Maybe a return? The popular consensus on Brandon Graham's senior year has long been "will be spent in the NFL," and with five sacks in four games he seems to be on that trajectory. But is this hinting at a return?
"He [Jamison] knows a lot of different protections that I don't really know on both the pass and the run," Graham said. "He's able to plant a little bit more. I just try to go off my abilities to push people around and try to do it. But I'll learn a little bit more, and that's why next year's always good. I'm just trying to learn as much as I can right now to get on his level.
"I appreciate saying I played with Terrance, Jamison and Will. The whole D-line, it was just all love when I got here. It's still the same way."
Obviously that's inconclusive and many folks don't want to leave until someone tells them just how much asiago you can buy with a million dollars, etc etc etc. At the very least Graham is talking like he plans to return, which is a win from this perspective.
If Graham does come back, a defensive line of RVB-Martin-???-Graham looks at least passable, no? And with the only other departures of note—on the whole team, not the defense—being Morgan Trent, Johnny Thompson, and Charles Stewart, that should be a much better outfit, yes?
Ugly but obvious. GS has the Run Chart up and it checks in at an ugly –3 total with Molk's –3 being the least awesome individual score; Massey and Ortmann also pick up -2s.
What's the difference between a pitbull and a hockey mom? Pitbulls speak English. Uh… yeah, hockey is approaching. INCH preview-ifies the CCHA, dwelling long on the implementation of the shootout. This is going to come up time and again so let's just start the lectures now: shootouts go into the books as ties to the NCAA, do not affect the pairwise, and only impact CCHA standings. This will be a million times confusing, I know.
Elsewhere, Yost Built embarks on an epic season preview by considering the goalie situation:
I'm more optimistic than a lot of people are about Sauer this season. The way last season ended was no doubt a disappointment, but I have to believe he's more entrenched as the starter than he was heading into last year. Look at those numbers again. He was 30-4-3! He gave up less than 2 goals per game, despite Michigan regularly playing three rookie defensemen.
My prediction is that Sauer establishes himself the starter going into the tournament and I FREAK OUT the first ten minutes of every game.
Come on Motor City. Reed from Road Games 07 is, like Richard Shindell, currently a resident of Argentina. Unlike Richard Shindell, Reed has written an extensive treatise on Michigan's bowl chances this year that's worth reading up on for the snark…
A Big Ten team with a 6-6 record can not be selected over a team with a better record, even if the bowl in question is in Detroit and the team in question played Northern Illinois, Bowling Green, Montana State, and Florida Atlantic in their non-conference schedule.
We may find ourselves in a position where we're rooting for Penn State to get to the national title game so the Rose Bowl can dragoon some other questionably-deserving Big Ten team, freeing up a 6-6 slot for us. Woo?
Reed has us finishing 5.5-6.5—uh, with percentages—but I think that's pretty pessimistic given this:
Illinois 35% 2.35 - 2.65
Dude, man, we're favored by 2.5 tomorrow. I don't know why, exactly, but Vegas isn't stupid.
Conference bler. I agree with this so, so very much:
when you adjust for small and inconsistent sample sizes, blatantly unequal matchups (i.e. Big East champion West Virginia vs. SEC bottom dweller Mississippi State, for example), injuries, rebuilding years, wide variations of strength and scheduling within each conference -- anything that might fall under the category of "margin of error" -- ALL of the numbers indicate that, over any appreciable length of time, the major conferences are ... roughly the same. Which seems about right.
That's Docsat; there are numbers.
Etc.: MVictors has babyback ribs for you; Varsity Blue goes inside the Koger touchdown.