Saturday, December 30, 2006

Liddell/Ortiz 2

I'm really looking forward to the fight tonight, although I doubt Ortiz will do anything but get knocked out again.


Friday, December 29, 2006

Made to be Broken

You know what they say about records, so here are some current Wolverines with chances at breaking Michigan records (be it Monday or next year).

Mike Hart

The junior tailback now has 1515 yards on the season and 3632 yards for his career. His single season total is the 5th best in Michigan history and he needs 159 to catch Chris Perry for #4, 188 to catch Jamie Morris for #3, and 218 to catch Anthony Thomas for #2. His career rushing total is 6h best in Michigan history and he can catch Chris Perry for #5 with only 64 more yards. He only needs 840 yards to tie Anthony Thomas for the #1 overall spot in Michigan history and barring injury, that seems like a lock next year as he has a very real chance to crack the 5000 yard barrier.

Mike Hart also has 14 rushing TDs this year and 27 for his career. He needs 1 more TD to tie Anthony Thomas for the 5th most in a single season in Michigan history. His 27 career rushing TDs are 9th best in Michigan history and he can surpass quite a few people before his career is over. He'll catch Gordon Bell with 1, Butch Woolfolk with 2, Billy Taylor with 3, and Steve Smith with 4. He needs 12 more to catch Chris Perry for #3 all time behind Tyrone Wheatley and Anthony Thomas.

Hart is now up to 19 career 100 yard rushing games which places him 3rd on Michigan's all time list needing only 3 more to catch Anthony Thomas for #1 all time. Hart can also tie Jamie Morris with 10 games of 100 yards rushing in a single season if he has a big Rose Bowl. He also has 8 career 150 yard rushing games which puts him just one behind Anthony Thomas for the #1 all time mark at Michigan. His 4 career 200 yard rushing games already hold the Michigan all time record.

Chad Henne

Chad is now up to 7468 career passing yards and 68 career passing touchdowns. He only needs 1786 yards to catch John Navarre for the all time Michigan lead and 3 TDs to catch Grbac for #2 on the list and 4 TDs to catch Navarre for #1 on the list. Henne also is down to 22 TD passes needed to catch Drew Brees for the all time Big Ten record and will likely fall just short of Brees all time Big Ten record for passing yardage.

Mario Manningham

Manningham has 9 TD catches on the season and 15 for his young career. Mario just needs 1 more TD to catch Braylon Edwards for the 10th best single season in Michigan history and 2 more would put him into a tie for the 6th best season in Michigan history. For his career, Manningham is now up to a tie for 10th best of all time in receiving TDs and only 8 more would put him all the way up to 4th behind Edwards, Carter, and Howard. If Manningham stays for 4 years, he has an outside shot at Braylon Edwards Big Ten and Michigan record of 39 career TD catches.

LaMarr Woodley

Woodley sits at 11 sacks and 14 TFL on the season and 22 sacks and 46 TFL for his career. He only needs 1 sack to tie the Michigan single season record and he needs 2 sacks to get to 3rd best in Michigan career history and 3 sacks to get to #2 in the all time record book. When it comes to TFL, he is 4th on Michigan's career list and can climb all the way to #2 with only 2 more TFL against USC. Woodley's 123 yards lost on TFL this season is already the best in Michigan history (by 1 yard over Jason Horn in 1995) and his 111 yards lost just on sacks is far and away the best in Michgian history in a single season ahead of Chris Hutchinson's 99 yards lost in 1992.

LaMarr Woodley also has 4 fumble recoveries on the season which places him in a tie for 3rd best single season in Michigan history and he needs 1 more to move into a tie for the best of all time.

Leon Hall

Leon Hall has 15 pass break ups this season and 31 for his career. Leon only needs 3 PBUs to move from #2 to #1 all time on the Michigan single season list alongside Marlin Jackson in 2002. He also needs 3 more to tie Marlin Jackson for #2 on the Michigan career list behind Todd Howard's 41. Leon Hall also has 3 INTs on the season and 12 for his career. His career total is #4 all time and he only needs 1 more to move to #3 on the career list.

Garrett Rivas

Garrett already has the career Michigan record with 63 career field goals made (tied with Remy Hamilton at #1). He also is the #2 career leader in field goal percentage at 77.8% (for players with at least 20 attempts) just behind Remy Hamilton at 83.3%. Garrett's 161 made PATs in his career are best in Michigan history (JD Carlson's 137). There really isn't a whole lot left for him to do in the record books once he gets one more FG to break the tie with Hamilton.

Steve Breaston

Steve already holds the Michigan career record with 1941 KR yards and 1599 PR yards. The punt return mark is also a Big Ten career record. He already joined Wisconsin's Nick Davis as the only players in Big Ten history to record at least 1000 yards in 3 different career categories (KR, PR, receiving). He also holds the Rose Bowl single game record with 315 all purpose yards in his last appearance in Pasadena so we'll see if he can top that on Monday.


The Grand Daddy of 'em All

What others are saying...

The Detroit Free Press notes that speed (or lack thereof) is still a topic of discussion

According to Lane Kiffen...""When you look at the Big Ten as a whole, there is not a lot of speed". "We go for speed," he said. "That's just our philosophy."

The Free Press also mentions how next year starts on Monday for Ron English

The answer will be heard throughout the off-season. If Michigan's defense stops USC's offense, English will keep his reputation as a bright young defensive mind and Booty will face major scrutiny next August. If USC overpowers Michigan's defense, U-M fans will wonder whether English is just a younger, more charismatic version of maligned former defensive coordinator Jim Herrmann.

On the calendar and in perception, next year starts Monday.

According to the Free Press, the Michigan defense will be ready

Since then, English said he's seen improved intensity and crispness. "We've picked it up," he said. "The preparation has gone well."

The Detroit News says that USC is ready to score some points against Michigan

They have a solid defense, but you definitely see they can be exposed at times," USC star receiver Dwayne Jarrett said. "It's exciting to see things like that."

The News also quotes another USC wide receiver licking his chops
"The other corner, No. 14, he's a good player, but I don't know, we feel like we can make some plays on him," Smith said of Trent. "The safeties, if they're starters, they have to be good, but we feel like we can make some plays in the secondary."

The LA Times quotes Leon Hall on Dwayne Jarrett

"Ohio State didn't have a Jarrett-type of receiver," Hall said. "Jarrett can put himself between the ball and the defender and, if he gets that position, then it's almost 100% that he's going to get the ball."

Another gem from Lane Kiffin in the LA Times

Lane Kiffin, USC's offensive coordinator, said the Trojans hope to slow that up-field push by running at Woodley, whose size raises questions about his ability to stop the rush.

The Orange County Register says Chauncey Washington is back for USC

The Trojans do, however, have one implement they had to leave in the toolbox against UCLA. They have a healthy Chauncey Washington.

"I believe I can be a difference-maker," Washington said.

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune says Leon Hall is up to the challenge

His sophomore year he got caught up in the B.S. of being a Freshman All-American," said English, who was defensive secondary coach before taking over as coordinator this season. "But the last two years he's been the type of kid that's really bought into being technically sound."

The SGV Tribune also has a bit on a wiser Chad Henne

A year wiser and more polished, Henne looks to lead the Wolverines past the disappointment of not reaching the Bowl Championship Series championship game and to their first bowl win four years.

"We were definitely disappointed with the (BCS) outcome at first, but we're at the Rose Bowl," said the Henne, a 21-year-old junior. "We're playing a great team, and we can be the second team in Michigan history to go out with 12 wins.

"That's what we've set our hearts on and we're coming out here to go out with a win."

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One Last Time

Whereever it says "Kyle's Mom", just insert "Urban Meyer"

Whew, now I think I finally got it out of my system.


Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Will Michigan hoops dare to join this list?

  1. Alabama
  2. Alabama-Birmingham
  3. Alabama State
  4. Albany
  5. Alcorn State
  6. Air Force
  7. Arizona
  8. Arizona State
  9. Arkansas
  10. Auburn
  11. Austin Peay
  12. Belmont
  13. Boston College
  14. Boston University
  15. Bradley
  16. Brigham Young
  17. Bucknell
  18. Butler
  19. Cal
  20. California-Santa Barbara
  21. Cal State-Northridge
  22. Central Connecticut
  23. Central Florida
  24. Central Michigan
  25. Charlotte
  26. Chattanooga
  27. Cincinnati
  28. Colorado
  29. Colorado State
  30. Connecticut
  31. Creighton
  32. Davidson
  33. Dayton
  34. Delaware State
  35. DePaul
  36. Duke
  37. East Tennessee St
  38. Eastern Illinois
  39. Eastern Kentucky
  40. Eastern Washington
  41. Fairleigh-Dickinson
  42. Florida
  43. Florida Atlantic
  44. Florida A&M
  45. Fresno State
  46. George Mason
  47. George Washington
  48. Georgetown
  49. Georgia
  50. Georgia State
  51. Georgia Tech
  52. Gonzaga
  53. Hampton
  54. Hawaii
  55. Hofstra
  56. Holy Cross
  57. Illinois
  58. Illinois-Chicago
  59. Indiana
  60. Indiana State
  61. IUPUI
  62. Iona
  63. Iowa
  64. Iowa State
  65. Kansas
  66. Kent State
  67. Kentucky
  68. Lehigh
  69. Liberty
  70. Louisville
  71. Louisiana-Lafayette
  72. Louisiana State
  73. Manhattan
  74. Marquette
  75. Maryland
  76. McNeese State
  77. Memphis
  78. Miami (Fl)
  79. Michigan State
  80. Minnesota
  81. Mississippi State
  82. Missouri
  83. Monmouth
  84. Montana
  85. Murray State
  86. Nevada
  87. New Mexico
  88. Niagara
  89. North Carolina
  90. NC-Asheville
  91. NC-Greensboro
  92. NC-Wilmington
  93. NC State
  94. Northern Iowa
  95. Northwestern State
  96. Notre Dame
  97. Oakland
  98. Ohio
  99. Ohio State
  100. Oklahoma
  101. Oklahoma State
  102. Old Dominion
  103. Oral Roberts
  104. Oregon
  105. Pacific
  106. Penn
  107. Penn State
  108. Pepperdine
  109. Pittsburgh
  110. Princeton
  111. Providence
  112. Purdue
  113. Richmond
  114. Sam Houston State
  115. San Diego
  116. San Diego State
  117. Saint John's
  118. Saint Joseph's
  119. Saint Mary's
  120. Seton Hall
  121. Siena
  122. South Alabama
  123. South Carolina
  124. South Carolina State
  125. Southeast Louisiana
  126. Southern
  127. Southern Cal
  128. Southern Illinois
  129. Stanford
  130. Syracuse
  131. Temple
  132. Tennessee
  133. Texas
  134. Texas A&M
  135. Texas-El Paso
  136. Texas-San Antonio
  137. Texas Southern
  138. Texas Tech
  139. Troy
  140. Tulsa
  141. UCLA
  142. Utah
  143. Utah State
  144. Valparaiso
  145. Vanderbilt
  146. Vermont
  147. Villanova
  148. Virginia
  149. Virginia Commonwealth
  150. Wagner
  151. Wake Forest
  152. Washington
  153. Weber State
  154. West Virginia
  155. Western Michigan
  156. Western Kentucky
  157. Wichita State
  158. Winthrop
  159. Wisconsin
  160. Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  161. Wyoming
  162. Xavier

Just take a look at this list. Since the day Tommy Amaker was hired as head coach of Michigan in March of 2001, this is a list of schools that have played in the NCAA basketball tournament. That's 162 schools that have done what Michigan hasn't been able to. If somebody wants to argue that Michigan can't compete for a national title without major upgrades to Crisler and a practice facility, so be it. Just don't use that facilities talk as a reason why Michigan can't make the NCAA tournament when so many teams have been able to do it over the last few years.

I hesitate to even extend the list to include schools that have made it since Michigan last played in the NCAA tournament in 1998.


Holiday Cheer

Slow blogging the last few weeks with me being so busy at work and having so many holiday functions to attend. Things are starting to slow down a little bit finally, and what better way to start than with some Rose Bowl preview stuff? I'll try to have it up by Thursday. As for Michigan hoops getting blown out of the water by UCLA, can't say it was a surprise. This year's team is sorely lacking in talent in the backcourt and will get beaten handily by teams that can pressure the ball.

Happy Holidays


Sunday, December 17, 2006

Michigan Hoops....11-1?????

So the Michigan basketball team defeated Northern Illinois yesterday to improve to 11-1 on the season heading into their showdown with #1 UCLA at the Pauley Pavilion next weekend. The question is, how good is this team? 11-1 is a mighty pretty record. In fact, it is the best record Michigan has had through 12 games in a long time. Twice under Amaker they have started 10-2 only to tail off somewhat in conference play. Michigan's only loss thus far was at NC State in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge and they haven't exactly had a quality win yet.

Let's take a peek at their 11 wins and how those teams have fared against other "major" competition this year.

  • Central Connecticut State - CCSU hasn't really played anybody with a 13 point loss to UMass and a 3 point loss to St. Bonaventure being their biggest name opponents
  • Davidson - they lost to Missouri by 6 points, Duke by 28 points, and beat Charlotte by 28 points
  • Eastern Michigan - lost to Marquette
  • Wisconsin-Milwaukee - also lost to UAB and Wisconsin
  • Harvard - they haven't played anybody
  • Youngstown State - lost to Michigan State and Ohio State
  • Maryland-BC - lost to St. Johns, George Washington, and Marquette
  • Wofford - lost to Clemson and Auburn and Cincinnati (by 1 point)
  • Miami (OH) - lost to Kentucky, Xavier, Illinois, and beat Rutgers
  • Delaware St - lost to Pitt, NC State, Marquette, Purdue, and Wisconsin
  • Northern Illinois - hasn't played anybody
So not exactly an impressive slate of victories. Miami, UW-Milwaukee, Wofford, and Davidson are probably the best of the group. But how does Michigan stack up statistically with last year's NIT group through 12 games? Well, it's tough to compare because last year they had already played Notre Dame, Miami-Florida, UCLA, and Indiana. But here's a look anyway:

Stat: Last year - this year

Team FG%: 50.2% - 48.3%
Opp FG%: 41.4% - 36.0%
Rebounding margin: +8.6 - +9.4
Asst/TO ratio: 1.04 - 1.15
Team PPG: 73.0 - 70.5
Opp PPG: 61.3 - 54.3

Not a whole lot of difference. They still turn the ball over way too much. The defensive stats have been a bit better, albeit against far inferior competition. It will be interesting to see how they hang with UCLA. Can they keep it interesting in the second half? Will they get blown off the floor? The one encouraging part about this season thus far is that they have done most of this without much contribution from super frosh DeShawn Sims who has had a few little injuries here and there, but has been really emotionally hampered by the murder of his little brother a few weeks ago. If Sims can ever get his game back, they could make a run at an NCAA bid this year in a weak Big Ten. Based on recent history, however, I'm not holding my breath.


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Gary Danielson is the Anti-Christ

I bet Urban Meyer still feels dirty from the rim job that Gary Danielson gave to Florida on Saturday, though Urban was begging for it at the time.

Here's a link to the CBS feedback page where you can let them know what a douchebag you think Gary is and ask for his termination.

Go nuts with it. If Gary never says one word on TV again, I will be happy. He disgraced himself.


God Save Us All

Jim Walden, the former coach of Iowa State, apparently has a vote in the Harris Poll. As you probably know, this gives him a say in who plays in the BCS national title game. Well, not only does Jim have a vote, he had an interesting vote. He was the one and only person in the country to vote Florida #1 ahead of Ohio State. Here are some quotes from this weekend and a few months ago that put this man's logic in perspective.

From Whole Hog Sports:

But Walden said Texas would still deserve to be rated higher than every other one-loss team if it wins out because the Longhorns’ only loss was to No. 1 OhioState.

“You’re never going to get me to vote for one team ahead of a team that’s only lost to the best team in the country,” Walden said.

OK, got it? Seems simple enough. Now this little nugget from the New York Times:

“If you look at the Big Ten conference, it is a joke,” Walden said in a telephone interview late last night. He added: “I voted my heart and I voted my strength of what I believe in. In my opinion, Florida is the No. 1 team in the nation.”
Interesting. Any other thoughts on Florida and their coach Urban Meyer? Let's check the Des Moines Register:

“I have always thought the SEC was the whiniest bunch, who are under the mistaken belief that they have invented football and I have never met Urban Henry,” said Walden, mistakenly confusing Florida coach Urban Meyer for a Lombardi-era Green Bay Packer defensive lineman. “I have been drinking a lot of Alka-Seltzer today.”

Must be the Alka-Seltzer making him loopy. Do you really want a man so hopped up on Alka Seltzer helping decide the national championship? He was sold every week of the year that Ohio State was the best team in the country, including after their final victory over Michigan. Every other person in the country with a vote gave it to Ohio State for number one. But not slick Jim. Was he just trying to avoid his own logic from earlier this year in which he unequivocally said the team that lost to #1 would have to be #2? Is he that smart? I don't know.

I do know that the Harris poll really needs to step up the quality of people voting in the poll because it is a flat out joke right now.


Monday, December 04, 2006


Florida, Michigan....Michigan, Florida, etc.

  • One of these teams played a tougher schedule than the other as based on the cumulative winning percentage of their opponents
  • One of these teams best win was in South Bend by 26 points while the others best win was by 13 points at home over LSU
  • One of these teams lost on the road to the #1 team in the nation by three points while the other lost by 10 points on the road to 2 loss Auburn
  • One of these teams only had 2 games decided by 7 or fewer points while the other had 7 games decided by 7 or fewer points
  • One of these teams had a coach that refused to bitch and moan about what his team deserved, while the other had a coach that cried like a little girl.
  • One of these teams was far better against their one common opponent (Vanderbilt) than the other
And, one of these teams got snubbed from the national championship game because people don't want to watch a rematch. How sad is that? Just 2 weeks ago, the college football nation got treated to one of the greatest regular season games of all time. It was the highest rated game in over a decade. It featured the greatest rivalry in sports. It came approximately 27 hours after Bo Schembechler passed away. It was a 3 point game that came down to the final minutes. We had a chance to watch it happen again. It was Ali-Frazier II waiting to happen.

But alas, it was all for nothing. Instead, we get to watch Ohio State beat up on an inferior Florida team that is no real threat to them and Michigan gets to work on their tan in Pasadena for the 3rd time in 4 years.

But imagine what could have been if people had voted for who they thought was best, instead of what game they wanted to see. (HT MGoBlog)

George Lapides, a Memphis sports radio talk host, said he believed Florida would lose to Michigan if the teams were to play. But he jumped the Gators from No. 4 to No. 2, past the Wolverines, after Florida beat Arkansas.

“I liked the idea of a conference champion playing a conference champion,” he said. “I think that’s more appealing than a rematch. I think you try to pick something as appealing as possible.”

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