No shockers on Wednesday-- Michigan is losing freshman quarterback Ryan Mallett to transfer and junior receiver Adrian Arrington to the NFL draft. Both were expected. Mallett's move is tougher to figure. He played in 11 games last season and new coach Rich Rodriguez said he wanted him on the team. Why would Mallett sit out next season somewhere else? His father says he'll visit from three to five schools-- and Tennessee is now in the mix because former Lloyd Carr assistants Mike DeBord and Scott Loefler are being considered for jobs with head coach Phil Fulmer and Mallett likes those guys. We're all awaiting official word that Mario Manningham is leaving as well. I think Rodriguez will land a good recruiting class but it sure hurts to lose skill position players who are veterans.
I'm not quite as nervous about where MSU men's basketball is headed just because the two home Big Ten games were close. All nine road games will get someone else's best effort because the Spartans are an elite program. I don't think winning the Big Ten title is a lock but I also think Indiana and Wisconsin have issues as well. Indiana looked good at Michigan Tuesday night but the Hoosiers also looked sloppy at times-- maybe Michigan makes the entire game look sloppy. Michigan needs to win Saturday at Northwestern. No win for the Wolverines and you wonder where the next one will come... the season record is already a sorry 4-11.
Whatever prompted last season's coach Joanne P. McCallie to schedule the first eight out of 12 games this season away from the Breslin Center? In an age of cream puff college non conference schedules, the Spartans had plenty of frequent flier miles. Suzy Merchant vows that next season's schedule will be filled with home games before the conference season begins. This season's Spartans are now 9-7 and the NCAA tournament is no lock at this point. And more Big Ten scheduling dumbness-- MSU plays four of its first five league games at home and eight of the final 12 on the road.