Vodka? Check. Celery? Check. Mrs. T's? Check. Worcestershire sauce? Oh yeah. Add in a healthy helping of the Truth and you've got yourself a way to kick start your Monday.
Michigan Hockey Crushed Twice This Weekend:
The Wolverines squandered a 3-1 lead in the first period against North Dakota and lost 8-5 in the NCAA men's hockey tournament. Michigan allowed 5 power play goals and one short handed goal while bowing out of the tournament in the first round for the second straight year. As the Ann Arbor News points out, "Michigan's seven-man senior class is the first since 1991 to never reach the Frozen Four."
Adding to the pain of the weekend, Jack Johnson, arguably Michigan's most talented player, announced he was signing with the LA Kings. Johnson hopped a charter from Denver to LA and will begin his pro career against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday. (HT: Mgoblog)
Thus ends a maddeningly entertaining/depressing season. God. If you're there. Please let us recruit a goalie that, you know, stops pucks. I don't think it's too much to ask for a save percentage better than 73.1% from a D1 goalie. (Yes I know there were 8 power plays, but a goalie's gotta have the ability to bail his team out once in a while).
The Free Press is reporting that Greg Mathews and LaTerryal Savoy are standing out now that Manningham and Arrington are sidelined (for different reasons). In addition the Press is reporting the Andre Criswell is making serious strides at the Tight End position with projected starter Mike Massey sitting spring practice out. Also standing out was Jonas Mouton, the redshirt safety who is slated for WLB this year. "Carr raved when asked specifically about redshirt freshman Jonas Mouton, who moved from safety to linebacker." I can only hope that this isn't Lloyd blowing smoke. We need this kid to take over.
On the injury front, Mike Hart it in a left shoulder sling, Mario Manningham has a sleeve over his knee, Steve Schilling is back and will go full contact in 10 days, and Jake Long is practicing but not going full contact.
Photo courtesy TONY DING/Special to the Free Press
Bulter, Germany, Richards all officially gone. Llody said it. They're gone. Please, Adrian, pay attention to this.
Backup QB Jason Forcier gone too, just not for breaking the law or a student's jaw. According to Mgoblog, Forcier is transferring to Stanford for playing time. Now that Mallett is officially on the M express lane to starting QB, Forcier read the writing on the wall and bailed. Does it suck? Yes. At this point there is no backup to Chad Henne unless David Cone somehow turns into Billy Volek. What does it mean? Cone does become the immediate backup. However, with Mallett enrolled and participating in spring practice chances are he becomes option one if Henne goes down. However, I don't see Lloyd burning Mallett's redshirt unless he absolutely has to. Oh wait, didn't I say that about Carlos Brown?
Speaking of Brown, Carlos is making the switch from RB to CB. Brown is one of six Wolverines who will be playing different positions than the ones they signed up to play when they came to Michigan. According to the Ann Arbor News:
Interestingly enough, the switch was Brown's idea. Following the Rose Bowl, and a season where Brown only touched the ball 14 times and saw his minutes go to Brandon Minor, he approached Carr about the switch. With Brown's speed and quickness he seems like an excellent candidate for the conversion. However, speed alone doesn't guarantee success at corner. Ask Morgan Trent.
John Beilein: The Press' Choice For Michigan Head Coach
The Beilein Bandwagon continues to gather steam in the Ann Arbor/Detroit Press. Jim Carty's weekend column heartily endorses Beilen's candidacy, as does Eric Lacy's in the Detroit News and Michael Rosenberg of the Free Press. Stop me if you've heard this before, "great Xs and Os coach" "get's more out of his players than anyone else" "should've been in the NCAAs."
While I agree Beilein is an excellent candidate, he's not #1 on my list. Frankly he's not even in the top three. While there is a great argument to be made that everyone he coaches improves and there's no way you recruit to Morgantown, WV, I'm still "meh" on his candidacy. If you can recruit, you can recruit anywhere. East Lansing is a hole, yet Izzo does fine. Bulter's in the middle of nowhere and in the sweet 16, again. BYU was an 8 seed. Southern Illinois is somewhere near the Thunderdome. Washington State. Nevada. Vanderbilt??? When the number of NIT appearances equals his NCAA appearances it worries me. Yes, they were just in the NCAAs. But up and down years are not what I have in mind when I look for a new coach. I want a guaranteed winner, every year.
I'm also not so hot on Lowery's candidacy either. Watching SIU play is like watching molasses drip, in January. Further, I have in on good authority from sources familiar with the team that his assistants are far more involved with recruiting and game planning than we've been led to believe. I don't care what Mike Javis thinks, Lowery's candidacy took a nose dive the more I saw his team play.
With Tubby Smith's arrival in Minneapolis guys like Bennett, Lowery, and Beilein simply aren't good enough anymore. All three men are good coaches and good people. However, they're not great and they're not good enough. The stakes were raised.
Now the conversation has to involve coaches like Villanova's Jay Wright, Georgia Tech's Paul Hewitt, Tennessee's Bruce Pearl, or Mike Montgomery. At this point Bruce Pearl looks like the most likely of candidates. According to Sweaty Men Endeavors:
Rumors are rumors, but I think this one might have some steam. Take it FWIW.
A Sad Day For Big Ten Basketball Fans
In his morning post, John Gasaway of Big Ten Wonk has announced this season will be his last running Big Ten Wonk. John. Seriously. This is not how I want to start my week. Hopefully these are just the ramblings of a tired Big Ten fan, dissolutioned by a mediocre Big Ten play this year. Hopefully.
John. Stay with us. It's getting better. Tubby's at Minnesota. Michigan (god-willing) will hire a big time coach. So will Iowa. The next few years will rock! Besides, where else will I go for tempo-free stats and efficiency ratings??
However, if this is indeed your last run at BTW, thanks for everything.