Big Ten Bloggers Round Table - My First!

The Maize & Blue Nation is now officially a member of the Big Ten Bloggers!

I am still working on getting links to most (all) of the other member blogs up on the sidebar, but until then, I have a news feed that lists the latest posts by each of the member blogs. So for now, I give you my first edition of the Big Ten Bloggers Round Table.

1. I love spring. Flowers blooming. Birds chirping. Bones breaking. ACL’s tearing. List the injuries your team sustained and describe their impact on 2008.

I love spring too. It signals the beginning of the next football season. Spring ball is always a hit and miss endeavour. When starting from scratch with a new coach, staff, offense, system, way of makes everything that much tougher.

Luckily, and hopefully this is a good sign of things to come, we are relatively injury free coming out of spring ball. A few nicks in the running back lineup, but hopefully nothing that a few good months of rehab and Mike Barwis can't sure. I think Minor was pretty much the main guy this spring. Carlos Brown was not healthy at all, and Grady saw limited reps. But with a few new guys coming this spring, Avery Horn and Sam McGuffie, RBs should be good to go.

2. Break down the major position battles going on with your offense.

Um...all of them?

I'd break them down, but I don't want to take up all my bandwidth. Lets just say, according to Rodriguez, all the positions are up for grabs. QB looks like Threet will get the initial starting nod. RBs are looking very good actually.

WR is a very young position, which is hard to believe when there are 15 of them on the spring roster! Greg Matthews is the standout. He was a good third option last year for Henne. Stonum has lots of hype coming in as a frosh. But Savoy and Hemingway are the only other WRs with any sort of real game experience.

TE is going to be a position with the only seniors on the offensive side of the ball. Mike Massey and Carson Butler bring a lot of much needed experience and leadership to the huddle.

The OL is a mess. I kind of covered it in a bit of detail here.

3. You knew this was coming. Break down the major position battles on defense.

If there is any bright spot on the team, it is on the defense. A lot of good experience coming back. The DL is going to be very good with Will Johnson, Terrance Taylor and Marques Slocum. DE is also strong. Brandon Graham is a freak of nature. Tim Jamison will also help.

LB is going to be much improved with the new speed of the Barwis regimen. John Thompson, Jonas Mouton, Obi Ezeh and Austin Panter will all see good time.

DBs have great depth. Safeties Brandon Harrison, Charles Stewart and Stevie Brown are all seasoned in the defensive backfield. And Morgan Trent and Donovan Warren are shut-down CBs.

4. Who are the unknown kids on your team that will be household names come December?

Hmm...well, I guess a good place to start is QB Steven Threet. If he gets the starting job, that is. If not, then it will be Justin Feagin, a true freshman spread style QB out of Deerfield, FL.

Also, Jake Long's immediate replacement Dann O'neill. A 6'7" 295 offensive tackle from Grand Haven, MI who could so very easily be a starter the minute he steps on campus.

5. How would you describe the general mood around your program? Are you gearing up the tailgate party for a conference title run or do you get the impression there are going to be a lot of empty seats in your stadium this year?

Empty seats? Not so fast my friend! We may not crack the 10-win barrier this year...or the 8-win barrier...but we surely will sell out every game. Michigan fans are prepping for a potentially hard season. Not particularly a 07 Irish-type season, but maybe a 99 OSU-type season. I personally just hope that our bowl streak remains intact. We have a brutal schedule right away. After last year, we know there are no gimmies anymore. So it will be up to the coaches and whatever seniors we have left to keep the bricks from crumbling around the Big House this year.

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