Today is the last chance for the B1G to show a pulse against Power 5 opponents:
- Utah (Pac 12) at Michigan
- Maryland at Syracuse (ACC)
"One key: Devin Funchess, their top pass catcher, does return today," Fowler said on Gameday. "We expect him to play. And defensive starters, Jarrod Wilson and Raymon Taylor, are also back."
I heard a statistic the other day that only 9 of the top 100 HS football players are from the B1G footprint (not sure what that meant w/ Rutgers, Maryland). I recognize that this could be an anamoly, but converntional wisdom (whatever that means) seems to hold that this is a trend. The ramification for Michigan was that it is going to be increasingly important to import talent from other regions and that might make it increasingly difficult to compete.
Part of the explanation was "demographic" shift. But, I looked it up and the US Census reports that roughly 24% of those under 18 live in the "midwest". So while, there is a shift in population, it is not like the midwest has been totally vacated. In tennis, golf and baseball, the relatively nicer weather allows players to practice their sports more outside the midwest, but this would seem to be less of factor for football which is playable is worse weather and is relatively more dependent on weight room training than actual skill practice. There is always the chance for confirmation bias, but it does seem like relatively more talent comes out of other regions, especially the south.
So, that seems to leave cultural aspects to explain much of the gap. Is it just the increased cultural interest in youth football in places like Florida and Texas that drives this?
I believe in this team.
UPDATE - It's been a beautiful morning with sunshine and warm temps! We're starting to see rain showers across the western side of the state, and in the northeastern lower. Precip models show the first part of the game being mostly dry, maybe a stray shower, but the end of the game looks to be more iffy, especially leaving the game - fingers crossed it holds off, but it's a close call. We've still got potential for strong storms through the evening, with the main threats being wind gusts to 60mph and 1" hail. The plus side is, storms won't last long- they'll move from the southwest towards northeast at 40mph.
Low pressure moving through northern Minnesota and into Canada will bring a warm front through Saturday morning, followed by a cold front going into the evening and overnight. This will give us warm, breezy weather throughout the game, and some scattered showers and storms. Some of the storms may be strong, so we'll keep an eye on it. Our main threats will be large hail and damaging wind gusts. Winds are out of the SW all day.
If you're heading out early it'll be chilly! You may also run into some fog. Waking up to temperatures in the upper 40s, but they'll reach the low 50s quickly after sunrise. Hitting 60 degrees by mid-morning, and 70 for lunch. The start of the day shouldn't be much to worry about - lots of sunshine with gradually increasing cloud cover, with rain chances beginning in the afternoon. Winds will also increase, out of the southwest at 10mph (leaves blow about) mid-morning, up to the mid teens by lunch, with gusts in the low 20s (small branches move).
More clouds by the time we reach kick-off, and we're looking at scattered showers and storms popping up. Warm, with temps sitting at the high for the day of 79 degrees. Winds are out of the SW in the mid teens, with gusts to 30mph possible (empty trash cans tip over, you can sometimes hear the wind whistling).
Still hanging on near 80, with scattered showers and storms possible. Winds have started to die down though, out of the SW in the low teens with gusts in the low 20s.
Showers and storms become likely ending the game, and they continue to pass through overnight and into Sunday. The wind will calm down a little - we get rid of the gusts in the evening - and they'll settle in out of the SW at 10mph overnight. Temperature-wise, we stay mild - mid 70s at the end of the game, and down to the mid 60s in the late night, and low 60s if you're out for last call - celebrating a win!