Everyone knows that Warren Buffett is a huge fan and supporter of Nebraska football. During the Person to Person show on CBS, Buffett gave a tour of his Berkshire Hathaway offices. In a cabinet outside his office he had a large display of memorabilia including a Nebraska football helmet. But prominently displayed above that was a Michigan helmet (along with a Kansas City Chiefs helmet).
I believe Buffett wrote the forward to Bo's Lasting Lessons book. Is this related? Does anyone know why he has a UM helmet?
Before I get too excited, I should point out that he also has a sign above his office door that reads "Invest like a champion today". Ugh. The Hell with Notre Dame!
*For an explanation of NCAA scoring matches, see Appendix A.
Big Ten play is still over a month away, but plenty has already happened in the 2011-2012 Michigan men's tennis season. Following Saturday's 5-2 win over #32 LSU, the #28 Wolverines are 4-2 on the year. The two 4-3 losses on the year so far were tough matchups against top ranked #10 Duke and #21 Texas Tech.
The last time we saw the Wolverines in action vs. LSU at the Varsity Tennis Center Saturday last, the Wolverines gave up their first doubles point of the year. No. 3 court Petrone/Zhu (both freshmen) fell 3-8, while on No. 2 court, Buzzi/Franks (sophomores) gamely played on after dropping the break, falling 6-8. King/Bernstein (Jr/Soph) rolled 8-3 on No. 1 court. LSU's players served up many lobs on the doubles courts, testing Michigan's deployment of both men beyond the baseline at times.
In singles Michigan players won all but one of their matches. On court 2 Bernstein won a grueling three-set decision, 7-6, 3-6, 7-6. King(1), Petrone(3), and Zhu(4) won their matches easily in two sets. On court 5 Franks had to stay focused at the end but also prevailed in two, 6-4, 7-5.
Implications for Big Ten play and NCAA Championships
In the Big Ten it's all about the fight for second, and Michigan is as competitive as any team in the league. As much as it pains me to say it, this Michigan team will probably not have what it takes to defeat the Ohio State buzzsaw. #3 Ohio is loaded top to bottom like always and will probably overpower Michigan's young team. Even with the somewhat more seasoned teams of a few years back, scoring one or even two points on Ohio represented a fantastic effort on the part of Michigan's players. King, the #6-rated singles player in the nation, defeated two of Ohio's starters at the October Midwest Regional, clipping #2 Blaz Rolo 7-5, 7-5, and #5 Chase Buchanan 5-7, 6-0, 6-3.
Even with King holding down court 1, the rest of the team is very young. King is the only upperclassman on the team. The style of the team has adjusted somewhat with its youth. Power serving is no longer the preferred style of half of the starters, since no one has a dominant or consistent enough power serve. King has the best serve by far on the team. Unfortunately Bernstein and Buzzi have trouble avoiding double faults and hitting their serves at angles designed to force the defenders into difficult shots. True freshmen are playing scored singles matches. The good news is that everyone comes back next year with more experience and weight training. For the moment it's very much a quick-oriented team, much more so than the Maravic-esque long volleys of yesteryear. A smaller team is more vulnerable to being pushed around the court by tall power tennis players. Fortunately LSU did not have the right kind of roster to beat this team. In fact some of their players were serving up multiple double faults even in doubles play.
Michigan will get some nice wins and drop some close calls on the road while looking to extend their six-year NCAA Championships streak. 13-11 qualified the team in 2010-11. Penciling in likely wins covers Hawaii, MSU(terrible), @Minnesota(lost to LSU 4-0), Purdue, Nebraska, Iowa at 10-2. Michigan would need only 3 more wins to match its record from last year. With some decent breaks Michigan can qualify for the NCAA championships for the seventh year.
Appendix A: NCAA Scoring Matches, Odds and Ends
In NCAA men's college tennis serving, there is no such thing as a "let". If the ball hits the net and then falls in the service box, it counts as a legal serve and must be returned. For the most part this inexplicable rule keeps a few net-kissed top-spin shots in bounds but there are occasional inadvertant drop shot "serves" created that amount to free points for the server. So it goes.
Scoring matches (regular season)
Begin with three doubles courts. Each plays a single set to 8 winning by 2 or tiebreaker at 8-8. Whichever school wins 2 out of the 3 doubles matches gets one match point. After a 20-minute break the 6 singles matches begin. Each singles match is worth one match point for the team. Whichever team scores 4 points first wins the match, although 7-0 routs are not uncommon.
Singles matches can be two sets long, two sets with a super-tiebreaker if the game goes to three sets after the outcome of the match has been decided, or three sets if the outcome of the match has not been decided. The sets are played to 6, win by 2, tiebreak at 6-6.
Scoring matches (Tournament)
Same basic structure as regular season scoring matches. However, when two courts from the same team win in doubles, doubles play is over on the spot. This can sometimes cut the third game short. Singles matches are played until one team scores 4 points, at which point all singles matches remaining are called off. The idea is to help preserve the health of the players with an extended four- or five-day tournament schedule.
Appendix B: Chart? Chart! Standings as of February 7, 2012.
Please welcome Sierra Lawrence to the Michigan Family. Sierra hails from Norcoss Georgia, Greater Atlanta Christian High School. She plays SS for HS and summer ball. Sierra player for the 2010 East Cobb Bullets 18U Gold National Championship team.
This is an amazing feat for an area not known for Softball. Cobb County has put together some fairly impressive softball teams in the past but usually stumble in the World Series to the traditional powerhouses.
During the 2011 season, Lawrence hit .568 and set school records in base hits (54), home runs (14), on-base % (.667), stolen bases (49), runs batted in (38), and runs scored (67). For her efforts during her senior season, Lawrence, a three-time all-county selection, was named the 2011 Gwinnet County Player of the Year. She helped the East Cobb Bullets to the 2010 ASA 18U Gold National Championship with a perfect 7-0 record.
Her summer ball coach Judy Tenney had this to say about Sierra: Sierra Lawrence does things at shortstop that arent even possible for most people, and she makes them look routine. As a hitter, she has become the ultimate team player. Whatever the situation calls for, becomes her mission. Of late, she has added impressive leadership skills to her abilities. Sierra is truly a gifted athlete and person.”
This is a quiet pick up for Coach Hutch. Sierra was probably noticed at the World Series as Atlanta is typically not a recruiting stop for most high-profile D1 Teams. Sierra must have lit the light a few times for the Coaches to pull this one. Sierra is fast, lightning fast and will certainly add to the top of the line up.
Again, welcome Sierra. We home your stay in AA is a good one. I just hope you have snow boots.
The USA Softball Association released its pre-season All-American Watch List recently. Michigan has 3 players on that list: Sr. Amanda Chidester, Sr. Bree Evans and Jr. Ashley Lane. This is a very impressive feat for a team located in the "Snowy North".
While Cal, Florida, Michigan, Tennessee and Texas lead the way among universities with three athlete representatives each, the Big 12 Conference and the Pacific-12 (Pac-12) Conference have six member schools represented. Northwestern (2) and Nebraska (1) are the only other B1G school that has players on the list.
Congrats to Chiddy, Bree and Ashley. You have made us all proud. Keep up the good work and we look forward to seeing you starting this Friday.
Here's your MGoBlog Official Rooting Guide:
New York Giants
New England Patriots
|MVP Candidates||David Baas and Mario Manningham, plus RBs coach Jerald Ingram and Asst. (to the) Linebackers coach Jim Herrmann||Tom Brady and Zoltan Mesko, plus Mallett if you count him.|
|Known Buckeye Associates||Jake Ballard (TE) and Jim Cordle (backup to Baas)||DL Coach Pepper Johnson (played under Earl Bruce).|
|Spartans Charitably Employed||Greg Jones (backup MLB) and Devin Thomas (3rd string WR)||Brian Hoyer, but I don't count this against them because I find a Spartan as manservant to both Brady and Zoltan (srsly: he's listed as the Space Emperor's backup as PK holder!) totally acceptable.|
|Suspected Domer Sympathizers||Justin Tuck (starting SDE)||Sergio Brown, a 3rd string safety|
|Other known affiliations||The original Mara (current owner's grandpa) bought and disbanded the Detroit Wolverines (NFL) in 1929 just so he could have Benny Friedman||Kirk Ferentz, Nick Saban, and Charlie Weiss all served as asst. coaches under Belicheck at one time. OC Bill O'Brien will become Penn State's new Head Zook after game.|
Sorry to have taken over M-Wolverine's thread. I planned to have this go up at 5:30 and he beat me to it. Here's his original post:
Less than an hour away. Should be a good game. The commercials. The halftime show featuring someone steering her kid to Michigan. Brady, Zoltan and Mallett vs. Manningham, Baas and Herrmann. I'll be rooting for Brady to win his fourth, and get to the arguably greatest player/QB of all time level, so we can say THAT GUY came from Michigan. (And my general stance of rooting against Mannings). But if you're a diehard Giants fan, no problem. Just remember your team has twice as many Spartans as the Pats. ;-) Enjoy the game, the food, the family, friends, and fun!