March 3 - Monday
Brian was off for awhile at the end of February, so he gives a recap of what’s been happening. The hockey team has scuffled a bit at the end of their season. The basketball team has had an inglorious end to their inglorious season.
March 4 - Tuesday
Hockey bracketology post. ‘M’ should be the number two overall team, but things are “jittery”.
March 5 - Wednesday
Unverified Voracity, Terrified of Pasties. Rumors abound about some athletic/academic problems that are about to break. The rumors are:
A sizable number of UM athletes have been taking spring and summer term independent study courses in kinesiology and sociology under a few specific professors.
In the late 80s and early 90s, Michigan bent its admissions standards for athletes(!).
March 6 - Thursday
March 7 - Friday
Unverified Voracity has Daddy Issues. Actually Terrelle Pryor has daddy issues, but otherwise his recruitment has been very quiet. He has offered some optimism by floating a possible visit but that doesn’t seem likely.
March 10 - Monday
Weekend recap. Hockey had a bye in the first weekend of the CCHA tournament, and their situation hasn’t changed much. The basketball team is struggling, and they haven’t shown much improvement throughout the year. However, Hello Zack Novak!
Unverified Voracity Snaps Depression-Era Necks. Rumors that the Comcast/BTN standoff has ended and the year old network will now be seen on many more TVs. Also, lots more about Novak.
March 11 - Tuesday
Mailbag covering how the change in offensive philosophy will affect in-state recruiting, the success of the women’s gymnastic team, and some reminiscing about the 1959 ‘M’ vs. OSU game.
Unverified Voracity is #2 because Michigan Stadium is going to be the second biggest in the country, due to university settling a lawsuit to create more handicap access seating. I’m only beginning to remember how bad 2008 was…
Also, this is an interesting note regarding the current state of basketball recruiting at Michigan:
Michigan is still scared to death of the Ed Martin thing from ten years ago and is running a program so squeaky-clean they've basically written themselves out of every high profile basketball recruit ever. All you need to know about Michigan's paranoia is this: Tommy Amaker was hired by Harvard and immediately ratcheted up the skeeziness.
March 12 - Wednesday
2008 Recruiting Grades. RB, WR, and TE all get an A, but QB and DL (no DEs taken) get an F.
March 13 - Thursday
Five guys who are going to be glad that Rich Rodriguez came:
5. Corey Zirbel
4. Avery Horn
3. Marcus Witherspoon
2. The DL (because Gittleson was having them eat Pizza as a condition program)
1. Sam McGuffie
Also, Brian anticipates the scourge that is clickbait:
Lists are one of the hackiest forms of writing anything, but I, too, succumb to the occasional bout of offseason glazomania.
Unverified Voracity Says Stop Breaking Bones. Matt Rust has suffered a serious injury in an on ice collision. This adds to the already injured Chad Kolarik and Scooter Vaughn.
March 14 - Friday
Five guys who are going to dislike them some Rich Rodriguez:
5. Vince Helmuth and Mark Moundros (i.e. Fullbacks)
5. The DL (because they’re going to be doing something other than eating piazza)
4. Darryl Stonum
3. Mike Massey
2. Brandon Minor
1. Ryan Mallett
Hockey playoffs are starting, and Brian tries to figure out how good Manny Harris really is.
March 16 - Sunday
March 17 - Monday
Brian posts a number of data points related to the independent study issue. He doesn’t seem to know what to make of it at this point.
He goes back and interrupts the data, basically concluding that he is ok with the academic helps for athletes, but especially thinks that the athletes should be able to major in their sports.
Repost of a critical piece on Harbaugh from last summer, regarding academics at ‘M’.
Hockey update. Things are still murky regarding the NCAA tournament. They play NMU on Friday in the CCHA semi-finals.
March 18 - Tuesday
Unverified Voracity Talks About Other Things. Lots of excitement about how former WVU players (like Steve Slaton) are traveling to Michigan to work with Barwis. This did not happen with former ‘M’ players in the past.
March 19 - Wednesday
Mailbag with lots of academic discussions, and Brian defending his views.
Pryor signs with OSU.
March 20 - Thursday
Unverified Voracity is Relatively Unsurprised by Cage Fighting. Barwis was 36-0 as a cage fighter.
March 21 - Friday
2009 Recruiting Board. Lots of fun names here.
2009 Recruiting Overview. There’s a slight concern that there are no QBs yet, but there are options.
Who's left? Lots of kids, most prominently CA QB Tate Forcier and VA QB Kevin Newsome. Both are top-100 types who have spoken favorably about Michigan. Tate, of course, is Jason's little brother and is supposed to be the best of the flingin' Forcier clan (the middle brother is entering his freshman year at UCLA). Newsome showed very well at the Army All-American game. Both maintain they're open to anyone at this point. Forcier seems really interested in Penn State as well, which means 1) distance is not a factor and 2) wooo recruiting against Jay Paterno. Newsome is reportedly looking at VT hard.
Also, Jay Hopson’s influence has been immediate with lots of Mississippi offers.
March 22 - Saturday
A few, final hockey seeding notes and projections. ‘M’ can’t be worse than second overall.
March 24 - Monday
The hockey team got a very favorable draw. They play Niagara and then the winner of St. Cloud/Clarkson.
A note on hockey tickets.
A closer look at common opponents for St. Cloud and Clarkson.
March 25 - Tuesday
Unverified Voracity Fears Biff. Lots of rumors that two O-Linemen might be leaving the program. Nothing concrete yet, but Justin Boren has been mentioned as a possibility.
ESPN has rights to the hockey tournament, and this year there will be very few syndicated games. If you don’t have ESPNU, too bad.
Confirmed, Boren is gone.
March 26 - Wednesday
Mailbag covers the process of selecting tournament teams, just what Boren’s departure means, tickets for Dearborn and Flint students, and a look back at a regional game at Yost in 2002.
March 27 - Thursday
Brian tries to figure out who is responsible for West Virginia being so good this season.
West Virginia is currently in the Sweet Sixteen. Michigan would not have made the Sweet Sixteen in a seventeen team tournament that featured M versus
the 0-29 New Jersey Institute of Technology
the Glendale School for Headless Boys
Courtney Sims International Toughness Academy
Five Separate Mounds of Animal Crackers Ranging from Six-Two to Seven-Foot-Even
Mary Kate Olsen
Feral Chicken State University
the Armenian National Team
Strippers Killed By Kwame Kilpatrick
Superintelligent Mutated Algae
Bill Simmons, his dad, his infant child, "J-Bug," and "House"
Avery Queen, Maurice Searight, Josh Moore, Gavin Groninger, and Jerrett Smith, aaaaand
One team is coached by John Beilein. Correction: John Beilein looks at one team with a visage of perfect exasperation and incredulity. It was recruited and assembled by Tommy Amaker. The other team was recruited and assembled by John Beilein. It is coached by Bob Huggins.
The question for beleaguered Michigan basketball fans: how much of West Virginia's current success can John Beilein take credit for? The answer is somewhere between "all" and "none."
March 28 - Friday
It sucks that Boren hated the new staff so much he wanted to transfer, and that's his prerogative. A multi-day campaign of offense against the University when the only statement it issued on the matter was a factual "Boren has left the program" is grounds for excommunication. Stone the witches!
Preview of the hockey game against Niagara.
March 29 - Saturday
Lots of good news. The hockey team beat Niagara! Top 50 OH DB Justin Turner has committed! Also, MI RB Teric Jones!
March 31 - Monday
Michigan ended up winning both games during the weekend. 5-1 against Niagara, and 2-0 against Clarkson. Game column.
Boren says the football team lacks family values, and then not only do Turner and Jones commit, but also OH S Isaiah Bell.