1941, a U-boat sunk a critical shipment of gunpowder destined for the shipyards of London. Private First Class Ryan Mallett was enlisted to hurl flak at incoming bombers, downing six and preserving an orphanage full of strippers. Four years later, he killed Hitler with a well-placed fifteen-yard out.
April 26 – Wednesday
An Edmonton Oilers game recap post. Oilers? Most of the post is Brian explaining how he came to dislike the Red Wings and root for the Oilers. Edmonton is up 2 games to 1 over Detroit, by the way.
April 27 – Thursday
Torrents of old ‘M’ football games! Links that no longer work…
Unverified Voracity: Elderly Cheese. There’s a note that Mallett is going to be an early enrollee. The interesting part is that Brian compares this to Grady, Boren, and Brown. From the impression I get and my foggy memory, this didn’t happen often. Hard to believe now that there are regularly 4-5 players a year who do this.
April 28 – Friday
The second part of the scheduling discussion. The two solutions given are either the NCAA requiring teams to honor scheduling contracts with one another or a playoff that would “preserve the tension of the regular season,” thereby encouraging teams to schedule better opponents.
Recruiting Board Update. Here is an interesting look at ESPN’s still-developing ranking system:
ESPN has started their recruit grading process and likes both VanBergen and Chambers fairly well, giving them both 79 -- all numbers this year are out of 100 instead of 10 for some reason -- but are less sold on Mallett than most, giving him an 82. For comparison, last year Cobrani Mixon, Brandon Minor, and Greg Mathews all got 79s from ESPN; there were no 82s but Adam Patterson got an 83 and Mouton, Schilling, and Brown all got 81s.
March 1 – Wednesday
Unverified Voracity: Nothing to Hear Here. Sport Illustrated poll says Graham Brown is the dirtiest player in the Big Ten. Paul Davis is the most overrated. I think he still qualifies ten years later.
MI QBs Justin Siller and Steven Threet and California CB Michael Williams added to the Recruiting Board.
March 2 – Thursday
An article about APR numbers and how the NCAA isn’t going after those who fall under 925. This was before the “yikes our APR is in terrible condition” era.
March 3 – Friday
Brian gives an analysis of his football season preview of defense and special teams from the previous August. A few highlights:
Jamison is the official Ron English canary in a coalmine: if he starts over steady, lumbering Biggs and Van Alstyne, the defense is shedding the bellbottoms and buying itself an iPod.
The good bit: David Harris was a revelation at middle linebacker. He was one of the few players to receive less credit than he deserved:
Harris pushing him [McClintock] to the bench means that the coaching staff is willing to give a player who has little experience the nod over a senior who would normally have an unholy death grip on the position, which is not a vote of confidence in McClintock. The fact that neither player has asserted himself has to be a concern, especially since Harris is dinged up again. Average production from this spot would be great.
The instant Harris shook off that minor injury, he stapled McClintock to the bench and started thumping people far and wide. Though he faded somewhat late, Harris was a solid tackler who had surprising range for such a big dude. He was consistent and intelligent. He made plays in zone coverage. He was the best player on the defense not named "Branch" or "Woodley." Not bad for an in-state sleeper recruit.
March 6 – Monday
Unverified Voracity: Mostly APR Bitching is true to its name, following the arguments of a couple more articles about APR numbers and graduation rates.
A post about Reader Interaction Day. I can’t quite figure out what this was, but it mostly centered on the decision to bring DeBord back as OC. It’s interesting to see different perspectives about his first tenure.
In sum: On the surface, DeBord is a ridiculous choice for offensive coordinator. He was unimpressive during his first three years; he failed at CMU; he is not particularly exciting. But there are extenuating circumstances that provide hope that the second time will be better. Loeffler is more heavily involved with the game planning ever year. Lloyd Carr is adapting to college football's offensive renaissance -- with painful slowness at times, granted. The defense is not a rock to fall back upon. DeBord's made some noises in interviews the echo these sentiments, but we won't have a clear idea how meaningful those noises are until the Notre Dame game.
March 7 – Tuesday
Brian considers the recent football staff hires in light of a proposition that when in doubt you hire the fat, bald guy.
The chances of someone who looks like Stripling doing something other than plumbing or lounging around auto factories, destroying the Big Three one three-hour lunchbreak at a time, are astronomical. Bonus points for the Captain Picard-style 'do, which--unlike the shave-everything technique--emphasizes the lack of hair atop Stripling's grizzled pate. The overall impression: this man is probably killing polar bears with his bare hands right now.
Unverified Voracity: Must Play. The basketball team is still being talked about as a tournament team, but at this point that is looking doubtful.
March 8 – Wednesday
PA WR Toney Clemons and MI TE Martell Webb added to the recruiting board. Also, Mike Williams puts ‘M’ in a top two, probably with USC.
March 9 – Thursday
Brian gives a short tutorial on how to use a blog; he also talks about desiring to move to Wordpress.
A liveblog of the Michigan/Minnesota basketball game. A liveblog of the radio feed. Of the Minnesota radio feed? Not sure why this had to happen, but I guess that was life before BTN. Oh, and turnovers doomed this game and effectively move ‘M’ out of the tournament.
PBP: A ton of action with little significance.
Color: Sounds like my life.
March 10 – Friday
Are they in or not, no one is sure.
The overall impression is that Michigan is the bubbliest of bubble teams
March 13 – Monday
Posting/vacation update from Brian.
February 14 – Tuesday
Unverified Voracity: John Kerry breaks the news that ‘M’ will not be in the tournament. Also, there’s rumblings that Alex Legion might be transferring to a high school out of state.
Recruiting board update. Ryan Mallet is looking like more of a possibility with Texas picking up a commitment from John Chiles, plus with the situation in Texas…
Mallet would already be trying to unseat a sophomore with a year's worth of starting experience (either Colt McCoy or Jevan Snead); now he (likely) faces another highly regarded quarterback in his class.
March 15 – Wednesday
An obituary for Faz Husain.
Unverified Voracity: Not It shares some NIT coverage from Maize ‘n’ Brew talking about how important signing Patrick Beverly is to Amaker’s future.
March 16 – Thursday
A hockey tournament preview and a look at possible destinations for ‘M’.
March 17 – Friday
Actual football news! I’m as excited about this happening 10 years ago as I am now. Some highlights:
· Antonio Bass hurt his knee and is out for the year
· Mike Hart is healthy
I will sacrifice most of the population of Laos if this remains true for the duration of the season
· Jake Long is switching to the left side
· Carlos Brown is working at RB and DB
· Chris Singletary has been hired as recruiting coordinator
· Lots of praise for Kevin Grady
· Antonio Bass was supposed play more QB in the spring, but that’s not happening now
March 19 – Sunday
‘M’ did not get a good hockey tournament bracket.
March 20 – Monday
Unverified Voracity: Worst Blog in Scotland. Neither the Big 10 nor the CCHA are faring well in their respective tournaments. Also, it’s such a bad year for ‘M’ sports that a wrestler was robbed of a national title.
March 21 – Tuesday
The basketball team advances in the NIT in a double OT win.
Unverified Voracity: Yes Yes Oh Yes. NCAA issues seem about the same in 2006 as they do now. This comes from a glowing interview with Myles Brand by Dennis Dodd:
I've advised patience re: APR enforcement before and still think that it is a step in the right direction, but it's hard to not abandon that position in favor of radical fire-breathing when confronted with the torrent of corporate-speak that comes from the NCAA at all hours of the night and day. Such nonstop doublespeak is reminscent (sic) of campus activist groups who were incoherent but very, very angry and very, very noisy. Sensing that any cross-examination of their position would result in the swift and permanent loss of credibility and an awful lot of stammering, the bullhorn types flooded the zone with so much noise that actual thought was impossible. (Yes, sort of like the White House -- now I have bashed both Republicans and campus lefties and may continue unmolested, si?)
March 22 – Wednesday
Video of a Dion Harris buzzer beater from the previous night. I can’t believe there is content that still exists.
Announcement about a memorial service for Faz Husain.
March 23 – Thursday
A hockey bracket preview. Michigan is going into a bracket that included Jonathan Toews and Phil Kessel.
Colin Cowherd steals material from The M Zone. Sounds about right.
March 24 – Friday
Recruiting Board Update doesn’t add any familiar names. However, there is a discussion about John Clay making favorable comments, but that might be hampered by a Brandon Saine (a lifelong ‘M’ fan) commitment. Also, it’s not surprising that Chris Forcier won’t be pursued because of Ryan Mallet.
Unverified Voracity: NIT Perspective with football pro day stats. Also, more articles about blogosphere vs. mainstream media, with Bill Simmons saying bloggers just sit back and attack people, but then complaining that he gets in trouble if he tries to attack anyone with ESPN. Ironic.
March 27 – Monday
The hockey team did indeed lose to North Dakota.
Unverified Voracity: Yip Yip Yip. Buena Vista High School basketball star and Notre Dame recruit Tory Jackson is not happy about not being Mr. Basketball (David Kool was the winner that year) and not signing with Michigan. Speculation on Jack Johnson’s future has begun.
March 28 – Tuesday
Things are not looking positive for Johnson returning.
Courtney Viney has been removed from the Recruiting Board. Ironic since he was reportedly just considered for a coaching job 10 years later. Also highlights of an article on Ronald Johnson and discussion on whether Chris Rucker and Ryan Van Bergen would receive offers.
March 29 – Wednesday
Have no fear. Jack Johnson is coming back!
Unverified Voracity: Ministry of Silly Analysis. Patrick Beverly is still looking like a strong possibility. Growing opposition to luxury boxes. And an updated roster!
A favorite pastime of the deranged is to read far too much into listed positions, heights, and weights, as getting information out of Fort Schembechler is harder than a contrived similie that references hilarious pop culture.
(Brian, it’s normal ten years later; read this Jimmystats post.) Highlights:
· Any worry that Michigan would senselessly put Alan Branch at DE should be put to bed: he's listed at 330 pounds. It should then be awoken: his position is listed as DE/DT.
· Redshirt freshmen James McKinney (279 lbs.) and Eugene Germany (ditto) are both bulking up to the point where DT may be a possiblity.
· McKinney, Tim Jamison, and Chris McLaurin are all listed at the anachronistic RLB position... as is Lamarr Woodley. Hopefully that does not imply those three guys get to watch Biggs and Van Alstyne play unsexy librarian at DE. Quiero dual headhunters. Also of note: both Jamison and McLaurin are up to that 240-250 range at which you're leery about every additional pound robbing them of explosiveness.
· Grady's down to 216. No word on whether he's gotten contacts.
· Wasn't Brandon Harrison listed at 5'10" last year? I seem to remember many jokes about lifts and such coming from OSU fans. Apparently that fanciful notion has been discarded: he's back down to a Bob Sanders-esque 5'8". Now if he could only play like Sanders.
· Marques Walton's problem was supposed to be mondo-overweightness, but he's listed at a (relatively) svelte 291.
Finally, Braylon Edwards is endowing a scholarship for the #1 jersey. In case you didn’t know.
‘M’ basketball beats Old Dominion to advance to the NIT final. Brian isn’t sure if this is a good thing or not.
Another Recruiting Board update with discussion on Mallet and John Clay.
March 30 – Thursday
Unverified Voracity: Clash of the Titans readies for the NIT final. Also some things never change:
A note: yes, I saw the Sharp article, and yes, it is beneath comment. If you subscribe to the Free Press, you support this man's salary. You should stop.
CA QB Lee Mondol commits. Likely as a walk on, also class of 2006.
Brian’s portion of a Blogpoll roundtable. I have no idea who else contributed, but only Brian’s answer to the questions are included here anyway, so I guess it doesn’t matter. In response to the question: what things about your team are causing you anxiety during spring practice, Brian gives this response -
2. The offensive line
...was repulsive. Jake Long's moved to left tackle, which makes me nervous about
both tackles spots instead of just one.
A video of Mike Legg’s goal, for no reason particular.
March 31 – Friday
Someone decided to write a book about Bobby Williams.
Where to even begin? This can only be a book that attempts to convince the reader that Bobby Williams' tumultuous career as Michigan State's head coach was ended prematurely by insidious racism instead of
· losing your starting quarterback to cocaine or alcohol or weed or all of the above, depending on who you talk to,
· having your captain drag a cop down the street during what was, until then, a routine traffic stop,
· having two other contributors quit the team,
· taking a team thought to be a Big Ten contender and turning in a 3-8 record
· losing to your main rival 49-3,
· responding to the question "have you lost control of this team?" with a thrilling rhetorical gambit: "I don't know*," aaaaand
· looking likely to burst into tears at any moment.
Unverified Voracity: Redirect. The hockey team might manage to not lose anyone to the pros this off season; however:
Spath says '07 prospect Pat Kane -- the NTDP U17 team's leading scorer last year -- is leaning towards the OHL over Michigan.
(Also, Brian doesn’t mention it directly, but ‘M’ lost to South Carolina in the NIT the previous night.
We begin on National Signing Day for football, changes are expected on the football coaching staff (but no one is quite sure what they’re going to be), the Basketball team is 15-3 and ranked for the first time since 1998, and the hockey team, well their season hasn’t been too exciting.
February 1 – Wednesday
The day starts off with a Jonas Mouton commitment.
Corey Peters is going to Kentucky. Looks like he went on to be 2nd team all SEC as a senior and drafted in the 3rd round in 2010.
LOIs are in. Obi Ezeh was listed at RB.
A closer look at DT commit Jason Kates. Lots of varied opinions. Brian goes with Gabe Watson.
February 2 – Thursday
Here is an overview of the 2006 recruits on offense. I will list their name, their YMRMFSPA, and my opinion on how they lived up to that comparison (as well as any other nuggets in this post). This was done by user WolverineKeith. Keith, are you still around?
QB: David Cone = John Navarre – nope
RB: Carlos Brown = Tyrone Wheatley – nooooo
RB: Brandon Minor = Leroy Hoard – going to go with no, though I’m too young to remember Hoard. I believe he at least had consistency at Fullback. Through injuries and scheme, Minor never had that consistency.
WR: Greg Mathews = Marquise Walker – Mathews had a few good moments (2009 Notre Dame), but no
OT: Perry Dorrestein = Adam Stenavich – maybe, I guess
C: Justin Boren = David Baas – nope
Son of former UM linebacker Mike Boren. Potential UM/OSU recruiting battle that never was - committed to UM early on.[Though not before his brother Zack paid a visit to the Rivals premium board and posted something along the lines of "Michigan better get on Boren!!! He's slipping away!!! This can't happen!!!" Yes, exclamation points and all. Little Boren is true blue... and not little at all. You can probably consider him Michigan's first 2009 recruit.]
G/T: Steve Schilling = Steve Hutchinson – no
Bullets on basketball win over Penn State. Dion Harris was 7/11 from three?!?!
Unverified Voracity: Um, No. The Chicago Bears are going to interview Ron English for their DB position. RCMB is obsessed with Brent Petway, very odd.
February 3 – Friday
DT: Jason Kates = Gabe Watson – no
DT: John Ferrara = Norman Heuer – I don’t entirely remember the effectiveness of Heuer, but I believe he was a quality starter so I’m going with no. Didn’t Ferrara end up at OG?
DE: Adam Patterson = Lamar Woodley – not at all
DE: Quintin Wood = Shawn Crable – nope
DE: Greg Banks = Rondell Biggs – Eh, sure. It’s hard to really evaluate these guys who went through GERG and all.
LB: Brandon Graham = Victor Hobson – I don’t think the positions are a good comparison, but I will go with yes, even better.
LB: Quintin Patilla (two Qunitins in one class) = Larry Foote – not a bit.
LB: Cobrani Mixon = Sam Sword – no
LB: Obi Ezeh = Obi Oluigbo – ah yeah I guess so, and even better, though don’t you have to feel for Obi Ezeh? He had a rough career.
S: Jonas Mouton = Prescott Burgess – no, I don’t think so
S: Steve Brown = none listed
K: Bryan Wright = Hayden Epstein – no
This might be too insensitive to say, but I don’t think it would have been terrible if some of these had decommitted before signing day.
Unverified Voracity: MGoBlog is gonna Blog is much more worried about losing Ron English.
English is expected to accept the offer.
This, of course, has turned the Michigan message boards into radioactive waste. Funny: a year ago everyone was wondering what the big deal about this English guy was. A year of half-competent safety play and way, way too conservative playcalling (not English's fault) and the idea of losing him to the NFL is the cause of more garment-rending than any position coach departure I can remember... ever.
Biggest rumor is Malone to the Saints, English to the Bears, DeBoard to OC, and Loeffler is interviewing with the Patriots. Not what people wanted to have happen.
February 4 – Saturday
More speculation and concern. English was offered by the Bears, but first he wanted to gauge his chances as ‘M’ DC. The response he got was “how about CO-DC?”
As Yoda might say: either do, or do not. There is no "co-."
February 6 – Monday
Apparently basketball lost to Iowa and the coaching news still isn’t good, so here is a META post about common phrases that need to die. It’s still true today, though dated. Most notably, the inclusion of “gut”. Sam most not yet have been using that word to signal great things to the fanbase.
February 7 – Tuesday
A look at the rest of the basketball season. Making the tournament shouldn’t be a problem.
Barring total collapse, Michigan is in. They probably need three more wins the rest of the season (Big Ten tournament included) to be assured of a bid.
Unverified Voracity: Duck Duck Goose. English looks to be gone, most likely. Also, the opening of Terry Malone’s recent job is posted.
Want to get hired? Have no idea how? Never fear! MGoBlog is here, with...
MGoBlog's Guide To Being Hired As An Assistant Coach:
· Try to be good friends with Lloyd Carr.
· When asked what to do on fourth and medium with the game in the balance, say "punt."
· When asked what to do on first and ten from the opponent's 16, say "punt."
· When given the brain teaser about the missionaries and the cannibals, say "punt."
· In fact, you might just want to say "punt" as frequently as possible. Changing your name to "Punty McPunterson" might be a good idea.
· When asked what a blitz is, scream "don't mention the war!"
· Remember: silly mustache == job security.
February 8 – Wednesday
Another coaching rumors post. English is gone, but Hermann sounds gone too. Possible replacements? Mike Trgovac, Teryl Austin, and Jon Tenuta.
Unverified Voracity: What Part of " Un" (not sure that’s the correct title). Brian creates rampant internet speculation with previous post mentioning Jon Tenuta. Also Jonas Mouton wasn’t too happy about English leaving right after signing day.
February 9 – Thursday
‘M’ hockey down the stretch. The team is likely to get a #2 seed in the tournament, but the team is just ok, not exactly inspired.
Official Ethics of MGoBlog. Fascinating post. Kind of the Magna Carta of MGoBlog. If you are skimming this post: READ THIS (sorry, I had to draw attention to it).
And just like that, Ron English is the new DC. Interestingly, this is the first mention I’ve seen of eventual MGoBlog merger partner The Victors.
February 10 – Friday
Michigan loses to OSU in basketball. The post ends on this ominous note:
Amaker's recruited two types of players: guys who would come to Michigan even if Hitler was coach and guys no one else wanted.
Unverified Voracity: Gazongas (!). Jim Hermann might not be gone. Might move to ST coordinator.
February 13 – Monday
Nevermind, Jim Hermann joins the Jets.
All the excitement over Ron English will evaporate right quick if Carr glares at his new defensive coordinator every time a cornerback lines up within spitting distance of a wide receiver. The proof, as they say, will be in the pudding. We need aggressive, clever pudding. Or something. This metaphor died.
Unverified Voracity: I AM THE LAW. The 2007 recruiting class looks to be a very good one for the state of Michigan.
February 14 – Tuesday
Part 1 of Brian’s third down research project. It’s a tough read without the graphs he’s referencing.
Unverified Voracity: Vrooooom. Mike Davis is likely out as IU basketball coach (helpful to ‘M’ in the Patrick Beverly recruitment). Steve Szabo is the rumored name to be added to the defensive coaching staff.
February 15 – Wednesday
Part 2 of the third down conversion graphs, specifically looking at FSU, spread teams, and OSU. But still no graphs survive.
Overall, I'm pleased. We retained Loeffler, got rid of Herrmann, and found a young, charistmatic defensive coordinator who was pursued by three NFL teams and hired by Lovie Smith. Neither new coach has any connection to the Michigan program--thus they are likely to be the best candidates available. We have a linebackers coach with eons of experience.
Minivoracity with a curling link.
February 16 – Thursday
Another post on the third down conversion stats. Another post that time has ravaged.
February 17 – Friday
And how to improve the third down data and graphs for next season.
Unverified Voracity: Rain Weddin Etc. The blogosphere analyzes Brian’s third down data. Also:
You could probably start referring to the "Michigan Basketball is Michigan State Football and Vice Versa" thing as "eerie" if Michigan were to beat MSU tomorrow, officially kicking off a Spartan season of infinite pain, sending the RCMB into a conniption fit, and causing Brent Petway to chang his IM screenname.
February 18 – Saturday
February 20 – Monday
‘M’ did not beat MSU in basketball. Brian tries to remain rational. He says: don’t fire Amaker, but Amaker is struggling to recruit.
February 21 – Tuesday
2007 Michigan Football Recruiting Board. Lots of information here. Some interesting tidbits:
I'd think Michigan will attempt to pick up a second player for insurance purposes -- Stephen Threet?
Two instate blue-chippahs, Ron Johnson and Dionte Allen, have received offers and are expected to end up in the Maize and Blue sooner or later.
Unverified Voracity: Sweep (!). Lloyd knocks Charlie Weis out of the EDSBS Coaches’ Death Match.
February 22 – Wednesday
It appears that the basketball team beat Illinois, though the score isn’t given. Tourney hopes still alive.
February 23 – Thursday
Brian answers questions from readers. These center on both coordinators.
Unverified Voracity: Seeya. K’len Morris is looking good in high school, but Leter Abram’s ankle is not.
February 27 – Monday
Recruiting board update. QB Mike Paulus added (remember when he almost came to play for Rodriguez?), also WR Leonard Hankerson, and TE Ryan Van Bergen.
Unverified Voracity: Mean Team. Jerome Jackson is rapping, and
The hockey team is a vast disappointment. There's no other way to put it. The latest indignity: a 3-0 third period lead turning into a 4-3 overtime loss in a game that the beautiful woodland creatures of Ann Arbor were fortunate I missed.
February 28 – Tuesday
Brian reviews his football offense preview.
So. I am a Michigan fan from birth. I have two degrees from the school. In 1997 I wandered around the field after the OSU game, dumbstruck, childlike. If anyone I know gets married during the fall I will not only avoid the wedding, I will deliberately sabotage the marriage by any means necessary. Take what follows for what it's worth. Feel free to look upon this preview with a jaundiced eye. I have this pattern: "This is the year, man, 2003! AAAAARGH THE PAIN THE PAIN AAAAARGH. Ok. This is the year, man, 2004! It's the year! AAAAAAAARGH MY EYES ARE BLEEDING. This. Is. The Year. 2005."
But... this could be the year.)