Posts Tagged ‘Michigan’

Examining The University Of Michigan’s Roster: Tight End Edition

June 25th, 2010

The tight end position is a one that can affect the outcome of a game, even if most players don't get a lot of publicity.

These players can open up the field and actually control the middle of the field. They can also help in the running game if they can block effectively. There have been really good tight ends at Michigan that have really helped the effectiveness of the passing attack in year past. 

Guys like Jay Riemersma, Bennie Joppru, Jerame Tuman, and Ron Kramer are some of the best tight ends that have ever suited up at Michigan. 

But let’s take a look at what we have now: No. 88 Brandon Moore, at 6-6, 243 pounds, No. 86 Kevin Koger, at 6-4, 249 pounds, No. 80 Martell Webb, at 6-4, 245 pounds, and No. 46 Jon Bills, at 6-3, 224 pounds.


Kevin Koger

Koger is a very talented tight end with the ability to break big plays from his position.

Want some evidence of this attribute? Just go back and take a look at the incredible catch he made against western Michigan. He made a great one handed catch to showcase his play-making skills. 

Last season, he had 16 catches for 220 yards and 2 touchdowns, and I expect those numbers to go up this year.  He can be the best tight end in the Big Ten this season if utilized correctly, and if he cuts down on those dropped passes.

I really like his potential.


Martell Webb

Webb will be the second tight end behind Koger, and he has some talent. 

He is in his senior season and has the most experience out of this bunch. Webb has good size, and can catch the ball well, and h e may have a breakout season and go out on a high note as a senior. 

I really like this guy, but he has never fully reached his potential. 


Brandon Moore

Trotwood Madison HS has been a breeding ground for U of M. Roy Roundtree, Michael Shaw, and Brandon Moore can all attest to that. 

Moore is a very talented tight end with a ton of potential to be a big threat at Michigan, but it could take another year to see him on the field more. 

He was really good coming out of HS. In his HS days he had 51 catches, 866 yards, and 11 touchdowns. 

Moore was a 4-star recruit, and we could begin to see a little bit why that was this year in the Big House. 

He can be a great blocker due to his size. However, with his great athleticism, he would be more than just a blocker.  Factor in both attributes and he will definitely be a threat in the red zone. 

He has the potential to be one of the best tight ends that Michigan has ever seen.


Jon Bills

Bills was seriously injured in a car accident earlier this month that involved fellow U of M player Mark Moundros and his older brother, Kirk Moundros. The former walk-on had surgery that might end his career.

I wanted to extend my prayers to this guy and his family. I pray that he has a speedy recovery and can continue his life even if he doesn’t play another down. 

Sometimes there are situations that are bigger than just sports and this is one of them.  Let’s all pray for him.



Overall, this is a good group of tight ends and if they can prove to be threats, they will create mismatches as well as control the middle of the field. 

They are all threats in the red zone and should see more touches.  If Rich Rodriguez utilizes the tight end position more than he has, we should see a good season from this talented bunch.

Overall, I give this group a solid “B”.  I really like what I see her.

Triangle Hoops Journal’s Top 20 College Basketball Programs of All Time

June 25th, 2010
Which college basketball programs have been the best over the years? Is UCLA or Kentucky the #1 program? Triangle Hoops Journal has ranked the top programs of all-time. The factors considered were national championships, total wins, NCAA Tournament wins, Final Fours, and conference championships. In addition, a key component to the rankings was name recognition, which took into account whether the ranking made sense based on the program’s reputation and whether the program is generally associated with college basketball success. The following rules were applied in order to improve the logic of the rankings: • A program without a national championship cannot attain a top 10 ranking. The top 10 programs are the truly elite programs, and a program cannot seriously be considered as the best of the best without ever cutting down the nets. • NCAA Tournament success was a major factor and is given more credit than any other factor. Therefore, in ranking programs with similar resumes, this was the deciding factor in which program deserved the higher ranking. • A program with success in multiple eras was given more credit than a program with success in only one era. For example, Michigan State's two National Championships (79, 00) indicate greater long-term achievement and consistency than UConn's two National Championships (99, 04), and assuming all other factors were equal, Michigan State would earn the higher ranking. Did your favorite school make the Top 20? Read on to find out!

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Nick Saban: A Common Misconception

June 25th, 2010

I was talking to someone a few days ago about the impact Alabama head coach Nick Saban has had on the historic Crimson Tide football program. One of the common misconceptions people have about college football coaches is that all they think about is how much their salary will be.

One common misconceptions about Saban is that through his career as coach of Michigan State, LSU, Alabama and the Miami Dolphins, is that he switched programs just to make a bigger profit. When I ask people why they always give me the same answer about coaches switching schools. Most say it means they aren't dedicated to the program and are just looking for more cash.

Saban's Recent Coaching History

LSU was Saban's first shot at fame. His tenure with the Tigers began in 2000. He rebuilt the program, guiding LSU to marks of 8-4, 10-3 and 8-5 respectively in his first three seasons

With three years under his belt in Baton Rouge, he led the Tigers to the BCS National Championship in 2003. His final year at LSU was 2004 when he left to coach the Miami Dolphins after a losing the Capital One Bowl against the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Saban's first year in Miami, 2005, was a severe struggle, as the Fins went 3-9. In 2006, Miami was expected to contend in the playoffs but fell far short after the loss of more than a few starters to injuries.

Through Saban's years with Miami and LSU, Mike Shula, son of legendary coach Don Shula, led Alabama. The years that followed were not what Alabama fans expected, with half-decent records and poorly disciplined players. Mike Shula tried his best, but it was not good enough for the prestigious football program. He was fired in November of 2007.

Saban took the reigns at Alabama and went to work. He changed the way his players performed on the field and pushed them to the best of their abilities while using discipline and better work ethics, which the previous coaching staff lacked.

In 2009 the Crimson Tide made it to the SEC Championship game, only to lose to Florida. Saban pushed his team the next year to claim the BCS National Championship with a win against Texas.

What Has Been Proven

Saban's contributions to Alabama's athletic program have been enormous in the way the team functions in and out of the locker room. This has been the case everywhere he's coached.

The question I raise is that if Saban really wanted more money why did he leave the NFL?

It has been known to be that the NFL pays far better than the NCAA. Most college football coaches are already very wealthy from the universities where they're employed.

Saban probably joined the Alabama because it resembles LSU the most out of any other school. It is a power house. There is a high intimidation factor. And the players can be managed well.

Saying Saban came to the Alabama just for the payroll is absolutely false. Most coaches in the NCAA don't coach for the money, they do it for the championships and to build a legacy with a team.

This is why Saban found his match with Alabama.

2010 Conference USA Football Predictions

June 24th, 2010

The East Carolina Pirates won the East Division of Conference USA for the second straight year in 2009, and backed it up with another win in the conference championship game, this time beating Houston 38-32. The Pirates figure to have a tough time winning Conference USA for a third straight season, as they must learn new schemes under new head coach Ruffin McNeill and don’t have a whole lot of talent back. The conference has some work to do if they want to be recognized as a top non-BCS conference after going just 2-4 in bowl games last season.  I believe that we will see that improvement in 2010, and this conference could even produce a team in a BCS bowl game. Here is a look at my 2010 predictions for Conference USA.


1.) Southern Miss Golden Eagles – The Golden Eagles  are my pick to win the East Division in 2010, but it won’t be easy, as this team has to play both Houston and Tulsa out of the West. The big question on offense will be how well this team can replace four starters on the offensive line, but I think this unit will be better than people expect. The defense has nine starters back and figures to be the best unit in the conference.

2.) UCF Knights – The Knights welcome back 15 starters in 2010, and figure to be right there with the Golden Eagles as the favorites to win the East. The Knights also figure to be very good on the defensive side of the football, but just how good this team is will depend on the play of junior quarterback Rob Calabrese. Even though the Knights get the Golden Eagles at home, they have only beaten the Golden Eagles once in the last five seasons.

3.) Marshall Thundering Herd – The Herd will go to work in 2010 under new head coach Doc Holliday, and I have some very high expectations for this team. They have 14 starters back from a team that went 7-6, and I look for the offense to be even better under Holliday’s fast-paced attack.

4.) East Carolina Pirates – A lot of experts are calling for a big drop off for the Pirates in 2010, and with good reason, as this team only has eight starters back and must adjust to McNeill’s new schemes. While I don’t think they have a shot at winning the division, I do think they will finish right in the middle of the East.

5.) UAB Blazers – The Blazers could easily finish in the top half of this division, as they get both Marshall and East Carolina at home.  The problem is, they have a really tough road schedule, and I think they disappoint in 2010.

6.) Memphis Tigers – The Tigers have not been good at all the past two seasons and with only 13 starters back for the 2010 season, I don’t think this team will show much improvement, if any, in the East Division.


1.) Houston Cougars – I believe the Cougars are the most talented team in Conference USA this season, and the offense should be something special to watch under senior quarterback Case Keenum, who should get a lot of Heisman talk if this team is able to run the table.

2.) SMU Mustangs – The Mustangs pulled off a huge turnaround in 2009, going 8-5 after winning just two games combined in the two previous seasons. They are legit contenders to win the West, as they have 15 starters back and get the Cougars on their home turf.

3.) Tulsa Golden Hurricane - Here is a team that should put together a much better year than they had in 2009. The Golden Hurricane went just 3-5 in conference play last year, but with 14 starters back, including 9 on the offensive side of the ball, this team could surprise some people and compete for the top spot.

4.) Rice Owls – I am really looking for the Owls to put together a winning season in 2010, as they return a conference-best 18 starters. Look out for Michigan transfer Sam McGuffie to come in right away and lead the rushing attack that averaged just 109 yards a game last season. The big concern for this team comes on the defensive side of the ball.

5.) UTEP Miners – The Miners bring back 15 starters to a team that went 4-8 overall and 3-5 in conference play, including the leading rusher in Conference USA last season in senior Donald Buckram. If the defense can improve with only five starters back, this team will likely be better than fifth in the West.

6.) Tulane Green Wave – Don’t expect a lot out of the Green Wave in 2010, as they have just 11 starters back from a team that went 1-7 in conference play last season. It would be a huge surprise if this team finishes outside of last in the West.

CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: Houston Cougars defeat Southern Miss Golden Eagles

If you are interested in betting Conference USA football this season, be sure to check out our college football odds page each week for the best lines available. For a look at who Jack Jone’s thinks will finish in the top 10 this season, take a look at our 2010 NCAA football predictions .

BCS Alert: Why the UConn Huskies Are Going To Win the Big East in 2010

June 24th, 2010

The 2010 UConn Huskies are hungry to prove to the rest of the world that they are more than just a basketball school.  After the 2009 season that included the death of Jasper Howard, a star cornerback who was stabbed to death, this team is ready to make a BCS bowl appearance.

Yes, all the pundits and analysts love to hate on the Big East.  They talk about the weak competition and how it is a much weaker conference than the SEC or Big Ten.  Yet, college football's biggest game is decided by the computers.

Sure, the human bowls have some say, but it's what the computers think that matters, and this 2010 UConn team could be in the top 10 of the final BCS computer rankings when all is said and done.

Call me crazy, but this team is not losing many games this year.  Just watch and see how the Huskies open up at the Big House in Ann Arbor when they take on Michigan on September 4th.

UConn last year went 8-5 and won its last four games, including a win at Notre Dame that cost Charlie Weis his job and then again at the Papa Bowl against South Carolina.

It was a season of adversity, and this team is determined to compete for a Big East title this year.  Head coach Randy Edsall has built this team through the transition from Division I-AA to Division I-A. 

It's a tall order, but he remains committed to winning an outright Big East Championship.

This year's UConn team is loaded.  Yes, they lost the services of Andre Dixon and Marcus Easley on offense, and Lindsey Witten, Robert Vaughn, and Robert McClain in the secondary, but this team brings back depth and talent.

In total, this Huskies team will have 17 starters back at Storrs.

UConn returns four offensive linemen who will be needed to open holes for star running back Jordan Todman and Robbie Frey in the backfield.  The line will also be expected to protect Zach Frazier, who has come out of spring ball as the definite No. 1 QB going into the fall.

Both receiver Kashif Moore, who made some unbelievable catches last season, and big tight end Ryan Griffin are back to produce in UConn's passing game.

The defense is going to be the backbone of this Huskies team.  On the defensive line, Kendall Reyes, Jesse Josephs, and Trevardo Williams will anchor the line when it comes to getting sacks and stuffing holes.

Even the linebacker core remains intact with Scott Lutrus and Lawrence Wilson back and ready to give it a go.  Lutrus battled injuries last season and is finally healthy.  He is looking to have a strong year to attract the attention of scouts at the next level.

The one question mark that remains for this UConn team is its secondary.  Shaky at best, this is the one area where UConn is inexperienced and could cost it in close games.

Jerome Junior and Bhidi-Ray Wilson, who filled in for Howard, will have to be able to shut down the passing game in the open field.  One of the big moves in spring resulted in Kijuan Dabney being moved from linebacker to safety.  It shows the inexperience and worries that the coaches have making the move.

Luckily, the season doesn't start until September, and Edsall's staff will make it a point of emphasis to clear up those problems.  Teams that expect to win all the time won't let mistakes like that cost them football games.

UConn lost five games by a combined 15 points.  It was a season of heartbreaks that was overshadowed by the death of a teammate, a brother, and son.  If that's not motivation and desire to go out there and give it your all, then I don't know what is.

Knock the Big East all you want.  This UConn Huskies team is for real.  When they go into Ann Arbor and leave victorious, take note: This team is winning double-digit games in 2010.

A win at Michigan and there's no reason to think if UConn remains healthy, it is 7-0 headed into the Friday night October 29th game at home with conference rival West Virginia.

This team has the potential to do something special this year.  The BCS better beware of these UConn Huskies.

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