Rants, comments, thoughts and funny - mostly funny - on all things Michigan and college football.

If you have ideas, tips, links or pictures for the blog, e-mail us at: MichiganZone at gmail dot com.

Thanks for checking out the M Zone. And if you enjoy the site, please pass the link on to a friend or two. We'd sure appreciate it.

Twitter: @MZoneBlog

Facebook/MZoneBlog

Best Of Tat and Tresselgate

M Zone Videos

Best Of MZone 2.0

Best Of The Original MZone

Tosu Favorites

MZone Archive

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

A Good Day for the '06 Wolverines

Good news for Wolverines fans today: Three major players for '06 opponents declared for the NFL draft today. CB Ashton Youboty will leave Ohio State early, which is going to dent their defense alongside the already major loss of their LB's. Of course, Youboty joins Santonio Holmes in leaving the Buckeyes early, leaving Troy Smith and Ted Ginn as the only household names returning to the team. Not that they can't beat us with NO household names, but still.

Anthony Fasano, the spectacular Notre Dame TE, has also declared. This is probably mostly a function of the TE-light draft this year; Fasano is going to make a lot more money this year than if he hung around for next year.

Finally, thought it's not official, Wisconsin standout RB Brian Calhoun is expected to declare today. This is a story you gotta feel good about; the guy was utterly wasted at Colorado while the program tailspinned, and now he has a chance to really turn some heads at the next level. Which, of course, benefits us Michigan fans. And not to take pleasure in another man's pain, but...the guy who WOULD HAVE replaced Calhoun next year, Booker Stanley, was arrested yesterday on assault and battery charges. So that's going to leave Wisconsin with no RBs, a new head coach, and a game at the Big House next year. I like the odds there.

Now if Paul Paluszny will just declare, we'll be in great shape for next sseason!

(My early prediction is 8-3: loss at ND, loss at OSU, and one extra loss to a team we shouldn't even be playing close)

19 comments:

Benny Friedman said...

Since Wangs is MIA, I'll post what he would post. How sad that Michigan is now dependent on, and hoping for, other team's guys to leave early. It used to be we didn't really care about what other teams did.
Plus, is it a good thing or a bad thing that we've had no one declare early. Good in that it leaves us with a lot of returning guys with experience. Bad, because we were 7-5.

IC said...

King, don't be concerned with whether Paul Posluszny declares for the draft. Even if he stays at Penn St. and is able to return form two partially torn ligaments in his right knee in time for the season, Penn St. will be lucky to get an invitation to the Motor City Bowl.

The stellar '05 defense of the Nittany Lions had nine senior starters. They also had a senior dominated offensive line and a pretty good quarterback, Michael Robinson, who was--that's right--also a senior.

JoePa should have gone out in a blaze of glory following this great season and the exciting Orange Bowl win over FSU. The end of his career is not going to be pretty. I'm not saying it's going to be Woody Hayes ugly, but it will be ugly.

BaggyPantsDevil said...

It's kind of spooky how underclassmen from other schools are entering the NFL draft early while Michigan underclassmen are tansfering to other schools. Although both cases are understandable, that can't be a good sign.

The King said...

Ian, don't worry. I'm with you. I just told Yost last week that I don't expect Penn State to make a bowl game of any kind.

BaggyPantsDevil said...

Also, King, I'm with you on the 8-3 season, depending on how significant the coaching staff changes are.

There's also the bowl loss to the 2007 season national champions.

IC said...

Benny, I understand what you're saying. But I'm happy all those Buckeyes are leaving. I want to beat them next year and it's more likely we'll be able to do that without having to deal with their best WR and two solid DBs.

I'm also happy that they're losing their entire starting LB corps. And I enjoy when they lose out on top recruits. Maybe if we had won more than one of our last five games against tOSU I'd have a more mature and less insecure view. But we haven't, I don't, so screw 'em.

It doesn't bother me at all that we don't have anyone leaving early this year (though I heard Woodley was considering doing so.) We had a very young team. We've had guys wisely leave early (Woodson, Law) and consider leaving before wisely staying (Edwards, M. Jackson). It reflects well on our program that we don't have players bolting after one great season. It suggests that they enjoy being at Michigan and feel they will improve by remaining there.

We've also had high-profile transfers before (Trevor Pryce, Jon Ritchie.) If we had waves of transfers I'd be concerned. But the decision to transfer by Gutierrez and Martin make sense for each of them. If anything, they are an indication of our continued excellent depth.

IC said...

Correction to my earlier comment:

Penn St. started nine seniors on defense, but will lose only seven. Also, Posluszny just announced he is returning to Happy Valley next season.

So congratulations, PSU: You just went from maybe Motor City to maybe Music City.

surrounded in columbus said...

King,
you've got it backwards. we're due for our every 3-5 year "good" season that tricks us into thinking Carr & Co know what they're doing. 2006 will be the year we win all the "big" games on the schedule. sadly, we'll still find a way to lose 2 "gimmes" against teams that end the season w/ 3 or 4 losses.

you remember 2003? when we beat ND & OSU, but found a way to lose to Oregon (who finished w/ 4 or 5 losses)and Iowa because we couldn't punt the flippin' ball? this will be that kind of season. we'll beat ND, PSU, and tOSU, but lose to Minn on the road and Vandy or MSU(or someone equally lame next season)at home.

since we'll beat tOSU, we'll let that distract from the fact that (like 2003) if we hadn't dumped a game (or two) we should have won, we'd have a shot at a title. instead, we'll lose in the rose bowl and try to feel good about 10-3.

skeetskeet said...

Surrounded, if we replicate the 2003 season next year, I will be dancing in the street. It won't make me feel any better about the macro trend of the program, but it would be a HELL of a lot better than my current expectations, which is 9-4 while continuing the futility against rivals.

CapBuck said...

There's a post on the front page of theozone.net that indicates Donte Whitner is also leaving early.

surrounded in columbus said...

Capbuck,
yeah, the Dispatch was reporting that before Yourbooty declared. looks like you're only returning two starters (whom most fans in Columbus couldn't name from memory).

CapBuck said...

SiC,

Yeah, its only two and they're both on the line. The cupboard is fully of talent (and surprisingly enough, lots of game-experience as subs and even some who started in role-playing positions). However, replacing an entire back 7 is daunting regardless how much talen there is. Only time will tell (but I'm being a little pessimistic at this point).

CapBuck said...

Stupid keyboard. Hey yost, can we edit posts around here?

Yost said...

You mean comments like these, Cap? No. Unfortunately, Blogger only lets you delete your own comment and repost. So, when I do that, I just copy, delete, paste and edit before putting it back kup.

surrounded in columbus said...

capbuck,
don't sweat the typos- none of us are going to make it as a steno.

i agree that you have players to replace them, and w/ your schedule, you'll win 8-9 games getting out of bed most saturdays. but it's not going to be easy to replace 9 starters on a top 5 ranked defense and maintain that same level of performance.

and let's face it, expectations here in Cowtown are always sky high, and there are some that will want to throw themselves off of the LeVeque Tower at the thought of being 9-4.

CapBuck said...

SiC,

Lol, agree completely about the prospect of fielding a 'similar-performing' D. I'm just more of a wait-and-see guy, unlike many Bucks fans who are ready to give up on them already.

By referring to those folks who would lament a 9-4 season, I'm sure you're talking about the same geniuses who wanted to fire the offensive coordinator after Penn State this year...I'm sure those folks will be calling for the Heacock(Dcoord)'s head halfway through next season if the D doesn't look great. What a brilliant way to approach things (TIC).

surrounded in columbus said...

capbuck,
yeah, that's the crowd (same crew that writes to the Dispatch every sunday complaining about the lack of tOSU coverage or why they put a picture of Brady on the sports page the week before the super bowl).

as for expectations, in 15 years of living in columbus i have learned that there is no such thing as a "good" tOSU team. they are either great, as in: "TBDTeamITL, going 12-0, winning it all and then everyone is going to finally respect us they way we think they should" great, or they are bad, as in: "omigawd awful we have to fire this coordinator/coach/ad and hire someone else and get all new players or the world will stop spinning on its axis" bad. nothing in between.

i should know- my wife happens to be one of them (a lovely girl otherwise)

CapBuck said...

SiC

Its all about what the team means to people. For some folks, its a fierce loyalty to their alma-mater. For others, its a fierce belief that a good Buckeyes team validates the importance of the state of Ohio on a national level.

For me, Buckeyes football is all about my Dad and I. We grew up all over the world (Army family), but since Dad was Ohio-grown he was Buckeyes all the way. On Saturdays in my jr.high/high school-i-dont-know-how-to-interact-with-my-parents phase, we would go to the sports bars wherever we were and watch Buckeye football over a satellite feed. That is one of the fondest memories of my father, second only to the time that we visited my eventual college (Capital University) on a weekend when there just happened to be an OSU home game. It was a great comeback win against Purdue and my first game in the Shoe. The memory I have seared into my head was when somebody blocked a field goal late and ran it back to seal the win. My old man and I were hugging and cheering and it wasn't about the game, it was about family.

My Dad is sometimes the kind of guy that you talked about above-a little fanatical. He doesn't take Buckeye losses as well as I do. During the Fiesta Bowl this year when Gonzo 'fumbled' that catch and it got run back for a TD, he got pissed, left the house to go on a walk and didn't watch the rest of the game. He didn't know until five hours later that it was ruled an incomlpete pass.

That said, however, the first thing we do after a game is call each other and talk about it for ten minutes or so. Its all about the family. Thats why I don't care about losing, long as it was't painful to watch.

Yost said...

Cap,

Great comment. I think a lot of us developed a love for the game and the team we still cheer each weekend due to those early bonding moments watching the favorite team with our fathers.