Michigan 42, Penn State 7

Michigan 42, Penn State 7 Comment Count

Ace November 3rd, 2018 at 8:22 PM

It's fully operational.

A hale and hearty Michigan took a stumbling Penn State squad behind the woodshed until they were sure there was no movement left, then added a couple more shots for good measure. Before the Nittany Lions' Sad Touchdown Drive, PSU managed only 111 yards on 36 plays, barely cresting a three-yard average—and needing that final drive against M's backups to avoid a rushing Rutger. The Wolverines bested PSU's total yardage on the ground alone, churning out 259 yards with the rushing attack.

They were a motivated group looking to avenge last year's defeat. James Franklin's decision to run up the score stuck with this team, and they didn't shy away from mentioning that motivation afterwards.

"We wanted to make sure to turn the intensity up so there was no coming back from that," said Karan Higdon, who accounted for 132 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.

Michigan set the tone early, sacking Trace McSorley twice on the game's opening possession, then covering 76 yards on eight runs for the game's opening score, a read keeper that got Shea Patterson into the end zone untouched from a yard out.



Fee Fi Foe Film: Penn State Offense

Fee Fi Foe Film: Penn State Offense Comment Count

Seth November 1st, 2018 at 10:18 AM

Resources: My charting, PSU game notes, PSU roster, Bill C profile, CFBstats

There's a kind of football coach who revels in the engineering of it. These coaches love to understand how a play works down to the barest detail, then design something new from it that works because of all these other reasons. Inevitably most of these tinkerers are victims of their own success. Mouse Davis ended his career the wide receivers coach of Hawaii. Hal Mumme is currently the OC of Jackson State. And Joe Moorhead is the latest in a long line of football coaches whose families severely regret not pulling up a Google Map street view of Starkville, Mississippi before agreeing to live there.

The neat gadgets and new ways to toy with read options are all still in the playbook, as are the RPOs, the play-action off RPO, the screens, every running play ever conceived with a zone read added to it, a thing that might be a fake screen to the backup quarterback tied to an inverted QB belly dive, and the quarterback they built to operate all of it. What it's missing is the architect. Also the bombs.

The film: I used the bye week to get ahead and watched the Indiana game, again because they run the closest thing to Michigan's base defense and Michigan's level of blitzitude. I also had the MSU game that I'd already charted for the Spartans previews.

Personnel: My diagram:


PDF Version, larger version (or click the image)

The new offensive lineman is C Miichal Menet, a top-30 2017 guy who pushed RG Connor McGovern out to guard. LT Ryan Bates was a PFF star last year and he's decent but not a great pass protector. RG Steven Gonzalez is a big leaner and was a few more bad plays from a cyan. Keeping him from hit was RT Will Fries, who was bad for a freshman last year and seems to have gotten worse. These guys all got worked against MSU's good defensive linemen but Fries struggled against everybody.

The receivers have struggled as a group despite some individual stars. Slot KJ Hamler is great but very much a slot. WR Juwan Johnson is way too fast for a guy his size but also has been a big part of PSU's league-leading drop rate. He's spelled by WR Cam Sullivan-Brown, a redshirt freshman who flashes both tantalizing potential and obscenely bad routes (WR at the bottom of the screen). The other receiver position rotates more slot guys. WR DeAndre Thompkins is spending his last year out of position and losing snaps to WR Brandon Polk, who's even smaller and droppier. The tight ends are alright—like Michigan they're receiver types. True freshman TE Pat Freiermuth has future star potential, runs excellent routes, and already stole the job from TE Nick Bowers, who still gets half the snaps.

The backfield is stocked for the foreseeable future with 5-star running backs. RB Miles Sanders isn't Barkley but he was a top-25 recruit, is a receiving threat out of the backfield, and can put on a show:

He was a bit of a fumbler last year and that popped up against last week against Iowa. Since QB Trace McSorley carries half the running load RB Ricky Slade, a scattier version of Sanders, doesn't get a lot of run.

[the rest of the breakdown, after THE JUMP]


Opponent Watch: Week 5

Opponent Watch: Week 5 Comment Count

BiSB October 4th, 2018 at 10:11 AM

Hello, friends. Sorry I missed you last week. I tried to call, but it went straight to voicemail. Anyway, evil forces set upon me from realms where men dare to tread last week, which happened to coincide with the end of the fiscal quarter, so I couldn't do the thing. As my way of apologizing, please look under your seat. I have left a gift for each of you.

About Last Week

Michigan won and this is a binary win/lose sport so no need to look any deeper.



The Road Ahead

Maryland (3-1, 1-0 B1G)

Last week: Beat Minnesota, 42-13; Bye

Recap: Maryland had a bye this week, so the Minnesota game was the last piece of evidence we will get about Maryland before they play Michigan. And this latest piece of evidence was weird. Really, really weird. How does a team that scored zero offensive points and average 3.75 yards per play against Temple turn around and score 35 points (on 10 drives) and 8.47 yards per play against Minnesota? I suppose it’s possible Minnesota is just that bad, or that the Temple game was just a blip… but I don’t think you can write a coherent narrative of Maryland’s first four weeks that doesn’t contain at least one shrug emoji.

This team is as frightening as: Plinko, but where the $0 spots are replaced with “kick in the junk.” Fear Level = 6

Michigan should worry about: Maryland still has one of the most explosive running games in the country: they are #3 in the country in S&P+ marginal explosiveness and #6 in IsoPPP, and they lead the country in carries of 20+ yards against FBS competition. Maryland also has the #1 and #2 backs in terms of yards per carry: Anthony McFarland is averaging 10.78 YPC, and Ty Johnson is at 7.50 YPC.

Michigan can sleep soundly about: Remember how Minnesota made Michigan’s offense look last year? Yeah, they might not be the best barometer

When they play Michigan: Don Brown was born forged out of assorted scrap iron and push brooms to stop spread-to-run teams like Maryland.

Next week: @ Michigan, noon, ABC (Maryland +17.5)

[AFTER THE JUMP: additional things]

Wisconsin (3-1, 1-0 B1G)

Last week: Won at Iowa, 28-17; Bye


Abandon all hope, ye who enter here (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

Recap: One look at Iowa’s schedule for this year told you last week was gonna be How-The-Hell-Did-Iowa-Do-That Week at Kinnick. The game where Kirk Ferentz turns in his Risk cards for extra armies, and places them immediately in his Oceania stronghold. Or where he takes his remaining vacation day for the year to organize the garage and basement. Where he pushes all his chips onto the felt and then stands on a 7 when the dealer is showing a face card, only to have the dealer bust.

Well, Wisconsin survived Kinnick… barely. They trailed Iowa by three with under one minute left, and needed an 88-yard drive to take the lead. But both Michigan and Ohio State fans can tell you that a four-point win at Kinnick is plenty. But then Wisconsin added an end around touchdown FROM A TIGHT END to bump the gap to 11 points. Because Big Ten.

This team is as frightening as: Regular Wisconsin, which is a downgrade from Mildly Impolite Wisconsin. Fear Level = 8

Michigan should worry about: The running game remains extremely efficient, and Jonathan Taylor has cracked 100 yards every week.

Michigan can sleep soundly about: By itself, you could just chalk this last game up to Kinnick. But if you lump in the BYU game, it looks like Wisconsin may not be the polite Midwestern steamroller we expected.

When they play Michigan: Lotta big guys.

Next week: vs. Nebraska, 7:30 p.m., BTN (Wisconsin -21)

[After THE JUMP: an exclusive look inside the mind of Frames Janklin]


Unverified Voracity Plays Pleasantville State

Unverified Voracity Plays Pleasantville State Comment Count

Brian October 2nd, 2018 at 12:31 PM

[Bryan Fuller]

Aftermath of a decision. Spencer tackles the boggling end of the Penn State-Ohio State game. Two timeouts and two checks to the sideline resulted in this:


This is the PSU version of that one screenshot from Lloyd Carr's last Ohio State game.

It is truly boggling even aside from the stunt that eats the play whole. Penn State's left tackle doesn't let the backside end go! PSU options nobody on fourth and five! Trace McSorley had 175 rushing yards! This is after two timeouts! And two checks to the sideline! Three different guys are utterly unblocked! What!

In related news:

FFS, James Franklin. Next year is going to be real interesting for PSU. McSorley is the thing propping them up right now in their Moorhead Wile E Coyote year. Could be very different next year. PSU fans can console themselves on 24/7; Franklin is recruiting his ass off. Which he'd better since he's the gameday equal of Brady Hoke. Except with more yelling at fans.

Someone please stop EMU. This looks like Pleasantville State taking on Generic Green Opponent That Has Frenched A Lady's Bosom*:

I am mesmerized, but it feels like NIU folks entering the endzone should suddenly burst into color.

*[I don't quite remember the plot of Pleasantville. Or, apparently, what to do in the boudoir. Boudoir. Boodwah.]

[After THE JUMP: Maryland's culture is screwed all the way to the boosters]


MGoPodcast 8.4: Franklin Takes Timeout

MGoPodcast 8.4: Franklin Takes Timeout


[Eric Upchurch]


A big thanks to our sponsors. The show is presented by UGP & Moe's and frankly would not be happening without them; Rishi and company have been on board here from almost the beginning. Shopping with them helps us and supports good dudes. Check out the new Bo Store on Main.

Our other sponsors are also key in the expanding empire: thanks to Homesure Lending, Ann Arbor Elder Law, Liz Crowe, the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown, the University of Michigan Alumni Association, Michigan Law Grad, Defensive Drivers Group, and Tailgater Concierge, who are throwing us a tailgate this Saturday before Wisconsin at 1300 S. Main (across the street from the stadium) to benefit Marlin Jackson’s Fight for Life Foundation.


starts at 1:00

Higdon is working out. Penn State’s student body walk-on linebackers caveats, but non-PSUSBWOLB-dependent things also looked good. Clever fullback stuff. Speight makes plays, also found Taco.


starts at 18:04

Highly efficient passing game is shut down. Taco caved edges to steal McSorley’s pocket and that enabled sackfest. Hurst can teleport around guys lined up two gaps away. Losing Clark is a bummer—has a better claim for a 6th year than two-time scout team player of the week Ed Davis. Godwin control went well, despite tempting an itchy PI flag god. Chunk yards from RPS screens.

James Franklin Game Theory Section

starts at 32:55

Peppers 25-yard stumble return taken away from us. Harbaugh classlessly plays football for two and a half quarters after Penn State’s coaches made it amply clear they had no desire to. Runaway Mack Truck Joey Julius was not blocked; sometimes the human mind blanks out things it cannot comprehend. Les Miles finally succumbs to Les Miles Disease. David Shaw after dark: many prospector names have to do with nipples.

Talking Big Ten with Jamie Mac

starts at 49:01

Congratulations to Purdue quarterbacks going 1-2. Wisconsin lucks out over highly respectable Michigan State team, 30-6. Notre Dame loses to Duke, fires Van Gorder, earns honorary Big TENNNN! Colorado win is looking better by proxy.


"Crushin’ (Yeeeeeah!)”—J Dilla

“Weep Themselves To Sleep”—Jack White

“A Tribe Called Quest”—Can I Kick It

“Across 110th Street”


Fee Fi Foe Film: Penn State Offense

Fee Fi Foe Film: Penn State Offense Comment Count

Ace November 19th, 2015 at 6:04 PM

Previously: Penn State Defense

not full-blown Ghost Gardner, but definitely erratic [Fuller]

Penn State's offense looked somewhat more functional against Northwestern than they did against, say, Temple, when Christian Hackenberg looked destined to finish the season in a full-body cast. Thanks in large part to the emergence of slippery freshman running back Saquon Barkley, the PSU offense is now at least semi-functional.

It's hard to say it's much better than that, though. Here's how they did against Northwestern:

  • Seven three-and-outs
  • One four-and-out
  • Two five-and-outs
  • 8-play, 30-yard drive; interception
  • 8-play, 39-yard drive; punt
  • 9-play, 79-yard TD drive
  • 5-play, 70-yard TD drive that should've been a three-and-out; 30 yards came from a roughing the punter and a late hit on Hackenberg after a scramble
  • 5-play, 71-yard TD drive

That's two real scoring drives, another on which half the credit goes to Northwestern doing dumb things, and a lot of ugly.

Personnel. Seth's diagram [click to embiggen]:

The good news for PSU is they brought back a lot of players. You know the bad news if you watched them play last year.

Spread, Pro-Style, or Hybrid? Pro-style to a fault. Penn State's offense was most successful when they spread Northwestern out and ran the ball; they'd do this once in a while and then go right back to doomed under-center runs with an extra OL lining up at H-back. James Franklin is a great recruiter, but there's plenty of reason—and mounting evidence—to believe he's not much of a tactician.

Basketball on Grass or MANBALL? Penn State mostly ran inside zone, split zone, and the occasional power. Brian asked me to check if they ran any zone stretches since Michigan struggled so badly with them against Indiana; they ran none.

Hurry it up or grind it out? In very welcome news after last weekend, Penn State is dead last in the country in adjusted pace. They're brutally slow. This should prevent them from exploiting Ryan Glasgow's absence nearly as much as Indiana did; the Hoosiers not only wore out the starting DTs, they also prevented Michigan from subbing when the backups were caught on the field for extended time. PSU's offense isn't built to do that.

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


Thursday Recruitin' Monitors The Competition

Thursday Recruitin' Monitors The Competition Comment Count

Ace May 8th, 2014 at 2:35 PM

Big Four, Little Ten?

Penn State had a heck of a day on Tuesday, beating out Ohio State—among many others—for four-star OT Sterling Jenkins, at one time the top tackle on Michigan's board, and four-star QB Brandon Wimbush. With 11 composite four-stars among their 15 total commits, James Franklin's program ranks behind only Alabama in the 2015 team recruiting rankings.

Given the circumstances, no school in the country is doing better on the recruiting trail than PSU right now, and they're doing so by dominating not only in-state recruiting, but the entire surrounding region—13 of their commits come from Pennsylvania or one of its bordering states. Michigan's had a fair amount of success in recent years recruiting in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, and Virginia; with Franklin around, that success is going to be more difficult to replicate.

Meanwhile, Michigan State's on-field success is now translating to serious consideration from big-time prospects, and not just those from the Great Lakes State. Five-star WDE Jashon Cornell named the Spartans as his leader after visiting for the spring game, and he reiterated that stance in a free article by 247's Steve Wiltfong:

Cornell named the Spartans his leader following a visit to East Lansing for the spring game on April 26.

“I still feel the same way with them,” Cornell said. “They’ve had the best defense in the country the past three years,” Cornell said. “I’m trying to get better as a defensive player, and I feel Michigan State can help me become a better player and one of the best defensive players in the country.

The Spartans aren’t the only contender for Cornell, who plans to make his college decision on Aug. 28, which coincides with the first day of school and his season opener.

I have several schools in mind, UCLA, USC, Stanford, Michigan, Penn State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Miami and Iowa,” Cornell reeled off.

With a relatively early decision planned, Cornell could very well end up a Spartan, and such a high-profile commitment could potentially impact the decisions of other top prospects—we've seen this effect right here at Michigan. As for the in-state battles, MSU continues to be a thorn in Michigan's side, as well; the most recent development is their offer of 2016 South Lake four-star Martell Pettaway, who told Allen Trieu the Spartans are the team to beat ($):

"They will be a very tough team to beat. They are number one now. They kept it real with me since day one and showed me a lot of love. At the moment, I am not committing. I'm going to wait it out and rack up offers then look at my decision but it will be hard for anyone to be over MSU since the were the first ones who did it and they were up there always."

These aren't fun developments, of course. Please don't shoot the messenger, especially since the other headlining recruiting news this week is...

Kinnel Gets Alabama Offer

...Nick Saban going after Michigan four-star safety commit Tyree Kinnel. The Tide offered him on Tuesday, though for now, Kinnel isn't wavering in his pledge to the Wolverines, per Scout's Dave Berk ($):

“An Alabama offer means a lot,” he said. “I think it would mean a lot to any kid in the country that plays football. That is a big offer, but as of right now, I’m still 100-percent Michigan.”

There's good and bad here. It's never fun when the specter of Alabama snake-oiling is present; on the other hand, the fact that Saban is showing that much interest is nice validation that Michigan's got themselves a very good prospect in the fold. For positivity's sake, here's to focusing on the latter part.

Rumor Drama, Part Whatever

After four-star Mike Weber visited Notre Dame, Scout published an article with a quote from the Cass Tech back intimating that Michigan was on the outside looking in when it came to his top schools ($):

"Right now I like Wisconsin, Michigan State, Ohio State and Notre Dame," Weber said. "I'm going to wait on a decision though because anything can happen and there's a lot of time left."

This caused something of a message board and social media firestorm, as these situations do. Weber took to Twitter to say he doesn't have a top four, and he talked to Brandon and further clarified the situation:

While Michigan putting out multiple recent offers to fellow 2015 running backs—most recently, three-star Georgia RB/complete sentence Mikell Lands-Davis—suggests they're not in as strong a postion as they'd hoped with Weber and Damien Harris, the Wolverines certainly aren't out of the picture for either.

New Offer/Peak Highlight Video

Michigan's latest offer to a 2015 lineman went out to WA three-star OT Calvin Throckmorton, who told GBW's Kyle Bogenschutz he's considering a trip from the West Coast to check out Ann Arbor ($):

Just six weeks away from summer vacation, Throckmorton says he plans to utilize his down time to take visits, with a trip to Ann Arbor to see Michigan on his mind as well.

“I don’t think I could really do those really until probably July or sometime then,” Throckmorton said. “But I definitely want to try to get out there to those schools.”

More importantly, somebody set offensive lineman combine highlights to the instrumental from Dr. Dre's "Nothin' But A G Thang" (baaaaaaaby), which is delightfully incongruous.

George Campbell Update

According to an article by Scout's Chad Simmons, Michigan is still hotly pursuing former commit George Campbell ($):

A number of schools are working hard to show Campbell he is high on their list. "Florida, Auburn, UCLA, Michigan, LSU, and USC are recruiting me the hardest," said Campbell.

An article on Cambell by 247's Shea Dixon features... an entirely different, shorter list ($):

(UCLA coach Taylor Mazzone), (Florida coach Joker Phillips), (Alabama coach Lane Kiffin) and (Florida State coach Lawrence Dawsey) have all probably been recruiting me the hardest,” Campbell said. “I haven’t been talking with a lot of coaches, though. My uncle does.

"I will start taking serious visits and checking out schools, and after summer, I want to at least cut it down to a lower amount of schools and focus on those schools. It’s just a matter of time to see what I want to do.”

Florida and, interestingly, UCLA are the two constants; the Gators are considered the odds-on favorite at the moment. With Michigan failing to earn a mention for a potential official or unofficial visit in either article, expectations for a re-commitment should be very low.


2016 Traverse City West OL Thiyo Lukusa recently visited campus and told GBW's Josh Newkirk that Michigan is "still up there on my list"; also, damn you, polar vortex ($):

Due to 13 snow days this winter, Lukusa says his school year has been extended to make up for lost school time..Which mean his school schedule goes right into Michigan’s football camp season. So as of right now, he says his possible camp visit is pending.

“If I can make it down there one of these days and chill, maybe I can throw the cleats on and the helmet on and work,” he said. “I’ll have the helmet and cleats in the back of my car at all times this summer.”

Michigan checks in at #14 in the ordered top 15 released by 2015 five-star dual-threat QB Torrance Gibson, who currently has Tennessee, Auburn, LSU, and Ohio State on top, in that order. While that doesn't look so good, Gibson told 247's Ryan Bartow($) that Michigan's low placement was due to the fact they haven't offered—and he fully expects one to come once Doug Nussmeier sees him throw—and he later told Steve Lorenz an offer would jump the Wolverines up his list considerably ($):

Gibson tells me a Michigan offer would put them in his top 7 and that he would visit Ann Arbor at some point before ending his recruiting process.

Steve believes, and I agree, that even with an offer Michigan would be a longshot, but getting Gibson on campus would be a nice start towards changing that. The Buckeyes, unfortunately, may be the team to beat once they get him on campus—Gibson said the reason they landed at #4 is because he hasn't had a chance to visit them yet.


Unverified Voracity Considers The Moon

Unverified Voracity Considers The Moon Comment Count

Brian May 5th, 2014 at 4:32 PM



But have you thought about Tokyo? Assertions abound that the Big Ten might fling a conference tournament to DC:

That would be convenient for Maryland fans and the expat lawyers Big Ten schools fling to major metropoli across the country. Not so much anyone else who cares about basketball—the only other schools within one BILLION miles of DC are Penn State and Rutgers. But we must #footprint and #footprint and #footprint until our #footprints are #footprinted across the land.

All right. The Big East and Big Ten have announced one of those challenge-like things, though this one is partial:

The Big Ten and the Big East on Monday will announce a new partnership, the Gavitt Tipoff Games, an annual series of eight games between the two conferences that will run through 2020.

All of these games will come in the first week of the season, a time generally reserved for Michigan versus Five Guys We Found On A Farm, Yes We're Pretty Sure They're People. Every Big Ten team will participate at least four times in the eight-year deal. (That leaves eight free slots over the eight years, FWIW.)

Thanks, I guess. Corn Nation points out a thing:

Q: How will the seeding committee determine which teams play in which semifinal?

A: In theory, priority will be given to placing the No. 1 seed in the bowl geographically closest to its campus. For instance, if Florida State is No. 1, it would play in the semifinal at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, which would send the No. 2 team to the Rose Bowl.

So the CoFoPoff acknowledges that being close to home is a nice thing. Wonderful. Let's envision a scenario where Purdue finishes the year #1 to the committee. They get slotted in…


Atlanta! Congratulations, Purdue.

Corn Nation's not too happy about that:

TRADITION! was the battle cry for Delany, the world "tradition" meaning "bullshit most of you will still buy" as any pretense that college football is about money has been swept away by more, more, more of it. TRADITION! - even though the Big Ten expanded with Nebraska, Rutgers and Maryland throwing out decades of tradition - but Delany knowing that all those alums from Michigan and Ohio State and et al would buy into "tradition" because they've been eating that Rose Bowl bullshit so long that they don't realize what low-grade bullshit it is.

Hey man don't look at me I was advocating home sites just like everyone else from the #footprint that offered an opinion.

Draft projections. With the deadline passed, people get serious about their mock drafts. Results are good for Stauskas:

"Stauskas seems to be garnering more and more buzz of late," Ford wrote. "His abilities as a shooter with deep range and a quick release are unquestioned. It's his ability to also play a little point guard that has moved him into the lottery. This is the highest he has been ranked on our Big Board, and I don't think it's out of the question that he could go even higher when all is said and done. The Sixers, Nuggets, Wolves and Suns are all options in the lottery."

Robinson's hanging on to the end of the first round on Ford's draft but not DX; Chad Ford and DX don't have McGary in the first round. I have to believe that as it gets late in that first round some good team is going to think they could use a pile of rebounding and enthusiasm who's at least going to be a good player.

Good idea. I give it ten seconds to live. Penn State is going to visit Georgia State's camp en masse this summer:

New Penn State James Franklin and his entire staff will work as guest coaches for Trent MilesFootball Camp at Georgia State on June 10.

The radical arrangement appears to be a win-win for both programs: Penn State gets to personally evaluate high school players who would never travel to its camps in Pennsylvania, while Georgia State will get exposure to more high-profile recruits than normal.

This is an end-around of NCAA rules that prohibit folks from having a camp outside their home state unless it's within 50 miles of campus and will probably get nerfed the next time someone comes around with the rule stick. Clever idea for now, though.

BONUS: That article contains a quote that NCAA lawyers trying to flog competitive balance in court are going to hate:

“We’re not going to recruit the same person, you know? There’s no way. The Sun Belt doesn’t recruit against Penn State. Let’s face it: I’m not competing for kids against Penn State, or Georgia and Alabama. I’m just not. Nor will we ever. It is what it is."

/NCAA lawyer hits self in face with already-empty bottle of whiskey


Coleman can get buckets

AAU business. The annual Spiece tournament is going on in Indianapolis, featuring a number of Michigan targets. The most prominent is IN SG Jalen Coleman, who is still in no hurry to come to a decision:

When asked for an updated list of schools, Coleman rattled off Indiana, Purdue, NC State, Providence, UCLA, Arizona, Michigan, Michigan State and noted that several other Big Ten schools are also involved.

He didn’t name a leader, a top group or even mention that any schools are recruiting him harder than others.

In actual news, IL PG Jalen Brunson has cut his list to eight; Michigan is one. Temple, Villanova, Kansas, UConn, Illinois, Michigan State, and Purdue. If one of those programs doesn't look like it belongs, Brunson's dad played at Temple. "But that doesn't explain Purdue," you exclaim, and I agree.

I don't know but probably not right now. Ross Fulton asks if Doug Nussmeier can fix Michigan's offense, detailing his history. It starts off with an involuntary moan from you:

Nusmmeier's primary plan to solve the situation is to bring a coherent offensive framework to Michigan.

Sounds like a plan, you guys.

We must destroy this buck in order to save it. Via Get The Picture, the NCAA has earmarked some funds for legal stuff this year:

For example, NCAA finances are as difficult to sort through as the numbers are high, and the figures can vary hugely with the bias of those reporting them. Most media outlets glibly equate “unionization” and “compensation” with professional salaries for NCAA athletes, but the association knows Huma isn’t pursuing any such thing. The only big number that concerns him is the $600-plus million announced as this year’s NCAA war chest for legal and legislative expenditures.

Six hundred million dollars available to defend amateurism. Meanwhile non-profits try to fill in the gaps left when dudes get spine injuries.

Etc.: Recruiting folks did rather well by this year's projected first round. Mmmm anti-SEC conspiracy theories. NCAA unionization gets a congressional hearing. I welcome the departure of teams that should not be in D-I from D-I. Eastern Michigan, looking at you. Michigan spends money on things. Lax got competitive this year.


Monday Recruitin' Is So Nice, You'll Visit Twice

Monday Recruitin' Is So Nice, You'll Visit Twice Comment Count

Ace May 5th, 2014 at 2:01 PM

Hi, everyone! Did I miss anything?

Oh, lots of things, you say? Well...

Nailed it. Back to your regularly scheduled recruitin' roundup.


Brian passed along the unfortunate news last week that five-star CA WDE Keisean Lucier-South says UCLA is currently the school standing out to him. I'm back to bring you good tidings: Michigan will have their opportunity to change that when KLS officially visits Ann Arbor for the night game against Penn State:

In even better news, 247's Steve Lorenz reports that Lucier-South could make it to campus this summer, too:

As we reported earlier this week, it's not likely to be the five-star's only visit to Ann Arbor, as he's looking to take an unofficial visit sometime this summer.

Receiving an official visit is promising; having a California recruit foot the bill for a cross-country unofficial visit even more so. While there's plenty of competition, not to mention the inherent difficulty of reeling in a touted Cali prospect, Michigan has to like where they currently stand with their top weakside DE target.

[Hit THE JUMP for a camp evaluation of 2016 commit Erik Swenson, the outlook for a pair of top targets on the O-line, where Michigan stands as several 2015 targets narrow their lists, and more.]


This Week's Obsession: New Faces

This Week's Obsession: New Faces Comment Count

Seth January 16th, 2014 at 12:02 PM

140114114439-chris-ash-ohio-state-defensive-coordinator-arkansas-single-image-cut2014_0110_Doug_Nussmeier_20140110151539_320_2402012 Blue-White Game-3461826091.0_standard_709.0

photos: David Stluka/AP via SI; WXYZ still; Mike Pettigano;  Justin Aller/Blackshoediaries

Michigan's not the only Big Ten East power program holding introductory press conferences this month. PSU has a mostly new staff, and Ohio State poached a legendary assistant from them while also adding what appears to be one of the more competent guys from the Bielema group. How does this change things?

Nussmeier to Michigan, Franklin to Penn State, Ash and Johnson to Ohio State, Pat Narduzzi to...dammit all to hell, how can a guy mentioned in every coaching search not go somewhere?!?

How will these recent coaching changes affect the balance of power in the Big Ten East, and the Big Ten in general? Who'll still be coaching at the same place, and who will be the happiest with their guy three years hence?

Ace: If nothing else, recruiting in the Big Ten East is going to be an absolute war. We've discussed the recruiting upgrade Nussmeier provides over Al Borges in this space. Now Penn State lands James Franklin, who managed to reel in the #26 (247 Composite) class at Vanderbilt in 2013 and was on his way to repeating that feat this year before his departure; given the foundation laid by Bill O'Brien and the ever-receding shadow of the sanctions, he should be very successful as an energetic, big-name recruiter in a relatively talent-rich area. Franklin's already had three prospects commit (or flip their commit from Vandy) to Penn State since he took over; he's a coach who players commit to over a program, and now he's got a big-name program to pitch, as well.

Meanwhile, Ohio State gets the Nittany Lions' longtime ace recruiter in Johnson, who should pick up any slack lost when Mike Vrabel bolted for O'Brien's Houston staff—coaching musical chairs! It can be weird!—and Ash also carries the reputation of a solid recruiter.

Those who've witnessed a James Franklin press conference admit Penn State won this round. [Justin Aller/Black Shoe Diaries]

All in all, I think Michigan benefits the most right away from their recent hire, though I can also see the argument for Ohio State. The upgrade from Borges to Nussmeier should pay immediate dividends on and off the field; while OSU is very much the team to beat in the division, U-M's recent recruiting success and strengthened coaching staff should start closing the (for now, relatively wide) gap between the two programs.

The Buckeyes, for their part, landed a quality co-DC in Ash whose specialty—coaching defensive backs—is exactly what they need to patch up a porous secondary playing well below its talent level. He improved Wisconsin's pass efficiency defense from 53rd in his first season there (as the defensive backs coach) to 22nd in his third year (his second as DC and DBs coach) before moving on to Arkansas; how much he's to blame for the Razorbacks' #105 ranking in that regard in his lone season there is unclear.

[After the jump: the stuff after the jump. Also: tautology]