to play football, not to play trumpet
this week's obsession
Kinda like Signing of the Stars but none of us hung on as a bad middle infielder for way too long [photo: Bryan Fuller]
In our annual rite we pose the standard boring questions about the lately received class to our panel of writers, who by nature of being asked questions may appear like experts. One of us might even be one. The lineup:
- Brian: Not a real journalist.
- Ace: Chief enunciator, lead reporter, recruiting/basketball guy.
- Seth: Associate editor/site business guy
- BiSB, esquire. A lawyer who occasionally does lawyer work at his attorney job.
- Adam Schnepp: Press correspondent (Heiko's old job) and hockey guy.
- Dave Nasternak: J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family Lead Backend Logistics Strategist and Associate Vice President of Signs Holding Up Of.
Best recruit other than Gary?
Brian: Give me David Long. Long's a legit six-foot corner ranked in the top 100 everywhere. Originally he was thought of as a wide receiver recruit but everyone flipped him to defense after he tore up camps with a combination of acceleration, size, agility, and smarts. He's handsy, he's going to excel at the press coverage Michigan will continue to use, and he is A+ off the field. If you're asking me who other than Gary is the most likely to go in the first round of the draft I'll ride with Long.
|Harbaugh can pick ‘em. [Bryan Fuller]|
Ace: I’ll take Brandon Peters. I had the chance to watch him in two full games this past season—one in person, one on TV—and in both he excelled against high-level competition. Peters has a live, accurate arm, enough athleticism to break the pocket and make plays on the run, and an advanced understanding of how to put touch on the ball to get his receiver in the best possible position to make a big play. Given he enrolled early, I wouldn’t be surprised if he made a push for the starting job, and even if John O’Korn wins it this year (which I expect), Peters should give him a serious run in 2017 before he’s the odds-on favorite to win the job in 2018.
Seth: I'm with Ace on Peters. As long as the physical tools are good enough rating a QB is about how well he sees the game, and he sees it very very well.
Adam: I'm going with Ben Bredeson. I wholeheartedly endorse his billing as Mason Cole 2.0, but versatility doesn't make you the best recruit in the class outside of one of nature's anomalies. Bredeson looks like he's zone blocking on every play because of how quickly he hits the second level; when I realized there was actually a sniveling defensive lineman across from Bredeson that he had just taken for a ride I was sold.
BiSB: Peters. His tape is just throw after throw that isn’t just a good ball, but is also the right kind of ball. I described it at one point as the “lollipop, lollipop, MURDERDEATHLASER” approach; he is extremely adept at putting touch on the ball (which is the right play when playing with high school receivers), but can fire bullets when need be. He’s mobile, and he can move around the pocket. The only real question is how he will adapt to life under center, and as an early enrollee he can probably figure that out. I’m really, really excited to see what Harbaugh can do with him.
[After the JUMP: things we will unwrap sooner and later, and Ace and Seth turn Name of the Year into an argument because that’s how we ‘geddon around here.]
What was your worst breakup? Answer may include a breakup song.
Take her down to a river.
Seth: I haven't had enough long term relationships to collect the associated bad break. There was a never-was that ended with me taking a very long walk in the wee hours in winter and learning a thing or two about whiskey, but I can't really share it. And my longest relationship before my wife was a most-of-high-school thing that ended amicably.
My best breakup story then is more of an airline story. When my brother met his wife she had a best friend in the same grad program at Michigan whom I dated for a time. The problem was I had this whirlwind trip coming up: Vegas for a trade show-->Paris for 10 days with my parents-->home. The Vegas-Paris leg, because I was a master at flying in my trade show-attending youth, had a 19-hour "layover" in Detroit.
Well you can't really invite a girl you've been dating 6 weeks to Paris (with your folks!)unless you're already of a mind to keep doing so 'till death do you part. On the other hand she was really smart, and had Michigan hockey tickets. But it fell on her "spring" break, so I was really put to a decision here. I did the only thing I could to not end the relationship prematurely without committing fully: nothing.
With no Paris offer forthcoming she committed to flying back home--North Carolina--and got me to commit to driving her. Like an idiot I'm all: okay, I'll get back from this Vegas thing, we'll spend the "layover" together, take a car to the airport at the same time, then have a week apart to figure out our feels.
Here's where this plan went sour: she booked a 3pm flight to NC, and my Paris flight wasn't until 9 (and I wasn't about to leave a car there that whole time). So my glorious layover is now drive home from the airport after getting home on a red-eye, get a few hours of sleep, take the girl to airport, drive home again, then go back to the airport for Paris.
I got home from Las Vegas at about 7am, passed out for five hours, and woke up to find her already dropped off at my place. We hung out a little, I gave her a (very nice) Valentine's Day gift, jumped in the shower at the right time to be ready for the airport run, and when I got out she dumped me.
So you tell me: would you still take her?
[After the jump: more crutin]
Uncommitted recruit other than Gary you most want in the class?
Seth: Here, have some Khaleke Hudson highlights and a jump, then I'm making you all pick someone else.
[After the jump: OTHER than Gary, or Hudson. Or Long for that matter.]
That was enjoyable. In fact it was probably the biggest win in Crisler since…
Wait this is a history question? We should get Craig Ross to answer!
Oh good call.
You should introduce him though in case people don't recognize the name.
Um they should, but yeah, Craig is a Michigan fan who can probably claim to be the world's biggest Michigan fan by nature of the fact that he's been going to games so long that nobody younger than him remembers half as much, and nobody older than him remembers half as well.
You should plug his books.
I'm pretty sure he'd rather I make old jokes at his expense; a determined soul knows enough to Amazon from here.
Fair enough. The Responses:
David: All right. I sorted through game-by-game schedules and found out the last time Michigan defeated a higher ranked opponent than #3 - like Maryland was on Tuesday- at Crisler Arena was...December 13, 1997. They defeated #1 Duke.
Here is my chart of the top home wins of the Beilein Era. I started going back further...but it got REALLY scary, really quickly.
Here is a list of 'Almosts'
|10/11||#3 Kansas||67-60 (OT)|
Michigan also had a couple of wins over #3s in Madison and East Lansing in the 13-14 season. I did not go through neutral site games.
So, technically, Tuesday's win was probably Michigan's biggest at home since 1997. I will say that the Duke win in 2008 might have been bigger than Tuesday, regardless of rankings. I was still in grad school and had Maize Rage tickets for the previous couple of years. That Duke win really injected some life and belief into the program. Michigan went on to make the NCAA Tournament that year for the first time in 11 years and that was the game where I remember thinking that perhaps we will be very good again at some point. Plus, we drove to East Lansing right after and beat Michigan State at Munn Ice Arena for the first time in 4 years. It was a good day.
[After the Jump: Craig Ross answers the question, but only after 6 paragraphs of not answering the question]
Melanie Maxwell | The Ann Arbor News
Make an outlandish prediction for 2016.
Adam: De'Veon Smith will rush for 1,000+ yards with 5 yards per carry. Smith should have a little more room to run in 2016 thanks to John O'Korn's downfield aptitude, the development of Jehu Chesson from receiver with track speed to receiver with track speed and hands, and an offensive line that will have two years of getting Drevno'd under their belts.
Five YPC is a lofty estimate, but if Smith shows the kind of vision he did in the bowl game it's attainable; he rushed for 109 yards and 4.4 YPC against S&P+'s fifth-ranked run defense. Smith was injured most of the year, and his carries and yards/game dropped as a result. I think he would have gotten double-digit carries in every game had he not been hurt and expect him to in 2016. I also don't think there's another back on the roster who's likely to steal those extra carries. Sure, Kareem Walker will probably play, but I'd be surprised if he gets more than the 55 carries Drake Johnson got in 2015.
[Hit THE JUMP because someone makes a lemon bet on a linebacker]
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]