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Monday, May 19, 2008

Note: in an effort to spread out content, the promised WVU-Rutgers UFR will go up tomorrow.

Success out the ears. It's been a particularly good spring for Michigan sports, and the news of late has been particularly particularly good. To wit:

Men's track and field won the Big Ten championships for the first time in twenty-five years. Of particular note to football fans is redshirt freshman cornerback Troy Woolfolk's performance:

[Junior Dan] Harris began the day by electrifying the crowd with his burst of speed on the home stretch of the 4x100-meter relay. Harris received the final exchange from fifth-year senior Stann Waithe (Towson, Md./Loch Raven HS) and was in the middle of the pack. But Harris blazed past everyone to give Michigan its first 4x100-meter relay title since 1982, posting a regional qualifying time of 40.26. Harris and Waithe were joined with freshman Troy Woolfolk (Sugarland, Texas/Dulles HS) and junior Andre Barnes (West Bloomfield, Mich./West Bloomfield HS). ...

Harris and Woolfolk also ran in the 100-meter dash, finishing third (10.36) and sixth (10.58), respectively, and accounting for nine points. Woolfolk's time was a new personal record.

Eeee? Maybe? In two weeks, 14 qualifying Wolverines will participate in the NCAA's mideast regional in Fayetteville. Youtube has the winning relay up; Harris is the guy with the jet engine:

Update: A correction: that's actually last year's 4x100, not this year's. Sorry.

The women's team finished second at their conference meet.

Men's tennis made the NCAA Sweet 16 before getting knocked out by #1 Virginia.

Softball, meanwhile, beat the everliving brains out of its regional opponents on the weekend, beating Wright State 13-5, Notre Dame 8-0, and Kent State 5-0 in the regional finale. Michigan hosts Virginia Tech in a best of three super regional this weekend for the right to go to softball's College World Series. ESPN has a long piece up on Samatha Findlay and the UCLA player she homered off of to win Michigan's first national title in the sport.

Baseball went 2-1 against Northwestern, setting a new record for most conference wins for a Big Ten club. The conference tourney is this weekend at the Fish; details can be had at Maize 'n' Brew. Also, Baseball America interviewed Nate Recknagle, the new single-season home run record holder.

The Daily lays out the case for a home regional:
Michigan (26-5 Big Ten, 42-12 overall) has one of the best records in the country, blowing out the rest of the Big Ten to set the record for most conference wins in a season.

Although impressive, the Wolverines' record alone may not be enough to merit hosting duties. But for once, they actually benefit from being a Northern team. The NCAA wants to geographically spread out the regionals. Michigan and St. John's are the only ranked teams above the Mason-Dixon line.

Minnesota coach John Anderson and Central Michigan Athletic Director Dave Heeke are two key members on the 10-member NCAA Baseball Regional Committee who will lobby for Michigan. Anderson is a friend of Michigan coach Rich Maloney and more importantly a fellow Big Ten coach who knows what's good for one Big Ten team is good for the whole conference. As a nearby athletic director, Heeke will certainly feel pressure to support a local team.

On top of everything, there's a chance the Wolverines could host without being named one of the top-16 seeds. No. 11 San Diego, No. 13 California and No. 23 Coastal Carolina don't have the proper facilities to host a postseason tournament. Don't be surprised if one of these teams is sent to Ann Arbor, even if it's a higher seed than Michigan.

Add all these elements together, and the odds are the Wolverines will host a regional for the first time since 1986.

Most projections do have Michigan hosting, usually against San Diego.

And the team with the coolest helmets won the ultimate prize: Men's lacrosse (a "club varsity" sport) won the MCLA national title over the weekend, finishing the season 20-0.

Inadvertent news? I don't know if this is news or not since it's buried deep within an article leading with Weis' "to hell with Michigan" remark -- why the media continues to focus on that bit instead of the hilarious mumbling about excuses that immediately precedes the "hell" remark I don't know -- but it looks like there will be no academic casualties in Michigan's most recent recruiting class:
Rodriguez also said he expects all the recruits signed in February will qualify academically and most will arrive in June for summer term.
It would have been helpful to have the exact quote; that could either be "I think" or "I know". If it's the latter, that's a small relief. Pint-sized cornerback Boubacar Cissoko is highly rated and needed to do some work to get in.

Teapot tempest tamped. Braylon Edwards and Rodriguez mud-wrestled for the right to allocate the #1 jersey as the winner see fit, and Braylon won:
"Everything has been taken care of," Edwards said of the tradition of a wide receiver wearing the No. 1 jersey at Michigan since 1979.
So much for WVU newspaper columnists' dreams of armed alumni insurrection.

Etc.: Carr quizzed about Weis' "hell" remark; Brian Ellerbe located; we are pursuing this German kid for the basketball team (they don't get any TV from the States until 15 years later: advantage us).