Friday, November 17, 2017

Wisconsin Preview
Time: 12:00 EST
Location: Camp Randall
TV: Fox
Stream: Fox to Go
Weather: 37 & 80% rain
Line: Wisconsin -7.5

This line has dropped 2.5 points since it opened.   Which means Vegas started to take a bunch of money on Michigan to cover.   Some breaking news out of Madison is that WR's Rushing and Peavy who were both hurt are now off the team.   Which seems like a strange development before their biggest game of the year. 

Neither Michigan nor Wisconsin has any big wins this year and each will be looking to change that trend on Saturday.  (Florida was ranked when Michigan beat them early on, but they have since imploded).  Jim McElwain now has more time for deep sea fishing.

Tale of the Tape:
Michigan O vs. Wisconsin D = Wisconsin
Michigan D vs. Wisconsin O = Michigan
Special Teams = Wisconsin
Weather = Wisconsin
Coaching = Push
Intangibles = Wisconsin

Michigan lost to MSU in a monsoon and Michigan lost to PSU in bad game planning by the Wolverine coaches.   The weather forecast looks to be cold and rainy.   Which should limit the passing game, which fits both offenses style of play. 

Yell, a round of cheese for everyone if................
  • Don Brown is able to stop Jonathan Taylor
  • Michigan plays clean on offense
  • Michigan's defense creates 2-3 turnovers
  • B. Peters passes for 200 yards
  • Nordin makes 100% of field goals and extra points
Say quietly, well it's just one of those years if.............
  • Wisconsin has the best defense in the stadium
  • Michigan can't move the ball on offense
  • Michigan's defense plays Taylor like they did Barkley
  • Peters has a bad day
These teams are very similar, neither throw to the WR's and both prefer to run the ball and use the TE's in the passing game.  Wisconsin is all about running Jonathan Taylor and throwing it to Troy Fumagalli.  If this was a Bill Belichick game plan he would take those two guys out and have QB Hornibrook beat the Wolverines.   Don Brown is a great college DC but he didn't do that against Barkley and they gashed the top ranked Wolverine defense.    Wisconsin would love nothing but the same result.

Guess what Wisconsin's game plan will be on defense?  Stop the Michigan running game.  The box will be filled with Badgers and Peters will have to move the ball through the air.   We need a huge game from him, the TE's, and the banged up Michigan WR's.   Michigan will have to pass to open up any run game.   Many of us has expected that Jimmy has been keeping plays off tape for these two games, we will see if that is true early on Saturday afternoon.   Wisconsin's defense gave up 56 total yards to Iowa last week.

This is a very hard game for me to predict.  The weather is going to suck and both teams play solid and sound defense.   Both teams play right into each others strength.  This should be your "daddy's Big Ten game".  No offense, tough defense, and whoever makes the most mistakes loses.   Big Ten teams have played poorly on the road this year and that might be the difference Wisconsin needs.   Michigan is a better team then they were a month ago but still over a TD dog in this game.  It's also a 11:00 am kick off local time.  Which is weird but better for Michigan then a night game.   Every point is important and Nordin better make his kicks.  Side note: Gus Johnson known Michigan fan on the mike for Fox!

Wisconsin 17 Michigan 13

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Big Ten Weekend Preview Week 12

It's clear the Big Ten game of the week is in Madison and there really isn't a close second.  We will just review the huge lines this week in the Big Ten.

Rutgers at IU:  Both teams are 4-6 and looking for two more wins to get to a bowl game.   IU didn't really live up to its possibilities after leading Ohio State at half time in week 1.   Rutgers has played better this year and could sneak out with a win.  IU is -11 in this one.   IU 40 Rutgers 31

Minnesota at Northwestern:  The Wildcats looked terrible to start the season but have ended up being sneaky good at 7-3.  PJ is building a program at Minnesota as they continue to Row the Boat down the river.  I like Northwestern at home -7.5.   NW 24 Minnesota 17

Purdue at Iowa:  The Hawkeyes are great a home and terrible on the road.  They are playing at home and will win big.  Iowa is 7.5.  Iowa 28 Purdue 10

Illinois at OSU:  Buckeyes are -41.  I hope Lovie makes it through this year.  OSU 51 Illinois 14

Maryland at MSU:  The Spartans better be on upset watch this week.  They got run over by OSU last week and Maryland started to gain some confidence in the second half of the Michigan game.   If Maryland doesn't shoot itself in the foot on special teams, I think DJ can keep this one close. MSU is -16 in this game.  MSU 21 Maryland 17

Nebraska at Penn State:  PSU is -26 in this one.  This will be Nebraska's bowl game as they will be home for the holidays and probably looking for a new head coach next weekend.    Penn State is the better team but Nebraska will try to do something to save their season.  This will be close in the first half and then PSU will pull away.   Penn State 36 Nebraska 24

Including the Michigan game there isn't a line lower then a TD in the Big Ten this weekend (7.5 to 41 points). 

  • Derrick Walton scored 20 points in his G-League debut.

  • Breaking News: Brady Hoke will wear a headset this weekend as Tennessee head coach. :)

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Wolverine Wednesday: A Few Injury and Recruiting Updates

Jimmy said on the Big 10 teleconference that if Tarik Black can't make it back for the Bowl Game, Michigan will apply for a medical redshirt.  Black got hurt in the 3rd game and I believe would still qualify for a medical redshirt.   Of course, we don't have any details on his injury.  We know he broke a bone in his foot and its been rumored that its a Lisfranc fracture (injury of the foot in which one or more of the metatarsal bones are displaced from the tarsus).  He has been on that little cart for a number of weeks but now is up and walking around.   With 11 catches this year, he is still Michigan's 5th leading receiver.

  • Isaiah Hole from 24/7 reports that Isaac and Higdon returned to practice on Tuesday, with an eye for playing on Saturday.  Being at practice so early in the week, is a very good sign.

  • Michigan snuck into the college football standings at #24 last night.   If the Wolverines end their season the right way, I hope to see them in the top 10.

  • An interesting 2018 DE prospect is Eyabi Anoma.  He is considered one of the top DE's in the 2018 class and will be visiting A2 next weekend for the OSU game.   He plays for Biff Poggi who you know was on Jimmy's staff last year and his son just scored his first TD for the Wolverines last weekend.   (BTW: It's great that Jimmy does that for players when playing in their home state!).  Eyabi is not a lock for the Wolverines, in fact just the opposite, insiders believe he is headed to Alabama.
  • Don Brown is recruiting Florida 2018 commit DE Taylor Upshaw while Florida doesn't have a head coach.   Rumors are that UF is considering Chip Kelly as its next coach.

  • Michigan Basketball has signed all 5 recruits in the 2018 class.   It also ranks as the #5 class in the country:
The Class of 2018 includes:
  • Ignas Brazdeikis, 6-8, forward, Oakville, Ontario (Orangeville Prep)
  • Colin Castleton, 6-11, center, Daytona Beach, Florida (Father Lopez Catholic HS)
  • David DeJulius, 6-1, guard, Detroit, Michigan (East English Village HS)
  • Brandon Johns, 6-8, forward, East Lansing, Michigan (East Lansing HS)
  • Adrien Nunez, 6-5, guard, Brooklyn, New York (St. Thomas More Prep)

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Michigan Tuesday: First Look at Basketball

Michigan forward Moritz Wagner (13) and guard Charles
Tony Ding, AP
John Beilein's Michigan Basketball team took the court again last night and got it's second win over a gritty Central Michigan squad. 

My first impression is this team is very rare.   They're probably 10 games away from looking like a true team with all the pieces fitting in correctly.   The good news is this team is very talented and once they figure it out, can be really good. 

Too many point guards:  Michigan has a problem with too many point guards.   MAAR was the best one last night has he had 17 points, but Simpson was 5-7 shooting for 13 points as well.   The best point guard might be graduate transfer Jaaron Simmons, who looks very confident with the ball and just needs to find his role on this team. 

Real Biggs:  Wagner is a good player, but I would rather see him in the paint then shooting 3's.  I think that might be an issue this year.   Michigan needs his presence in the low post for scoring and rebounding.   7-1 Jon Teske played well last night and will be a good shot blocker and rebounder this year. 

Charles Matthews might be the best player on the Wolverines squad.  He is a poor mans Paul George type of player.   He is athletic and can create off the dribble.   He didn't shoot well last night, but is going to be a factor this year and maybe the next Michigan star. 

Duncan Robinson is still the same player.  A streaky shooter and not a great defender.  

The talent is there, this team just needs more games to figure things out. 

  • Wilton has been cleared to practice, just no contact yet.   Same for Nick Eubanks.

  • The injury news seems positive on Higdon, Isaac, Onwenu, and Gary.

  • Lavert Hill is still in the concussion protocol.

  • Looks like the upside for Tarik Black would be a bowl game.  

  • Speaking of injuries, Wisconsin has some as well.  Not expected to play:  LB Orr, WR's Peavey and Rushing.  DB Dixon and Center Biadasz are both questionable.