MnB Opponent Q&A: Corn Nation

August 1, 2015 by  
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Nebraska enters 2015 without Bo Pelini, but take a look at what he left in place for Mike Reiley to make a charge in their division. And as a special treat the whole football crew from Corn Nation has produced the glorious hivemind response that follows.

By most accounts, it was a shock Pelini was let go -- had winning records, bowl appearances, strong recruiting; but what ultimately led to his termination when the program seemed on the right long-term path? Was it Osborne who had the final say or as simple a decision as just not enough progress toward Nebraska's expectations?

Husker Mike: Osborne had absolutely no say; in fact, he cast a wee bit of shade on the decision. Osborne retired as athletic director in 2013. To me, the decision by the new athletic director to dismiss Pelini was based on two things: getting embarrassed by Wisconsin and getting terse with the news media.

Cobcast Ryan: I wouldn't say "strong" recruiting.I also wouldn't brag about the Holiday bowl either. I agree with Mike. Wisconsin and his attitude were the biggies. Speaking of attitude... we should revisit this in a few years and see how ol' Harbaugh's ‘tude is doing. You may have your very own Pelini on your hands.

Jon: It wasn't that shocking to me. I was at Madison. I turned to a couple friends after the game and said "Someone has to be fired" because you can't keep doing the same things - getting blown out on defense when you're supposedly a defensive guru - and expect to not have to make changes. Pelini was pig-headed, blamed everyone else for his problems and always had an excuse.

Ranchbabe: It was not much of a shock if you sat through mind-numbing repeats of Melvin Gordon blowing through the defense, or if you saw the coach who was coming unglued against Iowa in 2013, swiping his hat at refs and daring his boss to fire him in the post-game presser. I was a pretty big Pelini supporter and really hoped he would make the changes needed (upgrading some assistants and better recruiting among others) but he did not. I was actually quite surprised he was brought back in 2014. Even though Pelini-bashing is quite fashionable in some quarters of Nebraska fandom, he definitely rescued the program from its depths in 2007 and deserves credit for running a [generally] clean program that held its own academically. That said, it was time to move on. Pelini wanted to succeed, he just either could not or would not do what was needed to get to the next level.

Paul: It was a surprise...not a shock. I had been saying for quite a while that Nebraska under Pelini was suffering from a mental shortfall in the game. Something wasn't right in the players' and coaches' mental preparation for games. I think that played out in public after the firing when an obscenity-laced monologue was taped and released following a meeting between Pelini and players after he was fired. There was a culture of "Nebraska football versus the world" that pulled the player's together for 9 wins, but failed to develop or encourage the kind of mental toughness and flexibility to deal with real on-field adversity. And that was the fatal flaw in Pelini's plan.

Andy Ketterson: It was only a shock outside of Nebraska. Here in the state, the biggest shock was that he was retained for one more season - the most shocked being Pelini himself as anyone who saw his "F*** everyone!" Iowa post-loss presser would attest. He thought his ass was headed out the door as much as anyone.

To his credit, he honestly did try to smooth some of the rough edges before/during the 2014-15 season. And things seemed to be working. Until the Wisconsin game. I think most could even pinpoint the moment - things were going well, Daniel Davie blew an assignment, Pelini lost his s**t, kept on losing it, the sphincters collectively tightened and the Huskers got trucked. Again. Blowing a 21-7 halftime lead to Minnesota probably sealed it, but 9-win seasons aside, that Wisconsin game was just one beatdown too many.

Osborne hasn't had the final say for a couple years. If anything, he might have bought Pelini one more season.

Cobby: THE ONLY SHOCK REALLY WAS THE FACT THAT HIS FORMER HOUSE HAD SO MUCH SHAG CARPETING. I MEAN, WHY DID HE TAKE THE FRIDGE? WHAT DID THE FRIDGE KNOW AND WHEN DID IT KNOW IT?

Now both Michigan and Nebraska are entering 2015 with a new coach. What does Riley have to do in year one to prove he's the right hire? What's the feeling around Lincoln as to how he can outmaneuver Harbaugh -- and for that matter Meyer, Dantonio, Franklin, et al -- to grab some early success?

Cobcast Ryan: It's simple. He has to win the games he's supposed to and not get blown out by the teams he's not supposed to beat. Beating Wisconsin would be a bonus. As far as coaches from other schools go, I think everyone should just stay in their lane and keep their eyes on the road. From a fan's standpoint, I don't care what Harbaugh, Meyer or Franklin are doing. I don't want the team to care either. As far as Dantonio goes, I'm pretty sure he's been dead for like 3 years and they are just Weekend-At-Bernie's-ing him at this point.

Jon: Win nine games. Does he really have to do that? No, but it'd be nice just so we wouldn't have to hear from that one asshole friend of ours that wants to be right more than he wants our team to win. Outmaneuver other coaches... well, his team doesn't play against any of those guys early on, really except Dantonio.

Ranchbabe: Riley has to win a lot. He has to show improvement and not make the same mistakes over and over and over again (as in Wisconsin 2011, Wisconsin 2012 B1G CCG, and Wisconsin 2014). He has to recruit with the big boys and develop under-the-radar and walk-on talent to fill the gaps. Nebraska fans want to read about how much other teams hate to play the Huskers. Even if the other team wins, we want to hear about how much they do not want to face such a physical, hard-hitting team again (a reference to the Osborne era). He has to make Nebraska fans believe that hardware (championships) are in reach most every year and collect some of that hardware every few years. He has to win the games he is supposed to win, upset a few top teams, and not get blown out. He has to be the face and spokesperson for a program that is essentially the face of a state. Didn't you read the job description?!?

Paul: Thankfully, he doesn't have to outmaneuver Harbaugh until what, 2018? Same with matching wits with the Dark Lord of the Underworld himself. So there's that at least. Nebraska has played surprisingly well against MSU since 2011 as well, so I'm not willing to write that game off as a loss yet either. Nebraska has the talent to go 11-1 this year, and the potential to go 7-5. It's going to be that kind of year.
Andy Ketterson: This year, I think people will be happy as long as he doesn't backslide under 9 wins - and with this year's miserable schedule, winning less than 9 will be hard. I mean, people are seriously referring to Miami and BYU as tough games and neither is in the top 40.

The feeling on Riley is split. There is the camp that, ahem, strongly questions this hire, but prays that it works out despite his lack of success the last five years or so. (Full disclosure - I'm in that camp.) The other camp thinks it's 2009 and we're getting the guy who was cresting the wave of success during Oregon St.'s most successful stretch. That camp gets really mad when we bring up post-2009. They talk about USC wanting him...even though a) that was 2010 and b) everyone, including Riley and except Lane Kiffin, didn't want to touch that hot Trojan mess with Ron Jeremy's d-...well, you get what I mean.

Husker Mike: I'm also in the former camp. This year, get this team to a bowl game and look like he has a clue what he's doing out there. (Waves at Bill Callahan.) I'm on record as predicting 7-5, but it doesn't take much to turn some of those L's into W's with this schedule.

Cobby: HOW DO YOU MEAN OUTMANEUVER? I MEAN, RILEY RIDES A BIKE AND DRIVES A PRIUS TO WORK. IF HARBAUGH CAN'T GET A TRUCK AROUND HIM ON THE WAY TO WORK, WHO'S DRIVING ABILITIES ARE WE REALLY QUESTIONING HERE?

Have you seen Jim Harbaugh say or do anything that Riley hasn't that might calm the fanbase?

Cobcast Ryan: Riley has kept his shirt on, so I think that has worked in his favor. On the other hand Harbaugh's physique has calmed the boosters by showing he's not a threat to their marriages.

Ranchbabe: Do? I guess the major thing Harbaugh has done is win a lot of games. Comparing Harbaugh's record to Riley's as a head coach looks like a non-starter (in favor of Harbaugh, just in case you had to wonder). Also, why has no one asked who was Riley's quarterback at the San Diego Chargers during his disastrous tenure there as head coach? Not terribly relevant, but this was my shortest answer, so it got added here.

Cobby: IT DEPENDS, IS COLIN COWHERD ALUMNI? IF NOT, YOU'RE GOLDEN AND NO ONE HAS IT BETTER THAN YOU. NOOOOOOOOOOOO ONEEEEEE!

Andy Ketterson: Harbaugh calms things?

Husker Mike: Mike Riley is the guy that everybody loves; he's nice to anybody and everybody. He's bought a ton of goodwill that will last him about 45 seconds after the first game that he loses that he shouldn't have lost.

Tommy Armstrong is back, Amir Abdullah is not. Any playmakers emerge out of spring ball that might avoid Armstrong having to carry the offense? What's the potential based on Riley's track record of QB/offense development?

Cobcast Ryan: Fear DPE. He is going to hurt people's feelings.

Ranchbabe: If Riley/Langsdorf can coax even a small improvement in accuracy out of Tommy Armstrong, I think the wideouts might have a really fun season. Westerkamp can do things like this and freshman sensation De'Mornay Pierson-El (DPE) evolved from dangerous punt returner to legitimate receiving threat. He is absolutely perfect for the Riley jet sweep. Senior Jamal Turner has been derailed by injuries and has never quite lived up to his potential after tantalizing Nebraska fans with spring game heroics as a freshman. It is now or never for him. Behind them, there is talent, size and speed, but guys that have never managed to stay healthy long enough to make their mark (or are just arriving on campus). This could be one of the deepest and most talented groups on the team.

I am hoping for some steps forward from the OL, Alex Lewis is the leader there. There is supposedly talent in the trenches (based on recruiting stars), but Husker fans have been underwhelmed by penalties and guys getting pushed around by opposing D-lineman. Much of that has been laid at the feet of the previous coaches (we had around eight offensive line coaches every year - or so it seemed) and strength/conditioning (Vanderbilt's problem now). If these guys can give Tommy just a little more time or give any of our plethora of "good enough" RB's a crease, the offense should be fine. Oh, and our new S&C coach can totally beat up your new S&C coach (proof).

Paul: DeMornay Pierson-El might be the most exciting player to walk onto the field at Nebraska in years. He's a legit All-American candidate as a returner and a receiver.

Husker Mike: The MVP on offense in the spring game was punter Sam Foltz, sad to say. Needless to say, this offense was still a work-in-progress in the spring.

Andy Ketterson: There's a lot of potential at the skill positions and it better transfer to usable talent in a hurry. I simply can't afford the drinking habit that regularly hearing "Tommy Armstrong" and "carry the offense" in the same sentence would require.

Does his system on both offense and defense fit the current roster for the most part or is this going to be a bridge year?

Husker Mike: Bridge year. Tommy Armstrong does not fit the pro-style offense that Riley ran previously, and the defense was built to stop the passing game with nickel and dime alignments. Nebraska is perilously short handed at linebacker, and new defensive coordinator Mark Banker prefers to keep three in the game.

Cobcast Ryan: Bridge Year. However, talent is talent and a good staff can overcome. Our offense is potent. Westerkamp, Turner, DPE, Armstrong and people shouldn't sleep on Newby or Cross either. Plus we don't have the hardest schedule. I think Husker fans should hold onto their butts because it should be an exciting year.

Ranchbabe: What Mike and Ryan said. Tommy is not a prototypical Riley quarterback, but the kid has abilities this staff says they will not ignore (zone read/running). Behind Tommy are two redshirt freshman who have moved past older players on the depth chart. One, Zach Darlington, was a top tOSU target before committing to Nebraska (and then suffering serious concussions during his senior year, putting his football future in doubt). He has been cleared by people smarter than me, so I assume he is recovered. Riley is purging the depth chart here quickly (Former Elite 11 QB Stanton transferred and last year's backup is rumored to no longer be on scholarship) and has two of "his" guys coming for 2016. On defense, it will be a dental-floss-reinforced bridge at linebacker until they can get their roster numbers up. They brought in 4 scholarship and three walk-on LBs for 2015. This is big because we only have three on the roster with significant game experience. Two of those three have flashed All-B1G potential, but they need to stay healthy AND adjust to a new scheme that is the polar opposite of the previous one (OK, that last part might be a good thing).

Andy Ketterson: I guess we'll find out. Good coaches in new jobs don't pound square pegs in round holes. They find a way to make it work while transitioning in the guys they want.

With recruiting, has he nabbed any intriguing guys on the shortened calendar the way Harbaugh did or were things mostly intact despite the coaching change?

Cobcast Ryan: Dicaprio Bootle seemed to come out of nowhere. He had zero stars but ran 4.34 40 (I believe thats what it was) after his first try which was a 4.44 40. He also has a 4.4 GPA. I'm a big fan of the number 4 also, so this was super intriguing to me.

Ranchbabe: Bootle is part of the 2016 class. For 2015, keeping the Davis twins was job #1. Mission accomplished. (Google ‘Davis Twins backflip' if you want to see defensive tackles doing standing backflips - do it!). He brought a couple Oregon State recruits, including a tight end. Nebraska fans had to look up the rule book to learn that "tight ends" are indeed allowed to catch passes after the past couple years of #RogueBeck. He also scoured the country for linebackers and DEs. One early enrollee, LB Dedrick Young, seems to be the guy they are hoping will contribute immediately. His real recruiting splash has been in working on 2016 and 2017 (gasp) classes. WE CAN HAZ COMMITMENTS IN JUNE! Who knew? This staff is organized and isn't afraid to go toe-to-toe with anyone. Plus, we get to laugh at Arizona State automatically offering (within a few hours) every kid that gets a Nebraska offer.

Brian: Matt Snyder and Daishon Neal says hello. But, seriously, the fact that Nebraska should sign 2 Quarterbacks that can literally come into camp in ‘16 and be legit threats to start from day 1 should tell you about things like QB recruiting and development. The ‘15 QB that Tim Beck and Bo Pelini kept with? He is currently on the roster with North Texas. As a Tight End. Which he played while being stuck on his HS's JV team last year.

Andy Ketterson: As far as the 2015 class, the best thing he did was keep most of the big names committed. If he can close on Jordan Stevenson falling into our lap, then so much the better.

On a scale of "Hoke-level bottom that leaves no choice" to "Meyer-level of surprise national title", what's going to keep Riley around longer than Pelini? What're some marks of progress you're hoping to see?

Cobcast Ryan: Winning 9 games or more. Also, not calling the AD a c*nt upstanding citizen.

Paul: As long as he doesn't change his name to Bo Pelini, he'll get at least four years from Shawn Eichorst. Fans, however, won't be so generous. I think NU needs to be in the B1G Championship Game this year or next, and win in it by 2017 or Husker fans will begin sharpening their pitchforks and lighting their torches.

Ranchbabe: Hardware. Championships. Nebraska expects to be in the hunt for those, maybe not in Year 1 of Riley but definitely by Year 3. Pelni was not fired because he was a jerk (although that certainly made it easy). He was fired because he got embarrassed in critical games and did not appear to have a plan that would get him past that.

Husker Mike: Riley has to win the west every other year on average and get to a bowl game every season.

Brian: Keeping what Bo did substainable, with the fact that he's not going to have one big blow-up come to light every year (Deadspin tape, HS tape, Texas A&M embarrassment, etc...) No matter what though, Riley doesn't have a whole long time at Lincoln due to age and such. He just turned 62 in July, so the thought is that he's going to be not at Nebraska more than, say, 6-8 years max.

Andy Ketterson: If he reaches the level of 2009-10 Pelini and stay there (10 wins, close losses, cusp of BCS), he can hang around for years. Yes, there will be some griping if he can't get that conference championship or BCS bowl, but 9+ wins and competitive will keep him employed.

If he starts with and maintains a 2011-14 Pelini level (9+ wins but an embarrassment or two every year), the clock will start after year 2 or 3, but he might make it 4-5 years based on his demeanor.

If he is still only winning 7-8 games a year or less after year one, he won't make it past three. Some nonsense is just unacceptable.

Beer question: What Nebraska microbrews are getting you guys through this final month+ to the start of a new season and era?

Cobcast Ryan: I'm taking a year off from drinking, so... I would like to take this moment to say that we would have kicked your ass in ‘97. Like, seriously kicked it. If your ass was Iraq, our foot would have been "Shock and Awe". We would have kicked it so hard that the taliban would have easily invaded Ann Harbor and your economy would never have recovered. That's how bad we would have kicked your ass. If your ass was Ivan Drago, our foot would have been Rocky, If your ass was Mustafa, our foot would have been a herd of buffalo (or whatever it was that trampled him to death.) Cool, I'm glad that's settled.

Paul: Nebraska has microbrews? Really? You mean I don't have to drive to Michigan for good beer?

Ranchbabe: So many choices. I am up in a corner of the state where I cannot get many of the Omaha/Lincoln brews but am enjoying a nice Nut Brown Ale from Nebraska Brewing as I type. I can usually get Empyrean (Burning Skye Scottish Ale - mmmmmm). I REALLY wish I could get Thunderhead at our local stores - Jalapeno Wheat sounds heavenly. I stock up on Zip Line any time I make it down to Lincoln. We have a couple of beer experts on staff (Salt Creek and Ty). Ty has done a series of Nebraska brewery profiles. http://www.cornnation.com/beer-brewing-other-libations

Cobby: HOLY SHIT, WHAT CAN'T YOU DRINK? FALSTAFF, SCHILTZ, AND OUR FAVORITE OF ALL TIME, PABST BLUE RIBBON. DOLLAR A CAN ON SELECT NIGHTS AT BUZZARD BILLY'S. THROW SOME TOMATO JUICE IN THERE AND YOU'RE A FULL BLOODED NEBRASKAN.

Andy Ketterson: My favorite microbrew is a lively dark ale with no head and a 92 proof called Sailor Jerry rum. It gets me through all the seasons of the year.

Thanks, Corn Nation Crew!

Big Ten Media Days 2015: Head of officials speaks on change to concussion protocol

July 31, 2015 by  
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The conference's coordinator of officiating spoke on Friday regarding changes to the concussion protocol and an injury spotter in games.

Everyone remembers the controversy last season regarding the Michigan Wolverines and quarterback Shane Morris against Minnesota. It was clear that some sort of head injury had occurred, yet the coaching staff elected to keep him in the game, along with other issues.

Bill Carollo, the Big Ten's Coordinator of Officiating, spoke on Friday during the conference's media day press conference session and addressed changes they have made to be better prepared for those types of scenarios.

He first spoke on the procedure for spotters in the press box in regards to head injuries and how that reform came out.

"Well, the genesis really goes back to our number one priority as officials. And that is player safety, player protectio," Carollo said. "And when we had that situation that we you know, we're not doctors, we're not medically trained out there as officials. And sometimes in the heat of the battle, you know, we miss an injury. And a lot of times injuries, as you know, isn't the one real big hit. I think the officials do an outstanding job and so do the coaches and trainers on the sideline.

"This is just maybe the fifth layer of support. You have the player who gets injured himself. You have the teammates. You have the sidelines. You have the officials. And now this is maybe the fifth level of support to acknowledge and recognize a player may be injured. So everything around the whole game, it's an exciting game but it's a very violent game and this is trying just to protect that player."

Speed is obviously most important when it comes to addressing injuries and establishing communication, so the layers to the new procedure to some seem like it would take too long. Carollo says that they are experimenting to find out what works best.

"Having the medical spotter in our pilot that we did, our test in our championship game, we put the certified athletic trainer in the replay booth," he said.

"So we're talking only a few feet away. And he has medical equipment for replay just like the replay official does. But it's his own personal one. He can go back to the first play of the series if it looks like that player may have been injured a play or two before that because he's starting to stumble."

Carollo noted that the Morris situation at Michigan was what got the nation's attention, but that they have been working on tightening things up for the last few years.

"Well, I think that situation got a lot of people's attention across the country. But I'll tell you, it was two years ago that we experimented with this same idea at multiple spring games in the Big Ten. And we had a vendor from DB Sports, which is our vendor in this case, build some prototype equipment," he said.

"We put him on the sideline. We actually experimented a little differently. We put the actual equipment and gave it to the trainers on the sideline so the actual trainers had the opportunity to go back, not just talk to the player but go back to the film live on the field and look at it.

"So this has been a work in progress for a couple years. And maybe the situation at Michigan accelerated it. But player safety is paramount as far as we're concerned. And I think this is a step in the right direction."

Big Ten Media Day 2015: Harbaugh speaks on RB depth, overall talent level

July 31, 2015 by  
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Harbaugh was asked during his press conference about how the running back battle will work and his thoughts on the overall talent on the team.

Michigan's Jim Harbaugh took the podium earlier today and shed some light on some of his current feelings on his team heading into fall camp.

Harbaugh was asked what the plan is at running back and if anyone has emerged as a lead back this offseason:

I'm hoping that happens. We're at the start of camp here. And there will be plenty of license and plenty of opportunity for one, two, three of our running backs to assert themselves, come to the fore and be counted on. That we'll be watching very closely and hoping that occurs early here in camp.

A question that was also brought up during the session had to do with the overall talent currently on the roster:

Well, I mean it's like every year that your team changes, no matter what football team you're on. And it's a work in progress, every single season, every single year. And that's what we're enjoying doing. And it's coming along.

And then you go through the winter conditioning and then the spring ball, and then the summer conditioning. And now it starts. This is the beginning, the training camp. And the rebirth of football, the rebirth of the season. And then you watch and you watch and you observe. And you can learn    you can observe a lot by just watching. And I feel like I've been doing that. And I feel like our team is getting better every day. I really do.

There were not a whole lot of on-field questions during the session in Chicago, but Michigan's media day will be coming up on Thursday, so we will see what happens there.

Jim Harbaugh takes the stage at Big Ten Media Day

July 31, 2015 by  
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Coach Harbaugh had some interesting things to say in Chicago on Friday morning.

Michigan head football coach Jim Harbaugh spoke at Big Ten Media Day in Chicago early Friday morning, his first with the Wolverines.

Naturally, one of the first questions during the session had to do with Ohio State. Under old head coach Brady Hoke, the program's biggest rival was referred to as "Ohio," while Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer refers to Michigan as "the team up north."

Harbaugh was asked if he had a word or phrase to use to describe the scarlet and gray.

"No," he said. "Ohio State in particular? Just Ohio State."

As someone who played under Bo Schembechler and shares a lot of similar traits in terms of his personality, the comparisons will always be there. Harbaugh says his former coach is always on his mind.

'If we could do it the way Bo did it that would be something to aspire to," he said. Not a day goes by really where I don't think about Coach Schembechler from the time I leave my house to go to the office    I live about five houses away from where Bo lived. And no matter which way I take to work, whether it's Devonshire or Geddes or Stadium, I'll often think well Bo probably took this right on to Washtenaw or took this left onto Hill. I know he took this left onto State Street and parked my car and walked by his statue.

"Daily. I go to my office. I've got a picture of Bo    there's a picture of Bo and myself when we were at the Rose Bowl in '87. And, yeah, so it's to have his work ethic, to run the program like he ran it, yeah, those are things to aspire to."

Michigan Stadium was difficult to fill at times last season with some of the drama that surrounded Hoke and David Brandon. Harbaugh says regardless of that, he believes fans are excited for the upcoming season.

"Well, I don't know how many things you can really do," he said. "If people don't want to come to a game, you can't make them come.

"But doesn't seem like we've had that problem at the University of Michigan as far as I can tell. So the spirit, the energy has been tremendous, I think everybody involved in Michigan and Michigan football is hungry for the 2015 season including the fan base."

Much of that buzz obviously comes from hiring Harbaugh back in December. He has not tried to create that, and really could care less if he is well-liked or not.

"Well, I don't know. I don't know," he said. "Not striving to be creating any buzz. Just striving to coach the football team. Not trying to be popular or anything. Anyone who is popular is bound to be disliked. So just coaching football."

Things are a work in progress right now in Ann Arbor. Harbaugh knows that the team has to get better every day in order for the program to be successful.

"Well, I mean it's like every year that your team changes, no matter what football team you're on," he said. "And it's a work in progress, every single season, every single year. And that's what we're enjoying doing. And it's coming along.

"And then you go through the winter conditioning and then the spring ball, and then the summer conditioning. And now it starts. This is the beginning, the training camp. And the rebirth of football, the rebirth of the season. And then you watch and you watch and you observe. And you can learn    you can observe a lot by just watching. And I feel like I've been doing that. And I feel like our team is getting better every day. I really do."

Stay tuned for more from Jim Harbaugh's appearance at Big Ten Media Day and more.


Friday’s Figures: Ohio State Now Single-Digit Favorites over Hokies

July 31, 2015 by  
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Following the suspension to four Ohio State starters, oddsmakers quicky adjusted Week 1's contest with Virginia Tech

And they say we must wait until autumn's breeze for chaos to ensue.

With all the mayhem surrounding the MLB trade deadline, the college football scene shattered social media once various outlets reported that Ohio State's Joey Bosa, Dontre Wilson, Corey Smith and Jalin Marshall were to be withheld from the Week 1 opener versus Virginia Tech due to violating Department of Athletics policy.

While the vast majority scampered around to relay the message, sportsbooks were also quick to act, as Ohio State, once hefty 16.5-point favorites over the Hokies, were quickly bumped down a whole touchdown in some outlets.

Given Frank Beamer upended Urban Meyer and handed the Buckeyes their lone blemish on a 2015 National Championship, the influx of maroon money should stretch quite a ways, given Ohio State will be short its Big 10 Defensive Player of the Year in Bosa, while Marshall, Wilson and Smith all racked up 20+ catches to go along with 250+ receiving yards.

But that's perhaps where value comes into play.

A boom quite like this will surely catch a rise for most 'average joes' who see the Buckeyes down four starters, but as the line continues to drop, don't be surprised if the smart guys pounce on Meyer's club, given the number dwindles down even further. This is high-caliber team with endless athleticism, so while short-handed, the Buckeye's still encompass five weeks to prepare for Va Tech.

Notes and Numbers

Aside from last year's victory over Ohio State, Frank Beamer is a dismal 0-7 against the spread the last seven openers versus FBS schools

Season Opponent Line End Result Margin of Loss (ATS)
2007 East Carolina VT -27.5 W, 17-7 -20.5
2008 East Carolina VT -9 L, 27-22 -14
2009 Alabama VT +6 L, 34-24 -4
2010 Boise State VT -1.5 L, 33-31 -3.5
2011 East Carolina VT -17.5 W, 17-10 -10.5
2012 Georgia Tech VT -7.5 W, 20-17 -4.5
2013 Alabama VT +21.5 L, 35-10 -3.5

Don't be so quick to jump the gun.

Friday Michigan Recruiting Roundup: Top Ranked Colorado Recruit Set To Visit Michigan

July 31, 2015 by  
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In this edition, Carlo Kemp, the No. 1 ranked recruit in the state of Colorado has confirmed that he will be in Ann Arbor this weekend for the Big House barbecue.

Jean Delance Places Michigan In His Top Five

Michigan and Ohio State are two of five programs in the running for four-star offensive tackle, Jean Delance (Mesquite, TX), who announced his final five on Twitter Wednesday.  Texas A&M, Alabama and Texas are among those Delance is considering, with the Aggies leading the way as the favorite. He's the No. 12 ranked offensive tackle in the country by Rivals.com and 247Sports.

No. 1 Recruit In Colorado Set To Attend U-M Barbecue

Four-star defensive end Carlo Kemp (Boulder, CO) told Rivals.com that he will be in attendance for the Big House barbecue this Sunday. The No. 1 recruit in the state of Colorado has yet to visit Ann Arbor, but already has high expectations for the event.

The 6-foot-3, 255 pounder holds offers from Notre Dame, Arizona State, Nebraska, UCLA and Wisconsin, among others.

Donnie Corley Discusses His Recent Visit To Michigan

Donnie Corley's (Detroit, MI) visit on campus Wednesday was more than just about football, it concentrated on the academic side of things as well. More specifically, the business school. In an interview with 247Sports, Corley had nothing but good things to say about the team and university.

"They look like they have a great relationship with all the coaches, they have a great recruiting class coming in," Corley said. "Coach Harbaugh is changing a lot of things with the atmosphere and everything and I like that."

Corley, along with Detroit King teammate and Penn State commit LaVert Hill, will take another visit to Ann Arbor for the weekend barbecue. He's also scheduled to take two unofficial visits to Michigan State on Aug. 3 and Aug. 8.

Former Detroit Lions Executive Matt Millen Gives His Two Cents On Jim Harbaugh

July 31, 2015 by  
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The Jim Harbaugh discussion continues as one of the most infamous figures in Detroit sports history shares his thoughts on the head coach.

Everyone and their children has been given the opportunity to provide some words of wisdom about Jim Harbaugh since his hiring back in December. Whether it is a story during Harbaugh's playing days, his demeanor as a coach or even adding lighter fluid to his fiery personality.

And this time, the recorder was brought forward to Matt Millen, the infamous former Detroit Lions general manager and president.

Millen, who announced his recent broadcasting move to the Big Ten Network this past May as the lead game analyst, spoke to the media at the Big Ten media days in Chicago on Thursday, detailing his meeting with Harbaugh before the 2001 season.

It was the final year of Harbaugh's career, highlighted by one Pro Bowl appearance and one Comeback Player of the Year award. The Lions signed Harbaugh during the offseason, but relieved him of his duties before trading for Ty Detmer.

Millen said that when he informed Harbaugh that he was being released, the former San Francisco 49ers head coach promised that he intends to keep playing.

"Jim was always real straight with me, that's what I always loved about him," Millen said. "He's a different Jim now than the Jim I knew as a player. But the base and core is still the same, he is still ultra-competitive. He's still not going to take no for an answer, he's going to find his way.

"I think he's great for the Big Ten, I think he's great for college football."

Harbaugh eventually signed with the Carolina Panthers before retiring at the conclusion of the season.

Millen may not have been the Lions' savior a decade ago, but at least he's on the Harbaugh bandwagon.

Harbaugh tops BTN’s list of Media Day Storylines

July 30, 2015 by  
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Surprise, surprise.

Big Ten Media Days kick off on Thursday, which is headlined by media sessions with Michigan State's Mark Dantonio and Ohio State's Urban Meyer.

Friday will be Jim Harbaugh's turn, and a list by Big Ten Network's Tom Dienhart says he is the top storyline during the next two days of coverage.

You might have heard the news: Michigan hired Jim Harbaugh. The hype, anticipation and build-up of Harbaughpalooza even dwarfs the run-up to Christmas. Jimmy Boy and his khakis, ball cap and whistle seemingly have been in the news every day, whether fawning over Judge Judy, stirring emotions with his patriotic defense of “American Sniper,” going shirtless in a camp and showing his hipness by Tweeting to rapper Big Sean. Harbaugh is an indomitable force who America can’t ignore. So, don’t even try. Now, let’s see if he can win some games. I shudder to think what will happen if Harbaugh actually one day leads Michigan to its first Big Ten title since 2004. Harbaugh for President

Jehu Chesson, James Ross III and Joe Bolden will be the Michigan players in attendance with Harbaugh.

Stay tuned for Big Ten Media Days coverage throughout the next few days for more on the Wolverines and other notable tidbits.

Thursday Morning Brews (7/30/15)

July 30, 2015 by  
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Big Ten teams are still doing some finishing touches on the eve of Media Days.

Hitting the Links Will Enjoy Media Days

Talking Braxton Miller's Position Change

Nothing entirely new, but all in one place and well-summarized.

Checking In On Michigan's Quarterback Battle

Jim Harbaugh has been impressed with Shane Morris' work ethic, which is good news.

Michigan Defensive Line Preview

Consistency seems to be the theme for some of these guys, but Harbaugh will be able to draw that out.

SEC Has Become A League Of Ridiculous Excuses

Stewart Mandel has some fun ribbing the SEC.

Alabama Out For Stevenson; Visiting Miami

Stevenson would be a great catch for the Huskers; he brings extra doses of speed to the running back position.

Northwestern Adds Miami Transfer

Garrett will be able to bolster a thin receiver corps. He started off as a walk-on at Miami.

Indiana Adds OSU Transfer

Jayme will be able to bolster a thin secondary. He started off as a top-250 recruit, but was either pushed out the door because there wasn't room or transferred because he wanted more playing time.

Michigan State Adds OSU Transfer

Yes, another Ohio State player. Dantonio gets another productive player not on scholarship.

MSU's Preseason Depth Chart Released

Demetrious Cox, who started his career at safety but has also been practicing at corner, will indeed play at cornerback to start the season. This was in the making for a while, based off their struggles to replace Darqueze Dennard and Trae Waynes with someone the staff finds trustworthy.

Four Bold Predictions for Gophers Football

All a good mix of smart and bold, though beating Wisconsin is a tall task indeed.

Previewing Wisconsin's LinebackersCoaching Change

The linebacker position has been transformed under Dave Aranda.

Iowa Considering Stadium Revamp

Alcohol seems to be on the minds of the athletic department.

SB Nation Introduces the Piesman Trophy

Also, the comment section is pretty hilarious and filled with awesome big guy gifs.

Ten Toughest Power 5 Non-Conference Schedules

Michigan makes the cut, obviously. Stanford ranks #1, as they get Notre Dame, Northwestern and UCF.

SB Nation's Oregon Preview

The Pac-12 is improving, and so is the Big Ten. So is the Big 12 and the ACC.

Potential Resolution For Anthony Jennings, Others

LSU does not play opening weekend, then faces McNeese State on September 5. So they still have time - a little extra, in fact - to sort out the off-season issues.

Wednesday Michigan Recruiting Roundup: Notable List Of Attendees At Upcoming Barbecue

July 29, 2015 by  
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In this edition, a pair of highly touted Detroit King recruits will be in attendance at the Big House barbecue in Ann Arbor this Sunday.

Isaac Nauta decommits from Florida State

Five-star tight end Isaac Nauta, who committed to Florida State back in December of last year, announced his decision to decommit from the program on Tuesday.
The nation's No. 2 ranked tight end, according to 247Sports, told reporters at The Opening that he'd consider taking an official visit to Michigan. Ole Miss was listed as a finalist when Nauta committed to the Seminoles, and with family living in Georgia, the Bulldogs should be in the running for Nauta.

Nauta's most recent offer came from the Texas Longhorns, after he made an unofficial visit to the school this past Sunday.

Detroit King Visits Ann Arbor

Wide receiver Donnie Corley and cornerback LaVert Hill are expected to be in attendance for the Big House barbecue this upcoming Sunday. Both of whom are ranked in the top 15 at their respected positions and are very high on Michigan's recruiting board.

Hill is currently committed to Penn State but according to 247Sports, Michigan is in the running to flip the 5-foot-10, 166 pounder's commitment. Corley, who was close to committing to Michigan State at The Opening, decided to delay his decision and visit more schools. Corley is expected to visit MSU again a day after the barbecue in Ann Arbor.

Mercole Hardman Jr. To Take Official Visit to U-M Nov. 28

Among those in attendance during Michigan's season finale against Ohio State in Ann Arbor will be four-star ATH, Mercole Hardman Jr. from Elberton, GA. Georgia and Tennessee are considered to be the favorites to land the No. 4 ranked ATH in the nation by 247Sports.

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