spoiler alert: i linked this
With all the MGoBoard softball love, a shout out to another of the minor sports seems in order. After stumbling a bit out of the gate to a 2-2 start (both losses coming to top 4 teams), Michigan has scorched the California earth, amassing a 10-2 record, while playing unranked opposition only twice.
Tonight was an historic occasion for the Wolverines, as two players put their names into the Michigan record books. Senior Alison Mantel set the all time UM assists record, with 3 against Marist and 1 against Long Beach State. Sophomore goalie Alex Adamson, meanwhile, became the first-ever Michigan goalkeeper to backstop a complete-game shutout, as Michigan rolled Long Beach State, 6-0 (the 4 previous shotouts in UM history were combined efforts).
Tough opposition looms, as tomorrow Michigan is guaranteed to face two more top-ten opponents, including a possible rematch with #3 UCLA, who handed UM a tough 6-5 loss earlier in the year.
Water polo is a lot like softball, being a sport where the balance of power tilts heavily to California/West Coast teams, but Michigan is intent on cracking into the nation's elite. We've made several nice tourney runs, and have dominated Eastern water polo for some time. A national title is the next step, and it is only a matter of time!
Threw this out on Twitter tonight, but I thought I would get MGoInput.
The premise is simple: What is your favorite Michigan season?
The twist: Michigan cannot have won a Big Ten championship in said season.
My choice is 1995, which is my senior year in high school.
- Lloyd's first season.
- The 17 point comeback in Virginia.
- The awesome that was Mercury Hayes.
- The underrated Scott Dreisbach
- Jarrett Irons at linebacker
- The epic 5-0 game against Purdue which has to be a Fandom Endurance II badge, minimum*
- And last, but certainly not least, Biakabutuka dials 313 against Ohio State.
Sure losing to Penn State and Michigan State sucked. Sure getting beaten by Northwestern hurt a little less when you realize they were in the middle of a Cinderella season. Yes, it's hard to accept that there was no Notre Dame game on the schedule a year after Remy broke their hearts, but 1995 is a pretty great year.
*-Did anyone actually break down the Fandom Endurance Badges and the standards for which one earns one? I know Northwestern 2008 is Fandom Endurance III because it was freaking cold, in the middle of a miserable season, and it was Northwestern, but I am wondering if the Central Michigan "Return to your Cars" game is Fandom Endurance II? Does the weather play a more central role than the opponent, which is to say, could a horrible weather game that Michigan won lessen the degree of a badge? Thoughts?
My one off in the thread on Brian's column today wherein I referred to the front right corner of the North End Zone as "Desmond's Corner" got me to thinking:
Historically speaking for Michigan football, which end zone of Michigan Stadium, north or south, has been the site of more classic moments?
North has Desmond's 1991 catch against Notre Dame, Braylonfest, Mercury Hayes against Virginia, and many others I forget.
South has Carter's touchdown against Indiana in 1979, Desmond's punt return against Ohio State in 1991, Woodson's punt return against Ohio State in 1997, Manningham against Penn State in 2005, Matthews against Notre Dame in 2009, and many others.
So, what say you, what case do you make, if you were compelled to choose, north or south?
It could, perhaps, be defined as a bunch of idiots dancing on a plane to Sweet Home Alabama, a song made famous by a band that died in a plane crash…
Irony could also be defined as follows:
A man swears under his breath and loudly and obnoxiously ridicules his team’s head coach while using demeaning rhetoric towards the state of West Virginia and towards the program for making the mistake to hire someone from such an inferior geographical region and inferior group of people.
Now, imagine this event occurring on a bench in the southwest corner of Michigan Stadium, and the man has cheered avidly all day for his maize and blue team, all while making multiple comments throughout the day about the beautiful venue steeped in history and tradition.
If you do not understand the irony, please read further.
We thankfully do not hear the belittling West Virginia rhetoric too often on the boards of mgoblog, but I am confident that we have all heard someone, somewhere, subversively or matter-of-factly, make snide, rude comments regarding the fact that our current head coach originates from the state of West Virginia.
I hear it often, and I laugh and shake my head at fans of our other rival schools who think it’s a funny joke that Rich Rodriguez was born, raised, played football and coached football in the state of West Virginia.
I do not laugh, however, when our own Michigan fans make the same snide remarks. I become frustrated and saddened, as our program’s proud history is intimately intertwined with that Wild and Wonderful state…
Fielding H. Yost, our man, our legend, the original epitome of a "Michigan Man" - who made our football tradition legendary, who oversaw 6 national championships, who designed and built our athletic campus including our beloved football stadium and hockey arena, and who gave our Athletic Department its strong identity which it maintains today - was born in West Virginia and played at WVU.
Every time a Michigan fan makes a sarcastic comment about Rich Rodriguez's West Virginian background, it is ironically ignorant - unless of course, they intended to throw Fielding Yost and the history of our program under the figurative bus too.
Now, do these things mean the current coach will be as wildly influential? I have no idea. Two data points do not equal correlation. This diary is not about his success or failure.
This diary is about our school’s history and our fans’ recognition of it, especially since we are always the first to flaunt our great history and tradition - a history and tradition footed in solid marble by Fielding H. Yost!
My plea to you is to please help educate our fan base to stop making silly remarks regarding West Virginia as some second tier state producing second tier people when the rich and beloved history of our program is based off, yes indeed, a man from West Virginia.
If you hear a Michigan fan make this mistake, simply kindly inform them of the facts about our history, as one can attempt to debate scheme, offense, recruiting, or leadership all day, but the history of the University of Michigan and its strong influences are not subject to debate.
Thanks for listening and thanks for your help!
Relevant aside: Lloyd Carr was hired from West Virginia prior to the 1980 season. Coach Carr was hired to serve under Don Nehlen when Nehlen was hired at WVU, but Carr did not stay long, as Bo Schembechler sought out his assistance only a few months later. Carr was only a coach at WVU during the offseason prior to the 1980 season.
While watching Once Brothers last night, I threw out the idea to my friends of "If they came to you and asked you for your best 30 for 30 idea, what would it be?"
Mine was totally MGoBlog inspired:
"You Were Killed By a Bear and I am Sad"--A reflective look at Michigan football from November 12, 2006 to January 2, 2008.
It would encompass the week leading up to the 2006 "Game of the Century", Bo's death, the Game itself, the bickering over the BCS in 2006, USC beating Michigan in the Rose Bowl, The Horror, the Oregon slaughter, the resurrection games against ND and Penn State, the Little Brother game, the Champaign nights, Boom Malletted, Coach Carr's retirement, the coaching search, a new era, and going out on top.
I know it has a very parochial feel and I know that it would be hard for many Michigan fans to watch, but I think it's reflective of a sea change in college football in microcosm.
So, with that in mind, what would be your hypothetical Michigan athletics 30 for 30 idea. It works better if you give your angle.
Denard and the current UM offense is most often compared with Pat White's WVU days, for obvious reasons. When Mark Dantonio was as Cinci, he coached against WVU twice and Pat White had typical Pat White games both times.
2005 passed for 100 yards, 1td, rushed for 111 yards in a 38-0 wvu win - http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/boxscores/2005-11-09-cincinnati.html
2006 passed for 98 yards, 1td, rushed for 93 yards 2 td in a 42-24 wvu win - http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/boxscores/2006-11-11-west-virginia.html
Not claiming that this means Denard does the same thing, just some facts, some history, something to gnaw on this morning.