Wolverines on the Web: August 26

"All In For Michigan" is not just a catchphrase, but the driving force behind Rich Rodriguez's 2009 squad.

"All In For Michigan" is not just a catchphrase, but the driving force behind Rich Rodriguez's 2009 squad.

Football:

  • At U-M it’s “all in” from everybody — Detroit News — Interesting article with some great quotes from Rich Rodriguez, including what he expected last year (“I was like everybody else when I took the job — it’s Michigan, throw ’em out there and you’ll win your share,”) and some pointed words on transfers: “What am I supposed to be concerned with — guys that are low on the depth chart and not performing the way they should, academically and athletically?” he said. “We’re supposed to panic about that? I’m confused. I got 126 players that are doing it and I’m supposed to worry about the handful that didn’t want to?” Amen.
  • U-M commits face off in opener — Detroit Free Press — The main event of the Big Prep Day Showdown at Rynearson Stadium will feature two Michigan commits in Devin Gardner (Inkster) and Ricardo Miller (Pioneer). Their game begins Saturday at 8 pm … I’ll be there, and encourage football-starved Michigan fans to come out in force to support a couple future Wolverines.
  • Offensive line holds key to Michigan’s turnaround — Grand Rapids Press — Howie Beardley goes a little far in trying to prove his point (I’m pretty sure it does matter whether Nick Sheridan or Tate Forcier is starting the Western game), but the bigger picture remains true: offensive success is directly tied to the success of the offensive line. With all the talk about three quarterbacks playing and whatnot, we forget that the maturation and improvement of the big uglies up front is as important as anything else for U-M this season.
  • Wolverines plan to use depth at running back — Detroit News — Looks like we’re going to see a lot of backs get action this season. Fred Jackson, in referring to Brandon Minor, Carlos Brown, Michael Shaw, Kevin Grady, and Vincent Smith, said: “You’re going to see [all five backs playing] and you’re going to see it very effectively, because I think they all warrant (playing time) because they’re all good enough.”
  • Troy Woolfolk is enjoying his change of position in Michigan’s secondary — AnnArbor.com — It appears that having the speed of Troy Woolfolk at the safety position is already paying dividents for the Wolverine defense: “Less so than last year is the play culminating in a 50-yard bomb, you know,” linebacker Obi Ezeh said. “That’s always a good thing when you don’t have to worry about that.” Let’s hope that’s not just talk; the big pass play is something Michigan needs to greatly cut down on this season.
  • Behind The Music: How Michigan picks songs for its football practices — AnnArbor.com — Apparently, coaches and players can submit any (clean, curse-free) song to be added to a huge playlist, which explains why last week’s practice featured a jump from the Jackson 5 to “Cotton Eyed Joe” to Lil’ Wayne. Also, coaches make sure to sprinkle in songs such as “Jump Around”, the Wisconsin staple, as both a motivational tool and a way to practice dealing with distractions and crowd noise.
  • Marcus Ray: Putting Family First — Lost Lettermen — The former Wolverine safety and 1997 national champion details his move from Michigan (in 2007 as a grad assistant) to CMU to Ohio Dominican University (in his hometown of Columbus) in pursuit of coaching opportunity while balancing family obligations. Also, Ray is working on a book about the ’97 champs called “The Making of a National Champion: The Untold Ties That Bind”.
  • Chris Howard: Moving Cross-Country for Film — Lost Lettermen — The starting tailback from that ’97 team is also moving around the country for work: Howard, a Louisiana native, is now in Atlanta working as the COO of Theos Entertainment. Nice to see these former players staying connected with fans through Lost Lettermen.
  • Five Things Maize n Brew Would Change About the Michigan Gameday Experience — Maize n Brew — I agree with all five points, although I highly doubt the school would agree to designating “non-standing” and “standing” sections, regardless of how practical it sounds. We definitely need to upgrade the scoreboards, which will become an obsolete eyesore when the renovations are finished in 2010.

Basketball:

  • The Expectations Game — UMHoops — Dylan notes just how vastly different the expectations (from the fans, media, and the team) are for this year’s Michigan squad as opposed to the expectations going into last season. The job John Beilein has done of rebuilding this program in such a short period of time is nothing short of spectacular.
  • Top non-conference games to watch in 2009-10 — Fox Sports — Michigan makes the list twice, coming in at No. 11 for the Jan. 17 home game against UConn, and at No. 13 for the road trip to Lawrence to face Kansas on Dec. 19.
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