All you Washington, DC area-based Wolverines will have a chance to see Mr. Gallon when the inaugural season of the AFL's DC Valor kicks off this April. It was announced Jan 12 that he is on the Valor's roster.
I was a big fan of Gallon's time at the Big House and who can forget his amazing performance against ND in the night game. A true Michigan man. Look forward to seeing him resume his pro career stateside and I hope he gets called back up to the NFL one day soon.
As we approach the end of the first half of the 2012 season, it is possible to engage in a serious analysis of the relative strengths and weaknesses of the 2011 and 2012 team performances. I believe a case can be made that the current team is actually stronger than last year's Sugar Bowl winner. This year the team has suffered many more injuries & suspensions, and also faced a tougher schedule.
The key advantage last year's team has is in the area of turnover margin (25th nationally). The 2012 team is tied for 97th in TO margin, close to the dismal 2008-2010 years of 100+ place each year. My guess is that the TO margin problem this year has been an aberration and that the 2012 team will end up being regarded as equal to or better than the 2011 team.
One of the topics that always seems to go missing every year among the discussions of returning starters, and incoming true freshmen is which RS freshman (class of 2011 recruit) will make the biggest contribution to the team this year? IMO, they are just as unknown as the true freshmen, but have as much experience is the system an many of the Sophs.
So, who wants to put together a rundown of the RS freshmen for the 2012 season?
Detroit News reports that on Wednesday, the UM football team is heading for Ford Field in Detroit to practice for the season opener at Cowboys Stadium. It will be a practice, not a scrimmage. Hoke feels practicing at Ford Field will give his team a chance to get used to that dome environment.
In the article, Hoke states "(We will) practice with some situational, two-minute (drills), put the high-pressure stuff on them..."
"We're going to go down there and change up the environment a little bit,... and have some distractions that are built in when you do that. We've been doing some crowd noise. I think AC/DC was on today when we did some first-down stuff."
Mike Huguenin of Yahoo! Sports lists his picks for the best game each week in 2012 season. UM is listed twice, after the opener against Ala; surprisingly (to me at least), the other game is not the Hoke-Meyer opening clash, but the UM-MSU game. Only one other B1G game is listed: MSU-Wisc, (but Wisc-Neb is listed as an "Also of note").
Week 1 - Alabama vs. Michigan in Arlington, Texas The reason: This is the best nonconference game of the season. Two of the most storied programs in history meet for just the fourth time; the three previous contests were in bowls, with the most recent coming in the Orange Bowl following the 1999 season. This will be the third time in five years that Alabama has opened the season in a neutral-site game; the other two were in Atlanta. A Michigan win would be a huge boost for the national perception of the Big Ten – and for Wolverines coach Brady Hoke.
Week 8 - Michigan State at Michigan The reason: Michigan State fans always will have a soft spot in their hearts for former Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez; he was the losing coach in this rivalry in all three of his seasons in Ann Arbor, and the Spartans also won last season, giving them four consecutive victories over the hated Wolverines. That ties the Spartans' longest winning streak in the series. Last season's victory also helped Michigan State win the Big Ten Legends Division title, and the winner of this one likely takes the division this season.
Denard Robinson is one of three B1G players added to the watch list for the Manning Award. The other B1G QBs announced are Iowa's James Vandenberg and Nebraska's Taylor Martinez.
I found it a bit interesting that, unlike the O'Brien Award, Braxton Miller was not included. This award includes bowl performance but doubt their bowl ban figures in, as Matt Barkley was a finalist last year.
January 4th was at the peak apex and swift crescendo of a roller coaster of weirdness that permeated Ann Arbor, Michigan for the last four years. We all know that when things get weird, the weird turn pro, but what happens when things return to normalcy?
Michigan began a warpath of rampage wider than Genghis Khan. Michigan had no wall. The first victims of the conquering heroes were the clueless and tailback led offense. Nebraska has always had an interesting and sometimes intimidating offense. The TB actually plays in the QB position for Nebraska. This offense has seen days of complete domination and recently, days of high Drama between their prima donna TB/QB and their 12 time anger management/spittle distance champion coach. Their latest season proved to be as bi-polar as Pelini. The 2011 Cornhuskers team defeated foes the like of Michigan Staee Penitentiary, Iowa, and an emotionally charged cult team from State College, PA.
Michigan came in unsure about the future after many déjà vu experiences of late season collapses and self loathing tongue lashings. Watching the game in the quiet hamlet of Livonia with my necessary equipment and required medication, I quickly realized my mind did need prodding for altered consciousness. The serious beating of the Cornhuskers by the Wolverines was like watching an unruly Kodiak taking on a clubbed foot mink. This was a Michigan effort I haven’t seen in a long time.
Nebraska served as a launching pad for GoBo’s offense and Hoke’s voodoo pointing to the next week death match against the Terrell Pryor’s School of Selective Contributions located in a shitcan town dead center of a cesspool state north of where the Hatfields and McCoys spilled blood over swine. The game went back and forth and Michigan tried dearly to hand the evil empire an undeserving victory. As best as the philanthropic Wolverines tried, they ended a long agonizing stretch of losing to a team that needs four people to figure out how to spell their state’s name.
The Wolverines found themselves in an unusual place, playing football in January in New Orleans (Thank you to all the MGoGeographers out there for setting me straight). Unfortunately, I missed half the game studying an accordion type device that promised to send you to a planet of unicorns, badass grizzly care bears, and a bottomless plate of fat free/vitamin rich BBQ spare ribs. I did return from the outer reaches of the universe to see an anemic offense get in a position to win the game with a field goal. At first I thought I ended up on an episode of Sliders, reaching a parallel universe. Michigan winning a big game on special teams? Staunch defense not allowing massive deflation compared to the previous three years of eleventy billion ppg, to a high powered and traditional powerhouse from the ACC? I realized then that the ESPN3.com screen in front of me in a valley separating NY and PA that Todd Blackledge and Brad Nessler would never be in a place that resembles a personal utopia. This was real. The year ended and Michigan was Sugar Bowl champs. What now? What panic and angst would I write of? Is this the end of the modern day Greek tragedy known as Michigan football? As a fan I sure as hell hoped so, but as a periodic panic purveyor, I feared the worst.
As spring football ushers in absolutely nothing in substance and the recruiting trail of coming years are hot, the feared doldrums of normalcy and confidence have not yet fully entrenched the Michigan faithful for the upcoming year’s slate of games. The ulcer creating anticipation and fear are starting to creep back into the hearts of Mittenanders everywhere. The Michigan team will no longer be such a severe underdog for teams the like of Nebraska and they will also have to play the most difficult challenges in the belly of several beasts. The schedule is grim from start to finish with the exception of little brother at home. Dave Brandon sold his grandson’s first born male to play the incorruptible Tide of Alabama in the home of the vilest man in the NFL. Along with Alabama away, Michigan must also battle filth in Columbus, Nebraska, and South Bend. Also adding to the drama this year is the new coach for our last opponent of the regular season, Urban Meyer, or as I enjoy calling him, Pope Urban II. Will he tilt the edge back into the favor or mouth breathing truck drivers or will he wilt and receive mysterious personal and family issues pulling this great coach of Tim Tebow back to the commentator’s desk of Brent Musburger and Matt Millen?
Those issues above combined with the usual tragic injuries of gladiator sports, unexpected moments of disappointed, disgust, and the usual hijinks of college football are a sure bet to create the writing fuel many of the bloggers here eat up. With expectations up, and challenges large, we shall have another year in which there may be little actual turmoil, but we can be sure that turmoil, panic, and The Fear will have a safe place on this blog of myriad personalities and clinically psychotic bloggers in this invisible village of rabid fanatics. Have a great, safe, and twisted summer. See you in August.