This Month in MGoBlog History - March 2008: Pryor isn't coming, Boren has left, and some academic fraud allegations sprinkled in

Submitted by Maize.Blue Wagner on March 21st, 2018 at 7:02 AM


February 2008

March 3 - Monday

CFB Blogger Awards: Best Post - Analysis

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.

CFB Blogger Awards: Best Analysis

March 4 - Tuesday

CFB Blogger Awards: Best Big 10 Blog

Hockey bracketology post. ‘M’ should be the number two overall team, but things are “jittery”.

CFB Blogger Awards: Best non-BCS Blog

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


Depth chart by class.


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


The potential athletic scandal previously rumored has broken, and it is indeed lots of independent studies for athletes. MLive article.


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

  1. Northwestern

  2. the 0-29 New Jersey Institute of Technology

  3. the Glendale School for Headless Boys

  4. Courtney Sims International Toughness Academy

  5. Five Separate Mounds of Animal Crackers Ranging from Six-Two to Seven-Foot-Even

  6. Mary Kate Olsen

  7. Feral Chicken State University

  8. the Armenian National Team

  9. Strippers Killed By Kwame Kilpatrick

  10. Superintelligent Mutated Algae

  11. Team Oompa-Loompa

  12. Nihilists

  13. Bill Simmons, his dad, his infant child, "J-Bug," and "House"

  14. the Knicks

  15. Avery Queen, Maurice Searight, Josh Moore, Gavin Groninger, and Jerrett Smith, aaaaand

  16. Duke.

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


More Boren updates and analysis.


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.














Amaizing Blue

March 21st, 2018 at 7:21 AM ^

While I always appreciate this feature, I am now faced with the prospect of reliving 3 years of absolute sucky-ness without even the hope that it will get better.  The drama the Rich Rod years brought was almost as bad as the losing and the Gerg defense.  How about that stuffed animal?

The only bright spot is the beginning of the Beilein era.  The answer to the question of how much of West Virginia's success he was responsible for seems to be "Most all of it", BTW.

snarling wolverine

March 21st, 2018 at 12:38 PM ^

The beginning of the Beilein era was not fantastic either (10-22).

The next year will be better (21-14 and an NCAA bid) but then the program will backslide again (15-17) and struggle in the first half of year four before kicking in high gear in the second half. There’s a rocky road ahead in this retrospective before it gets good.

N. Campus Tech

March 21st, 2018 at 7:55 AM ^

"Beilien really does have an offensive system that ourperforms the rest of the planet."

"Beilein finds talent that the recruiting services do not."

"Beilein just can't coach defense."

True, true and true.


Wolverine In Iowa 68

March 21st, 2018 at 11:17 AM ^

When Pryor called a press conference to announce that he was delaying his decision, I said then, that I didn't want him at Michigan.  He came across as entitled and all about himself, which he ultimately proved to the detriment of the Vest.

I'm glad he didn't come to UM, despite the QB mess we dealt with.  He was trash as a human being, and I'd rather he wreck OSU than us.


March 21st, 2018 at 2:50 PM ^

Christian Hackenburg? Of course, he had legit gripes about not being coached or developed...

Manziel? Pretty sure he was convinced that rules/boundaries/consequences were for other people.

At Michigan...hmmm...Ryan Mallett was supposedly a Grade A asshole, but salty...?

I think if you included NFL in your sample you could.find quite a few, but you may be right.


March 21st, 2018 at 3:53 PM ^

My general position is that someone remains a Michigan man even when they say things that are obnoxious, or make serious mistakes. It's family, and even if someone blows it they're still a Michigan Man.

But there are exceptions, and this... is the exception that proves that exceptions need to exist.


March 21st, 2018 at 3:49 PM ^

Blocking out the football depression and the still-a-ways-to-go basketball stuff: Man, that hockey team was loaded. 

And all the optimism from that regional weekend article? Dissolved into bitter goaltending tears. The stuff about Billy Sauer's improvement was accurate and, sadly, quite prescient. 

People who lived and died through that season mark the loss to Jeff Jackson's Notre Dame team in the FF as one of the most soul-crushing in the Berenson epoch. It was the best Berenson team of the post-Morrison era. So much promise. Such a gutting payoff.

Bando Calrissian

March 22nd, 2018 at 1:47 PM ^

Gosh, Jim Carty and that freaking academics article. All he had to do was look at an academic calendar and about half of his article would have gone out the window.

And that hockey team. Maybe my favorite season of following a team post-97. They were so much fun. Went to a good chunk of the away games and the entire tournament. Even with the gut punch at the end, it was such a fun ride.