Mailbag: Air Force Scheduling Dispute, Why Freshman WRs Are Bad, 2013 Feels, Vanilla, Hummus

Mailbag: Air Force Scheduling Dispute, Why Freshman WRs Are Bad, 2013 Feels, Vanilla, Hummus Comment Count

Brian September 27th, 2017 at 3:26 PM

r960-510915001ab093ea5fd0fb7044ad3ad2

27-24 man, it's tight against the Falcons

AIR FORCE SCHEDULING DISPUTE

Q: Isn't this why you DO schedule Air Force?

- The service-academy factor at least makes it more of an "event" game than, say, UNLV or Bowling Green.

- Gives both offense and defense experience reacting on the fly in a real game to unusual scheming.

- You're still probably going to win—and if you don't, is there really a situation in which a team is good enough to make the Playoff but for having lost to Air Force?

BML

The first point is almost certainly why Brandon scheduled this game. There were parachutists and a flyover and some military band guys at halftime, which is fine as far as it goes.

The second point is where I have an objection. Michigan installed an option-specific defense for this game and repped it hundreds of times. All of that effort is now mostly wasted. I'm sure there's some salutary effect from having triple option burned into your head, but it's probably minor compared to getting that many reps in against the kind of things Michigan will see from Wisconsin, PSU, and OSU.

And while a loss to Air Force is not particularly likely for a top-level team, college football programs do gain and lose recruiting momentum based on wins and losses even when you're in the kind of down year that could lead to an upset. And Air Force is consistently dangerous. Since 2010, they've has beaten Boise twice. They scared the pants off a 12-2 Big 12 Champ Oklahoma. They outgained MSU's playoff team by over 100 yards but lost because they were –3 in TOs. And they nearly upset Michigan.

Is anyone going to give Michigan credit for beating Air Force? No. Are they way more dangerous and less applicable to the rest of the schedule than any other G5 buy game you can imagine? Yes. This is why the scheduling of Air Force is unwise.

Michigan did put Army on the schedule a couple years down the road, which comes with some of the same problems. Unless the Black Knights sustain this recent blip, though, it doesn't come with the biggest one: a disproportionate shot at being upset. Army occasionally puts a scare into a 7-6 PSU team. They have not beaten a legitimately good team in recent memory.

[After THE JUMP: this is not like that other season]

Comments

Unverified Voracity Admires Punt

Unverified Voracity Admires Punt Comment Count

Brian June 7th, 2017 at 1:09 PM

Let's watch a punt. This is a Big Ten blog, after all. This is incoming freshman Brad Robbins:

And that's a 5.0 hangtime punt. I'm a little surprised Robbins was headed to Nevada before Michigan had a scholarship open on Signing Day. Seems like a potential Zoltan Mesko.

Rise of the nooners. Michigan/Air Force will be at noon on BTN, the fourth 2017 home game at which toe will meet leather at God's time. The only remaining home dates without times are Michigan State, which seems fated to be a night game despite everyone save TV thinking that's a bad idea, and Minnesota. Minnesota is November 4th. In the past that's meant both participants would have to sign off on a night game, and despite changes to the TV contracts that clause appears intact. Manuel:

“The only difference is, the Big Ten and television can assign us to a primetime game [before November] and it’s not our option. In November, we have the option if we choose to do so. I don’t anticipate that choice being made.”

I would anticipate Minnesota being noon or 3:30 as well.

As a person who likes to watch a lot of college football this is an excellent development. YMMV.

Ready to roll. Steve Lorenz has a piece on Michigan's incoming linebackers that features this piece of good news on Drew Singleton:

He is 100% healthy and ready to go for fall camp according to two sources I spoke with on Monday and Tuesday. Because of his lock status as a recruit and his knee injury, he may be the most under-talked about prospect the Wolverines signed in the 2017 cycle.

He also asserts that all three incoming LBs could be on the two-deep this fall, which is good news for them and maybe less than good news for the extant linebacker corps past the starters.

Good luck with that. College football twitter set a new record for most "that's a bold strategy, Cotton" references yesterday after Ole Miss responded to their latest NOA by saying 1) we're super guilty and 2) Hugh Freeze is not responsible.

Why is Ole Miss going to these incredible lengths to protect Hugh Freeze?

What the Rebels are going to the NCAA Committee on Infractions with later this year is the kind of defense a school might mount for Nick Saban or Urban Meyer or John Calipari. It is a full-fledged document of support for Ole Miss’ football coach, unequivocal in its admission that major violations occurred but unwavering in its denial of Freeze’s responsibility for any of them.

Ole Miss’ institutional decision to pursue this strategy is puzzling. While Freeze has had some shining moments in Oxford, he’s 19-21 in the SEC and is nobody’s definition of irreplaceable. Yet the school is taking the path of most resistance in defending him, and by doing so, potentially risking the total destruction of its football program for the foreseeable future.

Hugh Freeze draws a lot of water in this town, NCAA.

Poor ol' Barney looks set up to be the fall guy:

“It’s not right,” Loyd added. “It is a betrayal of him. Do I think Barney’s been made a scapegoat? Yes. Based on what I’ve seen and know, they set him up. ‘You are the most unsophisticated, the most expendable, and, tag, you’re it.’ But I have to say, I’m his advocate in this.

“Barney’s thinking is, ‘We were all in this together – what happened to me?’ They were a team, and a team doesn’t abandon their own on the field of play. It’s also not the Ole Miss way.”

Barney Farrar was the guy Laremy Tunsil was told to see in the text messages released on Tunsil's instagram on draft day last year. Told to see by Ole Miss's Assistant AD of Football Operations. Totally without Freeze's knowledge. Uh huh.

It remains a mystery why Ole Miss wouldn't throw Freeze overboard and try to mitigate the damage. His best skill is credulously accepting commitments from guys his boosters bought. Surely whoever's at Arkansas State can replicate that.

Grabbin' grad transfers. Brendan Quinn on Michigan's entry into the grad transfer market:

For a program like Ohio, this is an atomic loss. There is no replacement. There is no recruit that Ohio can discover in the forests of Neverland who will walk in and average 15.9 points and 6.5 assists per game. The roster is not built for attrition, let alone its best player picking up and leaving as a graduate transfer.

Phillips declined an interview for this story.

Beilen, meanwhile, told me he spoke to Phillips twice during the transfer process. At one point, he recalled telling Phillips: 'I just hate how this is happening." Beilein feels for Phillips because Beilein sees himself in Phillips. This is the little guy getting screwed.

It is also, though, the reality of college basketball in 2017.

Simmons was strongly considering attending Ohio State. Other Big Ten schools were circling. Beilein was faced with a dilemma.

"He was going to go to one of our competitors, probably, if he didn't come to us," Beilein said.

It's bad for the lower reaches of D-I but good for the players, and teams who have to fill unexpected holes annually. At this point the grad transfer rule is all but sacrosanct. These days trying to restrict a transfer in any way comes with it a media outcry and a hasty retraction; trying to do away with grad transfers would cause a huge blowup. It is what it is.

Hockey is too random. There's such a thing as too much unpredictability, and hockey has it.

Goalies and defensive systems got a lot better; goals plummeted; games turned into a bunch of coinflips. Hockey is now the most random major sport:

continuum

Shots and possession don't turn into goals enough. The only solution is to embiggen the nets; otherwise goalie dominance will continue and the NHL playoffs will remain almost totally random.

Etc.: Scouting Akrum Wadley. Jim Harbaugh has a fan. Midlevel Big Ten teams are about to be irritated by Cincinnati. Via Mike Rubin, more on Flin Flon. M players had a month off to be humans. Now that's over.

Comments

Unverified Voracity Finds Young Delano

Unverified Voracity Finds Young Delano Comment Count

Brian May 4th, 2017 at 1:33 PM

This is good publicity. This is a very Michigan Difference sort of thing.

Two amazing things. One: every member of Cass Tech's 2013 secondary is currently in the NFL. Two: ESPN found a picture of Delano Hill in which he looks younger than 45.

i (1)

The two guys not pictured, DaQuan Pace and DeJuan Rogers, both went to MAC schools and signed as UDFAs so this is likely to be short-lived. Nonetheless that is extraordinary. Jermain Crowell, the DBs coach at Cass Tech at the time:

He planned to take all four of his NFL-bound protégés out to dinner to congratulate them Tuesday night.

"This might be the last check that I pick up," he said. "This might have to be the last one."

Yessir.

Bits and pieces of the schedule. Michigan's added some guarantee games in 2018 and 2019. They'll play WMU in 2018 and MTSU and Army in 2019. The Broncos are likely to be far enough removed from the PJ Fleck era to be a major threat, but they're likely to be on another level from a low-level MAC opponent.

It's even tougher to project to 2019. FWIW, MTSU has been about .500 the last four years. They were competitive with Vandy (a 17-13 loss) and Illinois (a 27-25 loss) last year; this year they were hammered by Vandy but beat (a very very bad) Mizzou. Army has been the service academy it's safe to schedule for about 20 years now but they got off the mat for an 8-5 2016 with third year coach Jeff Monken.

Hooray for not worrying about this anymore. This site used to have annual posts dedicated to the Academic Progress Rate, because a late Carr falloff and disastrous transition to Rich Rodriguez had Michigan hovering near the Mendoza line. That 880 fell off a couple of years ago, and from there it's been about consolidating a spot at the top. Mission accomplished:

Oddly, I don't see Notre Dame on that list. Someone check ND Nation for fainting spells.

Excellent job all around here, and if you're scoring at home Michigan just had the most NFL draft picks, the third-highest APR in college football, and took a trip to Rome. Croots should be knocking the doors down. For real:

Michigan's coaching staff was just returning from an Italian dinner -- their final meal as a team in Rome -- in a 17th century Baroque mansion with marble door frames and elaborate chandeliers when their phones started to buzz again. A few thousand miles away, on the other side of the Atlantic, the New York Jets had just selected Jeremy Clark with the 197th pick of the NFL draft. He was the 11th Wolverine to have his name called in Philadelphia, a new school record.

In one particular way it's tough being a McCaffrey. Zing:

Hurst will go high. PFF has always been about Maurice Hurst and it looks like that is approaching consensus in the draft analyst community. Todd McShay:

Hurst has started just four games at Michigan, but I love what I've seen on tape so far. He was frequently Michigan's best defensive lineman during the games I studied. And remember: That group just had three D-linemen selected in the 2017 draft.

He's projected to go 16th next year. Don't expect much else: Michigan has just eight seniors. Mason Cole is likely to be drafted and Mike McCray could play himself into the middle rounds. Khalid Hill might be a draftable fullback. Unless there are some very surprising breakouts from juniors that would be it.

Good luck with that. Per Athlon, both in-state teams have to replace a ton this offseason:

East Division

Team Offense Defense
Indiana 5 9
Maryland 6 6
Michigan 5 1
Michigan State 2 3
Ohio State 8 7
Penn State 10 7
Rutgers 4 7

We all know about Michigan's massive turnover; Michigan State actually has fewer returning starters. And they went 3-9. Have fun, guys!

Usually this dude trolls Penn State fans. David Jones puts together a list of Big Ten schools by football revenue and this is either a brilliant way to get me to link very boring content or the worst take of all time:

Though Dave Brandon was unseated as athletic director in Oct. 2014, the revenue monster he built breathes without him. Michigan always was a conference heavyweight but it has recently become the unrivaled giant of money-making B1G football programs, the first in the league to approach the $100 million mark in gross revenue. The 2015-16 figure is a whopping 10-percent increase over 2014-15's $88.3M. Michigan's $60.6 net after expenses is easily the conference's largest.

/head explodes

Jones must have missed the collapse of Michigan's season ticket waiting list and ~75,000 fans at the dismal Maryland game. The part of Michigan's revenue surge that isn't TV money lifting all boats is directly attributable to one Jim Harbaugh, not the athletic director he didn't want to work for.

Etc.: Wagner, Wilson decisions will be at the deadline. That's May 24th. Quinn profiles David DeJulius. Michigan is looking for new lax coaches. Kyle Rowland on the scary, scary hours for Grant Newsome after his ACL tear. Rookie wage scale in the NFL is devastating for running backs. Excellent post on evaluating OL.

Comments

Mailbag: Brown Transition Costs, Let's Go Moo, Schedule Balance, Autobench As Cause

Mailbag: Brown Transition Costs, Let's Go Moo, Schedule Balance, Autobench As Cause Comment Count

Brian August 4th, 2016 at 2:29 PM

27654217462_4a74e7cffc_z

let me show you how we handle punks in the district, punk [Patrick Barron]

Hi Brian,

Everywhere I turn this offseason, it seems someone is writing another article lauding the aggression, complexity, blitzes, and disguises built into Don Brown's defense. These attributes have obvious upside, but are we overlooking what could be a very steep learning curve for this defense? Can we really expect these guys to flawlessly execute such a reportedly complex defense within the first year?

Best,

Stephen Bowie

There will be transition costs; there always are. When you're real good and have real good players those can be overcome. Last year's offense had a bunch of transition costs and still rocketed from 82nd in S&P+ to 30th; in FEI they went from 100th(!) to 33rd. This leap occurred despite weekly UFR diatribes about how various people on Michigan's offense still didn't really know what they were doing.

It going to be tougher for the defense to have anything similar since they were already very good. It's hard to improve much from 20th (FEI) or 2nd (S&P+). The leap from DJ Durkin to Don Brown is probably extant; it is certainly less grand than the leap from Brady Hoke to Jim Harbaugh. Meanwhile Brown's defenses have tended to tread water in year one:

Year TEAM YPP FEI S&P+
2008 Maryland 56 63 75
2009 Maryland 87 64 44
2010 Maryland 14 20 31
2011 Maryland 83 74 102
         
2010 UConn 40 40 63
2011 UConn 56 23 34
2012 UConn 8 22 38
2013 UConn 64 56 72
         
2012 Boston College 63 81 80
2013 Boston College 92 98 80
2014 Boston College 30 68 36
2015 Boston College 1 5 3

There's a ton of noise in that data since we're not accounting for returning starters and the like. It still suggests that a great leap forward should not be expected.

On the other hand, Don Brown has never been handed even half of the talent he's got this year and it's almost all very experienced. Michigan's starting D consists of eight seniors, a redshirt junior, Jabrill Peppers, and Rashan Gary. While these guys haven't worked on certain things Brown does, they've at least encountered them from time to time; they can also spend the bulk of their offseason working on that stuff since you can take it as read that they've got man free coverages down.

It is a concern, but the schedule is reassuring. I'll take a series of early biffs against teams Michigan beats by 21 instead of 28 if the payoff is a defense that is finally, finally, finally equipped with the state of the art in shutting down a spread n shred. The talent available should mitigate some of those hiccups—a coverage bust doesn't hurt you if the QB is running for his life—and once those get smoothed over, Michigan's ceiling is higher.

Let's go moo

Hello,

In my travels throughout the internet I came a cross a rather unique rendition of 'Let's Go Blue' that I thought should be shared. There is a man named Farmer Derek, a high level Bard no doubt, who serenades his cattle and posts the songs on YouTube. At the end of his version of Royals by Lorde he goes into Let's Go Blue and the cattle respond in kind. I don't know what should be done with this video, if anything, but I believe it should be shared and thought you should be notified. Cheers.

Sincerely yours in football,

PinballPete

This is a great service to the fandom, Pinball Pete:

[After THE JUMP: not cows responding to Let's Go Blue so why even bother]

Comments

Notre Dame Resumption Official

Notre Dame Resumption Official Comment Count

Brian July 7th, 2016 at 12:07 PM

9695769235_2b552d9aa9_z

[Eric Upchurch]

Per MGoBlue:

The Michigan-Notre Dame football series will resume on Sept. 1, 2018, when the Irish host the Wolverines in the season opener before a Oct. 26, 2019, date at Michigan Stadium.

As the previous post notes I'm surprised that it's at ND in 2018, from the perspective of both teams. I'd rather have ND on the schedule than Arkansas no matter which team gets a home date. Meanwhile having the ND game 2019 in the meat of the conference schedule is odd. Michigan has Penn State before that game and Maryland after.

Comments

Notre Dame Series To Resume In 2018, Per Reports

Notre Dame Series To Resume In 2018, Per Reports Comment Count

Brian July 7th, 2016 at 10:59 AM

9699005114_36441a72c5_z

The first person to reply to this post with "to hell with Notre Dame" or anything close to it will be banned. [Eric Upchurch]

The AP is now confirming that Michigan and Notre Dame will resume playing football against each other in the near future, as first reported by this dude:

Krasnoo says Michigan will eat a two million dollar buyout of "the Arkansas game", which I take to mean the entire 2018/2019 series since cancelling just the 2018 game at home seems super super unlikely.

The AP report says that the 2018 game will be played in South Bend, which would be crazy for Michigan and pretty odd for Notre Dame. Thanks to Good Ol' Dave Brandon even years going forward feature MSU/OSU on the road. Replacing a home game against an SEC team with another road game against a tough opponent doesn't make a ton of sense. Also thanks to the contract Brandon was blindsided with, ND got the final game before the series hiatus.

Meanwhile Notre Dame already has season-ticket tentpole games in 2018, when both Stanford and Florida State travel to South Bend. They've got USC at home in 2019; their second best home game is against Virginia Tech and third best is either Virginia or BC. It doesn't make sense for either program to have the series start in South Bend. We'll see, apparently soon.

Comments

Unverified Voracity Ditches Divisions

Unverified Voracity Ditches Divisions Comment Count

Brian June 14th, 2016 at 1:04 PM

Doing a thing tomorrow. I'm speaking at the UM Club of Livingston County's scholarship fundraiser. Thing is in Brighton, costs 25 bucks if you're not a member and 20 if you are. They promise me a projector with which to dazzle* and amaze** with. It's for a good cause, come on out.

*[you keep saying that word]

**[you also keep saying that word]

image

[Eric Upchurch]

More satellite stuff. As the camp season moves along and more and more people see Harbaugh in action the tone of media coverage seems to have shifted. Harbaugh shows up, has an enthusiasm unknown to mankind, works his ass off in drills, and people in attendance go "huh." Marc Tracy has a NYT article that goes over the Rutgers camp experience in some detail, and Harbaugh impressed some people in Houston.

Also Ohio. The Vindicator:

His speech was part instructional of what was about to happen on the practice field and part old-fashioned church revival, with football being the religion this day for young men that came as far away as Canada.

Harbaugh then spent the next three hours working a style that displays a boyish love of his job. The drills he led were mainly a mix of running tests in which he crowned a champion at the end of each, loudly announcing the young man’s name into a microphone that fit his hand like a glove.

The more people who go to these things, the more of them find out that Harbaugh seems to mean what he says when he talks about spreading football. That's not to say there isn't another motive, but Harbaugh isn't teaching a bunch of middle-schoolers because he thinks there will be recruiting payoffs.

Marshall moves. Lawrence Marshall was at SMSB, observing events. Sam Webb flagged him down for an interview and got some actual news: Marshall is 270 and no longer on the weakside.

"I play in the six-technique, so I play in front of the tight end more,” he said.  “I love that. I feel like a tight end can't block me. If the tight end is blocking me I'm doing something wrong. That's all I've got to say about that."

Terminology changes over and over again and regimes move in and out; around here that means he's moved from WDE to SDE. That leaves just Chase Winovich and Reuben Jones amongst veteran options at WDE and thus implies that Taco Charlton is going to move back to the weakside and start. (He played SDE in the Ford Field practice and the spring game.) That'll probably mean Chris Wormley, an unparalleled tight end obliterator, will go back to SDE. Your other option there is Rashan Gary. So… Marshall probably has another year to prep before serious playing time as an upperclassman. An approximate three deep on the line:

SDE NT 3T WDE
Chris Wormley Ryan Glasgow Maurice Hurst Taco Charlton
Rashan Gary Bryan Mone Matt Godin Chase Winovich
Lawrence Marshall Hurst Wormley/Gary Reuben Jones

That could work out okay.

Marshall also discussed some of the reasons it seems like he's been in the doghouse since his arrival, claiming that his work ethic "has tremendously improved from my freshman and sophomore years." Hitting 270 is solid evidence of that.

Hudson deployment. From Penn Live:

"I think as soon as I get there, I'm going to have an impact on the team," Hudson said. "I'll be at strong safety my first year, and then my second year, they're going to be putting me on offense and giving me some plays and stuff.

When Hudson committed I'd assumed he was ticketed for the nickel spot Peppers was at last year; his "LB" spot this year is probably going to look pretty similar except with more QB decapitation. Now, it seems like there are several options there in 2017 and beyond, and few at safety. Hudson will probably be a true safety for most of his career.

A SEC schedule solution that's pretty great. Jason Kirk and Bill Connelly propose a shift away from divisions in the SEC, which the Big 12 has enabled by agitating for a championship game despite having only ten teams. The upshot is that everyone gets three permanent rivals and then plays the rest of the league every other year. They've tweaked it so the schedules are balanced for the current state of college football, and while there will be some drift things tend to remain the way they are.

A Big Ten version is possible, but the proposal above is aimed at an eight-game conference schedule; the Big Ten has gone to nine. An attempt at three permanent rivals all the same has some goofy matchups:

non-negotiable in italics

Team Permanent opponents
Indiana Purdue Illinois NW
Illinois Northwestern IU Nebraska
Iowa Minnesota Wisconsin Nebraska
Maryland Rutgers PSU MSU
Minnesota Iowa Wisconsin Michigan
Michigan MSU OSU Minnesota
MSU Michigan Maryland Purdue
Nebraska Iowa Wisconsin Illinois
Northwestern Illinois IU PU
OSU PSU Michigan Rutgers
PSU OSU Rutgers MD
Rutgers Maryland PSU OSU
Purdue Indiana Northwestern MSU
Wisconsin Iowa Minnesota Nebraska

Unlike the SEC it's very hard to create these matchups with any semblance of even-ness. Purdue, Illinois, Indiana, and Northwestern are all but impossible to split up, and consistently bad. Minnesota gets it in the eye. Rutgers too.

Even so I like the idea of having relatively balanced schedules for everyone, playing everyone at least every other year, and picking the top two teams with conference record of opponents the tiebreaker. Also, blowing up the schedule again would allow Michigan to undo the most lasting damage of the Dave Brandon era: the MSU/OSU home/road fiasco.

Sign her up. This woman has a legit shot at our linebacker two-deep.

We'll have to deprogram her first obviously.

The sixth year odyssey continues. MSU already failed to get Damon Knox the sixth year they promised was coming, and now it comes out that Ed Davis won't even get a degree until August(!?), despite the fact that he's already been on campus for five years. MSU can't apply for a sixth year until that degree is completed, two weeks before MSU's season opener. As we've mentioned before, Davis's case is hamstrung by the fact that MSU's own website notes he was scout team player of the week twice when he was redshirting and MSU's confidence about all three of these guys appeared to be very much unwarranted.

FWIW, the third dude, OL Brandon Clemons, has in fact sent the paperwork in already.

Okay, Drew. You know what's awesome? I haven't thought about Drew Sharp for more than a glancing second in years. But Detroit's miserable hatemonger gets on the radar today for the most hypocritical thing I've ever seen:

image

You win today. Now return to sleeping at press conferences.

Etc.: NFL.com names Jabrill Peppers the most versatile player in the country, which yeah. Someone complained about no Bedyoa mention in the Copa post. I have an article for you, sir. LSU bans opposing bands from playing at halftime. Rumors that Baylor is trying to bring Briles back appear to be mostly unfounded. Hockey rules committee proposes adopting 4-on-4 OT. No word on the guy who can't wear skates whose goals count double yet. Harbaugh is an extrovert.

Comments

Michigan-Notre Dame Tentatively Back On

Michigan-Notre Dame Tentatively Back On Comment Count

Brian June 10th, 2016 at 11:41 AM

9695780029_5e32d1c6fe_z

[Eric Upchurch]

It's not quite official, but the head coaches of both ends of the rivalry more or less announced today that Michigan-Notre Dame will resume in the near future. Brian Kelly was more specific than Harbaugh:

“We’re going to make that happen,” the seventh-year Notre Dame head football coach said Thursday, relaxing in his office. “We’ve got some work to do, but we’re going to make it happen.

“It’s something (ND athletic director) Jack Swarbrick and I want to do, and we’re going to get that game back together. We’ve got some challenges, but I think we can pull it off.”

How soon?

“We want to do it as soon as we can,” Kelly said. “We’ve got Michigan State home-and-home the next two years (2016-17), and then we’re hoping to. We want to get in on the schedule as quickly as possible after that.”

For his part, Harbaugh said they'd been working on resuming the series for "7, 8, 9 months" and that there were Ts to cross and Is to dot. Hoping those details include a rivalry trophy portraying Dave Brandon hunched over a computer, typing furiously.

Michigan currently has home games against Arkansas and SMU lined up for 2018 and an open date September 8th. It's an MSU/OSU away year and they should get the next home game in the series. ND currently has two openings in 2018, with Ball State scheduled for September 8th. They already have a couple of highly attractive home games in Stanford and FSU; their 2019 home schedule is currently pretty weak, with USC and not much else of interest. Resuming the series with a Michigan home game in 2018 appears to make sense for everybody.

The main problem: adding a game at ND in 2019 would lock Michigan into just five home games, which I assume is unacceptable. If the Arkansas return game gets moved—or that series gets flat-out canceled—they can get up to six. That would still be the fewest home games Michigan Stadium has seen since the move to 12 games. The ever-increasing blizzard of TV money makes it more likely Michigan can weather that financially, but it's a problem. One that the two sides appear to be working through.

Comments

Report: Michigan Adds Army To 2019 Schedule

Report: Michigan Adds Army To 2019 Schedule Comment Count

Ace July 28th, 2015 at 2:23 PM


Photo: Danny Wild/USA Today

FBSchedules.com reported this afternoon that Michigan will face Army in the 2019 home opener:

Michigan will host Army at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Sept. 7, 2019, according to a copy of the game contract obtained from the Army Athletic Association under a Freedom of Information Act request.

The Wolverines will pay the Black Knights a $1.5 million guarantee for the game, which will be the 10th overall meeting between the two schools. Army leads the series 5-4 and has won the last four meetings, the last coming in 1962.

While Army does hold a 5-4 edge in the series, it's Michigan that has won the last four. All nine games took place between 1945 and 1962, when Army was still a football power.

This is probably Michigan's replacement for what would usually be a MAC game. M opens the 2019 season at Arkansas, the latter half of a home-and-home series, and hasn't yet filled the other open non-conference spot. Starting in 2016, the Big Ten moves to a nine-game conference schedule, which leaves room for three non-conference games.

Comments

No Night Game This Year

No Night Game This Year Comment Count

Brian April 23rd, 2015 at 3:15 PM

15323770370_6216ff0f55_z

none of the lights none of the lights [Bryan Fuller]

Buried in a release about Michigan playing Minnesota at night is this:

With primetime selections through the networks and Big Ten Conference office now complete, Michigan will not host a night game this season at Michigan Stadium. Kickoff times for the remainder of the 2015 season will be announced in coordination with those partners.

Michigan's choices there were OSU (in November), Michigan State, or a middling opponent like Oregon State, BYU, or Northwestern. None of those are particularly appealing, though I thought a BYU at night might have been fun.

Comments