|9 years ago||'04 #7|
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Michigan gets a lot of early respect
By Daniel Bromwich, Michigan Daily
August 6, 2007
(CSTV U-WIRE) CHICAGO -- After an embarrassing 7-5 season in 2005, culminating in a dismal loss to Nebraska in the Alamo Bowl, the Michigan football team used the ensuing national disrespect as motivation throughout the offseason. The Wolverines' relatively low No. 15 preseason ranking added fuel to their fire, and the result was an 11-0 start last year -- a season in which Michigan reclaimed its place among the college football elite.
But the Wolverines will have to look elsewhere for inspiration this season -- they were ranked No. 1 in the Big Ten in the preseason rankings released Tuesday at Big Ten media day.
"Expectations for us are very high," senior quarterback Chad Henne said. "We understand that as a team. But for us to be where we want to be, we need to play hard and execute. We still have to go play the season. (Preseason rankings) don't mean anything. You have to play out the season and see how it goes."
Following Michigan in the rankings was Wisconsin, which finished last season 12-1 and beat Arkansas in the Capital One Bowl. A depleted Ohio State team was third.
All three squads were ranked highly in the USA Today/Coaches Poll as well. Michigan was voted No. 5 (and received two first-place votes), while the Badgers were No. 7 and the Buckeyes No. 10. The Big Ten was the only conference with three teams in the top 10.
The Big Ten media also recognized one of Michigan's individual stars, naming senior running back Mike Hart the preseason offensive player of the year.
"We have so much firepower on offense, I just want to see everyone succeed," Hart said. "I hope we go down to the (end-of-season) awards and just win every award down there. We have the potential to do that. But we have to come out here and win games together."
Ohio State linebacker James Laurinaitis was named the preseason defensive player of the year.
Michigan-Notre Dame extend contract: Michigan and Notre Dame have extended their contract, and will continue to play one another every year until 2031, the two schools announced Monday.
Recent reports indicated that the two winningest programs in college football history would take a two-year hiatus, and each would attempt to fill the spot on the schedule with a different elite national team. But the contract extension refutes those reports, and the rivalry will continue unabated for the next 25 years.
"I think college football wouldn't be the same without Michigan-Notre Dame," senior tackle Jake Long said. "They're always going at it, it's always an exciting game, two great coaches, great teams. ... I think college football would be different if it didn't have it."
The Wolverines lead the all-time series 19-14-1.
Roster shake-ups: Carr indicated that Carson Butler, a tight end who started most Michigan's games last year, might be allowed to return to the team this year. The Detroit native was dismissed from the squad after his alleged involvement in a St. Patrick's Day a.ssault in West Quad. Butler was found not guilty by an Ann Arbor court on July 10, and Carr is considering allowing him to return to the team.
"I'm evaluating that situation right now," Carr said. "I want to make sure that it's the right thing for our team, first of all, and for Carson, second of all.
Butler committed numerous infractions prior to this incident, and those certainly played a part in his dismissal from the team.
Offensive lineman Justin Schifano has given up football, according to Carr. Linebacker Cobrani Mixon transferred to Kent State. Defensive lineman James McKinney is trying to overcome a medical issue and return to the Wolverines.
Updated on Monday, Aug 6, 2007 9:00 pm, EDT
|9 years ago||'04 #9|
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Big Ten not about to expand
By Jack Herman, Michigan Daily
August 6, 2007
(CSTV U-WIRE) CHICAGO -- Recent rumors of a Big Ten expansion provided plenty of fodder for message boards and radio talk shows as fans and pundits discussed the possibility of a 12th team.
But don't book your weekend road trip to Syracuse or Rutgers just yet.
The conference has no plans to expand, Commissioner Jim Delany said at Big Ten football media day last week.
"From the quotes out there, you might think the Big Ten is about to expand when that is not the case," Delany said in an effort to clarify the remarks he made to The Des Moines Register that spurred the headlines. "What I said was every three to five years we look at expansion and we will continue to do so. ... It is not a front-burner issue."
The Big Ten has not had any serious discussions about adding a 12th team since inviting Notre Dame a few years ago, Delany said. Penn State, the newest member, joined the conference in 1990.
But if the Big Ten does expand, Delany said, it would pick a school based on institutional fit, reputation, commitment to broad-based programs, integrity and, of course, marketing opportunities. The Big Ten would add a school only to better the conference, not to meet the requirements for a championship game, Delany added, a sentiment that coaches seemed to appreciate.
"I suppose it would be good for revenue and media, but I think the consensus is that the Big Ten is healthy with 11 teams," Purdue coach Joe Tiller said. "Unless a team can come in and really add something, like Penn State, we're better off without expanding."
Agree to disagree: If there's one thing Big Ten coaches can agree on, it's that they want a bye week. If there's one thing they can't, it's how to get it.
Without playing on Thanksgiving, there are just two ways to add a bye week in a 12-game schedule: starting the season early or finishing it late.
Seem simple? Well, not quite.
The Big Ten needs a change in NCAA rules if it wants to start the season early. And it needs to overrule objections of two top coaches -- Michigan's Lloyd Carr and Ohio State's Jim Tressel -- if it wants to finish in December.
"I think (the bye week) is an issue that everybody recognizes as important to the players," Carr said. "It's only fair to them, and there's no easy way to do it without extending the season."
But Carr expects the stalemate can only continue for so long -- whether he likes it or not.
"If you keep the rule as it is, then you'd have to play in December, and I think that's probably going to happen at some point," Carr said.
It's only five yards but ... : The decision to move kickoffs back five yards to the 30-yard line drew a wide variety of opinions at media day, ranging from those of a delighted speedster to a furious coach.
Most coaches believe the extra distance will result in more kickoff returns, worrying some defensive-minded coaches. Others, such as Indiana's Bill Lynch see a plus.
"We think it's going to be huge, because they got to kick it to (Hoosier Marcus Thigpen, one of the nation's top returners) now," Lynch said. "And if they don't -- if they bloop kick or squib kick or something like that -- we're going to get field position that way as well."
The rule change also drew a loud lecture from Tiller. A former member of an NCAA committee on health and safety, Tiller said the play will only increase the risks of injury on what he called "the most violent play in football."
"I'm old enough that I don't have to agree with everything that goes on," Tiller said. "We move back five yards and create more G-forces when these kids run into each other. I'm not in favor of moving it back five yards. Not because I don't want excitement in the game, but I think about the health and safety of the players, first and foremost."
Updated on Monday, Aug 6, 2007 9:00 pm, EDT
|9 years ago||'04 #10|
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Arrington, Slocum readier than most to start practice
By LARRY LAGE, AP Sports Writer
August 6, 2007
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- Adrian Arrington and Marques Slocum are more eager than most of the Wolverines to be put through the two-a-days, early-morning runs and interminable meetings of Michigan's preseason practice.
"I haven't played football in two years, so I can't wait to put on my helmet and hit somebody," Slocum said Monday, the day before Michigan's first practice.
Arrington, a wide receiver, was recently reinstated after coach Lloyd Carr suspended him for reasons he didn't specify. Slocum, a defensive tackle, had a long road to become academically eligible at Michigan.
"I'm just so happy to be back," Arrington said. "I've learned from my mistakes."
Arrington was cleared of a misdemeanor domestic violence charge shortly after last season.
According to a police report, his girlfriend said she picked up Arrington from a bar on Oct. 13 after she finished work and they got into an argument. Arrington grabbed his girlfriend's keys and pushed her out of the vehicle and drove off, the report said. She did not want to press charges and only was concerned about Arrington driving because he had been drinking.
Arrington had 40 catches for 544 yards and eight touchdowns last season, playing in every game. Carr didn't let him practice during the spring and said it wasn't probable that the standout would be back even if unspecified requirements were met.
"My status on the team was definitely in doubt," Arrington acknowledged. "I had to run the stairs at Michigan Stadium for an hour every day for 60 straight days, starting at 6 a.m., and I didn't know I was back on the team for another few weeks."
Slocum's slow climb to the active roster since graduating from Philadelphia West Catholic High School in 2005 was stunted by academics. He attended a prep school in New York two years ago, hoping to become eligible, but had to come to Michigan without a chance to play as a freshman.
"I was just here last year as a student, who worked out and had a job training other athletes at the natatorium," Slocum said. "I worked out Michael Phelps. He was cool. I just wish he taught me something because I can't swim.
"It was tough to go through what I did, but it made me stronger."
Slocum might get a chance to contribute right away because Alan Branch decided to skip his senior season to play in the NFL.
While Carr put Arrington back on the roster, he chose not to make an announcement about the status of tight end Carson Butler, who was cleared of charges last month related to an attack on a fellow student.
Carr said he has met with Butler, but declined to elaborate about his status with the team.
Butler started the last six games of last season, finishing fourth on the team with 19 receptions.
"I'm hoping to have something for you in the next day or so," Carr said when asked about Butler.
When Michigan begins practicing Tuesday, the Wolverines hope a strong start in training camp leads to a better finish after losing the last two games -- Ohio State and the bowl game -- in each of the last three years. The Wolverines also face Oregon and Notre Dame at home before beginning Big Ten play.
"We have to work on finishing every drill in every practice so that we can finish every game better and go out this season the right way," All-American offensive tackle Jake Long said. "If we do, we'll give ourselves a chance to go out as champions."
Updated on Monday, Aug 6, 2007 5:02 pm, EDT
|9 years ago||'04 #11|
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Taking over No. 1 spot brings pressure
By Steve Megargee, Rivals.com College Football Staff Writer
There's a good reason backup quarterbacks often get the loudest cheers.
Fans disgruntled with a starter often wonder how much better the backup might perform if he had the opportunity to play. When a backup produces in a cameo appearance, fans often a.ssume he could play that well all the time.
That brief success can lead to great expectations for the first-year starter who played well in a reserve role.
Not all the guys listed below are quarterbacks. This list also features running backs - and even a pair of wide receivers who spent most of the season in the shadow of better-known or more experienced players.
All of them have enjoyed success already in their college careers.
One of them sparked a bowl victory. One ran circles around the nation's toughest run defense. One of them already has helped his team win a national championship.
Now they have inherited expanded roles that require them to deliver each and every week.
How will they respond to the challenge? We'll find out this fall.
Rivals.com Top 10 New Starters
1. Florida QB Tim Tebow
This former five-star prospect had developed such a following by the time he enrolled at school that Florida fans cheered his first-down runs with an intensity normally reserved for long touchdown passes. The 6-foot-3, 235-pound Tebow certainly has proved he can run the ball. Tebow averaged 5.3 yards per carry last year even though everyone knew what was coming whenever he replaced Chris Leak. Now that Leak has departed, Tebow must prove he also can throw the ball consistently. Tebow's running ability seems to make him a perfect fit for Urban Meyer's spread option, but the sophomore has to deal with great expectations. He is a first-year starter quarterbacking a defending national champion. Only in this case, Tebow also must live up to all the hype already surrounding him.
2. Oklahoma RB Allen Patrick
When Adrian Peterson broke his collarbone midway through last season, Patrick responded by rushing for 440 yards in the Sooners' next three games. Patrick finished the season with 761 yards and will need to produce more now that Peterson is a member of the NFL's Minnesota Vikings. Patrick is part of a talented backfield that also features sophomore Chris Brown and redshirt freshman DeMarco Murray. Patrick is the most proven performer in that group. However, if Patrick gets off to a slow start then Brown or Murray easily could end up stealing some of his carries.
3. Louisiana State QB Matt Flynn
Why are LSU fans so optimistic about a guy who has made only one career start? Because in that lone start, Flynn carved up the nation's top-ranked pass defense to give the Tigers a shockingly easy 40-3 Peach Bowl victory over Miami. Flynn may have been too good for his own good that night. Now that Flynn finally is taking over as LSU's starting quarterback in his senior year, fans may expect him to deliver a repeat of that Peach Bowl performance every week. Flynn will have a tough enough time quarterbacking a national title contender and taking over for JaMarcus Russell, the first overall pick in the most recent NFL Draft.
4. Ohio State RB Chris Wells
Rated by Rivals.com as the No. 1 running back in the 2006 recruiting class, Wells averaged 5.5 yards per carry as a freshman while backing up Antonio Pittman. Wells finished with 576 yards and scored seven touchdowns, including a 52-yard breakaway against a Michigan team that boasted the nation's toughest run defense. Ohio State returns only four starters on offense and must replace Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Troy Smith. The Buckeyes will be hoping Wells doubles his rushing production from last year. At least Wells will have an experienced group blocking for him. Ohio State's four returning starters on offense include three linemen and tight end Rory Nicol.
5. California RB Justin Forsett
Marshawn Lynch and Forsett created quite a one-two punch the last couple of seasons. California's dynamic duo combined to rush for 1,982 yards last season, and each cracked the century mark in a 45-14 Holiday Bowl victory over Texas A&M. After rushing for 1,674 career yards as a backup, Forsett finally moves into the starting lineup this season while Lynch suits up for the NFL's Buffalo Bills. Forsett's career average of 6.39 yards per carry leads all running backs in the nation with at least 260 attempts. That average might drop now that Forsett is the main guy in the backfield, but the increased workload also should allow him to reach the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in his career.
6. Wisconsin QB Tyler Donovan
When an injured right shoulder forced starting quarterback John Stocco to miss the Badgers' final two games of the regular season last year, Donovan directed Wisconsin to victories over Iowa and Buffalo. Donovan completed nearly two-thirds of his attempts and threw four touchdown passes with only one interception in those two games. That late-season performance helped Donovan beat out Kansas State transfer Allan Evridge for the Badgers' starting job this year. Donovan now must try to match the steady leadership Stocco provided last year while the Badgers rolled to a 12-1 record.
7. Auburn RB Brad Lester
Auburn managed to survive Kenny Irons' injury problems last year in part because of Lester, who rushed for 510 yards and averaged 4.9 yards in a reserve role. Lester performed so well that he led Auburn with nine rushing touchdowns and tied for fifth in the Southeastern Conference in points per game. Lester has made only three career starts and never has carried the ball more than 18 times in a game. In his first year as a full-time starter, Lester finally gets a chance to prove he can handle a greater workload.
8. Georgia Tech QB Taylor Bennett
Flynn isn't the only player on this list who must prove an outstanding bowl performance wasn't a fluke. Bennett made his first career start in last year's Gator Bowl and responded by throwing for 326 yards and three touchdowns in a 38-35 loss to West Virginia. That effort raised hopes among the Georgia Tech faithful that the Yellow Jackets could have an upgrade at the quarterback position. Bennett replaces four-year starter Reggie Ball, who completed less than half his career pass attempts. Bennett undoubtedly will prove more accurate than Ball, but he lacks Ball's running ability and experience. Bennett also must prove he can succeed without All-America receiver Calvin Johnson, who closed his Georgia Tech career by catching two of Bennett's Gator Bowl touchdown passes.
9. Florida State RB Antone Smith
This former five-star prospect backed up Lorenzo Booker last year and ended up rushing for more touchdowns (5-4) and averaging more yards per carry (5.2-4.3) than the starter. In fact, Smith actually had wrested the starting job away from Booker before dislocating his elbow on the opening carry of the Western Michigan game, which represents the only start of his career. Smith's impressive numbers in a reserve role have created optimism he can become Florida State's first 1,000-yard rusher since Warrick Dunn reached that mark every year from 1994-96. Smith was named Florida State's most valuable offensive player in spring practice.
10. Georgia Tech WR James Johnson and South Carolina WR Kenny McKinley
These two are grouped together because they have the unenviable task of replacing two of the nation's top receivers from last year. Both players benefited last year from the attention given to their teammates. Johnson caught 39 passes for 608 yards and seven touchdowns while defenses focused on covering Calvin Johnson. McKinley had 51 catches for 880 yards and five touchdowns as opponents often double-covered Sidney Rice. McKinley and James Johnson now face the challenge of matching those numbers now that they'll be lining up against an opponent's best cornerback every week.
Rivals five: The defense
All the performers on our Top 10 list are offensive players, but there also are plenty of guys on defense inheriting expanded roles after shining as substitutes.
1. California LB Zack Follett
He earned honorable mention all-Pac-10 honors last year despite starting just one game. Although he didn't start until the regular-season finale against Stanford, Follett still collected 62 tackles – 12 1/2 for loss – and 5 1/2 sacks. Follett had 10 tackles – three behind the line – plus a sack and forced fumble in the Stanford game. California coaches would love to see him deliver more performances like that in his first full year as a starter.
|9 years ago||'04 #12|
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2. South Florida LB Chris Robinson
Even though he wasn't in the starting lineup last year, Robinson collected seven sacks and tied a school record by forcing four fumbles. One forced fumble clinched a victory over Central Florida. Another forced fumble was returned for a touchdown in an upset of West Virginia. Robinson should earn more playing time now that South Florida must replace 2006 starters Stephen Nicholas and Patrick St. Louis at linebacker. The Bulls are counting on Robinson and Iowa State transfer Tyrone McKenzie to help fill the void.
3. South Carolina DE Eric Norwood
Norwood didn't start a game last year, but he still earned Rivals.com second-team Freshman All-America honors and tied for the team lead with seven sacks. The Gamecocks are expecting Norwood to provide more of a pass-rushing presence now that he's moving into the starting lineup.
4. Michigan DE Tim Jamison
He hasn't started a game in his career, but Jamison still has collected eight sacks over the last two years. He recorded sacks on back-to-back plays in a victory over Wisconsin last year. He finished the 2006 season with five sacks. Michigan will be counting on Jamison to develop into a premier pass rusher in his senior year as the Wolverines attempt to replace Rondell Biggs and Lombardi Award winner LaMarr Woodley.
5. Clemson DE Ricky Sapp
While backing up All-America defensive end Gaines Adams last year, Sapp collected four sacks to tie William Perry's school record for most sacks by a true freshman. Sapp must deliver more sacks now that he is replacing Adams, who was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first round. Sapp led the Tigers with five sacks during three spring scrimmages.
Steve Megargee is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at .
|9 years ago||'04 #13|
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Scores & Schedule - All postseason broadcasts are subject to availability
Date Opponent Time/Result Audio/Video
Sat, Sep 1 Appalachian State 12:00 pm --
Sat, Sep 8 Oregon 3:30 pm --
Sat, Sep 15 (17) Notre Dame 3:30 pm --
Sat, Sep 22 (24) Penn State TBA --
Sat, Sep 29 at Northwestern TBA --
Sat, Oct 6 Eastern Michigan TBA --
Sat, Oct 13 Purdue TBA --
Sat, Oct 20 at Illinois 8:00 pm --
Sat, Oct 27 Minnesota TBA --
Sat, Nov 3 at Michigan State TBA --
Sat, Nov 10 at (7) Wisconsin TBA --
Sat, Nov 17 (2) Ohio State TBA --
|9 years ago||'04 #14|
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Michigan Wolverines Michigan Wolverines
0-0 (0-0), 2nd Big Ten
No. Player Pos Ht Wt Yr (Exp) Hometown
22 Adams, Jamar S 6-2 212 Sr (3V) Charlotte, NC (David W. Butler HS)
16 Arrington, Adrian WR 6-3 190 Sr (3V) Cedar Rapids, IA (Washington HS)
92 Banks, Greg DE 6-4 264 So (1V) Denver, CO (Montbello HS)
18 Bass, Antonio WR 6-0 204 Jr (2V) Albany, NY (Jackson HS)
65 Boren, Justin OL 6-3 310 So (1V) Pickerington, OH (Pickerington North HS)
66 Bostic, William LB 5-9 209 So (1V) Stafford, TX (Thurgood Marshall HS)
23 Brown, Carlos CB 6-0 202 So (1V) Newman, GA (Heard County HS)
3 Brown, Stevie S 6-0 208 So (1V) Dallas, TX (Columbus East HS)
99 Buckman, Sam K 6-4 211 So (1V) Tonka Bay, MN (Minnetonka HS)
9 Campbell, Anton S 5-11 198 Sr (4V) O'Fallon, MO (Fort Zumwalt West HS)
38 Chambers, Artis S 6-2 193 Fr (HS) Fort Wayne, IN (Snider HS)
70 Ciulla, Jeremy OL 6-4 292 Sr (3V) Kennesaw, GA (Kennesaw Mountain HS)
12 Cone, David QB 6-6 214 So (1V) Greenville, NC (Statesboro HS)
29 Conover, Jon DB 6-2 194 So (1V) Northville, MI (Catholic Central HS)
2 Crable, Shawn LB 6-5 245 Sr (4V) Massillon, OH (Washington HS)
39 Criswell, Andre TE 6-1 257 So (2V) Detroit, MI (Renaissance HS)
64 DeBenedictis, Grant OL 6-5 297 Jr (3V) Boca Raton, FL (Saint Andrew's Prep HS)
79 Dorrestein, Perry OL 6-7 297 So (1V) Plainfield, IL (Plainfield Central HS)
35 Dutch, Doug CB 5-11 200 Jr (3V) Bowie, MD (Gonzaga College HS)
27 Edwards, Shakir DB 6-0 210 Jr (3V) Detroit, MI (Martin Luther King HS)
31 Englemon, Brandent S 5-11 206 Sr (4V) Covington, KY (Holmes HS)
44 Ezeh, Obinna LB 6-2 243 So (1V) Grand Rapids, MI (Catholic Central HS)
94 Ferrara, John DT 6-4 270 So (1V) Staten Island, NY (Monsignor Farrell HS)
74 Gallimore, Brett DL 6-4 298 Jr (3V) Riverside, MO (Park Hill South HS)
34 Gingell, Jason K 5-9 191 Jr (3V) Northville, MI (Catholic Central HS)
24 Grady, Kevin RB 5-9 218 Jr (2V) Ada, MI (East Grand Rapids HS)
55 Graham, Brandon DE 6-2 276 So (1V) Detroit, MI (Crockett Technical HS)
37 Graham, Chris LB 5-11 225 Sr (3V) Indianapolis, IN (Warren Central HS)
59 Griffin, Sean 6-2 233 Sr (3V) Livonia, MI (Catholic Central HS)
27 Harrison, Brandon CB 5-8 195 Jr (2V) Dayton, OH (Chaminade-Julienne HS)
20 Hart, Mike RB 5-9 196 Sr (3V) Syracuse, NY (Onondaga Central HS)
32 Helmuth, Vince RB 6-1 245 Fr (HS) Saline, MI (Saline HS)
7 Henne, Chad QB 6-2 224 Sr (3V) West Lawn, PA (Wilson HS)
12 Hornaday, Matt S 5-10 197 Jr (2V) Germantown, MD (Seneca Valley HS)
90 Jamison, Tim DE 6-3 266 Sr (3V) Riverdale, IL (Harvey Thornton HS)
97 Johnson, Will DT 6-5 291 Jr (3V) Oakland, MI (Lake Orion HS)
88 Kachhal, Ankit K 6-1 181 Sr (4V) Canton, MI (Canton HS)
93 Kates, Jason DT 6-3 318 So (1V) Harrisburg, PA (Bishop McDevitt HS)
57 Kraus, Adam OL 6-6 296 Sr (4V) New Orleans, LA (Brother Martin HS)
46 Logan, Brandon LB 6-0 224 Jr (2V) Lexington, KY (Lexington Catholic HS)
77 Long, Jake OL 6-7 313 Sr (4V) Lapeer, MI (Lapeer East HS)
84 Lopata, K.C. K 6-2 217 Jr (3V) Farmington, MI (Farmington HS)
60 Lyall, Patrick OL 6-0 279 Jr (3V) Adrian, MI (Adrian HS)
15 Mallett, Ryan QB 6-6 247 Fr (HS) Texarkana, TX (Texarkana HS)
86 Manningham, Mario WR 6-0 181 Jr (2V) Warren, OH (Warren G. Harding HS)
83 Massey, Mike TE 6-4 229 Jr (3V) Brecksville, OH (St. Ignatius HS)
13 Mathews, Greg WR 6-3 207 So (1V) Honolulu, HI (Edgewater HS)
62 McAvoy, Tim OL 6-5 289 So (2V) Bloomington, IL (Bloomington HS)
20 McComb, Ian S 6-2 211 So (1V) Lansing, MI (Waverly HS)
44 McKinney, James DT 6-2 281 So (2V) Louisville, KY (Louisville Central HS)
42 McLaurin, Chris TE 6-3 236 So (2V) Rochester Hills, MI (Orchard Lake St. Mary's HS)
41 Mesko, Zoltan P 6-4 242 So (2V) Timisoara, (Twinsburg HS)
84 Middleton, David WR 6-2 207 So (1V) Southfield, MI (Country Day HS)
4 Minor, Brandon RB 6-0 213 So (1V) Richmond, VA (Varina HS)
73 Mitchell, Alex OL 6-5 313 Jr (3V) Reese, MI (Bay City Central HS)
17 Mondol, Lee QB 6-2 193 So (1V) Ventura, CA (Ventura HS)
60 Moosman, David OL 6-4 298 So (2V) Amsterdam, (Libertyville HS)
33 Moundros, Mark RB 6-1 222 So (1V) Farmington Hills, MI (North Farmington HS)
8 Mouton, Jonas LB 6-2 230 So (1V) Los Angeles, CA (Venice HS)
58 North, Tim DE 6-1 253 So (2V) Linden, MI (Linden HS)
68 Nowicki, Bryant OL 6-8 307 So (1V) Bay City, MI (John Glenn HS)
92 Olesnavage, Jason K 6-4 207 Jr (2V) Ferndale, MI (Ferndale HS)
55 Opong-Owusu, Ohene LB 6-1 233 So (2V) West Bloomfield, MI (Walled Lake Western HS)
71 Ortmann, Mark OL 6-6 297 So (2V) Klein, TX (Klein HS)
54 Panter, Austin LB 6-3 231 Jr (2V) Athol, KS (Kensington HS)
36 Patilla, Quintin LB 6-1 234 So (1V) Flint, MI (Carman-Ainsworth HS)
99 Patterson, Adam DE 6-2 262 So (1V) Columbia, SC (Richland Northeast HS)
51 Pollock, Max LB 6-1 218 Sr (4V) Takoma Park, MD (Montgomery Blair HS)
69 Ramirez, Michael OL 6-2 272 So (1V) Austin, TX (Bowie HS)
62 Saigh, Jon OL 6-4 295 Jr (3V) Kingsford, MI (Kingsford HS)
82 Savoy, LaTerryal WR 6-2 205 So (2V) Mamou, LA (Mamou HS)
78 Schifano, Justin OL 6-4 298 Jr (2V) Webster, NY (Schroeder HS)
52 Schilling, Steve OL 6-5 297 So (1V) Bellevue, WA (Bellevue HS)
25 Sears, Johnny CB 6-0 190 So (2V) Fresno, CA (Edison HS)
8 Sheridan, Nick QB 6-1 207 So (1V) Saline, MI (Saline HS)
5 Stewart, Charles S 6-1 205 Jr (3V) Farmington Hills, MI (Harrison HS)
67 Taylor, Terrance DT 6-0 310 Jr (2V) Muskegon, MI (Muskegon HS)
49 Thompson, John LB 6-1 230 Jr (3V) Detroit, MI (Crockett Technical HS)
25 Thornbladh, Robbie RB 6-1 232 So (1V) Ann Arbor, MI (Pioneer HS)
16 Threet, Steven QB 6-5 230 Fr (HS) Adrian, MI (Adrian HS)
14 Trent, Morgan CB 6-1 189 Jr (3V) Brighton, MI (Orchard Lake St. Mary's HS)
18 Wright, Ben WR 5-9 191 Jr (3V) Grosse Pointe, MI (Grosse Pointe North HS)
43 Wright, Bryan K 6-1 215 So (1V) Youngstown, OH (Salem HS)
10 Ziegler, Jeff QB 6-6 211 So (1V) Dexter, MI (Dexter HS)
75 Zirbel, Cory OL 6-5 296 So (2V) Murray, KY (Murray HS)
|9 years ago||'04 #15|
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Notes: U-M picked to win Big Ten
By Chris Balas, TheWolverine.com Senior Editor – Rivals.com
Another year, another bulls-eye. Michigan, led by preseason Big Ten offensive player of the year Mike Hart, has been picked to win the conference by voting members of the media in Chicago present for the Big Ten's media day.
Wisconsin, which finished 12-1 and No 7 nationally last year on the strength of a defense that allowed only 12.1 points per game, was picked to finish second while Ohio State ranks third. Buckeye linebacker James Laurinaitis was tagged with preseason defensive player of the year honors.
Michigan seeks its record 43rd Big Ten title this year.
In other rumblings from the Windy City …
Big Ten Expansion?
The fledgling Big Ten Network (which has yet to reach a deal with media giant Comcast with football season closing in) seems to be fueling commissioner Jim Delaney's push for expansion to 12 teams. With Notre Dame an unlikely candidate, having already spurned the Big Ten twice in recent years (and recently signing a 20-year extension with Michigan), talk of schools like Missouri, Syrcause and Pittsburgh potentially joining has begun.
"We need to look at it in the next year," Delany recently told The Des Moines Register. "We have eight states. With expansion, you could have nine."
Talk among Penn State beat writers last night was all about PSU's defense, which boasts an outstanding linebacking corps, talent in the secondary and a young but intriguing defensive line. Some believed the Nittany Lions were a lock to be picked in the preseason top three (they weren't), while others believe the jury was still out on quarterback Anthony Morelli.
Pittsburgh Tribune writer Sam Ross Jr. noted the Nittany Lions have yet to beat Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio State in the same season, have haven't beaten the latter two in the same year since 1994. Of course, it's been since 1996 that the Nittany Lions have beaten U-M, having dropped eight straight contests.
Wisconsin in the spotlight
It's unfamiliar territory, but Wisconsin, led by second-year head coach Bret Bielema, will likely be picked in the top 10 of the national preseason polls, expectations extremely high for a team that upset Arkansas in the Capital One Bowl on its way to a 12-1 season.
""When we weren't ranked last year that was fueling the fire for us to grow stronger," junior defensive tackle Jason Chapman told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, referring to UW's absence from the 2006 pre-season top-25 polls. "I don't want people to think that since we're ranked that we're going to let up. We're going to keep the same mentality we did last year."
The Badgers are expected to be ranked in the top 10 of both the a.ssociated Press and USA Today pre-season polls for the first time since 2000, when they opened at No. 4 in the AP poll and No. 5 in the ESPN / USA Today poll.
Updated on Tuesday, Jul 31, 2007 9:32 am, EDT
|9 years ago||'04 #16|
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Top 50 Countdown: No. 4 Michigan
By Olin Buchanan, Rivals.com College Football Senior Writer
Coach: Lloyd Carr | Staff
In 2006: 11-2, 8-1; Lost to Southern California 32-18 in the Rose Bowl.
Returning starters: Offense: 7. Defense: 4.
Key losses: WR Steve brea$ton, K Garrett Rivas, DE LaMarr Woodley, DT Alan Branch, CB Leon Hall, LB David Harris.
2007 breakdown: Top 10 players | Outlook | Offense | Defense | Special teams | Coaching | Schedule
Breaking down the offense
Overview: Looking for all the components of a great offense? Let's see … an experienced, productive quarterback? Check. A Heisman Trophy-contending running back? Check. An explosive, game-breaking receiver? Check. A dominating left tackle? Check. Michigan's offense has it all. It must lead the way if the Wolverines can contend for their first national championship in a decade.
MICHIGAN TOP 10
Jake Long is a dominant force up front for the Wolverines.
1.OT Jake Long
2.RB Mike Hart
3.QB Chad Henne
4.WR Mario Manningham
5.LB Shawn Crable
6.WR Adrian Arrington
7.DT Terrance Taylor
8.OG Adam Krause
9.SS Jamar Adams
10.CB Morgan Trent
Best player: Offensive linemen usually toil away in obscurity, but OT Jake Long does not. He's every bit as heralded as QB Chad Henne, RB Mike Hart and WR Mario Manningham. He'll probably be drafted higher than any of them.
Most overrated: G Adam Kraus is a good, solid lineman with some All-Big Ten honors. But he benefits by playing next to Long and struggled in the Rose Bowl loss to USC.
Most underrated: RB Mike Hart runs hard, blocks well, catches out of the backfield and doesn't fumble. Yet, he's often forgotten in Heisman Trophy discussions because he lacks blazing speed needed for long-distance touchdown runs that are so popular on highlight shows.
Must step up: TE Mike Massey must shore up a position that was been decimated by the graduation of Tyler Ecker and the spring dismissal of Carson Butler.
Impact newcomer: Sophomore Justin Boren is a newcomer to the starting lineup and a newcomer to center. He got some experience at guard last year. Now, he's counted on to replace Mark Bihl and make line calls.
Battle to watch: Redshirt freshman Stephen Schilling, a former five-star prospect who had mononucleosis last year, and sophomore Mark Ortmann vie to take over the right tackle spot vacated by Rueben Riley.
New in 2007: Michigan doesn't have a great blocking fullback and there is a lack of depth at TE, so look for the Wolverines to use more three wide-receiver sets.
Grade the units:
QB: A-minus. Henne already has three seasons as a starter behind him, and he has thrown for more than 2,500 yards each year. He has 70 career touchdown passes and just 28 interceptions. But he doesn't have a victory over Ohio State or a win in a bowl game.
RB: A-minus. When healthy – and he is – Hart is a virtual lock to rush for 1,500 yards and average 5 yards per carry. Kevin Grady's knee injury decreases depth, but Brandon Minor has shown flashes of being a breakaway threat.
WR/TE: A. Manningham scored nine touchdowns in 2006 despite missing 4½ games with injury. He definitely has All-American potential if he remains healthy all season. Also, Adrian Arrington has been reinstated after being suspended through the spring, and he is an excellent alternative receiver. Expect sophomore Greg Mathews to develop into an effective third option.
OL: B-plus. Long is one of the premier offensive linemen in the nation, and Kraus and G Alex Mitchell are also returning starters. Of course, having three returning starters also means there will be two new starters up front.
Breaking down the defense
Overview: Michigan's pass defense was riddled in the last two games of last season – both losses – and that unit included four players who were taken in the first two rounds of the NFL draft. Good athletes with great potential will move into the starting lineup, but there are serious questions on every level of the defense.
Best player: At 6 feet 5, 241 pounds, LB Shawn Crable is an intimidating sight, and last season his performance matched his presence as he posted 10½ tackles for loss to earn All-Big Ten recognition.
Sept. 1 Appalachian State
Sept. 8 Oregon
Sept. 15 Notre Dame
Sept. 22 Penn State
Sept. 29 at Northwestern
Oct. 6 Eastern Michigan
Oct. 13 Purdue
Oct. 20 at Illinois
Oct. 27 Minnesota
Nov. 3 at Michigan State
Nov. 10 at Wisconsin
Nov. 17 Ohio State
Most overrated: Every spring DE Tim Jamison draws raves and every fall he fails to distinguish himself. He has averaged one tackle per game in his career.
Most underrated: CB Morgan Trent took some criticism when he made costly mistakes in losses to Ohio State and Michigan. However, his performance for the entire season drew high marks from coaches and he played very well in the spring.
Must step up: Senior SS Jamar Adams played at an All-Big Ten level a year ago but needs to be even better in an inexperienced secondary. The Wolverines will look to him to be a steadying influence back there.
Shoes to fill: DT Will Johnson faces the difficult task of replacing All-American Alan Branch, who was often double teamed and it often didn't matter.
Impact newcomer: True freshman CB Donovan Warren, a five-star prospect, could challenge Johnny Sears for the starting job opposite Trent.
Position battle: The Wolverines need an adequate replacement for David Harris at MLB. John Thompson has shown flashes that he could be the guy, but he wasn't healthy in the spring. Austin Panter comes in as Michigan's first junior college recruit since 1996. Redshirt freshman Obinna Ezeh will get a shot, too.
New in 2007: There appears to be an absence of a lock-down cornerback, a luxury Michigan has had recently with Leon Hall and Marlin Jackson. That may result in the Wolverines going to more zone coverage than usual.
Grade the units:
DL: B. Terrance Taylor is the only returning starter up front, although Jamison has some playing experience. Johnson and sophomore DE Brandon Graham have a lot of talent that needs to be harnessed.
LB: B-minus. Crable is outstanding, so the strong side is set. Chris Graham has not met expectations on the weak side, and the middle is unsettled.
DB: B-minus. Trent is solid at one corner, but the other side is a concern. Adams brings experience at SS, and speedy Stevie Brown could be a difference-maker.
Breaking down the special teams
Overview: Often an area of strength, this looks like an area of concern with punter Zoltan Mesko the only returning specialist. The Wolverines must replace reliable Garrett Rivas at kicker and exciting Steve brea$ton as a kick returner. They even have to replace Turner Booth, who was a sure deep snapper.
Season outlook with bowl forecast
National-championship aspirations are always discussed in Ann Arbor, though not always with as much fervor as this year. The offense is explosive and exciting and the schedule calls for Oregon, Notre Dame, Penn State and Ohio State to visit Michigan Stadium. There are some reasons for apprehension – a rebuilt defense, a new kicker and a road trip to Wisconsin, one of the few teams that can match up with Michigan physically. But overall, the Wolverines are expecting a double-digit victory total and maybe a trip to New Orleans for the BCS national championship game. At the very least, they're counting on reaching the Rose Bowl. Anything less equals disappointment.
Best player: As mentioned, Mesko is the only proven specialist returning, so he is awarded this distinction by default.
Grade the units:
K: Incomplete. Redshirt freshman Bryan Wright is the probable successor to Rivas, though he may have to hold off some walk-on challengers.
P: B-plus. Mesko has averaged 41.6 yards on 50 career punts and has had 17 downed inside the 20-yard line.
KR: B. Although losing brea$ton hurts, Michigan has a lot of fast guys who could step in and be effective, if not exciting. The list includes Arrington, Sears and RB Carlos Brown, among others. Michigan always does a good job setting up blocks on returns.
PR: B. The same candidates to return kickoffs apply here, but also add Stevie Brown to the list.
Breaking down the coaching
Overview: Lloyd Carr has managed at least nine victories in 12 of his seasons in Ann Arbor and has 113 victories and a national championship to his credit, yet still isn't embraced by many demanding Michigan fans. He needs to end a three-year losing streak to Ohio State and a four-game losing streak in bowl games. The offensive staff also catches flak, while the defensive staff routinely gets high praise.
Grade the coaches:
Head coach: B-plus. One wonders if Carr, who will turn 62 on July 31, would be willing to walk away if the Wolverines defeat Ohio State, win the Big Ten and challenge for a national championship. If he did he'd leave as the third-winningest coach in school history and with a winning record against the Buckeyes.
Offense: B-plus. Mike DeBord takes a lot of heat, but the Wolverines are 43-7 with him as offensive coordinator, a position he held from 1997-99 and in 2006. Last year Michigan was second in the nation in time of possession and committed fewer turnovers (12) than anyone.
Defense: A. The "fast and physical" approach Ron English took last year was a big hit, and in one year he has established himself among the nation's premier defensive coordinators. LB coach Steve Szabo helped turn David Harris into a dominant player. Vance Bedford, the secondary coach on the 1997 national championship team, is back in Ann Arbor in that position.
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Special teams: C. The special teams are coached by committee, and it has worked. Finding a reliable kicker and kick return man are top priorities. The kickoff coverage team could stand improvement, even though the Wolverines have not allowed a kick return for a touchdown since 1993.
Olin Buchanan is the senior college football writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at .
Rivals.com is counting down our Preseason Top 50.
|9 years ago||'04 #18|
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Notre Dame, Michigan agree to continue series through 2031
July 30, 2007
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -- Michigan and Notre Dame will be knocking helmets on the football field for another two decades.
The two storied programs agreed to a 20-year contract extension Monday that will have them playing annually through 2031. The series was set to expire after the 2011 season.
"The Notre Dame-Michigan game has been a red-letter date on the football schedule for a long time, so it made perfect sense to make certain the rivalry continues annually long into the future," Notre Dame athletic director Kevin White said.
The schools are 1-2 in wins and winning percentage in college football. Michigan is 860-282-36 with a .745 winning percentage, while Notre Dame is 821-269-42 with a .744 winning percentage. Michigan leads the all-time series 19-14-1. The f!ghting Irish and Wolverines played which only twice from 1909-77, but their early season meeting has become a staple of the college football season over the last two decades.
"It is a game our players and alumni, and every college football fan, deserves," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said. "I am ecstatic they were able to come to an agreement."
The rivalry dates back to 1877, when some Michigan students taught the game to Notre Dame students. There was so much bad blood between the two schools, though, they stopped playing after the Irish earned their first victory in 1909 after eight straight losses.
The schools played again in 1942 and 1943, splitting the games, before resuming the series in 1978. Since then, they have met in all but six years.
Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis, who never saw the Irish play the Wolverines while he was a student at Notre Dame, called the announcement great news.
"This rivalry is good for both schools and college football," he said.
|9 years ago||'04 #20|
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Wolverines trio of Hart, Henne and Long hope to end season well for a change
By LARRY LAGE, AP Sports Writer
August 16, 2007
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- Mike Hart, Chad Henne and Jake Long might be the best running back, quarterback and offensive tackle Michigan has ever had.
Assuming they stay healthy, Hart and Henne likely will leave the nation's winningest football program as record-holders in rushing and passing and Long will probably be one of the top picks in the 2008 NFL draft.
On the other hand, if they goes 0-for-4 against Ohio State and in bowl games, the drought would diminish their legacy.
"It's fair to say that," Long acknowledged. "No matter what type of season we have, people are going to look at what we do against Ohio State and our bowl opponent."
Hart, Henne and Long could've skipped their senior season, and the scrutiny that will come with it, to play in the NFL.
Instead, one by one, they chose to come back for another chance to beat the Buckeyes in November, graduate the next month and close their careers in perhaps the Rose Bowl or the BCS national championship game.
Michigan coach Lloyd Carr called Henne into his office the day after losing at Ohio State last year, wanting to know his plans for 2007.
"He said, `Are you coming back?"' Henne recalled. "I said, `There's no reason why I wouldn't. I want to graduate and I want to win a championship.'
"It would've been too tough to swallow going out without wins against Ohio State or in a bowl game. I'm just glad we have one more shot to go out the way we want."
Hart was the next to make his decision and Long was last.
"It's great when you have two guys coming back with you like Chad and Jake," Hart said. "You don't have to worry about them messing up."
Their unified choice made Michigan a popular pick to win the Big Ten and contend for the national title.
Hart is coming off a fifth-place finish in the Heisman Trophy voting. Henne has started each of the 37 games the past three years. Long continues to draw comparisons to former Wolverine greats, now blocking in the NFL, such as Jon Runyan of the Philadelphia Eagles.
"They make life a lot easier for me and Rio (Mario Manningham) on the outside," receiver Adrian Arrington said. "Defenses have to worry about Mike running the ball, about Chad passing the ball, and Jake taking care of anybody that comes near him."
The 5-foot-9, 196-pound Hart is the smallest of the terrific trio, and is by far the most boisterous. He talks, smiles and jokes around constantly and has provided an emotional spark since he cracked the starting lineup in his fifth game and finished the season as the third true freshman to lead the Big Ten in rushing.
Henne started off quiet when he was the surprise starter in the 2004 opener. Slowly, he has developed enough confidence to lead with his mouth and to carry a Louis Vuitton bag -- instead of a backpack like most of his teammates -- into news conferences on game days.
Long is perhaps the most businesslike player of the three and endured the scariest moment in college.
Shortly after going to bed the night the Detroit Pistons won the 2004 NBA title, Long woke up coughing because his room was filled with smoke as the off-campus house he lived in was going up in flames. He kicked the screen out of his window and jumped onto his friend's parked Bronco.
Henne is thankful the trio is still around to share stories and dreams.
"I can definitely appreciate it and I'm trying not to let everything fly by," Henne said. "I think it speaks volumes about the three of us that we wanted to come back to win a championship and to graduate."
Even though Hart, Henne and Long are winless against the Buckeyes and bowl opponents, it's tough to put the blame squarely on them.
Behind the Long-led line, Hart ran for 142 yards and three touchdowns and Henne threw for 267 yards, two scores and no interceptions when No. 1 Ohio State outscored No. 2 Michigan 42-39 last season.
However, Hart was held to 76 yards on 27 carries in his first two games against the Buckeyes while Henne combined to throw three TDs and two interceptions in the 2005 and 2004 matchups.
The shifty and slippery running back ran for just 47 yards against USC in the Rose Bowl after being held to 83 and 74 yards in his first two bowls. Henne, meanwhile, has combined to throw nine TDS and just two interceptions in the postseason.
Long and his linemates did not provide Henne with much protection against the Trojans, leading to six sacks and several hits as he threw.
Each of the stars has room to improve and Michigan offensive coordinator Mike DeBord knows they are up to their respective tasks.
"Mike can maximize his ability to read holes and plays; Chad has to put to use the strides he's taken as a leader; Jake can use his hands in pass-protection much better," DeBord said. "A lot of guys with their talent come back as seniors and they're distractions because they're thinking about themselves and their future.
"That's not the case with any of them. They're great people and true Michigan men, who are going to graduate and continue to make this university proud."
That will be true, DeBord insisted, even if they leave Michigan without a victory against Ohio State or in a bowl game.
"I wouldn't make those two games the final measurement for them," he said. "But that is one of the standards around here. I think it says a lot that they came back as a group to take another shot at it, knowing that was going to be hanging out there all year."
Updated on Thursday, Aug 16, 2007 5:58 pm, EDT