KICKOFF! 2008 Michigan Football Live Blog!

The "Preview"

The moment has nearly arrived as the 2008 Michigan football season is about to kickoff. After saying goodbye to a great head coach in Lloyd Carr, Ann Arbor welcomes the young and innovative outsider Rich Rodriguez to roam the sideline of the Big House. Rodriguez' arrival wasn't exactly easy after taking the job, but he has since moved on and seems pretty determined to coach his hungry and eager Wolverines to a successful season.

This season will be interesting as there is a great deal of uncertainty as far as what the Wolverines are capable of doing under a new coaching staff. Most of the uncertainty falls on the offensive side of the ball due to a lack of experience and a new system, but the talent and depth are there in key playmaking positions such as RB and WR. The QB position and the offensive line seem to be the areas of major concern. So… we shall see what unfolds. The defense is well rounded and doesn't lack experience, so they may have to be the ones that lay the hammer down for the majority of the season.


The QB position is a two man race between redshirt transfer Steven Threet and walk-on Nick Sheridan. Rodriguez has already made it clear that both have made necessary strides throughout the offseason and appear to be the Wolverines best chances to win this season. Threet is a traditional drop back passer that resembles the likes of Grbac, Brady, Navarre, and Henne. He definitely adds the dimension of being able to throw the deep ball, but the main question is whether he can adapt to Rodriguez' system and make the offense work consistently. Sheridan is different because he is a bit more athletic and mobile, but his passing range is not as impressive. However, he appears to be a very smart guy and if he manages a drive well enough to utilize the talent surrounding him by throwing short accurate passes, then he just may be the one that wins the job. I give the edge to Threet as of right now, but I would not be shocked to see Sheridan receive a good amount of playing time. Rodriguez' main focus is to

The offensive line is without a doubt the backbone to running a successful scheme and it appears that this season will surely include some growing pains. It's not based on talent because they just may have that… eventually, but it also comes down to proper experience and sufficient depth. Rodriguez has needed to improvise and shuffle the line around because of injuries, transfers, and graduation. The only returning starter is right tackle Stephen Schilling and he seems to welcome the leadership role upon himself. Schilling is accompanied on the right side by veteran David Moosman and former defensive player John Ferrara. The left side is occupied by juniors Mark Ortmann and Tim McAvoy, but freshman Ricky Barnum will see time as well. Ok, here's the real scary part and it is the center position, which happens to be quite crucial to any offense. Since Justin Boren went down south to tOSU and… Cory Zirbel was injured; the void is basically being filled by freshman David Molk or David Moosman. So… yes… it will be interesting and sometimes nasty, but as Lloyd used to say: "hope springs eternal".

There is also a problem at the RB position, but I assure you that it's not a bad one. There just happens to be a stable full of talented backs and the clear starter is yet to be named. My opinion is that junior Brandon Minor has the edge, but Carlos Brown has more speed and might work better in the spread. Oh yeah, then there's a couple of freshmen that have made a statement throughout camp. Their names are Sam McGuffie and Michael Shaw. Both McGuffie and Shaw have earned significant praise from Rodriguez and his staff and plan to see a great deal of playing time. I think all of the RB's will be used this season and there is a chance that McGuffie or Shaw will catapult into superstar status when Big Ten play comes around. Rodriguez will utilize these guys to their potential and they will determine how often the Wolverines score on offense. Overall, things look bright.

The WR's and TE's are just as deep as the running game, but there is also a lot of youth within the positions. Since Mario Manningham and Adrian Arrington left for the NFL the only player with a decent amount of playing time is junior Greg Matthews. Matthews was very dependable on short routes and slants, but he has never really gone for the deep ball. In any case… he's a dependable guy who will make the catch and not be afraid of a potential hit and I expect a good season out of him. Freshman Darryl Stonum has been labeled as the next explosive WR for the Wolverines and due to the fact that he enrolled early and started practicing… he just may live up to the hype. He has tremendous speed and has proven that he can make the big play. Other WR's include Junior Hemingway and LaTerryal Savoy. Hemingway appeared to be talented in limited action last season, but an injury has slowed him down a bit. I expect Savoy to see some action, but since Rodriguez has brought the spread to town… we will be introduced to his valuable weapon known as the slot receiver. The main guys that will be used in this position will be freshman Martavious Odoms and Tony Clemons. There has been some good mention about Odoms, so… watch out! Rodriguez will most likely use both.

Carson Butler is the apparent starter at TE because of his athletic ability, but he certainly has company beside him. Mike Massey is a senior veteran that is also quite capable of making an impact and newcomer Kevin Koger was highly touted during camp. There will be a lot of competition at the TE position and I'm positive that Rodriguez will go deep… like most of the playmaking positions on offense.


The front line really wants to get out there and put on a show for the fans on Saturday. The DE's are probably the most talented duo that we have seen in years at Michigan. Senior Tim Jamison is a beast that has big time ability once he breaks through blockers. The other end is occupied by junior Brandon Graham, who just happens to be my favorite player on the defense. Graham already made strides last year as he consistently punished opposing QB's, but he needs to improve against the run. He's primed for a Lamarr Woodley type of season. Seniors Will Johnson and Terrence Taylor control the middle of the line. Taylor had some problems last year, but the strength and conditioning has really made him a different type of player. Now that he has slimmed down, perhaps his talent and capabilities will be more visible. I think his performances against Appalachian State and Oregon are behind him now. Johnson is another guy who looks to improve from a disappointing 2007 season that was plagued by injuries and inconsistent play. The Wolverines also have depth on the DL and freshman Mike Martin has been mentioned as an instant impact player that will definitely see time on the field.

The LB's are unproven for the most part as the best player is a sophomore. Obi Ezeh showed promise as a freshman last season and will undoubtedly be the leader for a core of players that haven't seen much playing time. Now that Ezeh is more prepared, I expect great things out of him. He is accompanied by two sophomores Marell Evans and Jonas Mouton on the weak side. Both will battle for the starting spot. Senior Austin Panter will control the strong side. Johnny Thompson backs up Ezeh in the middle and could also see significant time. There is depth at the position, but much like the OL… they lack experience. This position has disappointed as of recent. I have seen too many missed tackles and blown assignments, even from veterans, but I hope to see some improvement this season. My expectations are not that high, though.

The defensive backfield could be just as great as the DL is projected to be. The CB's have both seen a good amount of playing time. Fifth year senior Morgan Trent was decent last year and appears ready to leave his legacy as a great leader in 2008. Trent is accompanied by super sophomore Donovan Warren, who earned Big Ten accolades for his performance last season. Warren appears to be in the same mold as Hall, Jackson, Woodson, and Law. Yes, you can say "shutdown" corner, but that term is severely overused. Warren is a tremendous talent and I anticipate him and Trent to have an outstanding season as they blanket opposing receivers. The backups to those two will be sophomore Troy Woolfolk and freshman Boubacar Cissoko. Both have earned praise from Rodriguez and Cissoko has been labeled as quite versatile.

The safeties are experienced and very very fast. Junior Steve Brown will occupy the free safety position and he will be backed up by fifth year senior Charles Stewart. Strong safety belongs to Brandon Harrison who is also a senior. I believe he will get the job done as he is also a seasoned veteran that has been contributing since 2005. As I said… these guys are fast! Also keep an eye on sophomore Artis Chambers and incoming freshman Brandon Smith as they will also be incorporated into the defense.

Special teams doesn't bother me as kicker K.C. Lopata showed great consistency last year after the dismal Gingell experience. Punter Zoltan Mesko has already shown all-American potential and I expect him to pick up right where he left off. The return games will be interesting because there will be new faces performing the duties. On kickoffs and punts, Rodriguez will most likely use Martavious Odoms, Donovan Warren, Michael Shaw, and… possibly Morgan Trent. Brandon Harrison is also considered an option. Special teams should be impressive this season.

The 2008 season will be interesting to say the least and I expect Michigan to play with purpose and intensity. After a disappointing 2007 season, the Wolverines know how important the first game is and they will be ready and determined to entertain on Saturday against Utah. The term of "deserving victory" has been the key since Rodriguez took the job in the winter, but we shall see how that philosophy translates when the Wolverines take on their first challenge. The offense will have its fair share of mishaps, but they should improve significantly by the time Big Ten play comes around. There is too much talent on offense and I'm sure Rodriguez will utilize each athlete and push the limits of their capabilities. If the offense is slow coming out of the gate then the veteran defense will have to pick up the slack and force turnovers. Overall, the season should be fun and I expect the Wolverines to surprise the majority that doubts them.

Here's to a great season and GO BLUE!!!

-By Duane

Lloyd Tribute

As a new season and era is on the horizon for the Michigan football program, I would like to reflect and pay tribute to Lloyd Carr, the former head coach of the Wolverines.

To sum up Lloyd's head coaching career at Michigan… he definitely experienced both the sweet and sour sides of the job. The first half of his career included a national championship in 1997, a good bowl record (4-2), and the domination over archrival Ohio State (5-1). However, the latter part of his career would turn out to be the complete opposite. From 2001 till 2007, Lloyd's record against the Buckeyes dropped off significantly to a 1-6 record. The Wolverines also had trouble winning bowl games during that span.

I was always a big supporter of Lloyd Carr, even through his times of heavy criticism. I respected him not only as a great coach and teacher for the maize and blue, but also as a man of admirable character. Even though press conferences typically weren't his cup of tea and he tried to make them as boring as possible, he would occasionally throw a wrench into the reporter's scheme of questioning… and that was quite entertaining. Now, some would label that as being a jerk, but I disagree. Lloyd always seemed to maintain that persona throughout his career and you just have to respect that on some level. If there was an injury or an issue with a specific player (in his doghouse), he would provide information in the best way he saw fit… undoubtedly his way.

On the subject of press conferences, I remember listening to one a few years back and Lloyd was talking about the origins of the rivalry between Michigan vs. Minnesota (Little Brown Jug). He always enjoyed educating everyone about any type of old rivalry. It seemed as if he took more pleasure out of talking about the past and history than answering questions from the reporters. Lloyd would also break out the occasional quotes from the likes of Churchill, Hemingway, etc.

What I believe went wrong in the latter part of his career was that the college football culture and game were changing. The play calling has become more innovative and the players need a new type of philosophy or motivation. Perhaps the players of this day and age need a bit more than quotes from historical leaders and classic writers. Maybe the players aren't responding to the allusions of Mt. Everest or World War II anymore. This was not Lloyd's fault because change is inevitable. You have to respect a coach that was always loyal to his team and stood by every individual player who wore a winged helmet.

When I think of Lloyd's influence on the players, Braylon Edwards (WR) in 2003 comes to mind. Edwards was in his doghouse at the beginning of the season for "not being on the same page." As most Wolverine fans know, Edwards wore the heralded #1 jersey that year because he believed he had earned the right to do so, but Lloyd didn't quite see it. In any case, after being in the doghouse for a few games, Edwards' performance on the field soared like never before. He would later go on to have a record breaking senior season the next year and become a two time Big Ten champion. His character and leadership also developed significantly.

To Lloyd Carr, the game was always second to character. He believed that character defined the individual overall, not just accolades and talent. Lloyd also valued education and the importance of a player trying to expand his potential beyond the football field. His success and legacy at Michigan will always be remembered and he knew exactly when to walk away from the game and players he loved with a passion.

In the early spring Lloyd held a press conference and talked about what he had been up to since retiring last November. He told the reporters that he watched quite a few films and did some traveling out of the country. Hmmm… that's probably what I would do, too.


Live Blog Test, Join me!

Live Blog! Come one come all!

We will be having the Live blog to kick off the 2008 season. Everyone is welcomed(yes even buckeyes). Come Chat with aMAIZEing T staff. Ryan from the R&R show will be there and Duane and Jason may make appearance. We will have a shirt give away. So come on out and chat some Michigan football and get ready for the 2008 season. It will be on Aug 29th at 10pm est. It will run tell 1am or whenever. Should be a good time for all. I will be having a test run of the software on Thursday during the day at 3pm est. Feel free to drop in and chat with me as I test out the new live blog software. Thanks to all who show.

Go Blue!

The shirts! GLC!

Well here is the final version of the shirts! Now on sale.

First here is the back with all the names. I am posting this so you can double check and make sure you are on the shirt. I am pretty sure I got everyone.

Now here are some pics of the shirts.

I also made shirts with no names on the back for anyone who wants to save some $ or didn't make it on the shirt.

The Link to the store and the GLC section
Get Loud Crew Section
aMAIZEing TS Store

Also another program reminder of our Late night Live Blog on Aug 29th. It's the kick off to the Michigan football season. Come talk Michigan football with aMAIZEing Ts. Starting at 10pm on friday night. Any and all fans are welcome! Any questions just throw me an email.

Get Loud Shirts and Live Blog!

I am waiting for my test shirt to show up. As soon as I get it and approve it the Get Loud T-Shirts will go on sale. I expect to get it. hang Tight

Live Blog!
We will be doing a late night live blog on Aug 29 th to kick of the season. The Live Blog kicks off at 10pm est and will go into the wee hours of the night. Any body can chat with us and with other fans. Just be here! Ryan Millard from the R&R Show will be there and a few other aMAIZEing ts family members will be there.

Sneak Peek at Get Loud Shirts

Got a bit of a look at the get loud shirts. Let me know what you think. They will be done by friday or Saturday. I will have a shirt with no names for 15.99 and the one with names should be 17.99 or 18.99. A maize one will be 19.99. Thanks to all who joined. Duane will have a season preview up very soon.

Drama.. and more.

Thoughts on Rodriguez and the Offseason Drama

This summer I was told that Michigan fans including myself shouldn't trust new Wolverines head coach Rich Rodriguez. Even though this was the perspective of a tOSU Buckeye fan, I still listened thoroughly and allowed them to state their case. Their main argument as to why I shouldn't be a big fan of Rodriguez was mostly related to the way he left his alma mater and his football team at West Virginia.

I responded by admitting that despite his loyalty and devotion to the Mountaineer program, business is business and opportunities such as the Michigan head coaching job only come along once in a great while. The reality is that Rodriguez was bound to leave WVU at some point because he is relatively young and his coaching philosophy is definitely among one of the most innovative in college football. It is obvious that Rodriguez found something in the Michigan job that he didn't see when Alabama came along knocking last offseason. Believe me; it wasn't all about the money because Alabama was prepared to offer him a hefty contract.

Perhaps Rodriguez was intrigued by the possibilities in Ann Arbor and continuing the great tradition that has been occurring for well over a century. I'm not trying to knock WVU, but Rodriguez will be given broader access to talent by recruiting for a place such as Michigan. If his system translates according to plan, he could achieve a great amount of success.

Rodriguez basically built the WVU program and made it a national power when it was in the shadows of mediocrity. Yes, it is a shame when eras come to an end or when someone moves on, but Rodriguez did not leave WVU just to spite the Mountaineer program and its fanbase. As I stated earlier, football is not only a sport, but it is a business in some aspects… a very competitive one at that. If Rodriguez chooses to leave the Michigan program at some point, I would not wish any type of ill will upon him (like Mountaineer fans). People have to admit that for every Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden there is also a Nick Saban or Urban Meyer. Some coaches just want a greater challenge or want to compete on a different stage.

But, wait…. There is more!!!

There was actually more drama in Ann Arbor during the offseason, however, I will not discuss the WVU buyout fiasco. The matter has been settled…

The loss of recruit Terrell Pryor was well covered and documented , especially since he picked tOSU over Michigan, but it didn't really surprise me. From my understanding, even before Rodriguez took the job, Pryor was heavily leaning towards the Buckeyes. Will it hurt the Wolverines in 08'? Maybe… only time will tell. If Steven Threet ends up disappointing then it may have hurt the Wolverines THIS season. However, Rodriguez has done a hell of a job recruiting QB's for the 09' season, so the future appears bright. Pryor may be a talented player, but I was not a big fan of his "larger than the game" press conference in order to prolong his commitment. It just seemed like he didn't have a team first mentality. Plus, when I heard him refer to his new team as "The University of Ohio State", I wasn't impressed… he also mumbled it as if he were rapping like $0.50. Anyway, I wish Pryor the best (except against Michigan) and maybe he'll learn how to pronounce… "The Ohio State University."

The topic of family values was also brought up during the offseason. Well, the supposed erosion of family values to be more specific. Former offensive lineman Justin Boren apparently could not hack it once Rodriguez and his staff took over. I don't really need to explain this in great detail. Boren was mentioned a few times last season during Lloyd Carr's press conferences as being a player that was failing to adapt or constantly struggling. Boren sounded like a loafer to me. This is what I believe…. Rodriguez and his staff (probably Barwis) hammered Boren repeatedly and he still couldn't adapt. After the coaching staff laid on some colorful words of constructive criticism, Boren basically gave up. Plain and simple, he quit on the team because there was no more leniency or an expanded learning curve. Result: Boren transferred to the Buckeyes. Good riddance, Justin. I personally do not think this particular loss will hurt the Wolverines at all this season. Sure, he was a veteran, but he was still making freshmen mistakes last season as a sophomore. Trust me, if Lloyd complained about him, I can only imagine what Rodriguez and Barwis thought of his performance and work ethic.

It certainly has been an interesting offseason in Ann Arbor and it has been full of drama and controversy, but the season looms and a new era is beginning. I don't expect anything to tame down during the upcoming season. Rodriguez and the Michigan football program will continue to receive a great deal of coverage, be it good or bad.

By Daune

Gone for a few days

I Will be camping for the newt few days. When I get back I will be starting on the Get Loud Crew Shirts. Thanks to all who added their names. The winning phrase on the back will be "You Can sit at home!".

While posting on mlive and trying to get people to join up for our cause, I got this repley to one of the topics..

It is NOT your right to stand and block the view of the people behind you. Yell all you want but people pay for SEATS and it is their right to use them. So grow up and learn that other people have rights too.

My Reponse was..

Then stand the hell up! I wish there were no seats in the big house. Everyone in that damn place should stand up. We would stand for the whole game at our High school games. Students and parents. If you wanna sit stay at home. Go be 80 and drink a warm glass of milk.

He did not respond... Other then that.. Everyone welcomed the group with open arms! Thanks again and look for the shirt soon. I will send out an email to all who left theres when the shirts are ready.


Last Day!

Today is the final chance to join the crew. Add your name so you can change the Big House! After today I will not be taking anymore the names.

Get Loud Crew 08-09

It's that time again. Wanna join the loudest Group in the Big House? If you like telling old farts behind you to shut up when they say "down in front" then you belong in the GLC. We strive for cheering and making the big house loud. Will people yell at you? Yes.. But it's our duty as fans to stand and cheer.

This year I am out to make the cheapest shirts possible. This year it will either be white or Maize to keep costs down. I will also make one without the list of names to make it even cheaper. The last few years we have done well with this shirt, many names have went on it. I have seen people wearing them at the Big House. It's great to be apart of the GLC, we have a mission and that is to be the loudest kids in the stadium.

Now if you want on the back of this shirt.

Just leave a comment in this post with your name. You then will be added to the shirt. If you are a Michigan Alum please put your year of graduation next to your name. If you leave your email as well I will send out a mass email when the shirts are ready. They will be ready a week before UTAH, if not sooner.

Just click comments in the left hand corner of the post, then click Name/URL and add yourself.

I am no longer using myspace as a sign up. If you want on the shirt you must comment on this blog topic! Do not leave names in my comments section on myspace. I just don't get to myspace enough.

Thanks to all who join! Just click "comments" up in the left hand corner to leave your name you want on the shirt.

There is a Poll on the right of the page. It has possible sayings for the back of the shirt. Please vote. The high vote will be put on the back of the shirt.

Deadline for sign ups in Aug 8th 2008. One week for sign ups!

If you have any questions please email me at