Unverified Voracity Bursts Like Appendices Comment Count

Brian March 3rd, 2009 at 12:12 PM

Pop rocks. News on the bubble has been good for Michigan of late. You can take a neutral ESPN's word for it, or a rabidly pro-mid-major JCCW's:

…the big boys and their ESPN propagandists got the results they needed from the land of mid-majors this weekend. Neither Siena nor Utah St. could handle their road trips to angry league rivals who have probably had the date circled on their proverbial calendars for weeks. Creighton didn't get the help they needed from Evansville to declare an outright title in the MoVal. Butler sealed up homecourt throughout the Horizon tourney, making it more likely the HL will stay a one-bid league. More than ever, it looks like it really is the "down year" for mid-major at-larges we've been hearing about since December.

Tentative woo. While it's the rare major-conference result that definitively reduces the number of bids a league will get—thanks, Notre Dame—every failed attempt at a mid-major at-large increases the pool of available slots for Michigan.

They're still not getting in without a win over Minnesota on Saturday, but there was always a chance that an unpleasant assemblage of results outside of Michigan's control could see the "9-9 w/ first round BTT win" scenario fail to yield a bid. That chance is slimming.

Skatin'. Defenseman and member of Michigan's sick 2010 hockey recruiting class Mac Bennett was recently profiled by his local news:

So, good news and bad news in there. Good news: Bennett seems like the kind of kid who will go high-ish in this year's NHL draft—he was rated a third-round pick (-ish) by the CSB. Bad news: his quotes on Michigan don't indicate the sort of kid who's likely to stick around all four years. Eh, that's life as a Michigan hockey fan.

Berenson back. We may be nearing the end of Red Berenson's tenure as Michigan's coach, but it's not quite over. Berenson just agreed to a one-year extension of his contract.

Berenson gives a typically blunt quote about the situation:

"I know that my time is coming," Berenson said. "...I just didn't want to make a five-year commitment and say, 'Geez, I'm gonna be here until I'm 75 or something.' I don't think that's fair to the team, to the program. And recruits might come in and say, '... this guy is gonna be our coach?'

"Right now I'm fine, and I'm good for a year. So we'll go from there."


Oh, no reason.  (via Black Heart, Gold Pants)

Berenson did state he wasn't planning on retiring this year even if Michigan wins the national title. As for what happens when Berenson steps down: the chance of an internal promotion is very high. Billy Powers and Mel Pearson already do all of the recruiting and plenty of the coaching; Michigan will promote one and hope to hang on to the other.

Bashin'. An erratic weekend for Michigan baseball saw them lose to Wisconsin-Milwaukee in a game featuring 30 runs, split a doubleheader with Jacksonville by the improbable scores of 21-3 (W) and 10-2 (L), and finally pull another late-innings rabbit out of their hat against Akron. Formerly Anonymous has your recap. Michigan stands at 7-2 on the year and is looking a little wobbly.

A three-game series against Siena is up next, followed by the annual Mets exhibition and then then what's probably the most critical series of the year if Michigan's going to get any at-large consideration at the end of the year: three games at Arizona.

Sign there is something deeply wrong with me #4,540. So I read the epically long Wright Thompson thing about Ole Miss's 1962 integration riots and so on and so forth. As I was doing this, I kept thinking about Derek Pegues and Dennis Thames and Josh Boyd: how the hell can it be hard to get kids out of Mississippi? Argh!

Also, a there is a Michigan tangent. The week after James Meredith enrolls and Oxford turns into Beruit, Ole Miss plays Houston:

Vaught almost never gives pregame speeches, thinks they are silly. But this ... well, he needs to say something. Vaught feels like the entire university is riding on the backs of his team. Vanity? Sure. True? Probably. He needs them to understand, these young guys. He needs them to see. "It is very important that we play this game, boys," Vaught says, "and we have to win it."

The team roars in response and rushes out of the locker room onto the field. Vaught gets chills watching them. The Rebels dominate undefeated Houston 40-7, with Griffing throwing three touchdown passes to Guy. But the most emotional two ovations of the day have nothing to do with the game.

One comes at the beginning, when Barnett enters his box. The other comes when the public address man announces other scores from around the country. Michigan, he tells them, has beaten Army, hated invader of Ole Miss 17-0.

This is so tangential that I don't have anything to say about it other than "funny old world," so: funny old world.

Etc.: WTKA appearances by Tim of Varsity Blue and MVictors. Ohio State fans are also ticked about Hightower.



March 3rd, 2009 at 2:23 PM ^

Brian's last point there about Ole Miss seems to be rooted in the idea that Ole Miss in 1962 is the same as Mississippi State in 2009. I know he doesn't think that, and certainly black Mississippians like Boyd, Pegues, and Thames surely recognize it isn't the same as well. (Hell, Mississippi State wasn't Ole Miss even in 1962--look at the differences in integration at each school.) These two schools have two totally different cultures, and around the state Mississippians view the differences between the schools as about much more than just football. It's about class, race, and geography (mostly the rural-urban split). All three players mentioned were recruited by an African American coach, which may have meant something to them. Finally, I wonder how a black student athlete views the racial climate at Michigan versus at a place like Mississippi State that has a relatively larger black student population.


March 4th, 2009 at 8:46 PM ^

the michigan is a place to fall back on comment certainly is not indicative of a 4 year guy. probably much less than 4 imo. maybe he'll change his mind. i can always dream i guess