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Jai Eugene drops Michigan

Tuesday, January 31, 2006 by Tim

Jai Eugene decided that he didn't want to be so far from his son, and switched his commitment to LSU. That's a shame; he could have been great here.

Jonas Mouton, on the other hand, is apparently headed to UM.
I guess we'll find out tomorrow.

After signing day (which is tomorrow, in case you didn't know), I'll have a post breaking down recruiting, and I'll start looking forward to some on-field stuff.

Still remembering the Alamo

Sunday, January 29, 2006 by Tim

Sun Belt officials admit some mistakes.

Some of the things they say in this link are dead wrong, too. For one, the back judge was in perfect position to see the Manningham interference call - I was right behind him in the first row, and it was blatantly obvious. The low-tier official was just tricked by the Nebraska player doing the "I'm innocent" pose right after interfering with the receiver.

Also, some of the rules that they cite as example are just plain wrong. According to Section 1 or Penalty enforcement in the NCAA Rulebook, when live-ball fouls are enforced as dead-balls fouls, there is NO offsetting. The penatlies are instead administered in order of occurence. This means that regardless of the penalties called on the final play, there should have been one more down.

There are various other errors that are made in that article, but I don't even really feel like dignifying most of it with a response. Maybe some other time I will.

Schilling to Michigan

Saturday, January 28, 2006 by Tim

I'm sure it's old news by now, but Washington OT Steve Schilling committed to UM. IF we somehow managed to snag Mouton, I would feel really good about this recruiting class.

Herrmann NOT a candidate for Cowboys LB job

Wednesday, January 25, 2006 by Tim

According to Jerry Jones.

http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/13707237.htm

What do football players do in the offseason?

by Tim

Well, apparently some of them play IM Basketball. Various players (including Adrian Arrington and Mike Hart) are on an IM team organized by none other than Steve Breaston. I'm actually pretty surprised that their coaches let them play, especially considering that some of them were injured during the year. I wouldn't want some freak ACL tear to happen to one of my players in the off-season.

Just though I'd keep you up to date on off-season happenings.

Jim Herrmann news

Monday, January 23, 2006 by Tim

It appears as though DC Jim Herrmann really is on the way out. USA Today reports that he is a candidate to be LB coach for the NFL's Dallas Cowboys.

There is still no news on who the replacement might be, or if there will be any change to the offensive coaching staff.

The 12th Man

Sunday, January 22, 2006 by Tim

For having the largest crowds at just about every home game, Michigan Stadium is not as intimidating as it should be. There are multiple reasons for this, such as the outward architecture of the stands, and the lack of anything for sound to reflect off of, down to the field. However, the most important issue that leads to this problem is the lack of fan involvement.

At every field in the country, the student section is expected to be the leader in creating havoc for opposing offenses. However, at most schools, there is substantial support from almost every section of the crowd. The best examples of this are SEC schools. At Michigan, however, this is not present. The alumni, who occupy the middle of both sides of the field, are most guilty of being too quiet. The end opposite the student section is actually louder than I woul have expected (as I experienced on the field for the Penn State game), but still not that loud. Though the students may use this apathy as an excuse for not being enthusiastic, it should instead be motivation to be that much more of a factor. As it is my area of experience, the student section will be the topic of this article.

The first thing I'd like to discuss is the vocal noise that the student section makes. First off, not everyone even makes noise. There are two groups that are guilty of this. First is those who just couldn't care less about the game, and only go because everyone else does. They are essentially a lost cause. The other group, however, is about as frustrating as it gets. These people are the same ones who bitch about how quiet the atmosphere is in the stadium, and are constantly calling for Lloyd Carr's head (and Tommy Amaker's). These are the people who waltz around saying they are the only "true" fans, when this is clearly not the case. Among students who DO make noise, however, there is still a problem. It seems as though everyone is missing the point about making noise. They think that their voice simply has to be present, regardless of volume. This has always bothered me, as the point is to be as loud as possible.

Another issue I take with the students is the other means of making noise. I mayh be the only one on this side of the fence, but I think that the "key play" is stupid, and should be done away with ASAP. It is unoriginal, and not loud. Plus, students seem to think that jingling their keys absolves them of their yelling duty. Given a choice between the two, I would much rather have people making vocal noise. If I ever see another freshman "hilariously" waving the keycard to his room again, I think I'm going to have to punch his lights out.

Other than these two forms of making noise, there isn't a whole lot going on in the student section. The cowbells are out there, but those are for more of cheers that take place randomly, rather than specifically when the team is on defense. I'd love to see students stomping on the bleachers, and making other types of noise (bring noisemakers, people!) to help out when the team is on defense.

One last (smaller) issue that I have is that there aren't a whole lot of coordinated cheers throughout the student section. I'd like to see more of those, such as chants, etc. I will be so happy if the marching band learns the Super Mario Bros. theme to accompany big plays by Manningham next year.

The stadium does cause the volume to be lower than it would be in another stadium with the same fan enthusiasm. However, the fans must stop using this as an excuse, and start pumping up for the games.

Another Day, another transfer

Tuesday, January 10, 2006 by Tim

This time It's Max Martin to Alabama.

I wish him luck, and offer my apologies that it didn't work out here for him.

Note the bottom of this article, which mentions that Big Gabe has signed with agent Drew Rosenhaus. It'll be interesting to see how that turns out.

12th Opponent selected

by Tim

Well, it looks like Michigan's 12th opponent for next year will be Vanderbilt.

This means that it will not be DivI-AA Maine, as had been rumored recently. Had Maine been the opponent, I would have been so disappointed in the Athletic Department that I wouldn't have known what to do with myself.

Instead, I'm pretty pleased with the selection. I think it is a good idea to play OOC games against BCS Conference opponents. Vanderbilt is also a good selection from this bunch, because they were a pretty decent team last year, despite not going to a bowl. Save for getting absolutely fucked by the officials in the Florida game, they would have been bowl-bound.

The Commodores did, however, graduate their leader and quarterback, Jay Cutler. Either way, they should be a decent, but still beatable, team in 2006.

MGoBlue Article

Rivals article

Vanderbilt Website

Looking at recruiting

Monday, January 09, 2006 by Tim

So far, the recruiting year has gone pretty well. Michigan's recruiting class is currently ranked 13th by Rivals.com and 6th by Scout.com. I've never been too heavily into recruiting, but judging by how some prospects were rated that panned out well (and poorly), I'd say that Scout is more accurate, though the real value should be somewhere in between the two.

So far, we have 15 commits. 2 of them, Justin Boren (OL - Pickerington, OH) and Carlos Brown (RB - Franklin, GA) have decided to graduate high school early, and are currently enrolled at the University.

Rivals has our recruiting class as currently having only one five star recruit in Brandon Graham (LB - Detroit). Scout, on the other hand, has four of our recruits as five-stars. The additional recruits are Boren, Jai Eugene (CB - Destrehan, LA), and Marques Slocum (DL - Philadelphia). However, Slocum was a commit from last year who needed a year of prep school to meet academic standards. As a 2005 recruit, Rivals deemed him 5-star worthy.

I won't go too much into other recruits right now, but they are definitely all worth mentioning a little something.

2006 Receiving Corps

by Tim

I think the group of receivers that we will have should be pretty good next year. From last year, we will have Mario Manningham, Steve Breaston, Antonio Bass, Doug Dutch, and Carl Tabb returning after being major contributors. Also, Adrian Arrington will be back after taking a medical redshirt because of an ankle injury suffered in the Northern Illinois game. As far as tight ends go, Tyler Ecker and Mike Massey should be pretty solid at the position.

As far as positions go, I wouldn't be surprised to see Arrington as the #1 guy, since when he came in, he was supposed to be the next Braylon. This is especially ture, because with his height and speed (6'4" and 4.46, respectively), he should be a pretty decent deep threat. Manningham had an amazing freshman year, and will probably be delegated the #2 man. All I really have to say about that is the marching band better start learning the theme to "Super Mario Brothers." Although Breaston has the most seniority of any of the main receivers, I'd like to see him at #3, only because he seems to flourish in the slot, and not do so well on the outside. Obviously these positions will be shuffled around in different packages, but as far as main sets, I think this should be the way we want to go.

I'd also like to see Antonio Bass continue to get reps at other positions than receiver (i.e. QB and RB). Even if he doesn't end up getting the ball on the play by way of QB Draw, toss sweep, swing, etc., he would certainly serve as a distraction back there. I see him as the same sort of player as Breaston, utilized a little better to show his versatility.

With our current depth at wideout, I don't foresee a whole lot of action from incoming recruits, unless we have a bad year with injuries.

Gutierrez Transfers to Idaho State.

Sunday, January 08, 2006 by Tim

According to an Ann Arbor News article. He'll probably be a beastly I-AA QB. I wish him the best of luck.

Coaching changes

by Tim

I'm a couple days late, but here's a Free Press article saying that the coaching staff is likely to get shaken up.

The Yellow and Blue

Friday, January 06, 2006 by Tim

No, the title of this post is not my attempt to suggest that the official names of the school colors be changed. It's a reference to the Alma Mater (no wonder you were confused). My concern with the alma mater is its lack of presence pretty much anywhere. I've never even heard the song, except when I made the active attempt to search for it online. Here it is as sung by the Glee Club (real audio).

Now, where is my gripe coming from? It has long been a college football tradition that, win or lose (but mostly win), the school's alma mater is played at the end of the game. This is something that, for some reason, doesn't happen at this fine institution. When I e-mailed the directors of the marching band about it, they responded that the song is played at the end of the band's postgame show.

To me, this is not acceptable for a variety of reasons.
  1. First, as I have already stated, is that it is tradition to play upon the conclusion of the game.
  2. Second, is the fact that everyone leaves the stadium after the game, except after a big win, when they celebrate with the players. This delays the start of the postgame show, so an equally low number of people hear the song.
  3. One of my biggest complaints about the lack of playing the alma mater is the fact that it has the potential to provide so many cool moments. Michigan is missing out on these because the alma mater isn't properly utilized.
Think of some of the greatest recent postgame images in college football. Most include the alma mater being played/sung. For example, after the 2004 OSU/UM game, the Ohio State fans stormed the field and stomped on roses. While everyone in the middle of the field celebrated, the marching band began playing "Carmen Ohio," which created a really magical moment. And how many times this season did we see Matt Leinart conducting the USC marching band in their alma mater? I'm sure USC fans would say one time too few, but still, every time I saw it, I thought it was one of the coolest things going on. And then there's the most recent, with the Texas linebacker pumping his fist with the student section, as the Texas alma mater played through a rain of confetti.

To my knowledge, pretty much nobody (at least in the student body) even knows the words to "The Yellow and Blue." This can be pretty easily changed, as well. The words to the song (and most other official UM songs) can be found here. In addition, copyright-free sheet music is located in the UM Library's music collection. When I was but a young boy, I went to a Notre Dame football game, and still have the souvenir cup with the words to "Our Mother, Notre Dame" emblazoned on the side. How hard would it be to do something like this?

It's not like I'm asking multiple verses to be played or anything, but to not hear the alma mater at all upon the conclusion of the game, to me, is simply not right.

Upcoming posts

by Tim

Since it's the offseason, there won't be nearly as much football information to share for the next few months. Because of this, I'll start covering more off-the-field stuff. However, that's not to say that the actual football information will be neglected. Just keep that in mind and keep checking me out.

Players Lost/returning

Sunday, January 01, 2006 by Tim

Here are all of the players on the roster who have used up all of their eligibility.

5th Year:
G Leo Henige
G Matt Lentz
CB Grant Mason
TE Tim Massaquoi
DE Pat Massey
LB Scott McClintock
LB Lawrence Reid
OL David Schoonover
T Adam Stenavich
LB Pierre Woods

4th Year:
WR Jason Avant
PK James Bloomsburgh
LB Chip Cartwright
WR Brad Cischke
RB Jason Eldridge
RB Scott Hamel
PK Craig Moore
LB Kyle Myers
DT Paul Sarantos
P Mark Spencer
QB Matt Wilde
DT Gabe Watson

The players from that list on the 2-Deep are Henige*, Lentz*, Mason*, Massaquoi*, Massey*, McClintock, Stenavich*, Woods, Avant*, Watson*.

*Starter

Other people may also leave though, who have eligibility remaining. Lamarr Woodley is NOT one of these people. He wants another year to prove himself & improve his draft status after being hurt for a lot of the year.

Seniors with eligibility remaining:
P Ross Ryan
CB Darnell Hood
QB Matt Gutierrez
QB Jeff Kastl
WR Steve Breaston
WR Carl Tabb
S Willis Barringer
RB Alijah Bradley
S Mike Carl
FB Brian Thompson
S B.J. Opong-Owusu
FB Obi Oluigbo
LB David Harris
OL Mark Bihl
LS Turner Booth
DT Paul Sarantos
OL Reuben Riley
OL Mike Kolodziej
TE Tyler Ecker
DE Rondell Biggs

Most of these people will likely be returning, with definites being those who are major contributors (i.e. Breaston).

Looking forward

by Tim

Well, after a moderate disaster of a season, I think it's best to just try to move on instead of dwelling on all the things that could have happened just a little differently. Yes, there were coaching issues in just about every loss. Yes, there were reffing issues in some games (one of which is being reviewed by the NCAA). However, this season is past us, and it's time to look ahead to next year.

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