The Michigan Medley is a new feature replacing Arbitrary Michellanea. It will be a weekly (sometimes twice weekly) summary of the big pieces of news surrounding the program.
On Monday evening, Michigan released its uniform plans for the season, which include a special edition uniform for the Cowboys Classic against Alabama.
The shoulders will have a thick maize stripe and a blue block ‘M’ and even though it’s not shown in the rendering, the helmets will still have numbers. The gloves will have the lyrics to The Victors on them.
The school also announced that the helmet numbers will be discontinued following the Alabama game and there will be no other uniform iterations aside from the regulars the rest of the regular season. It leaves open the possibility of commemorative uniforms for the Big Ten Championship game or the bowl game, however.
I used to be of the mindset that the Michigan uniform should not be messed with, but these don’t bother me at all. I do like them much better than the bumble-bee jerseys from last year’s Michigan State game. My current stance is this: leave the home blues alone since they’re the iconic Michigan jerseys, but the road whites have never really had a consistent look throughout the years, so why not tinker with them on special occasions? It may not appeal to the older generation of Michigan fans, but it does to the players and recruits, and that’s what ultimately matters.
I’m sure you’ve heard by now Monday’s news about Fitzgerald Toussaint’s DUI. To say it’s extremely disappointing is the understatement of the year. Toussaint was stopped after running a red light in Saline with a blood alcohol level of .12, which is well above Michigan’s legal limit of .08.
It continues to amaze me how absolutely stupid some athletes are, college or otherwise. At the very worst, he put his life and the life of others on the line by getting behind the wheel drunk. At the very least, he put his budding career in jeopardy for a few drinks. He was the clear-cut starter this season after becoming Michigan’s first 1,000-yard running back since Mike Hart last season. He was considered one of the top two or three running backs in the Big Ten and a darkhorse Heisman candidate by some.
With his presence in the backfield, it gave Michigan’s offense a threat to take some pressure and defensive focus off of Denard Robinson. It gave Michigan a sliver of hope against Alabama in on Sept. 1. Without him, it effectively allows Alabama to focus on stopping Denard and making an unproven replacement beat them. Thomas Rawls had a solid spring and was going to get some carries regardless, but he has yet to prove anything on the field and Alabama’s vaunted defense won’t respect him until he proves they need to.
Despite this, Hoke needs to issue a strong punishment for Toussaint and I vote for at least three games. A fourth of the season for a first offense, with an understanding that a second offense will result in immediate dismissal. As much as Michigan needs Toussaint, Hoke has to show that no player, even a sure starter, is above the fray. Putting your career, your life, and the life of others on the line has to warrant a severe punishment.
Big Ten Media Day
Big Ten Media Day starts tomorrow and the majority of the focus will be on the Penn State sanctions and new Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer. That’s just fine for Michigan who is considered by most to be the conference frontrunner this season. Hoke and the players invited will undoubtedly have to answer questions about Toussaint’s status and that of defensive end Frank Clark, who has also been suspended indefinitely following a home invasion arrest for stealing a laptop. The negative press certainly isn’t what Hoke wants from his program, but there will also be questions about Robinson’s progression, who will step up in Toussaint’s absence, and whether Michigan’s new defensive line will be able to keep up in the rugged Big Ten. Hoke is scheduled to speak at 1:30pm on Thursday and Denard Robinson, Taylor Lewan, and Jordan Kovacs will be Michigan’s player representatives. You can watch live on ESPNU beginning at 11am.
Brett Bielema (Wisconsin) 11:00-11:15am
Danny Hope (Purdue) 11:15-11:30am
Urban Meyer (Ohio State) 11:30-11:45am
Tim Beckman (Illinois) 12:00-12:15pm
Kevin Wilson (Indiana) 12:15-12:30pm
Bill O’Brien (Penn State) 12:30-12:45pm
Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern) 1:00-1:15pm
Jerry Kill (Minnesota) 1:15-1:30pm
Brady Hoke (Michigan) 1:30-1:45pm
Bo Pelini (Nebraska) 2:00-2:15pm
Mark Dantonio (Michigan State) 2:15-2:30pm
Kirk Ferentz (Iowa) 2:30-2:45pm
Bill Carollo (Big Ten Coordinator of Football Officials) 2:45-3:00pm
Mark Silverman (Big Ten Network President) 3:00-3:15pm
Jim Delany (Big Ten Commissioner) 3:15pm