"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."
"There's a certain level of confidence and composure he brings to the court," said sophomore forward Aubrey Dawkins, who played the bulk of his minutes as a freshman while LeVert sat on the end of the bench in a sweat suit. "When you know you have a player like that on your team of that caliber, it's just like, we're in his hands and he can do a lot of things for this team. It's a comfort. It's nice."
"I just really wanted to see him in a game and I loved what I saw," Beilein said. "He was active. He's got a motor. He's got some things he's got to work on. He doesn't have the strength to (play) the way he'd like to in the Big Ten yet, but that's what we're going to work on in-between (games) without inhibiting his ability to play the next game."
I have a confession to make. It’s early afternoon on First Game Day’s Eve and I’m completely hammered. No worries though, both of the people on my floor who haven’t cut out early have no clue. No one does. All they see is the normal me, the guy that strives to be level-headed, logical, and mostly stoic except for when dramatic effect warrants a reaction…or when I’m really mad. So, yeah I guess I’m not stoic at all, whatever, forget that part. They see the kind of guy who writes longer-and-more-rigorous-than-any-report-he’s-ever-been-paid-to-write diaries explaining why, if you just look at the data, things just won’t be that bad and maybe even OK. What they can’t see is that the suppressed side of me, the Mr. Hyde Id that balances the Dr. Jekyll super-ego, is stammeringly, staggeringly, rockstaringly HAMMERED drunk on maize and blue kool-aid.
Since around the middle of the second quarter of Wisconsin v. Michigan 2008, my MGoPsyche has been in all out Sportscenter Y2K Emergency mode. You know yours has been, too. The lights go out, the back-up generator kicks in, a roid-raging Mr. Hyde Mark Macguire is bashing a hapless keyboard with a baseball bat as if it were a detractor who is wrong on the internet, and a crazed Dr. Jekyll Charlie Stein with a maize and blue tie cutting of circulation to his brain screaming “follow me, follow me to freedom!” yeah, that commercial precisely illustrates the mgoboard any time any news event has happened since 2008, probably sooner than that.
Well now, on this First Game Day’s Eve 2010, my inner Hyde will no longer be contained and he’s saying, “you’re dumb, Jekyll, Michigan’s winning 10 this year.”
Who’s coming with me?
That’s crazy, right? We have two quarterbacks therefore we don’t have one, we don’t have a running back, our linebackers run around the second level as if they were herding cats, and our secondary sucks. Look at the data, Hyde. When your team has a defensive outlook that bad and plays in a BCS conference, 6 or 7 games,8 if we’re lucky…that’s all we can expect. But, what about Missouri 2008, Tennessee 2007, UCLA 2005, and Wisconsin 2005? Here are some table points on each of those teams:
3rd Year Starter (Chase F. Daniel, Sr). Followed up gaudy numbers as a 1st year starter in 2006 with gaudier numbers as a second year starter in 2007.
New starter on a pass-heavy spread offense
4 or 5
Returned leading receiver Jeremy Maclin (80 catches, 1055 yards, 13 TDs) and solid TE (Chase Coffman).
Return 3 starters from previous season including both tackles. New starter at center.
Return 3 starters but lost anchor at NT (Lorenzo Williams).
Returned 3 starters from a unit that was frequently exploited in underneath coverage.
a shaky 2
Return 3 starters (CB, FS, SS) from a unit that gave up a ton of yards through the air in 2007. Think Michigan or Michigan State circa 2009.
4th Year Starter (Eric Ainge, Sr). The former rivals.com 4-star recruit posted a spectacular year in 2006 with a passer rating of 151 with a 67% completion rate on 350 attempts (!) for almost 3000 yards with 19 TDs against 9 INTs.
Returned a platoon of three meaningful contributors including the explosive LaMarcus Coker, Montario Hardesty and Arian Foster. The group rushed for 1300 yards in 2006 with Coker accounting for 696 yards on 108 carries.
Lost top 3 receivers from 2006 including Braylon-esque Robert Meachum (71 catches, 1300 yards, 11 TDs).
Return 3 starters from previous season.
Must replace both tackles from a unit the ending 2006 ranked 72 against the run.
3 maybe 4
Returned 2 starters including Jerod Mayo.
Replace both cornerbacks and the free safety. Had 5-star true freshman Eric F. Berry.
3rd Year Starter (Drew Olson, Sr). Solid year in 2004 with a passer rating of 132.
Returned Leading Rusher (Maurice Jones-Drew: 1007 rushing yards on 160 attempts and 146 all-purpose ypg in 8 games in injury shortened 2004 season). On pre-season Maxwell Award watch list.
3 or 4
Returned Receiving TD leader and pre-season All-American Tight End Marcedes Lewis. Solid, veteran corps of wide receivers.
Return 4 starters from 24th ranked offense in 2004.
Return solid veteran group including sack and TFL leader (DT Kevin Brown).
4 or 5
Returned 3 starters including pre-season All-American ILB Spencer Havner (Greg Jones level LB).
Returned SS and 2nd leading tackler Jarrad Page. New Starters at FS and CB. Lost 2004 first-team All-Pac-10 CB (Matt Clark).
2nd Year Starter (John Stocco, RS-Jr). Stocco was god awful in 2004, posting a passer rating of 109.
New Starter (Brian Calhoun, Booker Stanley).
Veteran Corps (Brandon Williams, Jonathan Orr, Owen Daniels).
2 or 3
Returned Center (Donovan Raiola) and Left Tackle (Joe Thomas). Three new starters at other 3 positions on the OL.
All new line returning 3 total starts from 2004.
Veteran group with 29 starts returning from 2004.
1 returning starter from 2004.
The common thread running between each one of those teas is the fact that they all had terrible secondaries, and it showed on the field. Despite that, despite getting unmercifully torched defensively, they all won 10 games in their respective seasons. In Wisconsin’s case, they got outgained in EVERY GAME and usually by way over 100 yards. Those are thourough ass kikcings, y’all. Yet, there they are with a 5-3 Big Ten record en route to 10 wins.
Teams outperform their statistics every year, tell me that Michigan can not. Go ‘head.
Can I get a hell yeah?
Here’s the thing that makes life so interesting. The theory of evolution claims: only the strong will survive. Maybe so, maybe so. But the theory of competition says: just because they’re the strong doesn’t mean they can’t get their asses kicked. Thats right.
See, what every long-shot, come-from-beyond-underdog will tell ya is this: the other guy may in fact be the favorite, and the odds may be stacked against you; fair enough. But, what the odds don’t know is this isn’t a math test. This is a completely different kind of test. One where passion has a funny way of trumping logic.
So, before you step up to the starting line, before the whistle blows, and the clock starts just remember, out here, the results don’t always add up. No matter what the stats may say and the experts may think and commentators may have predicted, when the race is on, all bets are off.
Don’t be surprised if someone decides to flip the script and take a pass on yelling ‘uncle’. And then suddenly, as the old saying goes: we’ve got ourselves a game.
Follow Me. Follow Me to Freedom!
All of us—rivals, apologists, detractors, optimists, pessimists, and “realists” (pick a side, pansy—we all come to mgoblog because we have something in common: we’re obsessed with Michigan. We’ve spent nine months analyzing and rationalizing and consoling and infighting amongst ourselves as we descend upon the internet like thunderhead of locusts devouring every shred of any and every bit of information for insight into Michigan Football.
When the season ends, logos and pathos will have to cope with the exact same record. Your particular tact is merely a pre-coping mechanism. Well, Logos sucks. Logos tells you to consider the consequences before you have the time of your life. Logos tells you that the party wont be worth the hang-over. Logos tells you to make peace with never walking again. Fuck logos. Gimme pathos. Heaps and heaps of pathos. It’s time to let Mr. Hyde out the box. It’s time to descend upon all these assholes mounted up on our maize-and-blue, rainbow-maned pegasusespegasi flying unicorns, with blood shot eyes in a Zima induced psychosis. It’s time to lose our voices even if it means that we have to rip out our larynxes and throw them on the field*.
Blessed be the tie that binds us. Blessed be the Michigan Wolverines.
*a bit much? nah.
I had originally planned on unveiling a hype video that I’ve been working on for the last week and a half or so here but the swarm of MGoLocusts has already sniffed it out. Well done, MGoBlog. Aywho, at the risk of being accused of spamming the board, here it is in case you didn’t see it.
[Author EDIT: despammed]
I guarantee you that no one on our team is cowering in the corner, begging, hoping, pleading for 7 wins.
Yes, yes, yes. I believe this team has what statistics can't measure and what won't show up in the box-score--they love their coach and each other. The senior class is small but vocal and the rest of the team looks up to them. That will account for W's. If we cut down the turnovers that will overcome our inexperienced and, perhaps, weak secondary. I really like our boys in the trenches though.
I double vote for anything that can brighten this place up a bit. Brian's previewing our season with "self-refleclection" as a motif, almost suggesting that our defense haunts him with a weight too heavy to bare. The Mgopredictions are too defensively self-aware.
7-6? Those are party hours, not a fan's prediction for a Michigan football record. You wanna pour a ton of energy into accurately predicting things, try the stock market. I think RichRod finally has "the situation" he was hired to have - "Michigan" players in his system ... on offense - to make something happen with a "scrappy" defensive effort.
Linebackers and safety play has to be better, by default. Really can't get worse. Gerg has taken over the LBs. Their improvement should be substantial. You don't win Super Bowls without quality linebacker play.
If C. Gordon plays up to 10% of his hype, our safety play has improved.
Depth on both sides is better. Offense will definitely be better with Molk back and some experience at QB.
Turnover margin must regress to the mean at some point. This year would be the time.
Please pass the Kool-Aid. I know I've already had too much, but in this cases, I'm drinking myself into a Maize and Blue coma!!