Niko Porikos grew up in an NTDP billet home. Cool story.
Pushback from the Michigan athletic department on the UMass thing:
"That's not true -- not even close," Draper said. "We're talking to them, (but) not for that date."
Michigan, he said, intends to make the season opener the "dedication" game for the stadium, which is currently under construction, adding suites and a new press box.
"We're trying to do something special," said Draper, who indicated Michigan is talking to a "couple teams" for that day.
Since Michigan hasn't played a nonconference game on the road outside of South Bend since 2003 and teams you could designate "special" would probably demand a return game, I can't imagine what that would be. Western and Eastern… at the same time?
This doesn't change the fact that scheduling UMass would be totally lame, but at least there's the hint of an outline of an actual BCS opponent in Draper's words. Now watch them schedule Ohio Wesleyan.