Good luck, Al.

Sponsor Note: I can't get Matt Demorest of HomeSure Lending to sit down for a beer recently because rates recently dropped to the lowest they've been since 2015-'16. If you bought or financed your house in the last year or so, for some reason Matt would rather personally handling whether a refinance now can save you some coin than listen to me be mopey about football and hockey.

He also stepped up to buy us some new equipment and cover the hosting (and host) costs for Sap and I to launch our new podcast, The Teams (first episode here) where we cover one historical Michigan football season per episode. In the process we had to go through a lot of historical teams. Since I have to do the research anyway, I figured I would turn it into some offseason #content you can flip through while Matt is working on your loan.

A Tournament of Great Michigan Football Teams Past

Mostly I wanted a way to have something about all these teams in the blog history. I went with an NCAA basketball-style tournament to keep it interesting as we go. I'll take a few games per episode, pit two great teams against each other, and eulogize the loser. The seeding went like a committee might: more wins, big wins, big postseason wins etc. count, and national champs are treated like conference champs. Since football's gotten harder to win over the years, further back in time means weaker SOS, relegating Bo teams from the Big 2 Little 8 Era to low majors, etc.

M tourney.JPG

We'll start today with the play-in round.

---------------------------

16th Seed Game 1: 1885 vs. 1895

Worthy though they were, Horace G. Prettyman's squad would have gaped at the advancements in the game and Michigan's program just a decade later. Backed by hundreds of dollars raised from the students themselves, and organized by a man who would do more than anyone else to build a premier athletics program at the University of Michigan, the 1895 team would steamroll their forebears, then everyone would go down to Hangsterfer's Saloon (a Mongolian BBQ today) for drinks and songs. 1895 wins 42-2.

The 1895s advance to take on Charles Woodson and the 1997 team. Maybe they can get Prettyman back?

[After THE JUMP: About the 1885 team, and a few more like this]

Things discussed:

  • Rhonda Faehn: Probably was not a bad hire, made it impossible to keep her by Warde's first big oops. Was at USAG for 30 days when she got a report, had no idea yet her organization was compromised. Probably did everything she should have, testified to Congress when MSU's president et al. had to be subpoened and took the fifth. Team was behind the hire.
  • That said, if Michigan wanted this they had to make a big deal about their process and get everyone to sign off. Faehn got railroaded.
  • Mid-30s Harbaugh assistants. Gattis was a surprise. Gonna be a good recruiter, is he really getting the keys to the offense? Is Michigan really going to be speed in space?
  • Sam: Pep isn't Drevno—he's looking around but not being pushed out. If Pep doesn't get another job, don't know what to do with McDaniels.
  • Campanelli: BC insiders agree: he's a Dude.
  • Nua: Has a place to stay in Hawaii.
  • Hoops: NW'ern put Pete Nance on X to temp some threes, X took that personally. Teske did too, convincing Dererk Pardon he could hit threes; Pardon cannot hit threes. Sam: "Cassius Winston's gonna bust Simpson's tail in that one…Cassius Winston is gonna go for 30 plus."
  • How to play Happ: Teske's earned his shot to shut him down. Double him maybe when there's a non-shooter, but he's an expert at slugging out doubles.
  • Nate Reuvers is next year's stretch five—awkward at the four but a plus blocker there.

You can catch the entire episode on Michigan Insider's podcast stream on Podbean.

Segment two is here. Segment three is here.

THE USUAL LINKS

I also have a BC insider, as it turns out

whats the happs sorry sorry i thought this was america [Marc-Gregor Campredon]

HEY FOLKS

48390026_10156813707210295_705173032

Friday is University of Michigan night at the Pistons game. There's a postgame meet-and-greet with GRIII and five bucks from every ticket ordered through the above link will go to chronic fatigue syndrome research. The hat is no coincidence! It's Ace's hat! Not literally! But if you've listened to our very visual podcast you've no doubt seen his hat.

There are three seating options: corner, baseline, and the 200-level sideline. MGoBlog people are supposed to gather on the 200 level. Consume!

THE ESSENTIALS

WHAT #6 Michigan (17-0) vs
#17 Wisconsin(11-6)
WHERE Trohl Center
Madison, WI
WHEN Noon Saturday
LINE Michigan –1 (Kenpom)
TV ESPN

THE US

Michigan eased back into the Big Ten schedule with three games at home and just Illinois on the road. Two of those were "B" games to Kenpom, signifying a top-100 opponent when venue is considered. Two didn't make the tiers at all.

Well, buckle up: 11 of Michigan's remaining 14 regular-season games are "A"—top 50—matchups. Those kick off on Saturday with what Kenpom projects is Michigan's second-most difficult game remaining: at Wisconsin. (The finale at Breslin is, unsurprisingly, #1.) Bart Torvik Dot Com is relatively down on Wisconsin and high on Michigan but even so this game checks in #4 amongst remaining tests. Michigan hasn't faced a team the advanced stats like this much since their two game demolition derby against UNC and Purdue back in early December.

It'll probably be fine, but the push for the conference title starts now. 

THE LINEUP CARD

image (16)

Click for big.

Projected starters are in bold. Hover over headers for stat explanations. The "Should I Be Mad If He Hits A Three" methodology: we're mad if a guy who's not good at shooting somehow hits one. Yes, you're still allowed to be unhappy if a proven shooter is left open. It's a free country.

Pos. # Name Yr. Ht./Wt. %Min %Poss ORtg SIBMIHHAT
G 0 D'Mitrik Trice So. 6'0, 187 80 22 113 No
Just A Shooter with <10% of attempts at rim. 42/46% shooting, some assists. Ventures inside line for jumpers some.
G 34 Brad Davison So. 6'3, 206 76 18 113 No
Charge takin', nut punchin' son of a gun will get to the rim some but shoots <50% once there. 46/44% splits.
F 21 Khalil Iverson Sr. 6'5, 217 56 13 104 God yes
D-first garbage man is 0/27 from 3 over last 1.5 years. Usage evaporated once other guys came back.
F 35 Nate Reuvers So. 6'11 240 52 19 118 No
Heir apparent at C spends most of his time as stretch 4. Top 50 block rate, 60/39% splits, rock bottom TO rate. Awkward fit on D at 4 but upgrade on Happ for 8 MPG.
C 22 Ethan Happ Sr. 6'10, 237 79 35 110 Yes
Unique point-center has top 50 assist rate, giant usage, good efficiency, and a major achilles heel: 49% on FTs. Not super athletic and can get eaten up by bigger, jumpier Cs.
G 23 Kobe King Fr.* 6'4 203 49 13 116 No
Efficient when called upon with ability to get to rack but attacks rarely.
G 1 Brevin Pritzl Jr. 6'3, 198 48 12 125 No
Even more tilted towards Just A Shooter this year. 75% of his shots from 3, hitting 34%.
F 2 Aleem Ford So. 6'8, 220 29 15 88 Sorta
Just A Shooter hitting 31%. 6 two-point FGAs all season.
F 15 Charles Thomas Sr. 6'8, 250 13 25 106 Maybe
Bit player gets a few minutes here and there.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the preview.]

Mazi Smith takes the field for the Under Armour All-America Game

New offers, new rankings, new-hire reactions

You know how you can't choose your favorite child? I can't choose my favorite Back Street Boy.

Michigan fills its final open coaching spot with a fast-rising BYU alum

Zavier Simpson, Jon Teske, and Charles Matthews

Things get Torvik.

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