i find this extremely interesting
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|1 week 21 hours ago||I really like||
the agressive scheduling. It's gotta help recruiting and it may even be better to win 1/3 at UNC/Florida type places than sweep at home against IUPUI or something, in terms of RPI. I also like how he's getting southern(ish...) teams to come to Ann Arbor to play.
As a interesting side note, Scott Stricklin, the coach that took Kent State to the College World Series last year, and the presumed favorite for the Michigan opening before we settled on Bakich, accepted the Georgia head-coaching job.
|3 weeks 2 days ago||No.||
There's a weird crossover between the two brackets. The team that wins their first game, but loses their second switches brackets, with the corresponding team from the other bracket. It's unlikely for a loser of the first game to make the championship series, but it's technically possible, especially if it's Oklahoma that loses game one and Michigan that loses game two. It's also possible they play in just the bracket final, if one goes 2-0 and the other climbs back into it from the loser's bracket. Though obviously in that case, they won't meet in the championship series.
|3 weeks 3 days ago||WCWS is set||
Interestingly, 4 conferences are represented with two teams each:
Big Ten: Michigan and Nebraska
Pac-12: Arizona State and Washington
Big 12: Oklahoma and Texas
SEC: Florida and Tennessee
Michigan faces #1 Oklahoma at 9:30 on Monday 30th in their first game of the double-elimination WCWS format. Oklahoma leads the nation in scoring (7.89 runs per game) while Michigan is second (7.16). Oklahoma also leads the nation in ERA (1.16) while Michigan is 36th (2.28). Needless to say, Oklahoma is pretty good, winning 5 straight NCAA regional/super regional games by a combined score of ¡¡¡¡¡59-8!!!!!, winning 3 games in five innings, 1 in six innings and only needing the full seven innings once. They've lost 4 games this year (52-4), one each to Nebraska, Louisville, Texas and Kansas. Michigan's gonna need something special from the pitchers and the hitters to pull this one out. Oklahoma is quite simply the best team in the nation, by a decent margin and has been all season. But that's why they play the game.
The winner/loser of Michigan/Oklahoma will play, respectively, the winner/loser of Texas/Arizona State. The loser of that loser bracket game will be eliminated. Michigan is 2-2 against the WCWS field this year, 1-0 against Arizona State and 1-2 against Nebraska (who plays in the other bracket, there is the possibility of a cross over, it's weird, look at the bracket: http://www.ncaa.com/interactive-bracket/softball/d1)
|3 weeks 4 days ago||Good ol' Plymouth.||
Being pretty good to us for hockey recruiting for that class.
Yost Built commit write-up: http://www.yostbuilt.com/
|3 weeks 4 days ago||Gosh,||
ULL's pitcher is fantastic. 5 stikeouts through 3, allowing 0 hits. Lucky for Michigan, she's also a tad wild. You'd think that at some point her pitching every inning for ULL will fatigue her a little bit and between that and the Michigan hitters seeing more of her pitches, they'll be able to start hitting sometime, but right now it's not pretty. Gotta keep them off the scoreboard until the bats can heat up.
|3 weeks 4 days ago||I believe||
home/away for game 3 (if necessary) is determined by a coin flip. Hopefully we don't find out today. Go Blue!
|4 weeks 2 days ago||True.||
I was stretching. I always wondered why Kevin Lynch didn't end up being captain, after Chris Brown left, I thought he fit the prototype better. But even when they gave him the A things didn't get better. They didn't get better until pure desperation kicked in.
I do wonder how different things would have turned out if Brown had stayed. Perhaps it's one of those things where nothing was going to help them, regardless of who the C was, or maybe if had ended up staying and being captain, it would have made all the difference, people would have started playing before March, he woulda scored a ton and maybe without the pressure of trying to lead a dilapidated team, AJ continues his torrid scoring pace from the first few weeks all the way to the NCAA title.
As it is, I feel bad for the kid. He'll always be the Captain that let The Streak™ get away.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Kevin Porter, 2008?||
He wasn't only a scorer, but he certainly scored plenty. Brendan Morrison in 1997. If you want not a Hobey winner, probably Brian Wiseman in 1994. Matt Herr in 1998 scored a ton the year before he was captain, if that counts.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||I agree||
in theory, and one and done is a horrible idea in hockey, but that could be anywhere from 3-5 games in a weekend. I feel like that isn't very feasible for most sports besides baseball and softball when you can play a couple times in a day and not be dead.
Now if you wanted a best-of-3 at higher seeds for the first two rounds and then maybe try to figure out something interesting for the Frozen Four, or leave it, I'm with you. I'd actually even be OK with 4 straight best-of-3 series, whether the semis and/or finals end up at "neutral" sites or not. But I don't think the circuitous baseball/shoftballl double-elimination translates well to the ice.
|4 weeks 5 days ago||I thought we||
were the only school at all with one NCAA championship in each of those four? Unless you count pre-NCAA (for non-football) in which case Minnesota has at least 3 of each anyays.
|8 weeks 3 days ago||And more good news||
on the gymnastics front: Though the women's team season ended somewhat disappointingly, short of the NCAA finals, Joanna Sampson and Katie Zurales competed today in event finals today. Sampson took home the NCAA Championship on the Floor Exercise. She also tied for 14th on the vault. Zurales tied for 2nd on the Balance Beam.
|8 weeks 3 days ago||One more point of interest,||
In addition to his 4!!! NCAA titles this weekend, Sam also earned 6 All-American honors (top 8 in Event finals), from the All-around, then every event except rings. He qualified for the event finals in Rings, and likely would have finished top-8 giving him a clean sweep of All-American honors, but he withdrew from that part of the competiton to avoid injury.
Kid is incredible. He's the first male UM gymnast to ever qualify for the Olympics, so I think that's a pretty good indication he's the best Michigan gymnast ever, though I don't know a lot about the history of that program.
For those curious, Elise Ray competed in the 2000 Olympics before coming to Michigan to compete with the women's gymnastics team 2002-2005.
|11 weeks 2 days ago||One more.||
The last season Michigan Hockey missed their NCAA tournament? 1989(-1990). Obviously basketball's next NCAA championship comes the next time hockey missed NCAA's, the bookend year of their (2012-)2013 season.
After this year, the only logical conclusion is that both teams win NCAA titles every year.
|11 weeks 4 days ago||Great news!||
|11 weeks 4 days ago||So, if we match||
the number of Cal swimmers for tonigh in the "A" finals and the "B" finals, between the 4 individual non-1650 events, Michigan is in really good shape, between their standing lead, presumed huge advantage in the 1650 and presumed advantage in the relay?
On a related note, any idea how Cal did in the morning session? I'm getting Michigan's results through the twitter-thing, but the live results aren't being updated for me.
|11 weeks 6 days ago||Here:||
You can kinda figure it out from the link, but it's a 3 day-meet, prelims each morning, finals of those same events each night. Swimmers with the 1-8 best times of the prelims are in the "A" final, 9-16 are in the "B" final. In the "A" final, the winner gets 20 points, 2nd gets 17, 16, 15 etc. to 11. The top finisher of the "B" final gets 9, then 7,6 all the way down to 1 point for the last place finisher in the "B" final. The points are for the team competition. Most points at the end of Saturday wins the NCAA title. Currently, Michigan leads with 153 points, Cal has 123.5, Auburn 112.5, USC 100 and Texas rounds out the top 5 with 99 points. Relays get double the point values from the individual competitions, each diving event is also worth 20 points to the winner.
Swimmers qualify for the meet throughout the season, by their best time in an official meet. Each event has an "A" standard, which automatically qualifies the swimmer for entrance into the prelims and a "B" standard which might qualify that swimmer for the prelims, depending on how many other people end up with an "A" time or a faster "B" time.
That's about all I know, but I think that covers the basics. As far as I can tell a 30 point lead looks good, but with so many events left, it's far from commanding. Obviously better up 30 than down 30, but it's not over by a long shot. One relay DQ would put Michigan in huge trouble.
|11 weeks 6 days ago||This team||
has a good chance to win the meet as a team. It's nowhere near a given, obviously and several other teams (chiefly Florida and Cal, I believe) will certainly challenge, but Michigan is, I believe, a narrow favorite. Winning the title (the last day is Saturday) would give the men's swim team 12 national titles as a team, this being their first since 1995. It would give Michigan their first team NCAA championship since 2010 when the men's gymnastics team took home the top spot.
|13 weeks 4 days ago||Yah, what he said.||
To illustrate the difference, a little bit: last time, Michigan needed to win the CCHA tourney, but just barely. They were close enough that, even though losing at any point in that tournament would have kept them out of the tourney, getting those wins bumped them all the way to a 3 seed (there are four 1-seeds etc. up to 4-seeds). This year, if Michigan wins the next three games to win the CCHA, they will be 1 game above .500. If they split the next two with WMU, but win the CCHA, they're at .500 for the season. Anything less and they'll finish the season with a losing record. At this point, assuming seeds in other conference tourney's hold, or are at least close, Michigan is likely the lowest 4-seed, if they get the autobid, even below the Atlantic Hockey Champion (the conference that never/almost never gets anybody in without their autobid, generally regarded as by far the weakest conference).
I remember playing with the PWR predictor in 2010, like probably a lot of people, trying to get Michigan in and the frustration when they were always just barely out, without the autobid, at which point they would get in on their own merits! This time, there's not even any point in trying the predictor. Think Penn State basketball. Well, maybe Nebraska basketball. That's how far Michigan hockey is away.
|15 weeks 9 hours ago||I'm not sure||
Bennett doesn't get a C, I just don't think he'll get THE C. Based on how too much of this year went/seemed/felt, the current leadership corp wasn't really getting it done. I could see Red giving Bennett the next letter up, even just for appearances, but unless he's more spectacular than we've seen/thought, I have to think someone else will get a C also and that'll be the one that means more.
I think DeBlois is a really good candidate also and he's got two years on Copp, but there's just something special about Copp I think. I guess I'm OK if he "only" gets an A next year, but I really believe good things are going to happen because of him.
|15 weeks 1 day ago||Copp.||
I honestly can't say enough about him and I've been trying for weeks now. I was at the games this weekend and it's been the first time in a while I've seen him and the team live. I spent quite a bit of time watching him and how he interacts with the rest of the players and I think it's pretty clear that the team is quite a bit "his", the way he responds to them and they respond to him is great. Like Brian, I immediately noticed when he immediately confronted the Ferris State player who just knee-d one of our players and was in his face. He plays hard, plays good defense, plays good offense, he's just the complete package. WIthout him, I'm not sure Michigan wins 10 games. The more I watch him, the more sure I am he has to be a C next year, he already acts like one they might as well make it official. I honestly think he might be as good a Captain as Ortmeyer and I only don't say better, because I'm not sure that's possible. I'm not sure he'll even put up huge, piles and piles of points, but he'll get his share and I have a feeling that a lot of them will be of the "big" variety.
I get the feeling that he's working on, at least Trouba and possibly the other flight risks as well, to get them all to come back and Michigan manages to keep Trouba or (I won't even say and, but in my deepest darkest dreams I think it's remotely possible) Merrill and all of Guptill, PDG, Nieves, I think that'll in no small part due to Copp's efforts. I realize I'm practically drooling everytime I speak of Copp, but damn, I like having that kid on my team.
As an aside, along with a few others, I really do think that this recruiting class, if it stays together, could replace the people that leave, regardless of who does. As junior players, they're special. Next year is a year to look forward to, regardless of what happens in the CCHA tournament or who leaves.
Also, according to Matt Slovin on twitter (https://twitter.com/MattSlovin), NMU's leading scorer, Matt Thurber (6th in the CCHA with 6-26-32) is confirmed out for this weekend's series at Yost.
|16 weeks 4 days ago||I know offense||
hasn't really (or at least statistically) been Michigan's weakness this year, but it's nice to see that Nieves and Trouba are #2 and 3 respectively in rookie scoring, in the conference. Only Boo from the entire team cracks the top-10 point getters in the CCHA, at #10 and it feels like Michigan isn't scoring that much, but overall, they lead the conference (as of this afternoon) with a 3.00 goals for/game, a little above Notre Dame at #2 and about .3 above Ferris State at #3. In just conference games, Notre Dame leads with 3.24, way above Michigan's 2.8 which is slightly above Miami's 2.76. I guess the scoring is just pretty balanced, instead of having a true superstar (though give Boo a year and I can easily see him filling that role).
As everybody has noticed, the defense and goaltending are atrocious. I guess that's just what it is. I think the team/coaches have kinda noticed/accepted that and dedicated themselves more to offense, trying to get it and keep it, in the opponents zone and minimize the time they need to play defense, even with taking some risks to do that.
Special teams are almost starting to look like what you'd expect from Michigan again. Especially with Trouba, the PP is absolutely deadly and the PK has started to step up. I'm not quite sure how one gives up a shorthanded goal, up 2, with 5 minutes left, on the road, but I guess this is (this year's) Michigan. I've never liked a forward on the point, I trust Red and I know Babs does it sometimes, but I just hate it. They have Moffie, Bennt and Trouba as some really offensively-gifted D-men and Merrill is a great PP quarterback. I know Moffie hasn't been so great this year, but I still don't see the need to use Treais on the point.
I don't know that I can say enough about Copp. He just does everything. I really hope he gets a letter next year, he does a lot of things really, really well. Doesn't have the top-level skill, but he's always making things happen, defensively and offensively. Only Trouba might also get that distinction and sometimes Trouba's version of "making things happen" on defense isn't good for Michigan... Nieves is also turning into something special and I think the team as a whole has brought it's level up some. With more imrovement and some luck, I could see them winning a first-round series. But if all that gives them is a date with Miami in Oxford for a best 2-of-3, I'm not hopeful of continuing beyond that.
|20 weeks 3 days ago||I don't think||
You can complain about goalie recruiting very much. He had Campbell, who was considered at that time to be a player an NHL team could be built on, lost him to the OHL, in the course of about a month, in a sport where recruiting happens about 2 years in advance, go the #1 goalie for the next year, only to lose him to te OHL too. Maybe he should have been able to keep them, but they can offer things he can't. I don't think it's fair to expect him to keep recruiting goalies when he has one in the fold already. The PP you certainly have a point, that's been bad for a while. Forwards and recruiting in general has been down the last few years. Merrill and Trouba, probably Brown and maybe Nieves are really the only high-profile people to come in the last few years. Several others (Moffatt, Clare etc.) were rated highly when they committed, but less so when they got here. The few years in advance thing hurt the team pretty bad in there and I blame Miami and Notre Dame being good now, too. But next year's class should be the most talented in the last 5 or so years.
|20 weeks 3 days ago||Red HAS lost this team.||
I think it's fairly obvious. First, he's too good a coach for one of his teams to be this consistently bad if they're paying any attention at all. Second, for the first time, really ever, Red has moments when he looks old out there. Sometimes a coach and his team just don't click. It doesn't make that coach a bad coach, it doesn't even always make that team a bad team. Heck, I don't know that Rick Comley ever didn't lose a team, his NCAA title run in 2007 with State, the team admitted they didn't pay any attention to him at all. I highly doubt that vintage, mid-90's Red would be having any more success with this team than he is right now (mostly becuase I don't think he's changed all that much).
Jeff Jackson at Notre Dame doesn't stack up that poorly against Red. He has rings galore, he coaches (now) at a brand name school, he has all the talent in the world at his disposal. He's missed the tournament, I think twice, in the last five years, with seasons that, while not quite as bad as Michigan's now, were still dismal. By his standard proven by his resume as a coach and by whatever mythical bar you want to set for Notre Dame on name alone. In between those years (during which they were expected to challenge for a title), they've challenged for national titles, some when they weren't supposed to and they're very much in the running this year. Next year, who knows?
I'm sorry you don't think 4 tournament berths, a championship game, a CCHA regular season title and a CCHA tournament title, 3 GLI titles and 109 wins, all in the last four years, still the most alumni in the NHL of any school and continuing to recruit at an elite level is good enough for Michigan. The rest of us do. That, not to mention his other feats, or that we believe he still very well may go out with yet another national title, is why we still support Red .
|20 weeks 4 days ago||Well||
The last time Western swept Michigan was 1986. I think that was the year before Red, maybe his first year. That was the bar before Red. The bar before Red was routine 7+ goal losses to State and really anyone, at home. And I promise Western was less good back then. It's nice to say we should always be the best because we're Michigan, but that's not the way it works. Red is mostly beyond criticism, because for 22 years, come Hell or high water, he's had the team in the conversation at the end of the year. Every time. For 22 years. 12 team tournaments, 16, he's been in them. Nobody else has done that anywhere, or even been particularly close. Not Ron Mason, not Jerry York, not Jack Parker. But Red has done it. That's why we're loyal. I'd take an underperforming team that makes the tourney than an over performing one that doesn't every time.
And my second question stands. Who does more with this team than the guy with a Jack Adams?
|20 weeks 4 days ago||I would submit||
That the only way Red can have been considered to have had more than one bad season since 1990, is because he has raised the bar that high.
And, out of curiosity, who do you suggest replacing him with? Mel and his sterling 7-12-4 record at Tech this year? Mike Babcock?
|20 weeks 4 days ago||I rescind||
All optimism I spouted last night and humbly surrender, with no conditions, to whomever I was arguing with last night.
|20 weeks 4 days ago||I agree.||
Blowing a two goal lead is bad. Michigan desperately needs wins. But what they need more are play-off wins and what we're getting are good signs those might be possible. If this was a vintage Michigan team, that played exactly this game, we would be mildly disappointed, but we'd say, "they lost to a top-10 team on the road, they had chances, it happens, we'll beat them tomorrow". This team hasn't earned those defenses. They've played horrendously most of this season. They still have a lot of work to do. If they played like that for the entire play-offs, they probably wouldn't win every game. But they'd have a chance in every game. That's a massive improvement over earlier in the season. More importantly, this is the third game in a row where they've had a pulse. They went 1-2, they needed to go 3-0. But I'd rather believe this team still has a chance, even a small one, than declare the season over. It's abundantly obvious none of the goalies are going to become Hunwick-Ian this season, but if enough of the skaters make a Kampfer-like transformation, they have a shot. I'm optimistic, perhaps overly so, one has every right to be massively disappointed in this team, that's what they've earned. But I think my way is more fun.
|20 weeks 5 days ago||Well,||
2 on 5, but then 1 on 14 in the second isn't so bad and he kept Michigan in it in the third, not allowing anything. Not that Westerb was especially aggressive, but he stopped them all in that period. I mentioned the defensive lapses need to be corrected, but there will always be defensive lapses that need correcting. This isn't the team that had umpteen million ugly losses earlier in the season. A 3-2 loss to Western at Lawson, when they had the chances to do better, is a better sign than losing 5-0 to Cornel or FSU.
|20 weeks 5 days ago||I was actually||
encouraged by their play tonight. Special teams (PK at least, I tuned in and out and missed all our PPs, but we scored a goal on WMU's best-in-conference PK, so I'm assuming that was OK) looked better, as you mentioned PDG and Guptill are starting to get it going again, defense was, at times, decent. I wouldn't say they unconditionally outskated a very good WMU team on their home ice, but that was a winnable game. Michigan didn't walk away with a win from it, but play like that though (what is looking more and more like) 6 games in the play-offs, could yield happiness in the CCHA tournament, with some bounces here and there. But it would be REALLY comforting to reach aat least the 5th spot. I'd much rather play ND/WMU once for all the marbles at the Joe than have to beat them 2-of-3 in their own barns. Miami wouldn't be quite as bad, but still less than ideal. Winning 2-of-3 at FSU, LSSU, OSU or even, though less ideally Alaska, would be much easier, methinks. The season's a mess, but they're starting to look like they have at least the tiniest of chances at salvaging it.
The thing about the last several games was that it's been a lot of players without a lot of goals for the other teams, scoring a lot on Michigan. That and Domenic Monardo. I don't know if that's a lesser defensive pairing, or if it's more on the lower-line forwards, or if the team just tends to lapse more when supposedly less dangerous players are on the ice, but that needs to get tightened up significantly.
EDIT: I always praise Copp and I forgot to, at first. Please consider this as high praise for his night of work and yet another plea for him to be a sophomore C or at least an A. Also, Boo Nieves looked good again tonight, I don't think he's the leadership candidate I think Copp is, but I think Nieves is going to be REALLY good next year. Possibly/probably/hopefully Michigan's first 20-goal scorer since... Caporusso 2008-09?
|22 weeks 7 hours ago||I just keep hoping||
That somewhere in the college hockey pantheon, there is a good goalie on a bad team, or sitting on a bench somewhere, that's looking at this situation at Michigan and licking his chops at the prospect of 1)playing and 2) playing behind what will hopefully be a decent team next year and thinking about transferring. But I also can't think of any player that's transferred into the program and I haven't heard any rumors or really thought of anyone that might fit the bill. So it's just a fond thought.