"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
Wonder what Jimmah Clausen did on his bye week? Wonder no more!
Taser ends emu scamper on Pennsylvania Turnpike
It’s not fall if college football players aren’t getting tasered in hilarious places. Listen not to suggestions this was a “bird native to Australia” that got loose. It’s a all a diabolical coverup, I say.
Aw, come on now. Marcus Witherspoon isn’t going to play for Michigan because of Clearinghouse issues he claimed he did not have. This is irritating, but there’s little Michigan can do in this situation; it’s down to the high school and the NCAA.
So I would normally find this dubious:
Looks like Spoon might have got a raw deal. He didn't find out about his ineligibilty until July 28 - although it's not uncommon for the NCAA Clearinghouse to take until mid-August sometimes to determine if a student-athlete can compete.
The way Spoon's father talks, it looks like Michigan dropped the ball and something could have been done a lot sooner.
…except last year we found out that Artis Chambers was ineligible four games into the season and the kid had to sit out the rest of the year because someone in Michigan’s athletic department screwed up. This year, Michigan loses a highly-rated player who could have been the edge-rushing defensive end they badly need. What’s going on?
Practicing. Five minutes of stuff from practice:
Not useful or anything, but I watched it. For some reason it’s deeply interesting.
Ach nae goot. Guy comes to America from Scotland, falls in love with college football, compares it to Eurosport:
There is, in that sense, permanence to college football that is comparable to European soccer or rugby. True, sports teams in Europe have owners, but their sides are held in trust, beholden to the supporters and the communities that hold them dear. It is all but unthinkable that their teams could be moved as a result of an owner’s whim. Even in an age in which sport has become big business, there’s an identity and belonging that endures, rooted in a keen sense of place. College fans know this feeling, because it is their feeling too.
I’ve suggested this before during my periodic justifications for my (largely international) soccer fandom, and co-sign with this guy. BONUS: He misspells “Weis” as “Weiss”!
DOUBLE BONUS: Awesome comment in the, uh, comments:
It's no surprise that a Scotsman took to college football. It's as close as spectator sports gets to highland clan warfare.
I’ll take that as a compliment, thanks.
Buried in a must-read piece by Orson on the decrepit glory that is Miami is a paragraph I found bizarrely relevant:
To someone like us, watching this from any number of houses in stops around the Sun Belt, Miami was a truly compelling beast: a program seemingly carved from nothing and featuring players recruited from what we now know as some of the poorest, most violent, and dead-end neighborhoods in Florida: Pahokee, Belle Glade, Liberty City..even when they beat Florida, and oh holy hell, have they beaten Florida in numerous, painful variations, it was impossible not to respect the anger, the rage, the bone-shattering violence their football teams played with: Ray Lewis, who played football to erase the records of his absent father; Warren Sapp, who barreled his way out of BFE Apopka to the U; Michael Irvin, who before he was a punchline was an indestructible receiver across the middle who came from the bowels of Fort Lauderdale and was one of 17 children; Ed Reed, who came from St. Rose, Louisiana, who put his heart in this shit, man.
Pahokee and Apopka have contributed four players to Rodriguez’s first two recruiting classes: Martavious Odoms, Brandin Hawthorne, Vincent Smith, and Jeremy Gallon. Three of those players are lightning dwarves, the fourth an outside linebacker.
Michigan isn’t going to turn into Miami—none but Miami can be Miami—but you’re kidding yourself if you don’t think the culture of the program is changing. Whether for good or bad is yet to be seen; it’ll probably be both.
Orson brought up Pahokee and the Muck earlier this year when US Sugar sold the land to the government and pulled up stakes, stripping the already poverty-stricken region of its primary industry, claiming that people would drift away and football in the Muck would lose it’s heritage.
A couple days ago I brought this up to a guy who covers high school football in the area, and he dismissed it, saying “they’re too poor to move.” Culture shock ho. Odoms, at least, seems to be fitting in well enough to tell his former teammates to go north, you men.
It was ugly, but we’ll take it. Wolverine Historian recaps last year’s Illinois game:
Here’s to ugly victories. May there be several this year.
Exciting awesome excitementnews:
That Clearinghouse issue Marcus Witherspoon had did not go away; he isn’t going to be on the team this year or any other, it seems.
Also: Mathews and Van Bergen are doubtful for Saturday; Grady will play.
They are coming. If you ordered a Bo shirt and are wondering where the hell it is, 1) sorry about the delay—Rich Robots recently switched print shops—and 2) the shirts should start shipping either today or early next week, so you should have them shortly.
Sweet. The new hockey jerseys are pretty cool:
The Hoover Street Rag points out that the white home jersey is a virtual replica of Michigan’s uniforms when Red Berenson was skating for the team instead of coaching it. Michigan Hockey Net confirms that Michigan plans to have small numbers under the school name, much like Red.
Lame. Awful Announcing has your ABC/ESPN coverage teams for 2008. One bleah development:
- Jesse Palmer is in the booth instead of Doug Flutie on Thursday nights along with Chris Fowler, Craig James and Erin Andrews.
- Flutie will still be on the ABC Studio show with John Saunders and James.
Flutie was really good last year. I don’t think The Bachelor will live up to that high standard. Everything else is basically the same as it was last year—Paul Maguire continues to pollute the Nessler-Griese duo.
One potential change: did Ron Franklin get swanky games last year? He’s doing prime-time ABC games this year.
Also lame but in a more literal sense. The exact words that came from Rodriguez’s mouth about Zirbel:
“It is a knee injury. It is pretty significant. We are not even hopeful that he will be able to return this year. We are just waiting to see how he responds to surgery and when they get in there and do an arthroscopic surgery, then we will have more answers on that.”
And hey, John Ferrara could start!
“I think it is a good move and he is going to be battling for a starting job at guard by maybe by the first game.”
What does Ferrara think about that?
The move caught Ferrara a bit by surprise because he had no offensive line background aside from playing a bit of tight end in high school.
"I'm getting used to it now and working on my technique," said the 6-foot-4, 280-pound Ferrara. "I'm just trying to memorize everything I can. The one thing I think is I'm very coachable."
Carty suggests there is “panic in the streets” because of this; I suggest that if the panic is only in the streets gazebos, playgrounds, and all variety of enclosed spaces have a lot of catching up to do; the WLA notes previous unlikely triumphs of the will.
Some guys are back. Brown and Minor resumed practicing; Donovan Warren was held out of practice but that was only precautionary, and Marcus Witherspoon should be back on campus shortly:
The Courier-Post Defensive Player of the Year, Witherspoon confirmed Thursday afternoon that he did return home to Atlantic City and missed a week of workouts. The freshman linebacker was scheduled to return to the Ann Arbor campus today and continue with football-related activities, also stating that his leave was excused by the Michigan football staff.
Oddly, Witherspoon says not to believe the “rumors” his departure was related to academics. Source of those rumors: Rich Rodriguez directly stating Witherspoon had a Clearinghouse issue.
As far as a potential redshirt:
"There's no harm in redshirting," Witherspoon said. "It would just give me an extra year and I really don't mind."
So there you go.
The children! Notre Dame’s Jon Tenuta is unsparing with the swearing:
I await 400 newspaper columns decrying this. (Via EDSBS.)
Etc.: Matt Hinton, nee Sunday Morning Quarterback, has been redubbed “Dr. Saturday” and unleashed on the unsuspecting public by Yahoo; if you have Time Warner cable OSU’s AD suggests you flee screaming.
I don't know about all this access, man. It's a lot to keep up on. The latest round of newsbits:
- Freshman linebacker Marcus Witherspoon does have a clearinghouse issue and will not participate in fall practice. They hope to get him in in September, at which point he's very likely to redshirt.
- The offense sucks, or the defense is good. Or both: "I didn't think we progressed a whole lot. I liked what I saw out of the defense today. They put a few new packages in and that may have caused some of the confusion on offense, but I thought our offense really didn't take any steps forward."
- Tight ends are "the most consistent group" they have; not surprising since they're the most veteran.
- Schilling singled out as an "emerging leader."
- Lopata "picked up where he left off."
- Moosman remains ahead of Molk but the competition is still ongoing.
- McGuffie, Shaw, Odoms, and Robinson called out as freshman contributors.
- Cissoko and Martin look like they'll play; freshman linebackers described as "very good" even without Witherspoon -- who Rodriguez called "Spoon."
- Corners should be very good; Trent praised, Woolfolk too, to go with the Cissoko stuff. Warren unmentioned but should be good.
- No position switches "yet."
- On why the offense is having a much harder time of it in fall: "Part of it was our defense was still learning and they weren't in shape. It's hard to make plays on defense when you're trying to catch your breath, got your hands on your hips."