July 1 - Sunday
Hello John Weinke. So I always thought he was a younger brother of Chris, but I can’t find any evidence of that now.
July 2 - Monday
Monday Recruitin’ with updates on Michael Shaw, Jonathan Baldwin, and Christian Wilson.
Unverified Voracity Approaches the Matrix. Quotes from a Toney Clemons profile. His mother’s name is Tonie. Also, Sam McGuffie is looking like more of a sure thing.
July 3 - Tuesday
A little more information on newest commit Darryl Stonum.
July 6 - Friday
Is Les Miles the best candidate to replace Carr? Brian says no way.
July 9 - Monday
Monday Recruitin’ without much news. However, Sam McGuffie is expected to announce his decision next week.
July 10 - Tuesday
LSU seems to be a ramshackle train of enormous talent that implodes on a regular basis because it is lax, undisiciplined, and plain dumb. Take Miles away from the ridiculously fertile recruiting grounds of Louisiana and slap his hand when he tries to import guys who can't spell "cat" in three tries and visions of Michigan State dance in front of my eyes. My personal preference is for either a proven tactical expert like Jeff Tedford or someone who will just recruit his ass off. What, exactly, is Les Miles good at? He must be good at something, but I don't know what it is.
July 11 - Wednesday
Unverified Voracity Bids Nike Adieu. The announcement has been made, Adidas is coming. Also, the McGuffie announcement date is off for now.
Kevin Porter is planning to come back for another year.
Sketchy rumor at this point, but it looks like QB Steven Threet will be transferring to ‘M’. He will be eligible to play in 2008.
July 12 - Thursday
A scouting report on Threet. This will be great for the 2008 season:
He is indeed 6'6" and criticisms leveled at him are usually along the lines of "graceful as a water buffalo"; he offsets said criticisms with a big arm
July 13 - Friday
Unverified Voracity Identifies Crackheads, Owls. Brian goes after an ND preview from Blue Ribbon that struggles with meaningful content.
The idea of moving a player stuck behind an established starter to another, nearly identical, position? While still having him take some reps at his previous, nearly identical, position? I... wow. Let's just say that never would have occurred to anyone else in the history of coaching.
Junior Mike Turkovich (6-6, 299) is the starting left guard, but he is also a candidate to move to tackle if anything happens to either sophomore right tackle Sam Young (6-8, 315) or junior left tackle Paul Duncan (6-7, 292).
But it's necessary, Weis says.
I wonder if he can explain this mystery to us.
"[Wenger] is not beating out Sullivan at center, so if he's going to get on the field it's going to be at guard," Weis said.
July 14 - Saturday
OH TE Kevin Koger could commit at any time. Right now it looks like it will be OSU, and that would be somewhat of an upset because of how early ‘M’ was in on him.
July 16 - Monday
Monday Recruitin’. MN WR Michael Floyd has a top four of Florida, ND, Michigan, and OSU. It’s strongly expected that he will choose ND.
July 17 - Tuesday
Fall opponent previews start with Minnesota and their new coach Tim Brewster.
Brewster, at the very least, has a wicked talent for hyperbole. He also claimed Minnesota's coming corporately-named stadium "will be the finest on-campus stadium in America today" and that he would take "the Gopher Nation" to the Rose Bowl. If you were to point out the analogue of Gopher Nation on a map, what would it be? Andorra?
The only name of note is Sophomore WR Eric Decker. Brian predicts a 4-7 season. They would finish 1-11.
July 18 - Wednesday
A review of NCAA ‘08. First impressions are positive. There are a number of good changes from the previous year’s edition.
July 19 - Thursday
Unverified Voracity is All About the Ladies. A Penn St. blog roundtable is asking each other who they would rather be a fan of: OSU, Michigan, or ND. It’s unanimously Michigan with this being the best reason:
Michigan hands down. Buckeyes think winning national championships is their birth right. Notre Dame fans think your respect is their birth right. Michigan fans think not having to talk to stupid people is their birth right.
July 20 - Friday
July 21 - Saturday
‘M’ vs. ND series is going to take a break. Sounds like it’s ND’s choice. No big name replacements have been announced.
July 23 - Monday
Monday Recruitin’. ‘M’ leads for NJ LB JB Fitzgerald.
July 24 - Tuesday
Unverified Voracity Wonders if the FCC Thinks the BTN is an RSN LOL. No, don’t say this!
Game of the Century of the Year. We had a #1-#2 matchup last year that didn't work out so well. If voters see fit to place Michigan #2 to start the year, we'll have another: Appalachian State is #1 in I-AA. Slightly higher probability we come out on the right end of this one.
Hail to the Victors 2007. Interestingly, all the non-Brian writing was done by other bloggers. This sounds like a good read:
Christopher P. Anderson on Jim Harbaugh's rapid rise to the Stanford HC position, complete with speculation about whether he'll be the new HC here. Yes, written before his multiple outbursts. Still a great article.
July 25 - Wednesday
Before there was Draftaggeddon, there was McGuffaggeddon.
Brian got a Skype interview with BTN President Mark Silverman. It seemed like satire at first, but apparently it’s real, and it also changes Brian’s opinions of the network somewhat.
July 26 - Thursday
More details on the legal fight over whether or not the BTN is a regional sports network.
Unverified Voracity Vicariously Sexes Duff because Hillary Duff and Mike Comrie are a couple. Also, Hail to the Victors will be sold at Borders and Barnes and Noble.
July 27 - Friday
Pros and cons of Big 10 Expansion. Lots of interesting stuff here, regarding Rutgers...
PROs: Also an academic fit. Better location than Syracuse; has the only program in the universe that could get New York City interested in college football even a little; even if it doesn't still brings in New Jersey. Provides a real rival for Penn State.
As potential world domination plans go, "conquer New York" is third only to capturing Notre Dame or audaciously (and mildly senselessly) picking off Texas from the Big Twelve.
CONs: Has been a total doormat for the enter non-Schiano existence of their program. Last year's Texas Bowl win was great... but as a 40 year high point not so much. Basketball program also bleah.
Verdict: A high stakes gamble, and how. Michigan's in on a ton of New Jersey recruits this year, so I've noticed a new trend: these guys are actually listing and seriously considering Rutgers. Safety Brandon Smith has them slightly trailing us. JB Fitzgerald has them in his top group with UF and us. Witherspoon listed them. They're probably going to get offensive lineman Art Forst. This is a new development, and even if they're striking out on the kinds of guys that get offers from Michigan and UF they're probably going to recruit better than a lot of mid-level Big Ten schools this year. Joining the Big Ten would probably be another boost. So... I don't think this is a flash in the pan. As long as Schiano stays.
That's the bet here: that Schiano can be a program patriarch for the Scarlet Knights. That Rutgers success can be sustained. That when Joe Paterno finally retires, he stays. That the move to the Big Ten provides a further boost. That the program is relevant enough to retain people's interest. Because the downside here is stark: my God, we've admitted Temple.
...and West Virginia...
PROs: Darling of the moment with Rich Rodriguez staying, and if he turns down 'Bama's millions he's probably in for the long haul. Will have a good, if sleazy, basketball team with Huggins around.
CONs: Isn't WVU a really crap school? Huggins should be a net negative. Football program has strong flash-in-the-pan characteristics.
Verdict: Academics are a dealbreaker, I think.
PROs: Rich football tradition. Would be competitive and bring cachet. Nebraska fans travel like mofos and would probably be fun to have around.
CONs: No other sports of note. Geographically distant. Nebraska is not a rich area to pluck recruits from. They would remind us of [BOWL REDACTED] and force us to strangle them and then we would be in jail.
Verdict: Nebraska fans occasionally bring this up as a possible escape hatch from the Big Twelve and their unbalanced TV contracts. An interesting possibility, but the geography is a negative and they don't bring anything except football. Tempting, but no.
Ultimately, here is Brian’s wish list:
2. Notre Dame
5. Boston College
...the rest I don't care for.
July 29 - Sunday
McGuffaggedon is nigh. It’s down to ‘M’ or Texas A&M. Lots of highlight videos here.
July 30 - Monday
Monday Recruitin’. So McGuffie committed, but no hello post apparently.
Unverified Voracity is Small, Feisty. An interesting note on the troubles that newspapers are having with reporting on an issue like McGuffie where the most interesting item (Youtube videos) aren’t something they know what to do with. They reference the videos but provide no links or embedded videos.
Now the Notre Dame series is back on...for another 25 years. There had been a lot of back and forth with ND fans about who was responsible for not renewing the rivalry, but apparently none of that was true.
July 31 - Tuesday
Mailbag covering what ‘M’ fans should do with ESPN Gameplan package, scheduling non-conference opponents, how much McGuffie will play in 2008, freshman uniform numbers, and if Carson Butler will be reinstated.
More roster notes. LB/FB Qunitin Patilla, DL James McKinney, and OL Justin Schifano are out of the program.
Hello Mike Cox. The CT RB is a surprise take, especially since (based on other recruiting pieces) in-state RB Jonas Gray is still un-offered.
July 3 - Monday
The month starts off with a July 4th break.
July 5 - Wednesday
Penn State preview. They went 11-1 the previous year; their only loss came from Michigan. However, the biggest concern is going to Anthony Morelli at QB. Brian predicts 8-4. They would finish the year at 9-4.
July 6 - Thursday
Unverified Voracity: Ack Math. Brian immediately warns mathophobes to stay and away, so I’m hesitant to comment too much on this post. He looks at a Smart Football article, the gist of which is that a balanced offensive attack should be viewed with a weighted value on pass plays. The conclusion is the Texas Tech had a balanced attack.
July 7 - Friday
Blogpoll memberships for the upcoming season is opening up. There is some criteria this year about who can get in.
Unverified Voracity: SI for Kids Rules because that publication has ranked Michigan #2 for the upcoming season. Also, Pat Fitzgerald has become Northwestern’s new coach, and NCAA Hockey is requiring more boarding calls.
July 10 - Monday
Illinois preview. They went 2-9 in their first year under Ron Zook.
By the midpoint of the season the only people watching Illinois games were pissed-off Florida fans, who traded tapes of the debacles and watched them intently in pitch-dark rooms full of unpleasant, familiar noises best left unspeculated upon.
And not much hope of improvement is available. However, a certain freshman QB named Isiah Williams is mentioned and a sophomore running back named Rashard Mendenhall is on the team. Brian predicts 3-9. They finish the year at 2-10.
July 11 - Tuesday
Unverified Voracity: Orange Seizure. I think I have seen this stat in recent years, but something called “I Blog for Cookies” came up with this:
That's right ... in the last 6 years, we are more likely to lose a game than to win it if we go into the 4th quarter with a small lead.
Hello: Manny Harris. This is a great improvement over recent recruiting news (Reed Baker and Zach Gibson), but there is a concern that there won’t be enough roster spots left, specifically for another Michigan high school guard, Laval Lucas-Perry.
July 12 - Wednesday
Hello: Steve Watson, a recruit about whom not much is known, but he has decent offers so who knows.
July 13 - Thursday
Wisconsin preview. Lots of uncertainty here, starting with a new coach. Bret Bielema was the youngest coach in the country...until Pat Fitzgerald was hired. They return QB John Stocco and LT Joe Thomas, but not too much else. New starters are expected to be RB P.J. Hill and LB DeAndre Levy. Also, I didn’t remember that there was another Randle El.
Randle-El proves the old maxim "Mothers, don't name your younger son 'Marcus' when your older son is a ridiculously exciting mobile quarterback because he is guaranteed to be a knucklehead if you do."
Brian predicts 9-3. They would finish 12-1, only losing to Michigan.
Unverified Voracity: Z Agrees. Minnesota has worked a deal with TCF Bank for naming rights to a new stadium that is being planned.
The corporate naming of stadium has always been a mystery to me, as whenever I hear something like "Comerica Park" I make a little note to myself to never, ever bank with Comerica. I can't be alone in this, can I?
July 14 - Friday
A collection of videos of the Zidane headbutt. Most of them work!
At the invitation of another blogger, Brian participated in a “commissioner for a day” post. His ideas:
1. Eight team playoff.
2. No I-AA games.
3. No more than one guarantee game per year.
4. Drop the Sun Belt to I-AA.
5. Tweak OT.
6. Fix the fumble-out-of-endzone rule.
7. Add a flagrant pass interference foul.
8. Implement NFL-style challenges.
9. Crack down on this facilities ridiculousness.
10. Assign Mark May and Lou Holtz to the WNBA.
Of course he elaborates more on all of these.
Unverified Voracity: Auburn College-like Substance because Auburn has found a way to make school very easy for their athletes. Also, the Kings have signed hockey prospect Trevor Lewis before he could even reach Ann Arbor.
July 17 - Monday
Unverified Voracity: Diamond Dallas Page. A Nebraska blog is incorrectly trying to prove east coast bias in CFB balloting, as compared to computer voting. Also, Georgia Tech has its players doing “commando yoga” with a former pro wrestler.
Brian addresses an email about Michigan’s talent advantage. Allegedly, a common complaint at the time was that ‘M’ had superior talent, but the coaches were not that good. He works through several theories and looks at NFL draft data. Little did anyone know how soon this (raw skill vs. getting coached up) would become an even bigger issue.
July 18 - Tuesday
A ranking of the top 50 “Most Loathsome People in Sports.” This post is 50-41. Coming in at #50: Brian Cook, #49 Bill Simmons, #44 Colin Cowherd, and #42 Sean Avery.
July 19 - Wednesday
Surprise, surprise Alex Legion has committed again.
Unverified Voracity: Piref Edition: HHYYAAAR. Apparently a referee worked in CFB for five years with only one eye...and no one knew about it. Further, his performance reviews improved. Also, Pat Kane might go to college and it will either be ‘M’ or BU.
July 20 - Thursday
Unverified Voracity: More NCAA with reviews of the NCAA ‘07 game. After evaluating these, Brian has decided against purchasing it.
July 21 - Friday
Penn State blogs/fans have taken umbrage at Brian’s preview, so he responds to their emails in this post. Alan Branch would make this statement prophetic:
A night game at the Beav will be Edmonton-Stanley-Cup-Finals insane, granted, but the game is still played on the field. On said field, I think the Michigan defensive line will give PSU all kinds of problems.
A few recruiting notes about Toney Clemons, Steve Watson, and Donovan Warren (some in his family want him to go to Ohio State, but he seems destined to go to USC).
July 24 - Monday
The next installment of loathsome people (40-31). Highlights include: #40 Jason Whitlock, #39 Jacques Lemaire, #37 The Sun Belt Conference, and #33 Lou “Holth”.
Unverified Voracity: Apocalypse. Bill Martin says that the basketball team needs better facilities. Donors might be hard to locate.
July 25 - Tuesday
Iowa preview. Big concerns in the secondary and the receiving corps, but they have Drew Tate and a favorable schedule, so expectations are high. Brian predicts 11-1. Unfortunately...all is not well, and they finish 6-7.
July 26 - Wednesday
Unverified Voracity: Bird of Frank Thomas. Ryan Mallett is looking decent at Elite 11, and Brian takes a look at some of his old sports cards.
A panoply of Lindros cards... thanks for nothing, Eric! You and your stupid concussions cost me some "clams" or "bones" or whatever you people call them! Don't get me started on your stupid "knee injury," Pavel Bure!
Also, Mallett won the EA Sports NCAA ‘07 title, so that has to be a good sign right?
July 27 - Thursday
Brian is preparing to head out to Las Vegas to participate in the World Series of Poker.
July 30 - Sunday
Update from the WSOP. Brian is still alive, but only seems to be just surviving.
A second WSOP post, this in much greater detail. Brian describes his experience in Vegas…
Percentage Of Professionally Hot Girls Who Would Actually Be Attractive In Something That Covered, Say, 60% Of Their Bodies
Hovering at about 30%. But that 30% is impressive. Also: irritating. I think it's worse when an impossibly hot girl is showing obviously fake enthusiasm towards you for money instead of the usual scoffing. I pointedly ignore them.
...and gives specifics about each of his hands during the game.