It's the middle of February, and most Michigan football bloggers and sportswriters have resigned themselves to hibernation.
The coaching situation has been sorted out, and the spring game is exactly two months away, so what is there to talk about other than basketball? (3-2 down the stretch with going 1-1 in the Big Ten Tournament, and an NCAA bid should happen!)
I've spent the last couple of days looking for some interesting points to try to keep the football talk going.
Links from Around the Web
Dave Brandon talks Brady Hoke and John Beilein. Turns out the fans and alumni are receptive to Hoke, and Beilein isn't going anywhere any time soon. Who knew?
Although somewhat old news, the Board of Regents approved the installation of new HD scoreboards at the Big House, Crisler and Yost. The writing was on the wall for this project at the completion of the luxury boxes at the Big House, and it was just a matter of when it was going to happen.
Michigan now has a Chief Marketing Officer. Why is this relevant? Michigan has long-standing tradition of not allowing marketing inside the Big House, and this could be the beginning of the end of said tradition. However, it his first mission appears to be attempting to sell out Crisler. Unverified Voracity has reported such rumor as:
"...people who saw Brandon speak at one of those alumni things [are talking about] Michigan charging for admission to the spring game and plastering ads all over Michigan Stadium for the event. All revenue is supposed to go to Mott's, which like... I know dying kids and all it's just handing one bit of the university money from another bit. The charity thing seems less than 100% convincing.
"We'll see if that actually comes to fruition or if it's just idle talk but it sounded convincing, and it was on the internet. So definitely true."
If your house is located directly under a rock, QB Tate Forcier transferred to Miami (FL). There's a barrage of jokes for this one, but I'll let the commenters post them.
Unless you're starting to follow the 2012 recruiting class already, there isn't much else going on in the way of Michigan football. If you don't have a subscription to Rivals but recruiting is something that interests you, JC3 at mgoblog.com ran down a list of offensive and defensive regional prospects the former and current coaching staff is either looking at or will most likely be looking at.
If you do have a Rivals account or at least check the site periodically, then you've probably heard that Hoke and co. have gone on an "offer binge" and have sent out six offers to some in-state prospects.
Here at Bleacher Report, Big House Bob usually keeps up with this sort of thing, so if you're interested in recruiting, I'd recommend following him. If you're on Twitter, Tom VanHaaren seems to be the most connected person in terms of access to the team, the players and the recruits when it comes to the recruiting trail and is constantly updating with interviews and player news.
And because it is basketball season...
As I mentioned earlier, Michigan probably needs to go 3-2 in this last five-game stretch along with going at least one deep in the Big Ten Tournament to get an NCAA bid. Although they've reached the point where every game is the most important game of the season, this is still doable with Illinois and Iowa next up on the schedule.
Assuming those two games fall into the "W" column, Michigan would just need to knock off one of Wiscy, Minnesota or Michigan State. A win against Wisconsin would be preferable for RPI purposes, but the remaining Big Ten bubble teams (Illinois, Minnesota, MSU and Penn State) are who you need to be rooting for to take losses.
Other teams to root for would be Kansas, Syracuse, Clemson and Harvard, all of which stand a good chance to win their conferences, thus making Michigan's résumé look a little better.