Unverified Voracity Stays In School, Maybe Comment Count

Brian October 3rd, 2008 at 12:28 PM

(caption) Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham (55) sacks Miami (OH) quarterback Clay Belton (13) late in the fourth quarter. Also applying pressure on the play is Michigan defensive end Tim Jamison (90). *** Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez gets he first victory 16-6 over Miami of Ohio, the school that produced legendary Michigan coach Bo Schembechler. at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor.  Photos taken on Saturday, September 6, 2008.  ( John T. Greilick / The Detroit News )


Maybe a return? The popular consensus on Brandon Graham's senior year has long been "will be spent in the NFL," and with five sacks in four games he seems to be on that trajectory. But is this hinting at a return?

"He [Jamison] knows a lot of different protections that I don't really know on both the pass and the run," Graham said. "He's able to plant a little bit more. I just try to go off my abilities to push people around and try to do it. But I'll learn a little bit more, and that's why next year's always good. I'm just trying to learn as much as I can right now to get on his level.

"I appreciate saying I played with Terrance, Jamison and Will. The whole D-line, it was just all love when I got here. It's still the same way."

Obviously that's inconclusive and many folks don't want to leave until someone tells them just how much asiago you can buy with a million dollars, etc etc etc. At the very least Graham is talking like he plans to return, which is a win from this perspective.

If Graham does come back, a defensive line of RVB-Martin-???-Graham looks at least passable, no? And with the only other departures of note—on the whole team, not the defense—being Morgan Trent, Johnny Thompson, and Charles Stewart, that should be a much better outfit, yes?

Ugly but obvious. GS has the Run Chart up and it checks in at an ugly –3 total with Molk's –3 being the least awesome individual score; Massey and Ortmann also pick up -2s.

What's the difference between a pitbull and a hockey mom? Pitbulls speak English. Uh… yeah, hockey is approaching. INCH preview-ifies the CCHA, dwelling long on the implementation of the shootout. This is going to come up time and again so let's just start the lectures now: shootouts go into the books as ties to the NCAA, do not affect the pairwise, and only impact CCHA standings. This will be a million times confusing, I know.

Elsewhere, Yost Built embarks on an epic season preview by considering the goalie situation:

I'm more optimistic than a lot of people are about Sauer this season. The way last season ended was no doubt a disappointment, but I have to believe he's more entrenched as the starter than he was heading into last year. Look at those numbers again. He was 30-4-3! He gave up less than 2 goals per game, despite Michigan regularly playing three rookie defensemen.

My prediction is that Sauer establishes himself the starter going into the tournament and I FREAK OUT the first ten minutes of every game.

Come on Motor City. Reed from Road Games 07 is, like Richard Shindell, currently a resident of Argentina. Unlike Richard Shindell, Reed has written an extensive treatise on Michigan's bowl chances this year that's worth reading up on for the snark…

A Big Ten team with a 6-6 record can not be selected over a team with a better record, even if the bowl in question is in Detroit and the team in question played Northern Illinois, Bowling Green, Montana State, and Florida Atlantic in their non-conference schedule.

We may find ourselves in a position where we're rooting for Penn State to get to the national title game so the Rose Bowl can dragoon some other questionably-deserving Big Ten team, freeing up a 6-6 slot for us. Woo?

Reed has us finishing 5.5-6.5—uh, with percentages—but I think that's pretty pessimistic given this:

Illinois 35% 2.35 - 2.65

Dude, man, we're favored by 2.5 tomorrow. I don't know why, exactly, but Vegas isn't stupid.

Conference bler. I agree with this so, so very much:

when you adjust for small and inconsistent sample sizes, blatantly unequal matchups (i.e. Big East champion West Virginia vs. SEC bottom dweller Mississippi State, for example), injuries, rebuilding years, wide variations of strength and scheduling within each conference -- anything that might fall under the category of "margin of error" -- ALL of the numbers indicate that, over any appreciable length of time, the major conferences are ... roughly the same. Which seems about right.

That's Docsat; there are numbers.

Etc.: MVictors has babyback ribs for you; Varsity Blue goes inside the Koger touchdown.



October 3rd, 2008 at 12:46 PM ^

......I  did a diary on those back in August.

With Maize and Blue blinders on, of course, I had us in the Outback. If UM gets a win tomorrow, I wont budge off of that projection.

I dont think it will matter if PSU gets into the title game or not. The Big 10 will get 2 BCS bids......where else are the at larges going to come from? One from the SEC, one from the Big 12, lets give one to a mid major....but who gets the fourth? Until I see otherwise, it wont be from the Big East or ACC.....Pac 10, but who!?!?!

I still think OSU and PSU get bids to big money bowls.

Also, the ACC and Big East likely wont fill all their bowl slots, so that could open up another spot for a 6-6 team Big 10 to go bowling somewhere other than Detroit.


October 3rd, 2008 at 12:51 PM ^

...go inside the play.  And by fine I mean "upstanding", not necessarily "attractive."  I'll leave that to the ladies and non-traditional males to decide.


October 3rd, 2008 at 1:08 PM ^

Last week jamiemac and I had some discussions on the bowl situation.  After the Wisconsin win I think everyone feels a lot more confident in getting to 7-5, so hopefully all of this is a moot point.

I still wish the Big Ten had their rules about bowl selections written down somewhere.  Everyone has vague ideas of what the rules are.  Such as believing that a 6-6 team can't get selected over a 7-5 team.  Also I remember hearing that you can't get selected over a team 2+ spots in front of you.  I.E. a 7-5 team can't get picked over a 9-3 team but can get picked over a 8-4 team.

It seems likely that 2 Big Ten teams will get to the BCS, but not guaranteed.  The Big 12 and the SEC will definitely get at larges and the Pac 10 and ACC will probably not.  I think we pretty much have to count on a non-BCS team getting an at-large, but it would be very bad if 2 did.  Thus, there are a couple rooting interests that Michigan fans should have.

  • Root against Boise State.  We do not want more than one non-BCS team in the BCS bowls, and clearly our preference is Utah.
  • Root for USC to win the rest of their games.  This by itself would give all the Pac-10 teams (aside from USC) 2 losses.
  • Root against UConn, Pitt, USF and Cincy.  This one is the most certain to happen.  It is almost guaranteed that UConn won't win out and those other teams will get a second loss.  That would ensure that the Big East doesn't get an at-large.
  • Root against Iowa and Indiana.  Since we don't play them, if they go 0-8 in Big Ten play then that will make sure we're at worst 9th in the standings.  If they each go 1-7, it might actually be better because then they would steal some wins from teams we're competing with for the bowl slots.
  • Hope that the national championship teams are from the Big Ten, Big 12 or SEC.  Although, if USC makes it and no other teams from the Pac 10 are eligible, that's fine too.  We just don't want the Pac 10 getting 2 BCS bids.


October 3rd, 2008 at 1:18 PM ^

The home team. 

I am going to keeping pulling for and hoping our team wins keeps winning games before rooting for all sorts of scenarios that would help us get to the motor city bowl or whatever.

On the other hand, I do like bringing up our bowl streak...


October 3rd, 2008 at 1:37 PM ^

Absolutely.  I think we will make it to 7-5.  That will not only guarantee us a bowl bid (no matter what happens with the rest of the country) but it will also guarantee a winning season keeping that even longer streak alive.  It would suck to make a bowl at 6-6 and then lose.

Although those situations are most helpful for Michigan if we go 6-6, they are also good for the Big Ten in general.  Getting 2 BCS bids is always a good thing, and the scenarios I outlined will help that.


October 3rd, 2008 at 2:09 PM ^

how did getting two BCS games last year fair for the Big 10.  It's probably in the best interest of the Big 10 to not send someone into the NC game to face the SEC or Big 12 champ. 

But, an at-large bid to the fiesta / orange bowl against a non-bcs team or 2nd place SEC/Big 12 team could work.


October 3rd, 2008 at 2:43 PM ^

How can having 2 Big Ten teams in BCS bowls be bad?  You may be looking at this the wrong way, or maybe it's the Jew in me coming out, but have you seen the pay-outs for BCS bowls relative to non-BCS bowls, most notably the MNC game?  Those are big dollars for the Big Ten, not to mention more exposure for the Big Ten in general. 

Also, when 2 teams go, like last year, it bumps up the bowl that each of the lower Big Ten teams go to.  Had Illinois not gone to the Rose Bowl last year, they likely would have played in the Capital One bowl, and we would have been bumped to a lower bowl, and on down the line.  

I'm assuming you are referring to the fact that both of the Big Ten teams lost in the BCS bowls last year.  I still think that Big Ten teams losing in major bowls is better than winning bowls nobody watches.  


October 3rd, 2008 at 3:35 PM ^

Although I would certainly never hope that the Big Ten loses both BCS bowl games, it is always always always good for them to get 2 teams into the BCS.  Always.


Last year putting Illinois in the Rose Bowl gave each team in the Big Ten an extra $500,000.  Our share went to West Virginia for Rodriguez's buyout, but the other 10 teams probably got to keep their money.  Granted the Big Ten's bowl record looks worse because of it, but I am in complete agreement with that Doc Saturday post.  The major conferences are all pretty much even, and the ordering goes in cycles.  Right now the Big Ten is legitimately in the 3 spot, and having a slightly better bowl record wouldn't actually make much of a difference it would only quiet the media slightly.


October 3rd, 2008 at 1:20 PM ^

I'm against starting Sauer full time.  He's a good goalie but has proven over and over that he is prone to imploding.  Starting Sauer in the tourney this year is just asking for it.  The last 2 years Michigan's lost in the tourney because of a Sauer meltdown, why do people think that won't happen again.

 Hogan might be behind Sauer in terms of natural ability but he proved last year that he has what it takes to be a clutch goalie.  Coming into the national semifinal and playing the way he did, with the limited games he'd played and the situation he was put in (down 3 goals), is not something Sauer could have done.  Goalies who choke don't do stuff like Hogan did.

 I believe Michigan has a better chance at winning a national championship giving Hogan a starter's workload and letting him work through kinks in his game.  He'll be ready to play in the tourney, less likely to cost Michigan another national title, and gain the experience for his upper class years.  Sauer is a lame duck starter with a propensity to choking.


October 3rd, 2008 at 1:22 PM ^

So, I've been a goalie coach for a few years, and I'm interested to see what changes between good Sauer and bad Sauer. I know its mostly mental, but I wonder if anything is different physically. I'm currently trying to download the Miami (NTM) conference championship game and looking for a copy of either ND meltdown. I have a painfully slow internet, so it may never actually finish downloading, but if I get it, I shall post in diaries.


October 3rd, 2008 at 1:50 PM ^

Made it to my first game at Yost last year in almost a decade, that great 3-2 win over ND.

My winter goal is to get to three games at Yost and, gasp, make an appearance at Crisler Arena. And, this time I will cheer for the home team. My last trip to Crisler, I cheered for my alma mater, Indiana University. Sorry about that.