Suspended Michigan RB Fitz Toussaint due in court 4 days before opener against Alabama - The wheels of justice are turning, but it seems that barring an uncharacteristic move by Hoke that Toussaint is still going to have to sit out the Alabama game. While it would be nice to have Toussaint back, there is no way that after a drinking and driving offense that he doesn't have to sit out at least one game.
Facilities construction photos - Maize and Blue News comes up with some great photos of the construction projects going on around south campus. Things are going to look very good this winter for Michigan's revenue sports.
Michigan Records Within Reach - MVictors runs down a number of records that Michigan players are within reach of including Will Hagerup beiing capable of hitting the single season punting record, Jordan Kovacs moving into good position on a couple of records, and Denard completely rewriting large portions of the offensive record book.
Michigan Football Blog: 2012 Michigan Preview: The Offense - Need moar preview? Maize and Blue Nation takes a look at the offense going into this season.
Denard Robinson says he can take Usain Bolt in a 40-yard dash; how ridiculous is that? - This has been discussed all over, but I'll leave you with Matt Hinton's take.
But even if you do fall for the superhuman times attributed to football players, the comparison to elite sprinters falls apart when you consider how much faster the latter could potentially cover that distance if they trained specifically for it, as football players do before the combine. In the 100 meters, as Robinson notes, runners typically don't reach their top speed until well after the 40-yard mark; Bolt himself rarely separates from the pack until the second half of the race. ("If you're only going to run 40 yards, you don't have to do speed endurance or maximum velocity work," said our collegiate track coach. "You are just talking about acceleration. You only have to do one facet of what is three facets in a 100-meter dash: One, acceleration. Two, maximum velocity. And three, speed endurance. With the 40-yard dash you only have to work on the one facet.") If Robinson and Bolt raced head-to-head, Robinson would likely fare much better over the first 40 yards of a 100-meter sprint than in a straight-up 40-yard sprint. But no coach anywhere would give him decent odds of actually winning at any significant distance.
Bracketology in August? ESPN gives Michigan an early No. 2 seed in Auburn Hills - The real amazing thing here is that someone is paying Joe Lunardi to do bracketology in August (or that he has us referring to his mock brackets by that word). Nevertheless, Michigan comes in as a two-seed. Now, about that whole "playing the games" thing.
Quick Media Day Thoughts/Bullets - Tremendous took in media day and came away with some very good stuff, including:
You could tell the players are tired of hearing (maybe reading) about how great Alabama is. I noticed it more towards the end of the interview period, but I think it's safe to say the team is developing a collective chip on their shoulder. It's not a lack of respect by any means, it's more of a "lack of respect for us" type vibe. This can really only be a good thing heading into the game, where the underdog tag will continually be placed on their shoulders.
2012 Season Countdown: #17 Jibreel Black - TTB continues the season countdown.
The hope is that Black can use his quickness to outmaneuver some offensive guards, which he'll have to do if he wants to make an impact as a 279 lb. tackle. Black's size doesn't really concern me, because plenty of 3-techs have been just fine around 280 lbs. The biggest thing that concerns me about Black is the technique; he'll have to get better at using his hands inside to get rid of blocks.
Thank you Magnus for making me feel a little better about the prospect of a 280lbs defensive tackle.
Big Ten rankings: No. 15, Fitz Toussaint - More player countdowns. This one is slightly more depressing.
Ten games that could help determine the 2012 Heisman winner - Michigan features in two of the ten. Vs. Alabama and...
November 24: Michigan at Ohio State -- There will be a ton of storylines to this game: Michigan resurgent once again. Ohio State under probation but making progress under first-year coach Urban Meyer. The young, but talented, Braxton Miller (a future Heisman candidate). And, of course, the winding down of Denard Robinson's brilliant career. By this time, the Michigan quarterback could be well out of Heisman contention, or he could be in the thick of it. If the latter is the case, then this game affords him one last chance to show why he's worthy of the Heisman. What better way to do so than against your hated rival? This game will be very closely watched and the Buckeyes will certainly be aching to take the Wolverines down, especially with no bowl in their immediate future.
Tyrann Mathieu, DeMarcus Ware, and the movement toward hybrid defenders in college football and the NFL - Chris Brown looks at the evolution of the hybrid player adn the options it has opened up for defensive coordinators.
If a coach runs a 4-3 "under" — four defensive linemen, three linebackers shifted into an "under" look — he stays with the same playbook but swaps out a defensive end for an "elephant" hybrid end/linebacker or a SAM linebacker for a hybrid-safety type. With those changes, what was once staid and predictable becomes more difficult to scheme around. There's less certainty about who's rushing and who's staying in coverage. These athletic hybrid defenders are allowing old defensive coordinators to maintain the basic systems they know while learning a few new tricks in the meantime.
No. 21: Ohio State - Know thy enemy.
Not that Luke Fickell didn’t have his hands full. And not that this wasn’t one of the youngest Ohio State teams in recent memory. And not that the team, planning on having Terrelle Pryor and company in the fold in time for the heart of Big Ten play, wasn’t thrown a loop when the old guard didn’t ride into town and save the day in October. But there’s one fact that can’t be ignored: not counting the forfeited season of 2010, Ohio State finished with a losing record for the first time since 1988 and for only the second time since 1967. The slide was inevitable, perhaps, and so was the glee with which it was greeted by the rest of the Big Ten. Here’s guessing that Ohio State will have the last laugh: Enter Urban Meyer — and you can hear the collective giggles over Ohio State’s slide catch in the collective throat of the Big Ten.