So long, Maize n Brew

July 27, 2015 by  
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Thank you and goodnight!

I'm in a very strange position because it seems like it were just yesterday that I was writing my first recruiting roundup on the site.

Now, today, it's time I say goodbye.

I officially accepted a Beat Writer position to work with Sam Webb over at The Michigan Insider on the network. For those of you that have been following me for awhile, you know my dreams are to become a full-time sports writer. Working at Scout is the next logical step. My last day will be August 31, but much will need to be done until then so I can't promise I'll be around much.

SB Nation and Maize n Brew has provided a platform for me that I never thought possible. From a Brady Hoke firing press conference to Jim Harbaugh's introductory presser, the path has been a whirlwind of events that have culimated into today's events.

I was within inches of Cristiano Ronaldo at the Big House soccer game, I sat down and spoke with Mike Barwis and attended other cool events, and I even made some contacts along the way.

There comes a time where all good things must come to an end and, at least for me, this is my fitting end.

I'll still be doing a lot of the stuff you are accustomed and perhaps a little bit more on the new platform. Don't worry, I won't be stuck behind paywalls all of the time.

It's impossible to thank each person that has helped me along the way to get to this point. I'd be a total bore and could go on all day. So, I'll say this, thank you for your support and reading OUR material. Without you, the meteoric rise of Maize n Brew in the SB Nation network wouldn't be possible.

There's still a lot to prove, so please stick with MnB. The future is bright and I am SO very proud of what I have accomplished during my time here.

I may still drop by from time-to-time, but my visits will be limited due to contractual obligations.

I'm always available via email or you can reach out to me on Twitter @HenschkeScout.

Thank you, everyone, for helping to make my dreams a reality. There's a long way to go, so I hope you continue the next stage with me.

So long.

Big Ten Trends: Taking A Look At Week One Openers

July 27, 2015 by  
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The opening week in the Big 10 offers some interesting trends to consider.

Trends and history play just a fraction in determining the outcome of a game.

While the randomness of college football frequently overtakes past results, perhaps previous data can illustrate even a portion of what we can expect once the season kicks off. The opening frame looks a bit like this:

Michigan @ Utah -4.5, 46.5

Jim Harbaugh's return to the college football scene will match him up with Kyle Whittingham's Utah Utes, a rematch of a 2014 back breaker for the Wolverines, as the PAC 12 representatives overcame the Maize and Blue in the Big House, 26-10.

While Harbaugh may be revisiting the PAC 12 given his stint with Stanford, Utah's transition to the Power Five conference didn't come until he ventured into the San Francisco 49ers system.

For the sixth consecutive season, Whittingham will open as the favorite, as the 'books have marked the Utes as 4.5-point favorites, the total currently sitting at 46.5.

Key trend: Kyle Whittingham is 3-6-1 against the spread in openers, the three wins combined by just 8.5 points (by the spread)

Kent State @ Illinois -16.5, 54.5

The first historical meeting between Kent State and the Illinois Fighting Illini is officially set for Week 1 when the Golden Flashes and head coach Paul Haynes venture to Champaign for a matchup with ex-MAC guru Tim Beckman. The ringleader for the Toledo Rockets from 2009-2011, let me guess, Beckman will probably be on the hot seat for 2015?

While that trend seems all but imminent with the transition to autumn, here's a few to keep an eye on for your traditional MAC-B1G showdown:

-Since Tim Beckman took the reins as Illinois head coach, he is 4-8 against the spread as a favorite and 5-1 to the OVER versus group of five opponents

-Paul Haynes and Kent State are 5-3 against the spread when marked a double-digit underdog

Don't be surprised if points come aplenty for the Fighting Illini as Beckman's handled mid-majors early in the season since the hire. While he's averaging nearly 38 points versus that group, he's also 8-4 straight up in weeks 1-4 since 2012, while regressing to a dismal 4-20 clip following.

Michigan State @ Western Michigan +19, 58

The nation caught a glimpse of a rather irregular Michigan State Spartans team in 2014 as quarterback Connor Cookdazzled, Sparty really catching a nice groove on offense, concluding the season 11th nationally via total yards (500.8 YPG).

Perhaps the prototypical stout defense returns to the forefront and acts as the centerpiece once more, as Michigan State returns a defensive line chocked full of studs in Shilique Calhoun and Joel Heath. While the offense caught a scorching hot wave with help from WR Tony Lippett and RB Jeremy Langford in '14, the Spartans are in dire need for a playmaker to emerge in 2015.

On the opposite sideline for the opening frame, WMU head coach P.J. Fleck hopes to stack upon a respectable 2014 season, as he led the Broncos to a 8-5 clip; since taking over, he's yet to defeat a Big Ten representative (0-4).

Key Trends: MSU/Mark Dantonio was 7-1 against the spread in 2014 as a double-digit favorite, outscoring opponents by a whopping 36.2 points

-P.J. Fleck/WMU is being outscored by nearly 25 points versus the Big Ten the previous two years.

Stanford @ Northwestern +12.5, 44.5

Sure, some Big Ten teams are evolving into pass-happy offenses that can light up ESPN tickers like a string of lights during Christmas, but one club that might need a dash of help is Pat Fitzgerald's Northwestern Wildcats.

Upon glimpses of success with former QB Kain Colter, things never really blossomed for the beneficiary in Trevor Siemian, but you'd have to at least nag the arms of guys such as WRs Kyle Prater and Tony Jones for under performing the prior season. Many expect RB Justin Jackson to backpack the load on offense for 2015.

For David Shaw's Cardinal, they don't necessarily fit into that blend of PAC 12 damsels. You know, the teams that need to cross the plane eight times a game to win a ballgame (cough, Colorado and Cal), yet the offense appears well-oiled with Kevin Hogan at the helm, complemented by the playmaking abilities of Devin Cajuste and Christian McCaffrey.

Can NW stalemate the physicality of the Cardinal, or does Stanford succumb to a subpar offense? The numbers suggest a low-scoring affair for Week 1.

Key Trends: Since 2011, Fitzgerald/Shaw are 21-7 to the UNDER in regular season contests when the total is set in the 40s

Monday Michigan Recruiting Roundup: Wolverines Make Top Five For Elite 2017 QB

July 27, 2015 by  
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In this edition, a five-star QB includes Michigan in his final list of schools, a visiting prospect from over the weekend, a decision coming for a linebacker target and more.

Martell has Michigan in top five schools

Michigan is in the final five list of schools for 2017 dual-threat quarterback Tate Martell (Las Vegas, Nevada), according to his Twitter account.

The five-star prospect may not be very likely to end up at Michigan, but has said in the past that he would like to visit Ann Arbor sometime this fall. Texas A&M and USC look like the favorites here.

Ahmir Mitchell visits and what's next

Four-star 2016 wide receiver Ahmir Mitchell (Egg Harbor City, New Jersey) visited Michigan over the weekend, where many expected a possible commitment to take place.

That obviously did not take place, but it sounds like the visit went well and a decision between the Wolverines and Ohio State Buckeyes, the school he visited Friday, could come any time now.

He spoke to Scout's Bill Greene about what comes next after his weekend of visits: (FREE)

"I would say it's down to the two schools, Ohio State and Michigan," he added. "Right now, they're neck and neck, and these two visits will tell me and my mom a lot. That's why we are going to Michigan tomorrow (Saturday). We want to sit down with their coaches, and that will give us the chance to compare both places."

"Most likely, I will finish out this month and then in August I will make my decision," Mitchell said. "It's a little crazy, the way it worked out that these two are big rivals. It's kind of ironic it all played out this way, but these are two great schools, with great academics and great teams."

"It's going to be a tough decision for sure," he concluded. "My main thing is my mom and I getting a family feeling, which I've gotten at both schools. I will have visited both schools four times, and it's hard for one to get the upper hand on the other."

Over the weekend, I put in a 247 Crystal Ball prediction for Mitchell to Michigan. The New Jersey connection should continue for the Wolverines on the trail before it is all said and done.

Errol Thompson deciding on Friday

Three-star 2016 linebacker Errol Thompson (Florence, Alabama) will make his college decision on Friday, according to his Twitter account.

Michigan is among the schools he will choose from, but they likely will not factor into the decision. He was supposed to visit Ann Arbor on Aug. 2. It remains to be seen if that will still take place or not.

Cesar Ruiz transferring to IMG Academy

Cesar Ruiz (Camden, New Jersey), 2017's top center, announced on Sunday plans to transfer to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, according to his Twitter account.

Employment in Michigan and Minnesota

July 27, 2015 by  
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The biggest push-back we get on our using Minnesota as a model for Michigan is racial. Some version of “they don’t have the concentration of minorities–particularly low income African Americans–we have.” Which is true. Racial minorities are 13 percent of Minnesota’s working age population (16 and older), 21 percent of Michigan’s. (For African Americans its 4.9 compared to 13.3 percent.) 


But as the table below demonstrates racial differences are not a plausible explanation for why they have better economic outcomes than we do. The table shows the proportion of those 16 and older in each category that worked in 2014. Its the best measure of employment, far better than the unemployment rate.

As you can see more Minnesotans than Michiganders work in every category except Asians. If the same proportion of MIchiganders worked as Minnesotans there would be 847,000 more Michiganders working today. Michigan employment would grow from 4.40 to 5.25 million.

For whites the gap is 10 percentage points. For African Americans its 14. The black/white gap in Michigan is 12 percentage points, in Minnesota its less than five. Whites in Michigan work less than African Americans in Minnesota: 57.3 compared to 63.0 percent.

So something other than racial composition is the explanation for Minnesota’s far superior job-providing economy. Its time we stop using racial composition to excuse away Michigan’s inferior economic outcomes.


The post Employment in Michigan and Minnesota appeared first on Michigan Future Inc..

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July 26, 2015 by  
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Get More Radisson

July 24, 2015 by  
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This week I'm teaming up with Radisson to announce their Get More Radisson® campaign, and offer you a chance to win a stay at a Radisson hotel of your choice! With this campaign, at participating hotels, when you book a 2-night stay, you'll receive an e-certificate for 50% off a future stay! And as many of you know, I absolutely love to travel. Plus, I love to share my adventures and memories with you guys. That's why I thought this collaboration would be a great fit for my blog and a chance for YOU to have your own adventure.

To enter to win a free stay at a Radisson hotel, enter below using the Rafflecopter form. The voucher is valid for a standard room, double occupancy at any Radisson Hotel in North America of your choice!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
With the Get More Radisson® campaign, now through July 25, 2015 at participating hotels, when you book a 2-night stay you'll receive an E-Certificate for 50% off a future stay. All eligible stays must be completed by August 31, 2015, with the discounted stay taking place between September 1, 2015 and January 31, 2016 (with the exclusion of December 31). To join in the #GetMore conversation visit the Radisson® Facebook page throughout the summer for a chance to win weekly prizes. To get even more rewards from your travels, check out Club Carlson and access a collection of benefits, services and privileges at over 1,000 hotels worldwide. The full terms and conditions are located on the room night voucher. Disclaimer: By hosting this giveaway, I received a free stay at Radisson Hotels too! Good luck!

MnB Opponent Q&A: Turtle Power

July 24, 2015 by  
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Maryland beat Michigan in Ann Arbor to notch a signature conference win in year one. They get the Wolverines in College Park this year, and read on to see what kind of team Coach Edsall has for 2015 courtesy of Testudo Times' own Alex Kirshner.

We're about forty days from the start of college football season. Maryland is entering their second year in the Big Ten. What're some goals for this season to not only avoid the sophomore slump but to build on the success they found in year one?

This figures to be a bridge year for Maryland. The Terps graduated most of their defense and a few of their best skill-position players on offense, so maintaining their 7-6 record from a year ago would be quite a feat. They'd surely like to see some growth from a pair of blue-chip offensive tackle recruits from the last few years who haven't yet debuted: Damian Prince and Derwin Gray, five- and four-star pickups, respectively. And it'd be nice to identify a quarterback, seeing as nobody's entrenched at that fairly important position and their best bet for the future, Dwayne Haskins, is only narrowly old enough to drive.

Based on what I'm seeing in your own season previews, Maryland has some quality players returning but also some gaps at key positions. How is Edsall reloading for this year to compete in (his words) the toughest division in all football?

That offensive line growth would help a lot. Maryland's line wasn't "Penn State bad" last season, but it was pretty porous. The team also lost its five top receivers from last year, so finding contributions from some combination of a handful of freshmen will be important to the passing game. On defense, Maryland's personnel really didn't suit a 3-4 scheme, so the Terps parted ways with coordinator Brian Stewart and are working to install a run-stopping 4-3 look for the upcoming season. In this way, the hope is that Maryland can create a product that's greater than the sum of its defensive parts. (The Terps were torched against the run last season, so they really, really need this to work.)

And no Stefon Diggs this year, which was a bit unexpected, so who emerged out of spring ball as a clear number one receiver on the depth chart, if anyone?

Good question.

What's the feeling around College Park in having to deal with Jim Harbaugh being in the Big Ten? Has Edsall done well in locking down talent around the mid-Atlantic to get a head start when so many other B1G schools have national reach?

I don't think Harbaugh has been a huge topic of conversation, at least not beyond the local NFL fans who will always know him as the Ravens coach's brother. But anybody who's followed the college or professional game for the last six or seven years knows how serious Harbaugh is, and his presence in Ann Arbor won't do anything but eventually give Maryland another heavyweight to compete with. Last year's Michigan team was the worst Michigan team Maryland will play for the next 10 years, or however long Harbaugh's tenure lasts. He'll make things harder on the field and on the recruiting trail.

As for the Mid-Atlantic, Edsall's done OK there, but it's probably not Maryland's biggest focus. There's a great deal of talent in the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia area - the so-called DMV - and Maryland's the only major college program around. Haskins's recent commitment was a big deal not just because of how good he is, but because he could, in theory, be the first domino to fall in what he's calling 'the movement' of local talent to College Park. Trevon Diggs, a 2016 cornerback and Stefon's younger brother, could be another. If Maryland is ever to get on a serious upswing in football, cleaning up its own backyard is a good place to start.

What's going to be Maryland's biggest concern heading into this year, and without seeing a game from either team, give me a way-too-early key to beating Michigan on your home field.

Quarterback play and interior run defense are problematic question marks. The Big Ten has a lot of good quarterbacks and a lot of meaty lines. Maryland might have both of those, or it might have neither.

I expect Michigan to beat Maryland this season, although that view could change by the week of the game. Maybe you all view it differently from up close, but I don't feel like I have much of a sense of exactly what Michigan will be good at next year and where it will struggle. I see a defense that was great last year but lost a few great players (and terrible people, mind you) and a lousyoffense that's now getting the equivalent of Quarterback Yoda to coach it and who will probably make it a lot better than it was. Until we have a better idea of Michigan's strength and weaknesses, I don't feel qualified to break it down in great detail. But running well and stopping the run can't hurt.

Beer question: What local brew is getting you guys through the long off season and into September football?

My 21st birthday isn't for a few more days, so I'll take the Fifth on this forum. But what could be more appropriate than Terrapin beer? (It actually exists, I swear. Google it.)

Thanks, Alex!

Sources: Former Wolverine Roy Roundtree to be named wide receiver coach at CSU-Pueblo

July 23, 2015 by  
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Maize n Brew has learned that former Michigan wide receiver Roy Roundtree will become wide receiver coach at CSU-Pueblo.

A former and highly popular Michigan wide receiver will get his start in the coaching ranks.

Sources told Maize n Brew on Thursday that former Wolverine Roy Roundtree will be named wide receiver coach at CSU-Pueblo. Roundtree will be joining former wide receiver coach Jeff Hecklinski, who coached Roundtree while on former head coach Brady Hoke's staff. Hecklinski is currently the passing game coordinator and quarterback coach for the Thunderwolves.

CSU-Pueblo is also coming off a DII National Championship victory last season as it blanked Minnesota State University, Mankato, 13-0.

Roundtree finished his Wolverine career 154 receptions with over 2300-yards receiving and 15 touchdowns. He currently sits eighth in receptions in a single season, seventh for career receptions, second for receiving yards in a single game and seventh in single season receiving yards in the Michigan football record books.

The news of his hiring will be coming official next week according to sources.

The Michigan Man Podcast Episode 254: July Recruiting Update

July 23, 2015 by  
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Recruiting analyst Brandon Brown from The Wolverine is with me to update the classes of 2016 & 2017.

1) News & Notes: We're back to weekly programming beginning with our next show on August 5th. We have great guests lined up on our preview shows, so make sure you join us.

2) Gameday: Recruiting analyst Brandon Brown from The Wolverine Magazine updates the classes of 2016 & 2017. We also discuss the battle at QB, and much more.

3) Quick Hits: News from around WolverineNation

Website: Listener Line: 313 263-4842 Open 24/7 for your calls. Email:

Why Maryland, Rutgers Could Endure ‘Sophomore Slump’

July 23, 2015 by  
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Previous data suggests a decline for Big Ten's recent newcomers

Perhaps a subtle golf clap for both Maryland and Rutgers, a duo that sauntered into the Big 10 and tallied bowl bids in the initial year as conference representatives.

While surveying schedules and dissecting returnees act as vague, loose factors to predict results, I decided to take the scenic route in previewing these clubs, and for newcomers entering sophomore seasons within fresh groups, history won't side with the Scarlet Knights or Terrapins for 2015.

Compiling the list of Power 5 clubs that have realigned the previous handful of seasons, only a pair of programs, Colorado and Mizzou, have sunk beneath the .500 mark in regards to a first-season record.

Aside from Gary Pinkel's Missouri Tigers, the additional eight have all endured worse records in the second season.


First Season Record

Second Season Record

West Virginia





















Texas A&M






Both will have to recuperate following the loss of starting quarterbacks, and for Maryland, it's just one of few puzzles that require piecing. Whether it be Caleb Rowe or Oklahoma State transfer Daxx Garman, the threats available continue to dwindle.

Cutting ties with Deon Long and Stefon Diggs at wide receiver, the Terps appeared somewhat well suited with Marcus Leak and the versatility of Jacquille Veii out of the backfield, but both will be deemed non-factors as the duo departs from the program.

That doesn't suit an offense that compiled the 111th-ranked rushing offense in 2014, as they'll lean on Brandon Ross to hopefully ease the pressure off whomever handles the snaps in 2015. C.J. Brown topped all Terps in rushing yards a season ago.

On the opposite side, Rutgers will look to upgrade from the inconsistent and mishap-prone Gary Nova, and my curiosity of whom would do the replacing sprouted amid Spring Practices.

I had contacted Scarlet Knights beat writer Dan Duggan to obtain the full scoop; here's what he had to say regarding the quarterback battle of Chris Laviano and Hayden Rettig:

"Laviano has a slight edge going into spring practice because of his experience last season as the No. 2 quarterback and getting some game action. But Rettig has more natural talent, and if he can pick up the offense, I think he¹ll ultimately win the competition."

Unlike the Terrapins, the Knights return a star-studded athlete on the hashmarks in Leonte Carroo, a receiver nabbing a breakout year in 2014; he should provide a respectable target and a security blanket for Rettig or Laviano.

While I believe Rutgers is in a better spot in terms of talent, surpassing eight wins may appear a chore for Kyle Flood and Co., as they'll absorb a wealthy share of road contests with Wisconsin, Penn State, Michigan and Indiana, all while hosting Washington State, Nebraska, the Buckeyes and Sparty.

I'm no fortune teller, but don't be surprised if the trend carries on for 2015.

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