December 8, 2013 by Zach Travis
Filed under Uncategorized
Michigan will head to Arizona for the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl against Kansas State.
- We can start off at home, as Maize n Brew's own bowl prognosticator, Pete, has the Wolverines slotted to play in the Gator Bowl, which looks to be one of the likely destinations.
- Over at Off Tackle Empire, they agree with that. The feeling there is that Michigan would match up well with Georgia in the Gator Bowl, providing a good game between two traditional powers with strong fan bases.
- Jason Kirkof SB Nation has Michigan going to the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl against Texas. This game not only pits two of college football's traditional blue-bloods against each other, but would also add the intrigue of Michigan facing its former defensive coordinator, Greg 'GERG' Robinson.
- ESPN also thinks Michigan is Gator Bowl bound against Georgia.
- CBS Sports agrees.
- On that same note, SB Nation's Team Speed Kills also has a UM-UGA matchup predicted, on the basis of, duh:
Georgia then goes to the Gator Bowl to face Michigan, which doesn't really change that much from last time. I thought about putting Minnesota there, but I think the Georgia vs. Michigan game would probably draw more eyeballs and perhaps sell more tickets.
- For the record, Texas blog Burnt Orange Nation thinks that the Longhorns take on Nebraska and not Michigan in the Buffalo Wild Wings bowl. That makes a certain amount of sense, as that matchup would be a big draw given the history between the teams.
So as of now there is a near consensus that Michigan will play Georgia in the Gator Bowl on January 1st, 2014. It isn't a bad matchup. Georgia is 8-4 overall and 5-3 in conference. Whereas Michigan's conference title aspirations were derailed by youth on the interior of the line, Georgia's problems grew out of injuries to skill players of all varieties. There was the early injury to Todd Gurley, followed by an injury to Keith Marshall which robbed the team of most of its rushing attack. Georgia also lost three receivers during the year including number one wideout Malcom Mitchell, who hurt his knee celebrating a Todd Gurley touchdown five plays into the season. Michael Bennett and Justin Scott-Wesley were later knocked out. Oh yeah, and quarterback Aaron Murray tore his ACL.
So yeah, Michigan has had relatively good luck.
The only thing left that can really shake up Michigan's proposed bowl matchup is a shakeup at the top. I don't know if you've heard, but the Big Ten and SEC have important games this weekend which could determine who goes to the BCS Championship game. These bowl predictions rest on the status quo (Ohio State going to the BCS title game). An OSU loss to MSU and an SEC team moving up in the pecking order could alter the layout.
We will know more this weekend, but all signs point to the Dawgs in Florida on New Year's Day.
December 8, 2013 by Big House Jack
Filed under Uncategorized
Amidst rumors that Michigan would face Georgia in the 2014 Gator Bowl, Angelique Chengelis of the Detroit News has tweeted that the Wolverines will actually square off against the Kansas State Wildcats in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, played on December 28. Via Chengelis's twitter:
This is further supported by Kellis Robinett, a reporter for K-State Media. Via his twitter:
Kansas State is headed to the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, where it will play Michigan, according to a source.— Kellis Robinett (@KellisRobinett) December 8, 2013
(Chengelis obviously got the update from him, hence the re-tweet.)
Here is Robinett's full article via The Wichita Eagle:
Kansas State is headed to the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, where it will face Michigan, according to a source.
The postseason game will be played at 9:15 p.m. on Dec. 28 at Sun Devils Stadium in Tempe, Ari. The Wildcats and Wolverines have never played.
K-State was invited to the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl after finishing the regular season 7-5. The Wildcats were originally in line to play in the Holiday Bowl, which picks fifth in the Big 12’s bowl pecking order, but two Big 12 teams are headed to BCS bowls. That opened the door for the Wildcats to move up to the conference’s No. 4 bowl. The Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl is also the No. 4 bowl in the Big Ten’s pecking order. It selected Michigan from that conference — another 7-5 team.
Many expected the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl to match K-State with former Big Eight and Big 12 rival Nebraska.
An official bowl announcement will be made at about 7:45 p.m. Sunday evening, after the BCS bowls make their choices public.
The source said K-State will receive a ticket allotment of 11,000 to the game, and tickets will be located in prime locations of the stadium. All fans are welcome to purchase bowl tickets on the school’s athletic web site, by phone or in person.
Like the earlier Gator Bowl rumors, this has not yet been confirmed by either of the athletic departments, nor the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl website. Presumably we'll know when the bowl selections are announced on ESPN.
Nam Le of SB Nation has recently posted an article saying that Michigan and Kansas State will indeed face each other in the December 28 bowl game.
Here is Le's rundown of Kansas State:
A season-opening loss to North Dakota State could have spelled trouble for Bill Snyder and crew. Instead, the Wildcats picked themselves back up and rallied for another bowl season -- their fourth in a row. Their 7-5 record looks all the more surprising considering they were at one point 2-4, losing three in a row to Baylor, Texas and Oklahoma State.
Wide receiver Tyler Lockett carries most of the load on offense, accounting for as many receiving yards individually as the team’s second- and third-leading receivers put together, with 1,146 to their 904. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he has caught more touchdowns than Tramaine Thompson and Curry Sexton, as well, eight to five.
On the other side of the ball, the Wildcats will lean heavily on defensive end Ryan Mueller, who has 18.5 tackles for loss and 11 sacks on the season. Helping him out will be the fantastically named Blake Slaughter, who leads Kansas State with 103 tackles (6.0 for loss).
Check back here for updates.
UPDATE: The scheduling of Michigan vs. Kansas State in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl is confirmed. Via Michigan Football Twitter:
Also, MGoBlue.com official release:
The University of Michigan football team has accepted an invitation to play in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl against Kansas State from the Big 12 Conference on Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013. The game will be televised nationally by ESPN starting at 10:15 p.m. EST from Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.
This is the first time that Michigan will play in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl (formerly the Copper Bowl) but the second time that the football program plays a bowl game in the state of Arizona.
The only previous visit to the Grand Canyon State was the 1986 Fiesta Bowl held at Sun Devil Stadium. The fifth-ranked Wolverines defeated No. 8 Nebraska, 27-23, to finish the season ranked second in the national polls. Tailback Jamie Morris was named the offensive player of the game, and defensive lineman Mark Messner was selected as the defensive player of the game.
The Wolverines will be making their 43rd all-time bowl appearance (20-22). This will be the first-ever meeting between Michigan (7-5) and Kansas State (7-5) and the fourth time that U-M has faced a Big 12 foe in a bowl game.
The Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl Home Page also has a summary of the two teams:
Michigan vs. Kansas State
Kansas State and Michigan have been playing college football collectively for 236 years. Yet when the two old-school programs collide at Sun Devil Stadium on December 28 in the 25th Annual Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, it will mark their first meeting. Michigan makes its first Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl appearance. For K-State, it’s a third trip. In 2001, it lost to Syracuse, 26-3, then in 1993, it defeated Wyoming, 52-17.
Which includes a comparison of the two programs:
The blue-blood Wolverines are completing their 134th season of college football. They boast 910 all-time wins, the most of any institution at any level of college football. Their .733 all-time winning percentage also leads the nation. The program boasts 42 bowl appearances, 11 national championships, 3 Heisman Trophy winners, 11 national award recipients, 36 College Football Hall of Fame members and 339 NFL draft picks. Michigan is appearing in its fourth consecutive bowl game and its 37th in the last 39 years.
Kansas State Pedigree
Kansas State has been playing college football for 102 years. The Wildcats are appearing in their fourth consecutive bowl game and 15th in the past 20 seasons. It has tallied points in 215 consecutive games, the 10th-longest streak in the nation and the lengthiest in the Big 12. KSU has not been shut out since November 16, 1996. The Wildcats will be playing in their 18th bowl game, a list that includes last year’s Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Since 1999, K-State leads the nation in non-offensive touchdowns (91).
And how each did this year:
Michigan in 2013
The 7-5 Wolverines climbed as high as 11th in the Associated Press poll and 12th in its USA Today counterpart, both in week three. Overall, they spent nine and 10 weeks ranked in the two polls, respectively. Michigan was 1-2 against ranked opponents, including a victory vs. No. 14 Notre Dame on September 7. UM’s offense ranked third in the Big Ten in pass efficiency (143.5) and fourth in scoring (33.8 ppg) and passing offense (252.1 ypg). Michigan scored 40 or more points six times. The Wolverines’ defense ranked second in the Big Ten in interceptions (17), fourth in pass defense efficiency (119.2) and fifth in rush defense (139.4 ypg). Wide receiver Jeremy Gallon set single-game school and Big Ten record with 369 receiving yards against Indiana on October 19. In the same game, quarterback Devin Gardner set records with 584 yards total offense and 503 passing yards. Tight end Devin Funchess logged 727 receiving yards, a single-season record for Wolverine tight ends. He led Big Ten tight ends in receptions (47), yards and touchdowns (6) and among all FBS tight ends, he ranks third in receiving yards, fourth in catches and tied for sixth in touchdowns.
K-State in 2013
Kansas State qualified for its fourth consecutive bowl appearance with grit, perseverance and resiliency. After starting the season 2-4, the Wildcats won four straight conference games to become bowl eligible, then ended their season with a fifth-straight victory over in-state rival Kansas to finish 7-5. K-State’s five losses were by 10 points or less, and the Wildcats held fourth-quarter leads in three of those contests. Along the way, KSU became just the fourth school in Big 12 history to become bowl eligible after starting a season 2-4. Only eight percent of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools in the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) era (48 of 597) have started a season 2-4 or worse and become bowl eligible prior to the 2013 Wildcats. All-America candidate Tyler Lockett has paced KSU’s offense that averages 33.4 points per game. Lockett, a dynamic wide receiver and kick returner, ranks among the nation’s leaders at both positions. The Wildcats bring a two-quarterback system to Arizona — junior Jake Waters (2,198 passing yards, 15 touchdown passes) and sophomore Daniel Sams (11 rushing touchdowns, 4 touchdown passes). Running back John Hubert is just 32 yards shy of 1,000 rushing yards this season.
Thoughts? Share your opinion in the comments.
December 8, 2013 by Zach Travis
Filed under Uncategorized
Michigan State had one last shakeup for the season, and the SEC gets another chance to extend its title streak.
|1||Florida State (56)||13-0||1,496||1|
|Others Receiving Votes: USC 74, Iowa 48, Miami (FL) 47, Vanderbilt 25, Texas 22, Cincinnati 11, Bowling Green 10, Washington 9, Rice 7, North Dakota State 4, Minnesota 2|
|RANK||TEAM||RECORD||POINTS||FIRST PLACE VOTES||PREVIOUS RANK||CHANGE||HI/LOW*|
Well, someone had to win.
The BCS title game is now clear: it will be the ACC bully Florida State vs. Auburn, a team that as of late resembles the boulder in Raiders of the Lost Ark. The SEC-Big Ten arguments were put to rest as Michigan State dispatched with Ohio State with a strong closing quarter. This pushes the Spartans up to 4th overall — a year before the playoff would have included them. Ohio State is down to 7th in the AP. Alabama remains third.
Possible Michigan bowl opponent, Georgia, is now 24th.
The only other Big Ten team included in either poll is Wisconsin, which is 19th in both.
December 7, 2013 by Shash
Filed under Uncategorized
Sometimes, the only way to win is
not to play drink.
Not quite. I'm not really gonna look back, except when I predicted this team would go 11-1 and end up in the Rose Bowl. Heh. I'm also the guy who argues that the Tigers will be a better team next year mere days beforeDave Dombrowski went completetely Florida-schizophrenic with the Fister
deal dump. Ah, well.
Michigan's season can be summed up thusly:
No, wait, that's not right. There's a better one. Hmm. Seven wins, a losing record in conference play, barely winning against Akron and UConn, seeing an incredibly talented quarterback have his ribs turned into cheese on a weekly basis, wait, there's gotta be a better one.
Yep. That's gotta be it.
My obligatory comment on last weekend's Game: holy shit. That was incredible. We had a thread back and forth after the game among the MnB
staffraging beerhounds and it was unanimous - you go for it. With that OSU offense, a hobbled Gardner, and Wile kicking, you go for it. Being in the stadium for the comeback and the attempt was insane. Many of you can attest how batshit bonkers the 70,000 Michigan fans (yikes, there was tons of red)went during the latter stages of the second half - seventeen point spread be damned.
So, we're at kind of a weird place today. Both teams can't lose the B1G championship game, leaving Michigan fans with very few options tonight that don't involve self-mutilation. I'm still coming to terms with the fact that I'm going to have to root for Mark Dantonio's smirking bitchface. I still might not. Skip to 3:15 or so for the point:
So here we are. Stuck watching one of these teams going to the Rose Bowl is the nighmare scenario. But it doesn't have to be all bad. MnB's official recommendation to survive the evening: drink, and drink up.
It's Christmas beer season, which is good news for beer fans - most breweries come out with a winter seasonal that's eminently drinkable - not too wheaty, not too hoppy, and always a little different. This year's trend (as it has been in the past) seems to be toward plenty of nutmeg and clove in sweeter ales. It's ok for a meal with a turkey, but not really your everyday drinker. Definitely not what you'd want for heavy drinking tonight. Escape the Winter Lagers and Winter Warmers of the world and go with a local beer - give Frankenmuth Brewery's excellent Winter Town Ale. I had quite a bit of this after last week's loss and it is fantastic - using a fair amount of hops and plenty of dark malt brings out flavors that most wintry beers achieve with extra spices added after the brewing process. It's dark and spicy without being, you know, dark and spicy. Whatever. It's awesome. Give it a shot.
If that's a little too hard to find, or you want to start drinking NOW (if you haven't already, give it a shot) to get ready for three hours of head-banging tonight, Red Hook's winter lineup is great - and their current tagline is something like "the right playlist leads to something. Usually breakfast" or something fantastically edgy like that. Their Winterhook beer is similar to the Frankenmuth offering, but cheaper and easier to find/drink quickly - it's dry hopped to minimze the overall sweetness while still having that dark taste that a winter beer has.
I can't shake the feeling of ooginess this game is giving me. Good for both teams for having terrific seasons*, but I can't figure out which team is Pete Campbell here.
Whatever. Enjoy your weekends, Michigan Faithful. Go watch some basketball or hockey or something. Until next time, cheers!
*This comment was of course insincere
December 7, 2013 by Zach Travis
Filed under Uncategorized
We're just living in it.
Michigan had five scorers in double digits including Nik Stauskas with a team high 25 points. It was an offensive explosion from the Wolverines following a game against Duke that couldn't have been any more different. In this one Michigan shot 16 of 26 from 3pt, had assists on 26 of its 36 baskets, and turned the ball over just seven times.
Still, with everything else going right, it was hard to take your eyes off the big guy in the middle. Mitch McGary has been a lot of things to this team in his short career, but in this game he flashed bits of all of those. He finished the game with nine rebounds, six assists, four steals, and a block while committing just two turnovers and two fouls. On almost every one of his eight defensive rebounds he grabbed the ball and immediately led the break, finding his teammates for open looks on the perimeter and doing his part to set up a great outside shooting day for the Wolverines. He even added 12 points on seven shots and was 2 of 3 from the line.
When Jordan Morgan or Jon Horford came in the difference was palpable. The team feeds off McGary's energy, and as he continues to work back into game shape, Michigan looks better and better.
Michigan had a single game record 16 made three pointers, and no one shot them better on the day than Stauskas who hit 6 of 9 and 5 of 5 from the line. He looked night and day better than he did earlier in the week against Duke.
Really the only player to disappoint on offense was Caris LeVert, who only managed four points — the only starter in single digits — on four shots. He hit both his free throws and contributed a couple steals, but overall it was a quiet day.
Both Michigan freshmen ended the game with 14 points. Derrick Walton hit all three of his three point shots and Irvin hit 3 of 5. Glenn Robinson III also had a quietly efficient day with 17 points on 9 shots, four assists and four rebounds.
This was always a game Michigan was going to win, but after a rough couple outings, the Wolverines needed something to get excited about. One hundred seven points at home and a school record for three pointers made in a game is a good way to feel good. Doing it all thanks to the play of Mitch McGary creating opportunities for everyone is a good sign going forward.
December 7, 2013 by Zach Travis
Filed under Uncategorized
Michigan hoops plays today at noon and it is championship weekend. Plenty to talk about, so let's get watching.
More from SB Nation College Football
- Projecting championship weekend
- 10 things about Auburn-Missouri
- Easy Call: Auburn-Missouri, Ohio State-Michigan State, and maple bacon
|TIME||ROAD TEAM||HOME TEAM||NETWORK|
|12 p.m. ET||No. 17 Oklahoma, 9-2||No. 6 Oklahoma State, 10-1||
|12 p.m. ET||No. 16 UCF, 10-1||SMU, 5-6||
|12 p.m. ET||Marshall, 9-3||Rice, 9-3||
|1 p.m. ET||Memphis, 3-8||UConn, 2-9||
|3:30 p.m. ET||No. 25 Texas, 8-3||No. 9 Baylor, 10-1||
|3:30 p.m. ET||Furman, 8-5||North Dakota State, 11-0||
|4 p.m. ET||No. 5 Missouri, 11-1||No. 3 Auburn, 11-1||
|7:30 p.m. ET||USF, 2-9||Rutgers, 5-6||
|7:45 p.m. ET||No. 7 Stanford, 10-2||No. 11 Arizona State, 10-2||
|8 p.m. ET||No. 20 Duke, 10-2||No. 1 Florida State, 12-0||
|8 p.m. ET||UL Lafayette, 8-3||South Alabama, 5-6||
|8:17 p.m. ET||No. 2 Ohio State, 12-0||No. 10 Michigan State, 11-1||
|10 p.m. ET||Utah State, 8-4||No. 23 Fresno State, 10-1||
December 6, 2013 by Anthony Mammel
Filed under Uncategorized
The Michigan coaching staff has been making the rounds following the end of the regular season, and two new offers are already out.
With the class of 2014 close to being finished for the Michigan Wolverines, focus has been shifted toward the class of 2015. Questions about the class area already abundant despite signing day being more than a full year away for high school juniors. Who would get Michigan's second quarterback scholarship? When would the Wolverines come through with an offer for five-star defensive tackle Tim Settle?
Both of those questions were answered late in the week when the coaching staff offered both Settle and USC quarterback commitment David Sills, who plays for the same high school as Michigan commitments Freddy Canteen and Brandon Watson. The staff had been rumored to have narrowed its focus down to four passers in the junior class, but it's now apparent that Sills is their top priority. California product Josh Rosen is the only other signal caller to hold a Michigan offer and remains a pipe dream.
Why the coaching staff decided to hold off on offering Settle until now remains a mystery. The young defensive tackle is the most talented player at his position in the class of 2015, being rated as high as number one overall by Scout and as a five-star prospect by the other major scouting services. Michigan has been in contact with him for quite some time now; Settle is close friends with Da'Shawn Hand, who had talked to Settle about Michigan on more than one occasion.
These two offers could prove to be two of the most important offers in the class -- especially the offer to quarterback David Sills. Sills is an excellent fit for Al Borges' west coast passing scheme, and his crystal ball is already turning in favor of the Wolverines. His favorite target in high school, Freddy Canteen, just happens to be committed to Michigan in the class of 2014. His commitment to Southern California was made long ago when the program was still under the control of Lane Kiffin, who has since been fired and replaced with Washington's Steve Sarkisian. A flip to the Wolverines could be inevitable.
The decision to offer Tim Settle shouldn't be underestimated, either. Michigan clearly still needs help in the interior of its defensive line after poor showings against Iowa, Ohio State and others, and there isn't a better defensive tackle prospect in the class than Tim Settle, who is also athletic enough to help put pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Both Virginia and Ohio State have worked their way toward the front of the pack for Settle's commitment, but he won't make a commitment until the end of his recruiting cycle. The Wolverine have time to make up ground, and they have the academics and atmosphere that Settle wants in a school.
Expect more major recruiting news in the coming weeks. Brady Hoke and his staff are all hopping on and off of planes to see recruits, so more offers and interesting quotes are bound to come out before Michigan plays in its bowl game.
December 6, 2013 by Fouad Egbaria
Filed under Uncategorized
The Wolverines return to the Crisler Center on Saturday to face 3-5 Houston Baptist.
Game: Houston Baptist (3-5) at Michigan (5-3)
Date: Saturday, December 7
Time: 12 ET
Location: Crisler Center--Ann Arbor, MI
After playing five of their last six games away from the friendly confines of the Crisler Center, the Michigan Wolverines return to Ann Arbor looking to rebuild some confidence on the heels of that 3-3 stretch. Losses at Duke and at Iowa State are by no means ones to scoff at (Charlotte might not even be a horrendous loss when all is said and done, especially given Michigan's injury issues in the second half of that game).
Nonetheless, while a convincing win against 3-5 Houston Baptist will do nothing to improve Michigan's resume, it is an opportunity for the Wolverines to collect themselves, especially with games against Arizona and Stanford in the coming weeks. The former will be especially big for the Wolverines, as, barring an upset against UNLV or New Mexico State, Sean Miller's Arizona squad will likely roll into Ann Arbor with a shiny No. 1 ranking.
Season so far
But, before the Wolverines tackle those foes, they'll have to take care of business tomorrow afternoon first.
The Huskies of Houston Baptist, of the Southland Conference, have limped out to a 3-5 start, with losses to Texas Tech, Texas, Wright State, Southern Miss and South Alabama.
On the positive side of the ledger, the Huskies tallied wins against Crowley's Ridge College, plus an overtime win at Army and a 2-point win at home against Rice. Unfortunately for the Huskies, Rice and Army are a combined 4-11 so far this season. So, while the Huskies do bring a two games winning streak into Ann Arbor, it isn't exactly much t write home about.
The Huskies' five losses came at an average margin of defeat of 16.8 points per game, nudged skyward by a 28-point defeat at Texas on Nov. 18.
The Huskies are led by sophomore guard Rob Lewis,who averages 13.4 ppg. Lewis leads the Huskies in field goal attempts, but he's only connected on 41.6% of them (31.8% from three).
Tyler Russell, another 6'0'' guard, averages 11.5 ppg (he averaged 11.6 ppg two years ago and 11.4 ppg last season, so it seems like this is his sweet spot). Russell shoots it a little better from three than Lewis (33.3%).
Cody Joyce, a 6-foot-8 sophomore forward, averages 9.8 ppg and 4.4 rpg. As far as "big" guys go, he's probably the biggest threat on the team. The Huskies do boast a 6-foot-11 center in Ricmonds Vilde (a transfer from SMU), but he only averages 5.5 ppg. However, using that height, he naturally leads the team in rebounds (6.3 rpg).
Marcel Smith, a junior guard from Detroit, is probably the last player worth mentioning here. Smith averages 5.9 ppg and shoots 38.5% from three (albeit on 13 attempts). However, at 5-foot-6, you have to think that Smith is a pretty big defensive liability.
Given the opponent, these will be more about Michigan than they are what Michigan needs to do relative to its opponent:
- Start strong. The Wolverines have started slow more often than not this season, even against weak competition (tied at the half against Lowell). For the sake of progress and everyone's blood pressure, a strong start tomorrow afternoon would be a good sign.
- Half court offense. As is always the case against weak competition, Michigan will get its fair share of runouts and transition opportunities. With that said, Michigan's half court offense has been mediocre to downright bad all season, which I suppose is to be expected when you lose shot takers and creators like Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. I'm not even asking for a Hoosiers-style four pass offense, but some sort of discernible offensive rhythm would be a welcomed sight.
- Glenn Robinson III. This is probably going to be a point of concern for the rest of the season, but if GRIII can't get his buckets against teams like Houston Baptist, well, that's bad, mmkay. He'll have opportunities to take his man off the dribble if he wants to. I'm not in the business of questioning a player's desire/motives/general want to, but, for whatever reason Robinson hasn't been as aggressive as Michigan fans would like him to be.
Simply put, this is a bad HBU team, one that Michigan should handle with ease. However, following tough stretches like Michigan has just gone through, a letdown is always a concern.
I don't think that's in the cards, but I wouldn't be surprised if Michigan looks fairly underwhelming in the game's opening five to 10 minutes of play.
In any case, the Wolverines should win by 20-something, providing a much needed boost of confidence for a young squad trying to find its way.
December 6, 2013 by Anthony Mammel
Filed under Uncategorized
Michigan needs at least one interior defensive lineman in the class of 2015. Could Michigan overtake its competitors and land five-star mauler Tim Settle?
Film and Ratings
|Service||Star Rating||Position||Position Rank||Overall Rank|
As you can see, Settle is a truly elite interior player, climbing as high as number one overall in Scout's initial rankings and remaining in the top ten overall in both Scout and ESPN's initial rankings. He's likely to be a consensus five-star player once ESPN and Rivals actually release a full list of top players.
Settle is your prototypical nose tackle, coming in at between 6'2" and 6'3". He isn't too long for the position or too short to fend off long interior offensive lineman. His frame is relatively clean for a 300-pound young man.
As of right now, Settle is more of a finesse player than a strength player. That being said, don't overlook his strength, which is overwhelming for anyone he'll ever face on a high school football field.
I've been watching high school players' film for years now, and I've never seen a player this size move so well. Settle forced a pitch on a speed option then continued to maul the halfback who received the pitch. He chases down quarterbacks, changes directions to make tackles and flies in the air to swat passes down. Remember how scouts drooled over Ondre Pipkins' ability to move? Settle outdoes him.
On-Field Awareness: A
Settle makes all of the plays you can ask from a defensive tackle, doing a great job of reading the backfield by keeping his eyes up.
Settle is already ahead of most defensive tackles his age, but most defensive tackles need major technique work before being ready for college. He uses his hands well to shed blockers, swimming by them with regularity, but he can still use work on pad level and bull rushing, which is an extremely useful tool to have at the tackle position.
Settle is a rare gem at a critical defensive position. He has the size needed to play at any level and still manages to move like a linebacker. He could become an interior offensive lineman's worst nightmare given the proper strength training and coaching.
Settle holds offers from just about everyone in the country, including Michigan. The Wolverines have been involved with Settle for quite some time now, visiting Ann Arbor way back in September and talking with them long before that visit. Defensive tackle Hjalte Froholdt fell off of the board just a few days ago; Settle was offered today.
Two programs seem to have jumped out in front early: Ohio State and Virginia. The Cavaliers recruit their footprint well and have been in on Settle from day one, receiving countless visits from the young man. The Buckeyes are just as confident that they'll land Settle.
I have no idea where Settle ends up playing his college football. Both UVA and OSU would be realistic choices, and Alabama, Michigan, Clemson, North Carolina and other schools could all make legitimate claims for his services.
Michigan will get a serious look from Settle, who heard plenty of good about the Wolverines from Da'Shawn Hand despite the fact that he ended up choosing Alabama. He won't be making a decision until close to the end of his recruiting cycle, so Hoke and company have plenty of time to work their way in here.
December 5, 2013 by Anthony Mammel
Filed under Uncategorized
Talented five-star commitment Jabrill Peppers stirred up the Michigan fan base when he announced his intentions to see other schools. Don't fret over it.
An infuriating stretch of poor showings from the Michigan football team has been plenty enough to keep Michigan fans close to the edge, but recruiting, among other things, kept part of the fan base optimistic about the future. Then Jabrill Peppers pushed them over like a pack of helpless, inappropriately-clad Spartans:
Imma take a couple Officials after the season myself 🙌🙇— Breezy (@JabrillPeppers) November 26, 2013
Ann Arbor's internet was officially broken, and it didn't look like hope would return any time soon. Why was Michigan's best recruit in the history of the program suddenly reconsidering his decision? Program instability, he said:
"I am still 100% committed to the University of Michigan and that is the place where I want to go to college," Peppers said. "With the rumors about Coach Hoke possibly not being there I need to make sure that I have options and have seen other places in case the University of Michigan decides to go in a different direction. For the sake of my future I need to make sure I have other options. No need to look into it any further! Go Blue and beat TDS."
Couches were burnt. Keyboards were shattered. Michigan fans took to the streets to burn maize and blue jerseys doused with gasoline. Or at least that's what it felt like on the internet.
It was damn near impossible for Michigan faithful to realize that Jabrill Peppers wasn't -- and still isn't -- going anywhere other than the University of Michigan. Dave Brandon tried to throw some water on the growing fire.
Brady Hoke is our coach and will be leading our football program well into the future. There is no question about it. Brady has done a great job rebuilding the program and reshaping the culture to the level it was under coaches Bo Schembechler, Gary Moeller and Lloyd Carr. Anyone making efforts to stir up a coaching controversy at Michigan is ill-informed and is likely promoting a personal agenda that is not in the best interest of Michigan Football.
We don't make excuses at Michigan when we fail to reach our goals, and we never will. We recognize areas we need to address and improve -- and we will. We also know how to hold people accountable for the roles and responsibilities they have as part of the privilege for being a part of Michigan Football -- and we will. However, it is valuable to occasionally step back from the disappointment and frustration that occurs when things don't go as well as expected and consider a few facts that may help put things into proper perspective.
Peppers took to Twitter on November 26th; Brandon took to his blog the very next day. He didn't know that the Michigan fan base didn't need reassurance; people overreact during tough stretches, and reminding them of Gary Moeller and Lloyd Carr doesn't stop that. It also isn't seen as a major selling point to recruits, who want to know what you can do for them right now. Tradition doesn't send bodies to the National Football League.
I'm getting away from the main point; I'll rant about Michigan's need to let go of the past another time. The point is this: Brady Hoke isn't in jeopardy of losing his job, and Jabrill Peppers isn't leaving until the staff he has become so close with leaves. Jabrill Peppers will play his football at the University of Michigan, and anyone telling you otherwise is picking low-hanging fruit.
Recruiting hinges on so much more than wins and losses, but fans and the media often fail to see that. Peppers --much like Michael Ferns, Wilton Speight, Shane Morris, Derrick Green and others -- sees Ann Arbor as a great college town where he can get an elite degree in his field of choice. Relationships with the coaching staff and many of the aforementioned prospects and players only add to the lengthy list of reasons why he's destined to play for the Wolverines.
Football is one of those reasons, too. Michigan limped to a seven-win regular season this year, and Peppers watched it all unfold. The dangers of remaining faithful to a struggling program aren't lost on him, but neither are the positives. Greg Mattison, a man who can point to countless players in the NFL to prove his ability to coach, remains with the program. Michigan beat Notre Dame this year, and it was one play away from defeating Ohio State. Insert Jabrill Peppers into the Wolverine defense and an eight-win team just ruined the Buckeyes' chance at a national title. Football still draws Jabrill to Ann Arbor.
I look forward to seeing Jabrill fly around Michigan Stadium, and I hope he gets his number two jersey. He's certainly talented enough to live up to the hype.