a terrible blight on our fine country
Over 75 years ago the Mudbowl game, as legend has it, started as an impromptu mud football game between SAE and Phi Delt on Homecoming weekend at the corner of South University and Washtenaw. As the years have gone by the game has become a campus tradition that now spans over 75 years.
The game itself is a relic of campus traditions of yore, so many of which have been stifled by the University, the city of Ann Arbor (the firemen used to come open the hydrants and supply hoses for the brothers to fill the bowl, now they have to pay for 100,000 gallons of water to be delivered), or have not had the fortune to be organized regularly.
The game is typically held on Homecoming weekend and traditionally involved SAE and Phi Delt playing until exhaustion in a no rules game of tackle football (until Phi Delt lost it’s charter in 1998). The annual charity event today involves SAE and the winner of the fraternity tournament, with two sororities playing their own football game at halftime (up and through the 90s, the sororities played a weird muddy rugby-like game that did not involve a football).
However, this year with an early homecoming date and so many home football weekends, it was impossible to hold the tournament in the midst of fraternity and sorority rush… so, the game is this Saturday, kicking off at 11:30am (in the SAE lawn @ South U. and Washtenaw).
Info from Mvictors notes that the sororities playing will be Kappa Kappa Gamma v. a combination of Alpha Phi+TriDelt (co-team resulting apparently from a panhel punishment). I can only note that this is not the only time that the Mudbowl has been involved in sorority scandal (Chi-O bribed their way into the event in 1993 with pizza/champagne/and a stripper&apparently Theta failed with their bid - a Keg of beer).
The fraternity event will see SAE play the winner of tonight’s fraternity final tonight between Phi Psi and Fiji. So, if you are going to be in town for the game this weekend, you can hopefully see several great football games… the Mudbowl is a charity event for Mott’s, so if you do come, find one of the people taking donations.
I know that during my years at Michigan, the Mudbowl was my favorite day of the fall semester and I constantly meet people that learn I was an SAE at Michigan and talk to me about their Mudbowl memories...
Phi Alpha to all that attend, and go Blue!
I am sure you have seen the artile, U-M’s Rodriguez wants more walk-ons... although he probably doesn't want them starting at QB again.
So, what makes a great walk-on program? Is it finding All-Conference or All-American talent? Or maybe filling needs on the roster with great “character guys” - “projects” - “late bloomers”?
The most famous walk-on is probably Daniel “RUDY” Ruettiger and his sack against Georgia Tech in 1975. So what can a new or “preferred” walk-on program mean for Michigan? <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
It seems coach Rodriguez, who was a walk-on himself at West Virginia, hopes to find a handful of players that can contribute in the future and possibly on this year’s team:
"They're going to create some competition at practice, and I would suspect in the new walk-on group, there will be three to four of them who will earn scholarships. There will be one or two who may play as soon as this year, and I'm really excited about that."
But, where do walk-ons come from?
The term usually refers to an athlete who becomes part of a team without being recruited beforehand or awarded a scholarship. Until 1977, schools were allowed to offer as many scholarships as they desired, a rule that resulted in the stockpiling of top players by major football programs. The NCAA has limited the number of scholarships since ’77: 95 from 1977-91, at 92 in 1992, 88 in 1993, and at 85 since 1994. Schools are also required by Title IX to provide an equal number of athletic scholarships to men and women; 85 football scholarships are thus, hard to even out…
Thus, teams look to walk-on players to fill out their rosters, participate as members of the scout team, and at some positions - prove their merit before being considered for a scholarship (punter, kicker, long-snapper, etc). Walk-ons also provide depth at positions that were not adequately addressed by scholarship recruits or where a team has seen losses due to injuries. However, for many players it is a chance to fulfill a dream – and it is unlikely that they will ever see meaningful playing time.
There is debate as to who benefits from scholarship limitations. Some claim that it has lead to greater parity within the system and allowed smaller programs to attract talent. While others argue that top programs get the best of both worlds: recruiting the best players and luring other talented players who are willing to enroll as preferred walk-ons.
At Michigan, a successful walk-on program should result in the attraction of players who were recruited by other programs, but would prefer to play at Michigan because of our tradition, academics, or maybe a connection they have to the Michigan family... Michigan enters this season with quite a few players in the walk-on program and hopefully some that might contribute down the line: Barker, Lindley, and several kickers. For the time being lets ignore the walk-ons that contributed to last year’s team…
Ideally a strong Michigan program can attract positions of need such as FB within our system and give our coaches a chance to find contributors in a unique way. Because of its small town makeup and tradition of 7v7 football, Nebraska has produced a lot of talent within its walk-on program over the years (Joel Makovicka, Jason Peter) – something that Barry Alvarez has attempted to recreate at Wisconsin:
The big exception to the rule was Jim Leonhard, a walk-on from tiny Tony, Wis. “He was a little safety that no one recruited,” Alvarez said. “By his second year, he was leading the Big Ten in punt returns and still wasn’t on scholarship. We got him on scholarship in a hurry after that.”
And where’s Jim Leonhard now? “In his fifth year in the NFL,” Alvarez said.
Many small town players prove to be great athletes with hard work ethic, but they receive no attention from coaches and recruiting services. Thus, the Nebraska’s program has been the benefactor of a great tradition of walk-on players – much of it is chronicled in a new documentary, Walk Ons: Husker Edge, that is available on the web this week.
Overall, I think an argument can be made already based on our recruiting in 2009-2010, that our coaches are scouting and targeting talent to fill unique needs within our defensive and offensive schemes (fullback/deathbacker/slot-ninja). Some of these players are going to be relative unknowns and others may only be lightly recruited by major programs. This combined with Michigan’s large fanbase, tradition, and strong academics – could be exactly what we need to establish a strong walk-on program.
Author's Note: Due to Demand - Info on Furrha...
-local talent from Ann Arbor Pioneer
-had ascholarship offer from GVSU, interest from some MAC schools
-decided to commit to UofM as a preferred walk-on
-info from Brian on Nader Furrha
Last year we saw two highly touted QB recruits opt out of their verbal commitments to the Wolverines. But the circumstances around Beaver’s de-commitment were rather shocking, I mean the kid decided to go to Tulsa?
In his recruitment he listed that Tulsa and TCU were the first to offer, followed by a slew of higher rated programs: Nebraska, Arizona, Clemson, Texas Tech, and Michigan. However, it does seem the prestige of the Wolverines offer won him over because within about 2 months of his first contact with the Michigan coaches he committed.
However, Beaver’s early commitment didn’t seem that strong by the fall and Beaver’s recruitment as a whole seemed to stop after he suffered a season ending shoulder injury. However, he took an official to Tulsa on Dec. 12, an in-home visit by their coaches the next week, and by the 19th, he decided to leave the bright lights of the Big Ten for C-USA.
Beaver is on record as saying:
- "It's about family, faith and friends," said Beaver. "I needed to go to Tulsa. Tulsa is all about family. They have great support there with the coaches, team and university. Picking a school is not all about the logo."
- "Now my mom can come to all the games to watch me."
- "My goal is Tulsa's goal. Tulsa believes in winning, and I'm going to just go out and win."
- "I was impressed with how (the Tulsa coaches) carried themselves. They told me everything that was offered, and everything they said made sense."
We can sort through these quickly: Tulsa is a faith based private school (smallest in I-A and affiliated with the Presbyterian Church USA), that might remind some of a high school and is certainly more conservative than Michigan’s more liberal atmosphere.
The school is certainly much closer for his mom to visit. Ann Arbor is about 1,158 miles from Wichita Falls, TX (Walking about 15 days, 17hrs…), whereas Tulsa, OK and Wichita Falls, TX are under 4 hours by car.
As for education (which I saw him highlight on some other quotes), though it is not up to Michigan’s World Class standards, Tulsa is no slouch – with high rankings from US News and others.
And as for the winning? Well clearly the football program does not have Michigan’s history, and C-USA is not on the same level as the Big Ten…but the school has a few famous alums including NFL Hall of Fame member Steve Largent. And, if Beaver was referring to last year in particular, then he would be right since the Golden Hurricane football team did win 11 games, including the GMAC bowl against Ball State.
Where Is Beaver Now?
He joins a team that has won the West in C-USA the last two years and had the best offense in the country in 2007 (second best in 2008). He will be joining the team as it sees its Sr. QB exit after throwing for over 4,000 yards and 46 TDs last season.
The offense they run is a pass happy aerial attack that emphasizes lengthening the game and being very aggressive/almost never punting (punting sucks without the space emperor).
Tulsa plays its first three games on the road @Tulane, @New Mexico, @Oklahoma (September 19th). So Beaver should get quite an eclectic experience playing the Tulsa schedule each year… (They also play Sam Houston State and Boise State).
Overall, the opportunity is there for Beaver to start immediately and though he will likely experience growing pains, he should have a productive career in C-USA. And, hopefully he finds that right combination of faith+family+winning+academics+geographical proximity to Wichita Falls that he desires.
Not everything makes perfect sense in the world of College Football, and everyone has heard of a star student opting for a small college or a local university… Why can’t the star QB?
Maybe this is where Beaver was meant to go? Without his de-commitment Michigan likely wouldn’t have landed D-Rob. So maybe this works out best for everyone…
I know there have been posts about JT getting in. Hope he does... These tests seem to be important to test reading skills, but its not like most of us solve for x in the real world. When I graduated HS in Michigan there was a merit test that you had to take and I believe that you got a small scholarship, but passing the test was not mandatory. All I actually remember is being bored and that one of the questions involved a picture of the state of Utah and asked you to identify it.
According to achieve.org and USA Today, 26 states in the US have graduation exams. Their data shows that in some states as many as 40% of HS graduates end up taking remedial english classes when they get to college. Likewise, there are three types of graduation exams that exist:
1. Pass the test or else.
2. Pass the test or do a project/complete other criteria.
3. A two tier system where you still get your "local" diploma, but you do not get certified as a HS graduate based on state standards.
Overall, the system in my opinion is mostly a school by school progress report and a "guarantee" by educators that they are not just flipping diplomas to get kids out the door.
Some states that have graduation tests are: Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio, and Texas. So this will likely come up again in the future with recruits. It seems that these tests mainly cover the three core subjects -English, Math and Science
Sample questions are on the Ohio website and I posted a few below for fun.The Reading sections are too long to post in here and many of the Science Questions have graphs and other tables that are hard to copy. If you have some free time and want to check it out, the link is provided. Below are a few sample questions.
Don't let your alma mater down...
Answers are provided on the website, but I figured you would want to challenge yourself.
Sample Questions Mathematics
1. The table below contains the results of a
Record of Blooms
Week 1 2 3 4 5
Number of Blooms 3 9 27 81 b
Assuming the pattern shown in the table
continues, what is the value of b?
6. A set of data contains 10 negative numbers
and 4 positive numbers. Which one of these
statements must be true?
A. The mean is a negative number.
B. The median is a negative number.
C. The mode is a negative number.
D. The range is a negative number.
3. Which equation is equivalent to
3(2x – 5) = 4(x + 3)?
A. 2x = –27
B. 2x = 27
C. 10x = –27
D. 10x = –3
Sample Questions Science
2. Architects are working with
engineers to build a lecture hall.
How can they design it so that
echoes are reduced and speech is
not heard as garbled sounds?
A. build smooth marble walls,
ceilings and polished floors
B. construct many flat walls,
angled ceilings and smooth
C. use an ultramodern design of
metal walls, pillars and seats
D. build walls out of porous
materials, upholster the seats
17. Two processes that allow cells to
release energy from food are:
A. mitosis and meiosis.
B. excretion and diffusion.
C. fermentation and cellular
D. osmosis and spontaneous
It’s a topic that I am sure every Michigan fan has considered heading into this fall; after a disappointing 3-9 record last year, how many wins will the Wolverine’s have in 2009? Clearly there are an innumerable # of factors that can be considered and we are months from the opener verse Western Michigan. But it’s never too early to do a logical rundown of the 2009 schedule.
9/05 Western Michigan – last year’s Broncos enjoyed a good season in the MAC, finishing 6-2 in conference play and 9-4 overall. The results in the off season was that Western gave its coach Bill Cubit a new 5 year contract on the same day they lost to Rice 38-14 in the Texas Bowl. The team had great success at home (5-0), beat Illinois at Ford Field, and earned its second consecutive bowl appearance. Overall Western welcomes back 7 starters on Offense and 3 or 4 on Defense, and starting QB Tim Hiller. All joking aside regarding the last two home opener’s, this one should be a WIN – Michigan has superior talent to limit the WMU offense and the team should be very well prepared. Michigan, 1-0
9/12 Notre Dame – Michigan has enjoyed great success against ND in the last few years, and last years rain soaked game was the perfect storm for the young Michigan team. ND returns virtually their entire offense including Clausen and Tate, and a healthy # of defensive players. This is clearly a pivotal season for Weiss esp. after last year’s – MEH season (7-6) that included an embarrassing loss to Syracuse (adv. Mich DC). ND will be coming off their own opener against a good Nevada team with a high powered offense so there can be no assumption that both teams will be 1-0. Michigan dominated the last home game between these two and there will no doubt be a Clausen/Tate v. Stevie Brown moment. I like to think this one is a tossup in the end so I will handicap it. Michigan 1.5-.5
9/19 Eastern Michigan – I would like to think that this one should go smoothly, and that with two games under our belt this team should have an idea who is under center and there should be no problem with a EMU team that went 2-6 in conference and 3-9 overall (familiar?). Michigan 2.5-.5
9/26 Indiana, Big Ten opener, fourth straight home game, and a team Michigan desperately wishes was on its 2008 schedule (1-7, 3-9). At this point, both teams will have played WMU, so we will certainly have a measuring stick leading up to this game. IU no longer has a QB controversy, as Chappell will be their leader – Kellen Lewis has switched to WR…Reports indicate that IU has a new offense referred to as the “Pistol”, which involves shotgun, the tailback BEHIND the QB, and incorporates the no-huddle. WTF? Indiana has more to overcome than even Michigan does, and this is a home game… Michigan 3.5-.5
10/03 Michigan State, definitely one to circle on the early half of the schedule and the team should certainly be motivated after last year’s loss… For the team, it will be their first game away from Ann Arbor and little brother will certainly put up a big fight after last year’s win. The Spartans (9-4, 6-2) lost QB Brian Hoyer and RB Javon Ringer, but still have seven offensive and eight defensive starters back. Dantonio has recently signaled that the starting QB race between Kirk Cousins and Keith Nichol could go all the way into the 2009 season. Cousins has limited game experience as a backup last year and Nichol is a transfer from Oklahoma (from Lowell, MI). Overall this one could go either way… If you go with the logic that Michigan has better talent and should be much improved, then you can be optimistic that they should be in this game… If you think Dantonio is a good coach and is building something at MSU then you are probably pessimistic about our chances. By gameday each team will be well into the season and we will have more answers. Give it to State today, but my heart says a toss-up. Michigan 3.5-1.5
10/10 Iowa, another road game and this one is against a Big Ten team that started 3-3 last year, but finished with a string of big wins including a big one over PSU (also most of their losses were close). Returning QB in Stanzi, who with improvement could be very solid, and good LB core. Tough for Michigan but for the time being we will give it to Iowa… 3.5-2.5
10/17 Delaware State, defer to Brian’s preview around the time they were scheduled. Home game, anything but a win mid season in this one would be a complete embarrassment. 4.5-2.5.
10/24 Penn State, this year @ home, Nick Sheridan should wear street clothes for this one. PSU will have strengths at all the key positions, and Evan Royster by this time should be having a hell of a season. They lose a lot at WR, OL, and Defense, but this is a very talented team. This game hinges on QB play and hopefully the home crowd and a fast start can assist Michigan. PSU has to be a clear favorite in this game. 4.5-3.5
10/31 Illinois, definitely an explosive offense and a road game down in Champagne. Juice is finally a Senior, but future dual threat QB Eddie McGee has been getting time in the slot, so Michigan will get a look at him either way… The Illini sucked last year, except when they roared past UofM, overall their explosive Offense is mostly intact from last year (individual yardage record by Juice at the Big House last year) and this game could end up being a barn burner. I don’t like this one unless the Offense is really clicking, but both teams are coming off poor seasons. Toss-up. Michigan 5-4
11/07 Purdue, hopefully after a good showing at Illinois this is a welcomed home game after a nice win. Michigan could have beaten Purdue last year, except for their one game offensive explosion. Joe Tiller is out the door and replaced by Danny Hope. The offense of the Drew Brees era is long gone and Purdue like Michigan has a laundry list of possible QBs. This one should be a great home game for Michigan. 6-4
11/14 Wisconsin, we stunk in the first half vs. Wisco last year, and several miracles occurred in the second half. They lose PJ Hill (John Clay may be a good enough replacement) who was falling apart and neither their offense nor defense is very spectacular (6 or so returning starters on each). If this was a home game I would figure Michigan for a great shot at victory, I have never been a Beilema fan so maybe I am being too optimistic. But I think a surging Michigan team can win this game. I won’t go too crazy though and will just leave this as a toss-up. 6.5-4.5
11/21 OSU, so many story lines… 5 game losing streak to OSU, Pryor’s first Big House Trip, a Michigan team maybe looking to be bowl eligible. OSU should be good, they return a lot of starters though they lose Laurinaitis and Jenkins on defense. Pryor who had a great frosh campaign should have some good seasoning… hate to say in but they are the conference favorite. Hold it right there… Bo beat an undefeated OSU in his first season, and according to RR’s track record, last year really shouldn’t count as much more than a long series of scrimmages. This game is the biggest of them all and there should be a lot of pride on the line after last year’s embarrassing second half. The week leading up to this game kills my work productivity even when we are the prohibitive underdog. I have to say OSU at this point, but I am hoping for a good level of optimism. 6.5-5.5
Overall I am an optimist, I think we beat either ND or MSU in the first half of the season (both are winnable) and I think we WIN at Illinois in a shootout. I am optimistic that we will be 7-5 next year. However, I think that if we find the luck we never got last year – we have a shot at 8-4, and a Max at 9-3… Our bottom I think is known, there are 4 games on the schedule that should be wins (WMU, EMU, D.State, Indiana) without much contest and that we have to win at least one other game. So 5 wins would be our basement in my opinion.
It’s early… But what are your thoughts?
Also, to my loser friend Rob who reads this blog and refuses to get a login, YOU SUCK!
I have seen comments on several sites about this and I just want to point out that losing the star of last years Michigan v. Penn State game is not great but this should hopefully be a Non-issue. This is assuming that the injury is a broken leg, not something major and the medical staff is being extra cautious.
Postives on this...
- Tate will get even more time with the 1st team and should get extra snaps in the short spring practice season.
- This should solidify that the race to be the opening game starter is wide open.
- Creates some options to re-evaluate the experiments at the QB position that include: Carlos Brown and Justin Feagin.
- Asks the team to rally around Tate and may officially signal the start to his era as the starting QB.
- At least he was out and about, so the injury probably isn't in great need of any major surgery.
- Sheridan can use all the practice he can get.
- David Cone might be forced to throw the football with a helmet on to someone that should actually see the field in the fall.
- The urgency to get Denard Robinson on campus and practicing just became even more apparent.
- This could diminish the QB competition between our two best options for the fall.
Hopefully there is some good news from Richrod today, and that this is just precautionary.