There's also a couple of A-Sun schools in there, and I attend one of them. Baseball is definitely an area where they excel, and Florida Gulf Coast is a fantastcic team. Lipscomb sent their Friday night starter to the Rockies in the form of a 1st round pick as well last year. Both of those schools have upset bigtime SEC/ACC/Big East programs in the last few years multiple times, so those games should certainly not be overlooked.
Baseball Schedule Released
While I have been covering other Olympic sports here at mgoblog, my major focus is unmistakably baseball. So with fall ball coming up over the next few weeks, including a fall game against the Ontario Blue Jays of the Premier Baseball League of Ontario (an upper level summer ball league of Canada), I'll be posting a few diaries with baseball related content.
Today's is a break down of the newly released 2010 Michigan baseball schedule. In this year's schedule, two things stood out to me. First, this schedule is tough. Unlike some other BigTen baseball teams, Michigan is going out of its way to schedule real opponents.
Second, our big name weekend series is at North Carolina. UNC is a great program that has had great success in reaching Omaha, including each of the last three seasons. If Michigan takes even one game here, we'll be making national headlines in the baseball world. Add a trip to play two against Coastal Carolina, and you have Michigan with a pretty good chance to gain some major respect.
The last thing that jumps out to me is we are playing all nine conference opponents (Wisconsin dropped baseball in the early 90s). The BigTen has only 8 week conference seasons, allowing one team to be skipped over. This year, the team we were supposed to miss was Michigan State, but instead of dropping them from the schedule, Michigan has scheduled the Spartans for a home-and-home mid-week series. Those two games will not count toward the conference standings.
As far as the nonconference, those previously mentioned match ups against UNC and Coastal Carolina aren't the only bright spots. The BigEast/BigTen Challenge (make your spring break plans now!) also has Michigan playing quality opponents. Michigan will face Louisville in the season opener, and it could very well be against a ranked Cardinal squad. After Louisville, Michigan will face St. John's and South Florida. St. John's isn't quite as strong as they were two years ago, but South Florida is picked to finish well in the BigEast, possibly dethroning Louisville.
Michigan opens the year at Texas Tech (also a potential spring break destination, but prepare to be massively disappointed), playing Maine twice, then the Red Raiders twice. Texas Tech is a middle of the road Big12 team, which places them probably in the top 3-4 teams in the BigTen.
From Coach Maloney (via MGoBlue):
I certainly think this is the most challenge schedule we have had in my time at Michigan," Maloney said. "We have the privilege of playing against some really top-notch schools from top-notch conferences. Texas Tech is on the rise in the Big 12, Coastal Carolina is one of the winningest teams over the last five years in college baseball and North Carolina is a tremendous challenge, especially at their ballpark.
Michigan has their proposed, I say this because there's a good chance it will be snowed or rained out as it does almost every year, against IPFW from March 26-28. The BigTen opener will be on the road this year at Indiana, and the home BigTen opener will be the following week against Purdue. The home conference schedule includes those Boilermakers, Iowa, potential favorite Ohio State, and a dark horse BigTen contender Northwestern.
Midweek games including the aforementioned MSU series, as well as the usual home-and-home with Notre Dame, which almost always finds a way to get rained out on Tuesday, meaning we play a double header at Notre Dame on Wednesday. I'm making my prediction now that it'll happen again.
Speaking of new scheduling traditions, the annual scrimmage with the New York Mets is March 21 in Port St. Lucie. Here's hoping we can pull off the upset we've been so close to the last few seasons.
Giving the schedule a quick once over, my initial, premature, probably a bit overly optimistic when I think about our starting pitching staff, gut feeling has a record around 37-17, 15-9 in the BigTen. This will be close to earning us a spot in the NCAA, with a win over UNC and/or Coastal Carolina, it would greatly improve our odds.
As far as the BigTen Tournament, the site still hasn't been announced. According to my Buckeye counterpart at TheBuckeyeNine, the coaches just met this last week, and the conference heads will meet later this month. This is welcome news as the rumor I heard circulating around was the Tournament was going to be in Columbus again this year. Bleh. So this is good news.
FGC has a really up and coming program. They gave us all they had last season. They'll be tough again this year as they return most of their lineup.
I particularly like playing at A-Sun schools for Asun.tv. Very awesome. Speaking of which, I'm supposed to talk with BigTen Network soon about their new video streaming capabilities. They opened up the site this week, and it has massive potential.
are interesting considering the fact their owner, Fred Wilpon, played at Michigan and has been such a big supporter of M baseball.
While it would be great to win one; it would be a sad commentary on the state of the Mets.
Yeah, that's how this series really got started. A couple other teams play National teams, we get the Mets. Tough draw. We've come close to beating them once. Two years ago, with probably our best team in the last 20 years, we came down to the last inning. Billy Wagner was pissed.
Glad to see them at University Park this coming year. My son and I will try and make all 3 games. He went out to the PSU camp and was less than impressed with it. He also let out the final day that he hopes to play for Michigan when he grows up.
I'm just glad he didn't say it day 1
Yeah, the game I saw at PSU (against Purdue, iirc, in 2007 on Blue/White weekend) wasn't overwhelming. The view out of the stadium was really nice, so was the money put into Medlar. The problem was it was too big for the college crowd at PSU. The fans there just don't care as much, which is understandable with their baseball history. It's nothing like Michigan's.
PSU really disappointing this past season. Macy was supposed to pitch their team into contention, but it just didn't happen. Have fun at the games.
Oh, and the Spikes have some sweet advertising campaigns. At least they used to...
... in 2009. I know many are counting the Wolverines out this year, mainly because of the season we had in '09. In retrospect, we did have the talent...we just underachieved. Easy to say yeah, but if it could have gone wrong in '09...it did. Cislo, our starting 2B & leadoff played the entire season injured and just flat out couldn't finish. Berset, the starting catcher missed over 25 games, our closer Burgoon, dislocated his throwing shoulder prior to conference games and never really came back. Add in the fact that LaMarre, Urban and Dufek all played injured as well.... our horses just weren't ready to compete. The overall talent level of our pitching staff is better than any other BT team. I really believe that (you realize we had the best ERA in the league last year...right?). We just couldn't score when we needed to or hold a few innings when we had too. Underachievement at its worst...rights along side the injuries. Heck, a 35-20 record when we just couldn't bring it together is pretty good.
I see 2010 season looking very good. Tough schedule, no doubt! Our 4 junior pitchers - Burgoon, Miller, Smith & Wood will be very tough. Add in seniors Katzman & Oaks, Sophs Sinnery and Brosnahan and a freshman that has looked excellent, Ballantine.... we will have some depth. Our outfield will be sick. We have speed, speed & speed. Veteran catcher, top ranked freshman SS, Toth locking down 2B, Dufek at 1B... we will be there!
Call me an optimist...but we will compete for the BT title.
FA....Need something to chew on. Have you been able to track down any coach, player, manager, strength coach, academic advisor, trainer, announcer, girlfriend (I think you get my meaning) to get some local input on the team and thoughts on next year? It's been REAL quite. Also, they normally announce team captains during fall ball...did I miss that?
Hope all players are healthy and getting ready for another BigTen title and post season run. Buckeyes getting all the love in the media...ha. Hope we take them down like a lucha libre.
Negative, I've fallen off the face of the earth on research and other stuff. We just started working on BigTen-wide stuff between me, BuckeyeNine, and IllinoisBaseballReport, so that'll probably get me focused on stuff again soon. That and my most recent run of midterms just ended. That should help quite a bit.
I didn't hear ANYTHING from fall ball myself. All I heard was the score against Ontario, nothing about the intra-squad. I thought that seemed really weird at the time.
Agreed on the quiet, I'll see if I can't get something worked up.