Thursday, August 2, 2012

Miscellaneous Minutiae, 8/2/2012

Some things of interest on this fine Thursday:

SO CLOSE.'s Countdown to Kickoff, also known as The Fluff Series You Crave More Than Any Other Series of Fluffy Pre-Season Videos, is finally back:

 (HT mgovideo). 

At 0:42, Denard is probably just about the least smiley he's ever been. 

Self-promotion. It's not worth a separate post, but I wrote a top 10 B1G linebackers post over at MnB. Unfortunately, Michigan only figures in once, but I have a feeling that with guys like RJS, Ross, Ringer, Bolden, McCray, and Gedeon, that will change within the next two to three years. 

Barnhart on the ACC. In light of the ACC previews that I'm sure you all read earlier this week, this discussion of September's importance for the ACC is topical. Big Ten-relevant games include: PSU @ Virginia and Boston College @ Northwestern. If Penn State wins that one, I will be fairly surprised. Northwestern beat BC in Chestnut Hill last season, and should be able to bring home the win again this year. 

I was somewhat sarcastic about Duke in my preview post the other day, but after reading this blurb on Duke wide receive Conno Vernon, I felt kind of bad about it: 
Think about all of the great wide receivers who have played in the ACC. Georgia Tech's Calvin Johnson and Florida State's Peter Warrick quickly come to mind. Now realize that with 35 catches Vernon, a senior from Miami, will become the conference's all-time leader. He currently has 198 career catches. The ACC record is 232 held by Clemson's Aaron Kelly.
So, don't say that you didn't learn anything today. 

Stickin' around. Good news everyone! Not that there was any danger of this not happening, but Greg Mattison says that he's finishing up his coaching career in Ann Arbor
"The good thing that happens when you're older and you've been a lot of places is, a lot of (coaches) want to win so they can move on," Mattison said. "Me? Hey, this is my last stop. I just want to win because it's Michigan."
Borges says the same:
"This is a great place to coach and to be, and for someone to leave here, you better be able to justify it. And I just don't see any scenarios that could justify me leaving the University of Michigan."
I hope Al is ready to be badgered about bubble screens for another decade. On a serious note, it won't be a fun day when Michigan has to find Mattison's replacement, but like many others, I think Michigan might end up promoting from within...and by that I mean Curt Mallory. We shall see. Either way, Mattison should be around long enough to see the recent crop of top recruits form the backbone of a world-destroying top 10 defense. As fun as last year's defense was to watch, it always seemed like a thing held together by paper clips and rubber bands, which is fine because it ultimately held together. With an entire defense of well-coached, top shelf talent, Michigan's defense should return to the standard set in the first 5 or so years of Lloyd's tenure (not that he didn't have any good defenses after that).

Trey at the 2016 Olympics. Via UMHoops, Jeff Goodman of CBS discusses the potential look of the 2016 USA basketball Olympic team in light of the chatter about a potential move to a U-23 format.

Personally, I would welcome this change, but that could just be me exhibiting a classic case of the grass is greener of the other side. Truth be told, watching NBA stars dominate during the Olympics is entertaining for everyone, but part of me would also like to see the country's best young players go up against the rest of the world's best. Goodman's suggested lineup of Trey Burke-Cody Zeller-Shabbazz Muhammad-Anthony Davis-Jabari Parker sounds pretty ridiculously good and would be fun to watch.

Would it come close to the entertainment value that this squad of NBA stars* can offer? No, but again, the Olympics are supposedly in part built upon an understanding of amateurism, and a move to a U-23 team would reflect that. It's not a huge deal, really, but it's August and this is what there is to talk about.

Regardless, a former Wolverine running the point at the Olympics would be prettyyy prettyyy prettyyy cool.

More? Brian Phillips is talkin' about anthems, man. Charles Hollis of The Birmingham News predicts losses against LSU and either Arkansas or Michigan for Alabama this season. Well, that would be neat (Michigan beating Alabama, not Arkansas or LSU, I mean).

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