Showing posts with label Ohio State. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ohio State. Show all posts

Introduction to Tyrece Speaight

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Tyrece Speaight may not be a household name for Michigan fans right now, but his time is surely coming. Speaight, a 2016 4* safety out of Akron has seen his recruiting process speed up over the last few weeks.

I spoke with Speaight briefly about his recruitment process and his interest in Michigan. Check it out after the jump.

Saturdays call to arms

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

It's safe to say that this season has not been fun for the Michigan Wolverines. Working with a lackluster 7-4 record and falling astronomically short of expectations set before the season started, there isn't much left to play for. However, depending on how the last game of the regular season is played, even the worst of seasons could be rectified with a victory.

Saturday marks the 109th meeting between the Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan Wolverines. We know the storyline, the undefeated Buckeyes are looking for style points and a second straight victory over Michigan. Whereas the Wolverines are barely treading water looking for something to believe in.

Recipe for disaster, right? Probably. But I'm keeping the faith, at least for the time being.

Thank Your Enemy

Sunday, June 2, 2013

As the sun set on Memorial Day, many Michigan fans waited patiently for a softball game to wrap up on ESPNU. Jabrill Peppers, rated as one of the top players in the country by the four main recruiting sites, had long favored the Wolverines and made his commitment that evening. 

The commitment vaulted Michigan to the top class, up to that point, on two of the major services. The impact of Peppers' commitment is palpable considering it filled a severe position of need with one of the best athletes in the country.  

The greater impact of Peppers' commitment may still be in the works. Peppers, who labeled himself 'The Commish' after pledging to the Wolverines, immediately became the school's biggest cheerleader and recruiter. You see, while it may be a violation for coaches to contact recruits or go above and beyond the normal call of duty in the recruiting process, it is not off limits to current high school students regardless of where they are pledged to play. They have not signed a letter of intent and are not officially tethered to a school. They're just kids. The recruiting rules that inhibit coaches don't apply here. 

Peppers has made it no secret that he's been heavily recruiting defensive end and top overall player Da'Shawn Hand. He's also put in work recruiting another 5-star defensive back in Adoree Jackson and defensive end Malik McDowell.

Such is the new atmosphere of high school recruiting. Nowadays, high profile recruiting compete with each other to help their schools compete for the highest rated recruiting class. Last year it was Shane Morris putting in extra hours to help kids from around the country come to Michigan. This year it is Michael Ferns. Ferns started 'Project 135'. Every time a player commits to Michigan, he sends them a 'Project 135' shirt.   

When did this all begin? Who do we have to thank for these kids moxie in the recruiting arena? The answer leads back to the 2008 season and may not make many of you Michigan fans happy with the answer. 

The first class to actively have a top player openly recruit was the 2008 Ohio State recruiting class when they received a pledge from a 5-star offensive lineman out of Orlando by the name of Michael Brewster.  Brewster was the fifth player to pledge to Ohio State's 08' recruiting class and immediately got to work assembling his 'Brew Crew'. 

Yes, Michigan fans. I know it's hard to swallow sometimes. But occasionally that school down south does have some intelligent players with great ideas. You could argue that Brewster was responsible for bringing an additional 5(!) 5-star players to the class that included No. 1 overall player Terrelle Pryor. Sound familiar? Well, it should. It's the exact kind of class that Jabrill Peppers is trying to bring to Michigan if they were to land players like Hand, Jackson and McDowell.

That 2008 class, on paper, was very scary. That class went 3-1 against Michigan. 

The 'Brew Crew' class all pledged together based on the friendships that were built between Mike Adams and Brewster. Adams was the first 5-star to commit to Ohio State that year. He wasn't as active as a recruiter as Brewster, but it was his pledge and bond with Brewster that ultimately led to Brewster's commitment. From there, things snowballed. Adams was a teammate of Jake Stoneburner. Brewster began texting and calling Stoneburner hoping to get his pledge to the Buckeyes. Stoneburner was good friends with another 5-star player named DeVier Posey. After Stoneburner committed, he began working hard on Posey. Later, through the camp circuit, Brewster was able to befriend J.B. Shugarts and Andrew Sweat. Those commitments fell like dominoes for the Buckeyes. Sweat and Brewster began putting in serious recruiting on the crown jewel of their class. 

Sweat had been a longtime friend of another 5-star athlete by the name of Terrelle Pryor. Pryor, who at the time was labeled 'The Next Vince Young', would have a recruitment that lasted a month and a half after signing day. The battle was down to Ohio State and Michigan. Rich Rodriquez was offering the chance at instant playing time. Tressel and Company were offering a similar depth chart and the opportunity to play with the crew that he'd built such solid relationships. Pryor chose Ohio State and the rest is history. 

While their legacies won't be cemented in the same lore as Ohio State's 2002 national championship team, the current trend in recruiting and the landscape of high school kids heavily recruiting other high school kids, can be tracked back to Brewster and his 'Brew Crew'. 

Jabrill Peppers, Ferns and fellow commit Wilton Speight have their sights set on the No. 1 recruiting class in the country. Over the next couple of months, we will see if 'The Commish' and company achieved their goal. But for this journey to even be possible, we have to thank our enemy for the blueprint of success. 

Henschke's Wednesday Rants Talks Timelines

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Joshua Henschke
At Michigan, the expectation for a successful season is always competing for the Big Ten Championship, participate in Rose Bowls (and winning them, hopefully), and beating Ohio State. Some unreasonable Michigan fans expect Michigan to go 12-0 every season, running the likes of Alabama out of the stadium, and dominate Ohio State every year. Though these thoughts make them all warm and fuzzy inside, especially beating Ohio State, it's not just realistic.

So, with the foundation that Brady Hoke is laying, when does everything combine to make Michigan yearly contenders for National Championships, no-brainer selections to be conference champs, and victors over Ohio State more than every once in awhile? When does it all mesh?

This isn't an open blast to Hoke and what he has done so far at Michigan. After experiencing the Rich Rodriguez experiment go awry, Hoke has done a wonderful job picking up the pieces and changing the public mindset of laughing stock, to recovering powerhouse. Michigan football is what it is, you can't deny it.

When does the proverbial "Honeymoon Period" end? Or does it ever end? Sure, beating Ohio State your first year as head coach en route to a 11-2 season and BCS victory surely cements your place amongst the good graces of your superiors, but when does the success of conference championships and beyond start to become a necessity to keep those good graces?

Personally, I give Hoke one more offseason to pull together another stellar recruiting class (which, by all means, sure looks like it will happen) and get "his guys" into the fold before I can really judge the Michigan football product Hoke and his excellent staff of coaches will bring to the table. It's obvious that Ohio State will be a huge roadblock and damper on these big plans each year. But, no matter how much they reload, Michigan needs to beat them. Even if it seems impossible, find a way. Urban Meyer will have his Buckeyes ready every year, and I expect them to compete amongst the juggernauts in college football every season, much like Michigan will. No matter how lofty the chances may be, Michigan needs to start pulling together some wins against Ohio State.

Now, don't get me wrong, this is not a plea for Michigan fans to start judging Hoke's performance. I'm also not calling for Hoke's head if he does not succeed. I am merely discussing timelines as to when Michigan fans should expect Big Ten Championships (realistically) and see them win it like years of old.

Eight or nine win seasons won't cut it. The days of Lloyd ball are long gone, and I expect big things to come for the Wolverines. Only time will tell if Michigan pulls it all together and returns to it's rightful place as a football powerhouse, just like Ohio State already has. Michigan and Ohio State together again fighting for national prominence, like the good old days. Just how it should be, and how it always should be until the end of time.

The Curious Case of Reon Dawson

Friday, February 8, 2013

Crazy doesn’t discriminate. Crazy comes in all shapes and sizes. It doesn’t care if you’ve had a bad day or if things at home are going poorly. It doesn’t care that you’ve committed to play football for the University of Michigan. Crazy certainly doesn’t care when you misspeak. Crazy sure as hell doesn’t care when you try to clear the air. Crazy gon’ Crazy.  If you step out of line, say something that Crazy can’t deal with, Crazy will come after you like a pit bull.

Such is the case with Reon Dawson, a recent commitment to the class of 2013. Dawson, originally an Illinois commit, switched over to the good guys soon after Michigan missed out on consensus five-star Leon McQuay. Dawson faxed in his Letter of Intent without a lick of drama. So why is everyone up in arms about Reon Dawson these days? Well, you’ll have to ask the Dayton Daily News, who ran this article about Reon Dawson yesterday. His comments in the article got the twittersphere in a tizzy when he was quoted as saying he was a “Buckeye for life”.

As you can imagine, that didn’t sit well with the Michigan fan base. Not soon after, the story started bouncing around and has shown up on the Detroit Free Press, SBNation, and Deadspin.

Try to see below the surface, just once. Dig a litter deeper. I know that's a crazy idea in this day and age. But you’ll see what Reon Dawson was trying to say. He’s from Ohio. He was born in the Buckeye state. So when he says he’s going to be a ‘Buckeye for life’, he means that he has pride in his home state. At least that’s what he told Sam Webb. You can read that article here.

I’m not here to defend Reon Dawson. I’m the kind of person that believes if you say something you better be ready for everything that goes with it. If he was misquoted, he’s owed an apology by the Dayton Daily News. (That won’t happen) If he wasn’t misquoted, then he’s better off just owning the comments. He’s since said through multiple venues that his comments were taken out of context. The original story, because of the rivalry and allegiances, will continue to float to the top.

Social media is a breeding ground for severe reactions. When something catches ablaze, you’re better off just getting out of the way. Rightfully so. We’re a society that wants instant access and we’re not afraid to share our irrational opinions without trying to get the full story first.

When you mix irrational responses with stupidity and erratic peculiar behavior you get a fantastically awful cocktail of embarrassment. People and various media outlets trying to capitalize of the absurdity of the moment further reactions. This is what I like to call “Davey Pageviews” syndrome. Davey Pageviews doesn't care about the message whether it's true, false or fully researched. Davey just wants you to click the links. It's working. This story has been retweeted thousands of times. (yes, I checked.)

As you can imagine. Crazy came out in full force. Before I continue, there's something I'd like to point out about crazy folk. Crazy has existed forever. There have been nutballs just itching at the opportunity to spew hate but never had the opportunity. But with the popularity of social media, Crazy often finds itself standing in front of a giant open mic attached to a megaphone with direct access to people that, in the past, they would never have had access. So let’s take a few moments to read some of the things floating around about Reon Dawson in the wake of his comments.

These first two aren't that crazy, but I had to screen cap these two. Nice shades bruh...

This guy above is a Michigan blogger. He's tweeting at a recruit, who he probably thinks he's friends with, asking him to 'straighten out' a kid who because he's not a 'true Michigan Man'. 

Sizzlin' hot take. 

Keep clinging to that baseball dream, sport. 

You hear that, "bro"? He's embarrassed for you. Seriously. 

A Michigan Man does not speak in the same breath as those heathens from beneath us, Reon. You'd better learn that soon... /handwank

Dawson took to Twitter to try and clear the air and was met with more resistance. I'm not going to screencap all the hate but here was his attempt to get the chum out of the waters:

Fellow commit and Trotwood teammate Mike McCray also stood up for his friend via Twitter. It didn't help either. 

I realize that a lot of this will fall on deaf ears. Crazy don't care. Lord forbid he cracks the starting lineup and gives up a big play to Ohio State. Twitter will probably melt with the crazy conspiracy theories. But to all the 'fans' out there giving this kid flack and spoiling what should be a momentous event in his life, go die in a fire. 

Deebo Knows: Time to Hold Al Borges Accountable

Monday, November 26, 2012

Another ugly display of offensive ineptitude resulting in another road loss for the Wolverines against a quality opponent...

Yes, Saturday in Columbus might as well have been Groundhog Day. We've seen this movie a few times in the last two seasons where the Michigan offense falls flat on its face away from Ann Arbor in a big game.

Many have tried to spin it multiple ways and insist that the struggles are due to the fact that offensive coordinator Al Borges does not have "his guys" to run his offense. Well, Greg Mattison does not have "his guys" either and he is making it work. He's making it work quite well. Enough with that nonsense. Truly good coaches take what they have and make it work.

The bottom line is that an offensive coordinator's job is to come up with schemes/game plans that work with the team's strengths and work around its deficiencies and also, maybe most important, to make in-game adjustments to to help win games. I'm sorry guys but I can't tow the company line here and say that Borges is doing a good job here. If you think I am being a fair weather fan and want to make excuses for him you are living in a fantasy land and need to take off the Maize and Blue homer glasses. He's racked up points on teams with inferior talent and has fizzeld against those who don't.

If you are being honest with yourself you will admit that many times in his tenure he has been stubborn (Alabama and ND), incredibly predictable and unimaginative (MSU), and unable to make quality in-game adjustments to attack defenses' weak points (many games but OSU the most glaring example). These blunders were key contributors to at least two losses this season and, as a TRUE FAN (not a homer/slappy) that can think objectively, I think it's time to take a serious look as to what exactly Al Borges brings to the table. If you can't think objectively or will blindly support anything that this coaching staff does then stop reading because this is not for you.

Forget last year, let's just look at a few games this year where this Al Borges-led offense cost Team 133. And yes, I'll throw out the Alabama game because we weren't beating Alabama this year. Sorry it wasn't happening.

I think one of the biggest blunders was the Notre Dame game in which UM lost 13-6 to the supposed #1 team in America. A game in which the defense played their a***s off and gave the team a chance to win on the road. Why didn't they win? Because the offense had a gazillion turnovers including four Denard Robinson INTs primarily because Al Borges asked him to play the role of Tom Brady and sit in the pocket and throw the ball down field 30 times. Also, at a time when the offense was steadily moving on the stout ND defense and knocking on the door inside the 10 yard line in a scoreless game early, Borges dials up a halfback pass with a 5'7" Vincent Smith only to see it get intercepted and destroy momentum. Not going to go into any further detail but if you watched that game you saw the offense cost that team a W. No two ways about it.

Nebraska was a different avenue for ineptitude. Yes, Denard got hurt. Tough blow. But how in the world is Russell Bellomy not at least adequately prepared to resemble a functional QB? I don't want to hear it was a tough spot blah blah blah. Yeah, it was a tough spot. But it's on the coaches to make sure he is at least serviceable. No excuses. The staff was ill prepared to deal with the possibility of Robinson going down. And who is ultimately responsible for the offense? Al Borges.

I won't even touch on the fact that it's hard to believe that Borges truly felt that Bellomy was going to be the better option to back up Robinson in the event of an injury. Forget the fact that Gardner is an athlete and was a decent WR. His ability at QB is a heck of a lot higher than Bellomy's and I find it hard to believe the coaches didn't see that in the spring or the summer. Gardner may have even been the team's BEST option at QB and it's also hard for me to not at least entertain that idea. Not after what we have watched since the Minnesota game.

Even though the Wolverines beat MSU, they failed to score an offensive TD in that game. A combination of a completely horrendous Spartan offense and a pretty darn good defensive effort by Mattison's boys enabled Michigan to escape with a 2-point win after only mustering four FGs. Why did Michigan only score 12 points? Partly because MSU has a very good defense, but a big part also had to do with the fact the offense was beyond predictable. Denard run left. Denard run right. Denard run center. Maybe a tailback carry in the same fashion. Failure to convert red zone trips to TDs. They didn't even attempt to outscheme that tough Spartan defense. A win is a win but that is a game that very well could've or should've been won 24-10 or something along those lines. Thank God for Greg Mattison.

Now the most recent example of terrible offensive coaching leading to a loss was the disaster in Columbus on Saturday against the Buckeyes. The offense looked pretty good in the first half scoring 21 points and heading into the halftime with a 1-point lead. It had appeared we would see more of the Devin/Denard backfield that worked wonders the previous week. So what happened in the second half? Well, Gardener would throw a 1st down pass for six to eight yards only to be taken out to line Robinson at QB for designed runs. OSU knew he couldn't throw so it was as easy as stacking the box to stop the run. It worked. Shocker.

Not only did the constant QB shuffle kill Gardner's rhythm, it essentially telegraphed what play they would run. If Gardner was in it would likey be a pass. If Denard was in it was certainly a run. Basically, Borges took all of the possible creative ways he could have them both on the field and keep the defense off balance and disregarded all of it. At least when Robinson had his QB runs in the first half they attacked the edge of the defense where they were struggling without one of their best players. In the second half they decided to attack the Buckeyes' strength (and the UM weakness all season) the interior. It's one thing to try that with Robinson who can make plays on his own, but to constantly run a 5'7" 180 lbs. Smith on a power iso play on 3rd and short yardage was inexcusable. How did this make any sense? Someone please explain this to me?

Where were the Gardner rollouts (maybe even with a misdirection play action to Robinson) with a run/pass option that worked so well? Where were the bubble screens to Denard? Heck, try an option with Gardner and Robinson. Where was the creativity we had seen in previous weeks? I'll tell you why we didn't see it. The plays were called to not lose. They were not called to win. And, once it was painfully obvious OSU was not going to allow Denard to burn them again on QB runs, Borges kept dialing them up. By the time they stuck with Devin at QB and didn't even put Denard in the game for what seemed to be most of the fourth quarter, the offense was so out of sync it was hopeless. They didn't even cross the 50 yard line in the half. There is no defending Borges for what transpired on Saturday.

No imagination. No threat of a pass with Gardner out. No moving Denard around even as a decoy. This amounted to no win. The end.

Those are just a few examples of the ineptitude we have seen this season from Al Borges. And if you can't see how they greatly contributed to losses then I want some of what you're on.

You can point to the fact that the running game was putrid or rehash that Borges didn't have "his guys." I'll give you a response of a fart noise. Michigan has one of the most dynamic players in Denard Robinson at their disposal and also what appears to be a darn good dual-threat QB in Devin Gardner. A coach that has been touted an offensive genius and is "well-respected" in the college football ranks should be able to do wonders with that. Many coordinators are able to do a lot more with a lot less. I have a very difficult time defending Al Borges after this year and would not argue with anyone who would think that he held the team back in the win column this year. The numbers and the facts are right there in black and white. The argument can be made.

I am not one of those saying Hoke should be fired. That's goofy talk. I think he is the right guy for the job. Am I a little concerned about some of his game management at times along with his 3-13 road record in his last four seasons against winning teams?  A little. But I think the good he has done as whole has far outweighed those things and I can look passed those for the time being.

However, I am seriously wondering if we have the right guy in Al Borges to run this offense in the future. I am concerned that it is entirely possible that his stubbornness, questionable play calling, propensity to get cute at the wrong times, his inability to make sound in-game adjustments, and his inability up to this point to outscheme any truly good defense could hold Michigan back from winning anything significant. It think it may have done just that this year. I am not saying this will 100% be the case moving forward but if you can't say the thought hasn't even crossed your mind you're crazy and probably delusional. I have seen enough in the last two seasons to at least be concerned.

I hope I am wrong about Borges. I hope he makes those of us who question his abilities look like imbeciles by directing juggernaut offenses. We'll see. But starting next season he won't have to "figure out" how to adequately use Robinson, he will have a QB capable of making the throws needed for his offense, and will have two years of recruiting "his guys." All of those crutches he has used to stand on will be gone and, at least for me, he is now on the clock. No more excuses.

Sorry for the rant. Losing to OSU in a game that was very winnable will do that.


**You can also find this blog, as well as blogs regarding ALL DETROIT SPORTS, at You can also follow me on Twitter @adamdibart.**

Smack Talk & Tattoos

Monday, November 19, 2012

It's Oh*o State week, and yes I refuse to spell out the name completely. 

In 1897, the rivalry began. Over one hundred years later, in 2000, it was named by ESPN as the greatest North American sports rivalry. 

This is not just a game. This never was just a game. Because on 22 occasions, Michigan and Oh*o State played to decide who would be B1G Conference champions. It's affected the determination of the conference title an additional 27 times. From there, roses are on the line.

Photo courtesy of

The "Ten-Year War" began in 1969, when Woody Hayes' former Assistant Coach, Bo Schembechler, was hired as The University of Michigan's head football coach. The Buckeyes brought in a 22-game win streak that was deflated by a defensive battle and a 60-yard punt return to set up a touchdown, and in turn, a Michigan win. In 1973, both teams entered undefeated. Four times during the War, Michigan and Oh*o State were both ranked in the AP top five. Six times the teams shared the B1G title. Oh, and there was that infamous quote by Woody Hayes… it had something to do with filling up for gas. 

Photo courtesy of

Then there was the Carr/Tressel era. When Tressel took over, he beat Michigan twice in a row; the second of which was decided on the last play of the game. Michigan struck back at the 100th meeting, winning 35-21 in Ann Arbor. In 2006, each team entered with an 11-0 record. The day before the matchup, the legendary Bo Schembechler died. The Buckeyes won the game, that could have been called an offensive battle, 42-39. There was a brief moment where the possibility of a rematch for the BCS title game was possible and even a reality… but then something happened with the state of Florida.

Photo courtesy of

All in all, there's a history. This year, it's two schools and two new coaches. As history has shown, there really is no "offensive" or "defensive" battle. It's all out war. Oh*o State enters this match-up undefeated. Michigan, despite three tough road losses, has shown the ability to switch things up when needed. The good news is that there's another set of two this year: Devin Gardner and Denard Robinson. Or as I like to call it, double-trouble. If the Iowa game was any foreshadowing: Al Borges has a few tricks up his sleeve with these two. Will the Buckeye defense be able to stop Denard playing as a slot receiver? Will they even know which one is going to get the ball on the snap? Guess we'll have to wait and see how well their football players are at reading. And if I remember right, Cardale Jones wasn't too fond of classes.  

Enjoy your rivalry week Wolverines,

Bust a nut. Beat a buckeye. 

Monday Monologue 08.27.12

Monday, August 27, 2012

Earlier today, Braxton Miller was supposed to be at a team press conference, but according to sources, he didn't show up, and nobody knew where he was. Reporters asked 3 of his wide receivers where he was, but much like Braxton Miller's passes, the question went 10 feet above their heads.

Later this week, the college football season begins. Around the Big Ten, many teams have high aspirations. Michigan, MSU, Nebraska, and Wisconsin are chasing a conference title. Minnesota and Illinois are looking to bounce back from disappointing seasons. And Indiana is pleased to announce that they are halfway through the rebuilding years, a process that began 11 years ago, after Antwaan Randle El left for the pros.

Ohio State cannot play in a bowl game, so they are out to spoil everyone else's season. That's right, their goal is to ruin football for everyone. This puts them in the same category as "couple that schedules wedding on fall Saturday", NFL replacement refs, and Matt Millen. Sounds about right.

With Michigan going down to JerryWorld for a game against Alabama, it is time.
Big Ten List: World's Shortest Bama Books:

12. "Times I've Smiled: A Photo Album" - By Nick Saban (@LanceGordon)
11. "Staying Loyal to Your Employer" - By Nick Saban (@LanceGordon)
10. "Why We Refer to Our Cousins as 'The Missus'" By Alabama Fans (@HolySmHoke)
9. "Games We've Played North of the Mason-Dixon Line" (@jebbe1977)
8. "85 Scholarships MEANS 85 Scholarships!!!" - By Nick Saban (@LanceGordon)
7. "Sobriety During Sideline Interviews" - By Joe Namath (@JoshuaHenschke)
6. "Stopping Tom Brady and David Terrell" - By 1999-2000 Alabama Football (@SteveCKays)
5. (Number 5 was supposed to be contributed by Alabama's football players, but none of them have ever heard of a book)
4. "Talking Good: A Grammatical Introduction to Alabaman Dialects" (@joeley)
3. "Players We Didn't Pay to Attend Alabama" - By Alabama Coaches/Boosters (@PsychoBuckeye)
2. "Everything We Know About Dental Hygiene" - By The State of Alabama (@LanceGordon)
1. "Clutch Kicking: Bowl Game Edition" - By Ryan Pflugner (@SteveCKays)

Go Blue and Beat Bama!!!

Please follow me on Twitter @LanceGordon

The Big House Report Speaks With Rondell Biggs

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Wolverine Magazine cover taken from Biggs' Instagram
Rondell Biggs, former defensive end for the Michigan Wolverines, solidified a heavy senior class in 2006. Being paired with the likes of Lamarr Woodley, Tim Jamison, and more. The defensive line created a formidable force that lead the conference in quarterback sacks per game with 3.3 sacks per game.

Currently Biggs, a father of two kids, has grasped the ideals and principles of being a "family man" and "Michigan Man" and combined them into one life that he's happy with. Still residing in the state of Michigan, he is currently working towards his Masters degree at DeVry University.

Biggs took some time to answer a few of my questions.

TBHR: Let's start off with the easy question. Why Michigan?

BIGGS: It was the tradition. I grew up a Michigan fan which was key for me as I'm from the state. I was always a big fan of the tradition and the rivalry with Ohio State always stood out to me. I remember watching them in '97 watching Charles Woodson win the Heisman and then winning a National Championship, that always stood out to me in my head during the recruiting process. I guess it's somewhere I really dreamed of going.

TBHR: What made Coach Carr so well respected and liked around campus, and what made his teams commit to him so easily?

BIGGS: You get a sense that he really cared about you. Even after I left I remember running into him, I didn't finish up my degree I was only six credits away, so he would always ask me "did you finish school? did you finish school?", he wouldn't even say hi (laughs) that's the first thing he'd say to me. You can tell he always cared about developing us as young men and as football players. I think the players responded well to that and he did a good job of molding us into men, not just players.

TBHR: What is your greatest memory as player at the University of Michigan?

BIGGS: I would say probably in 2003 when we beat Ohio State and won a share of the Big Ten Championship. That was a big moment. I didn't get a chance to play in that game but just being in that environment with them coming in ranked higher than us and kinda knocked them out of their National Championship hopes, that was a big moment and an exciting game for us.

TBHR: As a member of the 2006 Michigan squad, what were your feelings towards not getting a second chance to face Ohio State in the National Championship game?

BIGGS: It was very disheartening, and it still bothers me to this day we were so close to the National Championship game and it came down to a few plays. Then not playing the next week and I guess by the luck of the draw we get bumped out of the number two spot and not get to play. That was disheartening but we had control of our own destiny, we played a really good game but it just didn't go our way that day.

TBHR: To build off that, how does it feel now knowing Alabama and LSU had another shot to face each other in a similar fashion like in 2006?

BIGGS: Yeah, that brings up some bad memories (laughs). It was pretty much the scenario. I guess the only knock on us is that we controlled our own destiny and it was the last game of the year. You can't keep dwelling on it.

TBHR: Talk a little bit about the 2004 game against MSU. How incredible was that game to you and do you think Michigan will ever see as dominant of a performance by a single player like Braylon Edwards had against the Spartans?

BIGGS: We had some great battles with MSU, we never lost to them which was key to me. I'm from the state so I get to hear a lot from the Michigan State guys. That's a stat I can throw out there. With Michigan, we are full of tradition, full of great players. You will definitely see more games like that, and more wins in the near future. I can guarantee that. Michigan State has had a good run, no disrespect to them at all. But Michigan will go back to their dominant selves in the rivalry.

TBHR: Under Brady Hoke, how long do you think it's safe to say that Michigan is truly back? Like with your teams. Regular top-ten rankings, rose bowl appearances and Big Ten Championships.

BIGGS: Not long. I think they're close to that stage, I'm trying not to get too far ahead of myself. I know he (Brady Hoke) is still new, still planting some of his seeds, and getting some of his players. The team is still developing so I don't want to place too much pressure on them in the near future because there's a great deal of work they can do and he's done a wonderful job so far. Definitely soon, I like Coach Hoke. I had the pleasure of playing for him for one year. I like the choice of him as head coach ever since day one, I was pushing for him and that's who I wanted. Even in the midst of the Miles and Harbaugh talk. I always thought he was a great people coach, people respond well to him. He's very smart. I definitely see them being great in the next few years and the years to come.

NCAA 13 First Glance: How Do The Wolverines Fare?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Today is launch day of the highly anticipated college football video game we see every year, NCAA Football 13. Any football fan who appreciates the video game series starts to see an increase in excitement as football season is right around the corner.

The new features and additions are nice. But, what Wolverine fans are really looking for is how exactly do they shape up to the rest of the teams? And how do the Wolverines 2012-2013 football season pan out under a simple simulation? Let's break it down.

By starting a simple "Play Now" exhibition match up, I inspected the three rankings by which a team is judged upon, which are as follows:
  • Overall: A+
  • Offense: A
  • Defense: B+
Not a bad set of rankings there, especially for a team that is ranked number nine in the country.

I also checked out the top five players on the Michigan roster, they are broken down as follows:
  • Denard Robinson: 93 Overall (96 speed, 99 agility and 90 acceleration. Might I add)
  • Taylor Lewan: 93 Overall
  • Kenny Demens: 91 Overall
  • Fitzgerald Touissaint: 89 Overall
  • Roy Roundtree: 89 Overall (surprisingly still holding the number 12 jersey)
With the team briefly broken down, I did a basic simulation (5 minutes, All-American difficulty) of the entire season just to see how Michigan would do. The results, in a lack for a better word, are downright disappointing.

Michigan finished the season with a 9-4 record (4-4 in the B1G). Not a very good season by the new standards instilled by Brady Hoke. The season would start on an electrifying high note as Michigan beats Alabama to start the season 34-31. It would also beat Notre Dame under the lights the next week. Michigan would suffer it's first blemish against Purdue, losing 25-17. They would also lose to Michigan State, Iowa, and Ohio State.

Michigan would face Oklahoma State in the Meineke Car Care Bowl and come away victorious.

Wisconsin would eventually go on to win the B1G division by defeating Iowa in the conference championship. They finished the year at 11-3 losing in the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME (yes, I said it) to Alabama (Bama finished the season with two losses, with the other loss to a conference opponent). Wisconsin was lead by eventual Heisman winner, Montee Ball. Denard Robinson would not finish amongst the finalists.

The top five of the B1G conference breaks down as follows:
  1. Wisconsin: 11-3
  2. Iowa: 11-3
  3. Michigan State: 10-3
  4. Ohio State: 9-4
  5. Purdue: 9-4
With Bama repeating as National Champions (and the National Championship STILL hasn't left the state of Alabama) the game also shows that there were no undefeated teams in the Top 25 this year. You had teams like Tulsa boasting a 13-1 record, and FIU (yes, I said it again) finishing SEVENTH with a 12-1 record. Pure insanity. The Top 5 finish as follows:
  1. Alabama: 12-2
  2. South Carolina: 11-2
  3. Florida State: 11-2
  4. Oklahoma: 10-3
  5. Georgia: 12-2 
To cap the season off, J.T. Floyd was graced with some hardware. As he was rewarded the Chuck Bednarik (best defensive collegiate player) and Jim Thorpe (best defensive back in college football) Awards.  Floyd would break the single season Michigan record of interceptions in a season with 11. Breaking Tom Curtis' record of 10 set back in 1968.

Anything can happen in college football, this simulation goes to show you that the game of football is one whacky sport.

What If The BCS Were Dead In '06?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Michigan fans, the BCS has finally come to it's destined end. The BCS has been a figure of controversy. Let's decide who plays in the National Championship Game based on a computer algorithm.

Something was decided to be done after LSU met Alabama for the second time this season. Which subsequently jobbed Oklahoma State out of a chance to compete by mere decimal points.

Let's go back to 2006. A year Michigan fans remember quite well. The death of legendary coach Bo Schembechler, the brutal three-point loss to the Buckeyes at the Horseshoe, and the controversy that followed. Did Michigan deserve the right to play Ohio State again in the National Championship? Let's use the newly announced playoff system to figure it out.

After the Michigan and USC upset (losing in stunning fashion to UCLA) this is how the "BCS top four" stood:

1. Ohio State
2. Florida
3. Michigan
4. LSU

According to the new rules, the number one ranked team plays the number four seed. The number two seed plays the third.

With that being said, Ohio State would take on LSU and Florida would play Michigan. A dream scenario for most modern-day Michigan fans. A chance to take Urban Meyer on to play in the National Champion game.

Ohio State could have another date with destiny, playing Michigan in the championship. Michigan could face LSU. Or you could see a SEC match-up with Florida against LSU. The combinations are interesting, with great teams playing great football.

Though predicting who would win these match-ups would be impossible to configure. Keep in mind that this Final Four doesn't necessarily reflect the potential four that would be picked by the selection committee. It's something to reflect on.

If you want to see Michigan play for the National Championship, they MUST take care of business this time around.

Monday Monologue 05.21.12

Monday, May 21, 2012

Poor Jim Tressel
Lance is a diehard Michigan fan based deep in enemy territory (Columbus, Ohio). You can follow him on Twitter . Look for his "Monday Monologue" series every Monday right here at The Big House Report!

Monday Monologue 05.21.12

I am on a Twitter break right now, but I am still writing the column. Kind of like how Tressel got fired, but still have the pregame pep talk against Michigan. Except me writing this column isn't an NCAA rules violation.

I found out that while I was gone from Twitter, Sparty has been showing an inferiority complex, Notre Dame is acting arrogant about what happened 30-70 years ago, and the Buckeyes committed a lot of violations. So I see that a whole  lot has changed.

Speaking of those Buckeye violations, the athletic department reported they had 46 secondary violations in the 2011-12 academic year. This goes along quite nicely with the 4600 they didn't report.

My least favorite secondary violation is Greg Robinson's coaching of Michigan's secondary. That entire era should have been illegal.

Memorial Day is coming up in a week, or as it's known in my house "Tressel Firing Anniversary". All sweatervests will be flying at half mast in Columbus.

(out of material so here's an old classic)
Urban Meyer banned his players from using Twitter. Now you will just have to track them the old-fashioned way: police reports.

Op-Ed: Fans Must Self-Regulate, NCAA Can't Do It All

Monday, May 7, 2012

I write this piece amidst of a changing tide when it comes to social media and recruiting. Websites like Facebook and Twitter have become important recruiting tools, as commits attempt to persuade other athletes across the nation to come to their schools. From the outside looking in, one can see the successes and opportunities this new way of recruiting may bring. But, if you delve deeper into the depths and peel back the layers. It may not seem so rosy.

With the ease of interaction amongst recruits, it also brings fans closer to their teams, including high school students being recruited by said team. With a flurry of characters and a click of the mouse, messages can be sent to recruits in attempts to persuade this athlete to join their university. Though this idea may seem harmless to some, err on the side of caution.

It has been well publicized that a highly touted Ohio State linebacker commit unknowingly had interaction with a convicted sex offender (who was a Buckeye fan). The offender, Charles Eric Waugh, took to Twitter daily to tweet inspirational quotes to Buckeye targets, commits and current/former players. This eventually lead to interactions in person with recruits (who are usually minors).

As fans, we can all take something away from this situation. Realize that these "kids" we tweet to are usually minors (anywhere from 16-18), and interactions with commits, unless in a supervised setting, could lead to a PR disaster for your school just like Ohio State has to deal with right now. The NCAA can't regulate everyone that tweets to recruits, or who meets them in person. It is up to the fan base to be rational and self-regulate themselves.

The NCAA does recognize Tweeting to recruits as a secondary violation. But, it's impossible to regulate. I'm not here to spread the word of "right and wrong". I'm trying to make it clear that fans must self-regulate themselves before you do or say something you might regret. Too many times messages such as "I hope you tear your ACL", or "I hope you fail" are spread to recruits that didn't choose their school. Though this doesn't have a direct reflection on a fan base, it's a situation that doesn't have to occur if one would simply step away from the keyboard.

There are obvious reasons why our favorite schools have assembled a coaching staff. To coach the players, and to recruit the players they want for the program. Some fans realize this and some don't. Some take to Twitter and emulate they are the coaching staff and try to recruit themselves. Though the love for your university shows, I applaud and commend you for such undying loyalty. But, nine times out of ten (and it's a VERY rare 1 tenth of a percent) recruits won't listen to fans and will decide on their own. Coaches work very long hours and work very hard to scour the country looking for student athletes that would fit their program. In the case of Ohio State, though incredibly rare and unfortunate, the progress made with their recruit was lost due to the actions of one fan. Even though the circumstances are extreme, don't be that fan.

Is it impermissible to have a harmless Twitter conversation with a recruit? Absolutely not. Should it ever be escalated to the next level? No! Leave interactions face-to-face with the coaches, and take care of being proud fans. No one is stopping you from talking about how great your university is. Just show some moderation and control in your comments.

The NCAA can't stop fan interaction on social media, there's too much ground lost every day that the NCAA cannot keep up. The fans are all that are left. The key to winning is great sportsmanship and class. Interactions with recruits doesn't have to be as complicated as most make it out to be, if you don't have something nice to say, don't say it at all.

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