true center. [Patrick Barron]
Congratulations everybody on breathing through two Final Fours. Meanwhile the football guys are doing football-like things while we wait for scraps to fashion into hope dolls for next season.
We should, then, step back for a moment here and try to enforce some kind of context. Spring football is an oasis of football practice with not the full team, months before the season, and mostly filtered down from coaches to media. Whatever the depth chart is by the end of it won’t be the depth chart in fall. Our feeble efforts to discern things about the team next September are hampered by a general lack of information and the coaches’ preference to keep everybody motivated. Like Harbaugh talked for several minutes on his Attack Each Day podcast this week on the offensive line and managed to name every single guy on it.
Anyway most of this is going to be about quarterback and the offensive line because that’s what we worry about the most and what we got the most about.
What we want to hear: No matter what, things won’t be as bad as last year.
What we’re hearing: Quarterback play should be improved if only because the floor right now is Brandon Peters plus an offseason of maturity. From several reports, regression is not a thing to worry about but challengers are. Depending on your source, McCaffrey is either neck and neck with Peters or slightly ahead. Having watched the Amazon special I think we can interpret that as competition will go into fall and neither young candidate should be counted out. It would be highly stupid to make a prediction right now.
Also Shea has really good ball placement.
What it means: Shea does appear to be the leader even though somebody seems to have shut off the hype valve. We’re going to have to wait until the NCAA committee on whatever reviews the case because Ole Miss is fighting it. My understanding of the Traitorous Losers (nice mascot)’s case is they told all these players there wouldn’t be significant sanctions because they honestly believed they had done nothing wrong because they had done nothing wrong. That defense would be facially ridiculous except hi, this the NCAA, have we met? An encouraging sign is that the NCAA has asked for more information:
Attorney Thomas Mars, who represents Patterson and several other erstwhile Ole Miss players, said the NCAA's request for more information is not uncommon and that he expects Patterson and Michigan will be able to respond in the next few days. Mars said there's no specific timetable for when they expect a final answer, but it's clear "the NCAA isn't dragging their feet on the waiver request and won't take any more time than is necessary."
"I'm encouraged by this particular request," Mars said. "From my perspective, the questions Shea's case manager asked are the right ones to be asking."
My completely unscientific guess is 69.314159% Patterson is cleared this year, and 51.3341% Michigan is fine at quarterback regardless.
[After THE JUMP: a lot to unpack about the offensive line, and who the coaches think is their best player on defense will surprise you and not surprise you]