Devoted to Michigan Athletics. The cause of and solution to all of life's problems.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Friday, January 12, 2007
Purduexing It: Michigan Preps for Match Up With Boilermakers
(Ed. note: This posting is also available in a little more detail at the new Maize n Brew. So head over there as well! Today is my last day here before all the fun will totally relocate to Maizenbrew.com.)
Purdue is one of the surprises of the early season. I thought they'd suck, suck, and suck some more, but they've been better than decent compared to their car-crash-in-slow-motion season last year. On offense there's really only one true scorer, Carl Landry at forward. Landry is a stud and was named All-Wonk 1.0 over at Big Ten Wonk for his early season work. Not the best defender in the world or all that careful with the ball, but he can put the rock in the bucket with gusto. Other than Landry, Senior guard David Teague is capable of contributing to the Purdue offense. He averaged almost 15 a game in 2004, but missed 2005 due to injury. Now that he's back, his numbers resemble Dion Harris' numbers, except Harris' FG% is much worse and Teague's pulled down 30 more boards. However, Harris has 30 more assists.
Purdue isn't an assist type team. Keaton Grant and Teague are type for the team lead with 42 assists. Further, neither have particularly accurate shots, so the majority of Purdue's points will come from down low. Expect Udoh and Petway to hammer Landry all game and expect Courtney Sims to see the ball down low quite a bit. If I was Amaker I'd have Baker on the court every second Sims was out there to give Michigan a long ball threat. It would keep the second defender off Sims and allow him a little more room to operate. But that would make sense.
Michigan is the better team. However, the Wolverines have never played well on the road under Amaker. The last two games have shown Michigan is capable of playing defense, and is capable of passing the ball without passing it to the other team. If Michigan plays in a controlled style they should beat Purdue. However, if Dion Harris launches 20 shots, we lose. Take that to the bank. Michigan needs to keep driving the lane, posting up with Sims, and letting Arbam take open shots. If Sims has ten shots and the rest of the shooting is evenly distributed, Michigan wins.
We'll see what happens. Michigan needs this game. Let's hope they play like it.
Bakermania Takes Hold of News Media
Free Press UM basketball beat writer Eric Lacy is a little behind the times in catching on to the fact that Baker was a decent pick up for the Wolverines. He does give Baker his due though. Good kid. Great shot. Works harder than everyone else on the court. Way ahead of you Eric...
The piece is a good, but brief, look back at Baker's strange journey to Michigan. Definitely worth a Reed (heyoo!). One annoying little aside from Lacy's article. Apparently there's a super secret memo floating around the legitimate media telling them to, at every opportunity, decry the internets as a place of evil where puppies are slaughtered and the Devil plots his plans following the Rapture. For that or some other reason Lacy takes a shot at the people who were slightly irritated when Baker was originally signed, instead of, you know, someone they'd actually heard of.
Memo to Lacy, the internet message boards were RIGHT to decry Amaker for signing a player he'd never seen. Normally when offering a full ride to someone that totals close to $50,000 a year for education, room, board, and clothing, the people who are PAYING or have paid that amount out of pocket to attend Michigan expect that the coach will actually know who the player is. It's a school pride issue. Michigan is a selective academic institution. We expect the same out of our athletics.
But when Lacy wrote this, I did giggle a tad:
Someone on a Michigan State fan Web site wondered if Baker made a mistake, thinking he committed to the Spartans.
No Eric. It wasn't a Michigan State "fan Web site". That was me.
One thing that is for sure, he's never seen Crisler. "To play in a packed house in front of 20,000 fans screaming with every game on ESPN, it’s going to be incredible," [Baker was quoted as saying]. Apparently he thinks he committed to Michigan State. Reed. Quick heads up. We wear the blue and white jerseys.
While no one expected Reed to be the second coming of Jesus, there were indicia that he could become a decent ball player.
[T]he vibe on the kid seems to be he's a decent ball player. The Birmingham Southern site also mentions that he cracked 30 points four times his senior year. Combine that with the assertion he shot 88% from the free throw line, we could be looking at a quiet 10-15 a night mixed with some apples.
Have I been that far off? Lester Abram told us he was good over the summer, and I believed him. The message boards are fine for good old fashion rumormongering and venting frustration. However, there are lots of us who go out of our way to give informed and
(Soap box being put away)
To Lacy's credit he does have a great Q&A on Michigan at (2-0) in conference so far. One point he makes about the Michigan offense is something that's driven me nuts about Amaker's teams for years: the rushed, deep, unnecessary 3 point shot with lots of time on the shot clock. Rightly, Lacy points out that cutting down on those shots (cough Dion Harris cough) will greatly improve the team's chances of winning games.
Michigan has two games against Purdue sandwiching a game against Penn State, before two road games against Wisconsin and Indiana. As you can probably guess, the next three games are critical to Michigan's season. If the last two games are indicative of how Michigan will play the next few weeks, then expect good things. If Michigan falls back into the patterns it displayed against NC State, UCLA and G-Town, cringe in fear and assume the fetal position.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Big Ten Power Rankings
(Ed. note: This posting is also available in a little more detail at the new Maize n Brew. So head over there as well! Friday is my last day here before all the fun will totally relocate to Maizenbrew.com.)
With the football season now officially over it's time to switch our attention to that other winter sport: Basketball. I can't dream of keeping up with Brian's or Yost Built's hockey coverage, but roundball is a different story.
So far it appears to be a down year for the majority of the Big Ten. Only standouts Wisconsin and Ohio State are ranked (albeit #4 and #5 respectively). Further the conference is a woeful 3-13 against the top 25, and 2 of those victories are Wisconsin's. It's early in every Big Ten team's season, but there no better time to start abritrarily judging their accomplishments. So let's get to the rankings:
Maize n Brew's Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings
16-1(2-0)1. Wisconsin - Wisconsin is clear and away the class of the Big Ten. Alando Tucker is perhaps the best player in the Big Ten at this point and is also one of the best in the country. But it's not like this is a one person team. Kammron Taylor poured in 25 points on the Buckeyes and Wisconsin's bench is as deep as any in the Big Ten. Wisconsin is allowing a lot of points on the year, but continues to rack of double digit point wins. Recently, they've picked it up on the defensive end holding four of their last five opponents below 60 points.
13-3 (2-1)2. Ohio State - On talent alone, this IS the best team in the Big ten, if not the country. But as a Michigan fan I know that lots of talent doesn't guarantee anything. While the Buckeyes have dismantled clearly inferior teams they have struggled against top competition. However there are plenty of reasons not to discount Ohio State. Greg Oden is still nursing with right thumb back to health and the Buckeye's shooters are too good to stay cold for long. They'll be a force come tournament time and probably the favorite to win the Big Ten over the long haul.
14-4 (1-2)3. Michigan State - Don't let their 1-2 conference record fool you. This is a good team. It's just not as good as we've come to expect out of Tom Izzo. MSU dropped its first two road games by a bucket to Iowa (who is nearly unbeatable at home) and then got blown out by Indiana in Bloomington. Now the Spartans are back home and welcoming back some big time talent. the absence of freshman hot-shot Raymar Morgan and Sophomore Mo Joseph have forced MSU's best player Drew Neitzel to not only carry the offensive load but basically do it on his own. Now that the Spartans are getting healthy expect them to make a run. Whether they have it in them to beat OSU in Columbus on January 27 is another question.
4. Indiana - Scarily similar to Michigan in terms of the make up of its team. Senior and Junior heavy starting line up with some talent off the bench. However, that's where the similarities end. Kelvin Sampson has done a tremendous job taking over at Indiana and the team's 11-4 record is evidence of that. Of Indiana's four losses, only the OSU loss was by more than 5 points, it was by 7. Their losses include Butler, Duke, Kentucky, and OSU and everyone of those games was competitive. DJ White is the team's best scorer, but the team's points are pretty evenly distributed with five players averaging 10 or more points (for the record 3 average 9.8 a game but that's close enough for me). Sampson's got this team playing hard. They won't win any of the tournaments they enter but they'll be competitive in them.
5. Michigan - No idea what to make of this team. The freshmen are playing better than the seniors for the most part. The only recent exception is Lester Abram who finally seems all the way back from injuries and is playing with an aggressive streak Michigan, quite frankly, has never seen from him. The emergence of Ekpe Udoh has taken a lot of the pressure off Courtney Sims and Brent Petway, and the crisp shooting of Reed Baker has allowed Michigan some relief when their starting guards need a rest. Still, when faced with a challenge this team crumbles. In their three losses Michigan trailed by as many as 17 points at some point in each second half, if not for all of them. Dion Harris has been a disaster shooting the ball this year and Jevohn Shepperd and Ron Coleman may as well not exist. Defensively they're getting better and the Wolverines lead the Big Ten in blocked shots. That's good because defense is going to have to carry them. This is a team that is going to struggle to score points against good teams as witnessed by their last in the Big Ten 3-point percentage.
13-5 (1-2)6. Illinois - Despite putting up big numbers on a soft schedule that closely resembles Michigan's slate of "Really, they have a team?" schools, Illinois hit a three game tailspin of losses to Xavier, Michigan and OSU, before righting the ship against Iowa (who almost came back from 10 point down with under 4 minutes to go). During that slide Illinois couldn't have hit Tina Turner if their name was Ike. It was bad. It was also strange. Illinois has 3 players averaging 11 points or more a game and some talent off the bench. An early season injury to Brian Randle didn't help things, but he's back and put in 16 against Iowa. However, Illinois like the rest of the Big Ten has struggled against top competition. Further, I'm not sold on Bruce Webber as being any better of a coach than Amaker. The Illini have two more road games before welcoming Wisconsin on January 20. That may be our best chance to evaluate what this team can do this season.
12-5 (1-2)7. Purdue - Despite getting absolutely crushed by Indiana last night this has been a very surprising season for the Boilermakers thus far. 12-5 including a road win at Oklahoma and a near upset of Butler is pretty impressive out of a squad that was absolutely terrible last year. At this point they've already surpassed last seasons 9 wins and anything else is gravy. That's why they're going to screw someone's season up royally. Karl Landry and David Teague are the heart and soul of the team and shoulder almost all of the scoring. Sadly, Purdue now enters the hardest stretch of their season with Michigan twice, a road game at Wisconsin, and visits from Illinois, OSU, MSU, and Indiana along with a trip to Columbus.
9-7 (1-1)8. Iowa - This is a team that can score in bunches. It's also a team that allows it's opponents to do the same, just more often. At home the Hawkeyes are as tough to play against as any team in the Big Ten. On the road, not so much. To make the NCAA's this team would pretty much have to run the table. Going 2-4 to start your season doesn't help, so the Hawkeyes are fighting to make the NIT. There are scorers here and plenty of people who can dish the rock, however Iowa has to learn to play defense against good teams and find ways to score when Adam Haluska and Tyler Smith are taken away.
10-5 (1-1)9. Penn State - "Fields a team for tax purposes". Michael Rosenberg coined that phrase and it fits. VMI scored 111 points on PSU defense. That's Virginia Military Institute. While PSU won, that's still really, really bad. Their schedule makes the Globetrotters jealous. 10-5 is still 10-5. But it's going to get worse. This team is maybe three players deep, after that it's a steep drop off the talent cliff.
10-6 (0-3)10. Northwestern - Princeton Offense or not, this isn't an athletic, talented, or disciplined enough team to duplicate any success Princeton had with their offense. The Cats have posted an impressive win over DePaul and a 2 point win over Miami, but they also got pigblapped by PSU, UM and MSU in their first three Big Ten games. They may pull an upset here and there, but nothing is going to keep them out of the basement.
7-9 (1-1)11. Minnesota - Ugh. Good teams have run over the Gophers this year. Run. Them. Over. Clemson hung 90 on them and Wisconsin beat them by 23, holding the Gophers to 45 points. For the record, South Dakota State beat Minnesota by 23 as well.
That's it so far. Let me know what you think.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Wednesday Happy Hour Has Big Announcements
What's on Tap:
1. Branching Out
Branch is gone. As publicized by MGoBlog, Alan Branch declared he will forego his senior year at Michigan and enter the NFL draft. This isn't really a surprise as Alan hadn't enrolled in school for the winter/spring semester, but it's still tough to lose your best defensive player with a year of eligibility left.
2. Maize n Brew is Moving to SportsBlogs Nation
That's right. New digs for Maize n Brew.
I've accepted SportsBlogs Nation's invitation to join them as their new Michigan blogger starting on Monday, January 15, 2007. The name remains the same and the new site can be linked to at Maizenbrew.com. From here on, all the sarcasm, analysis, misspellings, and rants can be found at Maize n Brew's new SportsBlogs Nation home.
As you can probably guess, I'm thrilled to join SBN's already full stable of talented, funny, and relevant writers. Being able to rub elbows with bloggers like Peter, Kyle, Nico, Nestor, Joel, and SMQ has always been fun, but to call them colleagues is an honor in and of itself.
In addition to the support SBN offers its writers, I'm thrilled to have the reader tools the new site permits. There will be a lot more opportunities to the growing contingent of blogging and non-blogging Michigan fans involved in discussing their addiction to the Maize & Blue as well as the assorted minutae of the NCAAs. So come. Join me. Offer you thoughts without fear of reprisal. I did. Look where it got me.
Friday will be my last post here on Blogger and on Monday I'll resume my regular posting schedule on the new home for Maize n Brew.
Thanks to everyone for their support and visits. You're the ones that made this switch possible, and for that I thank you.
3. Blogger Award Nominations Are Out
Three rounds of the 2006 College Football Blogger Awards are up so far with a fourth on the way. The first set is at MGoBlog. The second at Burnt Orange Nation. The 3rd can be found at EDSBS. The Fourth will be up at Dawg Sports soon. More to follow.
So far I've been shut out. Nothing. Not even a head nod in the final ballots. Not that I'm bitter. Bastards.
Congrats to all the nominees. Gotta admit, the nomination process was a lot of fun. Head to Rock Top Talk to see where the nominations came from. Like me you might find a site you never knew about, that now you can't stop checking.
4. Michigan in the Final Polls.
The Wolverines came in 9th in the AP, 8th in the Coaches Poll, and 8th in the Blog Poll. Probably about right. Wisconsin finished ahead of Michigan in all three, but coming through your season with only one loss and whipping Arkansas has its benefits.
ESPN's already got a preseason top ten. Michigan is 3rd.
6. Minor Format Changes
So from here out all of your good times will begin at Happy Hour.
Final Blog Poll Maize n Ballot
Bitternerness still consumes me as I write this...
Dropped Out: Texas A&M (#20), Navy (#23), UCLA (#24).
1. To answer your first question, yes, Boise belongs there and that is not a mistake. They beat Big XII champ Oklahoma in a legit, big-time BCS bowl, they have NO losses, and watching the game they looked pretty damn good. The way OSU played BSU would've beaten them, so there's a perfectly good argument for placing them second. Hell, Kyle even says you can rank 'em first if you want (he just didn't, he ranked them second.).
2. Wisconsin should be higher, but Louisville played a tougher schedule so they get the nod. USC played like the team that should've played UCLA. LSU looked really, really good dismantling Notre Dame, but then again, who didn't?
3. Michigan at 8? Yup. Best of the twice beatens that lost their bowl game. If they'd only lost once, I'd have them at #1. Their schedule was stronger than people give them credit for, but it's no excuse for their terrible performances the last two games.
4. The rest is a total mess.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
The Final Thumbin' Thru of the Season: The Rose Bowl
Ed. Note: There is a LOT of cursing, swearing, and anger contained within this post. Readers of a gentle constitution should look elsewhere for a review of the Rose Bowl. For those of you with a more iron stomach, please be aware this will dredge up a nasty memory or three from January 1, 2007.
Thumbin' Thru The Rose Bowl 2007
I'm sitting in an empty bar with 5 USC fans 2 um fans and my brother in law at a bar in Cabo San Lucas mexico.
Cabo San Lucas' Best
Lots of tequila. My wife will be angry with me later. Don't care. I will drink no mater what.
George Lucas looks like a gerbil.
Usc wins toss, defers to 2nd half. Now their pain begins. Woodley looks mad.
Breaston back for the kick. He's due for something specacular.
The kick to steve. Almost breaks two tackles, brought down at 15
2 wide left. Hart delay left midl fr 11.
Hrt mid right fr 1.
3 wide. Henne sack stping up on a blitz. Lost 5 on 5 stp drp.
3 wide. Henne too hrd to manham. Behnd manham as he crossed lft to rt.
Hood buries the reciever on the punt.
3rd & 8 mich goes soft zn. Complt right for 11 on rt boot leg.
1dn. High to left inc.
T2nd. Scrn blwn up by harris. Harris gets props.
3rd 13. Inc high and rt.
Usc pnts. Brest lts it go for tb
Mich ball at 20
I hpe I'm nt the only 1 driving thr families crzy rt now...
Quesidillas ARE better in mexico in case you were wondering.
Hne pass rt on btlg to manham for 5. Good for his rythm.
Hrt stuffed on zn rt.
3&6. Bltz Manham mugged. No flg.
Mich to pnt.
Zltn pnt. Shitty. Mich looks a little flt.
Mich needs to get away from zn blcks and blow usc off the ball.
Usc midl for 7.
Shrt pass rt for 1dn
barringer almost mks the pick on bt lg. Trnt bt bd.
Brnch stfs rn mid rt.
Pass mdl for 1dn. Trnt bt agn on soft zn
Mich brng prssr bt complt for 1dn on rt psuedo scrn
Inc rt sd.
2dn. will johnsn with 1 hnd stfs rn midl.
3rd dn D needs to b better.
Sprd o. Comp to jarret. Stpd shrt of 1dn. 4th
Fg try. Good.
Kck off deep. No rtn
1dn @ 20
Wr scrn manham for 13 left
2wd. Hrt drvs lft fr 7
3wd. Ecker pass mdl. 1dn. hrt kls bltzer!
Hrt lft for 3
Scrn to hrt. Blwn up aftr 3 yrd gn
3&5. Ln stckd. Brstn rcpt on rt sd for 8. 1dn
3wd. Mitchell gts pwnd. Blws bltz pick up hne gets sacked. Hrt midl nowhr. For 3rd dn.
ABC commcrls. John Stamos is back. Does that scare anyone else?
Somehow Not Dead Yet
3rd & 16. Hne stps up. Bullet to manham over midl.
1dn. Minor trps ovr own feet. Nthn
2dn. Inc on blwn blkng
3rd dn. 3&10. Almst fnd arngtn. Under thrn ball. Dmit.
Rivs fg try. Good. 3-3.
Um to kckoff. Rtnd from 2 to 33. Crp
1dn. 3wd. Rn midl stfd for 1.
Jarret catch shrt slnt rt to lft for 7.
3rd dn. Rb squks thru for 1dn.
1dn. Nice ctch ovr midl for 20. Got nailed bt hld on.
1dn. Rn midl fr 3. Pss dfnse lks spotty.
2&8. No scks yt. Inc lft. Um play waaaaaaaaay too far off usc rcvrs.
3&8. 3wd. Soft cvrge gts bt agn. Midl for 1dn
Shrt slnts ovr middl killing us.
Sack & fmbl!!! Crbl on bltz strped butty. Brnch crwls for recovery!!!!
Frst big play UM!
Cty shot. Smog evrywhr. LA sucks
R2nd dn. Hne sacked again. Thats 3 fucking times. Rt side is gting blwn up.
3&15. 4 wd. Comp midl to brtsn. Bullt on awsm stp up agnst prsr.
3wd. 1dn. Sack agn!
2&18. Minor on gv up ply midl rt.
Ln is gting torched.
3&18. This is fucking pathetic. Henne sacked agn.mitchell is useless. Bt agn.
Harris buries rtnman at 35.
O-line lks terrbl. Why minor nt jackson?
1dn usc. Rn rt midl for 3.
2nd dn. Trnt ply mile off gets beat fr 1dn on shrt pass.
1dn. Rn rt midl for 1.
2nd. Mundy up on rn support. Nthn.
3dn. Um to. 10 dfndrs on fld.
Commericials are hrrbl this year.
D on fld a lot. Little wrried.
3dn. Inc. Bd rd booty. Ovr thr.
Oobs 27 yrd line.
Lets see some goddamn protection.
Hrt blwn up on carry to lft.
-8 yrd rushin so far
2dn. Brestn pick up 8. Pass rt. Ply calling needs to adjust.
3&2. Hrt killed in back fld by usc. Usc is killing zn schm. Need to go back to old fashioned bowl them ovr offnse.
Zltn to pnt. 4&3. Booooooms it.
Usc ball @ 13.
3wd. Rush midl to kill clk.
2nd half. Rvs kickoff fr tb.
5 sacks -9 rushing
1dn. Btlg rt for 9 pass.
Rsh midl fr nthn
3rd dn. Mich stfs run.
Pnt to brstn to 41 yrd ln. FC.
2&8. Henne throws int to usc lnman. Horribl. Three dudes in his face on biltz. Who in gods name was he throwning to?
Pass lft for 6 by usc.
Pass to bradfrd fr 4. 1dn.
Trnt burned agn. 1st & gl. Inc aftr looking at it. No way that's a comp. if thats a comp its bullshit.
Absolute bullshit. The ball is loose and they blew it. Shocker, it's a sec ref crew.
Defense shits a brick and screws the coverage. Td usc. Can u tell i'm pissed?
10-3 usc. I'm angry.
Something good bttr happen soon.
Kck off to brstn. No space. Tckled shrt of 20.
1dn. Hrt up middle for 2.
Hrt taken down agn for nthn. Line is stcked and um is doing nthn.
3rd. 3wd. In manham hands and he blows the catch. Gave up on catch on
grt efft by hne
Zltn.good kick. Penalty on usc blck in back.
Mich looks terrible.getting pissed.
1dn. Pass ritght. Holy shit. Good cvrge out of trnt. Inc.
2nd dwn. Taylor looks to jump. Ofsides. 5 yrd pen.
2nd dn. Christ. Another nkd btlg. Te pass left for 6.
Stop with the fucking sft zn!
1dn. Finally. Prsr. Crable. Inc to lft.
2nd. Sht back off cvrge gives usc a free first dn. This is horrible d.
Thank god for hall.
1dn. Td jarret on crap tackle by trent. I can't count the number of times trent has been burned today.
16-3 usc on missed extra point.
Bitterness starting to take over. Anger growing. D getting torched. No pressur
Breston to 20. Hrt to 25.
English yelling at d.
2dn. Manham cross to rt, good pick up. 15 yards.
1dn. Manham wrscn to rt. 2 maybe 3.
2dn. Still too much prssure.
2dn. Henne gets sacked again. Henne finally fumbles aftr getting killed. The o fucking sucks today.
1dn @ 30.
Ovr thrw jarett. Zn d sucks agn.
2dn. 3wd. Scrn pass miss.
3rd. finally. A stop short of the 1st. I'm still pissed. Caroll going fr it.
Line man looks short. We'll see.
Please be short.
1dn. Need pick. Prssr from line. Inc on bootlg.
2dn. Inc high midl.
3rd. Soft zn a-fucking-gain. English has made NO fucking adjustments.
1dn gl. Inc high.
2dn. Jarret pass. Missed. Luckily.
3dn. Usc to. No pressure. No one in dbs can tackle except hall.
Breaston hasn't been utilized at all.
Horrible coaching job so far.
3dn. Pass to jarret. Open. Barringer & harris molest jarret. How in
gods name is this even rwmotely reviewable.
Fg try. Good. 19-3. UM in danger of getting blown out.
Mussberger says the bloggers are on fire for lloyd. What the hell?
Bring us Lloyd's Head! And Chili Cheese Fritos!
3wd. 3 yrds on te roll out.
2nd. 4 wd. Breaston 1dn. Why havent they used him more?
Henne manham for 9 to rt.
2dn & 1. 4 wd. Henne slide for 1dn. Stps up rns. End 3rd.
Bitterness consuming me.
Pass to ecker for 5-6.
2dn. Hrt bulls for 2 to rt. Pentration.
3rd. Henne to ecker ovr midle for 15. Rough passr on usc sartz.
1dn. 5 wd. Arrington TD!
Arrngtn fought off db for catch Mich to go for two.
Hrt bulls way into ez for 2pnts.
19-11 USC leads.
When henne has time he looks good. If o line can keep him upright mich has chance.
Kick rtn to 26.
1dn. Jarret short od 1dn mrkr.
2dn &1. Inc on roll out rt. Harrisn on prssr.
3&1. Qb snk for 1dn.
1dn. David harris is a bad ass. Wraps up rb on dump off pass to lft. No gain.
2dn. Deflected pass to rt. Crble on rush.
3dn. 3wd. Pass to jarret TD on 3dn. Shit coverage as usual. Hall and barringer get torched. Burnt ovr top lft. Barringer called fr late hit. At least he cares.
25-11. Anger returns.
UM's needs at cb become more & more apparent.
1dn. Tipped ball.
2dn. Ecker for 5 on lft side.
3dn. Exker agn for 36 up middle.
1dn. Hrt for 4 to left side.
2nd comp to manham ovr midl.
1dn. Loss of 5 on scrn.
2dn. Arrington to 20 or so.
3rd & 11. 5 wd. Shit pass bounces in frnt of man ham shrt of 1dn.
4&11. Go for it. 3 wd.breaston slides on turf short of 1dn on pass to rt.
turnovr on downs @ 20.
830 left dn 14. Anger building.
How has hart been held in check like this?
1dn. Again. Smith pulls in another 1dn.
1dn. UM gets burned agn. 1dn on long pass.
TE pass beats crable on lft side
TD middl to smith.
UM completely breaks down. Our dbs are fucking horrible.
Bitterness competely consuming me. Pissed we can't get any pressure. Pissed we can't stop the fucking short slant. Pissed we can't do anything fucking right.
29 points in the second half this fcking pathetic.
Michigan continues to suck in bowl games. Hart out with some kind of shoulder injury. Minor in.
Inc deep ball to manham lefr.
Comp to manham, left.
3rd. Arrington comp ovr middl.
1dn. Arrngtn drops easy 1dn.
2dn. Inc to butler on rt lft cross to cutler.
3dn. Another bad throw out of henne.
4&10. Punt mich.
21 points down. Bitterness has consumed me. Fuck it. I'm done.
Who'd a thunk it. The voters were right. Pisses me off.
If something happens I'll type it. If not, I'm drinking.
Tuesday Basketball Roundup
Michigan Basketball Improves to 14-3 (2-0) With Victory Over Cats
Michigan stayed relatively lukewarm after posting a 58-46 victory over Nortwestern in Evanston on Saturday. After topping Illinois in Michigan's Big Ten opener, the Northwestern game was a mild trap for the Wolverines before they venture to West Lafayette and their veritable Rodeo Drive of fast food and chain eateries this weekend.
I'm not takin' her to the Olive Garden.
It's not like we're dating.
To Michigan's credit, there only seem to be two shooters who can't find the rim (cough Dion Harris cough). Everyone hovered around 50% from the floor except Baker and Harris. Harris went 2-10 but dished out 8 assists with only a single turnover. Baker, despite leading the team with 11 points, went 3-8 and fumbled the ball 4 times the most on the team and three more than Courtney Sims (if that's believable). Everyone else was at 50% or better and the only other person with more than one turnover was Ron Coleman who had 2 in 20 minutes of playing time. That type of ball protection is something that has been missing from almost every Michigan game to date.
The problem is Michigan again allowed a clearly inferior team to hang around far too long. It wasn't until 6 minutes left in the game that Michigan finally put the Cats away. Michigan's inability to crush weak teams like the cockroaches they are is troubling as the tourney committee will evaluate Michigan on its total body of work. With Michigan's "schedule" the Wolverines need to show they are clearly better that road kill they've been playing.
Still, a 12 point win is a 12 point win. Especially on the road where Michigan has played TERRIBLY up to this point. I'll take it. Adding to the semi-sweet morsel that is victory is the lingering inclination to believe that Lester Abram is finally coming around. After torching Illinois for 25, Abram had a quiet game until sticking the final dagger into the Cats with a 3 pointer to seal the win. This team desperately needs an Iceman. With two strong games under his belt and a 4-8 shooting night, Lester gets my newest award for basketball excellence: The Iceman Helmet
Lester, you can be my wingman any time.
Despite my still lingering concerns about Michigan's coaching and the play of its seniors (save Abram), I am very very pleased with the play of its freshmen. Ekpe Udoh is fast becoming the best player on this team. In the win Udoh went 4-5 with two more blocks, two more assists and NO turnovers. He also grabbed 7 boards. Baker, despite his turnover problems (which seem to be a result of him trying to do too much), is playing over and beyond what ANYONE thought he'd be capable of. Sims has already had a pair of monster games and if Morris hadn't injured himself, he'd be contributing too.
Finally, one major thing to note is Jerret Smith played 8 minutes compared to Coleman's 20 and Baker's 26. Maybe this is just because they were playing Northwestern, but with Smith's turnover and shooting problems, I think Amaker is erring on the side of offense with Baker. If Baker can shoot his way out of however many turnovers he commits it's a vast improvement over Smith's inability to contribute offensively or defensively as a sub.
No matter. Michigan is 14-3 with a critical early conference game against Purdue on the horizon. Keep your fingers crossed, but at this point, it's still too early to get your hopes up.
Other Basketball/Recruiting Related Information:
- Manny Harris went for 50 or more for the second time this season. Harris dropped 52 on Detroit Henry Ford before Christmas and recently put 50 in on Grosse Point North. To assuage your fears, he has signed his letter of intent.
- Michigan PG commit Kelvin Grady scored 25 in East Grand Rapids dismantling of Wayland. Of serious note in the piece is Amaker took in another game of Delvon Roe's, the 5 star-top 5 power forward Michigan is coveting like the Hope Diamond. Roe scored 30 in front of Izzo and Amaker. At this point Roe has narrowed his choices to Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Kansas and North Carolina. Anyone else a little nervous looking at that list?
- As you probably noticed in the aboved linked articles, Alex Legion continues to play well.
- Along with Delvon Roe, one of Michigan's top 2008 targets is top 4 player and 5 star Ohio center Kenny Frease. Frease injured his right wrist in a pre-New Years game and will be out three weeks. Frease continues to list Xavier as his top choice and has mentioned repeatedly that Michigan is "tied" with Xavier for tops on his list. Talking about his recruiting, Frease said the following:
"Right now I’m hearing from Xavier, Michigan and Notre Dame a lot. Kentucky has just recently offered and Tubby Smith has called the school to talk to my coach recently. I’d have to say Xavier is probably at the top of my list along with Michigan. I just feel real comfortable with the Xavier staff. I’ve been down there seven times and it’s a great place. I’m not ready to make a decision yet. I’ll probably be ready to announce my decision in late June or early July. I’m still considering Notre Dame and I want to see Michigan State. I’m really impressed with Tom Izzo and what he’s done there. Tommy Amaker at Michigan is a great guy too. It will be hard to tell some of these people that I won’t be coming to their school.”
Frease visited Michigan back in September and came away very impressed. However, I think the time that's passed since his visit made his memory a little lax. Another visit would help, but unless Amaker pulls a rabbit out of his hat my gut is telling me Frease will end up at Xavier. Still, the fact that Michigan is still up there has to be taken as a good sign.
- Finally, the Women's Basketball team notched its first Big Ten win since 2005 when it defeated Penn State. Ta'Shia Walker led the way with 15 points in 24 minutes. This is the first time in almost two calendar years that the Lady Wolverines claimed a win in Big Ten play and they did it convincingly. Michigan topped PSU 55-41 in Ann Arbor to even their conference record at 1-1. They sit 8-9 on the year. Congratulations to the women's team on a hard fought victory.
Sunday, January 07, 2007
Posting To Resume Tuesday
Stuck in Mexico. Not the "Cabo Wabo" part like I was last week.
Me: Last week
Our American Airlines DC10 decided it didn't want to fly anymore after an hour delay. Even so they left us on a sun scortched runway in that glorified pepsi can without A/C for the better part of two hours. My desire for clean tap water and ESPN en ingles will have to wait another day. Gracious accommodations provided by American below:
Not Cabo Wabo
Anyway, jokes and rants resume on Tuesday with "Thumbin' Thru The Rose Bowl" (ed note: Thumbin' Thru involves lots of cursing).
Thursday, January 04, 2007
15 Post Rose Bowl Reasons Not To Jump In Front Of A Bus
In the wake of the semi-homicidal/suicidal postings on the Michigan message boards and the general malaise that seems to be hovering over the Michigan fan base, I think some positive reinforcement is in order to calm everyone down.
To wit, I present:
15 Post Rose Bowl Reasons Not To Jump In Front Of A Bus
1. Mike Hart is Returning - Yes, he did have a sub-Mike Hart game in the Rose Bowl. That doesn't change what he means to this team. He is the 415 cubic inch engine that drives the 59 DeSoto that is the Michigan offense. For those of you looking for a more invigorating analogy, Mike is both the Heart and Soul of this team. He makes us all want to believe that anything is possible. Michigan and Hart were supposed to do nothing this year. Instead, he finished 5th in the Heisman voting, likely where Michigan will finish the year as well. We get one more year of Mike Hart, the man-child with the boyish face and the devil in his legs. The broad press smile and the evil scowl as he runs over another opponent. He's returning, and so should our faith.
2. Chad Henne is Returning - If Hart is the Heart and Soul, then Henne is the Brain and Central Nervous System. The only true brain freeze Chad had this year was his ill-advised pass to a USC defensive lineman early in the 3rd Quarter of the Rose Bowl. Until that time, Chad had been everything you could possibily wish from a quarterback. On the year Chad tossed 22 TD's and only 8 INTs, throwing for over 2500 yards. While he regressed his sophomore season, he grew in leaps and bounds this season maturing into a fine field general that is the best returning quarterback in the country save the possible exception of David Booty. Shake your head and disagree if you want, the fact that Chad was sacked five (5, cinco, canc, a fin) before he coughed up the ball and was under more pressure than the elastic in Charlie Wies' sansabelt slacks all game is impressive. Chad's as good a quarterback as Michigan has seen in some time. As a senior I expect he'll be even better.
3. Jake Long is Returning - One of the best returning linemen in country. Period. Full stop. Jake is a sun blocking Left Tackle who will keep Henne upright next season just as he did this. Making things even better is now he's coming back with something to prove. That his last game, arguably not his best, was an anomoly, something to be forgotten and ignored. When a man of his size and demeanor comes back pissed off, look for good things in the run and passing games.
4. Safety Help is On The Way - Don't forget about Jonas Mouton at safety. He was the No. 45 recruit in the country a year ago and one of Michigan's biggest recruiting coups. He's fast and mean and has four years of eligibility left. Also on the way is four star safety Jerimy Finch. One of the best safety recruits in the country. Fast as a hummingbird's wings and angry as a bull that's been kicked in the crotch. He's part ball hawk and part steamroller. Expect him starting by mid-season.
5. This Was Only Ron English's First Year - That's right. Year 1. He took a miserable defense from Jim Herrmann and turned it into one of the nation's best. He took players he didn't recruit and molded them in his own image. Think about it. As DB coach he helped to recruit defensive players. Now he's the main atraction. As the year wore on people saw his schemes and adapted. Now English will have to adapt and adjust. Add another wrinkle to the already creased face of the Michigan defense. And he will. He will also recruit fast, angry players that fit his defense. Finch came to Michigan because of Ron English. More premier defensive players will too. Next year, though Michigan lost more than its share of players, expect Michigan to be even more aggressive on defense as both the playbook and the players adapt to their new master.
6. Mario Manningham Is Only a Junior Next Year - The best deep threat in the Big Ten is back and he's wearing Maize & Blue. He battled injuries all season and still lead the team in TD receptions despite missing 3 games and playing sparingly in another. Mannigham will continue to grow as a receiver as long as he wants to. Like the rest of this team I expect him to take the Rose Bowl loss personally and work on the things that limited him this year. Next year expect Mannigham to blossom into a more complete receiver, not just a deep ball man, but a quicker, through the middle pass catcher that will keep defenses guessing.
7. Our Returning Secondary Saw Lots Of Action This Year - Okay, this is a stretch, but it's worth mentioning. Morgan Trent and Charles Stewart both have two more years, Brandon Harrison and Johnny Sears have three. It's my hope that a year of getting torched will have taught them something. It would be hard to imagine them getting worse, though I said that about Notre Dame's backfield this year too.
8. Most of the Offensive Line Returns - Unless I'm wrong, Adam Kraus has a year left. The Big Shill will take over at Right Tackle. If there's one place Michigan has some depth, it's at the Offsensive line. Justin Boren has three years left, and Alex Mitchell, despite a tough season is only going to get better. Recruiting looks solid too as Michigan has garnered a commitment from Dave Molk, the No. 2 Center in this year's recruiting class. Things aren't as bad as the Rose Bowl made it seem. Next year's line will be stronger.
9. Anchors For The Defense Line and Line Backing Corps Return - Terrance Taylor despite his immense size will only be a junior next year, Shawn Crable despite the prospect of lots and lots of money returned to finish his degree, and there is still the posibility of Alan Branch returning (though that looks less and less likely [HT: MB]). Still, there are a number of excellent players behind them that are returning and Michigan's recruiting efforts are not being wasted. Ryan Van Bergen committed at DE and Brandon Herron committed at SLB. Things aren't as bleak as they seem.
10. Adrian Arrington is Back - Michigan returns yet another deep threat, and this time one with a few moves inside the hash marks. Arrington will be next year's version of Steve Breaston in the offense. The possession guy, except one that can also go deep and catch the ball. Don't underestimate the importance of his return.
11. This Was DeBord's First Year Back - And Michigan was at or near the top of several all important offensive categories, including rushing attempts, rushing yards, and wins. While DeBord's game plan against USC was abysmal, the other 12 games he was damn near brilliant. Yes Michigan didn't blow out crappy teams by running up the score, but in the games that mattered (save USC) Michigan always put up enough points to win. Erase USC from your memory and evaluate the season as a whole. The offense was pretty damn good. Henne progressed, Manningham matured, Hart was awesome, and Arrington finally made use of his immense talent. Those are some impressive feathers for any coach's cap. Cut Mike some slack. He ran a pretty good offense this year.
12. Rome Wasn't Built In a Day - We canned EVERYONE last year. The defensive coaching staff is brand new and so is most of the offensive staff. Relax. Have a muffin. Breathe. They get more than a year before we start looking for a wall to line them up against.
13. Next Years Schedule - Please. Look at it. Kiss it. Make sweet love to it. It is your friend.
14. Michigan Will OWNZOR the Big Ten - Look at the conference top to bottom. PSU and Wisconsin pose the only real threats, save of course OSU's defense.
15. The Basketball Team Won A Game! - That's right! We're 1-0 in conference! We beat Illinois! Woo! Lester Abram scored 25 and is finally back from his injuries. The freshman are playing like seniors. Next year's recruiting class is one of the best in the country. Get excited! Woo! Basketball! Why have you not brought Ekpe Udoh meats and cheeses!? He is your new King!
Anyway. I hope this helps.