I did not make this headline up
Deion Sanders is helping coach the defensive backs at the UA game, and was asked to give some feed back on the kids. T-Rich was the first name he mentioned:
“Number one (Terry Richardson), the (Bryson Echols) kid is playing his butt off and (Chaz Elder) as a safety has done well,” Sanders said. “The best thing about Richardson is he’s a very coachable kid. You tell him something one time and he is going to implement it. Whatever you tell him, he will do. Echols is a fighter, he’s battled in everything he’s done. These kids are sponges in that have been well-coached.”
Joe Bolden was again singled out, and this time by his linebackers coach:
Because of the nature of the position, linebackers tend not to stand out as much as skill players in this setting, but Michigan commitment Joe Bolden (Cincinnati, Ohio/Colerain) has drawn as much praise as any on the White Team. Linebackers coach Joey McGuire of Cedar Hill High in the Dallas area loves what he has seen from the future Big Ten player.
“I love the Bolden kid,” McGuire said. “He’s one of the most instinctive kids I have seen. He’s similar to the Spence kid (Sean Spence at Miami) from the first Under Armour game in that he is so instinctive on the field. He just finds the football,”
Hearing the great news about these kids doesn't get old, and good for them that they are showing well. Go Blue!
So, for those of us unlucky enough not to be at the game, what is everyone doing to watch the game?
I like watching the games from the comfort of my own home. Bars don't always allow you to hear the game on full volume, and I like being master of the remote so that I can rewind and replay if I want. (also, having young kids at home doesn't allow for going to a sports bar). So, watching at home in the comfort of my couch on the newish big screen TV, with my wife who loves Michigan football almost as much as me.
Game day (night) meal:
My wife is making our favorite night game food - beef empenedas. Basically, ground meat cooked in a ton of tomato sauce and spices, and the baked into small puff pastries. Not only delicious, but perfect dinner to eat while watching the game on the couch. Followed by some based chocolate dessert that she will not disclose to me, that she will inevitably adorn with Michigan-related decorations (for the OSU game, she made an ice cream cake and wrote out Beat Ohio in blue and yellow M & Ms).
So, on a relatively light news day that seems to be moving excruciatingly slowly as we get closer to tonight, anyone have any good plans to share?
I am staying in Metairie on Route 61 (Airlines Blvd). It is directly across the street from the NO Saints practice facility. Today was Christmas all over again as the Big Blue had their game day practice here.
Needless to say that security was tight however I summoned my MGo-Super Powers and was able to get full view of the practice.
Without divulging anything as top secret (many VT people on this site), Hoke has reached deep into his playbook. One play to note is a half-back pass off the standard set that Fitz was successful to Jeremy and Kevin. Im not sure if this will get into tonight's game but it looked good on paper.
Also Denard looks real good; hitting most of his passes. The extra time has improved his arm 100%. I wish I was in Vegas b/c I would lay a G on Blue.
Big Will was playing inside and Gordon was in the backfield so no real suprises there.
This one might get real ugly, real quick.
Back at the real job today after a great two weeks of football, ready to start cheering for the team I love, not just the one I
have money on like the uniforms better.
Virginia Tech Preview
PAN, National Rank (leader)
Michigan: +5, 4th (Oregon)
vs VT: +1, 40th
Michigan: +3, 29th (Baylor)
vs VT: +3, 22nd
Michigan: +1, 46th (Alabama)
vs VT: +2, 28th
Michigan: +1, 39th (Texas)
vs. VT: +2, 31st
Michigan: +0, 60th
vs VT: –0, 73rd
A pretty close match-up in all areas except when Michigan is rushing the ball. That’s likely the best avenue for Michigan to leverage. With arrests, suspensions and a late season Michigan surge, special teams could be an opening as well. This should be a close one but this game is Michigan’s to lose, 31-28 Michigan.
Ron Zook Memorial Dumb Punt of the Bowl Season
Haven’t had a chance to review all of the bowl games, but Wisconsin’s first quarter punt has to be the top contender. Two potent offenses, touchdowns on the first three possessions and the Badgers face 4th and 3 at the Oregon 38. Despite the best scrambling QB in college football and an offense geared to pound the ball on the ground against a defense that hadn’t stopped them in their first two drives, Wisconsin played field position. Against Oregon. Two plays later the Black Mamba is flashing chrome 91 yards for a TD in a 7 point Ducks win. Wisconsin is 22/30 on 3rd and 2-4 yards on the season in competitive situations.
Richt/Shaw/NFL Coaching Conservatory
This was just brutal watching teams play for field goals. It’s not a great strategy in the NFL where nearly all the kickers are money inside of 40 and pretty good from 40-55. College kickers, even the good ones, not so much. Here is the table I use to estimate kicker success. From the 25 even a top-notch college kicker is going to miss 20%, an average one is going to miss nearly half the time. Getting a single first down moves the odds significantly.
One other update to the Game Theory Manifesto that I tweeted about during the MSU/Georgia trying not to lose-fest, if you are in the lead and the other team has time-outs left, don’t run up the middle on third down unless you think that’s your best shot to get the first down. The clock is going to stop after your play no matter what. One extra timeout in your opponent’s pocket has very little chance of deciding the game. A first down in most cases will end or nearly end the game. Don’t be careless but if you have a dependable QB like Aaron Murray, throw the ball and give yourself a chance to end the game.
If you're into the meta world that is college football blogging, you know there is Cook, there is Hinton, there is Spencer, and there is Jacobi. As of yesterday, Black Heart Gold Pants founder Adam Jacobi is now just a CBS writer. He was hanging around BHGP as kind of an emeritus this year and finally let go the reigns.
It's a rare thing when you find someone who can a.) write, b.) takes his subject matter and journalistic integrity seriously, and c.) takes himself not seriously at all. If you ever waded into the batshit stream of BHGP content you'd find Jacobi's name atop the best of the islands of information (except when he was adding to the batshit). While the cast of Alice in Wonderland (who are admittedly well worth the price of admission on their own) he leaves behind are titans in their own right, I can't help but feel an era has ended now that he's Jacobi of CBS instead of Jacobi of BHGP.
I guess...congratulate and salute the guy. That is all.