Thursday, October 27, 2016

Michigan Thursday: Updates Injuries and Looks Ahead to Big Ten Weekend

Jimmy spoke on the radio this morning and gave updates that Evans practiced yesterday and isn't showing any signs.   He still has to be approved by doctors before he can play on Saturday.  I would be a bit surprised if he played. 

It seems Khalid Hill also got hurt last Saturday but is expected to play on Sunday. 

During Jedd Fisch press conference this week, he mentioned a couple of interesting things.   He said the TD to Wheatley was play designed for the redshirt freshman.   Also, he likes the snaps that O'Korn is getting in games and that he is progressing as a QB.

Big 10 Game of the Week:

Nebraska at Wisconsin:  The Badgers lost two games in a row and didn't drop in the ratings.   They did finally beat Iowa last week.  Nebraska is probably one of the quietest Top 10 teams we have had lately.   A good example is most believe Wisconsin is the best team in the Big 10 West.  They are actually in 4th/5th  (tied with Minnesota) place below Nebraska, Iowa, and Northwestern.  Vegas isn't buying Nebraska either as the Cornhuskers are 9 point dog to Wisconsin at home.  Nebraska also has to travel to OSU next week.   I still think Wisconsin is the better team.   Wisconsin 17 Nebraska 14

Maryland at Indiana:  This is the classis IU team, we think there is something there and then they end up not making a bowl game.   Maryland had a nice win over a down MSU team last weekend.   They need one more win to go bowling in Durkin's first year.  They also visit A2 next weekend.    I think Maryland is the better team but I expect IU to score a lot in this one.   IU is favored by 5.   IU 38 Maryland 27

Penn State at Purdue:  Penn State had it's biggest victory in probably 10 years last weekend.   Purdue is now in head coaching searching mode.   Purdue seemed to get a pump in energy with the new head coach as they played a close game against Nebraska.   I think Penn State is still riding high and will take are of Purdue pretty easily.  PSU -13.5   Penn State 28 Purdue 10

Minnesota at Illinois:  The Golden Gophers are one win away from bowl eligibility.   I think they beat Illinois pretty easily.   Minnesota is -9.   Minnesota 24 Illinois 13

  • Bob Wischusen and Brock Huard will be calling the Michigan game on Saturday.

  • Oregon commit DL commit Rutger Reitmaier is looking to visit for the IU Game.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Wolverine Wednesday: Jimmy is Getting Paid came out with it's highest paid coaches in college football and it lists Jimmy's compensation this year at $9M.   Which may surprise some of you.   I think it has something to do with that insurance policy but he is now ahead of Nick Sabin my a pretty large margin.

As we know, Jimmy is worth every penny!

Here is a quick look at the top 10:

1Jim HarbaughMichigan$9,004,000
2Nick SabanAlabama$6,939,395
3Urban MeyerOhio State$6,094,800
4Bob StoopsOklahoma$5,550,000
5Jimbo FisherFlorida State$5,250,000
6Charlie StrongTexas$5,200,130
7Kevin SumlinTexas A&M$5,000,000
8Gus MalzahnAuburn$4,729,500
9Hugh FreezeOle Miss$4,703,500
10 (tie)Kirk FerentzIowa$4,500,000
10 (tie)James FranklinPenn State$4,500,000

  • ESPN List the top 50 players in college football:  Peppers is at #2 and Lewis is #17.  No Butt?

  • Don Brown said today in his presser that he has been playing the Second Defense a lot in practice to give them more experience and to rest the starters.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Michigan Tuesday: Recaps Commit and Starts To Look Forward to MSU

3 star DE Kwity Paye committed to Michigan yesterday.   He was a BC commit but visited for the Wisconsin game and took an official to BC last weekend.  It was clear to him, that his heart was in Ann Arbor and he pulled the trigger on a commitment to the Maize and Blue yesterday.

Kwity is a bit of an under the radar recruit and is ranked a 3 star prospect across the board, minus ESPN who has him as a 4 star.  His offer list also doesn't make you swoon, with only BC, Navy, Rutgers, Syracuse, and Toledo on it. 

This is a Don Brown recruit and I'm sure Don has specific plans for the 6'3 225 pound athlete.   I expect he will redshirt next year to maybe learn a LB position.  

Welcome Kwity!

Jimmy Speaks:

  • This is a big game for us. Championship type of ballgame. Our preparations will need to be at their best. I don’t know much more to say about it than that. That says it all.”

  • The left side of the offensive line is still a weekly completion.   The new left side with Braden at LT and  Bredeson at LG could change as Bushell-Beatty is also in the mix.   

  • Chris Evans of course has a concussion and is questionable for this weekend.

  • Kareem Walker will red shirt

ESPN is providing plenty of motivation for the Wolverines on Saturday.  They are constantly playing the block punt on a commercial to advertise the game on Saturday.    I'm sure this is just another reminder about the goal on Saturday. 

In fact, reports are that Jourdan Lewis was getting a bit "salty" after all the MSU questions during the players press conference on Monday.


  • El Cerrito, CA 2017 4 star OL Aaron Banks will visit A2 next month.

  • 4 star OT Mekhi Becton may visit for the Maryland game

  • Robert Porcher IV  really enjoyed his Michigan visit last weekend

Monday, October 24, 2016

Michigan Monday: Does Post Game Today in a Yankees Announcer Voice

Hey Superman - Let me see you Fly! David Guralnick, Detroit News
Sorry for the late recap from this weekend:

It's really starting to get hard to find flaws with this team.  Wilton who has had some accuracy problems in the past, looked much improved on Saturday afternoon.   I was thinking the same thing, but I will let Jimmy say it, We were just executing well. I was really, really impressed. Those first three drives of the game, and then the entire game-- I thought Wilton Speight might have had one of the best games of his career.

Wilton was 16/23 for 253 yards and 2 TD's.  Most importantly he didn't throw anything that resembled a bad throw or one that could be picked.   They say, he spent the entire bye week looking at film and I think it helped. 

The defense nearly pitched another shutout but a 50/50 ball went Illinois way.  The running game was also sharp, led by some nice running by Higdon who lead the team with 106 yards.  

Kenny also got back on track and hit two field goals.  

  • Improved QB Play
  • Defense for giving up one TD
  • Thomas had a nice game at safety and his first Int.
  • Higdon is a very nice back and has a huge upside
  • Darboh was one yard away from another 100 yard performance
  • Wheat got his first TD!
  • Another great coaching job by the Michigan staff (no let down)

  • Grant Perry is in the dog house and didn't play
  • Chris Evans blacked out after his hit
  • Peppers didn't get in the end zone

I don't know what targeting is anymore but it sure looked like it on Evans hit.   He blacked out and was doing better by half-time, I suspect we won't see him this weekend against MSU.   It's best for him to rest a couple of weeks before any contact. 

Now it's time to turn the page and look what happens to be in the front windshield:  A trip to East Lansing! I know the Buckeyes lost this weekend but first things first.   I don't think there will be any trouble getting up for this game.    I also don't care how the Spartans are playing, this is going to be a hard hitting game.   Love the 12:00 kick!


In the your best Yankees announcer voice:   Welcome, Donovan Jeter........Jeter

Right after his de-commitment from ND last week and his official visit to Ann Arbor this weekend, four-star Beaver Falls DT/DE Donovan Jeter announced he wanted to commit to the Wolverines yesterday. Jeter is 6'5 and 250 pounds, reports are he got as high at 300 last year but has trimmed down.

He is a 4 star to all the services and pretty much a top 300 player.  ESPN rates him the highest at #80.  His offer list was pretty incredible with the likes of Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Miami FL, MSU, Nebraska, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Penn State, Pitt, South Carolina, Stanford, Tennessee, UCLA, West Virginia, Wisconsin and others.

This was a strong Greg Mattision recruitment and he gave the Pittsburg media this following quote (HT to Mgoblog)

“I don’t want to play for a mediocre school,” he said. “I don’t want to play for a team that goes like 7-6. I want to go to a school that plays in the big bowl games or plays in the College Football Playoff. I don’t want to go to an average school because I don’t think I’m an average player. I want to make big time plays on a big time stage.”


This is the 3rd DT in this class and it will now be interesting to see how this affects the recruitment of last weekend visitor Jay Tufele and in-state Deron Irving-Bey.

  • Weekend visitor LB Willie Gay de-committed from Ole Miss after his visit to A2 this past weekend.  

  • Breaking News:  3-star weakside defensive end Kwity Paye has de-committed from BC and committed to Michigan this morning.

  • Michigan Maryland is a 3:30 kick off

Friday, October 21, 2016

Illinois Preview

 Image result for Lovie Smith illinois
Time: 3:30
Location: Big House
Weather:  52 and No Rain
Line: Michigan -39

Remember when it always seemed Michigan missed the Big Ten teams that were having a seriously down year?   Mostly, when Michigan was having a down year and we needed wins for bowl eligibility.

I think the scheduling gods made up for all those misses with this years schedule.  On the flip side, the only way we see #8 Nebraska would be in the Big 10 Championship game.  (Nebraska is at OSU on 11/5 for those looking ahead) Illinois is trying to rebuild and played Rutgers last week to a 24-7 win.   That win came after 4 straight losses.  

Tale of the Tape

Michigan vs. Illinois = Pain

Michigan beat Rutgers 78-0 on the road two weeks ago.  Illinois and Lovie Smith are a step up from Rutgers but not a big step.   I think Lovie has a really good chance of turning Illinois around in 4-5 years.  Lovie is a solid hire and a huge step up from Tim Beckman.  On a positive note, Illinois did lose to Nebraska 31-16 a couple of weeks ago.  That score isn't a complete blowout.

Illinois will try to win this game on defense.   They of course play a Tampa 2 type of defense and will try to pressure Wilton into making mistakes.   That is the only chance they have in this match-up. 

Consider leaving early if...............................
  • Michigan's RB's have another huge day and even Smith gets over 100 yards.
  • Wilton looks fresh and better after a week off
  • Michigan defense pitches a shut out again
  • Everybody is healthy
Say, I really don't love Lovie if......................
  • Michigan has over looked this game
  • Wilton struggles under pressure
  • This game is closer then it should be

This game is really a miss-match anyway you look at it. Its a 40 point line with some books in Vegas.  Michigan is rested and looking forward to a trip an hour north next weekend.   The one thing we need to continue to see is improved QB play.  I'm not sure we have strong enough QB play right now to beat Ohio State in Columbus or someone like Alabama/Clemson in the playoffs.   I hope John O'Korn gets a ton of snaps, as he is one play away from being the starter.   It would be great for Peppers to get a couple highlights in and then rest for the second half. 

Michigan 48 Illinois 3

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Michigan Thursday: More Visitors and a Look at The Big Ten Weekend

There has been some significant additions to this weekend's visitor list:

  • 4 Star DE Donovan Jeter who just de-committed from ND earlier this week is visiting Ann Arbor this weekend.   A guy named Jeter should go to Michigan or the Yankees.

  • 4 Star TE from California Josh Falo.  Josh is considered one of the better TE's in the nation.
Mississippi LB Willie Gay, says Michigan is his #1 school right now.  As reported yesterday, Willie will be on campus this weekend as well.  It's very difficult to pull prospects out of the State of Mississippi, as most recruits stay at home or go to another close SEC school.   Willie is currently committed to Ole Miss.

  • WR Nico Collins will take his official to Michigan on November 5th

  • Michigan coaches visited WR Brad Hawkins during the bye week.   Hopefully, he got everything worked out and can get to A2 in January or this summer.   In the past, this situation (not enrolling and going to a prep school)  hasn't really worked out for Michigan.   I hope this one does.

  • BC Commit DE Kwity Paye could be on flip commit watch.

Big Ten Weekend

Game of the Weekend:

Wisconsin at Iowa:  Wisconsin has lost their last two games and still in the top 10.   Iowa lost a couple games but won their last two.  Wisconsin is a 2.5 favorite.  This is a good noon game and I look for a low scoring Wisconsin win.   Wisconsin 17 Iowa 10

IU at Northwestern:  The battle of the 3-3 teams.  These teams have looked pretty good this year and looked terrible.   Vegas has no idea what to do with this game and has made Northwestern a 1.5 favorite.   The Wildcats seems to be hot and I will go with them.   Northwestern 42 IU 38

MSU at Maryland:  MSU has won 2 games this year and lost 4 in a row.  Maryland is 4-2 and it seems our former DC DJ Durkin is really improving that program.   MSU is favored in this game by 2.5 points.   Not sure how that could be possible.   Maryland 24 MSU 20

OSU at PSU:  This game always looks good at the beginning of the year at TV flocks to it.   ABC is doing it's primetime game in Happy Valley.   Penn State has been playing better since they laid down in Ann Arbor a few weeks ago but there had to be better options for the primetime game.   OSU is favored by 19.5, this game won't be close.   OSU 42 PSU 10

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Wolverine Wednesday: Updates Visitor List For Illinois

Michigan doesn't have a ton of high profile recruits coming in for the Illinois game but there are some important recruits coming to town.   Here's  a look at the guys that are scheduled to be in Ann Arbor this weekend:

  • Jay Tufele, 4 star DT taking his official visit to Ann Arbor

  • Robert Porcher IV, 3 Star DE committed to Nebraska.   His dad was of course is the former Detroit Lions DE. 

  • Wille Gay, 4 star LB who is committed to Ole Miss

  • Martin Andrus, 3 star DT from California

  • Kai-Leon Herbert, OL commit from Florida

  • Matt Hankins, 3 star CB who is committed to Iowa

Herbert has been looking around at the Florida schools, so this is an important trip to try to keep him in the class.   Tufele is a guy the coaches are very high on and this trip is important if they want to get him to come all the way from Utah to Ann Arbor for college.