to play football, not to play trumpet
SI's Thayer Evans is reporting that Michigan will hire Boston College defensive coordinator Don Brown in the same capacity at Michigan:
Boston College DC Don Brown will be Michigan's new DC per source.
— Thayer Evans (@ThayerEvansSI) December 20, 2015
Sam Webb has an unconfirmed report that Brown told BC's players he would depart today.
This is the first that Brown's name has come up in connection with the Michigan job, which goes to show how much this was on lockdown. I was momentarily disappointed and then I remembered spending much of the year mad at BC for having the audacity to be above Michigan in the rankings.
This is not because they beat up on Howard and Maine. S&P ignores that stuff. Meanwhile let's play spot the outlier in Dalvin Cook's season:
15 for 54 is BC. everyone else got nuked except Georgia Tech, which managed the 17 for 82 above.
BC's defense finished the year third in S&P+ behind only FSU and Michigan despite having nowhere near the talent either of those two teams had *and* having the kind of crippling dysfunction on the other side of the ball that usually leads to late landslide victories. You know, the kind of offense that can do this:
Wake Forest 3, Boston College 0: It's okay to hate something you love sometimes
Football Study Hall's Ian Boyd wrote a feature on Brown's defense not five days ago. Read the whole thing but here's the nutshell version:
With a quick LB corps, safeties that can play multiple roles, and effective DL anchored by highly skilled tackles all of the schematics and skill sets on the Eagles' defense were able to pull together to form a dominant unit. They were hard to move the ball against on normal downs and then pure murder on 3rd and long. Too bad about that offense.
Brown doesn't fit Harbaugh's profile in that he's 60 and presumably not looking to move up, but as far as results go he's a very impressive hire. And he's a college guy, so thumbs up for that.
There's an exceedingly good chance this pass resulted in a bucket. [Eric Upchurch]
Entering this week, Michigan had three triple-doubles in program history. After Derrick Walton's ten-point, 11-rebound, 13-assist outing this evening, the Wolverines now have two in the last two games.
Walton did a masterful job picking apart Youngstown State's 2-3 zone, which the Penguins stuck with for most of the game despite giving up a parade of easy buckets. Walton's largesse benefited just about everyone donning white; four other Wolverines also finished with double-digit points—led by Caris LeVert and Aubrey Dawkins with 19 each—even though none cracked 30 minutes played.
One need look no further than Dawkins' performance to get an idea of how this game went. After playing only four minutes of garbage time in Tuesday's win over Northern Kentucky, he didn't check in until the 8:50 mark of the first half today, by which point Michigan had already run out to a 19-point lead. By halftime, Dawkins had 13 points and two Sportscenter-worthy dunks, including this savage and-one finish of a Walton lob:
The second half featured far more unlikely alley-oop combinations, most notably one from Kam Chatman to Ricky Doyle and, later, a lob lay-in by DJ Wilson—whose ankle was healthy enough for him to play six late minutes—from Andrew Dakich.
While YSU's insistence on playing zone makes it difficult to take too much away on that end, it's worth noting Michigan's quartet of big men held Penguins center Bobby Hain, who entered the evening averaging 14.7 points and 7.4 rebounds, to seven points on 3/10 FGs and a lone rebound.
Michigan has one more tune-up—Wednesday night against Bryant—before starting Big Ten play. If any conference opponents want to try out a zone defense, the Wolverines are quite ready.
Tonight's bad poetry:
Never 2-3 zone
Against a John Beilein team
Unless you want death
Mattison has been around the block [Eric Upchurch]
Defensive coordinator bits. Michigan isn't in any rush to fill the spot since they know what they're doing for the bowl game (it'll be Mattison) and they don't have any urgent recruiting to do (Chris Partridge is on the road temporarily and it's a dead period through the New Year).
For a while it seemed like the main guy was Stanford DC Lance Anderson, who admitted contact with both BYU and Michigan early last week. BYU is currently looking for a Mormon to coach their team after the departure of Bronco Mendenhall, and Anderson fits the bill. So does Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo (a name I will force Ace to pronounce if it ever comes up on the podcast), but that flirtation apparently came to an end yesterday. Anderson would be a guy on the ensuing shortlist. And even if he's not:
Lance Anderson: "I'm not leaving #Stanford for another coordinator position. I'm very happy here, love this."
— Andy Drukarev (@StanfordRivals) December 17, 2015
Anderson's track record is short and Michigan's flirtation with Harbaugh's former Stanford personnel mostly serves to get them raises. Moving on, then… to… people? I guess?
I haven't gotten any intel on the search, sadly, and so much of what others have said has mutated so quickly or proven to be false that I don't think anyone has a good read. Sam Webb brought up Wisconsin DC Dave Aranda as a possibility. Aranda has a very good track record save for a certain game against Ohio State last year, so that's a mixed blessing right there.
Colorado DC Jim Leavitt is working his way back into college coaching after an Incident that got him fired from his post as the USF head coach. An Oklahoma fan laid out the case for Leavitt in January, when the Sooners were looking for coaches on D:
Everywhere coach Leavitt has been, he’s been successful. He was the co-defensive coordinator with Bob Stoops at Kansas State, where they managed to take a pitiful defense and turn it into, statistically, one of the nation’s best. He then went on to the University of South Florida and built the program from it’s infancy as an FCS program to a Big East conference FBS program. The success he had at South Florida, including at one point being ranked number two nationally, has not been anywhere close to repeated since his departure.
Leavitt was offered the Alabama job multiple times before Nick Saban eventually landed in Tuscaloosa. He was offered head coaching positions at multiple major FBS programs and turned them all down to stay at South Florida.
Leavitt landed with Harbaugh in San Francisco after the Incident, and is a quality coach.
And I'll continue to advocate for Houston DC Todd Orlando*, a former Wisconsin linebacker who has been very successful in stints at Utah State and Houston. That he was Tom Herman's top choice to be DC is also very appealing—this is a gentleman selected by a top spread guy.
Todd Orlando is not pictured at right. But if he was, oh man.
*[Oddly, Orlando and Aranda were at Utah State consecutively. Someone hire that guy to be a head coach. Oh right Wisconsin tried that and he ran away.]
Thanking ushers with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind. Jim Harbaugh doing Harbaugh things:
Jim Harbaugh made a surprise appearance at a dinner yesterday simply to thank Michigan Stadium ushers for their work pic.twitter.com/Uloc5xNv8P
— Alejandro Zúñiga (@ByAZuniga) December 16, 2015
They got the people who stand on the seats in the IMG section to not do so for the OSU game this year, so I would also like to thank the kind lady who did that.
Filling in a LTT-shaped hole. Michigan has offered Texas grad transfer Jake Raulerson. Raulerson got his degree in three years and has two to play, so he would help fill in one of the gaps left by the six-man 2012 OL recruiting class dwindling to two. Raulerson has seen a fair bit of time:
He started five games on the offensive line for Texas as a redshirt freshman and played twelve total games in 2014 for the Longhorns. He was a four-star prospect out of high school and was the 116th ranked overall player in the 2013 class coming out of high school. Alabama and UCLA are among the other programs he is believed to be considering.
At 6-4, 295 he is most likely a center but could play either guard spot as well. He is (obviously) a high-academic kid, and would immediately compete to fill the spot Glasgow is vacating. He would also be around in 2017, when Michigan loses Magnuson, Kalis, and Braden.
Raulerson would not count against the cap of 28 players the Big Ten imposes on recruiting classes, so if Michigan thinks they'll have a spot there's no downside.
RichRodding in progress. Meanwhile, poor damn Charlie Strong. Strong is two-thirds of the way to the full RichRod. Strong:
- is probably a good coach, possibly a very good one
- got a primo college job despite no previous connections to it
- inherited a brutally bad roster thanks to the previous coach staying on a couple years too long
- attempted to install a culture radically different from the existing one
- lost a lot of games his first two years
- lost whatever questionable support there was for him in the first place thanks to the previous bullet
- made a bunch of panicked coaching moves after some bad decisions on the side of the ball opposite his specialty
- died a thousand recruiting deaths as a result.
In related news, Texas offered TX DT Chris Daniels yesterday. Daniels commits… tonight. Probably not to Texas. As of right now the Longhorns have zero (ZERO) of the top 20 recruits in the state committed, and two of the top 50*. That is a long way away from the Mack Brown days when Texas would lock up 15 of the top 20 before the previous year's signing day.
*[They are crystal ball favorites for four of the remaining six uncommitted players but much of that feels like the same kind of momentum that saw Jordan Elliott a Texas CB favorite weeks after he publicly announced Michigan was his leader. Michigan is in on two of those players, OL Jean Delance and LB Dontavious Jackson.]
Etc.: Congresspersons acquire free tickets to college sporting events. Jabrill Peppers is Naughty By Nature's nephew? Did we know this? Ann Arbor best college town, put it on the mantle next to all the other ones. Illinois promotes Ryan Cubit, son of Bill Cubit, to OC. Michigan pays its assistants a lot. Smart Football back and popping. Citrus advanced stats tale of the tape.
Michigan (8-3) vs
Youngstown State (5-6)
Ann Arbor, Michigan
|WHEN||6 pm ET, Saturday|
|LINE||Michigan -19 (KenPom)|
PBP: Dan Gutowsky
Analyst: Kyle Macy
Right: This week in bizarre, surprisingly sad mascot histories.
In a pleasant change, Michigan probably won't need to reconfigure their lineup from Tuesday's win over Northern Kentucky. For those who missed it, that starting lineup was Derrick Walton, Caris LeVert, Duncan Robinson, Zak Irvin, and Ricky Doyle; Mark Donnal and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman were the two primary backups as John Beilein made a concerted effort to whittle down the rotation before Big Ten play begins.
As has been the case for the past couple games, the intrigue tomorrow will come from how Beilein handles the rotation. Aubrey Dawkins, Moritz Wagner, and Kam Chatman played a combined eight minutes on Tuesday; I'd assume at least one gets a more prominent role—a seven-man rotation is a little light—and the best guess is Dawkins and Wagner see a slight uptick in minutes:
Beilein on rotation: NKU was running a motion that was confusing to Moe. Dawkins saw minutes drop b/c Robinson was "on fire."
— Brendan F. Quinn (@BFQuinn) December 18, 2015
DJ Wilson is back at practice but isn't yet going full-court, so he'll remain out tonight.
Youngstown State has lost to every team they've played within KenPom's top 280 teams; they have three wins against the dregs of D-I and two more against Thiel and Geneva, which... are not D-I. They haven't played an opponent that's comparable to Michigan; their only top-100 foe was #3 Purdue, which they lost to 95-64 last weekend.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the preview.]
On the roundtable this week:
- No Ed
- Ed is there in spirit since we rip on him for 60 minutes
- And by we I mean "I"
- The glorious correctness of Craig's six-guys-only strategy
THE USUAL LINKS
Taking an old question in reverse: Choose one current Michigan player whom you'd like to take back in time and have him play for a former team?
David: I think I would put Zach Werenski onto the 2010-11 Michigan Hockey team.
After Brandon Burlon's injury before the tournament run, freshman Kevin Clare was pushed into Michigan's 3rd defensive pairing...which ended up turning into playing mostly just five defensemen. After the Tiny Jesus show against North Dakota in the National Semifinal -where Hunwick made a whopping 40 saves- Michigan was just gassed going into the Title Game. It showed as M took twice as many penalties as Duluth did. Hunwick played amazing again, but the team was chasing play most of the time. If you put another NHL first round defenseman on that team and Clare isn't forced into action that might have been a little above his head -or if thy could have rotated through 6 blue-liners more confidently (Clare did have 2 of M's penalties)- Michigan might have been able to stay out of the box more and conserved energy, etc, etc. Not to mention adding Werenski's offensive prowess...he already has 4-8-12 in half a year, this year. Would it be a slam dunk? I don't know...but I would take another shot at that game if I could get it...
Option #2 (if its allowed): Trading Senior LeVert for Freshman LeVert in 2012-13.
Option #3: Adding Peppers/Lewis to the '06 football team...but would either of them (or anyone, for that matter) keep their feet on that hideous Columbus sod??
[After THE JUMP: we debate which team would most benefit from #HoverPeppers]