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Westsider Rider

Monday, October 22, 2007

Big Ten Blogger Roundtable

1. Call your shot. We are halfway through the Big Ten season (or, at least, most of us are). What will be your team's final record? Where, if anywhere, will your team be spending late December/early January? Who will win the Big Ten?

Part of me really wants to say that we'll win out but I think that's going to be too much to ask with the games in East Lansing and Madison before the showdown with the Buckeyes. I'll say 7-1 in conference, 9-3 overall and another berth in the Rose Bowl where we'll end up probably losing to the Pac-10 representative because that's what we always do.

2. How is your team's coaching situation? Clearly, this varies from school to school, with some coaches approaching retirement (Carr/Paterno), some who are just starting out (Brewster/Fitzgerald), the unique case of Bill Lynch, and others who seem to be in their primes. If your coach is on the tail end of his career, where do you see things going from here? If he's still early in his tenure, any buyer's remorse? If he's in he's somewhere in the middle, are you happy or wishing things would go a different direction? How does your view correspond to the "majority" view among your school's fans?

With rumors of Coach Carr's departure having been floated around since even as early as 2004, I believe we are going to see his retirement sometime within the next 2-3 years, if not sooner. I have been on the Jeff Tedford bandwagon for a couple of years because of what he has done at Cal, turning around a program that was considered one of the worst in the nation, as well as handling the academic requirements at a great academic institution such as Berkeley. I had a lot of questions about Les Miles and although he was on my list, was not at the top of it, but my thoughts are shifting towards Miles and I'd say he is slightly ahead on my wish list now, call Miles 1a and Tedford 1b.

I'd say my view corresponds with the majority of Michigan fans, Miles seems to bring the best combination of having a connection with Michigan, while at the same time being open to new ideas and evolving with the game. He is also willing to get great coordinators as evidenced with Crowton and Pellini.

BONUS BASKETBALL QUESTION: If you plan to cover basketball, give us a brief outlook for your team. Who is your best player? What do you expect from the team?

I'll cover basketball as much as I can depending on what games I'll end up getting here on the west coast. It will help that I have the Big Ten Network but the time difference will also play a factor. I expect good things from this team, but I've always had a high expectation for our basketball program. I believe we can make the tourney this year, but I'll have to wait and see depending on how our guys pick up Coach Beilein's system.

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