February 1 - Thursday
The blogger awards continue with the Keith Jackson Award for best prose. The winner is EDSBS.
Ronald Johnson has reportedly dropped Michigan. Internet rumors surround shady things and Johnson’s mom. Also Donovan Warren looks likely to go to USC.
Yet later (I said this was approximate): someone starts forwarding a creepy email around purporting to be inside information on the exact circumstances of the drop. It levels Lebron's mom-type accusations at the Official Mom of Rojo and implies that shady doesn't begin to cover said circumstances. None of it will ever be proven true; all of it will filter into Michigan recruiting lore. The ghost stories hardcore recruitniks tell each other when they like to simulate misery now include Ronald Johnson's mom.
Blogger award for best individual CFB post. This one goes to EDSBS too.
Blogger award for best Pac 10 blog. Bruins Nation wins.
Oui Oui, It’s a DT. Relando Sagesse decommits from Illinois and commits to ‘M’.
Suddenly, Donovan Warren is going to join the class.
A recruiting disaster on par with 2000 is officially averted. Warren will be a Wolverine in the fall and we have our first five-star corner since Marlin Jackson. Of course we had to go the panicky, crazy-ass route to get him, but there you go. Recruiting, ladies and gentlemen... recruiting.
February 2 - Friday
Unverified Voracity is Internet Meme Crazy with links to lots of Warren excitement, and Rob Parker thinks Amaker deserves more time.
Blogger award for best audio thing/podcast. Another win for EDSBS.
New reports are that there might be a chance with ROJO. This appears to be the first use of the recruiting board emoticons (Nefarious Eduardo and others).
February 4 - Sunday
NOJO. He’s going to USC, but I think ‘M’ came out on top of this exchange:
In the end, USC and Michigan ended up with a strange cross-country cornerback exchange program and the end result of this recruiting year is the same: somewhat disappointing but still okay, especially with the so very shirtless recruits at cornerback and quarterback.
February 5 - Monday
Brian’s annual rant against a ranking system in which he complains about Pairwise.
Unverified Voracity and Stuff. The Daily looks at what an Amaker departure would mean for commits Manny Harris and Alex Legion.
February 6 - Tuesday
Unverified Voracity Haet Official Journalist because they don’t like recruiting rankings or bloggers.
February 7 - Wednesday
Early signing day news: Finch is going to Florida, Hello Boubacar Cissoko, and Vance Bedford is returning as DB coach.
2007 Recruiting: Offensive Backfield. Profiling Ryan Mallett, Avery Horn, and Vince Helmuth. Projection on Mallett:
Projection: Carr irritates me by wasting his redshirt year; Mallett starts for three years afterwards.
Carr Signing Day presser. Ryan Mundy, Will Paul, and Marques Walton are all gone. This is likely not true:
Hello. Marques Slocum's epic journey has finally reached a successful conclusion.
But he is qualified now and will be able to practice in the spring.
2007 Recruiting: Wide Receivers. Profiling Toney Clemons, Junior Hemingway, and Zion Babb. Clemons will be remembered for all the wrong reasons, so let’s look at Hemingway’s prediction:
Projection: Does not redshirt but I find this less than annoying because we need to spread out all these receivers over a few classes. Hemingway is the most polished and ready to step in. I doubt he sees much action with Manningham and Arrington in front of him, but candidate 1A to be Michigan's go-to guy in '09.
February 8 - Thursday
Hockey conference CHA is hanging on the edge of existence, so the CCHA should be broken up to create two stable conferences.
2007 Recruiting: Tight End and Offensive Line. Profiling Martell Webb, Steve Watson, Mark Huyge, and David Molk. A two man OL class will not be helpful in the coming years.
General Excitment Level (Molk): Good pickup and a fine member of an OL class that he's the third best player in. Unfortunately, we don't have that OL class.
February 9 - Friday
Unverified Voracity Hockey Hockey Hockey. ‘M’ is tied for first in the nation in shorthanded goals, and Chris Summers and Tim Cook are switching positions.
2007 Recruiting: Defensive Line. Profiling Ryan Van Bergen, Renaldo Sagasse, and Marques Slocum. The latter two were both 20 years old by this point.
February 12 - Monday
Unverified Voracity is on the Ceiling. The Big 10 Network is telling local network stations not to bother bidding on telecast packages. This is a cause for concern that many games will be stuck on cable channels that no one gets.
2007 Recruiting: Linebacker. Profiling Austin Panter, Marell Evans, and Brandon Herron. Panter was the JUCO defensive player of the year, but that doesn’t mean much.
Unfortunately, JUCO D Heisman has been about as good an indicator of future success as Actual Stupid Heisman:
Johnathan Batson played in two games for Texas A&M. (He has a year of eligibility left.)
Mickey Pimental was a useful starter at linebacker for Cal.
Jamaal Jackson evidently did little at Texas Tech.
Randy Jackson was a bit player at South Carolina.
Dustin Looman ended up at D-II Winona State.
Proceed with caution.
2007 Recruiting: Defensive Backs. Profiling Donovan Warren, Michael Williams, Troy Woolfolk, Artis Chambers, and James Rogers.
Rogers was expected to switch positions when he came in... except he was supposed to switch to wide receiver.
Poor guy, this started right away and his position confusion would last his entire career.
February 14 - Wednesday
‘M’ basketball lost badly to MSU last night. During the broadcast Steve Lavin compared Tommy Amaker’s coaching style to Dean Smith. Here are the ways they are similar:
The operation of clean programs that graduate their players
Notoriety in the ACC
A fondness for apples
Lack of participation in the War of 1812
A powerful desire to sock Dick Vitale but good
A coaching career dedicated to humiliating Duke
A cutting-edge 1910 fashion sense
Neither improve Michigan players
Aaaand the same number of NCAA tournament bids over the last six years.
Unverified Voracity Scores a Point Per Minute. Rumors persist that Amaker will be back. This is in part to give him a chance with his incoming recruits (Manny Harris and Alex Legion), but mainly because Mary Sue Coleman likes him.
February 15 - Thursday
An FAQ about MGoBlog. Lots of interesting details here, particularly on the origins of Unverified Voracity, OMG Shirtless, and other terms.
The SEC has a reputation of signing impressive recruiting classes, but the truth is they are signing larger classes than the Big 10. Jim Delany recently spoke out about this, and this post looks at some of the reasons why.
Brian is going to Lake State to ski and watch a hockey so he won’t be posting the following day. He gives a transcript of a Seinfeld scene.
February 19 - Monday
Michigan finally has an opponent for the football opener, and yes...they are HOT HOT HOT. Most of the the post is spent talking about the inevitability of playing I-AA opponents in the current NCAA climate.
The newspaper industry is fighting illiteracy with a campaign by “legendary film and television star, Optimus Prime”. My five year old wishes this wasn’t ten years ago.
Brian recaps his trip to the Soo. It’s a humorous read.
As we made our way through the surprisingly crowded concourse after the game, a door opened up and the Lakers, shorn of skates but still in full equipment and smelling like it, emerged from a pair of double doors in front of us. I was brought up short by the convoy and made a WTF shrugging gesture to my travelling companions, at which point one of the Lakers slapped me five. Then they were gone, evidently to ring the victory bell outside. When they returned, I kept my hands in my pockets.
Lester Abram has been arrested. He had some small traffic issues, which Brian has also had, so he doesn’t expect much to come of it.
February 20 - Tuesday
2008 Recruiting Board with all the updates that were made throughout the coming year.
Unverified Voracity is Precious. Ryan Mallett won’t be redshirting, and there is a movement to hire Rudy Tomjanovich.
February 21 - Wednesday
A close look at the coming weekend’s hockey games and how they affected Michigan’s tournament chances.
Unverified Voracity Snaps Back. ‘M’ is in on 8 of the top 10 football recruits in PA. However, Terrelle Pryor is a longshot.
February 22 - Thursday
2007 recruiting grades, a recap of instate recruiting, and a look ahead at 2008 needs.
CA RB Darrell Scott. Early favorite for this year's #1 back, he's transferring to freshman-to-be Michael Williams' school. With USC having locked up last year's #1 and #2 RBs, plus four others in the past couple years, he's more liabile to escape Trojan clutches than most California recruits. Ron English and an attractive depth chart -- the only significant competion appears to be Brandon Minor -- should have us in the running.
MI RB Jonas Gray. From Detroit Country Day and has publicly stated he was big into Notre Dame, but may be backing off that for similar depth chart reasons: ND picked up Robert Hughes and Armando Allen in the last class.
TX RB Sam McGuffie. McGuffie's the hurdling whiteboy as seen on Deadspin and every social video site you care to name. His father's from Michigan and there is thorough mutual interest between the two sides.
PA WR Jonathan Baldwin. Ty Law's cousin, the 6'6" Baldwin is one of the top five prospects in a good class of Pennsylvania prospects. Michigan has an early lead but it's tentative.
TX WR Daryl Stonum. A former teammate of Troy Woolfolk and Brandon Herron, he's been very vocal about Michigan's lead for his services. Ranked around #11 in Texas, Stonum will probably be at the tail end of top 100 lists or just off them.
MI OT Dan O'Neill. A solid-four star type, O'Neill is expected to commit sooner or later.
TX OT JB Shugarts. He's leaving the state, is friends with McGuffie, and has been up to Michigan. Will have to fight off OSU, UF, LSU, etc, but a decent shot.
PA LBs Christian Wilson, Shayne Hale, and Andrew Sweat all have Michigan in the top group of teams they're listing. OSU will be a competitor for all three.
CA DBs Robert Golden and Brandon Leslie. From Fresno Edison, the former home of Johnny Sears. Michigan's recruiting both. Golden has repeatedly said that Arizona(!?) leads for his services
Video of a Penn St. fan watching the 2005 game, but the video doesn’t work anymore.
Unverified Voracity Doesn’t Know, but there is a rumor that several players are in some minor drug related trouble, but no names at this point.
February 23 - Friday
With EDSBS, another look at class sizes and statistics on which BCS teams have had the largest and smallest average classes over the last six seasons. ‘M’ averaged 20.3 over that time period.
NCAA hockey and the CHL battle for prospects as the NCAA considers allowing players to be contacted at a younger age.
February 25 - Sunday
Recruiting Board Update with lots of names added. Of interest ten years later: NJ S Brandon Smith and MN WR Michael Floyd.
February 27 - Tuesday
Unverified Voracity Zoom. The basketball team still has a chance to play themselves into the tournament. They just have to a beat MSU and a 14-1 OSU team.
February 28 - Wednesday
Roast Beast! ‘M’ does beat MSU 67-56.
I will admit that this basketball grinch's heart grew three sizes when Brent Petway threw down a half-court alley-oop from Jerrett Smith midway through the second half yesterday. Even my ambivalence about the possibility of another NCAA near-miss leading to an extension of the Amaker era eroded with every shot of a white-clad slackjaw cheering for Michigan State and every non-turnover possession. It's no fun thinking big picture in the throes of actual sporting competition, and I hereby suspend any and all conflicted musings until the season ends.
The second half pick-and-roll perfectly executed by Jerrett Smith, Brent Petway, and Courtney Sims: most shocking basket of the Amaker era?
The disappearance of Lester Abram is on a par with Amelia Earhart.
The site was attacked by spammers, so Brian puts up a Sam McGuffie highlight film as an apology.
January 3 - Wednesday
January 4 - Thursday
Brian recaps his experience at the Rose Parade. The whole post is entertaining.
7:52 AM. So you're walking down this parade route in front of people who have been dourly camped out waiting for something to watch for hours, possibly days. They watch you, and if they're USC fans they shout something like "WOOOO USC" and since it's really early in the morning and you feel silly because you thought California was much warmer at 6AM and you've spent the first hour of your day trudging from Rose Bowl to Rose Parade, your mood is black black black. The prospect of doing all this to sit down and watch a parade conjures up memories of boredoms past and generally ruins your day.
January 5 - Friday
Brief thoughts on the game. Henne played pretty well, the defense performed adequately, but the OL gave up pressure all afternoon. It was very reminiscent of 2004. Should Carr be fired? No. Should Andy Moeller be fired? Maybe.
January 8 - Monday
Unverified Voracity Tolls Stewie. The New York Times recognizes Brian’s nickname for Tressell “Cheatypants Sweatervest”.
Hello: Mike Williams. He has a rough few year ahead of him.
Alan Branch is having a press conference today to announce his draft intentions. He’s leaving.
January 9 - Tuesday
Recruiting Board Update with all star game updates. CBs Ron Johnson and Donovan Warren are two of the remaining targets on the board.
January 10 - Wednesday
Part 1 of the nominations for the CFB blogging community.
January 11 - Thursday
Brian’s final Maxwell pundit award ballot. His top three are: Reggie Nelson, Alan Branch, and Darren McFadden.
A recap of a couple rumors. Ryan Mundy will not be returning for the 5th year. Rumors persist that Andy Moeller will not return as OL coach. Instead it is said he might be joining new Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh.
January 12 - Friday
Unverified Voracity Sterilizes the BCS. Ryan Mallett, Vince Helmuth, Austin Panter, and Artis Chambers are early enrollees. I bet that will help their Michigan career. Also, Colt Brennan won the Maxwell pundit award. Brian is not pleased.
January 15 - Monday
Michigan sports has a rough weekend. The hockey team is struggling, the hockey team is falling apart, and IN S Jerimy Finch decommitted to go to Indiana. Not ideal.
January 16 - Tuesday
Mailbag with topics covering opponents and the ‘M’ bye week, Zoltan Mesko reading MGoBlog, and Lloyd’s perceived jet lag problems, i.e. the inability to win games west of the Mississippi.
January 17 - Wednesday
Unverified Voracity Probably Affected by Gravity. The first mention of new MSU coach Mark D’Antonio. He comes complete with new countdown clock.
Yes. That's exactly what Michigan State needs: more focus on the Michigan game to the exclusion of everything else on the schedule. Just in case they were ever thinking of winning a game after it ever again.
Query: what should this clock be labeled? ("Countdown to Disappointment" was a submission from the Victors, por ejemplo.)
Mmm yeah, not so much.
January 18 - Thursday
Safeties coach Ron Lee has left. No one is sure why.
The final preview review as Brian looks at his Big Ten previews from the summer. This was from the top of the conference and also represents his biggest miss. He had Iowa #2 in the country and going to the Rose Bowl; they finished 6-6.
January 19 - Friday
Recruiting board update. Here’s where things stand:
So... yeah, Finch. Even with a hypothetical RoJo commit he would have been easily the third best recruit in the class. His loss moves the class a fair chunk of the way from "disappointing" to "outright disaster." No RoJo == outright disaster, on a par with the 2000 class. If we do get him, we'll have addressed the crying needs at QB and CB from last year's excellent class and shouldn't have a Willingham-esque gap between quality recruits that's going to hammer Notre Dame's lines next year. (Other than the current gap at cornerback that's already hammering us.) There will be a lot of pressure on the Michigan staff to put together a 2008 class on a par with the 2006 group -- one bad recruiting class won't kill you but two in a row will cause problems.
January 22 - Monday
Hockey update. This past weekend was markedly improved on the previous one. Brian asserts that TJ Hensick might be the best player he’s seen at Michigan, outside of maybe Mike Comrie.
January 23 - Tuesday
January 24 - Wednesday
Unverified Voracity Avoids Draft-Related Puns with lots of updates on the prospects of ‘M’ players in the upcoming draft.
January 25 - Thursday
Liveblog of the basketball game against #2 Wisconsin. Brian stops when Wisconsin gets up by 20.
Unverified Voracity Moves On. There’s a link to Boubacar Cissoko’s Myspace page. The link no longer goes to his Myspace page. Also, there is a rumor that Ryan Munday will go to Pitt. This is possible because of a new rule that allows a player with an undergraduate degree to transfer without penalty.
January 26 - Friday
Unverified Voracity is Suddenly Frequent. There are stronger and more frequent signs that this will be Lloyd’s last year. Also, a video of the MacGyver theme on acoustic guitar.
At this point there is nearly a month long gap in posts on the current site. From here on we will switch to the old Blogspot site.
January 29 - Monday
Recruiting Board Update. Illinois commit Ronaldo Sagesse is a new name that has popped up as a possible add before signing day. Rashad Mason is a possibility at WR. Ronald Johnson made a trip to Florida, and the fear in his recruitment is starting to amp up.
The Detroit News is exploring who will Michigan’s 12th opponent in the upcoming season. This post has a great deal of sad irony as Brian refers to “Christian-Lion” matchups. At least that’s what the first game of the upcoming season is supposed to be. Brian will still go though.
There's no way around it: I'm a sap. A mark. A rube. The dirty Victorian era ne'er-do-wells in the athletic department have entwined me in a confidence scheme. (They call me "guv'nor" to my face, though.)
January 30 - Tuesday
Unverified Voracity Puzzled by Puzzlement. Some early speculation on who could replace Amacker. Billy Gillespie, Mike Montgomery, and Tubby Smith are a few of the names mentioned. Also, Vanderbilt won’t be Michigan’s opening opponent.
A link to a bracketology that is no longer from 10 years ago.
January 31 - Wednesday
More CFB blogger award announcements. This one is won by EDSBS.
Brian’s internet has been down, so he knows nothing about RoJo, but things are not looking good.
This isn't exactly an exhaustively researched report, but there has been nothing in the diaries lately, and I thought I'd bring up a foreboding bit of Michigan history for you all. As we prepare to enter the 2012 season, I got just a minor sense of foreboding thinking of a few parallels to another well known season.
The year is 2006. Michigan football rebounds from an extremely disappointing 7-5 2005 campaign that sees losses to OSU and the bowl game to have a breakout year. The juniors on the team finally seem to gel completely and Michigan storms to an 11-2 record, including playing one of the most epic games in one of the most storied rivalries ever.
The following season, the pundits say, if there were ever a Michigan team that was primed to make a big run, it was the 2007 Wolverines. A truly gifted senior QB entering his 4th year of starting, who looks poised to make that leap to true stardom. A lockdown left tackle clearly produced by the NFL's most crack genetic engineers. A tailback that had emerged from a rash of injuries the previous season to prove a star, and a defense that had lost a few pieces but had improved so vastly from the seaon before that an upward trajectory could only be expected to continue.
Of course, we all know how that went.
Consider the 2011 Wolverines. Fresh off an extremely disappointing 7-5 campaign that sees losses to OSU and in the bowl game, the Wolverines put together a breakout year. The team seems to gel and Michigan storms to an 11-2 season including playing in one of the most epic games in one of the most storied rivalries ever.
For the 2012 season, Michigan will feature a truly gifted senior QB entering his 4th year of starting. He seems primed to make the leap from extremely talented to true stardom. Michigan features a lockdown left tackle seemingly produced by the NFL's most crack genetic engineers. We even have a tailback that emerged from a rash of injuries last season to prove a star, and a defense that made a stratospheric leap that bodes extremely well for the future.
Now, I'm not saying that Michigan 2012 is Michigan 2007. These teams are extremely different. But, it is the middle of the off season, and with Hoke heading things up, it's all sunshine and lollipops. What fun is that? Maybe it's good to be a little scared?