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Friday, September 14, 2007

One more time. This appears to be the last opportunity to reuse this baby from a year ago, so here goes:

Oh, defense that didn't suck at all times, we miss you.

We spit on your piddling $26 million. Ohio State's latest contract from Nike:

Athletic footwear and apparel manufacturer Nike and Ohio State have signed a new $26 million contract that will keep the Buckeyes' sports teams in uniforms with a swoosh for the next seven years.
Dude, that's not very much compared to Michigan's mondo Adidas deal: at $3.7 million per year, Ohio State is getting but half of what Michigan is. The article does mention bonuses for the final placement of the football and basketball teams, but probably not nearly enough to close the gap. So we've got that going for us.

Oh, if only I believed in this sort of "OMG statistics!" Kevin from We Are Penn State:
In 1980 Michigan lost their first two non-con games, then won the last eight to capture the Big Ten title before beating Washington in the Rose Bowl.

In 1988 Michigan lost their first two games, then closed out the season with an 8-0-1 run to win the Big Ten before beating Southern Cal in the Rose Bowl.

In 1998 Michigan lost their first two games, then won nine of their next ten to win a share of the Big Ten Championship. They capped the season by defeating Arkansas in the Citrus Bowl.

In 2007 Michigan lost their first two games...
FWIW. Personally, if Michigan wins the Big Ten this year I'll... uh. Watch the BCS bowl on TV.

Enormous relief. Quintin Patilla is a free man:
Prosecutors dropped a misdemeanor aggravated assault charge against Quintin Patilla, 19, at a pretrial hearing before 15th District Judge Ann Mattson.
He is also, evidently, a really terrible linebacker given that he was so hopeless compare to our current players that he got shifted to a position, fullback, where he's third string.

Do NOT click here
. I warned you.

Oh, this ain't good. When the head football coach of your University is getting mentioned in this context...
*** Bush as Lloyd Carr? Heading into his 9:00 pm ET address tonight, President Bush has seen his Iraq numbers improve in the latest NBC/WSJ poll. But such improvement is akin to Michigan beating Notre Dame this weekend in college football: It’s a win, but it won’t change the fans’ minds that the season is lost, and they want to fire the man in charge, no matter what. Just 30% approve of Bush’s handling on Iraq, which is up eight points since July. In addition, 37% think victory there is still possible, up five points. Per NBC/WSJ pollsters Peter Hart (D) and Neil Newhouse (R), the improvement comes primarily from Republicans, which might be enough to keep his party’s lawmakers behind him. However, American public opinion -- like Michigan fans this year -- has already moved on.
...I mean, ouch. Yeah. In this metaphor Jeff Tedford = Barack Obama; Mike Debord = Hillary Clinton, by the way.

Show your support. There is a sort of rally thing getting organized for the Notre Dame game tomorrow; the M Zone digs up the details:
Michigan Men... "A call to Arms"

This Saturday approx 1:45pm, we want every former player to meet just outside the tunnel (at Michigan stadium), to support (and remind!) our team on why they wear that winged helmet! We want to show our unity for the Wolverines, when they step off the bus.

For further details, please call Ron Simpkins @ (313)-[xxx-xxxx]

Go Blue,

Might be interesting to take in if you want to wander by the tunnel around 1:45 PM.

Say it ain't so, Brandent. This might have solidified my vague skepticism about the potential of any new Michigan safety if I had known it in the runup to the season:
Whatever happened behind the scenes, Englemon's spot on the team was up in the air heading into the season.

"I can't really speak on it," Englemon said.

The Covington, K.Y., native was coming off a season in which he made five starts, played in every game and collected 29 tackles.

Throw in the departure of starting free safety Willis Barringer, and Englemon appeared to be right in the mix for a starting spot his last year on campus.

But something came up.

"We both had a choice," Carr said. "There were some things I expected of him, and he proved to me that he was serious in what he said he wanted to do, and I'm glad he came back."

This was completely under the radar in the preseason and would have been a major reason to cock an eyebrow at the Stevie Brown praise, because without Englemon who are the alternatives? Charles Stewart and true freshmen. One of MGoBlog's primary heuristics is to seriously question any and all effusive praise when the player in question is the only option: see Johnny Sears. Could this dodgy Englemon situation have cost him his starting job and, by extension, Michigan the Appalachian State game?

Miles Miles Miles Miles Miles. Every day someone asks Les Miles about the Michigan job and every day he says he ain't sayin' anything, which is a majorly positive indicator that he's interested in the job. Coaches flat lie about their interest all the time and then bolt to other jobs; to not even bother with that formality speaks volumes. To wit:
"Don't ask it, I've got nothing to say," Miles said "I am so happy right where I'm at. I need to work harder with this team. That's my focus and it will not change."

And all those Michigan fans kicking your name around?

"I have not really given much thought to the fan base in Ann Arbor and it's not something I reflect on in any way."
Also of evidence: his special bonus buyout for the Michigan job and Jacob Hester's statement:
“That would be the only place he would go, but I don’t know if he would want to leave this,” LSU tailback Jacob Hester said over the weekend.
I am warming a bit to the idea not necessarily because I think any of the concerns I expressed earlier are invalid but because I think I overlooked a major Miles positive: whatever his failings are are greatly mitigated by his willingness to locate and acquire the best assistants without regard to anything except their effectiveness: Jimbo Fisher and Bo Pelini are amongst the best-paid and best-regarded coordinators in the country, and when Fisher bolted to Florida State for a king's ransom he brought in Gary Crowton, late of BYU and Oregon. This is miles (ha!) from Michigan's current situation.

The Mathews thing. Here it is:

IMO, a one game suspension is warranted.

Yeah, about that... declares Michigan the best collegiate program for players looking to make it to the NHL, then blows any credibility they might have with this:
Forward Brandon Naurato has a sweet lefty scoring stroke and with a little bulk could dominate NHL first lines.
Undrafted third liner Brandon Naurato: poised to dominate the NHL! I mean, you could look at the frickin' roster and pick any of three different first-rounders... or you could go with Naurato. No offense to a guy who developed into an unexpectedly useful player as a sophomore, but if he's the best player on the team we dead.


Gittleson ammo. For the S&C zealots out there:
"Right now, they can't tackle in space," ESPN "College GameDay" analyst Kirk Herbstreit said. "For the life of me, I don't understand it. Every February, Michigan recruits really well. But I think their strength and conditioning program has cornered the market on taking five-star guys and somehow finding a way to slow them down. It's mystifying to see it every single time they line up against that type of spread look."
I've always been skeptical of the S&C argument given all the Michigan guys in the NFL and their performances at combines -- generally good -- but there you go. It's not like clearing Gittleson out for someone who's learned something since returning from Vietnam. No... literally:
Michigan's director of conditioning is Mike Gittleson, who's in his 30th season. He was the program's first such coach in 1978, a Vietnam veteran who completed his master's in exercise science on the campus where he works.

Etc.: ESPN announces format switch: now JCSPN. These mockups are always a good time; everyone can stop emailing me about it now.