Friday, November 30, 2007

Michigan Football: Coaches that might join the staff?

ASSuming that Les Miles is the head coach at Michigan. Impressive resume, Superior interior line coach. Passionate and fiery personality whose players loved him and played hard for him. At clinic one year he had players come in on day off to give on field demonstration. One player, a OT who was 1st round draft pick, came sprinting across the field just as demonstration was ending. You could hear how disappointed he was that we had let Coach Miles down. Always made himself available when he was an assistant.

Michigan current staff:
Scot Loeffler (QB) I think he is here until he know longer wants to coach anymore and (IMO) he will never leave the Ann Arbor area and actually if Miles comes in he might be the right guy to take over for him whenever Miles retires say in 10-12 years. Good young QB coach. Like how he runs his practices and teaches fundamentals.

Fred Jackson (RB) I have heard both ways that he would like to stay on the staff and also heard he might look to do something different, but if he wants to be back I believe he will be on the next staff. One of the most popular assistants I have ever seen. His players absolutely love him and it shows in their play. Very good recruiting connections in Texas and Louisiana. Impressive how he gets star RB's to step up and do the dirty work, block. Good coach and better person.

Steve Stripling (DL) I think he will stay, but again not sure who will come from Miles current staff or if he will look around for another opportunity elsewhere. Solid D line Coach. Michigan's front four play has improved since his arrival.

Erik Campbell (WR) I think he will stay because he is a fixture on the Michigan staff and will continue to be. Think he is here as long as he wants as well. Top notch WR coach. His players are always well prepped and generally play hard.

Chris Singletary: (RC) Miles could always bring Henson onboard as the RC as well since he did that at LSU, but I hope they keep Chris Singletary there.

I think DeBord, Moeller, Bedford, English, and Szabo (retire) will probably not be retained, but who knows just depends id Martin and Miles made some type of agreement before hand along with whom he wants to bring from his current staff or outside those programs. Regarding English he might want to take a stab at becoming a head coach at a smaller school or look around somewhere out west.

LSU current Staff:
Doug Mallory (DB) I have to think that Miles would want to bring him back to Ann Arbor and see him as one of his assistant coaches. I think he would be the first guy to follow for sure.

Greg Studrawa (OL) "Fostoria, Ohio product" close to my home. Would he come back in the area if say DeBord does not want to stay on the job or take a demotion? Think this could be a guy from his current staff that would follow Miles. Greg Studrawa is the Offensive line coach who is an excellent young coach. Was (OC) at Bowling green for some years. Ran spread offense when at BGSU. Michigan staff could really use someone with knowledge of spread. Not only to help offense, but defense as well. Best way to learn to stop an offense is talk to someone who runs it.

Larry Porter (RB's & ST's) He has been with Miles since 2002 at Oklahoma State. I would think he would be first choice to come with Miles (IF) Fred Jackson decided that he does not want to be back. Larry Porter is the Running back coach who is pretty young at 35 and was the 2007 national recruiter of the year and had the eight players last year with a four star average. Also is a very good running back coach that gets involved with the rotation of the RB's.

Josh Henson (TE's & Recruiting Co.) He has been on with Miles since 1995 when Miles came to Oklahoma State. He was a O-line for the Okie's. Then became a coach for them in 1999. He might follow Miles as well if asked.

Gary Crowton (OC) He might follow Miles as well if Miles does not think "Lefty" is ready for the (OC) or Miles might want to go after another OC from a different staff. Greg Crowton - Good reputation as Offensive coach. Saw him talk once, very impressive knowledge of short and play action passing game out of spread look. Like how he has incorporated power running game with passing game at LSU.

Bradley Dale Peveto (LB & ST's) He does both jobs at LSU now. Wondering what he would do or if Miles would want him since I think Szabo is gone (retire). He might follow Miles, but if Pelini takes over the LSU program he might stay there as well and move up.

Tommy Moffitt (S&C) I am not sure Miles can pull him away from LSU he has been there for eight years and I believe three Head Coaches. He would be a great get for the new S&C coach. I think this new coach whoever it will be is going to change the "landscape" the most at Michigan and the players at Michigan might finally get a wake-up call and find out that the off season really is not the off season anymore. I think the players have lost games this year from the "off season" more than during the games. I think no more "not mandatory" work-outs will be come a staple at Michigan from here on out and the kids will not be treated so "nicely" and the kid gloves will come off.

Not on either staff:
Jon Tenuta: (DC) Chan Gailey was fired and left Tenuta as intern-HC so that might makes it a little bit difficult especially if he is in the running for the HC job there. Excellent DB's and ultra-aggressive DC. Fantastic resume, been DC at six different program including Ga. Tech and OSU. Would love to see Coach Tenuta at Michigan. Former high school coach in Columbus area. Ohio high school connections are always a good thing.

Mike Trgovac: (DC) Would he come back to Michigan just to be a DC and give up a lot of money in the NFL? Also John Fox his HC right now at the Carolina Panthers might be on the "HOT" seat so he might lose his job there, but he would easily find another DC job in the NFL if he wanted it. Impressive resume, Top flight Defensive line coach. good speaker and clinician. His D lines are statistically among the best in the NFL. Shown ability to develop young players and adapt to his personnel. Would be one of three top candidates for DC if I was interviewing.

Curt Mallory: (DC) His brother is Doug who has been with Miles for quite sometime now and the Mallory's have been around the Michigan program. Curt is co-DC at Illinois and also in charge of the DB's there so he might be looking to move to Michigan as the DC and have his brother as the DB coach. Really like the guy. Energetic tough young coach with bright future. Had high football IQ as a player. Bo always talked about his toughness on special teams. Comes from a true football family, dad and both brothers are coaches, or retired coaches.

S&C Coach:
The biggest question might not be who the coaches are, but who will be the S&C coach and how will that programs change the landscape of Michigan football. Also the "voluntary" off season workout programs I am sure are going to change. The one thing is the players will have to buy into the system for it to work and also realize you only get what you put into something and the easiest thing to do is show them what players at Ohio State have done over the last five years. The players at Ohio State themselves police the team and make each player realizes how important the off season is and they win games in the fall by putting the work in during the off season. Also need to make it so that if you are not going to put the work in the off season then you are not going to see the field in the fall and the coaches need to stick to this program and show the players that it is not just "talk" and you might have a rough year by proving your point, but for the programs sake and also the future of Michigan football it needs to be done and done right now.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Michigan Football: What could possible happen the next several weeks?

Well seems like Michigan fans are in a holding pattern right now and the only thing to do is speculate on whom will be the coach and also the possible assistant coaches.

The big question might be what happens once a new coach is hired and how will that changes the program? Will new assistant coaches be announced before the bowl game or will they wait till after the Michigan bowl game? How will recruiting be handled once the new coach is hired? A lot of questions and really not many solid answers just speculating right now on what might happen.

Well unless you have been hiding in a cave you pretty much know that Les Miles is the guy the Michigan program has been waiting on and once the SEC Championship game is over Michigan will probably be contacting Les Miles sometime Sunday officially talking with each other for the first time. Most of these coaches search are done in private and usually consist of somebody that is friends of the program and also a friend of a coach where they will go back and forth seeing what kind of interest their might be on both sides along with possible negotiations of whom might be left on the staff and also what kind of money figures and years both sides are looking at to keep this thing moving.

After Bill Martin and a friend of Les Miles has a pretty good deal worked out in which they believe a deal might be done then the Michigan athletic director calls the LSU athletic department asking for permission to be able to talk with Les Miles one on one about the possible coaching position. That is when the LSU AD ask Michigan to wait till after the SEC Championship game so the players, fans and coaches can worry about the game on Saturday.

Michigan fans are in a holding pattern feeling good about the chances of having their head coach position filled by Les Miles, but until they sign an agreement nothing is set in stone and also LSU is expecting meeting with Les Miles sometime Monday to discuss his future and to offer him a new contract. Will his agent use that to get his guy more money from Michigan or does it really matter at this point. I think Miles will come to Michigan and money will not be an issue, but you have to know that he does not want to come here for peanuts either and should not be asked to take less money just because it is his "dream job" along with his former school.

So how will this all work out I believe he will get contacted by Bill Martin on Sunday and they will talk to get a feel about what each other is looking for and then Monday Les Miles will talk with LSU and basically tell them that he will be interested in the Michigan job and probably head to Ann Arbor Monday to talk with Bill Martin farther and do a formal interview. Will that be enough and will they be able to announce on Tuesday that he will be the next Michigan coach? I do not know that almost seems a little tight especially you have to think Miles will want to talk with his team and tell them what is going on along with telling the other coaches as well. Unless Bill Martin offers him the job on the phone or maybe Bill Martin will fly to Baton Rouge to chat with Les Miles in person so he can talk with LSU and also his team on Monday and make the trip to Ann Arbor on Tuesday?

So what happens after the new coach is announced? Well that is where a lot of questions will be asked and also a lot depends on if LSU will still want him to coach their bowl game which over a week ago the AD said he wanted Miles to coach the bowl game if he would possible move on. I think he will come to Ann Arbor for a press conference, meet the team, coaches, etc. He might even stay in Ann Arbor for a couple of days and start doing interviews with the current staff to get a feel of what he wants and who he might keep and the direction he is looking to take this program.

Then he will probably head back to LSU and talk with his current staff who he might want to take with him to Michigan along with possible start interviewing other coaches that might be joining him. I would say within a week or so he will know for the most part who will be his staff at Michigan. Miles will probably during those first days as Michigan coach will be calling the recruits and telling them that he wants them and hopes they will keep their commitment to Michigan and probably tell them what he would like to see the program goes from here and what his plans are for those recruits.

Bowl practice will be a time where the players and coaches can just go out and have the fun and get away from all the distractions. I would think the new staff for Michigan will not arrive in Ann Arbor until a few days after the Michigan bowl game or after several days of their own bowl game.

Recruiting the last ten weeks are going to be crucial especially for some of the guys that are on the fence if they will stick with there commit or not along with other kids that were not interested in Michigan until the new staff came aboard. Probably going to see a lot of traveling for the new staff going out to see kids along with Les Miles doing the in-homes with these kids which could actually be their first meeting each other.

Will be an interesting off season and a lot of changes could possible happen and one of the biggest might be the S&C program. This has been debated to death on the message boards and I will not get into it accept for it is time for a change and time to get Michigan and their players working hard in the off season. I believe they lost the first two games not in the early part of fall, but rather in the winter, spring and summer leading up to fall practice this year. Michigan uses a "voluntary" off season program where other schools put the pressure on the kids to be there and work hard and if you do not you will not see the field in the fall.

Spring practice could be very interesting as well with a new excitement along with how will the spring be treated under Les Miles? Will the media have more access or will it be the same old Michigan. Will there be an actual spring game along with players getting a chance to prove to the new staff that they deserve a chance to play.
Stop back later today and get a peek of my updated coaches’ possibilites that I had out there for over a week now. Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Michigan Basketball: On TV Tonight against Boston College

Michigan Basketball:
John Beilein and the boys hit the hardcourt again tonight and will be on ESPNU. They play Boston College and this could be one of those games that can go either way and Michigan needs to find a way to get a win tonight for tourney time. They have a tough non conference schedule ahead of them still and need to pull out a few wins.

Boston College at Michigan
Nov. 28, 2007
Crisler Arena
7:15 pm. EST.
DirecTV Channel 609

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Coaches Corner: Other Asst. Coaches to watch for the Michigan staff:

Curt Mallory - Really like the guy. Energetic tough young coach with bright future. Had high football IQ as a player. Bo always talked about his toughness on special teams. Comes from a true football family, dad and both brothers are coaches, or retired coaches.

Mike Trgovac - Impressive resume, Top flight Defensive line coach. good speaker and clinician. His D lines are statistically among the best in the NFL. Shown ability to develop young players and adapt to his personnel. Would be one of three top candidates for DC if I was interviewing.

Mel Tucker - Would be ecstatic to have him as DC at Michigan. Former OSU DB's coach and Co-DC. Excellent recruiter with Ohio contacts. Possible best Cleveland area recruiter in the country. Good teacher, excellent motivator, and high energy person.

Jon Tenuta - Excellent DB's and ultra-aggressive DC. Fantastic resume, been DC at six different program including Ga. Tech and OSU. Would love to see Coach Tenuta at Michigan. Former high school coach in Columbus area. Ohio high school connections are always a good thing. Probably be tough to land now that he is the inter head coach at Georgia Tech.

Coaches Corner: LSU Coaches breakdown

Les Miles and LSU Staff:

Les Miles - Impressive resume, Superior interior line coach. Passionate and fiery personality whose players loved him and played hard for him. At clinic one year he had players come in on day off to give on field demonstration. One player, a OT who was 1st round draft pick, came sprinting across the field just as demonstration was ending. You could hear how disappointed he was that we had let Coach Miles down. Always made himself available when he was an assistant.

Greg Crowton - Good reputation as Offensive coach. Saw him talk once, very impressive knowledge of short and play action passing game out of spread look. Like how he has incorporated power running game with passing game at LSU.

Greg Studrawa - Excellent young coach. Was (OC) at Bowling green for some years. Ran spread offense when at BGSU. Michigan staff could really use someone with knowledge of spread. Not only to help offense, but defense as well. Best way to learn to stop an offense is talk to someone who runs it.

Larry Porter - Running back coach who is pretty young at 35 and was the 2007 national recruiter of the year and had eight players last year with a four star average. Also is a very good running back coach that gets involved with the rotation of the RB's.

Coaches Corner: Michigan Coaching breakdown

Michigan Staff:

Scott Loeffler - Good young QB coach. Like how he runs his practices and teaches fundamentals. Future OC and possibly head coach.

Erik Campbell - Top notch WR coach. His players are always well prepped and generally play hard.

Fred Jackson - One of the most popular assistants I have ever seen. His players absolutely love him and it shows in their play. Very good recruiting connections in Texas and Louisiana. Impresive how he gets star RB's to step up and do the the dirty work, block. Good coach and better person.

Steve Stripling - Solid D line Coach. Michigan's front 4 play has improved since his arrival.

Andy Moeller - Always thought Coach Moeller got a bit of a bum rap as O line coach. It is tough to be successful when you only use 1 running play. Also tough to succeed when you recruit for 1 scheme and then change to another that takes different skill set. For his sake would like to see him move to another program and get fresh start.

Mike DeBord - OK O-line coach. One of the more organized coaches I have seen. That is why we did good job as recruitng coordinator and special teams coach. Might be better for both him and Michigan if they go in different direction. tough to have been the MAN, calling plays and such. To be demoted to position coach.

Coach English - Fiery passionate coach with limited experience as DC. Excellent recruiter with good connections in California and other western states. He gets major props for getting Michigan defense to play a more aggresive, physical game, but in some very key games and situations his inexperience showed up. Way too many times Michigan's defense was not in proper sets, without proper personal on the field. Chris Graham trying to defend Ohio State's Gonzo in space comes immediately to mind. A bit slow to make needed adjustments in key situations. In both Wisconsin and Michigan State game offenses took advantage of Michigan between tackles with little cutback play and did little to deal with this scheme. If I was putting staff together I would seriously look at Coach English as Recruiting Coordinator and Special teams coach. With his passion and fire I think this would be very good fit.

Coaches Corner: Cincinnati Coaches breakdown

Brian Kelly and Cincinnati staff:

Brian Kelly - Over last five years coach Kelly and his offensive staff has been regulars on the speaking tours and he is on request of high school coaches.

They are a top spread team and staff while Brian Kelly has the solid football resume, with history of success everywhere he has been. One top proponent of the spread offense he is from the win with your offense camp his words not mine. He has a young but dynamic staff.

Kerry Combs - Former high coach at Colerain and solid DB coach.

Mike Elston - Former Michigan OLber, excellent young coach. He is recruiting one of my players so I have some experience with him, and him also coaches special teams. That is something I would like to see Michigan do add special teams to recruiting coordinator position getting two coaches for one.

Charley Molnar - Passing Coordinator and spread offense specialist, excellent knowledge of empty offense. Has background at all the specialists/skill positions.

Jeff Quinn - OC and O line, saw him talk at coach of the year clinic. Very good speaker. Has been with Coach Kelly since CMU.

Greg Forest - QB coach, has been with Coach Kelly since GVSU, was WR coach there. Very good WR coach.

Joe Tressey - Former Ohio high school coach and DB coach at Akron. Competent DB coach.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Coaches Corner: Iowa Coaching breakdown

Kirk Ferentz and Iowa staff:

Coach Ferentz has an excellent resume including six years in NFL and two as assistant head coach. He is top flight offensive line coach, but his style and personality are best suited for pro game. He is not the fiery type that I prefer at college level.

He has had some quality peoples under him, but some have left to the NFL. Paul Aiken a former assistant of the year now coaches in NFL as does his former Offensive Coordinator. Not finding adequate replacements are reason his record at Iowa has slipped in recent years.

Lester Erb - is a very Good WR coach and recruiter. Would be equal to Coach Campbell.

Norm Parker - Have known Coach parker for 20 years or so. He is excellent defensive coach and his knowledge of playing defensive football is second to none.

Phil Parker - Former assistant at university of Toledo. Dynamic and qualified DB coach. Depending on whom the new DC is, he would nice addition.

Chris Doyle - Top flight S&C coach. Have seen him at clinics multiple times. Really knows his stuff.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Coaches Corner: What would be nice to see from a Michigan Defense

When it comes to Michigan defense I am less concerned about schemes or packages (4-3 or 3-4) etc. and more concerned about philosophy and fundamentals.

What type of defense do you want to play? Are you going to be an aggressive/attack defense, bend but do not break, or combination like Tamps 2. You can be successful with any of these schemes and packages if you have the philosophy and personnel to fit it.

Michigan has bounced around so much, changing philosophy, a person can get confused just thinking about it. Can only imagine just how unsure our players are. This has caused some of our positional and assignment problems I will go over later. Once you have the philosophy in place, picking your schemes and packages gets easier it also makes recruiting much easier. You recruit players who fit your schemes and getting players to commit also becomes easier. When a player can see how he fits into schemes and packages they are more likely to see themselves playing at your school.

That has been one of Ohio State biggest advantages. Coach Tressel hired Mark Dantonio to install 4-3 zone blitz scheme. They have continued to use this scheme through four DC's and Co-DC's. This is one reason, possibly the biggest, Ohio State can graduate nine starters, some absolute studs, and still put very good defense on the field the next year. From scheme stand point I would like to see Michigan play some sort of zone blitz. Do not care if it is 4-3, 3-4 , or a variation of either. Both schemes have peopled who play them very successfully. Alabama, OSU, Oklahoma, and USC are examples of teams who use 4-3 zone scheme. Steelers, Patriots, and West Virginia all prefer 3-4 zone blitz or similar scheme.

Things I would like to see Michigan improve at on defense is mostly the fundamentals. Michigan needs to tackle better, be positional sound, stay in rush lanes/be sound in their gaps, maintain contain, and take better pursuit angles. You will never have a great defense regardless of schemes and packages until you can successfully preform these fundamentals. Michigan also needs to get back to aggressively pursuing to the football. Part of that goes back to changing philosophies and schemes so much that players are not confident enough to play at 100%. Too many times one missed tackle leads to a huge play. Check the four games UM lost and then count the big plays, that must stop. You cannot give up that many big plays and beat good teams.

Specific areas that need upgrading most are safeties and Lbers. Big plays usually are result of missed/blown assignment or safeties either missing tackles or taking terrible pursuit angle. If possible re watch Ohio State Wells long TD run. Adams takes terrible angle, Englemon misses tackle. What that leads to was 68 yard TD run. And Lber play was just as responsible. Play side Lber took play on with wrong shoulder, this allowed Wells to get to the perimeter. You must as Lber take on lead blocker, FB or pulling linemen with inside shoulder at the line of scrimmage. You must keep football between the hashes, if it gets outside the defense is at huge disadvantage.

Another example of this is DE's. How many times did our DE's take easy way, rushing to OT's inside instead of maintaining outside leverage and forcing QB to stay in pocket. It also happened way too many times in running game. DE's and LBers must stay home, maintain outside leverage and funnel everything back to the center/keep offense between the hashes. These type of positional fundamental plays have to improve.

If not Michigan will continues to get beat by good teams.

Coaches Corner: What would be nice to see from a Michigan Offense

Would be ecstatic if Michigan incorporated a power running game into their offense. Would also like to see Michigan use more gaps in the running game. Outside zone or stretch attacks inside leg or hip of the TE. Yes the RB has the option of cutting back or through any gap front side, but that is different from attacking inside gaps. This makes Mlbers stay home and not flow hard to the ball.

Remember how MSU and Wisconsin attacking inside gaps made Ezeh unable to help on cutbacks and other running plays. To play this style Michigan's linemen need to get bigger and stronger, but stay athletic enough to have the quickness and explosive ability to get off the ball.

This is imperative to moving the line of scrimmage, which is necessary to succeed in this style of ball. Linemen pulling and moving also can be helpful. Pulling allows you to out man opponents at point of attack and cause mismatches. To pull you need the same explosive quickness to be able to beat RB's to the hole and square up on Lbers. It also makes game fun for linemen. So to play this type of game S&C becomes very important. Pulling and moving line of scrimmage this way can takes the starch out of a defense, but can also wear down your linemen if they are not properly conditioned. Pitch sweep is good play to use in some situations. Problem is with defenses emphasizing speed, it is tough to beat them with sweeps on the perimeter, but it is great red zone play, because most defenses play man, and sweep is tough to stop in man.

If Michigan would incorporate more TE and RB passing schemes in their offense they would tough to defend. But for that to happen the Offensive line needs to protect better. When the front five has problems with protection it becomes necessary to max protect. This makes it difficult to use them if you cannot protect without them. Too bad, TE's who can hurt defenses between the hashes make it harder for them to do other things. It makes it difficult to double on the outside, play cover 2, and makes OLbers stay home just long enough to open all the underneath routes.

RB's in passing game can be nightmare for a defenses. Wheel routes like those used by USC with Reggie Bush are extremely difficult to defend. They match up superior athlete on LBer, always tough match up for a defense and circle routes are great to use on those 3rd and 4 situations when you desperately need to move the chains. They also make PLBers and MLbers stay home which opens slants and hitches, etc.

Two things need to happen for Michigan to attack between the hashes with the WR's. First is linemen need to get the hands of the D-linemen down. How many passes has UM had knocked down in recent years? 2nd is WR's have to be able to get off line of scrimmage and avoid being rerouted by underneath coverage. Michigan runs one of the better post in college football, but stopped this year because of problems above.

Play calling always follows execution. Was really disappointed Michigan quit running flash screen this is one best way to slow down speedy edge rusher. WR screens, either slip or jail break, are some of the toughest plays to defend. They can take the place of sweeps and other perimeter runs in an offense. They actually stretch a defense more and more effectively than a sweep can.

Problem Michigan has right now is personnel. None of Michigan's current WR's excel at this type of passing game. For Michigan to develop a more diverse offense it is imperative they start recruiting players with skill set to play this type of game.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Michigan Football Tidbits: Carr/DeBord to name NEXT Head Coach at Michigan NOT Bill Martin?

Well looks like Mike DeBord who obviously knows he will not get the coaching job at the University of Michigan is not only trying to save his job, but also keep the status quo.

Remember about a year ago when Lloyd Carr said an a interview that he didn't want any part of the coaching hire whenever he steps down because he didn't want people to blame him for the next hire or say that was Carr's guy? Well I guess that only applies when he doesn't like who the next coach "possible" could have been.

Looks like Carr is going to be more vocal and tell Martin who he think will be the next coach a long with no other Mike DeBord. Some how Debord knows he is fighting for his job and thinks the only way he is going to keep his job is if Kirk Ferentz is the next Michigan coach. Carr and now Debord (have no idea how he sticks his nose in things) are pushing hard for Ferentz. Their message is Ferentz is the best candidate to continue the program the way it is or same old thing and of course Mary Sue Coleman has to be loving that especially since that was her first choice since she hired Ferentz at Iowa.

In Miles favor you have multiple Michigan people including a lot of former players calling on behalf of Miles. Although rumors there has been an offer extended not even close to the truth.

Bill Martin is insisting on having a search and his primary job right now is to form the search committee. This is about done and Martin has been placing calls back to agents and coaches who have inquired to tell them the process. According to Martin the search committee will make a recommendation at which Martin will consult with Carr to get his opinion and then Martin will make the decision.

The Ferentz rumors are not far fetched especially since Martin announced that Carr will be helping Martin is some capacity. Carr wants Ferentz, but wants to make it seem that Martin picked Ferentz and not Carr choosing him.

So if your not happy with having Kirk Ferentz as your next coach you might want to send a e-mail to Bill Martin . Just remember be civil and get to the point and who you would like to see be the next head coach. If you need some stats for your e-mail here are some stats about Kirk Ferentz and his record overall, in the Big Ten and against In-State rival.

Kirk Ferentz as head coach at Iowa:
1999.....1-10.....0-8 in Big Ten.
2000.....3-9.....3-5 in Big Ten.
2001.....7-5.....4-4 in Big Ten.
2002.....11-2.....8-0 in Big Ten.
2003.....10-3.....5-3 in Big Ten.
2004.....10-2.....7-1 in Big Ten.
2005.....7-5.....5-3 in Big Ten.
2006.....6-7.....2-6 in Big Ten.
2007.....6-6.....4-4 in Big Ten.

Iowa vs. Iowa State (in-state rival)
3-6 in favor of Iowa State

Some people will say well he is at Iowa and you have to expect not having such a great record. I understand that to a point, but when for the most part the Big Ten is really the Big 2 and little 9 now his Big Ten record hasn't been very impressive. Also his In-state record against Iowa State isn't any good going 3-6 against the Cyclones. Does Michigan really want a program like Michigan State to catch up with them? That is what Iowa State is to Iowa the little brother or it is suppose to be anyways.

I would really hate to see Michigan turn into a Nebraska or any of these other programs that have fallen off the map of being a "elite program" anymore such as Miami had their bad seasons along with Florida State, USC, OSU, etc... Michigan's worse year has been 6-6 in the past forty years. Might not have been the best team overall, but Michigan has been steady.

Michigan Stadium is going through a renovations and I just can not see how Kirk Ferentz will fill those luxury boxes every week along with bringing Big Ten championships to Michigan let alone a National Title.

Les Miles isn't my first choice, but he would be a lot better choice than Ferentz right now. At least Miles would bring back the passion of Michigan football along with having support of hte fans, media, donors, alumni and former players.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Lloyd Carr retires

After 13 season as head coach and of the Michigan Wolverines Lloyd Carr is stepping down.

He has been a member of the Wolverine football staff for 27 years. Prior to being elevated to head coach, Carr said he thought he held the greatest assistant coaching job in the country, serving 15 years under Bo Schembechler (1980-89) and Gary Moeller (1990-94). Carr joined Schembechler's staff in 1980 as the defensive secondary coach, was the defensive coordinator for eight seasons, and then moved into the position of assistant head coach for the final five years before becoming head coach in 1995.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Coaches Corner: Ohio State dominated Michigan

First things first, congratulations to Ohio State on Big Ten Championship and winning the game.

They out played Michigan and deserved to win. Michigan made way too many mistakes to beat a good football team. Penalties, missed blocks, missed tackles, dropped passes, Missed WRs, poor specials teams all played part in this huge disappointment.

This game was lost/won as much in January through July as it was on the field Saturday afternoon. Coach Tressell needs to give Eric Lichner, Ohio State S & C director, a huge bonus. Ohio State has bigger, stronger, quicker, and more athletic than Michigan and it showed most at the Line of scrimmage. Ohio State flat out out worked Michigan in the off season.

Ohio State Defensive line harrassed Henne all afternoon and made Mike hart a non-factor after the first quarter. They did it by winning the battle at the Line of scrimmage. On offense Ohio State offensive line allowed them to control the clock, field position, and kept Michigan's offense off the field. One of the key areas where Ohio State really shined was special teams. Using their coverage teams Ohio State was able to keep Michigan pinned deep in their own territory much of the game. Ohio State return game was gaining those hidden yards where Michigan's return game has almost a non-factor. Only once, a Mesko punt did Michigan's special teams provide an advantage and Michigan's offense squandered that opportunity.

With OSU domianating the Line of scrimmage, winning in all three phases of the game, Michigan was fortunate to keep this game close. Ohio State played that much better.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

One year ago today we lost "BO"

Should be pretty emotional pregame Saturday:

Michigan lost "BO" one year ago today and going to be a very emotional game without him. Just happens to be "The Game" just happens to fall on the date "BO" passed away last year (Nov. 17, 2006).

Former U-M coach Bo Schembechler's widow, Cathy, will flip a commemorative coin with "BO's" face on one side before Saturday's game.

A jet flyover and an introduction of the senior players with their families will also occur before the game.

Reported that 425 former players coming back for the tunnel/banner to support the boys in the wing helmets.

Of course the future of Lloyd Carr as well and "possible" a new direction of this program. Will it continue to be a "BO" type guy a "Michigan Man"? "Carr will make an announcement Monday morning about his future plans."

If your not ready for the game yet click on link to listen to "BO's" pep talk regarding the TEAM, the TEAM, the TEAM!

Michigan Programming: Nov. 17, 2007

Border Battle Kickoff Show
NorthWest Ohio Area
10:00am EST. - 12:00pm EST.
DirecTV Channel 13 (Local ABC)

College GameDay
10:00am EST. - 12:00pm EST.
DirecTV Channel 206

Big Ten Football Saturday
Pregame Show
11:00am EST. - 12:00pm EST.
DirecTV Channel 220

Ohio State at Michigan
12:00pm EST. - 3:30pm EST.
DirecTV Channel 13 (local ABC)
DirecTV Channel 86 (National HD feed)

College Football Overdrive
3:00pm EST. - 8:00pm EST.
DirecTV Channel 207

Big Ten Football Saturday:
Postgame Show
7:00pm EST. - 8:00pm EST.
DirecTV Channel 220

Big Ten Tonight
10:00pm EST. - 11:00pm EST.
DirecTV Channel 220

Big Ten Football Saturday:
The Finale
11:00pm EST. - 12:00am EST.
DirecTV CHannel 220

Friday, November 16, 2007

Michigan TV Programming: Friday Nov. 16, 2007

1997 Ohio State at Michigan
1:00pm EST. - 3:00pm EST.
DirecTV Channel 208

2006 Michigan at Ohio State
3:00pm EST - 5:00pm EST.
DirecTV Channel 208

The Big Ten's Greatest Games
1997 Ohio State at Michigan
6:00pm EST. - 8:00pm EST.
DirecTV Channel 220
Big Ten Channel

Battle at the Big House
7:00pm EST. - 7:30pm EST.
DirecTV Channel 657

Big Ten Friday Night Tailgate
10:00pm EST. - 11:00pm EST.
DirecTV Channel 220
Big Ten Network

Big Ten Tonight
11:00pm EST. - 12:00am EST.
DirecTV Channel 220
Big Ten Network

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Coaches Corner: Ohio State at Michigan Preview - When Michigan has the Football

When Michigan has the ball:

Ohio State plays a base 4-3 zone blitz scheme. They will use a double zone, 3 under 3 deep about 95% of the time. Ohio State has added some 3-3 stack to their nickel package, but the schemes and packages are the same or at least look similar.

Ohio State will use a strong side and quick side to the defense much of the time. With the SDE and LEO, Ohio State version of SLBer following the TE. Up front Ohio State will use a 1-tech DT Todd Denlinger a big tough player and Dexter Larimore another tough kid, I do not buy the 300 lb listing. And a 3 tech DT converted DE Worthington, a good athlete who is not as strong at point of attack as other Ohio State DT's have been.

In the secondary Ohio State rolls or rotates he secondary to one side of the field. They prefer to roll into the boundary. This keep WLBer out of the flat. But havethey roll rolling more to the field this year. This is because Freeman and Laurinitis are excellent at LBer drops. Ohio State will roll to a specific WR if he is hurting them. Did this with both Braylon and MM in the past.

If Michigan is going to win they have to run the football better. Strength of Ohio State team is the back 7. This is especially true in nickel. Ohio State has best nickel in Big Ten and one of top in country. All the DE's Gholston, Wilson, and Rose are excellent pass rushers and the zone blitzes are a pain in the ass to pick up. Laurinitis and Grant, a physical freak are excellent blitzers. But this is not a particularly big defense and it can be muscled. Ohio State because of its quickness and aggressiveness can be hurt with counters and misdirections.

Another area Michigan needs to exploit is TE. Again, the DE's are not overly large and have had some difficulty with TE's. Beckham had some success against Ohio State. TE's and slots attacking center, between the hashes can really give a rotation secondary in a bind. In fact Michigan works extremely hard at rerouting and impeding inside WR's to combat this, but a TE is tougher to reroute. If you engage TE to hard you open underneath to slots and WR's.

If Michigan is going to win they must block better and this is a team issue, not just a line one. Our TE's, RB's and WR's all must improve, none was particularly effective against Wisconsin. If this does not improve, Saturday could be a long afternoon for Michigan. This is the best defense Michigan has faced this year. They are obviously not unbeatable, but Michigan will have to execute and play full four quarters to beat them. Michigan cannot have three turnovers and numerous penalties. Michigan cannot have numerous three and punts. Coach Tressell is master at controlling and using field position. If Michigan gives Ohio State short fields our chances at winning go way down.

Predictions to come Friday with programming as well.

Michigan Programming Thursday Nov. 15, 2007

2007 Michigan at Michigan State
10:00am EST. - 12:00pm EST.
DirecTV Channel 220
Big Ten Network

Wolverine Sports Magazine
12:30pm EST. - 1:00pm EST.
DirecTV Channel 636
Fox Sports Net - Detroit

Honor Roll
College Football Greatest Stadiums
1:30pm EST. - 2:30pm EST.
DirecTV Channel 609

1995 Ohio State at Michigan
2:00pm EST - 4:00pm EST.
DirecTV Channel 208

2006 Michigan at Ohio State
2:00pm EST. - 4:00pm EST.
DirecTV Channel 220
Big Ten Network

College Football Live
3:30pm EST. - 4:00pm EST.
DirecTV Channel 206

College Football Now
6:00pm EST - 6:30pm EST.
DirecTV Channel 212

Wolverine Sports Magazine
7:00pm EST - 7:30pm EST.
DirecTV Channel 636
Fox Sports Net - Detroit

Tom Lemming Generation NEXT
7:00pm EST. - 8:00pm EST.
DirecTV Channel 610

Michigan at Georgetown
7:30pm EST. - 9:30pm EST.

College Football Live
7:30pm EST. - 9:00pm EST.
DirecTV Channel 206

Battle at the Big House
9:30pm EST. - 10:00pm EST.
DirecTV Channel 657

1986 Michigan at Ohio State
8:00pm EST. - 10:30pm EST.
DirecTV Channel 610

Crystal Ball
10:30pm EST. - 11:30pm EST.
DirecTV Channel 610

Big Ten Tonight
11:00pm EST - 12:00am EST
DirecTV Channel 220
Big Ten Network

College Football Rivalries
Ohio State at Michigan
11:00pm EST. - 12:00am EST.
DirecTV Channel 657

Coaches Corner: Ohio State at Michigan Preview - When Ohio State has the Football

When OSU has the ball:

First and most important is Michigan needs to take care of its own issues. Get back to playing sound fundamentally strong defense. Things like staying in their lanes , be positional strong, maintain contain, no stupid penalties, take on blockers with inside instead of outside arm, and sound crisp TACKLING. If you can take care of these problems their chances of winning increase greatly.

After fixing fundamentals there are two huge keys to stopping Ohio State and winning the game. Michigan must stop the run, and they must make Ohio State drive the field. They cannot give up big plays like they did last year. Ohio State is an excellent play action team. If Michigan can stop the run game you limit an offense ability to be effective in play action.

What concerns me most is Chris "Beanie" Wells ability to run the cutback. Two weeks in a row RB's have had the great success starting one way and cutting back through huge holes. Michigan's backside DE's and OLBers need to maintain outside leverage and stay on backside shoulder of RB. If Wells runs successfully it opens rest of offense. Robiske and Hartline become bigger factors do to the opens the running game causes in the secondary.

From scheme point Ohio State uses two packages in running game. They run the inside zone and power play pulling the backside OG to either trap, log, or lead into the hole depending on what the defense does. They run several different sets, looks, and formations off those schemes that give the running game much diversity. The O-line is solid and especially good at pass protection. The TE's are also good at both blocking and being check off receivers.

Michigan needs to force Boeckman to beat them. This what Illinois did successfully. They held Wells to around 80 yards and made Boeckman be the focus of OSUs offense. No disrespect to Boeckman, he is having a good year. But he is not as tested as some of other QB's Michigan has faced and not as big a threat as Wells and the running game.

Again key to Michigan this week is fixing those things they control.

Coming Thursday night, Coaches Corner: Ohio State at Michigan Preview - When Michigan has the Football

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Coaches Corner: Got an e-mail about ST's?

What seems to be the problem with our Kick return units? Are we not blocking it well or are the run back guys too tentative? We shoot ourselves in the foot and lose field position on every exchange. Watching Stevie Breaston, fly around against the Lions Sunday made me long for the good old days. Is Cameron Saddler the guy to get? Help me understand.

Joan and Larry Gray
M, Class of 56.

Good call, blocking on entire team is sub par and that includes special teams. Our kick off return also suffers from not having a quality returner. One key is timing between the wedge and return man. Our returners are not helping themselves by 1st catching the ball, way too many KO's and punts are either hitting ground or being fumbled and dropped. This kills the timing and gives defense time to close the lanes. National average is teams lose 17 yards of field position every time punt is not caught. Returners are also just not hitting the wedge fast enough. If you do not hit that wedge fast and hard the holes and seams that originally are there will either close or you are too far back to get into them. Either is sure death to return.

The whole thing goes back to poor recruiting. Not enough LB's, safety and TE's that are heart and soul of special teams are on our roster. That is why Michigan has taken six or so LB's in the last two classes and four TE's. Also why so many freshmen are losing their red shirt to play special teams.

Michigan is woefully missing the type of player needed to have successful special teams. Same with return men. We do not have that smallish, quick, athlete to hit that wedge and get through it. I hope Michigan recruiting of more special teams type players will help fix this problem. Because you are 100% correct, field position has been a huge minus most of the year.

Regarding Saddler I think he has the "wiggle" to be a great ST's player like Breaston was at Michigan. Will he come to Michigan that is the big question right now. The signs are there, but Michigan and Michigan fans have to be leery since the kid is from Gateway where Justin King came from and Michigan thought they had him and his step-dad (Gateway Coach) who was a former PSU guy kind of put it to Michigan when King picked PSU. Also Cameron wants to be more than just a ST's player so we will have to wait and see where he goes.

That is the thing Michigan is lacking is a "game breaker" type kid on ST's and there is not one guy that scares you when Michigan has their ST's out on the field. To many people expected too much out of Breaston and at Michigan he should have only been a Return guy and possible a 3-4 WR nothing more, but he was forced into being the 1-2 WR.

Michigan definitely needs a ST's player on returns, but Michigan might have a few guys that could possible be back there next year already on the team likes Avery Horn, Donovan Warren and Troy Woolfolk. Kids coming in next year that might get a chance as well is Boubacar Cissoko or Sam I hope.

Thanks for the question,
CoachBt and ErocWolverine

Michigan programming for Tuesday:

ESPNU Coaches Spotlight
1:00pm EST. - 5:00pm EST.
DirecTV Channel 609

College Football Live
3:30pm EST. - 4:00pm EST.
DirecTV Channel 206

Full Court Press
4:00pm EST. - 6:00pm EST.
DirecTV Channel 610

ESPNU Inside the Polls
5:00pm EST. - 6:00pm EST.
DirecTV Channel 609

College Football Live
7:00pm EST. - 7:30pm EST.
DirecTV Channel 209

The Big Ten's Greatest Games
1997 Ohio State at Michigan
8:00pm EST - 10:00pm EST.
Big Ten Network
DirecTV Channel 220

Big Ten Tonight
10:00pm EST - 11:00 pm EST.
Big Ten Network
DirecTV Channel 220

Michigan vs. Ohio State
"The Rivalry"
10:30pm EST. - 11:35pm EST.
DirecTV Channel 501

College Golf
Big Ten/Pac 10 Challenge Finals
11:00pm EST. - 12:00am ESt.
Big Ten Network
DirecTV Channel 220

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sunday: Michigan on TV

Sunday Nov. 11, 2007

Michigan Replay with Lloyd Carr
9:00 am EST.
Fox Sports Net Detroit
DirecTV Channel 636
*replay at 12:30 pm EST.*

Michigan Basketball:
Brown at Michigan
12:00 pm EST.
DirecTV Channel 220
Big Ten Network

Big Ten Men's Basketball Preview:
8:00 pm EST.
DirecTV Channel 220
Big Ten Network

Big Ten Women's Basketball Preview:
9:00 pm EST.
DirecTV Channel 220
Big Ten Network

Big Ten Tonight:
10:00 pm EST.
DirecTV Channel 220
Big Ten Network

Coaches Corner: Wisconsin Recap

Wisconsin Recap:
Michigan started solidly at the beginning of the game by stopping the 1st two Wisconsin drives and they moved ball on offense. On Michigan's 2nd drive things began to come apart when Chad Henne threw an interception and that was Henne's last pass because he did not return the rest of the game.

The Badgers would turn it into seven points with the help from two Shawn Crable personal fouls. From there things snow-balled do in large part to Michigan's losing focus by having players arguing with other players, defensive players trying to do too much instead of playing fundamentally sound football.

When Michigan had the ball :
Wisconsin front four controlled and at times dominated the line of scrimmage. This allowed the Badger LB's and DB's to make plays in both the passing and running game. They held the Michigan running attack to under 100 yards. The badgers were especially effective in their blitz packages which gave Michigan problems all afternoon. Wisconsin also mixed up coverage very well and had Ryan Mallett confused much of the game combine that with both bad passes and too many dropped passes and you have a recipe for an offensive disaster. What it all added up to was a sub par offensive performance by the entire Michigan offense.

When Badgers had the ball:
The Wisconsin O line played a solid game, but it was the Michigan defense that made Wisconsin look so good. This was Michigan's worse performance since Oregon and as with Oregon it was the same poor fundamentals that absolutely killed Michigan. Poor positional play, horrible angles, giving up contain, and not staying home. Lost count of number of times Michigan played strong at point of attack, only to have the Wisconsin RB's cutback through huge hole and how many times did Tyler Donovan able to break contain after initial pressure to only gain yards either running or throwing out on the perimeter.

Special Teams:
Michigan's special teams were a negative again today with average coverage, terrible punting, and below average returns. This is Michigan's biggest concern or weakness and you cannot continue to lose special teams battle and beat good teams.

What happens now:
The big question is how will this Michigan team reacts now? Will they lay it all out on the line and go for the Big Ten title, the Rose Bowl and another BCS bowl trip or will they pack it in at the first sign of defeat? Nobody really knows until 12:00 p.m. EST. on Saturday when they face rival Ohio State. They are beat able, but Michigan has not played a complete game all year and they will have need to play the best four quarters of the season to beat Ohio State. Also they aren't going to be able to do the same things that Illinois did either like putting pressure on the QB and also using the QB as a running back to get the bucks out of their element. The biggest thing is getting up on them and keep the pressure on and make them get out of their game of running the ball, controlling the clock, play great defense and special team and just have the offense does enough to win. You make the QB scramble and get pressure on him and this game Michigan can win if they play sound football and get back to basics of fundamental football and play with some heart, passion, pride and your school.

Thursday will be Special edition with the Offense Preview of what Michigan needs to do to win and Friday will be what will the Defense need to do to win against Ohio State on Saturday with predictions as well. Also check back daily for new additions to the blog.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Coaches Corner: Badger Preview

Badger Preview:

This will be Michigan toughest game to date with being injured and also going to a hostile environment. Will Mike Hart play at all or will the coaches give him the rest to heal a bit for the big battle with Ohio State. How healthy is Chad Henne and can Michigan protect him any better than they did against Michigan State because he was hit way to many times. If this game was at Michigan Stadium I would say the score would be about 14 points, but playing at Camp Randall it will be a lot closer game. Also Wisconsin will (possible) have their two best running back with one being injured during the Ohio State game and the other not allowed to travel. Do not let the score of the Ohio State game fool you and think that the Badgers aren't that good because they had Ohio State until late in the game. I think the Badgers just made some bad calls and gave Ohio State great field position.

Match- ups:
Key or biggest match up maybe who has best trainer and staff, Because team that gets the most injured or banged up players back will have decisive advantage. Both teams had injury problems going into last Saturdays game and both played tough physical opponents who compounded the problem. When Michigan has the ball this may sound like broken record but watch the line of scrimmage.

All football games are won within five yards of line of scrimmage. If Michigan can run the football and protect Chad Henne their chances of winning go way up. Two key match ups at line of scrimmage are Steve Schilling on Matt Shaughnessy and Michigan interior linemen vs. Nick Hayden. Wisconsin just might have the best Defensive line Michigan has faced this year and definitely one of the top two pass rushes. Next key match up is Arrington or Mathews on Badgers #2 corner. Jack Ikogwuone might be best cornerback Michigan faces until Ohio State. The Kid is great combination of size, speed, and instincts, but if Langford cannot go that puts true freshmen in pressure cooker and a good match up for Michigan. Another good match up for Michigan is Butler on Wisconsin safeties. Badger safeties are biggest question mark for Wisconsin defense. Butler's size, speed, and hands could challenge those safeties.

What to watch:
Against Ohio State the Badgers used cover two or two deep safeties much of the time. Ohio State had the success throwing ball in area between Linebacker's and safeties. If Badgers continue in "2" Mario and Adrian both excel in those areas and could provide some success for Michigan's offense, but key (IMO) is can Michigan consistently run the football. Wisconsin Linebackers are speedy and covered well against Ohio State, but Wells was able to abuse them in second half running the ball the question is can Michigan do the same.

One thing I will watch for is how many times Henne gets hit. If Wisconsin can keep heat on him and beat him up Michigan will need to max protect more. This will help take the pressure off the badgers safeties. When Wisconsin has the ball there are three things I believe UM needs to improve on to win this week. 1st is protection, 2nd is staying home and tackling on defense, and 3rd is special teams, particularly punting and Kick off return. Other things that need to happen is stopping the run and controlling Beckum. Michigan also needs to be more consistent running the football, especially with Hart not in game.


CoachBt: This is tough one. I am guessing that both teams are going to be coy about whom can play and who cannot or does not, but I still like Michigan 28-17.

ErocWolverine: Playing there is a tough game, but I am glad it is a noon game and not a night game in Camp Randall. I believe in the last 24 games there they are 23-1. I believe their last lost there might have come from Michigan (seen a stat the other night on TV, but did not right it down). Picking Michigan 32-21 if Mike Hart and Chad Henne play the whole game. If they don't Michigan 24-21.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Michigan Baseball: Interviewed Coach Rich Maloney

Talked to Michigan baseball coach Rich Maloney to get his thoughts on the upcoming season, recruiting, the stadium being upgraded along with how his program has progressed since coming to Michigan.

Eroc: Can you talk about the direction of your program from when you arrived at Michigan and where your program is today?

Coach Maloney: Well we have a chance now to compete at the highest level. The past seasons we have had the last three years it has been building towards this moment and now we have in our junior class five outstanding players who have won a couple of Big Ten championships, competed in a couple of regionals and beating number one Vanderbilt on their field and got to experience playing against Oregon State who eventually became back to back National Champions. Really game one against Oregon State could have really went either way in which it would be hard to argue that game should not have been ours. With that being said it gives the guys great confidence and hope that we can get back to that and compete for Omaha. We want to go to Omaha that has been our goal since taking over the program and now we are so close we can taste it while working towards that goal.

Eroc: Expectations for the Michigan baseball program have been growing higher and higher every season does your players and coaches thrive on that along with being the hunted instead of the hunter in the Big Ten?

Coach Maloney: I would rather be in the position we are right now compared to when I arrived at Michigan five years ago I can tell you that much. We have proven ourselves as a high quality program where we were trying to find ourselves as a program. Now were to the point where we have had the three straight regional bids, one regional championship and two straight Big Ten titles that is how you want it for your program and with the expectations of winning and so many players coming back there is definitely some momentum in our program from our past success plus the fact of building a new stadium. There is a lot of positive momentum in our program and exciting to continue it on and will be a challenge to go after another Big Ten title obviously everybody and their grandma is going to be gunning for us. Last year they did that as well, but we were able to hold on wire to wire win the Big Ten which was special I think to do that not being in second place at all the whole year I thought that was quite an accomplishment. I think for our players and this year and the stakes are higher and expectations because everybody is going to be bringing their "A" game when they play Michigan, but that is how you want it because people have gained respect for your program and my job when I got it was to build a program and now we have a program just like the Michigan football team gets everybody best game.

Eroc: Going back to the Oregon State series do you wish the stadium would have been done so you would have been able to handle a super-regional? Do you think that might have made a difference playing at home?

Coach Maloney: Well clearly you want to host a regional or super regional and certainly you hope playing at home you could get a run or two from playing in front of your crowd, but who knows you cannot say for certain for sure one way or another. There is no question having home field advantage has meant a major factor in all college sports and probably as much so in baseball when you look at the fact over the last seven years of the 56 teams who made it to Omaha 51 of them were the host schools so with that figure it speaks for itself.

Eroc: Can you tell us a little bit about the new stadium and compare it to other school in the Big Ten and across the country along with what you want the ball park to represent?

Coach Maloney: Penn State has joined with a minor league franchise along with Nebraska who both probably have the two biggest stadiums in college baseball where they spent 30-35 million dollars for those ball parks and there is nobody close to them. Now talking about our stadium it will be a true college baseball stadium one that will be a nice venue to watch a game and give that college atmosphere so there will be an opportunity if we continue success we will be able to have crowds to pack that stadium. That is my dream and I believe it will happen, I know it will happen.

Eroc: Did you guy think about having a bigger stadium or possible have a minor league ball club come to Ann Arbor?

Coach Maloney: Having a large stadium we could have went that route as well, but we did not want to bring in a minor league ball club we just did not want to go that route. What we are going to have is not going to be spectacular of what a pro/minor team would have added by the money they would have put into it, but on the flip side of it we will have a true college ball park in the heart of the athletic department which is unique compared to most and will go with the buildings and structures of the rest of the buildings. It cleans up the whole area of the athletic department and will be a crown jewel for us where we are located and it is not going to hurt us for recruiting and they will be impressed. It is going to be a venue where young students athletes will be impressed and that is what you want is just a shot to get these kids. What we had in the old Fisher Stadium was somewhat of an eye sore and we are going to have a beautiful looking stadiums very pleasant to look at and watch a game.

Eroc: It was noted in the college world series and the off season that the NCAA could possible look into starting the season later for the northern team do you think it will ever happen?

Coach Maloney: I am not sure it will or not I do know for the good of college baseball and if they want to continue to grow the sport which is growing at an unbelievable rate right now in playoffs and is the second biggest revenue producer in the NCAA playoffs. You have the basketball then baseball because football they pay independently on those bowls, but if you count the money received by the NCAA baseball is the second biggest draw and it is growing rapidly with the College World Series, super-regionals, regionals and television revenues are becoming huge so we have a product that is marketable to the public and exciting for our kids to play in that atmosphere. On the flip side of that we have excluded one part of the country to be part of that and the only way to be truly a part of it with our weather issues are to bump it in the summer some and at some point we hope they do that for at least a couple weeks. Every week you add that is another week to have a home series. Right now we only have 21 home games and 35 road games. You tell me would Lloyd Carr with 12 games would he play four at home and eight on the road and then how would they fair. So we really have to think about that for a minute so with that all being said until we can have a better chance of climate because we cannot start any earlier than we are right now at home. Secondly we cannot draw anyone as far as an opponent from the south or the west because we have to use all those weekends for conference games so how you develop your fan base when you aren't able to bring in the bigger programs like Michigan basketball brings in UCLA. If I was able to bring in a top notch team like Arizona State I know without a doubt we can pack the stadium when you have the success at your program and bring in another top team you will be able to draw. Until we get to these points were not getting a total level playing field and anybody with reasonable sense can understand.

Eroc: Can you talk about your freshmen and your team in general:

Coach Maloney: Not many positions open on our team with a veteran ball club back we have Leif Mahler (captain) is going to play second base as long as Jason Christian is healthy which he had shoulder on his non throwing arm at the end of the summer ball and he wont come back until February 1st and we are expecting him to make a full recovery. Kevin Cislo to center who played 2nd base last year, Adam Abraham (captain) is back, Ryan LaMarre can play all the outfield position that we are very high on and expect him as a to play as a freshman. Alan Oaks has been playing right for us who hit the dramatic home run in the Vanderbilt regional. We have Derek VanBuskirk (captain) in left and Zach Putnam can play in left as well. Our young pitchers we like them a lot, but not sure how much they will contribute with our veteran staff that remains to be seen. Travis Smith is a guy that could make an immediate impact and Tyler Burgoon who also pitches and also will be our #2 catcher from Ohio he should be able to make an impact as a freshman. We have Chris Berset who is the #1 catcher going in and Nate Recknagel possible could be back there.

Eroc: What is the difference between Ball State and Michigan as far as recruiting?

Coach Maloney: We have the opportunity to cover more territory in our recruiting then we would have at Ball State. There it was more concentrated recruiting compared to Michigan where we have the opportunity to expand that area, but my philosophy is to try to get the best players in-state first and build on that with midwest players and I am sticking to it.

Eroc: How does your staff deal with players leaving early and having limited recruiting compared to southern schools?

Coach Maloney: We only have 11.7 scholarships we can only really prepare in our mind and prepare the best we can with how we recruit. The flip side of that are that teams in the south and west can overextends their aid for players and run off players, that is why you see a lot of repeat teams in Omaha more often as well. We do not do that at Michigan or the Big Ten and that makes our challenge much more difficult to build a team at the highest level so you cannot make many recruiting mistakes if you do it will not be possible to keep the same level or if you get hit hard with the draft in anyone year clearly will affect you at that moment.

Michigan Football Tidbits:

Some things have been brought up elsewhere and I believe somethings haven't quite yet, but here is what I have been hearing.

A hot topic around the boards have been the Offensive line and who has been playing and who hasn't been. There are some beliefs that even though Michigan runs the zone scheme that some of the Offensive Linmen on the team aren't really suited for that scheme along with training sessions. Huyge interested to see just how hard he works in off-season. At times it is hard to understand our recruiting process because he just doesn't seem like a zone blocking type of player. Michigan struggles at times because players like Mitchell and Cuilla just struggled with the athleticism needed to execute scheme. Even though both are better power blockers both are somewhat out of shape and need serious improvement in leg strength. Will they stick with zone blocking when Hart leaves?

Rumors of a possible change in the S&C program at the top is still that rumors especially about a potential retirement, but it is not a done deal. If he stays changes are still going to be made and speed and quickness drills will be emphasized. Will they allow major strength excercises for legs is still up in the air, but several players would really benefit like Mouton and some of the OL will benefit from new program.

There continues to be questions as to why Ortmann or Mcavoy is not playing and although some believe Schilling is better suited for RG its simply too late in the season to make changes.

Mooseman and Zirbel are the main two players who seem to have lost all interest in competiting for playing time at Michigan. Both have been upset because they feel they have not been given an honest chance and shot at playing time. McAvoy simply beat out Mooseman and Zirbel has struggled finding a position. Zirbel actually has some talent and if he applied himself could make significant progress in off-season, but right now he does not seem to be that interested to battle for a spot.

Mallet really needs work on keeping the ball high throughout the play. His lowering of his hands are causing most of his problems. He still worries about his footwork so much that his release of the football has slowed dramatically a lot of work ahead in the off-season.

Some people are really getting irritated with Butler and look for maybe Criswell to get some snaps this week. Webb really has shown some promise, but watching tape of his snaps he is at least showing he wants to play, but basically is just running around and not being productive (we wasted his redshirt).

Seems like coaches are excited about the LB prospects. Evans and Herron has shown the willingness to come and practice hard every day and they really think they may have found a true ILB prospect in Fitzgerald. Mouton while injured simply gained too much weight and he really needs a huge off-season, but coaches fully expect him to be a full time player (starter) next yr.

Despite some good showing by Minor and Brown the coaches still believe Grady if healthy will be our top back next year with his quickness in his feet being the main reason and he will come to camp very motivated.

Ron English will be getting an interview (if HC opens up) and because of his ability to turn this defense around. He may become a hot commodity in college ranks if this team finishes well and the defense finishes strong. He may not be a head coach although he will get interviews

Seems like Miles is sending all the right signals, but he will have to go through the process like everyone else and for him to get the job he will have to jump through some hoops and make some deals.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Coaches Corner: Michigan at MSU game recap

This was a game of two different halves.

In first half Michigan controlled the line of scrimmage and at times dominated the line of scrimmage, especially on defense. Michigan's DT's played their best half of football. Taylor was consistently in the backfield or applying pressure to Hoyer. They were stuffing the line of scrimmage allowing our LB's to flow with ease to the ball, but the biggest factor hurting MSU were the penalties. MSU had the seven penalties in first half alone with many of them were drive killers. MSU was consistently in 2nd and 3rd and long not something offense cans overcome. With MSU unable to run the ball the play action and other pass plays were far less effective. One negative for Michigan in first half was Greg Mathews failed to catch a punt. This killed Michigan's momentum. It cost Michigan about 15-25 yards of field position and Michigan were stuck in hole for two or three series. Had Michigan caught that punt to maintain field position I believe Michigan would have scored again.

The second half was completely different story.

MSU was able to run the football, consistently being in 2nd and less then five or 3rd and short. This kept Michigan out of nickel and opened the play action and the rest of MSU passing game. It also neutralized Michigan's biggest strength on defense the pass rush. Where I disagreed with TV analysts was that MSU was not dominating line of scrimmage, but what they did very well was stalemate at point of attack and then cutback or bounced. Do not know how many times OT sealed DE and #30 Caulrick cutback through hole over LG/ B gap. Problem was back side LB's was either over pursing or not filling. The other area that hurt Michigan in second half was special teams. They absolutely killed Michigan's field position. Mesko did not punt well and our blocking on Kick off return was atrocious.

On last two drives biggest difference was protection. At times Michigan doubled Saint-Dic and once or twice actually tripled him. That and Minor did much better job of picking up the blitz. This allowed Henne to stand in pocket and deliver the ball. As was said in the preview, with time Henne is very good, without he is very average.

Bottom line is a banged up football team sucked it up, played with PRIDE, and got the job done.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Michigan at MSU: Preview

Michigan at MSU this saturday at Spartan Stadium will be at 3:30 pm EDT on ABC (regional, ESPN where it isn't shown on ABC).

CoachBt and I are going to be breaking down the keys for Michigan to win this saturday.

Key Match-ups:

Michigan OT's and Offensive linemen vs Saint-Dic and MSU Defensive line. Look for MSU to move Saint-Dic around depending on down and distance. I would expect to see him on our right side in early downs and left side in passing downs.

Michigan MLB's and Defensive linemen, especially DT's vs. Ringer. If UM can make MSU one dimensional their chances go way up. The Defensive line need to stay in their gaps and not outrun MSU plays and get into situations where Ringer can make big plays which we open their entire offense.

Michigan WR's vs. MSU DB's. Can they get off the ball and get open early because I believe MSU is going to try to pressure the QB and stack the line to make Henne or (Mallett) beat them .

What to watch for:

Can MSU run the football if they can it opens both the passing lanes and play action game. Play action has been major UM achilles heel. (IMO) Hoyer cannot beat UM by himself, he will need help from running game. Take that away and big part of what MSU likes to do goes away. If Hoyer can be effective on first down MSU will be hard to deal with the whole game. Can Ringer create holes when nothing is there and get Michigan off balance with their play calling.

What you need to watch is down and distance on 2nd and 3rd down. If MSU is 2nd and 5 or less or 3rd and 3 or less much of the time they are going to be handful. That means MSU is winning the battle at LOS. If they are 2nd and 8 or 3rd and 6, UM is winning the battle at LOS. What happens on early downs will have big time affect on what MSU can do effectively on later downs. Play action on 2nd and 9 is not the threat it is on 2nd and 3. Can Michigan with their defensive line put enough pressure on Hoyer without blitzing on first down to make MSU easier to cover in our secondary.

When UM is on offense watch to see how many defenders MSU needs to commit to LOS to stop running game. If MSU front 7 without putting 8th man in box can slow UM running game they will have big advantage. If MSU needs to commit safety it opens those short and intermediate passing lanes that MM and AA are great at finding open space in. Keynote, Coach Dantonio does like to play man in secondary. MSU is using zone blitz, double zone similar to OSU. Can Michigan offensive line give Michigan enough time for the deep routes or the longer double routes that Michigan likes to use. Will Michigan have to max protect while passing or will they be able to use the TE's and the RB's in the passing game.

Watch for MSU defenders #3 and #28. They are MSUs SS. If they are making tons of tackles or stuffing things at LOS. MSU is needing to commit 8th man to LOS to stop UM running game. Now UM needs to go vertical with intermediate passing game. That is where the seams and space should be. If MSU is having the DB's make the tackles that mean Hart, Brown and Minor are making their way passed the first point of attack and are forcing MSU right into Michigan plan. That is where Michigan can get the TE's involved in the passing game.

For Michigan to Win:

Protect Henne and win battle at LOS. If he was time to throw he is very effective and MSU secondary is no match for our WR's (IMO), but with Henne playing with less than 100% he cannot take that many hits and stay in game. Would not be surprised to see UM use more max protection like in some early games. Also UM needs to avoid those annoying TO's and 5 yard penalties. Both have been achilles heel in UM loses and close games. Will Michigan be able to use their whole passing game with Henne's injury that might be a key to how aggressive Michigan will be against MSU.

The running game always helps loosing up the defense so Michigan can attack MSU down field. MSU has struggles recently against the run so Michigan needs to use that, but not be predictable while doing it as everybody talks about running on first down behind Jake.

Defense is two fold, stop or least slow down Ringer. Again if MSU cannot run football I really like UMs chances. Next is do not give up big plays. MSU has the two WRs averaging almost 17 yds per catch. If UM defense can make them snap the ball again I do not believe they consistently drive the field. Make MSU go 70 plus yard to try to score they are at their best when they have a short field or be able to score on mistakes from the other teams.

Sound special teams. Do not give MSU favorable field postion/short fields and UM defense should be in good shape and need to make MSU drive down the field. Lapata needs to keep hitting FGs. In loses and early close games, missed FGs had unreal influence on game. Need to keep remember the little things such as blocking down on FG's and extra points. UMs special teams have improved, now keep that improving going. Think Michigan will continues to use the short kick (pop up) on kick offs to try to get the other guys handle the ball unless the wind is behind them to try to kick the ball in the end zone.

Take the crowd out of the game early by either making a couple of big plays either on offense or defense. Do not let the crowd and MSU stay in the game like what happened at Illinois in the first half of that ball game.


ErocWolverine: All depends on what Michigan team shows up and who is really ready to go. Will Mike DeBord with all his weapons I hope available use the playbook like he did against Purdue where he thought he was going to have to score a lot of points to win or will he be more conservative a grind the ball using the clock and the offense to pound on MSU? MSU has given up a lot of yards on the ground these past several weeks. Mike Hart if really healthy should be able to find a lot of yards. I think the WR's will get open and create big plays when MSU tries to stack the box to stop Hart. The Michigan defense has really improved over the past several weeks and need to keep going because each game from here on out only get tougher with more weapons. MSU will try to spread them out so we will see once again if this defense is up to the task and I believe they will be even though Ringer will get his yards because he is a good RB. This will be a game where Michigan can send a message to everybody in the country that they are back and tell Wisconsin we are coming for you next week and get out of our way for the Big Ten prize. Michigan has a lot to play for the next three weeks and it all starts Saturday. Michigan 34- MSU 20.

CoachBt: Henne is key (IMO). No disrespect to Mike Hart he is elite talent, but UM will be just fine with Minor and Brown carrying pill. Mallet while extremely talented is still raw and playing in rivalry game in front of hostile audience is not an ideal situation. If Henne plays UM by 10 to 12 pts. Without Henne, man to gets tight. Still like UM at LOS. UM by 3.

Michigan Basketball: New era has begun:

Michigan Basketball new era of basketball tipped off under Coach John Beilein at Crisler Arena Thursday against Ferris State on the Big Ten Network. The floor looks great on camera especially in HD and there is one slight difference than last year on the baselines the words MICHIGAN were actually bright yellow where last year they were the floor color. The lights really make the place look great as well on TV and not to see player shadows or the big shadow under the scoreboard.

Well first off do not get to excited with beating Ferris State 78-40, but it was a very good way to start the season with the "W" in the exhibition game.

This team has the confidence already that I am not sure I saw last year. Players are moving and active on the offense and seem like they have a purpose whiles out there. AGAIN this was Ferris State so do not get to excited. This team looks to be in great shape and will need to (IMO) because they are going to be playing a lot of basketball against teams that are more talented and deeper than they are with the likes of a UCLA, Duke and MSU. It was nice to see actually some movement on the offense and hitting the open shots. Will they keep that confidence when they play the big teams and hit a rough patch in the beginning of this schedule is my only fear. This schedule could be good or really bad for this team because if they can win some games they probably aren't suppose to win that will give this team a lot of confidence and will strengthen them. My only fear is the beginning of the schedules is if they get pounded and get some "L's" from some of the better teams in the nation that they get down on themselves and lose that confidence going into the Big Ten conference.

My only worry form the exhibition game was the turnovers still way too many, but I think some of those can be corrected playing better teams. I think once they got a big lead they was not playing smart basketball and the game got a little sloppy. I hope playing a better team that will gets corrected. Defensively the only weakness I saw was getting to the glass seems like they was not getting the ball or it kept slipping through their hands.

DeShawn Sims who went through probably his toughest year off and on the floor lasts year really looks like a different player out there shooting from three point land, moving around, dribbling, etc. You can tell he has the confidence and wants to excel. The only thing I saw was his hands a little bit trying to rebound balls almost seemed like several times the ball just slipped right out of his hands. Also he needs to go to the hoops a little stronger the one time I am not sure if he thought he might get fouled or not. DeShawn Sims played 25 minutes, 14 points, 2 rebounds, 1 block, 2 steals and 2 turnovers.

Manny Harris really looks to be the players everybody has been talking about during the summer workouts. He really goes to the hoop on offense and hits the boards hard on Defense. The only knock on him (IMO) would be for him not to be jumping in the air so much "Recklessly" we cannot afford him to go down. Manny Harris played 20 minutes, 15 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal and 3 turnovers.

Ron Coleman looks like he is more confident shooting the ball early and is playing better defense. Also like all the guys his shot looks better as well. Must be all the practice of shooting the "Beilein Ball". He played 28 minutes, 11 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assist and 2 turnovers.

Jerret Smith is still careless with the ball sometimes, but his confidence in his shot seems to have increased and looks more comfortable on the floor this year. The only thing that bothered me was the turnovers he still his careless with the ball sometimes. He played 15 minutes, 5 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assist and 4 turnovers.

K'Len Morris seemed nervous tonight at the beginning, but after a while looked like he got comfortable and should be a decent player. Should he be a starter? That might be the only question right now, but since everybody is getting the same minutes it does not really matter. Also it is always good to have a "spark" coming off the bench. He played 21 minutes, 7 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal and 2 turnovers.

Ekpe Udoh seemed like it took him a little while to get in the swing of things, but he sure did not forget to block the ball. Needs to find his niche on the offensive side, but I think it will come once the season gets in full swing. Ekpe Udoh played 19 minutes, 4 points, 5 rebounds, 4 blocks, 1 assist and 1 turnover.

Zach Gibson looks like the kind of player that will fit on the offensive side of the ball. A guy that can be outside handling the ball along with moving inside. I think he will be a good player making more depth on the roster. He played 19 minutes, 8 points, 3 rebounds, 1 block 2 steals and 3 turnovers.

Kelvin Grady still looks quick against college players, but not as quick as he did when I saw him play in high school-competition will do that to you. He is going to be very good in handling the PG on defense and I hope can gets some easy steals. Nice to see him getting into the flow of the offense. Also he handles the ball in this offense very well and looks to make the right pass. Kelvin Grady played 16 minutes, 3 points, 1 rebound, 4 assist and 2 steals.

Anthony Wright looks like a guy that come off the bench and take some minutes to give the starters a rest. He is not going to be a world beater out there, but think he could spell this team for a few minutes. He just adds more depth to the team that might need it going up against some of the better teams with depth (msu). WOW what a difference a year makes he looks great on the floor and the TV broadcast said he lost 30 pounds. He played 15 minutes, 3 rebounds, 1 block and 1 assist.

Jevohn Shepherd look to me very nervous when the "lights came on" he seems to have that same problem that he had last year. We heard all about how good he might be, but then the lights turn on for real and we do not see it. We saw some sparks from him last night, but needs to be a guy that feels confident coming into the game especially since he should be counted on scoring for this Michigan team. Hope fully he will get the jitters out and just play basketball. He played 12 minutes, 2 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal and 2 turnovers.

C.J. Lee he is a lot better than I thought and could be used if needed to fill a guard spot. C.J. Lee played 4 minutes, 2 points, 1 rebound, 1 steal and 1 turnover.

Eric Puls I believe he will red-shirt and needs to get use to college basketball which is not a bad thing. He played 2 minutes had 2 points.

Everybody is going to look at the Ferris exhibition game and say one of two things either this team is going to be better than expected or this team is going to struggle? Right now (IMO) this could be a good team, but the confidence issue is going to be a big part of which way this teams play throughout the season. If they can get some early wins against teams they should not they could battle for a spot in the "Big Dance". If they struggle early will that makes an impression on them and carry them down like it did last year going down the stretch of the Big Ten. The last several years the last ten games have set the fate with this team and it probably will again. How will they react and how will they finish? Time will only tell.

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