Wonk On Michigan: Alphabetically-sensitive preseason walkaround. Likely the best preview on Michigan you'll read anywhere, as per usual. Wonk elegantly summarizes the post-season reaction to the Michigan basketball team, no matter their fate:
The thing to keep in mind about Michigan is that, after eight years on the outside looking in, the goal of an NCAA berth--just the invite itself--has become all-consuming and indeed totemic to a degree that is unequalled anywhere in the Big Ten. ...With a last name like that... Defenseman Kevin Quick has committed to Michigan and no, he's not 14. He's actually already drafted, -- Tampa in the third -- which makes him 18 or 19. Zounds. He'll come in next year, which is a huge boost for the prospects of next year's team. Michigan loses three senior defensemen (Dest, Cook, and Hunwick) and only Steve Kampfer is a lock to return next year. Mark Mitera, Jack Johnson, and Chris Summers are all first-round picks and thus defection threats of one level or another. Quick joins Tristan Llewellyn and Chad Langlais as incoming freshmen in 2007 and should stave off the prospect of a five-man defense corps that year.
Now, as it happens, I would rate the Wolverines' chances at getting that berth this year as "fair" for the not very sophisticated reason that I think they'll be about as good this year as they were last year, when they missed a bid by a hair. And in that sense Michigan is indeed being underrated this year. But the larger point is the dichotomy itself: the Wolverines will likely be about the same as last year but they'll be spoken of in one of two wildly divergent ways. If they get into the tournament: they're back, stigma's gone, blue-chip recruits are interested, watch out Izzo, 'doze Crisler now. If they don't: a program in limbo, no discipline, no character, bring in the hot seat. And whatever the outcome in March, it will be written about in April as though it were all foreordained in November.
Yost Built has much more on Quick.
Can't you people divide? I take a stand for the secondary @ The Fanhouse.
I didn't know this was possible: "Ohio getting dumber." ZING!
"You are red, we are blue. We all must die!"
Via the MZone comes a Daily Show segment on Football Armageddon with the above Jon Stewart quote sure to live on in perpetuity:
Etc.: New Michigan Blog @ The Apologist's Den; Bo on the Dead Schembechlers; RBUAS on Ball State.