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Monday, August 06, 2007

Ute up. Michigan's scheduled a replay of that 10-7 anti-classic against Utah for next year. The Utes will slide in to an open date September 20th, completing Michigan's schedule like so:

Sept. 6 MIAMI (OHIO)
Sept. 13 at Notre Dame
Sept. 20 UTAH
Oct. 11 TOLEDO
Oct. 18 at Penn State*
Nov. 1 at Purdue*
Nov. 8 at Minnesota*
Nov. 22 at Ohio State*
(Stolen from Varsity Blue.) Lame. No offense to Wisconsin, but when Wisconsin is your best home game and there aren't even any other contenders your home schedule sucks. And Utah is a less extreme version of Boise State: they're tougher than the usual non-BCS fare but good luck getting anyone to acknowledge that. So you get the credit of beating Eastern Michigan with a significantly raised level of risk. I know scheduling is hard and all that; Utah is still a nonconference opponent with little upside.

Things might be getting better. The South Bend Tribune drops this in a fluff job about ND AD Kevin White's diabolical scheduling genius:
-So taken was Michigan by the potential recruiting aspects of the Irish playing off-site games in talent-laden Texas, Louisiana and Florida, the Wolverines are pursuing home-and-home arrangements in Florida and Texas to boost Michigan's recruiting.
If that ever comes to fruition, nice. About the worst opponent I can imagine Michigan signing to a home-and-home from either of those states is Texas A&M, and I would love that matchup.

At least we're not Penn State (God, how many times have I said that over the past decade?), who have scheduled Coastal Carolina, Arkansas State, Temple, and EMU over the next couple years. Their most interesting games those years are against Syracuse. There are two TBAs... hopefully they are filled with something interesting.

Butler did or did not do it but has returned. Same Free Press article says that...
Tight end Carson Butler likely will be returning to the Michigan football team.

U-M coach Lloyd Carr said in Chicago last week that he would have a final meeting with Butler late in the week to determine his status. Carr said he wanted to make sure "it's the right thing for our team first of all." A person with knowledge of the meeting said it went well. Butler is expected to be with the team when the players report for training camp today.
From a purely football standpoint: awesome. We need tight ends like whoah. Mike Massey will probably be okay, but Butler had clearly passed him by midseason and Michigan's new zone game often calls for two tight end sets. Butler's return is found money. The questions are now:
  • What did Butler do during his time off the team? Hopefully run precise routes and work on his hands; hopefully not sit around watching William Shatner roasts.
  • Is he out of the doghouse? He's on the team. Even if he's been diligent this offseason will he be permitted to play? Previously I speculated about a Pierre Woods-esque benching that, while perhaps justified by off-field stuff I'm not qualified to comment on, hurt the team on the field. Butler was thiiiis close to getting the boot before the St. Patrick's Day Nerd Massacre, on double-secret probation with Germany and Arrington, and has stairs to run if he's going to make it back.
Though Butler's back, his actual return to the field remains murky. I'd be surprised to see him before EMU.

Omar Hunter, this is your life. Notre Dame has been negative recruiting the hell out of Michigan ever since Charlie Weis showed up on campus. But now we have a nuclear weapon:
A Notre Dame defensive lineman has been arrested on a misdemeanor charge of propositioning a prostitute.

Derrell Hand, 20, was arrested during a prostitution sting by South Bend police, the South Bend Tribune reported on its Web site.
Notre Dame: the place so awesome that football players have to solicit prostitutes to get action. The poor, poor regular schmoes in their senior-year dorm musicals don't have a chance.

Actual journalism is being committed over at Western College Hockey, which took in the Select 15s -- an annual prospect/camp showcase of the country's best 14 and 15 year old hockey players -- and reported back. This is of interest because two Michigan commits attended. WCH on the pair:
Jon Merrill(Little Caesar’s(MI)): Easily the best player at the camp. He’s 6’3, but skates like he’s 5’9”. Very smooth with the puck. Excellent in the defensive zone. Does a great job of picking up his man in the defensive zone. ...

Jared Knight(Compuware): Never really got things going offensively. One of the faster skaters at the camp, and can get to top speed very quickly. Extremely quick release on his slap shot, and still gets good pace on it.
Jon MF Merrill? Maybe? Probably not, but it's worth noting that Merrill's commitment has been in place since the beginning of last year. That's around the same time Michigan offered one JMFJ.

Merrill and Knight will report to campus in 2010 assuming they don't get picked off by Major Junior en route.

Hey, FGCU fans! Reed Baker is coming to your cittttay! (If it's even a city and not like a town or a hamlet or three fishermen who play whist on Sunday nights.) Get your shirts! Not that they're still in the store! Challenge contest: what does FGCU stand for? No looking it up.

Etc.: Lacey talks about the Maize Rage revival (no permalink, sorry). MVictors recaps Jamie Morris talking about the Harbaugh thing on WXYT. McGuffie is Lemming's #10 player in the country. Woo? AP article on Carr comments has some info I hadn't seen elsewhere.