Columnist John U. Bacon looks at the unlikely career of University of Michigan men’s basketball coach John Beilein, who has led the team to a Big Ten title this year – its first outright Big Ten title in almost three decades. He argues that if John Beilein is not the Big Ten coach of the year, Michigan should demand a recount, because it’s hard to imagine a more deserving recipient, on or off the court.
Columnist John U. Bacon catalogues the weirdness of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi – from bronze water and warm weather to the beatings of Pussy Riot. Yet despite the challenges, the Games still showcase amazing athletes at the height of their games – and the spontaneous joy is something you can’t get anywhere else.
The University of Michigan named a new president last month, and the football team landed another great class of recruits last week. But there’s another story that keeps eclipsing those two, writes columnist John U. Bacon. Though much is unclear about the encounter between Wolverine kicker Brendan Gibbons and a female student, it is clear that Michigan’s athletic department mishandled the aftermath.
Nobody knows what will happen in sports. That’s why we watch: We don’t know how it’s going to end. Even so, columnist John U. Bacon makes his best guesses for 2014, starting at the very bottom – the Detroit Lions – to the Wolverines football team, which just might be poised for a comeback.
Columnist John U. Bacon looks back at the highlights of 2013 in sports, from the NHL lockout and Super Bowl with Ann Arbor’s Harbaugh brothers, to another struggling season for the Michigan Wolverines football team. He notes that in some cases, this year showed that players still hold the power when they decide to use it – by not playing.
On Dec. 7, the Michigan State Spartans upset second-ranked Ohio State, gave the Spartans a 12-1 record, a number four national ranking, and their first trip to the Rose Bowl since 1988. But columnist John U. Bacon says there’s something even more impressive: Michigan State no longer needs a ranked football team to be a world-class university. Bacon explains how President John Hannah used football to boost Michigan State’s academics.
The deepest crisis facing University of Michigan’s athletics program isn’t on the field, writes columnist John U. Bacon. Ballooning budgets, with revenue increases built on the backs of fans, are far more troubling. And this rapidly growing empire soon could be threatened by a perfect storm of a bad record, skyrocketing ticket prices, and next season’s horrible home schedule.
This fall, Grambling State was scheduled to play Jackson State in a largely meaningless football game. The date has been little noted, nor long remembered. According to sports columnist John U. Bacon, however, it might be the most important game of the season – because they didn’t play it.
Brady Hoke had a happy honeymoon for his first year as Michigan’s football coach, but the next two years have become increasingly difficult, columnist John U. Bacon writes – and it won’t get easier. Despite that, the solution shouldn’t be to let him go. If Michigan fires two consecutive coaches after three years, the place starts to look like a revolving door that no credible coaching candidate would even consider.
This week, Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland announced his retirement. He was an “old school” manager, relying more on his guts than a spreadsheet. His decisions irritated some fans, but not his results. Sports columnist John U. Bacon explains why.