Adventures in hockey-land
Tomorrow, I'm headed to Yost to cover my 2nd hockey game of the season (the first was the Big Chill in December). Obviously, we don't cover hockey very much here, but I thought it would be a cool idea (get it..."cool"...hockey...ice???) to try and see what it's like to experience Yost from a different perspective...as a member of the media. I'm very excited.
Michigan will be taking on tOSU. They also play tonight. You can catch both games on the Big Ten Network at 7:30. On Saturday, check out our livechat and check me out on Twitter, as I'll be chatting and tweeting all game.
You can't talk Michigan hockey right now without throwing in this video of senior hockey player Louie Caporusso, the love expert, showing you all of the great items in the mgoblue Valentine's Day survival kit.
Tater to Miami.
four-letter network, Tate Forcier has transferred to Coral Gables to play for the Miami Hurricanes.
"Miami had the best opportunity," Forcier told ESPN. "There is so much positive energy around this program and I really want to be a part of it. I love these coaches and feel like they are the right guys for me. I had a great visit and I really want to be a part of the rebirth at Miami."Is it the "positive energy"? Or is it the fact that Michigan decided to move on to Denard because you basically stopped doing the two things most responsible for being called a "student-athlete"?
I digress. Tate narrowed his college picks down to Kansas State, Washington, Arizona, Miami and Montana. I do wish Tater the best at Miami. He will sit out the mandatory one season per NCAA rules. That means Miami will most likely start senior Jacory Harris next year. and Tate will battle with sophomore Stephen Morris when the two are juniors in 2012.
Speaking of QBs
Word on the street is that Devin Gardner was granted his medical red-shirt for 2010...which is news to my ears. My only hope now is that Hoke doesn't go after too many pro-style QB recruits that could dissuade Devin to transfer. Part of me thinks that if Gardner was going to transfer he would have done it by now. But maybe that's just wishful thinking.
We all know Bob Wojnowski...either from his sports columns for the Detroit News or from his days as a drive-time sportstalk radio host on the famous Stoney and Wojo show. He recently sat down with Brady Hoke to do a little interview...which we'll get to in a second. But about 29 years ago, he sat down in a Columbus jail cell for a few hours when he was a sports writer for the Michigan Daily. He wasn't visiting the jail to get a story, he (and his photographer) were arrested. It's a good story. MVictors has it.
But getting back to Wojo's Hoke interview, a few interesting quotes.
Q. You have 18 starters back next year, including the Big Ten offensive player of the year. I'm thinking an 8-4 record, minimum. What do you think?About the fractured fan-base:
A. If we don't win the championship, we failed, period.
Q. Have you looked at your roster closely and assessed how good you could or couldn't be?
A. No. If we don't win the championship, we failed.
Q. So I suppose it's possible then?
A. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't.
Q. It's well-documented how fractured Michigan was during Rich Rodriguez's three seasons. Is that part of your task, pulling it together? How will you do it?Attrition and using Denard:
A. Same way you do with everything else — you go out and touch people, talk to people, meet people. Shame on us for being fractured, and I mean that.
Q. Have you detected signs of it?
A. It's been pretty good. I haven't been in town as much, but I've heard from guys who played here from all different eras. It just pisses me off that Michigan got to that.
We can't let that happen because at the end of the day, this is about Michigan, period. It's not about the coach, it never should be, or will be. And for us to be a fractured program, that's embarrassing to the memory of Yost and Crisler and Schembechler.
Q. Attrition was a big issue when Rodriguez took over. Does that concern you?On rivalries and not saying "Ohio State":
A. No, not really. We'll have some because there's gonna be somebody who this is too tough for. And I don't think it'll be because of scheme or schematics. I just think because of the accountability we're gonna have to each other, there'll be somebody who won't quite be able to handle it.
Q. One guy not leaving is quarterback Denard Robinson. Was that an easy sell for you?
A. He's a great kid. When I met with him, he told me, 'Coach, I'm not going anywhere. I want a Michigan degree.' And he fits because of what he can do.
Denard's got a great arm, but he won't have to be featured every down, which makes you a little more dangerous as an offense. And he's not gonna get the crap beaten out of him like at the end of the year. He thanked me for that.
Q. He was so dangerous in the spread. Can he be as dangerous in a pro-style offense?
A. He's a special talent, and coaching defense — that's all I've ever coached — you got a guy like that, it's frustrating when he pulls that ball down and takes off. Michael Vick's made a pretty good living playing a pro-style offense, making something happen.
Q. You've referenced often how huge the Ohio State rivalry is. Where do you stand on the Michigan State rivalry?
A. I think it really is the same in a lot of ways. It didn't happen very much when I was here as an assistant, but it's not much fun being on the wrong end of that game.
That's the great thing about Michigan. We have Notre Dame, that's a heckuva rivalry. The Michigan State game, that's an unbelievable rivalry. And on a national scale, Michigan and Ohio, big time.
Q. You always say 'Ohio' instead of 'Ohio State.'
Q. How come?
A. (Smiles.) I don't know.