May 1 - Thursday
Brian realizes that he was premature in announcing that MN WR Bryce McNeal had committed. He likely will soon though.
Yep, looks like McNeal is in based on his Myspace page.
May 2 - Friday
Unverified Voracity Seeks Novelty. There’s a picture of the $290,000 personal check that Beilein wrote to WVU for his buyout. Also, he is in on a CA PG named Darius Morris.
Mailbag: How do Rodriguez’s recruits compare to those at WVU? And will ‘M’ produce as much pro talent and if not will that hurt the brand? Will there ever be a playoff and wouldn’t it diminish the regular season?
May 5 - Monday
Recruiting update. VA RB David Wilson’s recruitment is heating up. ‘M’ is in on him, but VA Tech seems likely.
Good news from the OHL draft as both Jon Merrill and Jared Knight were both picked on what appear to be flier picks.
May 6 - Tuesday
Unverified Voracity Thinks He’s Younger than Hannah Montana. The 2010 hockey class is shaping up nicely. The basketball team now has the funding for a practice facility.
APR numbers are out. Football is down slightly, but basketball is in a dangerous place.
May 7 - Wednesday
Charlie Weis doesn’t like excuses, but all he does is make them.
Unverified Voracity Drop its H. Uh oh, Rodriguez has given #1 to JT Floyd, and Braylon isn’t happy. In hindsight, this sounds more like sarcasm, but apparently not in 2008.
Edwards, poised to be one of the dominant NFL receivers of the next ten years, is going to be a resource both financial and otherwise no matter what happens here. But there's no reason to annoy him, or annoy fans who like a tradition that dates back 30 years (Tyrone Butterfield excepted), or remove whatever small recruiting juju exists when you dangle the 1 in front of a kid who knows what it means.
May 8 - Thursday
Rodriguez has been touring as many alumni club meetings as he can, and attendee reports are gathered here.
I asked him what the strongest position group on the team is so far; I was hoping he'd reply "defensive line" or "tailback" because that'd at least confirm my hope that U-M will be kickass at something this year. He leaned back and scratched his chin and told me he'd not thought about it like that, but he'd have to say: linebackers. I was a little surprised. My girlfriend told him that I'd been expecting he'd say "defensive line." He said, "Yeah, but your boyfriend's not thinking about some of those freshmen we have coming in." How to take that? I don't know. Either the whole team blows worse than I'd feared or he's extremely impressed with that handful of four-stars he and Lloyd scored.
May 9 - Friday
A long post explaining and refuting various playoff criticisms.
May 12 - Monday
Recruiting Update. Things seemed done at QB with Newsome and Beaver; however, there are persistent rumors that Tate Forcier will still commit. Rumors almost as persistent as Brian calling him Jason. Also, Keith Nichol is transferring from Oklahoma and might end of up ‘M’ too.
May 13 - Tuesday
Unverified Voracity Remembers Wolverine Great Chris Carter. In other Michigan prep star coming home news, SG Laval Lucas-Perry is transferring from Arizona and will join the basketball program in January 2009.
May 14 - Wednesday
Banner contest time! Unfortunately, last year’s winner only lasted a few days before the Horror. The nice thing is that the post includes a screen shot of pink MGoBlog in those early days of September.
The NCAA tries to fix APR. Fails.
EDSBS Charity Bowl. I think it’s the first. Michigan leads so far.
Brian is going to be out of town for a few days. Light posting ahead.
May 15 - Thursday
Unverified Voracity Defeats Tornados and wins the charity bowl.
Orson's moral is "never get in a fundraising war with Michigan"; mine is "I really should be asking for more donations."
May 16 - Friday
May 19 - Monday
Recruiting Update. Bryce McNeal is officially committed. IL OL Michael Schofield added to the board.
Unverified Voracity Attends Other Sports because they’re all (Baseball, Softball, Men’s Track and Field, and Men’s Tennis) doing very well. Also, Braylon won the battle of the #1.
May 20 - Tuesday
May 21 - Wednesday
Mailbag. Is Michigan now a hot destination for recruits? Is OSU hotter? CMU has trouble retaining players, and how many possessions will the offense use to put up all the points they will score?
May 22 - Thursday
The All-Carr Team: Offense. This is fun look back, but here is just the first team:
QB - Drew Henson (2000)
WR - Braylon Edwards (2004)
WR - David Terrell (2000)
RB - Tshimunga Biakabutuka (1995)
FB - Chris Floyd (1997)
TE - Bennie Joppru (2002)
LT - Jake Long (2007)
LG - Steve Hutchinson (2000)
C - Rod Payne (1996)
RG - David Baas (2003)
RT - Jon Runyan (1995)
May 23 - Friday
Unverified Voracity Lists Insultees. Brian lists them all, but Cris Carter isn’t one of them.
May 26 - Monday
Memorial Day. No posting.
May 27 - Tuesday
DE - Lamarr Woodley (2006)
DE - Glen Steele (1997)
DT - Alan Branch (2006)
DT - Jason Horn (1995)
LB - David Harris (2006)
LB - Larry Foote (2001)
LB - Victor Hobson (2002)
CB - Charles Woodson (1997)
CB - Leon Hall (2006)
S - Marcus Ray (1997)
S - Jamar Adams (2007)
May 28 - Wednesday
Recruiting Update. FL LB Brandin Hawthorne added to the board. Keith Nichol is headed to MSU.
Unverified Voracity Seeks Help because MGoBlog 3.0 is coming soon!
After a few days pounding away at MGoBlog 3.0, my initial reaction is: this is going to be so cool if I don't go insane and do something rash like challenge Charlie Weis to deep-fried-butter-eating contest or try to dunk on Jason Maxiell. If you've got mad Drupal chops and can answer questions like "Images: wtf?" and "WYSIWIG editors: wtf?" and "am I going to kill performance by enabling like 600 modules, wtf?" please drop me a line.
May 29 - Thursday
Brian needs to get some things off his chest regarding sports blogs. His grievances are:
Creepily Stalking Hotties
Erin Andrews (this is specific to the first)
May 30 - Friday
So the baseball team is in the NCAA tournament. They are a #2 but actually hosting their regional. They are joined by Arizona, Kentucky, and EMU.
May 31 - Saturday
Baseball regional open thread. ‘M’ lost to Arizona and will play Kentucky in the elimination game.
April 1 - Tuesday
The first hello post after a flurry of commits at the end of March. Hello Teric Jones.
April 2 - Wednesday
Unverifie--YEEAAAAAGH HORRIBLE BOR-INFANT because of a great Boren-head-on-baby photoshop effort. Also, some spring football news with LBs John Thompson, Obi Ezeh, and Marell Evans getting good reviews.
April 3 - Thursday
While Isaiah Bell and Teric Jones are "under the radar" "sleepers" at this point in time, Justin Turner is "wicked sweet" and "maybe the best prospect in Ohio." He's currently #42 in the Rivals 100, and #137 at Scout.
April 4 - Friday
Unverified Voracity is Like a Free Ride. Football spring practice is way more open than it used to be. Also, it turns out the Ann Arbor News was less than ethical in its reporting on academics and ‘M’ student-athletes.
April 7 - Monday
Brian copies an EDSBS feature with Stuff Green and White People Like, including “talking about how hot the chicks are.”
Even the women will do this. It does not matter that this fan, grad, or provost might, say, be a 180 pound 5'2" woman, or, more commonly, a moderately in-shape girl with a blond dye job and a face Sarah Jessica Parker would find unpleasantly equine.
April 8 - Tuesday
Recruiting update with a brief run down on each position group. MN WR Bryce McNeal is a possibility to commit soon. NJ DE Anthony LaLota, OH RB Fitzgerald Toussaint, and AZ DE Craig Roh have been added to the board.
Brian is heading to Denver for the Frozen Four, so he gives a programming update.
April 9 - Wednesday
UV. Mario Manningham has sent a letter to NFL teams to admit that he has used marijuana but is no longer.
April 10 - Thursday
Brian is in Denver.
Mailbag. Will ‘M’ football have a night game? Which is better, Rivals or Scout?
I must confess to having considerably less experience with Scout than one might expect. I was briefly a subscriber there but let it lapse. (Subscribing to two separate recruiting websites is a bridge too far even for me.) Also, I've never gotten either site's magazine. I've leafed through a copy of The Wolverine or two and it seemed fine for something on "paper" or whatever you call it. From what I've gathered, Scout's mag is weak sauce that only exists so the U can't turn them down for press credentials and the like.
Scout and Rivals are extremely different sites. The Wolverine is amongst the most professional recruiting sites out there. Go Blue Wolverine is a cult. This isn't all bad for GBW, since the cult is based around Tom Beaver, the chief koolaid purveyor* in all of Wolverine land. Name a personality disorder and Beaver probably has it: megalomania, workaholism, ellipses fetishization, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder. Slightly over half of these are very annoying; the other half are useful.
April 14 - Monday
Game column for Michigan’s loss to Notre Dame in the Frozen Four. It’s a very poignant piece, as Brian relates his observations of Billy Sauer’s mother.
April 15 - Tuesday
A look ahead at the 2009 hockey team with possible departures, incoming freshmen, and wild stabs at line combinations.
April 16 - Wednesday
A recap of various observers from the spring game, including Craig Ross. The QBs look awful, and the Offensive Line wasn’t far behind.
Justin Boren is a communist. Past that, the threat level here is pink or orange or whatever is equivalent to "the nukes are on their way." Virtually every observer has called the offensive line a Sauer -- zing -- this spring, and when Rodriguez made the quarterbacks live for a brief period Threet was immediately knocked out with a minor injury.
April 17 - Thursday
Unverified WHAT? Voracity YEAH. Tressel is back to bringing up “gentlemen’s agreements” within the Big 10. Now Rodriguez is being asked about it again, and Brian thinks this type of journalism is terrible.
April 18 - Friday
D Mark Mitera might make the jump to the NHL. Sources seem to be split.
Mitera is staying and has been named the captain for the ‘09 team.
April 21 - Monday
Unverified Voracity Does Unusual Things at Cedar Point. Spring hype at WVU means being excited that your team is going to throw more and how much better the offense is going to be.
Hey! They're just like us. Except their team finished 50th, 5th and15th in total offense the past two years while Michigan was 55th, 38th and 68th. It's surreal to see these guys complaining about "DickFraud" (LOL!!1!) like he's Mike Debord.
Apparently EDSBS posted a picture of Mark Mangino’s for sale house and got in trouble?
April 22 - Tuesday
Wizard Hat and Snake Oil memes are dead. Roy Roundtree says switching his commitment was his choice.
Recruiting update. Fun names added: FL QB Eugene Smith, FL RB Vincent Smith, and TX QB Shavodrick Beaver. QB Kevin Newsome seems close to committing (if hints from his Myspace page are to be believed).
April 23 - Wednesday
Jake Long was the first overall pick in the NFL draft. Brian takes the occasion to run down recent ‘M’ OLs, and try to figure out why that position group got really bad around 2001/2002. Andy Moeller maybe?
Unverified Voracity Desperately Seeking RBUAS. It sounds like Newsome is likely committed, and Tate Forcier is talking to him on Myspace about going to ‘M’ together.
April 24 - Thursday
Football recruit and Mose Schrute look alike Andrew Russell challenges J Lehman for best CFB head shot.
April 25 - Friday
Saginaw native and St. Johns’ basketball player Larry Wright is transferring to be closer to family and ‘M’ seems like a fit. Looks like he ended up at OU.
April 28 - Monday
Unverified Voracity and Stuff. Bill Belicheck weighs in on Pierre Woods and proverbially scratches his head about the lack of playing time in Woods’ senior year.
April 29 - Tuesday
Recruiting update. All signs pointing to ‘M’ taking a second QB. Candidates are Shavodrick Beaver, Tate Forcier, and Geno Smith. Also TX WR Josh Gordon says he will commit to ‘M’ if he gets an offer.
April 30 - Wednesday
Informative part of the Beaver commit. Rodriguez has two athletic QBs to build his future on.
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.
February 1 - Friday
The basketball team is regressing. Brian gives a few observations from half of a particularly rough outing against Minnesota.
February 3 - Sunday
Sunday Recruitin’. Hey, Trotwood Madison might yield some great recruiting results.
February 4 - Monday
Unverified Voracity, Now with Really Long Categories and a youtube link of a Big House tour with Bo.
Monday Recruitin’ says FL QB Justin Feagin and TX WR Terrance Robinson are committed. Also, Terrelle Pryor is now likely to announce on signing day, probably.
February 5 - Tuesday
The Leopold Brothers are leaving Ann Arbor.
Tuesday Recruitin’ with lots of Pryor talk. Where will he go, when will he announce, etc. Also, Roy Roundtree has been removed from the board.
CFB Blogging award nominees.
Yep, Pryor will sign tomorrow.
A few sources popping up that are saying Pryor will commit to Michigan. Including an OSU fan who sat next to Jerome Bettis on a plane who was in turn with Charlie Batch the night before. Sounds legit.
February 6 - Wednesday
Signing Day is here! And what a haul: FL OL Ricky Barnum, OH WR Roy Roundtree, and FL RB Michael Shaw. Also, Pryor’s commitment is off again. No word on when it will happen.
Allegedly, Pryor is leading toward Penn St.
What? Seriously? I mean... we all understand that the surest way to murder your prospects for the NFL is to get "coached" by Jay Paterno, right?
I think we're out, bizarrely. At this point Penn State is a much better option for Michigan fans, as PSU's class outside of Pryor is pretty crappy everywhere except linebacker, especially if this Shaw switch is legit (upon which more later). If there's any school in the country guaranteed to staple Pryor's butt to the bench for two years and then concoct an offensive scheme that minimizes his talents, it's Penn State.
Nick Perry has committed to USC.
Despite some wavering earlier, Shaw is for sure in. However, now there is panic over McGuffie who has not yet sent in his LOI.
Signing day recap. Rodriguez did a good job in just filling the class with anyone, let alone getting a number of highly rated, potential contributors. This is reflected in how the overall ranking was maintained throughout the coaching transition. There are concerns though that there is only one DL and three DBs.
Rodriguez presser notes. Still waiting on 1 to 3 players: Pryor, McGuffie, and Demens. But the post is updated that Demens LOI is in.
February 7 - Thursday
Is there a German word like schadenfreude that means making fun of someone else's future but it actually turns out just fine for them and then you want to forget you ever said anything in the first place? Cause that’s what happens when you write a post about how Michigan State brought in a terrible recruiting class and they’re claiming they’re going to play in the Rose Bowl and isn’t that just ridiculous? No? Ok, let’s move on.
February 8 - Friday
Unverified Voracity Takes Nine Steps, Then Shoots. Joe Tiller is not happy with Rodriguez for violating a “gentlemen’s agreement” about poaching recruits from other Big Ten programs. Brian shreds this idea. Also, FL WR Martavious Odoms still hasn’t signed and could yet join Michigan’s class.
More shredding of the gentlemen’s agreement idea. Almost every coach in the Big Ten has poached players from within the conference.
February 9 - Saturday
#1 ‘M’ hockey is in the midst of a weekend series with #2 Miami. They won the first game. A second win would really strengthen their position for the rest of the season.
February 10 - Sunday
February 11 - Monday
The Stupidity of Hope. Boy if that doesn’t sum up the last decade. This very long post deals with Pryor and parses the various rumors and statements from the last few days.
Unverified Voracity Ducks. Lots more about snake oil and refuting arguments about Rodriguez’s dishonorable tactics. Apparently, Tiller was trying to take one of Brady Hoke’s Ball St. commits on the morning of signing day.
February 12 - Tuesday
Recruiting review of QBs and RBs. Here are the fun YMRMFSPAs:
QB Justin Feagin : Pat White
RB Sam McGuffie : Noel Devine
RB Mike Cox : Mister Simpson
RB Michael Shaw : Antonio Pittman (although everyone expects Shaw to play WR)
February 13 - Wednesday
Brandon Moore : Mario Urrutia
Kevin Koger : Carson Butler, minus the attitude
February 14 - Thursday
Darryl Stonum : Mario Manningham
Terrance Robinson : Steve Breaston
Martavious Odoms : Devin Hester
Roy Roundtree : Jason Avant, on a starvation diet
February 15 - Friday
Hockey recap of last weekend’s series with Miami and the upcoming games against a very bad LSSU team.
Brian wrote a piece for Fanhouse criticizing Alabama’s oversigning practices. This made a lot of Alabama fans mad. He responds to them here.
Unverified Voracity BEHDL DEH TOOTH. Rodriguez shocked many by holding an open, undergrad try out. Some interesting tidbits were shared.
What I can vouch for is that Barwis is amazing. His presence is absolutely terrifying, he's so incredibly motivating that even in the brief time I was there I would have done absolutely any drill he made me do as hard as I could. He's a very, very special coach - you want to do exactly as he says because you're so very sure that it'll make you better. During the suicides that we did at the end, he singled me out because I was lagging and screamed at me; I've never willed my body to go faster ever in my life. Awesome.
February 18 - Monday
The basketball team has won three straight, and there is mild excitement for the program. So much so that the court was rushed after a win against a mediocre OSU team.
Unverified Voracity Briefly. Pryor is looking more and more like a OSU vs. PSU battle.
More back and forth with Alabama fans about oversigning.
February 19 - Tuesday
Another hockey recap. ‘M’ is now up five points on Miami in the CCHA. More importantly:
Hokay. It's like this. By virtue of Michigan's performance to date they have locked up a tournament bid and will be no worse than a two seed no matter what happens from here on out. Michigan could go 0-6 the rest of the way and be a two seed.
Dann O’Neill : Jake Long
Kurt Wermers : Matt Lentz?
Elliott Mealer : Matt Stenavich?
Rocko Khoury : “uh, that other un-touted guard person”
Ricky Barnum : Rod Payne?
Patrick Omameh : ????
February 20 - Wednesday
Boubacar Cissoko : Chris Houston
JT Floyd : Charles Stewart
Brandon Smith : Jamar Adams
February 21 - Thursday
Mailbag. Lots of smoke about bad news coming from the athletic department. Maybe something along the lines of players being funnelled into easy classes.
Unverified Voracity was Going to Wonder about the Sky but it’s Obviously Green. Varsity Blue looks at Rodriguez’s ‘99 Clemson team to try to determine how a big, slow, white QB (ie Threet) will perform.
February 22 - Friday
Brian is heading to NYC for a rest. Posting will be sporadic for awhile.
February 25 - Monday
Taylor Hill : Larry Foote
Marcus Witherspoon : Shawn Crable
JB Fitzgerald : Victor Hobson
Kenny Demens : Chris Graham
Mike Martin : Terrance Taylor
January 1 - Tuesday
Brian is surprised by the outcome, but happy.
January 2 - Wednesday
Unverified Voracity is Just a Bunch of Video Embeds. Lots of Citrus Bowl videos. Also a UFR will be coming since ‘M’ was basically in a passing spread.
A roundup of numerous rumors regarding current commits, class size, possible transfers, and the coaching staff. The position of DC is still open, and Jeff Casteel is a strong possibility. Brian refutes the idea that the 3-3-5 wouldn’t work in the Big 10.
January 3 - Thursday
Reports that Mallett is transferring. However, this means that Terrelle Pryor will likely come to ‘M’.
Florida Game Column...also covering WVU beating Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.
Rich Rodriguez put that team together, and though he was absent the framework of that team's offense and defense were his responsibility. That team's offensive and defensive coordinators will be Michigan's offensive and defensive coordinators. That team's recruiting coordinator will be Michigan's recruiting coordinator. And that team was a national-championship-caliber one cobbled together from quarterbacks LSU wanted as a wide receiver and terror-beast fullbacks from Division III schools in Wisconsin.
This might have been a good hire.
Basketball will not have a lot of effort dumped into it. They're really brutal this season and I'm just not that into college basketball. Hideous refereeing, that kiddie three-point line, and games against Northwestern are detraction enough when your team is better than the Wildcats. When it's debatable? Not so much.
January 4 - Friday
Unverified Voracity Knits. Manningham says he is coming back. Mallet is still uncertain.
Now it is sounding more and more certain that Mallett is gone. The rumors are centering on him going to UCLA.
A breakdown of the probable assistants. At this point, it looks like Casteel will probably come.
January 5 - Saturday
More on assistants. Casteel and Tony Dews are the biggest question marks. If not Casteel, Wake Forest DC Dean Hood is a possible alternative.
Unverified Voracity Says Hello, Goodbye, Hello. Hello NJ S Brandon Smith. Jeff Casteel and Tony Dews are staying at WVU. Bruce Tall is on the fence. Maybe Erik Campbell and Steve Stripling stay.
January 7 - Monday
More assistant updates. Now Dews and Tall are both coming to ‘M’. DC is still a mystery.
Manningham is 90% likely to stay.
Dews and Tall to ‘M’ is official per WVU.
January 8 - Tuesday
Jay Hopson is rumored to be the next DC.
Details to voters for the final blogpoll vote.
Rodriguez says Mallett, Arrington, and Manningham are all likely gone.
January 9 - Wednesday
Exeunt Unverified Voracity. Rodriguez confirms those departures, and Hopson is confirmed as a staff member though not necessarily DC. Also, it looks like BTN and Comcast have come to a settlement.
January 10 - Thursday
WVU is reportedly hiring Florida DB coach Doc Holliday, so maybe Casteel is still in play? Turns out not.
Recruiting Board Update. Lots of Terrelle Pryor videos, but other options will be explored.
Expect at least a couple sleeper types and possibly a JUCO or two. (I've been told that Rodriguez is talking with the admissions department about a couple of JUCO quarterbacks.) I also expect Rodriguez to pursue already-committed recruits in the Midwest corridor he picked up most of his Mountaineers in: meh dual-threat QB Dominick Britt, a Cinci commit, virtually anyone in the Pittsburgh area he thinks can help out, and IN QB Marqueis Gray, who committed to freakin' Minnesota at the AA game.
Hoke for DC rumor, but not that Hoke. Maybe Jon Hoke, but this is debunked even before the end of the post.
January 11- Friday
Unverified Voracity Casts Stones. Brian says he is remiss to not mention the Mealer situation earlier. An update and address for gifts is included.
Rodriguez will be playing Score-o at the hockey game tonight.
Scott Shafer will be the next DC. He has been hired away from Jim Harbaugh at Stanford. This sounds familiar with Harbaugh’s hiring of Don Brown.
[New Stanford coach Jim] Harbaugh had never spoken to Scott Shafer when he pulled up last year's NCAA statistics on the Web. But he knew what he was looking for. Harbaugh wanted to lure a coordinator from one of the top-rated defenses.
There, at No. 11, was Harbaugh's man.
Last year, Shafer's defense at Western Michigan was ranked 11th overall, sixth against the run and first in sacks and interceptions.
Shafer says his defense will be multiple. No 3-3-5.
Press conference audio for Rodriguez and Shafer.
January 14 - Monday
Monday Recruitin’. TX WR Terrence Robinson and FL QB Justin Feagin have been added to the board.
Video of Rodriguez on the ice at the hockey game. Brian is excited about the systematic shift in the coaching staff.
January 15 - Tuesday
Unverified Voracity is a Little Girl because Mike Barwis is amazing.
The first Rodriguez controversy after coming to ‘M’. He is accused of shredding lots of documents in his WVU office, including personnel files for each player.
Terrance Taylor is planning to come back. Tim Jamieson is the last possible early entry.
Raise your hopes for Terrelle Pryor. He has moved up his planned visit to this weekend.
January 16 - Wednesday
BHGP wrote a piece for comedy that attacked Rodriguez and MGoBlog, but Brian took it seriously. Lots for vitriol.
Reaction and updates to the shredding incident. Also, there might have been improper phone calls to recruits.
Brian realizes that BHGP was joking. Lots of embarrassment.
January 17 - Thursday
More shredding reaction, this time from Rodriguez.
Mailbag. Is it possible that Rodriguez’s first year will be a really bad transition year like Beilein’s first year?
Unverified Voracity Goes eeeee Again. Here is Tom Lemming’s ranking of Michigan’s recruits. Yikes…
#11 Sam McGuffie(!)
#45 Brandon Smith
#49 Boubacar Cissoko
#59 Dann O'Neill
#80 Daryl Stonum
#93 Brandon Moore
January 18 - Friday
Several links to responses from Rodriguez.
2008 Recruiting Board. The names are updated, but most of the content isn’t.
There is great controversy about why Rodriguez made 112 calls to a tiny WV town. Turns out those were calls to check his voicemail.
Brian asked those attending the basketball game to encourage Pryor, but not to forget about the other recruits.
January 19 - Saturday
Alex Mitchell and Jeremy Ciulla will not be returning.
January 21 - Monday
Now Calvin Magee is making accusations back at WVU, insinuating that he wasn’t considered for the head coaching job because of his race.
Monday Recruitin’ says that Pryor was on campus and said it was “cool”. Allegedly, he’s already made up his mind but will milk the process for maximum drama.
There are CFB blogger awards coming up.
January 22 - Tuesday
Mailbag with several perspectives on Shafer and less-flattering reviews of Rodriguez.
A short biography on Ted Sarniack, a “friend” of Pryor who happens to own corvettes and a prosperous business in Jeanette, PA. Also, he has been meeting with OSU coaches last week.
Tuesday Recruitin’. Marcus Witherspoon and Christian Wilson are opening up their recruitment. Nick Perry has a top three of ‘M’, USC, and Miami.
January 23 - Wednesday
Now there’s a picture of Pryor with that corvette. Somehow Charlie Batch is involved too.
Basically, West Virginia is a mess. Brian agrees with Bill Stewart that this all needs to end.
Assumptions going forward: the shredding thing was much ado about precisely nothing, Rodriguez is neither Satan or Carr, and no one should particularly care about the outcome of the WVU-Rodriguez lawsuit. Occasional links might make their way into UV or on the sidebar; from now on this is all sideshow.
January 24 - Thursday
OSU fans are upset that Pryor is considering Michigan and incredulous that there could be a breath of wrong-doing about their program. Probably a good time to recap their recent improprieties.
Thursday Recruitin’ with three interesting names added to the board: FL QB BJ Daniels, FL WR Martavious Odoms, and OH OL Patrick Omameh.
January 25 - Friday
Unverified Voracity is Reminded. Chad Henne has made comments that all the current QBs (Threet and Cone) might be looking to transfer. There is a chance the QB play in 2008 might be bad.
Hockey update. Michigan is #1 in the country and should have the first seed locked down.
January 28 - Monday
Monday Recruitin’ has an update on the remaining prospects on the board:
TN CB JT Floyd
TX WR Terrence Robinson
MI DE Nick Perry
SC WR Jaron Brown
FL QB Justin Feagin
FL QB BJ Daniels
OH RB/WR Michael Shaw
PA QB Terrelle Pryor
MS S Charles Mitchell
FL WR Martavious Odoms
FL OT Rhonne Sanderson
OH OT Patrick Omameh
That looks like five or six guys to me.
Unverified Voracity with Throbbing Temple Surprise. Brian tries to figure out how Drew Sharp is still employed.
The Free Press' logic is probably straightforward: I bet he gets a lot of hits on his pieces. Every time he writes a rip job on someone, incensed people post links on the relevant message boards. Despite the 100% guaranteed "don't give this guy attention" response posted two seconds after the initial link, people click and absorb the latest tripe.
January 29 - Tuesday
Quarterback Mailbag. OSU fans pushback against Brian, saying he could damage Pryor’s career by insinuating that he has been involved with anything unethical.
January 30 - Wednesday
Wednesday Recruitin’. Not much going on yet. Marcus Witherspoon is solid now, but JB Fitzgerald is saying nice things about Rutgers.
January 31 - Thursday
Hello SC CB JT Floyd. He had been a Tennessee commit for about a year, but was recruited by Carr and Rodriguez.
Pryor might be pushing off his decision until after signing day. In retrospect of the 2008 season this explanation seems much more plausible:
If he pushes things back it's to visit spread-friendly Oregon, not the act of a guy who's a "lock" anywhere. Unless, as the hardcore tinfoil-hat types have decreed, Pryor is such an OSU lock that he's under orders from Tressel to lead Michigan on until such time as other options like BJ Daniels and Justin Feagin have freaked out and gone elsewhere.
And Michigan has stopped recruiting BJ Daniels. Pryor or bust?
I got to thinking yesterday; I have seen this season before. The opponents seemed familiar, the offensive ineptitude - it is quite haunting. Below I am giving result through 4 games for 2 Michigan seasons, guess which is which.
|Season 'A'||Season 'B|
|Lose to Notre Dame by 18||Lose to Notre Dame by 31|
|Lose to Utah by 2||Lose to Utah by 16|
|Beat Miami (NTM)||Beat Miami (NTM)|
|Beat #9 team||Beat #140 team|
By now, I'm pretty sure you have figured out that Saeason 'A' is 2008 and Season 'B' is 2014. I have to say that through 4 games in 2008, I was more optomistic about the remainder of the season than I am today. The only benefit of the 2014 season is the rest of the B1G (excluding MSU, OSU, PSU?, Neb?) appears to be terrible.
Hoke Uber Alles?
Former Michigan QB Nick Sheridan has been QB Coach/Passing Game Coordinator at Western Kentucky since 2011, and with Willie Taggert taking over at USF he's brought Sheridan with him.
South Florida: Willie Taggart announced via press release this afternoon that Walt Wells and Nick Sheridan will join from Western Kentucky. Wells will serve as offensive coordinator / offensive line coach and Sheridan will serve as quarterbacks / passing game coordinator.
Congrats to Nick.
Below are some charts - yes, charts - showing how the defense stacks up after three games, both this year and last year. Please take these charts with a massive grain of salt, but I was still a little surprised by the findings. Also, I know that the defense last year was statistically one of the worst in UM's history, but I still think that was due more to the offense's inability to stay on the field than a complete implosion by the defense.
So not as bad as I thought. Points are just about equal (one of ND's 2008 touchdowns was on a fumble return, which I did not attribute to the defense). The passing yards are essentially the same, with the rushing defense clearly taking a step back. At least part of that rushing difference, though, can be attributed to the Herculean effort the defense put on Utah, holding them to 0.8 yards per carry on 43(!) attempts in the first game of 2008. Put their average from last year (157 yds/gm), and you have effectively the same defensive effort.
But what about the offenses faced? Were the offenses UM faced last year statistically better or worse than the ones they have faced so far? I wanted to find out, so I go again to my trusty excel chart.*
*Note, the national rankings for the 2009 opponents only includes the first 2 games (since today's games are not complete). Also, I included both the final and after-3-games totals for the 2008 offenses.
|Teams||Utah||Miami (NTM)||ND||AVERAGE RANKING|
|After 3 games|
2009 - after 2 games
So yeah, the defense is struggling a bit, but certainly not to the extent people first envisioned. While I will update the 2009 numbers when they are posted, both ND and WMU have/are putting a hurting on their most recent opponents, and EMU showed some competence against both UM and NW. As you can see, the rush defense might have been helped by the fact that both ND and Miami (NTM) trotted out some of the worst rushing offenses last year, and Utah was the first game of the year against a fresh defensive front. This year it is clear that the line is a work in progress, and the LBs need to tackle better, but those were trouble spots everyone expected. Not to harp on the Denny Green meme, but the front 7 are who we thought they were - incredibly shallow with some clear weaknesses. Still, the rush defense is ranked #43 (last year it finished #50), and my guess is that it will improve somewhat as the season progresses and some of the younger players get their feet under them and GERG's principles become more familiar.
As for the passing defenses, they are remarkably similar statistically. Sure, Cissoko has struggled mightily this year, but don't forget that last year Stevie was letting bombs soar over his head and receivers scoot by him virtually unmolested. Angry Secondary Michigan Hating God works in mysterious ways, but apparently the pox can never be eradicated; just moved to a different victim. It should be noted that they have faced two top-30 passing offenses so far this season, so perhaps we shouldn't read that heavily into the fact that the backfield has been exposed somewhat. Currently the defense is 87th in passing defense, but that happens when you face top-30 passing attacks. Last year they finished #79, and I would be amazed if the pass defense didn't finish in the 60's or even the 50's by the end of the season.
So I guess my conclusion is that while the defense has struggled somewhat this year, let's not forget that it wasn't some juggernaut last year. For all of Cissoko's recent failings and the struggles of the front 7 against the run, the team is not that far away from last year's numbers, and should probably exceed them once the sample size increases. Yes, PSU and OSU will likely run all over the D, but that should surprise nobody. Those are top-notch offenses with dynamic playmakers in the backfield. But I like what I'm seeing so far under GERG - tackling alone seems light-years ahead of last year, the players seem to get the scheme, the young guys, especially Roh, look legit, and Warren and Graham have been revelations. I'm not saying this defense will approach 1997 or 2006, but I do think it will grade out better than people expect.
I would love to hear what people who know far more about football, especially on the defensive side, think of this defense and how it should look going forward.
EDIT: I have updated the rankings for this year's offenses after 3 games. Overall, they match up quite similarly to last year's offenses after 3 games, when the defense was touted as one of the best. My take is that while the defense certainly has to improve, I think that it will certainly be better than last year's because the offense should protect it via sustained drives and, hopefully, less turnovers resulting in bad field position.
2009 - after 3 games