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Friday Happy Hour Braces For Illinois, Picks Up Bloody Mary Mix

It's been a little while since we've had a Happy Hour at Maize n Brew, so on a dreary Friday I thought I'd bring a little sunshine to your day. Turn off the phone, grab your friends, and take a look to see what's:


1. Illini apparently expecting us.
2. Hart doesn't care, will make trip to Illinois.
3. So Hart and Carlos Brown? What if... Wait You know something don't you?
4. Game Previews From Around The Internets.
5. Detroit News Hypes Website. Just not mine. Bastards.
6. Rutgers beats USF, both teams earn respect.
7. I am really getting sick of the Comcast/Big Ten feud. Time to go all Tupac on their asses.
8. Price to play same role for Basketball team as last year. Just not in Michigan uniform.
9. Road Trip!

Showdown in Champaign: The improbable rise of Illinois from doormat to contender is making for all kinds of interesting copy in the print media. One of the favorite headlines is "23 Years," indicating the last time the Illini beat Michigan in Champaign. As irrelevant as that figure is for a bunch of kids who weren't even born at that point, Illinois is definitely a program on the upswing. As painful as the Iowa loss may have been, it's largely irrelevant if the Illini continue to run the ball as well as they have ranking them first in the Big Ten. In fact, if the Illini beat Michigan they can control their own destiny in the Big Ten. The turn around has just been a boost for the University, it just delivered Ron Zook a three year contract extension through 2012.

As much as I hate to admit it, the extension is deserved. Zook's recruiting was always legendary, but he took his lumps early on at Illinois and weathered them well. As a result, Illinois is back on the national scene.

Hart Will Travel to Illinois: Coach Carr announced yesterday that Mike Hart will make the trip to Illinois. Whether he's starting or off the bench will be a game time decision, but you can bet your ass that short of missing a leg Hart will be on the field.

Update [2007-10-19 12:22:13 by Maize n Brew Dave]:: Mgoblog has a post up on the betting lines for the Michigan/Illinois game. They are not good. At some point yesterday between 3 and 6pm, something leaked out tht made Michigan go from favorite to underdog. That something is likely Mike Hart. Whether he plays or not is anyone's guess at this point. But after Carlos Brown's performance against Purdue, I'm a lot less worried than I normally would be.

Um, So If Hart's Out, What Happens? Perish the thought. However, in the unlikely In the likely event that Hart can't go, sophomore Carlos Brown will start on Saturday. While I expect Hart to play the majority of the game to be curled in the fetal position sucking my thumb, Brown will see plenty of time in the back field. In the event lightning strikes twice, again, and all our running backs are felled, fifth year senior safety Anton Campbell may step into the backfield behind freshman walk-on Jim Potempa. According to Angelique S. Chengelis of the Detroit News:

[Campbell] holds career and seasons rushing records at Fort Zumwalt West High in Missouri, where he was a starting tailback his junior and senior years. Campbell is fast, having been timed in the 40-yard dash in 4.45 seconds. It is quite possible he could be an option for U-M against Illinois.

Previews! The M Zone does their usual thing. Fox Sports preview and prediction. ESPN preview. Nice marketing, boys. Nice Marketing. Go to to check it out. Maize n Brew co-signs.

Rutgers v. USF: As I watched the game my respect for both teams grew. I wasn't in love with USF the way the computers were because despite beating Auburn and West Virginia, they weren't the better team in either contest. Last year I wasn't on the Rutgers bandwagon either. However, both teams showed something on Thursday. Both teams were flawed. Both teams made their mistakes. But dammit, it was a good football game. Ray Rice bludgeoned the USF defense for 180+. Matt Grothe played well and within the confines of what Rutgers gave him. It was a fun game to watch and one whether the better team won because they were the better team that night. Would Rutgers have won in South Florida? Don't know, but probably not. It was a drag out fight reminiscent of some of my favorite Big Ten games. My hat's off to both teams.

Please Make it Stop: Bill Martin is now commenting on Comcast's anti-BTN commercials.

Kendric Price's Career at Michigan is Over: As Mgoblog reported/cited yesterday, red-shirt sophomore Kendric Price is no longer a member of the Michigan basketball team. After fall practice and meetings with head coach John Beilein, it appears both sides felt it would be in Price's best interest not to suit up for the Wolverines again. Price was one of Amaker's favorite recruits, often praising his potential. That type of praise is generally considered to be the same as the warden hanging a favorite snitch plaque in the prison mess hall. Many possible rationales for Price's departure have been kicked around the message boards, but nothing is official, and hopefully nothing will be. Like Reed Baker before him, I wish Kendric nothing but success in his future endeavors.

South Bend Bound: I'm heading down to South Bend this weekend to catch the USC/ND game/massacre. The plan is to get up early, enjoy a very stiff bloody mary and tour some tailgates. In the interest of full disclosure, I'll be pulling for the Irish. Let me know if you'll be down there.