I did a brief search and didn't find it anywhere else. Someone asked me how UM's 3-3-5 will be any better/different than John L. Smith's was.
I know UM's will often utilize 8 man fronts and a great variety of diverse looks and blitz packages. How is that different from John L. Smith's?
I didn't see this anywhere else on this site but when reading the PSU scout site, a user posted that today on College Football Live (ESPN), Joe Schad, who's been at the Big Ten meetings, stated that it is almost certain that Ohio State and Penn State will be in one division (East) and Michigan and Nebraska will be in the other (West). I'm surprised with this and thought Penn Stat would be "sent" West over us or Ohio State. Any reactions, or ideas of who the other four teams will be in each. I'm wondering if they'll keep the rest strictly based on geography or not.
This from the Freep today: 8/3:
"As for the rest of the football-related agenda today, Brandon said naming the divisions, which affects branding, and managing the championship game are critical."
I personally would really like to see a Leadership Division and a Scholarship Division.
Talk about branding!
Every time these divisions are spoken, it would remind the players, coaches and fans that the Big Ten stands for the highest ideals of college education and personal growth.
It would be a statement that the Big Ten wants all its students to reach their greatest potential as members of our society.
On the margin, these names would even help recruiting, imho.
So, I was listening to the radio early today (1130 I believe) as they discussed Michigan football, the recent misery and need to win now. Then they proceeded to delve into the Harbaugh talk. They argued that if we have another bad year, we'll be in a bigger hole the following season because Harbaugh runs a different style of football with completely different players.
Without getting into the how-many-games-does-RR-need-to-win discussion, I just don't get why it's either RR or Harbaugh. Are RR and JH the only coaches in the nation? ** disclaimer - I'd rather just win now with RR than even have to wait for 2011 **
That being said, I want to attack the notion that a coaching change (even to an "old school" coach like Harbaugh) would require completely different players. Here is a list of our commits who also fielded offers from, wait for it, Stanford:
-That's nearly half of our current commits who also had offers from Stanford. Then, taking a look at top-100 rated "targets" (Rivals list), both schools have offers out to the following (although some have already committed elsewhere): George Farmer (WR), Christian Westerman (OT), Doran Grant (CB), DeAnthony Arnett (WR), Trey DePriest (LB).
So, here's the quick summary:
1. Win now and don't worry about a coaching change,
2. If we need to change coaches, why the hell is Harbaugh the only other option, and
3. Even if we lose and hire Harbaugh, the notion that his program would require a destruction of the current roster is inaccurate...but still, just win now
Largely lost in the earlier dramatics were Woolfolk's comments about Ezeh and Mouton. Lifting from the front page:
"Obi Ezeh (and Jonas Mouton) have gotten bigger in the offseason, but they're probably faster than they were before they added the weight. They're able to run with receivers deep, too. They 'look like supreme athletes out there.' Troy has confidence that they'll be able to put it all together this year, and be two of the best linebackers in the nation."
Other signs point in a similar, though less hyperbolic direction (Brian picks Mouton his breakout D player in HTTV, Magnus thinks Ezeh steps up at TtB). Assuming QB play improves no matter who starts, the senior LB story may be the most important development this camp
Just got back from Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon in Chicago ... a fan's take on things (just edited and added photos)
My buddy and I arrived at the hotel about an hour before the pre-luncheon player and coach signature sessions.
While we were wondering around killing time, we walked by a ball room where all the coaches and players were at tables being interviewed by the media. There was no one at the door at that moment (to check for a media badge), so we just strolled in. We were wearing ties and did not seem to attract any attention, so we walked about and listened in to various interviews. It was the first time I was able to see most of the Big Ten coaches and other non-Michigan players up close. I was especially excited to see JoPa, who had a nice big audience at his table.
We didn't stay long and headed off to get in line at the fan area. While in line, we noticed many of the fans with BigTen Footballs (had all 11 school logos on them) to get signatures. Seemed like a great idea to have players and coaches to all just sign one ball. Stepped out of line and went and bought a football and a mini Michiganhelmet.
Once in the team booth area, there was a stage where the BigTen Network was filming live ... they were bringing up the coaches one and two at a time for a few words. From where we were standing, we could not hear what was being said. When the coaches were done, they went to their team booths, met up with the players and met with the fans.
I think there were at least 500 people standing in various team lines. My goal was to get all 11 coaches to sign my new football ... I got 8 before time ran out. JoPa was not available for autographs, and someone said he typically was not for this event in the past.
Highlights from meeting the coaches and players:
- All the coaches were very nice, with the exception of Dantonio ... he seemed aggravated and refused to sign my ball on the way to his booth. Even in the luncheon speech Dantonio was the least outwardly positive (had a frown even when saying good things about his team).
- The most positive were RichRod, Fitzgerald, and I am sorry to say Tressel.
- I was surprised at how chummy the coaches were with each other. They seemed to gravitate to one another during the transitions from one place to another ... they were patting each other on the back and seemed to enjoy each other's company.
- The Michiganboys were great ... Troy, Mark, and Stephen were all joking with each other and having a great time.
- Ben Chappell (IU QB) went out of his way to make conversation, and was impressed with his presence.
After the sig session was over, all the players got on stage for a photo, followed by the coaches. Then at 11:30we all went into the auditorium for lunch.
Rough count was 150 or so tables with 10-12 guests at each. The room was huge. All the players and coaches were introduced and sat along one wall. There were many video screens so everyone could see what was going on.
Rece Davis was the host, he was great ... he had some great jokes and did a few impersonations between speakers. All the Big Ten coaches spoke, JoPa, was the clear favorite ... he really warmed up the room. I took a video of RichRod and JoPa that I will post later. Rich's speech was good, but nothing new. Fitzgerald was the best public speaker.
Rece said in his opening that it would not surprise him to see Kelly (ND) and Schiano (Rutgers) here next year ... but that seemed tongue in cheek.
We also heard from the Big Ten commissioner, and a few others. A Purdue player spoke on behalf of the athletes, and he did very well all things considered.
They did a fun thing at the end ... all the QBs went in the center of the room and tossed footballs to table guest with winning door prize ticket numbers ... some where real deep balls! One guy got hit in the face (but he was ok), and the Minnesota QB whiffed 3 times in a row ... the ball just fell out of his hands ... then he overthrew his table. The biggest door prize was two tickets to Rose Bowl with round-trip airfare and a stay at the Ritz.
For those that want all the details, we had salad, and a filet and chicken cutlet lunch with a slice of cheesecake to top it off.
There were 17 Michigantables and we all were given UofM Adidas visors and a block M lapel pin. The Iowafan base was the most vocal.
All in all, it was a great event. I would recommend others to attend if you have the opportunity in future years.
You can see Troy and Moundros close up in middle row at the end (see M pin)
See Rece there ... he one to left of the Red Jacket Rose Bowl guy. RichRod was third from left.
After conference, that is Tressel waiting for his ride I suppose (tan suit with back turned) ... he was just reading his Blackberry for a few minutes all by himself ... no handlers even. Seemed lonely.