Former Michigan commit Daxton Hill
big mood [Robert Allen/247Sports]

Yesterday I was driving home and a deer leapt a gosh dang guard rail and bounded across the road and I hadn’t been that surprised since, well, you know. So Saturday night got ugly in a hurry. Not only did Michigan hockey lose to Minnesota at home in a game they desperately needed to get points out of, but they lost on an even-strength goal with under two minutes to play. That same night, OK S Daxton Hill dropped the Thanos Snap of recruit tweets, flipping his seemingly rock-solid commitment from Michigan to Alabama. Judging by the texts I got and twitter and message boards and every other available piece of evidence, this went over poorly.

If you were surprised, you weren’t alone. According to 247’s Steve Lorenz, not only was Michigan’s staff caught off guard, Alabama’s staff was surprised to learn of the flip. Michigan visited Hill at home last Wednesday. Alabama visited Hill’s home the next day, but no crystal balls were flipped. Lorenz says that the Alabama staff felt better about flipping FL S and current Ohio State commit Jordan Battle and thought that, if anything, they might get an unofficial visit from Hill. The Michigan Insider’s Sam Webb reiterated that Michigan’s staff found out when the public did and, though they wanted him to sign during the early signing period and he had apparently let them know he wanted to wait until February, there were no red flags presaging a decomitment.

The main point of Webb’s post centers around a quote from Hill’s father Webb obtained when he visited the family this fall. The family said they liked that Michigan was about winning all areas of life and not just winning at any cost, and Webb points out that Alabama was Alabama when Hill committed to Michigan, which was coming off a loss to Notre Dame that had people down for weeks. Webb went on to say that he feels Hill isn’t done grappling with whatever might have shifted his hierarchy of decision factors; when a poster on their message board asked if this wasn’t over, Webb responded with a clip from Rocky V of Mickey as a Force ghost or something that ends with Rocky yelling ‘Yo, Tommy! I didn’t hear no bell.” Now Lorenz checks in with a notes post in which he says he was also able to confirm that there's some optimism on Michigan's end that this recruitment may not be over. With Hill's decision horizon apparently extended two months, that makes some sense.

[After THE JUMP: Ann Arbor in December is a hot vacation destination]

[Patrick Barron]

Per Steve Lorenz, O'Maury Samuels has been booted:

Samuels got scattered carries as a backup the past couple years as Michigan had crowded backfields. Karan Higdon's departure was going to open the door for a third player to join presumed platoon members Chris Evans and Tru Wilson; Samuels's departure removes an option.

Christian Turner, Zach Charbonnet, and maybe Hassan Haskins (who played some linebacker) or Michael Barrett (who's practiced at both viper and slot receiver but was a hell of a running QB in high school) will now vie for those snaps. Turner looked slippery and tough to bring down in some cameo snaps this year; Charbonnet is flying up recruiting lists and might end up a five-star.

baby please don't go [Patrick Barron]

Uh. Don Brown is reputedly a finalist for the Temple job:

Elko has turned it down, which is strange for a 41-year-old guy with a decent but not great resume and may indicate that the job's not particularly attractive. Brown is 63 and if offered would have to decide between what's probably his last shot at a head coaching job and a potential playoff-level team at Michigan going forward in the event they ever beat OSU.

FWIW, Brett McMurphy just reported that Diaz is next up.

Finding guys 8 and 9. That's what the next three games are about for basketball, and it sounds like Brandon Johns is on the verge:

Leading up to Michigan's latest game, Johns played the role of South Carolina's Chris Silva on the scout team. Silva was first team All-SEC last season, and Johns did his best to impersonate him.

According to Michigan assistant coach DeAndre Haynes, Johns was banging in the paint, dunking, and knocking down 15-footers. He had his best two days of practice.

"But when he's Brandon Johns for Michigan, he's not doing it," Haynes said. "We told him, 'You shouldn't have to be Silva for you to play this way. You have the same game.'"

Beilein asserts that Michigan "dummies it down" for young players on offense and that the issue with their playing time is executing consistently on defense, which is quite a statement from John Frickin' Beilein.

Gonna need a whole new tournament just for us. Joe Lunardi's latest bracketology has ten(!) Big Ten teams in and Northwestern on his "next four out" list. That is the whole league aside from PSU, Illinois, and Rutgers, and includes two teams projected to have losing conference records (Iowa and Minnesota).

Michigan gets a 1-seed, naturally, and is shipped to Columbus along with Michigan State. Lunardi dumps Louisville and Kentucky outside of the South, which might be on accident since early in the year Lunardi does some sloppy stuff, but you have to figure that if Michigan is indeed the #1 in a regional in Louisville they won't set up a potential road game.

That's well down the road but the point is that the team that wins this league is probably getting a one seed.

[After THE JUMP: Hugh Freeze!]

They aren't playing badly, but they're playing as well as they can.

tracking shirts

In which Michigan plays a sloppy disjointed game and wins by 11. 

He's at a barn dance, and a cow walks in, and he tries to mate with a calf

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