Preseason Top 25
The first AP poll of the new basketball
season was released yesterday. Michigan
did not make the Top 25, but go online
to find out who did.
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NOVEMBER 7, 2000
Ross resigns; Moeller to coach Lions
By David Den Herder
Baily Sports Editor
Former Michigan football coach Gary
Moeller accepted a three-year contract yester-
day to coach the Detroit Lions.
The announcement came on the heels of for-
mer Detroit coach Bobby Ross' surprise resig-
nation yesterday in a morning press confer-
ence. The Lions dropped an embarrassing
game to Miami Sunday moving the team to 5-
4 on the season and apparently motivating
Ross to retire.
Michigan coach Lloyd Carr, who worked
with Moeller from 1977 to 1995, said he was
confident Moeller would eventually earn a
head coaching position in the NFL.
"You could never be happier for somebody,"
Carr said. "ie's a very smart and knowledge-
able coach and nobody's going to out work
Moeller hired Carr as an assistant at Illinois
and the tandem eventually moved on to coach
the Wolverines to two Rose Bowl appearances
with the complement of Heisman Trophy win-.
ner Desmond Howard - who now specializes
in kick returns for the Lions.
"Believe me, I'm very grateful to be a head
coach again," Moeller told the Associated
Press. "It's something that I've wanted to do. I
get my opportunity now, so I want to fly with
Moeller had served as the assistant and line-
backers coach for four years with the Lions -
three years under Ross. Those last three years,
Detroit had compiled a 27-30 regular-season
record and lost two playoff games.
Lions owner William Clay Ford said in a
written statement yesterday that Moeller has
"carte blanche to do whatever he sees fit" with
respect to personnel and the rest of the Detroit
It has been an eventful year for the organiza-
tion, which last week was granted hosting priv-
ileges for Super Bowl XL in 2006. That game
will be played in a new downtown dome stadi-
um that the Lions are slated to move into in
2002, the final year of Moeller's contract.
Hutch, Backus deserved better
Former Michigan football coach Gary Moeller reacts after
being named the new coach of the Detroit Lions.
A new era'
tCarr praises use of spread
By David Den Herder
Daily Sports Editor
Nobody said life was easy.
Credit that line to as many parents, teachers and
coaches as you'd like. But today, credit it to
Michigan coach Lloyd Carr - who has the unde-
sirable task of solving the spread offense before
"I think we're in a new era in college football,"
Carr said at his weekly press conference. "I don't
see it going away anytime soon. I certainly don't
think it's a fad."
Two different interpretations of the spread style
offense have given the Wolverines two Big Ten
losses this year. They've also put Purdue and
Northwestern atop the Big Ten standings.
"I think you're always studying the trends," said
Carr, who conceded that those with nothing to lose
are often more likely to tty something new.
Northwestern finished 10th in the Big Ten last year
at 1-7. This season, the Wildcats are competing for
the Rose Bowl.
Carr compared the spread scheme to the advent
of the wishbone-T offense - a style he said
brought almost immediate success to struggling
teams in the early 1980s.
"Jim Young with the wishbone at West Point,"
Carr said. "He did something a lot of people
See CARR, Page 12
ffensive linemen Jeff Backus
and Steve Hutchinson don't
deserve the fate that has been
bestowed upon the Michigan football
team this season.
Everyone from Lloyd Carr on
down, even Backus and Hutchinson
themselves, say Saturday's defeat at
Northwestern was a "team loss." But
that's only partly true. .
There are players on that
Michigan sideline that did virtually
nothing wrong, guys who had to ride
the losing plane home because their
teammates were too inept to win the
game for them.
Backus and Hutchinson are two of
those guys. Media access to the team
consists of a two-hour session on
Mondays where Carr selects two,
three or four players to accompany
him in speaking to the press. The
media is not afforded the privilege of
selecting which players attend.
In an effort to shield the defense
from having to be held accountable
for its sewage-quality performance on
Saturday, Michigan brought Backus
and Hutchinson to yesterday's media .
briefing. The two have been frequent
visitors this season the Monday fol-
lowing a loss.
These two future first-round NFL
draft picks did all they could to han-
dIe questions diplomatically. Despite
playing as mistake-free a game as
offensive linemen can play, they did
not blame their teammates for the
They did not sour-grape about
how their senior seasons could end in
San Antonio, after their freshman sea-
sons ended in Pasadena. They were
Michigan men in every sense of the
It's easy and somewhat under-
standable not to feel any sympathy for
this year's Wolverines. Certainly they
can only fault themselves for the way
the season has turned out.
But Backus and Hutchinson, along
with quarterback Drew-Henson and a
few select others, shouldn't be judged
the same as the rest of this team.
They played the way All-America
candidates are supposed to play; they
handled themselves with class.
It's not their fault that the sec-
ondary is incapable of covering any-
It's not their fault that Anthony
Thomas, after using the blocks they
threw to gain game-clinching first-
down yardage, fumbled the football
like he frequently does when it mat-
It's not'their fault that the special-
teamers were too lazy to make sure a
team has kicked the ball deep before
running downfield to block.
It's not their fault that the
Michigan coaching staff had two
weeks to watch game film and con-
struct a defensive game plan and then
promptly allowed Northwestern 54
Backus and Hutchinson are con-
cerned about their legacy, and right-
fully so. They talked yesterdayabout
how they "don't want to be remem-
bered" for Michigan's return to Four-
Sadly, that seems to be out of their
It's now a proven fact that the two
of them can play like the All-
Americans they are, and it might not
make a bit of difference. The defense
is too inadequate to win games
against anyone better than Indiana or
Lumping Backus and Hutchinson
in with the rest of the 2000
Wolverines is unjust. Remembrances
of their careers should be unarguably
fond ones. They were big-time players
who showed up every Saturday and;
did their jobs. Most of their team-
mates were not.
This team won't be immortalized
as a winner. But these guys should,
- Chris Dupr ev can be reached at
Cagers host Grand Rapids Hoops
Michigan coach Lloyd Carr has been unable to protect against the spread offense scheme this season, drop-
ping contests to Northwestern and Purdue.
Eootball, hockey game tbes should not overlap
Let the games begin.
Tonight, the Michigan men's basket-
ball team hosts former Michigan guard.
Travis Conlan and the Grand Rapids
Hoops of the CBA in its first exhibition
game of the season at Crisler Arena.
The game will be the first test for the
Wolverines' freshmen against real oppo-
Unlike many preseason exhibition
games, which present a travelling
band of basketball washouts who
can't give up on their dream to play
professional basketball, the
Wolverines will be squaring off with
actual professionals tonight.
"We're playing guys who are going to
try and teach us a lesson," freshmanicen-
ter Josh Moore said.
Moore may be even more anxious than
some to get out on the floor. It has been
over. a year since he played in a game
against someone other than his. team-
"Practice is good, but it is nota*od
gage of where your game reall is,"
Moore said. "That's why we play games.
I have to knock off a lot of rust."
Sophomore forward LaVell Blanchard
- who was named preseason frstteam
All-Big Ten by both the coaches aiib4the
media.- will sit out the game duo a
y Jon Schwartz
:ailv Sports Writer
It's 7:10 p.m. this past Saturday night.
In Evanston, the Michigan football
team is doing every-
4hing that it can to HOCKEY
Zak Kustok and Commentary
In Ann Arbor the Michigan hockey team
is doing everything that it can to get a
puck past Michigan State's goalie Ryan
There are five minutes left in the foot-
all game and the Wolverines are cling-
ng to a five-point lead against one of the
nation's most potent offenses. There are
35 minutes left in the hockey game and
4 e score is tied 0-0.
What's a Michigan fan to watch?
About five minutes before the players
took the ice for the rivalry showdown,
he football team scored its final touch-
The fans in Yost went wild when they
saw people in the pressbox -- where the
game was on TV --start cheering loud-
The band roared into "The Victors"
'nd the house went nuts. For all they
knew, judging solely based on the reac-
tion, Michigan had won the football
game and it was time for Michigan
Unfortunately, it was mainly alumni
and parents that were making all of the
noise - most of the students hadn't
showed up yet.
Looking at the student section, filled
only to three-fifths of its capacity, popu-
lar sentiment seemed to be leaning
toward the idea that the students would
start filing in, and by the time the first
puck was dropped, the place would be
Sadly, that was not the case.
The football game rolled on for anoth-
er 15 minutes or so, and within the next
few minutes, students began filling their
seats. They had missed the first 10 game
minutes, but the score was still 0-0.
The obvious question is, why should a
Michigan fan have to choose which way
to throw his or her loyalty? Why should
a Michigan team - any team -- have to
come out to a less than full arena simply
because another team is playing at the
If only there waasn't such a simple
answer to the question: Fall hockey
games should not start at 7 p.m., a
time when they can easily be inter-
fered with by football. They should
start at 7:30 p.m., just like Friday
night games do.
There are obviously diplomatic rea-
sons for the earlier start -- it's easier on
families, easier on the players who don't
need to wait around as long for the start
of the game and easier on visiting teams
that can get home earlier.
On the subject of making it easier on
families, Michigan's home Friday night
games were kept at 7:30 when the
CCHA tried to make teams change the
game times to 7:00 two years ago.
The rationale was that it would allow
people who work late time to come to the
So why not do the same thing on
Saturday nights? Why not make an effort
to make it easier on students, one of the
most important parts of any team's fan
Students run the cheers that make Yost
such a popular hangout. Students bar-
rage the opposing players with insults
that run the gamut from amusing to
The alumni might be able to be loud
when enough of them work hard, but the
students make Yost what it is. So why not
make their lives easier?
Michigan hockey players are well
informed on how to handle media types
in the most effective and careful manner.
They know that the "right" answer to a
question like, "should Saturday night
games start later" is that they can't really
focus on the fans - they have to focus
on the game.
But who knows what the players are
thinking when the recorder isn't in their
faces. It's hard to believe that skating out
onto the ice and seeing an empty student
section isn't frustrating.
They claim that they can understand
that students would want to watch the
football game -- especially a game with
as much riding on it as this past week-
end's Northwiestern one - but they must
feel that in a perfect world, no such
choices would have to be made.
The fact remains that the football
game ended around 7:25. A 7:30 start
would have been much more beneficial
for fans and players and should become
the norm for Saturday night hockey
games in the fall.
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