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Varsity Blue

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Tom Beaver: Rumors False

Thursday, February 22, 2007 by Tim

http://www2.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifI'm not one to quote pay sites (see: , which I generally agree with), but in this instance, I think it's a matter of some importance.

Rumors have been perpetuated on the internet (including those damn bloggers -ed.*) that three players, whose names I will not drag through the mud until this rumor has been in some way substantiated, have been caught with drugs and kicked off the team. Per Tom Beaver, at least the aspect of getting removed from the team is false, and he also stated unequivocally that the law is NOT involved.

Other evidence I can provide, however trivial, circumstantial, or spurious it may seem:

1) I saw one of the players in question yesterday, still wearing his varsity warmups (as most players always do, since they get washed by team trainers), and appearing to show zero concern. Unless this is something that happened overnight or this morning, it is unlikely that he has been kicked off the team.
2) A player (who shall remain nameless, but is not one of the internet-accused) used to hang around my house during the summer, and described the process by which players can be suspended during the offseason. The general idea is that different types of violations charge you with "points," and after you accumulate a given amount of said points in a time period, you get suspended from the team. Positive tests for marijuana, and getting caught possessing marijuana, were not enough (again, this was in the offseason, which is going on now) to warrant a suspension, much less getting booted from the team. Unless these guys were cultivating or selling massive amounts of weed, or were involved with more illicit drugs, I would doubt the credibility of a rumer that simple possession would get them completely booted from the team.

Thus, even if players were caught with illicit substances, the degree of punishment claimed by this rumor is inconsistent with what I have been told is team policy. As of now, I'd consider this rumor completely unsubstantiated. Updates provided when more news becomes available.

*Brent Musburger

New blogger added!

Monday, February 19, 2007 by Tim

...and there was much rejoicing. By which I obviously mean lack of noticing.

Regardless, Paul has been added to the Varsity Blue Force Five team, and will theoretically add some sort of value to said blog. Hopefully he will at least post on days when I'm too lazy to (read: most days). Welcome him with open arms, dammit.

Bill Martin on Scheduling

Sunday, February 18, 2007 by Tim

From the Free Press.

Obviously, Appalachian State (HOT HOT HOT L.O.L.!!!!!) was not the first choice for Michigan, fact which was readily apparent to everyone except Brent Musburger's "bloggers" (i.e. bitchy internet people).

The far more interesting tidbits from that article are the not-so-subtle hints about future series (including away games) with Rutgers, Stanford, and a (slightly-less-obvious-to-discern-which)
team in Texas. Martin raises these "areas" in which he wants to play away games under the guise of playing close to large alumni bases (a laudable goal in and of itself), but it's also quite clear that they would be huge for exposure and recruiting.

Things you would know if you read MGoBlue, but maybe you don't...

Saturday, February 17, 2007 by Tim

...or how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb.

Vance Bedford Officially Announced as secondary coach.
Big ol' Gift given to athletic department.

2007 Schedule Completed

by Tim

Appalchian State to fill opening date on schedule.

Bonus linkage from App. State Site.

While there is obvious disappointment over the scheduling of a 1-AA team, several articles have made it quite clear that, of the group of 1-A teams with an open date to fill, none were willing to take on the Wolverines. Such teams denying the non-sexual overtures of Bill Martin included Hawaii (returning a Heisman-favorite QB, didn't want to screw his chance, probably), Vanderbilt (needed another home game to balance the checkbook, scheduled a 1-AA team), and about four other similarly-prestiged teams.

With two top(ish) teams already on the non-conference schedule, the scheduling of a patsy is not as disappointing as it could have been. The final schedule is as follows:

Sept. 1 Appalachian State (Maize out)
Sept. 8 Oregon (Maize out)
Sept. 15 Notre Dame (Maize out)
Sept. 22 Penn State* (Maize out)
Sept. 29 at Northwestern* (Maize out)
Oct. 6 Eastern Michigan (Maize out)
Oct. 13 Purdue* (Homecoming) (Maize out)
Oct. 20 at Illinois*
Oct. 27 Minnesota* (Maize out)
Nov. 3 at Michigan State*
Nov. 10 at Wisconsin*
Nov. 17 Ohio State* (Maize out)

(Maize out existence and emphasis mine, only once for hilarity/truth).

12th Game Update: No Hawaii

Wednesday, February 14, 2007 by Tim

The Freep reports that Hawaii, thought to be an option for the season opener next year, has been eliminated.

Interestingly, the article also says that Martine tried to score USC for the first game at some point in the past.

As of right now, the most likely opponent is sounding like Appalachian State. I will demand my money back if we play a 1-AA team.

Basketball Liveblog @ MSU

Tuesday, February 13, 2007 by Tim

For the sake of full disclosure, I will be drinking during the game, more heavily as it gets out of hand. I apologize in advance if this gets a little incoherent in the second half.

9:07 Just switching over from Kentucky @ Tennessee. Just in time to see an airballed 3. AWESOME. Game is tied at 3.
9:09 Good defense, bad rebounding, but it eventually results in MSU turning it over.
9:10 Abram misses a terrible look, reminding me why I love BRent Petway. Harris knocks down the three. Nietzel misses a 3, more Petway boards.
9:12 First commercial, 8-7 Michigan with 14:+ in the first half.
9:14 Help Wanted: Michigan State Mascot. Job requirements: Must be douchebag. Petway goaltends a Nietzel layup. It hit the glass before he served it up to be tipslammed.
9:15 Jevohn falls for Hilarious Awesome Wrong Shot Clock Trick; travels. Gray charges to return the turnover favor.
9:16 Petway with a WTF did he hit that? shot.
9:18 Shepherd fouled on what could have been an easy dunk. Goes 2-2 at the line. He looks pretty good guarding Nietzel.
9:19 Deshawn Sims gets hacked going to the rim, no call. Jerret Smith is retarded. 12-9 UM 12:+ in the first. Commercial Break.
9:22 Huge block by Udoh. Me love Udoh. Abram blocked by Suton. Jerret smith blocked by Darwin (L O L!!).
9:23 Abram fouls in the post on a near steal. Terrible entry pass by the Spartans.
9:25 Spartan fans want a travel call on a Petway breakaway. Close call. Offensive foul on MSU. Game is, for some reason, not starting with pain. Ouch, he definitely threw the elbow on the replay.
9:26 Suton misses the open jumper. Keep giving it to him, he can't hit it consistently. Near over the back on State on the rebound
9:27 Dunk by State. Coleman puts back a Courtney miss. DON'T GIVE NIETZEL THE OPEN THREE, DAMMIT.
9:29 Airball by Suton. TV Timeout 18-14 UM 7:+ 1st.
9:32 Courtney Sims turnover. Color me surprised. Shepherd gets it stripped. Good hustle play by Nietzel. Also, Courtney Sims is terrible.
9:33 Timeout 18-16 UM 6:00 1st.
9:35 Turnover by Reed. 5 seconds forced by Nietzel. Nietzel needs to do well, or UM can win this game. He's doing it for the Spartans so far. Moving screen on State. I love it when my college basketball is interrupted by NASCAR on SportsCenter.
9:37 Shot clock violation on State. I believe Udoh blocked that shot to force it. Harris hits a deuce when Nietzel tries to force an offensive foul. Nietzel make up for it with a three on the other end.
9:39 Jerret Smith is retarded. TV Timeout 20-19 UM 3:+ 1st.
9:43 Jerret Smith hilariously banks in a three. Three returned on the other end. Under review. Doesn't actually look like a 3. It's not.
9:45 Timeout State 23-21 UM 1:+ 1st.
9:46 Shot clock violation State. Jump ball allowed by Dion Harris.
9:47 Nietzel hits an open 3. End of 1st Half, 24-23 State. No halftime analysis because I am "thirsty" if you catch my drift.
10:06 "Interesting" foul on Petway, to say the least. Gamebreak for bonus coverage of VT-UNC.
10:10 Back to the game. 25-23 State 18:20 in the 2nd.
10:11 Good post moves by Abram for the 2. Reverse by Raymar Morgan that you can't really do a whole lot about. Sims responds at the other end.
10:13 Courtney Sims is a pussy on the defensive end, too! Udoh faces up for the jumper.
10:14 TV Timeout as Nietzel nearly airballs a three. 29-29 16:00 2nd.
10:16 ESPN shows Tom Izzo hurting his hand punch the whiteboard during the timeout.
10:17 Abram misses with 2 on the shot clock, two Wolverines (D. Sims and Udoh) miss the opportunity for rebound. Steal on defense, turnover on offense.
10:19 Another shot clock violation by State. We have had some surprisingly good defense in this game, especially considering that Smith has been guarding Nietzel most of the time.
10:20 At least Jerret Smith doesn't get hit in the head by passes...
10:21 Sims is a pussy on offense too. Doesn't go up strong for the easy dunk +1. Out off the Spartans. TV Timeout 31-29 State 12:+ 2nd.
10:23 Shot Clock Violation. Again. It was on us this time. I. HATE. COURTNEY. SIMS! Another TV Timeout. 33-29 State 12:00 2nd.
10:26 I don't know if you know this, but Courtney Sims fucking sucks. More bonus coverage. At least I don't have to watch Courtney Sims anymore.
10:32 Back to the game 36-34 State 7:30 2nd.
10:33 Ladies and gentlemen, Air Georgia.
10:33 Ladies and gentlemen, Air Georgia. TV Timeout State about to go up 5, 6:+ 2nd.

A series of unfortunate events has led me to no longer want to watch this game.

Bedford hired as DB coach

by Tim

Vance Bedford, who previously served as the defensive backs coach of the Wolverines 95-98, has been rehired at the position, leaving the Defensive Coordinator spot at Oklahoma State, the Tulsa World reports.

In his previous stint here, Bedford coached such greats as Charles Woodson, Daydrian Taylor, Todd Howard, Marcus Ray, and Cato June. It is unclear exactly which positions he will coach, as the word on the street is that English will continue to coach one of the defensive back positions.

Open letter to Myles Brand

Sunday, February 11, 2007 by Tim

You are the biggest pussy ever. ever think that it's not the rules that are the problem, but rather the enforcement of said rules? You are an embarrassment to college athletics.

Keys open doors, Ceilings and floors

Saturday, February 10, 2007 by Tim

Jim Stefani came up with an interesting post on the GoBlueWolverine forums regarding the ceilings and floors of recruits. High ceiling types are those who have virtualy limitless potential, and can be absolute stars if they live up to said potential. Guys with high floors might be able to come in and contribute right away, and are college-ready.

These two concepts likely correlate, but this is not always the case. Guys who are adjusting to new positions in college, etc. might not be able to contribute right away, but once they make the adjustments, are able to shine. I, on the other hand, would be a very low ceiling and floor guy.

Rankings will be given on a 1-5 basis for both ceiling and floor, with 5 being the best, and 1 the worst. a 3-3 would be your average recruit, 5-5 would be your top-top players. A 1 for ceiling doesn't mean that a certain player can't contribute, as long as the floor is high. I apologize in advance for all the guru-isms I'm about to spout.

Ryan Mallett
Floor:5 Ceiling:5.
Enrolling early will really help his floor, and he has a strong arm and the size to be one of the all-time greats.

Donovan Warren
Floor:5 Ceiling:4
Very polished, but doesn't have that elite speed to have limitless potential.

Vince Helmuth
Floor: 4 Ceiling:3
Again, enrolling early can only help with floor level. A fullback can only have so much potential for greatness.

Dave Molk

Floor: 4 Ceiling:2
He has a lot of the qualities you look for in an offensive lineman, but doesn't have the ideal height required of high-potential guys.

Michael Williams

Floor:4 Ceiling:4
Fairly polished, not an elite physical specimen.

Ryan VanBergen

Floor:2 Ceiling:4
He could be really good, or he could be Pat Massey.

Toney Clemons

Floor:2 Ceiling:5
Outstanding athlete, but raw, raw, raw as a receiver.

Steve Watson
Floor:5 Ceiling:1
Not a great athlete, but he comes in very polished as a coach's son.

Martell Webb

Floor:2 Ceiling:5
He has to learn two positions, and find his role, but he has the physical tools to be a great tight end OR receiver.

James Rogers

Floor:1 Ceiling:4
Seems to be a much more natural safety than receiver, but in terms of position skills, he is rather raw.

Brandon Herron

Floor:1 Ceiling:5
An elite physical specimen who couldn't really translate his skills into results on the field in high school.

J.R. Hemingway

Floor:4 Ceiling:3
Doesn't possess great top-top speed, but has good hands, and could pan out to be another Jason Avant-like player.

Zion Babb

Floor:1 Ceiling:5
A great athlete, but he will probably be moved to defensive back, which he wil have to learn as it is not his favored position.

Austin Panter

Floor:4 Ceiling:3
Already playing college (of the junior variety) ball, I'd be surprised if he isn't well polished, but he doesn't seem like an off-the-charts athlete.

Marell Evans

Floor:1 Ceiling:4
Another guy who is switching positions (high school safety, college WLB). Can he make the necessary adjustments to be a good one?

Artis Chambers

Floor:2 Ceiling:3
Another non-elite athlete who can hopefully contribute. Floor bumped up 1 point for early enrollment.

Troy Woolfolk

Floor:1 Ceiling:5
Fast fast fast, but is he going to be able to improve his pure cover-corner skills enough to turn that potential into results?

Avery Horn

Floor:2 Ceiling:5
Fast fast fast, but is he going to be able to improve his pure RB skills enough to turn that potential into results?

Mark Huyge

Floor:1 Ceiling:5
Such a project player, you have to think he has great upside to be going to a top-notch football school like Michigan.

Renaldo Sagesse

Floor:1 Ceiling:4
Canadian guys always seem to have a tough time adjusting. He has good measurables for the position, though.

Obviously most of the guys we missed out on are going to be 5-5 guys, though I'd peg Rojo os a Floor:4 Ceiling:6 guy, with off the chart potential.

Signing Day has come and gone...

Friday, February 09, 2007 by Tim

No in-depth info on the signees here, but Michigan did manage to score 20 Letters-of-Intent signed, and the top class in the Big 10.

Rankings are according to Scout. Numbers in parentheses are position rankings.

5* TX QB (2) Ryan Mallett (enrolled)
5* CA CB (4) Donovan Warren
4* MI FB (1) Vince Helmuth (enrolled)
4* IL C (3) Dave Molk
4* CA S (5) Michael Williams
4* MI DE (8) Ryan VanBergen
4* PA WR (10) Toney Clemons
4* CO TE (15) Steve Watson
4* MI TE (17) Martell Webb
4* MI S (17) James Rogers
4* TX SLB (18) Brandon Herron
4* SC WR (26) J.R. Hemingway
4* CA WR (55) Zion Babb
4* KS MLB (JuCo) Austin Panter (enrolled)
3* VA WLB (29) Marell Evans
3* IN S (34) Artis Chambers (enrolled)
3* IN CB (44) Troy Woolfolk
3* CA RB (77) Avery Horn
2* MI OT (33 C) Mark Huyge
2* QC DT (NR) Renaldo Sagesse

Of note: Martell Webb was originally ranked ahead of Steve Watson, and will play both TE and WR. Troy Woolfolk is a legacy recruit (son of Butch Woolfolk), and he and Herron attended the same school, Sugarland Dulles, where a top junior WR (Daryll Stonum) is also a Michigan target. Mark Huyge is ranked as a Center, though he is obviously a tackle project player for Michigan.

Recruits by state:

MI: 5
CA: 4
TX: 3
CO, IL, IN, KS, PA, QC, SC, VA: 1 each

Forget about Rojo..

Monday, February 05, 2007 by Tim

... It's on to Cissoko. Here's someone who's MAN enough to announce his early commitments to the world. Welcome aboard, Boubacar, I hope you show more class than your fellow early commits.

More MGoBlog Manlove

by Tim

Even in the bitter face of defeat, Brian can be not only stoic, but even humorous. Plus he wrote for the E3W and is short.

MGoBlog Appreciation

Friday, February 02, 2007 by Tim

After two attempts foiled by Angry Tim-Hating FireFox, here's the original post, reinterpreted once more.

Brian over at MGoBlog is currently giving out some awards to College Football blogs, and I think he just may be selling himself a little short. If any blog deserves some sort of "most outstanding" award, it would be MGoBlog. I probably wouldn't have even gotten into blogging without Brian, and I know I would have quit by now were it not for his awesome blog.

Not only does he have a hilarious sense of humor, and knack for rattling off some great prose, he is willing to put forth the effort (and has the knowledge) to break down almost every play of every game (Ball State and likely impending Rose Bowl notwithstanding).

Here are a few examples of Brian's awesomeness:

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Voracity - Shows off his hilarity in multiple ways (title of post, first part of post).

Upon Further Review Archive - Amazing analysis of essentially every Michigan Football game for the last two years, including some hilarious catchphrases ("Tacopants," "Hennechart? Chart.")

Eleven Swans - Accompanied by Sufjan Stevens's "Seven Swans," this is one of the most beautiful pieces of prose I can remember reading in a long time (Ronald Bellamy's Underachieving All-Stars is AWESOME for this as well, but not the focus of this post).

Much love to Brian.

Renaldo Sagesse and Donovan Warren commit to Michigan

by Tim

However, especially with regards to Warren, this one ain't over yet...

Tons going on with recruiting

Thursday, February 01, 2007 by Tim

Until everything shakes out, I unfortunately will not be posting about it. A little overzealousness in reporting on sensitive recruiting information can do nothing but hurt the program.


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