The New College Head Coach Rite of Passage

Interesting article this morning on by Steve MSU columnist. He talks about Rich Rodriguez's halftime address to the Crisler crowd. He applauds Rodriguez for taking cues from Tressel at OSU and Dantonio at MSU, who both, shortly after being hired, went on the record in front of a basketball crowd and claimed there was no one more important to beat than their most hated rival. And I have to say, I thought it was pretty cool to see our new ball coach out there too. (In case you missed it, two posts down is the YouTube video of the speech).

I think its important to embrace and, for a better term..."call out" your rival like that. Hey, thats what rivalries are all about. And with all due respect to Lloyd Carr, he just didn't seem to have the itch to beat OSU like he did in his earlier years as head coach. Oh, I'm sure it bugged the hell out of him to lose 4 years in a row, but maybe that was a sign to himself that he just simply didn't have it anymore. But what do I know?

But getting back to Rodriguez, his words were not "Lets go out and pound those suckers!", but he did pronounce that he is well aware of OSU, and he is well aware that we must start beating them again soon. His body language, both on Sunday and in other instances since his hire here, has been like watching a bull being put in a cage before being let loose at a rodeo. Rodriguez is a guy who wears his emotions on his sleeve. Every time I watch his speak, I just think he's about to burst out and tell everyone that he is going kill every team on the face of the planet. He has a very Bo-like way about him. He's uncomfortable with the media, stand-off-ish. He seems like the kind of guy who'd be much happier in a room full of past Michigan letterman that he's never met, than in front of one television camera.

Of course, it's way to early to tell how he'll do here. Odds are he'll have success. Michigan is the kind of place that just sort of has success without trying to least it seems that way. They guy inherits some great talent from Lloyd both returning players and recruits, the greatest facilities in the country, and also inherits a program that has maybe the the most storied tradition of any program in college football. And after watching him work for the past month and a half, it seems to me that Michigan got their man. He's a Michigan Man now. And it's time to bring the bite back to the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry.

Jake Long: Guitar Hero

What to top draft picks do in their spare time before heading off to the NFL???

Michigan Potpourri

A smattering of news and notes...

Possible rule changes for 2008 are one of the hot topics today. Chris Burke, author of The Diag, a Michigan sports blog featured on, posted this last week, but I thought I'd mention it here as well.

The biggest change could be the elimination of the 25-second play clock, and going to a 40-second play clock, like the NFL uses. Instead of the official placing the ball and having the 25-second clock start, the 40-second clock would start automatically once the previous play is over. I can see how this could speed up the game, but I don't see why it is needed.

Also in the works is a change the wording of how "chop-block" penalties are enforced, making it easier for officials to call. Also they would no longer allow horse-collar tackles.

Coaches would now receive two challenge flags per game instead of one.

Elimination of the 5-yard face mask penalty. And changing the wording of helmet-to-helmet hits, making penalties easier to enforce.

Also making news, or not making news...depending on how you look at it, is the total lack of information about Terrelle Pryor. Word is, he said he would wait until after b-ball season to make up his mind. We'll see what happens in the next few weeks.

And of course this post would not be complete without a huge shout out to the mens basketball team for taking it to the Buckeyes on national TV yesterday 80-70. Granted, this is by no means a basketball blog, and I sure don't watch enough of it to comment on it with any certain confidence, but watching that game yesterday was a lot of fun. More games like that and that squad could find themselves gracing the pages of MB Nation more often.

And boom goes the dynamite...

Also, Coach Rodriguez addressed the crowd at halftime...


Go Blue!

Friday Video

Anyone who's a regular reader of this site knows I like the YouTube. I was doing some light browsing the other day and found a user named "WolverineHistorian" who has quite the collection of past games and fun videos. His personal YouTube page can be seen here.

Hopefully this will become a recurring theme on here every Friday. I will try and find new and interesting videos to post for you. So happy Friday!

My personal choices from the collection:

"Recruit" Lies About Being a Recruit

This is just another reason why I simply don't get that into college football recruiting. First of all, what a kid does in high school really doesn't mean anything at a div. 1 college program. It's not how good he was in h.s., it's what you can do to develop that talent to translate to the college game. Just look at Notre 5 recruiting class every year. How did their season turn out?

Okay, sorry...I'm on a rant. Back to the story. There is a high school player, Kevin Hart, at Fernley High School in Nevada who wanted so badly to play big time college ball, that he fabricated a lie about being recruited by about 5-6 big west coast schools. Oregon, Cal, Washington, Nevada...among a few others. The head coaches of all these schools knew about this kid, but never recruited him, never called him, and never even sent him a letter. He attended camps at Cal and Oregon, but thats about it.

But the lie snowballed so much that everyone started to believe him. The head coach, the principal, his classmates. On signing day last week, they packed the gymnasium, had local TV crews there for his decision. He sat down at a table dressed in a white shirt and tie, looked at two hats on the table, one an Oregon cap and the other a Cal hat. He reached out, grabbed the Cal hat, put it on, adjusted it just like every other big time recruit has done in the past. The crowd cheered, his coach hugged him, and he waived to his fans.

And then the chat rooms and blogs quickly started to figure this out. No one knew about this kid. Sure, he looked the part. He was a 6'5" 290 pound o-lineman. He was a little chubby, but looked like once Cal got their hands on him, they could mold him into an athlete. But he seemingly dropped out of nowhere and landed on the Cal list. Coaches at Cal immediately learned of the story and were quick to deny it.

But how dumb can people get? His coach never wondered why a Cal or Oregon coach never called him? His parents never wondered why their phone ever rang? Typically, when you are a big enough star to have a hat ceremony, the head ball coaches for those hats are usually intimately familiar with the high school coach and family.

So now what? There's no way he can play college ball now. Even if he is good enough, the shame he'd have to deal with wouldn't make it worth it.

But this just illustrates the insane hype that goes along with college recruiting. And I think this translates well into the situation with Terrelle Pryor. Sure, he's a great high school athlete, but there's more to it when you go somewhere like Michigan or Ohio State. There's pressure, you're opponents are better, you're just one of 95 super-talented players on a team. And you also have to attend class, follow more rules, you're away from home. Going away to college is hard enough for just typical people like me...let along being a super star with the hype and pressure to deliver fame and glory for you're school.

I say we just do away with the hat ceremonies. We need an early signing period. And we need to have Kevin Hart be an example.


For the record, Maize & Blue Nation thinks West Virginia sucks. It's too bad a few jackasses ruin an entire state's reputation.

On a side note, it is mid-February...that means that there's nothing going on in the world of college football. So therefore, posts could become few and far between. I'm sure when the Terrelle Pryor situation concludes, there will be a post about that. But since I am not usually on top of the recruiting buzz like some others are, I'll most likely be late to that party.

Stay warm and Go Blue!

Super Tuesday

This Tuesday is super indeed! If for no other reason that it marks my return to the blogging world, after what most would describe as a tumultuous life event. I won't bore you with the details, but rest assured that this blog will hopefully never go through a posting drought the likes of which we've just witnessed.

So, whats new with Michigan football? Signing day is tomorrow. And unless you've been under a rock lately, you know that the most hyped recruit in quite some time is rumored to be making his decision tomorrow. Tyrelle Pryor will announce on ESPN whether he will attend Michigan or Ohio State.

Usually there would be some word as to which way he is leaning...but this is truly an interesting one knows anything. has a rundown of commits so far. The standouts of the group are McGuffie, JT Floyd, Terrence Robinson and Darryl Stonum.

But the real ace will be Pryor. If OSU lands him, that will be very bad. I would hate to have to line up against that guy for the next 3 years. But it sounds like he may have to wait a year to play in Columbus, where as he would be the immediate starter in Ann Arbor.