2009 Michigan Football Season Preview, Part IV: The Receivers
To close this too long drawn out series, I will cover coach Ron Zook, who enters his fifth season as the Illini head coach with alot of expectations. If there is one thing that I can take away from...
Part 2 of media days wrap. Benn and Pilcher interviews
first installment of the one on one interviews from Big Ten media days. Juice Williams
We've had good recruiting classes in the last two, but I think this class is assembled a little more to address all the needs at every position. If we can stack another class on that and another one behind that, then we'll get to where we're talking about--consistent play in the upper half of the conference. . . .
I firmly believe that in the next four years, that group of players will see a Big Ten championship. This class, from top to bottom, is made up of very good football players and they have a sense of maturity about them.
I think it's the greatest rivalry in sports. [But] [w]e're not only in that rivalry, but we also have a great rivalry with Michigan State and another one with Notre Dame. Probably all the coaches in our league will tell you they have rivalries with everybody else in the Big Ten Conference.
It's kind of unique, and I think that's what's so great with college football, the passion that we have in college football from the rivalry standpoint...is second to none.
One of the things that jumped out at me my first year was every coach talked about the difficulties in preparing and playing against a Wisconsin offense, because there's a fullback in the game, there might be two tight ends. It's very unique, because a lot of schools we play against don't even have a fullback.
Last year we had two guys 240-plus playing fullback, and it's hard to get one guy to do that, let alone two guys. It's also that we feel like we can recruit at Wisconsin.
There's teams in this league that can play in any league. But once again, standing up here saying it is one thing, but you have to go do it. That's one thing about the game of football: you're judged solely on wins and losses. The hype is gone.
[The SEC has] had a couple National Championships in the last few years, and as I said, I think there's been a few more guys drafted out of that league than our league, so people try to compare that.
But I don't personally -- I think the other thing, too, if you go back and look, it kind of runs in cycles. A few years ago Miami was on top of the world. A couple years before that Florida State was on top of the world. It kind of runs in cycles like that.
At the end of the day, I think we're all competing to improve. We're proud of the fact that we've won three Big Ten Championships since '95. That's third-best in the league in that time period.
We've consistently been improving. We're a couple games short of being .500 overall record. I think we're 82 and 78 or something like that in that time during the regular season. When I was being recruited back in '93 they said that never would have happen...
Obviously we've changed the attitude and tides here in the Big Ten, and that's by recruiting the right fit and right quality young men and tremendous support from the University and our fans and alumni. I think we're just scratching the surface.
The setting: an innocent young farm boy arrives in the big city and is sucked into a horrifying world of big ten coaches, journalists and swag,