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Friday Happy Hour can't wait

Tomorrow. Hoooo boy.

Since you'll need a lot to pass the day, here are some links

2012 Season Countdown: #1 Denard Robinson - Touch the Banner's number one is no surprise.

So. What happens in 2012? Robinson should cut down on those interceptions because he understands the offense better, even though he'll still probably toss up some jump balls that come down in the hands of guys wearing different-colored jerseys. He will still be fast and run the ball a lot. Along with Wisconsin running back Montee Ball, Robinson is one of two preseason Big Ten favorites to enter the Heisman race. He will probably throw too many picks and lose too many games to win the award, but he's clearly the biggest star quarterback in the conference. Very good things will happen. Great things probably won't. There's probably no national championship or Heisman coming this season, but Robinson will solidify himself as an all-time Wolverine great, if he hasn't done so already.

The One Key: Alabama - As someone who has adamantly held MIchigan's running offense is the key to the game, I was interested to read Tremendous' take. Frankly, its a solid point that I had overlooked.

The key to me is the Blake Countess and JT Floyd combo. I think McCarron is overrated. His performance against LSU in the MNC was excellent, but I don't think he's the potential star most believe. He's serviceable, but is the beneficiary of an excellent offensive line and running game (last season) that created a lot of opportunities for him. Everyone knows Alabama is going to run the ball. I think neutralizing the passing attack is even more important because it's going to take bodies to slow down the running game. I think they're capable of doing it. Floyd has turned into a good corner and Countess has the makings of a true shutdown guy. I think their ability to free up the safeties will ultimately decide this game. If they have to play soft and respect McCarron, Michigan is in trouble. If they can shut down their receivers, I think Michigan has a legitimate chance to win this game because I think they can score on Alabama's talented, but inexperienced defense.

Calling McCarron overrated might be a bit of an overstatement, but I think you have to consider that his situation and supporting cast have a big effect on his overall performance.

Michigan announces 2012-13 basketball schedule - Available for your perusal.

What to expect: The Team x3 2012 - BWS from 1000 feet.

The worst thing Brady Hoke did last year (there weren't many things) was go 11-2 with some help from smoke and mirrors. Commanding losses to MSU and Iowa speak for themselves, but Michigan survived by the teeth of their skin against a crappy Notre Dame team, a crappy Ohio State team, and inexplicably beat Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl. This could just as easily have been an 8-5 unit last year. We were not. For that, we rejoice.

Harsh, but not totally off base.

Big Ten gets big weekend to show it can compete with college football's elite - The difference between Michigan and MIchigan State this weekend is one can do a great deal to change perception by winning, the other by losing.

Upset Bait: Penn State comes in for a cold open vs. Ohio - The team at CBS makes some upset picks for opening weekend. You had to know someone was picking MIchigan.

Chris Huston: MICHIGAN (+11) over ALABAMA. A stunner in Dallas might happen for the same reason Nebraska lost at Arizona State as the top-ranked, defending national champion in 1996: Because some teams, even defending champs like Alabama, need time to gel and it's never easy to do so against a team like Michigan. The Wolverines aren't Kent State or San Jose State, the Crimson Tide's last two victims on opening day. They are a talent-rich program that just happens to be very well-coached.

Also, LolPennState.

Final Takes: Waiting for the real Georgia, and other compelling questions on the eve of the 2012 season - Denard Robinson and his eternal quest to get people to actually think of him as a quarterback.

6. The Great Denard Debate. It doesn't take a particularly open mind to acknowledge Denard Robinson's prowess as a dynamic athlete, in general, or more specifically as one of the most dangerous runners in the country. Try touting his virtues as a quarterback, though, and it's obvious the guy still has some convincing to do in his final year on campus.

Mike Leach: There's a myth about what balance is - Mike Leach talks about how he considers his offense more balanced than the traditional pro-style attacks that claim to be balanced.

"There's a whole myth about balance, and it's really stupid. The notion that you hand it to one guy half the time, and then you throw it to two other guys the other half of the time, and maybe you connect, maybe you don't. There's nothing balanced about it. There's two skill positions left out.

10.15.94 - Spencer Hall is required reading.

He remembers it like I do, at least in part: the oblivion of a loss, the shock, the real, dazed, physically recognizable shock of being so invested in a game that cognition is utterly trampled. He remembers more than most do, though. He remembers getting up at 4:30 the next morning to run stadium steps, because Florida was only halfway through the season, and still in play for the SEC title. He remembers returning an interception against Georgia, and then winning the SEC Championship Game in the first game played in Atlanta. They finished in New Orleans, losing to Florida State in the echoey, smokey reaches of the Superdome.