Thursday, June 28, 2012

Matt Miller looking to make an impact

Offensive lineman Matt Miller, who gave an oral commitment to the University of Wisconsin on Wednesday, is often described as having a nasty disposition on the football field.
"Absolutely," Miller said in a phone interview, without apology. "I'm best known for that."
It's not hard to figure out where he got that approach. His brother, Jack Miller, who is two years older, is a freshman center at Michigan. Needless to say, the back yard battles at their house in Toledo, Ohio, got rather spirited.
"I think that's a big part of it," Matt Miller said. "I think a lot of it's family stuff. That's the way my family is and just the way I've been.
"It's just a big understanding, when you're playing football, which is a very violent and physical sport, you've got to bring the tenacity to the field."
Miller, 6-foot-5, 260 pounds, is from St. John's Jesuit and is viewed by some recruiting analysts as one of the best interior line prospects in the Midwest. He projects to be a guard at UW. Among his other offers were Michigan State, Miami (Fla.) and Georgia Tech.
St. John's football coach Doug Pearson confirmed Miller's nasty streak, but added it falls just short of his brother's.
"Not quite as nasty as his older brother, but he's pretty darn close," Pearson said. "But he's two years younger, too. He's still got time to develop that.
"The thing I like about the Miller boys, both of them, is the fact they're great kids here in school, everybody likes them and all of that. But when they lace up their football cleats, they kind of transform personalities on the field. It's just the way you want it as a coach."
Matt Miller was recruited by Michigan, although it filled up quickly on offensive line prospects and hasn't offered. The Wolverines have 22 commitments, including five offensive linemen.
"It was one of those things where, if it happened, it happened," Matt Miller said of playing with his brother. "If Michigan would have offered me and if I would have felt Michigan was my best choice, then maybe I would have gone there.
"But it wouldn't have been because of my brother or anything like that. Obviously, I was recruited by Michigan and everything. It was definitely brought up, but it didn't happen, so it'll definitely be interesting going against him."
Miller attended a funeral on Wednesday morning for a friend who died in a boating accident, so it was a painful day for him. He had a hard time picking out the thing he liked most about UW.
"I think Madison is such a cool town, great campus," he said. "Obviously, a prestigious school. The football program and the coaching staff, it all speaks for itself, the tradition and the recent winning. It's just fantastic there. It's really tough to say what was the most impressive."
In the end, it might have been UW's tradition of producing great linemen that spoke the loudest to him.
"I think everyone knows, when you think Wisconsin, you think O-line," Miller said. "When you think O-line, you think Wisconsin. That was a big part of my decision."
While the back yard tussels with his brother are over, Matt envisions lively discussions around the dinner table about which football program is better, while fighting to get relatives aligned on each side.
"It's going to be weird," Matt Miller said of playing in the Big Ten Conference with his brother. "My sophomore year, his senior year, we played on the same (high school) team. Obviously, we grew up in the same house together.
"I'm really used to being on his team, although in the backyard football games as little kids, we were always put on separate teams. There's been a lot of fights, so it kind of takes me back to the old days. We'll see how the dinner table goes when we see each other over Christmas. Which sides of the family are picking which school.  Let's hope Matt Miller takes the badgers to a whole nother level.   GO BUCKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Is a playoff system coming to college football?

It was college football’s version of Band of Brothers.
The sport’s top decision-makers, 15 strong, stood together on a podium in the Camelot Room of the InterContinental Chicago Hotel late Wednesday afternoon.
“The fact we’re all here together,” SEC commissioner Mike Slive said, “is an important statement.”
Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick made the announcement: “We are on the threshold of creating a new postseason structure for college football.”
A group previously known for jousting over the complex issues surrounding a seeded four-team playoff achieved a consensus and will present its ideas Tuesday in Washington to the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee.
The playoff would start in 2014.
Details of the plan were not made public. Slive said commissioners want to inform school presidents and athletic directors, as opposed to having them “read it in the paper.”
One source, though, said the commissioners will recommend the creation of a selection committee to choose teams. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany probably will not get his way on the “hybrid” model of three conference champions and a wild card, but a selection committee would be charged with favoring teams that win a conference title and challenge themselves in the nonconference schedule.
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott has stood with Delany on the issue. He agreed that forming a selection committee could be an important step toward enhancing “the value of regular-season play.”
There’s consensus on using rotating bowls (Rose, Sugar, Fiesta and Orange — for now) to host semifinal games, with the championship game to be bid out like the Super Bowl. And Delany and Scott are satisfied the Rose Bowl’s value will be upheld; it is slated to host a semifinal game and a Big Ten-Pac 12 showdown in alternate years.
Several issues still need to be worked out, including dates of the games, the criteria a selection committee would use and revenue sharing.
Scott cautioned it’s “unlikely that every ‘i’ gets dotted and every ‘t’ gets crossed” next week in Washington.
“But I’m hopeful that on some main concepts we get the green light,” he said.
Delany said details don’t need to be hashed out until negotiations with TV partners begin in September or October.
Bottom line, this group of 11 conference commissioners, two assistants, Swarbrick and BCS executive director Bill Hancock found unity on the matters that really count.
“The biggest change,” Hancock said, “is when the commissioners realized that they could preserve the importance of the regular season and have a playoff, that let them go down the road to considering how to do a playoff.”
Camelot, according to Wikipedia, is viewed by scholars as “being entirely fictional, its geography perfect for romance writers.”
What took place Wednesday not only marks one of the final steps in a historic change for college football.
It was real
It would be great to see a playoff system. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Badgers win a rowing title

The Wisconsin women's lightweight rowing team raced to its second straight national title at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships, winning the varsity four event Saturday in Camden, N.J.
The Badgers cruised to a 4.830-second victory over Stanford. UW finished in 7 minutes 14.633 seconds, nearly 1:40 faster than its time in the heats Saturday.
UW's team consisted of coxswain Jenna Pavelec, Erin Wyliedden, Sophie Gavell and Lucy Wood, Sofie Ma.
"They were lights out, really did a fantastic job," said Badgers coach Erik Miller.
In the men's competition, top-ranked Washington edged the Badgers for the title in the second varsity eight. The Huskies, who won all five of their races, trailed the Badgers by a seat going into the final 700 meters of the race.
It is good to see Bucky win something that they are not
known for.  GO BUCKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!