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Friday, November 02, 2007

A belated Happy Halloween. Bo & Lloyd pumpkins courtesy of Matthew Lipshaw & Judy Bankman.

Reminder. I've received a couple emails about the availability of this week's Michigan State game in regions of the country that aren't getting the ABC feed. To remind: over the offseason the Big Ten signed a new TV contract with ESPN that includes "reverse mirroring." In parts of the country that don't receive the ABC broadcast, the game will be on ESPN. All ESPN/ABC broadcasts are national now except the exceedingly rare instance in which Michigan plays a night game that's broadcast on ABC.

Correction. A couple emailers note that on a third-quarter Brandon Minor draw it was not Carson Butler making an excellent block but rather Martell Webb, who had replaced a gimpy Butler by that point in the game. Play description now reads:

Eight in the box for Minnesota. We have an inverted TE set with Webb [erroneously IDed as Butler earlier. -ed] in a two-point stance on the line next to Moundros in the backfield; we run a draw off this. Webb(+1) gets an outstanding block on the linebacker attempting to contain; two guys come up inside; Moundros does a good job with one. This time Minor makes the right read, shooting outside into acres of space for a big gain. Long also excellent here.
Availability. Angelique Chengelis on our wounded warrior-poets:

Q. Will Chad Henne and Mike Hart play for Michigan on Saturday?

A. Hart has missed the last two games with an ankle injury and Henne missed last Saturday's game with an injury to his right (throwing) shoulder.


My understanding is Hart is close to being completely healthy and will play against the Spartans. He has been running well in practice, but obviously, practice and game-speed action are completely different. Regardless, having Hart on the field will give the Wolverines a huge emotional boost.

Henne is a different issue. This is his throwing shoulder, after all. What he did in the fourth quarter against Illinois should be valued for what it was -- a monumental effort by a guy in incredible pain. This is not an injury that has been taken lightly.

Of course, Henne wants to play at MSU. He understands the magnitude of this game, not only as the in-state rivalry that it is, but also its importance in the Big Ten race.

Henne will do everything he can to be on the field, but my hunch is we'll see a lot of freshman quarterback Ryan Mallett.

The Hart stuff fits with what the Daily reported earlier this week; the Henne stuff is new. Chengelis is probably the best-connected member of the Detroit media, so I tentatively suggest she's correct. But if Henne is healthy enough to relieve Mallett should Michigan find itself in trouble, he's healthy enough to start. No doubt either would be a courageous act, but Michigan State is not Minnesota. I assume if he can, he will play, and Michigan will try to rest him when they can.

And so it begins. Michigan squashed Ferris State 78-40 last night. Didn't see the game; reports were that there were many turnovers, just as many open shots, and Manny Harris looks like he's all he's supposed to be. Highlights from the BTN:

Love the backdoor layup, and say what you want about the BTN but that level of coverage for a hoops exhibition is very cool.

OMD. Readers respond to Monday's query about the Oversized Metallic Dandelion:
Hey Brian,

My name is Mike Roarty and I am responding to your post about the giant metal dandelion thing at halftime. I work for and I was on the sidelines and asked them what they were doing. They, in fact, were measuring the decibel levels within the stadium and what parts generated more noise. I have no idea if they were affiliated with the university but they all spoke Russian to one another and I was worried that they were trying to send a message to one of their old satellites or if Mir was secretly still in orbit. I have no idea why they made no mention of what they were doing over the PA system.
The Daily had an enlightening article on this:
When Navvab and his team took measurements during Saturday's halftime, they found that the sound - almost exclusively from the student section - was 100 decibels, or the equivalent of a chainsaw.

With the skyboxes, which will stand about 10 feet higher than the scoreboards and further enclose the stadium, the sound level of the stadium would reach 110 or 111 decibels, about the noise level of a loud rock concert, Navvab said.

Decibels are logarithmic, so that difference is almost impossible to believe: those numbers, if true, would mean the luxury boxes would double the noise level in the stadium. (I think. I looked it up on Wikipedia: 100 decibles creates an effective pressure of two pascal; 110 six. There's something called a sone, though, that has this text:
...a doubling of the number of sones sounds to the human ear like a doubling of the loudness,[citation needed] which also corresponds to increasing the sound pressure level by approximately 10 dB, or increasing the mean square sound pressure by a factor 10.
So +10 db == 2x perceived loudness.) That would go a long way towards erasing Michigan Stadium's reputation as an unintimidating place to play. Executive Goober Stevenson must be having shaking fits just thinking about it.

Hound of Dracula! Uh... yeah.
Pity poor Zoltan. Once he was a peasant's happy dog. Then, after interrupting Dracula mid-bite, he was forever enslaved to the bloodsucking ways of his new master. After a couple centuries, Zoltan resurfaces in 1970s California, intent on terrorizing the family of Dracula's distant relatives, starting with their dogs.
Our punting space emperor vampire dog. And probably some other stuff, too.

Historian. UM-OSU 1990:

Etc.: Ezeh sentenced to probation for a May DUI; should have no effect on his playing time. Braylon Edwards is awesome; Wetzel says Long for Heisman(?); more from Bill Martin on the BTN, please contrast his straightforward approach to that of cable spokespeople; Stadium & Main envisions a titanic Carr-Miles battle in the bowl game.

Don't click here. It's Tiller-licious.