Friday, December 2, 2016

Michigan Friday: News and Notes

  • J'Marick Woods announced this morning that he is sticking with his Michigan commitment  and will enroll in January.  Woods had recently taken official visits to Arkansas and Miss State. His offer list included the likes of  Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Penn State, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, and others.  

  • Like predicted yesterday, TX LB Baron Browning committed to Ohio State and the reason why Pioneer LB Antjuan Simmons de-committed.

  • Former Michigan commit WR Jeremiah Holloman committed to Georgia

  • Big Ten Offensive Honors (Coaches):  First Team:  Jake Butt and Eric Magnuson  Second Team:  Mason Cole, Kyle Kalis, Amara Darboh, and Ben Braden.  Third Team: Wilton Speight

  • StubHub has Big Ten Championship game tickets starting at $12.

  • Coach Fisch and Brown visited Brad Hawkins yesterday.  I expect Brad will be enrolling in January.

  • IU surprised many of us by firing Kevin Wilson and then immediately hiring DC Tom Allen on Thursday.  I guess there were some off the field issues with Kevin on how he was treating his players.   Tom really turned around the defense this year and will have consistent coaching in the bowl game.  IU finished 6-6.

  • Grant Newsome has a video up on his twitter of him walking gingerly.   Which is great news.

  • Western KY and former Louisville QB Jeff Brom is rumored to be a candidate for the Purdue head coaching job.   PJ Fleck from Western will also get a look from Purdue and Oregon after the MAC Championship game this weekend.  

  • Don't be surprised if Michigan assistants like Tim Drevno name gets mentions in some head coaching openings.

  • Go Buffs!  Beat Washington!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Michigan Thursday: Michigan's Strange Relationship with Virginia Tech

Brady Hoke's best win as Michigan head coach, came in his first year with an overtime win in the Sugar Bowl over Virginia Tech.   I attended that game and it was a terrible game to watch.   Both teams struggled and Michigan won the game by Denard throwing a bunch of 50/50 balls to Junior Hemmingway.

  • Then in 2013 Michigan and VA Tech football programs signed a home and home deal in the 2020 and 2021 seasons.  

  • Last night Michigan Basketball hosted VA Tech and got out to an early 15 point lead in the ACC - Big Ten Challenge.   With a minute to go VA Tech took the lead and won the game. 

  • Last night Michigan's long time CB commit Benjamin St-Juste decided he was going to stick with his Michigan commitment.  His final decision was Michigan over VA Tech.

  • On Saturday night in Orlando, Michigan fans will be rooting for VA Tech to upset Clemson, so that it might give the Wolverines a shot at making the final 4.
Let's hope the Hokies repay the favor the Michigan Basketball team gave them on Saturday night.

  • Ann Arbor Pioneer 4 star LB Antjuan Simmons de-committed from Ohio State last night.  The word on the street is top LB Baron Browning from Texas is close to committing to the Buckeyes.  Baron as you might remember visited A2 and had interest in the Wolverines.   There has been a strange relationship between Michigan and Anjuan and I don't expect he will end up playing across the street.  Michigan is still very high on MS LB Willie Gay and I believe the coaches visited him this week.    The issue is Willie might have some work to do in the classroom before being able to make it to A2. 

  • NJ Paramus Catholic LB Drew Singleton is visiting Michigan on 12/9.   Drew tore his ACL 3 months ago.  This story says he is doing very well in his rehab.

  • Jimmy and Coach Smith visited J'Marick Woods and family last night.

  • Flint DL Deron Irving-Bey will be announcing his choice at Army AA game.  He will take an official visit to A2 before that game.

  • With Oregon losing their head coach, keep an eye on the recruitment of DL Rutger Reitmaier. RR is an Ducks commit right now.   Michigan coaches are expected to visit him this week.

  • DB-J is visiting FSU this weekend.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wolverine Wednesday: The Michgian Defense Takes All The Big Ten Awards

Thank You, Greg Mattison, DJ Durkin and Don Brown.   The Michigan Defense pretty much sweep the Big Ten awards. All 11 starters were named to an All Big Ten Team.

Peppers was named the Big Ten Defensive, Return Specialist, and LB of the year.  

Lewis was named the Big Ten DB of the year. 

Big Ten First Team Defense

  • Taco Charlton
  • Chris Wormley
  • Jabrill Peppers
  • Jourdan Lewis
Big Ten Second Team Defense
  • Chris Wormley
  • Ryan Glasgow
  • Ben Gedeon
  • Channing Stribling
  • Delano Hill
Big Ten Special Teams Second Team
  • Kenny Allen as a punter
Big Ten 3rd Team Defense
  • Ben Gedeon

Honorable Mention: Matt Godin, Delano Hill, Mike McCray, Dymonte Thomas, Kenny Allen (K)

  • Congratulations to Eastern Michigan from on 1 win last season to the Bahamas for a Bowl Game.   There was talk about shutting that program down and now they are headed to Atlantis!  Congratulations!

  • I really don't want to talk about the playoffs for the Wolverines.  I think it's strange that Michigan has beaten both teams in the Big Ten Championship game and 1 team in the PAC 12 championship game.   If you want suspense, you better hope for Colorado to beat Washington on Friday night.   Most believe the Wolverines are headed to the Orange Bowl in South Florida.

  • Oregon fired Mark Helfrich last night, which probably means that Brady Hoke is out of a job.

  • FL OG TJ Slaton says he had to cancel his Michigan official due to his SAT score.

  • Michigan Safety commit J'Marick Woods will announce his final decision between Michigan, Arkansas, and Mississippi State on Friday morning.   Discuss among yourself why a commit needs to announce his final decision if he is already committed?

  • Since we haven't had any walk-on news lately, here is a gem for you.  Jess Speight, a 6'4", 280-pound OG will walk-on to Michigan next year.   If his last name is familiar, you are correct, he is Wilton's brother.   I wasn't aware the Speight family has a legacy connection to NC State.  Bobby Speight the boys grandfather was an All American basketball player for the Wolfpack.

  • Michigan Basketball plays VT tonight at 7:00 in the BIG 10/ACC Challenge at Crisler ESPN 2

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Big Ten's Glass House

You know you are getting to big and powerful when you can't look at your organization and see faults, issues or problems.   There is no perfect organization.   Apple has issues, Microsoft has problems, Google is not always great.  The best organizations look at everything and evaluates where they can get better.     Leadership is not guiding the boat in calm weather, its captaining the ship in a hurricane.

Jim Delany thinks the water is calm in the Big Ten.   It's not, it's choppy as hell and he can't see it or will even take questions on it.  

This happened yesterday, which we knew was coming:

Big 10 reprimands Jim Harbaugh for violating the Big Ten Sportsmanship Policy, fines school $10,000.

Big Ten take some god damn responsibility for putting that officiating crew on the field!   Mike Pereira the officiating expert for Fox Sports, said the Big 10 reviewed the game and only found one mistake. 

I'm betting there was probably 20 mistakes made, I will give you two calls that were clear mistakes:  Darboh gets tackled in the first quarter on a pass route which is a clear PI call and Grant Perry gets hooked and no PI call in overtime.    The Hill PI call could have gone either way, the argument is the ball was not catchable.    The spot is also a 50/50 call.  

There is enough smoke to make "the game was fixed" fire and as of today Jim Delany has his head in the sand. 

If I was Michigan's AD and/or President, I would have a serious talk with Jim Delany on the officials they put on the field.   It's time Michigan threw it's weight around and got some damn answers.   I'm tired of decisions of having to play MSU in East Lansing two years in a row and putting Ohio State fans on the field to officiate a Ohio State - Michigan game. The Big Ten holds 100% responsibility for that decision which breaks the Big Ten Sportsmanship policy in my mind. 

Jim Delany if you don't address the mistake in the putting Ohio officials on the field in Ohio Stadium, you aren't a leader and completely tone deaf.     

Only in the Big Ten could you have the 3rd and 4th best teams playing for a Championship this Saturday.  

Hopefully, that is the last post on the damn officiating in the OSU game.

  • Michigan WR target Tarik Black is planning to decide in December in the next 2-3 weeks.  His original plan was to announce at the Army All American game.

  • There have been some buzz that Michigan might have cooled a bit on Nike Opening star IA WR Oliver Martin as they feel confident about 3 other WR's.   I hope that's not the case, I like Martin a lot and think he is going to be a very good WR at the next level.   The thinking is he might now sign with ND.

  • Did you know that Brian Kelly, Rich Rod and Mark Dantonio combined for 10 wins this year? Strange year.

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Huge Mistake The Big Ten Made In The Ohio State Game

Do you know who Dick Honig is?   I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't.  He is a long time Ann Arbor resident, U of M grad and a former All Big Ten Wolverine shortstop on the Michigan Baseball team in 1962.   After his playing days, he was also an assistant basketball and baseball coach for the Wolverines.  

That isn't the real story.  Dick was a basketball official and a football official for 20 years in the Big Ten and for 9 years in the MAC.   He also has owns an store for officials gear called Dick's Whistle Stop in Ann Arbor.

Wouldn't it be great for Dick to travel a few minutes from his home and officiate a Michigan game in the Big House?  It would, but you can't have an official that lives in Ann Arbor and a former Michigan grad officiate a Michigan Football game.  It's a clear conflict of interest, even if the official is trust worthy and great at what he does.  At the end of the day, officials are humans beings that will always lean one way or another. 

The Big Ten made a huge error in the Michigan game and it wasn't the missed calls.  It was the officials they put on the field. 

  • Kevin Schwarzel the back judge for the game, lives in Ohio and is on record as an Ohio State fan.   In 2006,  he was not allowed to officiate the OSU - Michigan game for conflict of interest.   He was the back judge on Saturday.

  • Bobby Sagers, the side judge for the game.   Bobby is also from Ohio and was recently inducted in the OHSAA hall of fame in Columbus.

  • Daniel Capron the lead official was fired by the Big Ten in 2002 for being a poor official.

Schwarzel and Sagers should never been on the field for the biggest game of the year.  That is a clear conflict of interest.  I don't know these men and I don't know their integrity, but that doesn't matter as they are humans and could not make a neutral decision.   I'm less concerned with Capron, he might have become a better official in the last 14 years.

This is the huge mistake by the Big Ten and puts the entire game under a light the Big Ten will run away from as fast as they can.   The Big Ten's worst fear is that a game would be fixed by officials.   A conference will always back their officials even when mistakes are made on the field.  

All of our arguments are "matter of opinion" on pass interference or the 4th down spot.   The huge issue is there were "Ohio" officials on the field and their integrity and rooting interest has to be questioned, because they never should have been put in that position by the Big Ten.    It really can't be questioned that the Big Ten made a huge mistake and could have (or did) affect the outcome.   Jimmy has every right to be mad at the officials and the Big Ten for this clear conflict of interest.  

  • Reports are that Peppers mother is starting to interview agents.   This is not a surprise.

  • On the 4th down spot and the reason the booth got it wrong was the location of the Ohio State's TE butt.   Barrett gets hit low by Hill, but he then runs in the butt of the #88 OSU TE and falls back two yards.  If his butt is past the line, first down.  His butt was clearly short of the yard to gain.  There was no way the booth was going to overturn that call.   There was also a good camera angle from behind that showed he was short that the booth clearly ignored.  

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Gift Wrapped

Michigan was the better team today and still lost.  Why did they lose?  Because they gift wrapped all of Ohio State's points.   

The first interception was a blown blocking assignment by senior RB DeVeon Smith.   Free 7 points.

The second interception was Wilton making a bad read and then Jimmy losing his mind.   Free 7 points.     Total of 14 free points, delivered right to Ohio State's living room by Michigan's offense. 

The fumble on the goal line was kindly returned by a stupid fake punt.   That was an even exchange. 

Senior Safety Hill, also gift wrapped the final field goal, by taking a 15 yard interference call on a ball that was way over thrown.  

OSU's offense scored 6 points on the Michigan defense in regulation.  Michigan's offense delivered the rest.

  • The spot on Barett's 4th down  was very questionable.   The ball is in his right hand and he was hit sideways.   I believe he was short, but the officials don't have the balls to over turn that call.  The Big Ten officials again were too involved in the game.  The calls favored the Buckeyes most of the day.    I don't understand why the Big Ten can't get competent officials in the biggest game of the year.

  • The Michigan defense was gassed and I knew overtime was not going to be good for the Wolverines.     
Wilton was great and terrible on the day.   I liked Michigan's aggressive strategy but I really wanted to see if we could have run the ball a bit more effectively in the second half. 

The bottom line is you can't give OSU 14 points when they can't move the ball on Michigan's defense all day.   JT Barrett is a full back that throws some times and the Michigan defense for the most part did their job.   OSU is going to get rolled in the playoffs, they are just not dynamic enough on offense.

What a waste of an effort, game plan and season.    A gift wrapped victory for the Buckeyes.   

Friday, November 25, 2016

Ohio State Preview

Image result for broken buckeye nut

Time: 12:00
Location: Ohio Stadium
Weather: Cloudy and 42
Line: OSU -6.5

I don't care who is ranked what, I don't care who leads in the series, I don't care who has won the last few games.   This game has always been about two things:  heart and talent. 

Michigan has been lacking in the talent department ever since Lloyd Carr retired.   RR didn't understand the rivalry and Hoke was over his skies.  Michigan now has talent and a head coach that can go head to head with Meyer. 

I don't care what Ohio State looked like last week, they will be a completely different team Saturday at noon.

Tale of the Tape

Michigan D vs. OSU RB's =  Michigan D
Michigan O vs. A Stacked Box = Ohio State
JT Barrett vs. 3rd and 4 = JT
Special Teams = Michigan
Michigan Passing Attack vs. OSU D = ?

This game comes down to one thing to me.   Can Michigan move the ball through the air against OSU's defense?  It's a noon start and the weather shouldn't be a factor.   If Wilton plays, can he stay healthy enough to hit the Michigan WR's down field?   Can Darboh and Chesson get separation? 

Both teams will try to stack the box to stop the run.   I'm betting Peppers will be spying on Barrett all game.   The 3rd down and 4 scrambles worry me for keeping drives alive.    Peppers is going to have to tackle JT early and often for Michigan to stop the Buckeyes on defense. 

Sing, Indy here we come if........................
  • Wilton plays and has 250 yards+ throwing
  • Michigan is getting first downs on the ground
  • Michigan is not letting JT scramble for first downs
  • Michigan is stopping the OSU running game.
  • Peppers is the best player on the field
Yell, this sh*t is all too familiar if.....................
  • Michigan offense looks like it has been the last two weeks and can't move the ball
  • OSU is getting to the edge on Michigan's defense
  • OSU is winning the game on the ground
  • It doesn't matter who is playing QB for Michigan

I don't like how Michigan has played on offense the last two weeks at all.   There are questions at QB and the lack of scoring is a huge concern coming into Columbus.   Michigan finally can match the talent and even has more experience this year then the Buckeyes.   Will the most important position on the field trump that talent and experience? 

That is the question of the day.   MSU beat OSU last year with their second and third string QB's.   That was in terrible weather, when JT seems to struggle.  I like this game much more if Wilton is 100% healthy and they have put up 40 points the last two weeks.  From what my eyes saw last week, I'm not sure John O'Korn can beat the Buckeyes.  I do like the noon start for the Wolverines, this team seems to play better earlier then later in the day. 

The bottom line is Michigan struggled on the road against Iowa, Wilton had a terrible day and got hurt.  With the way the offense has been trending, with OSU having a similar defense, and being at home, the Buckeyes are the clear favorite.   It's time to find out if Harbaugh is a great coach or a freaking wizard.

Ohio State 24 Michigan 10