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December 05, 2008 - Image 8

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8 - Friday, December S, 2008

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com mj

8 - Friday, December 5, 2008 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom A

I

WILDCATS
From Page 5
After its tough first-set loss, the
Wolverines found their rhythm
and looked comfortable in front of.
the Wildcat crowd.
Freshman right side hitter Alex
Hunt grabbed 15 kills in the match,
and junior outside hitter Juliana
Paz led the team with 22.
"Juliana went off in the fourth
set," Zimmerman said. "She took
over offensively and emotionally
and we just followed her lead."
When the Wolverines were
down in the fourth frame, Paz and
senior middle blocker Beth Karpi-
ak stepped up.
. Karpiak,whonotched 15 attacks,
was one of four Wolverine hitters
with double figures in kills.
Defensively, the Wolverines ele-
vated their play against the Wild-
cats at the hands of senior libero
Kerry Hance, who tallied 25 digs.
Bower added 21.
"She outdug everybody in the
gym tonight," Rosen said of Hance.
"We told Kerry and Megan that
the way Kentucky conducts their
offense could give them a lot of
potential digs tonight."
The Wolverines need to play with
the same poise tonight when they
face13th-seeded St. Louis in the sec-
ond round at 7 p.m. in Lexington.

Graham wins MVP,
talks senior-year plans

0

Senior libero Kerry Hance and Michigan bounced back after an emotional first
game to topple host-team Kentucky in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

U

By DAN FELDMAN
Daily SportsEditor
LIVONIA - Two weeks ago,
junior Brandon Graham was walk-
ing toward the Michigan football
buses outside Ohio Stadium after
the Wolverines' 42-7 'loss to the
Buckeyes. He stopped to talk with
director of strength and condition-
ing Mike Barwis.
The defensive end told Barwis
he was excited to see what type of
leader he would be next year.
Graham has already received a
sign of respect fromhis teammates,
who elected him the Bo Schem-
bechler Most Valuable Player. The
award was presented Thursday
night'"at the 88th annual Michigan
Football Bust at Laurel Manor in
Livonia.
"I didn't see this one coming,"
said Graham, who some have spec-
ulated might forego his senior sea-
son to enter the NFL Draft. "I didn't
think I was going to be up here until
next year."
Although Graham could change
his mind and declare for the draft
before the Jan. 15 deadline, he
said he plans to return next year.
"We're going to fight even
harder for next year," Graham
said. "I'm going to be your all
leader, man. You just have to fol-
low me, and we're going to make
it happen."
Graham is the first player who
only played defense to win a solo
MVP since defensive tackle Bust-
er Stanley won it in 1993. Middle
linebacker David Harris split the
award with running back Mike
Hart in 2006, and cornerback and
wide receiver Charles Woodson
won it in 1997.
Graham, a second team all-Big
Ten selection, is second nationally
in tackles for loss (20) and tied for
10th in sacks (10). He also made a
career-high 46 tackles.
Thirteen of the 15 seniors hon-
ored thanked former Michigan
coach Lloyd Carr, who was in
attendance, before they thanked
Rodriguez. Those 13 included
fifth-year senior cornerback Mor-
gan Trent, who didn't mention
Rodriguez at all.
Fifth-year senior defensive
tackle Will Johnson thanked
Rodriguez before Carr. Fifth-
year senior kicker Jason Gingell
thanked both coaching staffs, but
didn't mention Carr or Rodriguez
by name.
The speeches were somewhat
overshadowed by the absence
of freshman running back Sam
McGuffie, redshirt junior defen-
sive end Carson Butler and red-
shirt freshman running back
Avery Horn.

I
I

Junior Brandon Graham took home the Bo Schembechler Most Valuable Player
award last night at the 88th annual Michigan Football Bust.

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Offensive coordinator Calvin
Magee and defensive line coach
Bruce Tall were the only assistant
coaches at the event. The rest were
out of town recruiting.
Rodriguez declined to comment
on any personnel issues with play-
ers or coaches.
"Tonight, we'll talk about the
seniors," Rodriguez said. "This
is their night, and this is my first
bust."
After a 3-9 season, the most loss-
es in Michigan history, many of the
speakers had a defiant tone.
"Maybe you all had your fun and
got your pound of flesh out of Mich-
igan after 33 years, but I'll tell you
one thing," said former Michigan
quarterback Rick Leach, who rep-
resented the 1978 Michigan Big Ten
Championship team. "I don't care
if it's (Michigan State coach) Mark
Dantonio, '(Notre Dame coach)
Charlie Weis, or you better believe
it, (Ohio State coach) Jim Tressel,
your freaking day is coming."
Rodriguez later gave an "amen"
to Leach's comments and was opti-
mistic for the future.
"Even though there were maybe
some disappointments, I'm not dis-
appointed," Rodriguez said. "I'm
encouraged. Those 15 seniors and
the rest of the guys sitting in front

of you laid a foundation built in
stone and concrete, not on mud or
sand."
Each of the seniors received an
'M' ring, presented each year since
1921 by the University of Michigan
Club of Detroit. Rodriguez empha-
sized the seniors will always be
part of the Wolverine family.
"Tonight is not goodbye," Rodri-
guez said. "It's see you later."
COMPLETE LIST
OF AWARDS
Bo Schembechler MVP as voted
by the players: Graham
Dr. Arthur Robinson Scholarship
Award for the top senior student:
Johnson
Bob Ufer Bequest for the senior
who shows the most love and
enthusiasmfor Michigan: fifth-year
senior tight end Mike Massey
Roger Zatkoff Award for the top
linebacker: redshirt sophomore Obi
Ezeh
Hugh R. Rader Award for the top
offensive lineman: redshirt sopho-
more Stephen Schilling
Dick Katcher Award for the top .
defensive lineman or outside line-
backer: fifth-year senior defensive
end Tim Jamison
Special Teams Award: redshirt
sophomore fullback Mark
Moundros 4

In the SEC and Big 12, this weekend
decides who plays for a National Title

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By RYAN KARTJE
Daily Sports Writer
SEC CHAMPIONSHIP
Venturing into college football
circles across the country these
days, there's one issue of football
philosophy that you often hear
debated.
To spread, or not to spread? That
is the question.
Michigan jumped on the spread-
offense bandwagon this past season
but to little avail.
Florida coach Urban Meyer,
however, is one of the NCAA's mad
geniuses of the spread offense and
has perfectly recruited players for
his innovative playbook, which
makes junior quarterback and
defending Heisman-winner Tim
Tebow look like a bonafide super-
star. Having only lost in a slip-up
to underrated Ole Miss, Meyer's
team has clear BCS aspirations and
is looking for their second trip to
the championship game in the last
three years.
Enter Nick Saban and the No. 1
Alabama Crimson Tide.
The epitome of the conven-
tional offense, Alabama lives and
dies by the running game, led by
enormous left tackle and Outland
Trophy finalist Andre Smith. Fol-
lowing Saban's classic between-
the-tackles running philosophy,
tandem running backs Glen Coffee
and Mark Ingram have dominated,
with a combined 1,900 yards rush-
ing and 20 touchdowns on the sea-
son.
The Crimson Tide haven't won
the SEC crown in nine years. Over
that same period, Saban has won
it twice, but with a different team
(Louisiana State).
So in a battle of old versus new,
speed versus strength, and brains

versus brawn, the winner won't be
fighting for a SEC title.
Instead, they'll be fighting for
a spot in the BCS Championship,
making this game a "can't miss."
Guaranteed: On a pregame
diet of only large game and small
children, 'Bama left tackle Andre
Smith will clear the way for the
old-school Tide running game as
Glen Coffee runs for 150 yards and
two scores.
Guaranteed: Tim Tebow blows
his chance for a second straight
Heisman throwing two intercep-
tions in a losing effort to the Tide.
Tebow decides to return for his
senior season because one Heisman
"just isn't enough."
BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP
In another episode of "What's.
Wrong With the BCS?," Texas
Longhorn fans are furious with the
choice of the Sooners to represent
the Big12 South, especially because
the Longhorns beat the Sooners in
the Red River Shootout earlier this
season.
But despite the lack of a marquee
Sooners-Longhornsmatchupinthis
game, many people are overlooking
Gary Pinkel's Missouri Tigers.
Led by one-time Heisman front-
runner quarterback Chase Daniel,
the Tigers were embarrassed last
week by Kansas quarterback Todd
Reesing in a 40-37 loss. So don't
underestimate the redemption fac-
tor for the Tigers.
On the other hand, it's hard to
overlook Oklahoma quarterback
Sam Bradford's Heisman campaign
credentials and the Sooners' 61-41
rout of their in-state rival Oklaho-
ma State last weekend.
And you can't underestimate the
dual running attack of Sooner run-

ning backs DeMarco Murray and
Chris Brown, which have combined
for almost 2,000 rushing yards and
34 touchdowns.
Or the fact that they haven't
scored less than 35 points all sea-
son.
Sorry, Longhorn fans. Looks like
the Sooners will be sending you a
postcard from Miami when they
arrive for the BCS Championship.
Guaranteed: Sooner quarterback
Sam Bradford finishes his Heisman
trophy campaign with a 300-yard,
three-touchdown effort, excit-
ing Detroit Lions' scouts who are
watching in the stands, holding a 4
likely No. 1 overall pick for the next
two years.
ARMY VS. NAVY
I'masucker fortheclassicmatch-
up, considering how the ACC has
played this year, it's pretty much a
guarantee that Saturday's Boston
College-Virginia Tech matchup
won't be much to watch.
These teams may not be any-
thing special on paper, but it's
hard to ignore the history that this
matchup holds.
The rivalry was first contested
in 1890, and the teams have met
107 times since, not to mention the
interservice bragging rights on the
line.
So you may not care about who
wins or loses, and most don't. But
as a football fan, everyone should
take time to watch this battle of the
academies at least once.
Guaranteed: With barely over
1,000 yards passing this season 4
from both teams combined, this
game will be won in the trenches,
just like it has been for over 100
years.

i* *,

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