“I’m way more comfortable,” Gardner said. “Last year was my first year starting, and it was rough, a lot of ups and downs, a lot of adversity. A lot of adversity I fought through, and I feel like I did a really good job of never giving up, never giving up on myself and my teammates. I feel my teammates recognized that, and my coaches recognized that, and I feel like that will help me.”
No maybes. The uncertainty about the departures of Helmuth and Evans has evaporated in the light of morning. They're out. Evans spoke about his decision plainly. Incoming:
"Me and coach Rod are on good terms," linebacker Marell Evans told the Free Press tonight. "It was more than playing time or academics or anything like that. It was a lot of things. Coach Rod is a great coach and I wish him plenty of success. I wanted to finish my career a different way."
Wha? As I peer out from cover I notice a distinct lack of shrapnel, limbs, and wounded internet denizens moaning about family values.
To reiterate yesterday's take: Evans was the lowest-rated player in his class and Helmuth converted to DL from fullback, which means neither would be much of a hit if Michigan's defense had its usual numbers. It does not, however, and Michigan's a little closer to playing that 5'7" defensive lineman today. If all goes well on D there won't be much impact. If it's a mash unit, the dropoff will be even steeper.
FWIW, I have the scholarship count for the 2010 class at 22 now.
Double feature. Historian celebrates his 200th video on the tubes with an expanded version of OSU 1997:
And good riddance. The Alamo Bowl is set to abandon the Big Ten's #4 pick for the Pac-10's #2 pick. Which, okay, obviously you want Oregon or whatever most years instead of a 7-5 or 8-4 Big Ten team. For Big Ten fans, obviously any location on the planet seems more interesting than San Antonio. BONUS: this is one of those bowl games in which a Big Ten team gets matched against a superior, local opponent—it's the Big 12 #3 versus the Big 10 #4—thus contributing to the Big Ten's poor bowl record. Getting rid of it for a more even matchup will help with national perception and all that.
The bowl is scheduled for Jan. 2 after spending the previous 17 seasons with a late-December date. If that date holds, it would give the Pac-10 a second coveted post-New Year's Day bowl date.
Maybe this is an opportunity for this new New York Bowl to get in on a decent Big Ten team to match with a decent Big East team? Rittenberg speculates that the Big Ten might try to get into the Texas Bowl, which would be awful: it's on the NFL Network and no one ever sees it. [CORRECTION: The Texas Bowl is moving to ESPN this year. Objection partially withdrawn.]
Talk to the hand. The CCHA shot down Alabama-Huntsville's application, leaving the CCHA at 11 teams and Huntsville out in the cold with nowhere to go. Huntsville now faces the prospect of a lonely, pointless life as an independent or folding its program and the CCHA has to deal with scheduling an 11-team conference.
Yost Built points out that Huntsville's average attendance is just under 3,000 and that's with home games against other CHA teams instead of regular visits from Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan, and Notre Dame. Their capacity is 6,600. And Huntsville isn't much farther than Omaha. But it only takes three teams to kill a membership application and with a few CCHA programs flailing it's possible teams like BGSU didn't want to pass up the opportunity at an 11-way split of revenue instead of 12.
How this affects Michigan: I'm not sure how the league can reconfigure its schedule such that M and MSU cram in their four games against each other. If they keep the 28-game conference schedule you play everyone twice and then four teams again, I guess.
Come on down. Memphis SF Casey Prather is one of two plan A wings—Trey Zeigler is the other—Michigan is trying to finish its 2010 basketball class with, and he's finally set a long-awaited visit. Though he just named a top seven, he'll only visit four schools: Vandy, Florida, Clemson, and Michigan. The other three schools are Kentucky, which is yet to offer, North Carolina, which just took a 2011 wing and has apparently parted ways with Prather, and local, troubled Memphis. The remainder of that list looks surmountable now.
While we're on the topic, ESPN's updated its 2010 top 100. Smotrycz and Hardaway slip a bit to #60 and #99, respectively; Prather and Zeigler are back-to-back at #25 and #26.
That was a great rant. Occasionally you'll see someone on these boards lose it a bit, but rarely do you get a 1100 word diatribe about an issue that Brian spent about 200 words addressing. And for the record, I do think that OSU fans are starting to worry a bit about RR, as he is still recruiting reasonably well coming off that down season, and you have to think that once he has players who can actually run his system, he'll have success.
"Then Johnny Majors lost to Notre Dame's Paul Hornung in 1956. Hornung is still the only Heisman winner to play for a losing team -- the Irish went 2-8 -- and many in the state believe it was the Notre Dame name that garnered Hornung the vote over Majors."
Not much later:
"Woodson's team went on to win a share of the national title and Berry's went 5-7, but team performance isn't the final arbiter for an individual reward, or at least shouldn't be."
Brian - this is the third time recently that you've mocked San Antonio. What gives? I went for a Final Four there and the Riverwalk setting made it as good as any college weekend atmosphere that I've ever experienced. Sure better than Orlando or Tampa or Tempe or...Detroit for bowl games. However, playing in the Big XII's backyard is definitely a disadvantage.
I will always associate San Antonio with the Alamo Bowl, and I'll always associate THE Alamo Bowl with OUR Alamo Bowl, and I'll always associate our Alamo Bowl with Jason Avant's fumble/the last play that almost was/Sunbelt Officials.
Its interesting to point out that of the four schools he will be visiting, that it's Michigan who has the most recent NCAA tournament win of the bunch.
Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, among the conventional wisdom punditiry would have sugessted that UM would be not only be in a heated recruiting battle with a high end prospect, but also the team with the most recent NCAA success in that battle.
A lot can change, without any of us really even noticing, in a hurry in the sports world. Keep that in mind as 9/5/2009 approaches.
There has been the obligatory diarist and board post sporting the rose colored glasses, but I don't recall any "official" mgoblog content speculating on anything other than a Return to Glorious Mediocrity this year. Did I miss that edition?
It is known to the wise that OSU employs a small department of clerical staff to revise the format of all incoming scientific journals. The mandate is that all peer-reviewed literature must resemble US News before being placed in the campus libraries
I wonder how much Clay Travis actually still holds on to this rending of garments over the Woodson win, or how much it's just become a common narrative in Vol-land that he's just using the Liberty Valance defense, "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend."
But seriously, do anyone down there remember that Manning's team was 0-4 against Florida, and Woodson's team was 3-0 against Ohio State, including two major upsets? That couldn't exactly hurt Woodson's cause.
Totally agree. The biggest chink in Manning's mystique, both in college and the pros, was that he never won "the big game." He always lost to Florida, sometimes by embarrassing margins, and then laid an egg against Nebraska when he had "nothing" to play for. And for all the complaining about Woodson benefiting from ESPN's support, let's not forget that Manning was the leader going into the season AND had a recognizable name (being the son of Archie) that, oh, was brought up EVERY TIME the guy threw a touchdown. I think Manning is a very good QB and a class act, but if the average UT fan is still legitimately upset over Woodson's Heisman victory and honestly believe that Manning proved he deserved it, then I don't know how they are going to handle Berry being overlooked for the Heisman too.
I also think they can have a really good year this year. I think they'll score a ton of points. They outplayed OSU last year in many ways but just turning the ball over. If they can keep the ball of off the ground they ought to be able to run with anyone...I base this prediction on being a doctor of the science of predictions and a licensed real estate agent.
+1 from me too for the poster w/ the Libery Valance reference.
"All of the doughnuts have names that sound like prostitutes."
If anyone has a reason to be biased against San Antonio, it is I. I actually went to that Alamo Bowl. Yes, THAT Alamo bowl. Furthermore, I drove across west Texas--for what had to be something like 83 straight hours--to get there. It was like being in the last of the V8 interceptors.
Still, San Antonio is the lovely town--the Riverwalk and Alamo are very groovy--and the Alamodome itself is a nice stadium. I think it's a fine place for a bowl game and in spite of the horrible memories--"GO BIG RED!!" & Please lateral to Steve Breaston, Please lateral to Steve Breaston--I can't help not liking the place.
Sorry, but I've got to disagree with you about San Antonio, and this coming from a guy who generally despises most things Texas.
I've been to most of the bowl sites and games (except Tampa), and San Antonio is by far my favorite. It's warm, there's unbelievable food, great bars, obviously -- the Riverwalk, and Austin is about a couple hours away. We had a fantastic time, even if OH GOD PLEASE PITCH IT TO BREASTON AND WHAT ARE YOU ALL DOING ON THE FIELD happened.
Only 1 hour-15min to Austin with no traffic. But Austin is weird and full of hippies. Better bet for the day is Gruene, slightly closer to SA. Float the river, eat at the Gristmill, sample every jelly and jam under the sun. Bueno.
This seems almost like a step backwards for the Pac-10. I could be wrong but I thought the Holiday Bowl (which is/was Big 12 vs Pac 10 #2) was higher on the pecking order in grabbing a team from the Big 12 then the Alamo Bowl.