More Pac-12 Fun for 2014-16, Irish Off for 2018-19

Via UM press release:
Football Announces 2014-16 Non-Conference Games
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The University of Michigan Athletic Department announced today (Wednesday, June 27) updates to the non-conference schedules for the 2014-16 football seasons and the future schedule with Notre Dame. The Wolverines will play a nationally-competitive non-conference slate, facing teams from the Pac-12, Mountain West and Mid-American conferences as well as independent Notre Dame.

Michigan will play three of its four non-conference games at the Big House in 2014. The Wolverines will open the season against Appalachian State at the Big House on Aug. 30 before traveling to Notre Dame in the second week of the season (Sept. 6). U-M will host Miami (Ohio) on Sept. 13 before finishing the non-conference slate Sept. 20 with the front end of a home-and-home with Utah.

In 2015, the Wolverines will face the Utes on a Thursday night (Sept. 3) in Salt Lake City, Utah. This will be the first college football game of the 2015 season and will also be the first time that U-M has played a Thursday night football game in school history. Following the trip West, Michigan returns to Ann Arbor for three straight home games: Notre Dame (Sept. 12), Oregon State (Sept. 19) and UNLV (Sept. 26).

The 2016 season schedule is half complete with an agreement to face Colorado at the Big House on Sept. 17. This game will be played one week after a trip to Notre Dame (Sept. 10). The Wolverines have openings for home games on Sept. 3 and Sept. 24.

In addition, Michigan and Notre Dame will take a two-year hiatus in their long-standing rivalry during the 2018 and 2019 seasons.   Both schools intend to resume the rivalry in the years following.

Following are the current non-conference football schedules for the 2014-16 seasons:

Aug. 30        Appalachian State
Sept. 6          at Notre Dame
Sept. 13        Miami (Ohio)
Sept. 20        Utah

Sept. 3          at Utah
Sept. 12        Notre Dame
Sept. 19        Oregon State
Sept. 26        UNLV

Sept. 3          TBA
Sept. 10        at Notre Dame
Sept. 17        Colorado
Sept. 24        TBA
Thoughts? Thoughts.

• The ND series going on haitus for two seasons in 2018-19 will be a welcome break. Odds that ND is still independent by the time the series 'intends to' resume in 2020, I would say are 50/50, at best. This matchup will continue to frustrate a certain faction of the Michigan fanbase.

• Utah. Utah is fine. I've accepted it. I have no issues with them other than they're just..."Meh". I am intrigued with the trip to SLC in 2015 for a Thursday night game. That's different.

• Filling in open dates with Oregon State and Colorado is, again, not sexy but okay. Are these going to be home and home? If they aren't, that would surprise me. Maybe a return trip will be acceptable for when we draw them once the B1G/Pac-12 series starts in 2017. Who really knows?

• These schedules seem adequately difficult – which is nice because starting in 2014, strength-of-schedule is an important factor in the new BCS model. The balance between scheduling win-able games and playing schools tough enough so no one can complain your schedule was too weak, is going to be the emphasis for any major CFB team going forward. These three non-conf schedules seem to be just that.

• It seems like the dream non-conf teams that everyone would love to see during the regular season are as far away as ever. I don't see any scenario where we play a team like Texas, LSU, USC, Florida State, Georgia, etc anytime soon. I guess that's what the newfangled BCS is for.

Getcha' Some Recruitaholics

This week: 2013-'14 updates, Camps, camps, and more camps, Surprise visit/offers, Sayonara suckas

Don't hate on my southern twang.  Now who's thirsty?!

2013-'14 Updates

Last week's commit, Channing Stribling, caught everyone (including you, don't lie) by surprise and really limited the possibilities of how the '13 class will fill out.  Pulling in another WR (or 2), DE or RB (good news on this below, go ahead and scroll down to figure it out, you know you want to) seem to be in the mix to take the last few spots.  And to no surprise it seems as if the last WR spot is down to Laquon Treadwell or Alvin Bailey.  Treadwell has been said to be have Michigan as his front runner for some time now but has been very mum as of late when it come to the Wolverines.  Bailey will be making a visit to Ann Arbor sometime this week and could have some pressure on him to commit because of the circumstances.  If he comes away very impressed, could he be the 23rd member of this class?!

Two top defensive end prospects who could fill one or both of the last few spots are NJ Don Brosco Prep DE Alquadin Muhammad who has a top two of Notre Dame and Michigan, but likely won't decide til the Army All-American Game.  The other, teammate of top S Su'a Cravens, is CA DE Joe Mathis.  He has a top three of Michigan, Nebraska, and Washington.  If these two happen to fall through and Michigan still has their eyes on taking a defensive lineman, look for them to offer 3-star Cass Tech DL Kenton Gibbs who has recently committed to Illinois but said he would probably make the flip if offered. 

OT Logan Tully-Tilman decided to stay at home in Peoria, IL for his senior season.  He contemplated transferring up to a high school in Michigan, but figured it was best for him to stay put.

'14 AL OLB Bo Scarborough has a top five of Michigan, Clemson, Georgia, 'Bama, and Florida.  Yet to announce an overall favorite doesn't mean that he will take his time making a decision.  He may commit by end of summer, but was also invited to the Under Armor All American Game and would really like to make his decision at halftime of the game.

Camps, Camps, and More Camps

There were a plethora of camps going on this past week including Michigan hosting it's annual four day camp.  Top players from all over the country came to showcase their skill and athletic abilities to maybe get the opportunity of being extended an offer.  Current '13 commits were in attendance giving them the opportunity to build relationships with fellow teammates and to build rapport with the coaches.  But it was the others who were most talked about.  Maize & Blue News provides a breakdown of the top performers.

2013 WR commit C'sonte York took part in the Toledo 7 on 7 this past week and he did not let anyone question his ability and showed us what the coaches saw in him to make him a part of this class. 

Probably the best camp of the weekend took place down in the Hot-lanta (ATL).  Here's a little preview of fellow Michigan commits taking part in the Rivals Challenge starting around the 1:00 markOL David Dawson who was credited as being dominate in 1 on 1's was in attendance along with fellow LB commit Mike McCrayJourdan Lewis and hopeful future commit (we can all wish and hope cant we) Kendall Fuller also took part in the challenge and both showed off why they could be the top two DB's in the country when all is said and done.  Lewis was credited for "Best Interception" by Rivals recruiting analyst Chris Nee.  Here's what happened:
Detroit (Mich.) Cass Tech cornerback Jourdan Lewis
In one of the first plays of the day, Lewis made Whitewright (Texas) quarterback Tyrone Swoopes his victim. It was a go-route down the sideline and Swoopes threw it to the outside shoulder of the receiver. Lewis showed his great closing speed and got in front of the receiver getting his hands between him and the ball securing the interception. It was a highlight-worthy play.
It's hard for me to see Lewis not jumping up in the rankings after his dominant performances in camps this off-season.  If he can put together a good senior campaign, the sky is the limit for Michigan's top DB commit. 

Surprise Visit/Offers

Look at what we have here:  2013 TN RB Jordan Wilkins will visit Tuesday.
"I'm visiting some family in Detroit and my parents said that my is going to take me to Michigan," he said. "Michigan is always been a place I wanted to visit; it's just been hard because I've been so busy." quote from TomVH.  
How about that?!  Family in Michigan?!  And everyone thought this was a long shot.  Getting him on campus is huge(!!!) and he has Michigan in his top three along with Auburn and Vandy.  Things could be heating up.  You won't be upset to waste the next nine or so minutes of your boring workday watching Wilkins run past everyone in the state of Tennessee (or so it seems).

Impressive at Michigan's camp, WR Drake Harris earned a football scholarship and says Michigan is the front runner (committed to Michigan State 6-27).  Detroit News Columnists Sam Webb has the story on Harris as well as Michigan's first offer of the the '15 class in KY RB  Damian HarrisHave a look at his tape.  It's safe to say based on his film that he is shifty and could easily out run Forrest Gump.  But seriously, he's fast!

Offers were flying around like annoying mosquitoes at a cookout last week after future prospects were able to show off their talents for the Michigan coaching staff.  Get your fly swatter ready:
-'13 CA WR John Ross was the lone 2013 prospect to be offered.  This still makes you wonder how much confidence this staff has in pulling in Treadwell or Bailey.  He does have great talent though, don't get me wrong.
-'13 MI K J.J. McGrath picked up an offer (preferred walk-on to clear up confusion) and has a top 5 of LSU, MSU, Michigan, 'Bama, and USF.
-'14 FL WR Corey Holmes picked up an offer and shared a little insight on how he reacted to the offer," It gave me butterflies.  Feels amazing and is something I've always dreamed of as a kid."
-'14 PA DB Montae Nicholson received an offer at camp
-'14 S Brandon Simmons was offered and is extremely interested in Michigan.  He will definitely use an official visit to Ann Arbor.
-'14 CA WR John Ross was offered
-'14 MI OL Tommy Doles  also offered by the Wolverines.
-'14 OH LB/DE Joseph Henderson received an offered.

Sayonara Suckas

-CA WR Darren Carrington commits to Oregon.
-CA WR Sebastian Larue committed to USC which comes to no surprise as he was leaning toward pledging to the Trojan's.
-OH DB Darian Hicks commits to MSU.  Michigan was showing some interest but no offer was ever  extended to the young man.
-PA OL Dorian Johnson commits to Penn State(!!!).  They are putting together quite a class.
-2014 OH ATH Caleb Day committed to the Illini although he did camp at Michigan and received an offer from the Wolverines.

Meet the New BCS. Same as the Old BCS.

BCS director Bill Hancock. AP Photo/M. Spencer Green
Here are the facts of the case
• A four-team seeded playoff model will be formally submitted to the BCS presidential oversight committee (university presidents) for approval on June 26th. That model was agreed to upon by BCS commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick.

• The new playoff model will begin with the 2014 season, replacing the current model which has been in place since 1998.

• While the two semifinal games will rotate via the current "major bowl" sites, the national championship game will be opened up to any city that wants to throw their name into the hat – same way the NFL does it for the Super Bowl. However, semifinal bowl sites will not be tied to current conference bowl relationships (ie: the B1G vs Pac-12 in the Rose Bowl).

• The final 4 teams to make the playoff will be chosen by a special yet to be determined "committee", and will feature an emphasis on conference champions and strength of schedule.

• The BCS commissioners, including B1G commissioner Jim Delany, stood unified in this new plan.

As Kevin Bacon would say, "These are the facts of the case. And they are undisputed." 

Let's break this down piece by piece.

The selection committee
I don't know about you, but when I look at the proposed system and the one it is replacing, I don't see that much of a difference. It's a "plus-1" system, and that's great and all, but as is the frustration with the current BCS formula, the same frustration will remain with the new one – maybe even more so. And the frustration is that the process of deciding who should play who is a convoluted and disturbing mess.

The current system uses a combination of human (polls) and computer elements. I would imagine that it's altogether likely that the new system would use an even more confusing combination of university presidents, athletic directors, coaches and computers.

Maybe the third iteration of the BCS formula will include bloggers and housewives?

I digress.

I understand that a similar system is used for the selection process for the NCAA Tournament. But when you have a field of 65 and each team plays upwards of 30-35 games, you can get away with a sloppy selection process because you're pretty confident the best team in the country is probably in that field of 65. And history is shown that to be true. The lowest seed to win the NCAA tourney was 8th seeded Villanova in '85.

Location of games
About a month ago, MSU AD Mark Hollis said this to reporters when questioned about the B1G's decision to not pursue home sites for semifinal games:
"For us it's critical to keep the Rose Bowl in the equation."
Well good job.

So when the Rose Bowl isn't being whored out for the BCS playoff, the lowly B1G and Pac-12 rejects will have to duke it out in a meaningless game the grandaddy of them all.

You know, the more the landscape of college football changes, the more ridiculous that nickname sounds. #justsayin

Is it better?
Well, that's really the $64,000 question, isn't it?

A lot of details have yet to emerge. And I am fully aware that I've already begun to connect a lot of the dots without many of said details. But you really don't need a lot of explanation to understand that, fundamentally, a playoff for college football is never really going to work.

Dave Brandon said it well back on January 16th (before changing his mind on May 3rd).
"This whole notion of a playoff is ridiculous because I don't care what you come up with, it's not going to be a fair playoff. You've got a bunch of teams that don't play one another and play different competition and in different time zones in different conferences in different stadiums in front of different crowds and different weather and suddenly at some point in the year you are trying to arbitrarily decide which one is better and which one deserves to be in a four-team playoff or a six-team playoff." 
He shoulda stuck with that.

So to answer the question of "Is it better?", in my view, no. There's still too many areas of conflict. If you're going to "fix" the BCS, then fix the areas that don't work. Don't just change it for the sake of change.

In summary
I'm just going to leave this right here.
The college football season is not set up to maximize a playoff format. Teams don't play enough games. Think about it. In the NFL, teams play 16 games, and there are only 32 teams – 12 of which make the playoffs...4 division winners and 2 wildcard teams in each conference.

In college football, a purposed 4-team playoff which will choose it's teams from 6 conferences (B1G, SEC, Big 12, Pac-12, Big East and ACC) spanning 66 teams (currently). There is no way, in the current 12-game season format with the ranking system we have, that a field of 4 teams can accurately be chosen.

Insert argument about how strength of schedule should be weighed heavier in the BCS formula here.

To do it the right way, a drastic revamp of college football from head to toe would be needed. This would include elimination of computer polls and the "human element", realignment of conferences and divisions (which would kill off the bowls), drastic lengthening of seasons, and all-likely the elimination of some teams from "automatic qualifier" status.

Surely an NFL-like playoff system would emerge from the wreckage – which would be more-fairer, but would never happen because of things like school administrators, academic obligations of players, conference television and current bowl contracts and the like. Basically, there's too much red tape involved for any real post-season system that would be considered "fair". So what we end up with is a the product of the equation where an ideal playoff system is divided by the current BCS system in order to keep the money train rolling without compromising the integrity of conferences and tradition (i.e. bowls).

To put it simply – not a real playoff.

Incoming: Channing Stribling

If you thought the news in my last post  was as shocking as I did, wait until you see this.  2013 recruiting board

Commit # 22

                                                                       Image via: Here
Meet Channing Stribling

Scout: 2 star
Rivals: NR
247: 3 star; #95 ATH

Stribling took a visit up to Ann Arbor to prove himself at the Wolverines annual camp.  There is no question of whether he was effective or not in showing the Michigan staff what he is capable of doing on a football field.  Brady Hoke extended an offer, he talked it over with his parents, got their blessing, and the rest is history.  Welcome aboard kid!

Stribling is an athlete who plays both ways for national powerhouse David W. Butler HS in Matthews, NC who committed early Thursday morning.  The sites are all in disagreement on his talents.  247 Sports thinks the most of him, giving him a 3 star ranking and putting him as ATH #95.  Scout is the only other site to even condone a ranking for the young man as a 2 star.  Rivals and Scout don't even have him ranked!

These sites are all in pretty close comparison on his 6'2" 170 lb. frame.  247 is the only site to list him as an ATH while ESPN and Scout have him as a Safety.  Rivals is alone in projecting him as a WR.  The Michigan coaching staff offered him as a defensive back and I believe that's where he will end up.  But if for some reason that doesn't work out, he has excellent size and great hands to move to the offensive side of the ball.  His 4.56 speed is a little bit of a concern, but looking at his film, he seems to have excellent football speed.  His quick feet and height are very impressive and serve as his two best attributes. 

Other Offers:
He only held two other BCS offers from Ball St. and NC State.  Hampton and UNC Charlotte also extended and offer.

Hype Video

This commitment caught us all by surprise but you gotta trust the coaches on this one.  They are obviously trying to bring in some size to the defensive back position and must have seen something they liked and couldn't resist offering.  I'd say this pretty much throws out the chances of bringing in another DB in the class.  There are 2-3 spots left and with one of them reserved for WR LaQuon Treadwell, the other two will most likely be used for the best player available. 

Something Scary to Think About
With 6'4" S Jeremy Clark being a part of the 2012 class, think about having these two towers playing at safety in the near future. Could be far-fetched, but the thought alone could make coaches throughout the country cringe about this potential match-up in the future.

B1G Schedule Breakdown: Ohio State

Previously: Illinois, Indiana

2011 Overall Record: 6-7
2011 Big Ten Record: 3-5

Sept 1Miami (Oh)
Sept 8Central Florida
Sept 15California
Sept 22UAB
Sept 29@ Michigan State
Oct 6Nebraska
Oct 13@ Indiana
Oct 20Purdue
Oct 27@ Penn State
Nov 3Illinois
Nov 17@ Wisconsin
Nov 24Michigan

Do Not Play

Biggest Game
This one's pretty obvious. Ohio State hangs their hat on beating Michigan every year. They have no other rivals. The 2012 contest is especially important because no matter what, it's the last game of the year for the Buckeyes – who will serve a 1-year post-season suspension for tat-gate and the related violations that have stemmed from it. Michigan is Ohio State's national championship game this year. The best they can hope for is to play spoiler for Michigan. But given they're in separate divisions, Michigan would really need to be on the fence for OSU to knock them out.

Non-Conference Loss
Cal is really the only non-conference threat for the Buckeyes this year. Urban will almost certainly be 2-0 going into his first real test as the head ball coach.

It's a Trap!
Either Purdue, who constantly plays spoiler for Ohio State, or Illinois. Both are Leaders division games leading into other Leaders division games against better teams, so there's that, but I honestly doubt they lose to either of them. Ohio State plays the best 3 teams from the Legends division, so no let down those weeks.

The Game Destined for
UAB sounds like a snoozefest.

Final Analysis
I fully expect Ohio State to be better than they were a year ago. Urban can coach circles around whatshisname from last year, so there's really nowhere to go but up. Yes, there's no chance they can win the league or go to a bowl, but they will be competitive in every game they play. But I think there will be some road bumps for this new coaching staff. The B1G can be rather tough on new coaches from other leagues, and the B1G is going to be just as tough this year as it was a year ago.

Fearless Predictions
Non-conference record: 4-0
Division Record: 4-1
Crossover Record: 0-3
Overall: 8-4
Bowl: N/A

Go Ahead: Get Your Fix Recruitaholics

This weeks dose: Decisions decisions, invites, recent visits/offers, MY INAUGURAL POST!!!

Decisions Decisions

Interestingly enough, three recruits have shed some insight on their decision timeline and all coincidentally play the same position: Wide Receiver.  Bad news for two of them is that Brady Hoke and the Michigan staff have promised LaQuon Treadwell, who says he will decide during his senior year, a spot in this spectacular class.  He would only make it that much better if he decides to take his talents to Ann Arbor (see what I did there).

As noted above, Alvin Bailey is an teammate of S Leon Mcquay for Armwood High School in Florida.  He is a smaller, slot type of receiver compared to Treadwell, but can still make some very impressive plays and is always a threat to go downtown on any play.  He has recently came out with a decision date of July and plans to make a visit this weekend.

Late offeree WR Sebastion Larue is the latter part of the two who have made up their mind on when a decision is coming.  Larue has been noticing the array of recruits making their commitment this week and has mentioned that he would like to join the commit party by pledging to his school of choice soon. We will see if he actually follows through with this, but keep your eye out in case he does make his decision in the near future.  He has yet to make a visit to Michigan so chances are slim but if he schedules a visit, things could get interesting.

Either way, Michigan is in good position, barring a visit from Larue, for either one of these talented receivers (who surprisingly mirror eachother, both being 5'11" 185) although Larue is regarded as the better recruit when looking at most recruiting sites.  Bailey seems the most interested as of now since he already has a visit planned, but we will see what happens.

In other 2013 news

Florida RB Derrick Henry de-committed from Georgia and rumors say that he is a Alabama lean which would give them four(!!) running back commits.  This is good news for the Wolverines as they are still in pursuit of Rivals top running back Derrick Green who has Alabama high on his list.  But don't get too excited, he hasn't mentioned Michigan much lately.

The most shocking (I'm talking like in a Tom Brady being picked in the 6th round and winning 3 Super Bowls kind of way good) news of the week also involved Alabama, but this came from the head man in charge down in Tuscaloosa Nick Saban. Saban complimented current Michigan commit Jourdan Lewis by saying he is arguably a top 10 player in the country!!! I don't know if there could be higher praise in college football than from also arguably the top coach in the country.

Someone who you may not have heard of, RB Demetius Stinson out of Detroit, may walk on to Michigan if the opportunity arises.  Stinson, has only one offer from Toledo, but after looking at his film seems to have pretty good speed and quickness.  Speaking of walk-on's, Michigan did accept a walk-on this week in Michigan TE Michael Jocz.  Check out his film below:

Jocz has good size standing at 6'4" 215 and seems to be a good pick up for the Wolverines as they are a little short at this position.  The question remain where he could actually end up.  With his stature, He could fit in a number of different places. Only time will tell.

Eddie Vanderdoes has Michigan in his top 15. Will narrow down to ten soon.

Invites to the Opening

I don't know if this is a sign of great things to come, but The Opening in Oregon hosted by Nike is one of the top camps of the year and it is loaded with current Michigan commits and targets. A few have received an invite to showcase their talents earlier this week. Among them are current commits OL Logan Tully-Tillman and OL Kyle Bosch, and current targets Derrick Green and Kendall Fuller.  These four join a looooooooong list of current commits and targets along with most of the top players in the country.

2014 Offers/Recent Visit

If you missed this then you need to check it out ASAP!! Laquon Treadwell is the receiver...that's all I am going to say.

Curious who was blanketing Michigan's top remaining target at WR?!  I bet you are.  It was none other than 2014 Detroit Cass Tech WR/DB Damon Webb.  Webb looked very impressive at the Sound Mind Sound Body camp this past weekend. Impressive enough to earn his first BCS offer from our own Wolverines (Toledo is only other offer).  Add him to the list of top D1 players to play/come out of the pipeline school for Michigan.  He says that he is being recruited as a DB and he will have no argument from me.  Standing 6'0" 175, he has ideal size for a corner and I would expect him to stay at that position.  Michigan is his leader now and I have a feeling he may be the first to join the class of 2014. Our first commit watch of 2014?! I think so! He plans to camp at Michigan this week.

Another offer last week was extended to 2014 Chicago OL Jamarco Jones (6'5" 285) on his visit. He was a hot commodity last week as noted by Tremendous:
To his surprise, Michigan offered 2014 OL Jamarco Jones (Chicago, IL) on Friday while on his visit. I was able to catch up with Jamarco afterwards and he told me the following of his visit/offer:
  • Michigan: "It was a good visit. I toured the academic facilities, Schembechler Hall, the Big House. They were all really great. I thought the academic center was the best because they care about what you do after you graduate". 
  • Coaches: "I got to meet Coach Borges and Coach Funk. They were really cool guys. They told me they liked my athleticism at the position and that I have good footwork for a player my age". 
  • Visits: "I was invited to the barbecue on July 29th and will come back for a game this season as well. I will try to make it to the barbecue but I am not 100% sure yet". 
  • Other school: "I'll be camping at Notre Dame and Wisconsin this weekend. I've been hearing from Michigan State, Northwestern, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame and I was just offered by Indiana today". 
  • Core6: "The workouts have really helped my quickness especially. They've helped me get quicker off the line and my overall speed has improved drastically. We work a lot on my technique as well and it shows because that's what most coaches seem to like about my game". 
Jamarco might be the hottest 2014 name in the Midwest right now. He's keeping things mum right now as to any certain school that he might favor but Michigan made a great first impression on him, not to mention his surprise at getting the offer so early. Given all the teams that lined up to offer him so quickly, I wouldn't be surprised to see Notre Dame and Wisconsin follow suit with offers at their camps. He's a name you're likely to continue to hear.
Maybe the biggest visitor of the week came in 2014 OH LB Michael Ferns who posted this picture on his twitter account during his visit.
Ferns (6'3" 235) was greatly impressed by his visit and seemed to enjoy it so much that he turned around and drove home instead of sticking to his plan of heading over to East Lansing for a visit to "Little Brother." HE-YO!!!  Ferns practically has an offer from every major Midwest program in the country and resides in Ohio, our new stomping ground when it comes to recruiting (geez that's so bittersweet to say).  Pulling him in would only add to the talent at this position that already does and will exist in Ann Arbor.  He expects to make his announcement by the middle of his junior year.

Visitor number three of the weekend belonged to 2014 Gallatin TN WR Josh Malone (6'2" 190) said he had a great visit and the coaches were awesome.  He plans to make a return visit during the fall to get the real experience of what the atmosphere of a home game is like. I am sure he won't be disappointed. 

Aside from the above, 2014 two sport in-state star Drake Harris received his offer this past week and will camp at Michigan this week.  2014 NJ DB Jabreel Peppers has Michigan listed as his favorite over Alabama, Notre Dame, Ohio (we will put the the State in parenthesis so we don't upset Coach Hoke - Your welcome), and Rutgers.  Peppers teammate WR/DB Tyrone Washington is also showing some interest in the wolverines although he has no offer.  2014 DB Parker Westphal visited Ann Arbor a few weeks ago saying his experience was jaw dropping.
  Westphal could be on of the most sought-out DB prospects in the country when it is all said and done.  2015 Cass Tech QB Jayru Campbell received an offer from Alabama over a handshake from Nick Saban himself.  He plans to make a return visit to Ann Arbor this weekend and I am almost positive this staff will extend him an offer.  He's to good for Michigan to let him out of their backyard.

Lastly, 2014 FL WR Corey Holmes is camping at Michigan this week and says if the Wolverines offer they would be the on top of the list.  2014 Teammates OL Demetrius Knox, who already has an offer and is considered the top OL, and RB Daniel Gresham (no offer) are trying to make a visit this weekend and say they really want to attend the same school. 

This is my INAUGURAL POST!!! and I hope it tickles your fancy (too much?).  I will hopefully be updating a few of these a week, but will definitely have a weekly update.  Feel free to email me or reach me on twitter if you have any questions or are looking for daily updates.


Introducing Our New Recruiting Dude

A while back we posted an opening for a recruiting analyst for this blog. The initial response was more than I expected, so the process of narrowing down candidates and the thorough vetting process took a little longer than I thought it would.

However, I am very proud to introduce Daniel Winslow as our new resident football recruiting guru! He's going to be handling all of the recruiting related content on this site from now on and we couldn't be happier to have him. Expect his first post to be up and running sometime later today. Welcome to the show Daniel!

Email him here, and catch him on Twitter at

Bob Chappuis Passes Away at 89

Had the pleasure of sitting next to the Michigan legend in the pressbox a couple years ago. So fun to overhear some of the comments and stories. But when the game was going on, he was always very into watching what was happening on the field – all business.

Should also note that Chappuis was born and raised in Toledo, OH, my hometown. Not just mine, but my dad's and also my grandfather's, who was a childhood friend and classmate of Chap growing up. Fellas like this don't come along very often, especially these days. He will be missed.

Via UM press release:
Former U-M Great, Heisman Runner-up Bob Chappuis Passes Away
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Former University of Michigan football All-American Bob Chappuis passed away late yesterday (June 14) at the age of 89. Chappuis was hospitalized after a fall earlier this week and died at the U-M Hospital surrounded by his wife, Ann, and their four children.

Chappuis was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1988 and was inducted into the Michigan Hall of Honor in 1984.  Not only did Chappuis play football, he was a two-year letterman in baseball for the Wolverines.

Chappuis played football for the Wolverines in 1942 before his career was interrupted by World War II. As an aerial gunner and radio operator on B-25 bombers during the war, Chappuis was shot down over Italy on his 21st mission. He was rescued by an Italian partisan and remained in Italy until the end of the war, evading German soldiers in a series of thrilling adventures.

A triple-threat back, he resumed his Michigan playing career after the war in 1946. Chappuis became one of the greatest backs in college football during the 1947 season. He earned unanimous first-team All-America honors and finished second in the Heisman Trophy balloting. Chappuis led the 1947 Michigan squad, known as the “Mad Magicians,” to an undefeated season and the national title.

Chappuis ended his Michigan football career as the 1948 Rose Bowl MVP, setting two records for total offense and pass completions in a 49-0 victory over Southern California. Chappuis was inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in 1992.

He continues to hold the Big Ten Conference single-season passer rating record (175.3 rating) and the U-M season mark for yards per completion (18.8 avg.). Chappuis led the Wolverines in passing and total offense in 1946 and 1947, receiving All-Big Ten honors both seasons. He was regarded as one of the early passing specialists in college football.

He played two years of professional football with the All-America Football Conference (AAFC). Chappuis was the starting quarterback for the Brooklyn Dodgers and Chicago Hornets in 1948 and 1949. He retired from football in 1950 when the league folded.

Chappuis entered the business sector and was a successful labor relations director.

He was to be inducted into the state of Michigan Sports Hall of Fame this fall.

Ford, Kramer and Oosterbaan to be Honored as Michigan "Legends" in 2012

Kramer, Ford and Oosterbaan.
Word spread quickly earlier today that former US President and UM football player Gerald Ford would be honored as a Michigan Football "Legend" at some point during the 2012 football season. Ford's #48 is currently one of five numbers currently retired by the program. Upon becoming a "Legend", Ford's number would go back into circulation and would receive the same special patch treatment that the #21 jersey receives to honor Desmond Howard.

The idea, although not officially stated, is that a senior should wear a Legend's number. Junior Hemingway wore the #21 last season, and this year Roy Roundtree switched from #12 to #21 to honor Desmond.

Well, per this UM media release, Ford won't be alone in 2012. Bennie Oosterbaan's #47 and Ron Kramer's #87 will also receive the same Legend treatment. That would leave only Tom Harmon's #98 and the three Wistert brothers' #11 as the two remaining retired numbers in the Michigan Football program.

No word yet as who will wear the #47, #48 and #87.

The schedule for recognizing each Legend status:
Bennie Oosterbaan – Air Force (Sept. 8)
Ron Kramer – Massachusetts (Sept. 15)
Gerald Ford – Illinois (Oct. 13)

Would have been cool to have Ford honored at the Air Force game – given his former, somewhat famous role as Commander-in-Chief, and all.

Via UM press release:
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The University of Michigan Athletic Department will recognize three of its all-time great football players – center Gerald Ford and ends Ron Kramer and Bennie Oosterbaan – with the “Michigan Football Legend” distinction during the 2012 season, announced today (June 12) by Dave Brandon, the Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics. The Oosterbaan, Ford and Kramer families fully support the return the famed No. 47, No. 48 and No. 87 jerseys into circulation starting this fall.

Oosterbaan, Ford and Kramer will be honored in perpetuity with their names always affixed to the No. 47, No. 48 and No. 87 jerseys, respectively. A patch over the left upper chest will be affixed to the jersey of all future players donning the jersey numbers. The football staff has not determined which current players will wear the jerseys honoring the former legends.

“The success and acceptance of the Desmond Howard Legend recognition led to conversations with the family members who had retired jerseys, several of whom were never recognized or celebrated in the appropriate manner,” said Dave Brandon. “The Ford, Kramer and Oosterbaan families want to see their family member honored in this way. We have yet to have any discussions with the Wistert or Harmon families. This program is about tradition and legacy and this is a unique way to recognize these great Wolverines.”

“This is an outstanding way to recognize our former greats,” said head coach Brady Hoke. “It speaks to the tradition and success of our program, and it honors those who led the way in the past.”

In addition to the permanent patch, Ford, Kramer and Oosterbaan will be featured in a special area to be designed and constructed in the soon-to-be renovated Schembechler Hall.  And, the lockers to be used by No. 47, No. 48 and No. 87 in both the Schembechler Hall and Michigan Stadium locker rooms will be customized to reflect the fact that Bennie Oosterbaan, Gerald Ford and Ron Kramer will forever be Michigan Football Legends.

Michigan to Face Utah in 2014-15?

Hopefully the 2014 contest will go a little smoother than RichRod's debut in 2008.
I was going to wait to post this sans the question mark in the title, but since MGoBlog is publicly speculating, so shall we. We'll update when news becomes official, which should be soon.

Well, its only been about 24 hours since we brought up the discussion about Michigan looking to fill it's 2014-16 non-conference vacancies with Pac-12 teams. Rumors swirled around schools like USC or Stanford being potential targets for the home and home series.

Not so fast my delusionally-optimistic friend.

It's not the sexiest team out of the west coast league, but word is the Utah Utes will make a visit to the Big House in 2014 – while Michigan returns the favor one year later. Due to reported scheduling limitations, the 2015 contest in Salt Lake City will be both school's season opener and will be played on a Thursday night. Again, nothing official yet.

If this does become official, and it looks like it will, it will likely be met with a resounding "meh" from the Michigan fanbase. It's not USC, but it's also not Eastern Michigan. Nothing against the Eagles...but Utah is...Utah. Been there done that.

Michigan Looking to Add Pac-12 Games in 2014-16

Brady Hoke congratulating Phillip Brabbs after his game winning FG against Washington in 2002, our last win over a Pac-12 school.
The agreement between the Big Ten and the Pac-12 to begin officially scheduling non-conference games between the two leagues for all sports, not just football, won't get underway until 2017. However, that's not stopping Michigan's Dave Brandon from pursuing Pac-12 teams for schedule openings in football for 2014, 15 and 16.

Michigan is in the process of wrapping up deals to play Pac-12 teams in the next few years. [Brandon] hoped announcements on future games would come in the next week or so and that he was just waiting on contracts to be signed.

"I figured that as long as we're going to have an affiliation with the Pac-12, we ought to pursue it and see what we can do to create some matchups before the official 2017 start," he said. "So we're working hard to do that."

The games would come before the 2017 series began, and Brandon said he's leaving dates open for that year and beyond for a Pac-12 opponent.

"As far as the big matchups between the Pac-12 and Big Ten, the conference is really going to coordinate all of that," he said. "But I've got games to fill (in the next few years), so we'll do some of those."
The one thing I take away from this statement is that Brandon wants Michigan to have as much control, and especially leverage, as he can get prior to the 2017 start to this series. In a way, it's a power move. But it's also smart on Brandon's part to assume a lead role in this before things really take off. And given how the conference landscape could be shifting dramatically in the coming years, ADs will take as much leverage as they can get – even if the B1G and Pac-12 are stranding themselves on an island.

From a scheduling perspective, I'm all for playing teams from a BCS conference rather than directional Michigan schools. Even though Michigan is a mere 1-6 since the 1998 Rose Bowl against the Pac-12, I'll take what I can get. I'm for anything that creates a better fan experience and makes for better football.

Red Hot Chili Peppers' Drummer Makes Some Friends in Columbus

Red Hot Chili Peppers' drummer Chad Smith decided to give the Columbus crowd at their recent show a little something to remember him by.

[HT: @KyleMeinke from]

Now, I know what you might be thinking. Usually when a rock band tries to make a local reference to the crowd, like yelling the name of the city their in, and gets it's just a side-effect of drinking touring a lot and not remembering what city their in. But Will Ferrell Chad Smith, a Detroit native and well-noted Michigan fan, knew exactly what he was doing.

Well done sir.

Wanted: Recruiting Guru

I needed an awesome picture for this post.
Anyone who follows this site with any regularity knows that I'm basically on the fringe of recruiting reporting. This has nothing to do with any lack of interest, I just don't have the time to devote to it. Recruiting is the life-blood of a college football program, thus, it should be given it's proper attention. This is where you come in.

What I need from you
Simple. Provide consistently good, original recruiting content for this site.

You will...
• Write one or two recruiting posts a week, depending on what's going on.
• Write up "Incoming:" posts as new recruits commit.
• Have a presence on Twitter (where recruiting info is free and plentiful).
• Provide general coverage of the hysteria that is recruiting season. Hint: It's always recruiting season.

What I expect is someone who can provide great insight into a recruit and a recruiting class as a whole. Talk about individual recruits, discuss team needs, discuss possible targets, provide analysis of recruiting classes...that kind of stuff. And most of all, have a good take. Don't just give out bios, have an opinion on a guy. Opinions matter.
What I don't expect someone to have special insider info that no one else has. If you do, that's awesome, but not expected. The most important thing is that you do not, do not, do not steal from other recruiting sites. If you're going to cover recruiting for us, it must be all your own stuff.

What I can offer you
Exposure. You notice all those fancy-pants recruiting insiders at ESPN, Scout or Rivals? They weren't just anointed, they all started somewhere.

The biggest incentive for you is that you'll have a chance to get your name out there and build a solid reputation as a recruiting insider (assuming that's what you're looking to do). Everything you publish will be under your name. This site generates it's fair share of traffic, so if your stuff is good, it will get read.

Will you get paid?
If you can generate a good following, you will. But you shouldn't be doing this for the money, if that answers your question.

• Writing samples are a must.
• Prior experience covering recruiting is ideal, but not required. (If you have a blog that covers recruiting already, that's a big plus)
• An investigative mind able to uncover information on prospects.
• An unbridled enthusiasm for Michigan football.

I can't promise anything else other than if you're good at what you do, people will notice. Shoot me an email only if you're seriously interested.

Incoming: Scott Sypniewski

Hey, whadayaknow, we added a long-snapper to the 2013 recruiting board.

Scott Sypniewski
Image via: Here
Rivals: NR
Scout: NR
24/7: NR

So, we're offering full rides to long-snappers now? Mmmkay. I trust this coaching staff knows what they're doing considering we have the unanimous #1 class in the country for 2013 so far. But it's a little odd that we were 20 members into a class that's expected to take about 24, it's only June, and we just offered a dedicated long-snapper a full scholarship. Typically a position like this would go to a preferred walk-on or greyshirt, but hey, I trust Hoke and company know what they're doing.

But let's not kid ourselves, Sypniewski is the #2 long-snapper in the country according to Chris Rubio, a long-snapping guru who also rates Scott as a 5-star prospect. None of the sites like Scout or Rivals have ratings on this kid, but who can really blame them. I guess, though, that the argument could be made that if you're going to use 1 of your 85 scholarships on a long-snapper, get a good one. This kid is a good one [Link].
Sypniewski is just flat out fantastic! Ball is like a missile yet very easy to catch. Movement is flawless and he is snapping with ease. Looks like he is not even trying but, before you blink, the ball is right on your hip. Accuracy, consistency and speed are all excellent. A tad lighter on his feet could bump him up and I am being picky. Sypniewski is terrific and is snapping with a TON of confidence. I am fully expecting him to stick his chest out and dominate in Vegas.
I'd call that a glowing review. But I also know nothing about long-snappers other than their one and only job is to get the ball back to the punter or holder as fast as possible. So if you can do that, you're golden.

Other offers
Nada. But given that the world has just discovered who Sypniewski is, not a surprise that the recruiting gurus know nothing about him.

Hype video. Yes, a long-snapping hype video.

Incoming: Maurice Hurst Jr. & Henry Poggi

Writing a dual-incoming post is a great way to start the week, don't you agree?

Michigan added two defensive tackle prospects to the class of 2013 over the last few days. Maurice Hurst Jr. committed to Michigan on Friday, and then Henry Poggi committed late Sunday/early Monday. DT was clearly an area of need in this class before these two commitments. Not so much now. To keep all 20 members of the 2013 class straight, here's the recruiting board for your reference.

Maurice Hurst Jr.

Scout: ★★★★, #23 DT, #213 Ovr
Rivals: ★★★, #30 DT
ESPN: ★★★, #32 DT
24/7: ★★★★, #19 DT

Well, the gurus are in agreement that Hurst is definitely a defensive tackle. Hurst hails from Westwood, MA and sits at roughly 6-2, 290 pounds. He visited Michigan late last week and committed on the spot...which was not much of a surprise given how high he regarded Michigan throughout the wooing process. Hurst is son of former NFL cornerback Maurice Hurst, who played for the New England Patriots. His cousin, some guy named Marshall Faulk, played a little bit of ball in the league as well – you might have heard of him.

Hurst is hovering that gray area between three and four stars according to the gurus. He could probably go either way, and sometimes its something as easy as having other four-star guys drop in the ratings for a guy like Hurst to slide up.

He plays primarily DT, but is also quick and nimble enough to carry the ball on offense, which he does regularly. That could be out of necessity, who knows, but a kid that's 6-2 around 290 pounds would not be fun to tackle. Scouts like his ability though and see a lot of potential. He's currently invited to participate in the Army All-American Game.

Other offers
Boston College, UConn, Duke, Maryland, UMass, Michigan State, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, NC State, Ohio State, Purdue, Rutgers, Temple, Vandy and Virginia

Other interest
Penn State and Wisconsin

Hype video

Henry Poggi

Scout: ★★★★, #15 DT, #135 Ovr
Rivals: ★★★★, #2 DT, #52 Ovr
ESPN: ★★★★, #23 DT
24/7: ★★★★, #7 DT, #105 Ovr

Michigan's second commitment of the last few days is another defensive tackle. Henry Poggi hails from Baltimore, MD and is listed around 6-4, 260. He narrowed his school choices to Michigan and Alabama before eventually committing to the Wolverines today. Nice to beat out the defending national champs for a huge prospect like this. Whatever Hoke and his staff are doing out on the recruiting trail, it's working.

Rival's Tom Lemming, the most bullish on Poggi, lists him as the #52 prospect in the country and the #2 DT [Link].
He is a coach’s son and comes across as a fairly smart player who reads schemes well and can get himself in good positions. He is a physical and high effort player who works to get around the ball. He is a good tackler who tries to drive through the ball carrier and wrap-up… As a pass rusher he comes up-field hard… He also plays tight end and is a physical and tough blocker…Poggi is a tough and smart.
Henry's brothers, Sam and Jim are also collegiate footballers on scholarship at Duke and Iowa respectively, and his dad is the head ball coach at his high school. According to MGoAce, his dad says Henry is the best out of the bunch.

As DTs go, Henry is slightly smaller than the ideal size. So if he plans on trying to get closer to the interior, he'll need to pack on some size. His 6-4 frame is likely suited for such, and I would expect to see Montgomery ask him to do so.

This likely satisfies the DT position for the 2013 class now that we have two verbals. Michigan is expected to take around 23-24 prospects in this class. And with 20 already committed in early June, expect Hoke and company to narrow their focus a bit.

Other offers
Alabama, Auburn, Boston College, Cal, Florida, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan State, Mississippi, Missouri, NC State, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, South Carolina, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas A&M, USC, Vandy, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin

Hype video

If you take sports too seriously, you're gonna have a bad time.

We barely scratch the surface around here when it comes to recruiting coverage. I run this ship solo, and when real life allows me the time to do so, I write about what matters most to me. Thus, most of my time here is devoted to football coverage. I'll attempt to cover incoming recruits with dedicated posts, but honestly, just getting that far is tough sometimes.

But more and more, I'm finding that recruiting news is becoming much more popular with the mainstream. Why? Well, there's just so much more of it now. The paid recruiting sites like Scout and Rivals do great work and people are willing to dish out their hard-earned to read about how their schools are doing in the eye's of 18, 17 and even 16 year-olds...which is fine.

However, Twitter has become the giant elephant in the room, so to speak, when it comes to controversy associated with not only college athletes, but college recruits as well. While most collegiate athletic departments have rules and guidelines for student-athlete's to adhere to when it comes to how to behave in the brave new social media world we live in – those rules or guidelines probably don't exist for high school athletes.

Many college athletes, and college recruits, are on Twitter. And so are a large portion of their respective school's fanbases.

So, when 2013 Michigan recruit Logan Tuley-Tillman received an offer from Ohio State in the mail, and then proceeded to do this
– Ohio State fans went batsh*t crazy.

How crazy? This crazy.
This tweet, and many others similar to this by like-minded Ohio State fans, set off a firestorm of controversy. Logan received multiple death-threats. His mother, the same.
"I got threats coming at me from everywhere -- death threats," the Michigan football recruit said by phone Tuesday. "I got somebody telling me he wants me to burn in hell. I got somebody talking about the Holocaust.

"Why, 'cause I burned your team's envelope? Stuff like that I don’t understand. I’m only 17. It takes a lot of emotion for someone to do that, just over an affiliation to a school.

"But you know what? God bless 'em. I'm moving on."
Sage words from a 17-year old.

Harrison Watson has since released a formal apology and has pledged to donate $2000 to the University of Michigan. A kind gesture, and the donation should go straight to the Mott Children's Hospital.

Obviously, Harrison and fellow Ohio State fans like him don't represent the entire fan base. But these guys are the one's making the most noise. It seems like Ohio State fans just can't get out of their own way lately. Just a couple weeks ago a convicted sex offender was photographed with newly-committed OSU linebacker recruit, Alex Anzalone. Once the picture hit Twitter, and OSU sent the sexual predator a letter, Anzalone quickly de-commited from Ohio State.

I'm I being unfair in singling out the Buckeyes? I don't think so. I'm aware that passionate fans exist for every school. But I don't want Ohio State fans reading this to think I'm picking on them. Don't confuse the 99% of you who are level-headed people with the 1% of morons I'm talking about here.

Twitter and social media are uncharted waters. For most of us, it's a way to connect with other people and share our interests. For some, it's another way to show the world just how crazy a stupid moron you can be...sports fans or otherwise.

Technology evolves the way we communicate. What we communicate is up to us. This will never change.