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December 21, 2012

Big House Bullets: Dec. 21

Big House Bullets
Quote of the Week
Quick-hitting notes, interesting stats, a compelling Tweet: you'll find it all right here, in Big House Bullets. While the daily feature is still taking shape, I'd love to get your feedback on it. If you have suggestions or read a story that may make an interesting note, please e-mail me at andy.a.reid@gmail.com.
"They 8-4 and they've lost to some good teams. It loks like they're tough to run on. Hopefully, they won't be too tough to hit a few balls on, but who knows until we play?"

-- South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier on the Gamecocks' matchup in the Outback Bowl.
Notes, News and Views
By the Numbers
  • Players Doing Good: This space is usually reserved for Michigan athletics. But this story needed to be highlighted. Central Michigan players recently spent a day at a local soup kitchen, feeding people who needed help. This is the good side of college athletics - and too often, it's the part that gets ignored. See the story here.
  • Bowl Travel: The Wolverines are officially heading to Tampa Sunday for the Outback Bowl. MVictors unearthed the expense bill for Michigan's trip to the 1948 Rose Bowl - total tally: $32,980. See the list of expenses here.
  • On This Day In Michigan Sports History: The Wolverines have played just one football game on Dec. 21 in the history of the program. After a disappointing 6-5 regular season in 1984 - the worst under legendary coach Bo Schembechler - Michigan faced undefeated BYU in the Holiday Bowl. The Wolverines hung tough before falling, 24-17, launching the Cougars to a national title.
  • Ohio State Stepping Up Surveillance: Since the Buckeyes were caught trading memorabilia for tattooes, the athletic department has gone to pretty interesting lengths to make sure their players are staying on the straight and narrow, including looking over players' financial records. For all the details, read here.
  • Wolverine Radio On Demand: You can now subscribe to the Wolverine Radio On Demand on iTunes! Just go to the iTunes store, search "Wolverine Radio" and subscribe for free. You can now listen to Balas, J.B., Spath and I talk about Michigan sports on your iPod, in your car or while working out. Technology is awesome, you guys.

85: The number of yards Denard Robinson needs to break the all-time NCAA record for rushing yards by a quarterback. Former West Virginia quarterback Pat White holds the record, rushing for 4,480 yards in his career.
23-1: The Michigan basketball team's record at home in the last two seasons. Crisler Arena has suddenly become an unwelcoming place for opponents.
South Campus Power Rankings
1. Brady Hoke: Year Two has not been quite as magical, but Hoke still has the Wolverines on the right track. And a win over a Top 10 opponent from the SEC - South Carolina - will put an optimistic stamp on the 2012 season.
4. John Beilein: The Wolverines are 12-0 for the first time since the 1996-97 season and the ninth time in program history. It's only the second time in program history that Michigan won its first 12 games. If the Wolverines continue winning, they'll have a chance to advance to 17-0 in Columbus, against Ohio State, which would mark the best start in program history.
2. The Volleyball Team: You have to give it up for the Wolverines. They battled all the way to the Final Four and took eventual national champion Texas all the way to the wire before falling in five sets. Hats off to a great season.
5. Nik Stauskas: The freshmen sharpshooter has gotten off to a hot start in his rookie campaign. Stauskas has already claimed two Big Ten Freshman Of The Week honors, and he is third on the team in scoring (13.9 points per game). Stauskas is shooting an incredible 63.6 percent from three-point range (21-of-33). The Michigan record for single-season three-point shooting percentage is 51.56 percent, set by Glen Rice in 1988-89.
3. The Seniors: Denard Robinson. Jordan Kovacs. They took two very different paths to Michigan, but they are two of the best captains the Wolverines have seen in quite a while

Andy's Two Cents
  1. Christmastime: Michigan coach John Beilein specifically designed the schedule to give the players a chance to enjoy Christmas with their families. For a team that has worked as hard as these guys have, this is a very well-deserved break, an opportunity to get away from basketball for a little while and come back ready to kick off the intense Big Ten slate.
  2. The Pressure Is On: With fifth-year senior cornerback J.T. Floyd suspended for the Outback Bowl, the Wolverines are going to have to get a big performance out of sophomore Raymon Taylor and junior Courtney Avery. Taylor has been one of the most pleasant surprises this season, stepping in for injured sophomore Blake Countess. Is he ready to be the No. 1 cornerback? Can Avery gear up to play a full 60 minutes? It will be interesting to watch these two perform.

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