This should make the Internet fun for a minute pic.twitter.com/YmCdTMnQm5
— Chase Parham (@RivalsChase) December 5, 2017
Shea Patterson and friends watch. It's happening? I mean. Can't throw a rock without hitting someone who says SOURCES are telling him that Shea Patterson is a lock for Michigan and possibly as soon as this weekend. Sam Webb's put in a crystal ball, which he hastens to say is not a Gut Feeling, and here's the Blade's Michigan beat writer:
Sources: Michigan is the front-runner to land Shea Patterson, and the Ole Miss QB expects to be eligible to play immediately.
— Kyle Rowland (@KyleRowland) December 6, 2017
Probably also happening: Van Jefferson and Deontay Anderson. Both guys are coming up this weekend. Highlights of Patterson throwing to Jefferson in 2016, when Jefferson was a redshirt freshman:
— Ole Miss Ink (@OleMissInk) August 21, 2017
He had 49 catches for 543 yards and was on pace to best that as a sophomore when he dislocated his elbow before the Texas A&M game.
That is likely it despite some overheated reports that up to seven Ole Miss players are interested in Michigan. Taking the three guys above already stretches Michigan's scholarships pretty thin. Anyone who doesn't play tackle is in tough for playing time, and per Rashan Gary's mom Greg Little isn't interested. Gary and Little became friends over the course of their recruitment so that's as good a source as any.
The other guys mentioned haven't set visits and it's unclear that Michigan would be interested in them.
Why wasn't it Cracker Barrel though? For some reason, Harbaugh flying down to see guys he might have on his football team caused the internet to blow up. Harbaugh claps back at Mark Dantonio? Go crazy, guys. Harbaugh does a thing literally all football coaches do dozens of times a year with high school players? Maybe let that one slide.
What do you say, internet?
Actually, it's very cool and good that Ole Miss got in trouble for loaner cars but a multi-millionaire can fly a private jet into Oxford to recruit players away from the team. Very cool. Very good. https://t.co/YS4mD9r79b
— Red Cup Cooperation (@RedCupRebellion) December 5, 2017
Ah, still internet I see.
A fairly good defense. Michigan lands four guys in the PFF All Big Ten defense, and three of them return:
The 2017 PFF All-B1G First Team Defense pic.twitter.com/L4XCrJ11TY
— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) December 5, 2017
Two more guys couldn't have been far off that list given this stat:
Lowest passer rating when targeted among B1G CBs?
How about Michigan's duo? pic.twitter.com/kBJsmwXOIN
— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) November 30, 2017
Personally, I'd take the CBs who whooped up on Simmie Cobbs over the one who got whooped until he got a safety bracket, but Michigan's guys were probably hurt by a lack of volume.
Add in Rashan Gary to the five returning guys in the above tweets and you've got quite a platform to build on.
Missed tackles: nah. Josh Liskiewitz, one of PFF's Big Ten evaluators, was grilled by Iowa fans because Josey Jewell was omitted from the team above. This spawned an interesting twitter thread in which Liskiewitz defended himself with various stats he'd compiled. The most interesting from a Michigan fan's perspective:
[he == Jewell, FWIW]
This is true to an extent, but among #B1G LBs he ranked 38th in tackling efficiency, which takes into account misses per attempt. By comparison, #Boilermakers LB Ja'Whuan Bentley had more total tackles than Jewell and half the MTs. Devin Bush missed just 3 total.
— Josh Liskiewitz (@PFF_Josh) December 6, 2017
Jewell had an 86 grade—which would have made him first team All-SEC or All-Pac12, but finished 9th(!) in the Big Ten. We assume that Tegray Scales, Jason Cabinda, and Ryan Connelly are three of the five guys in front of Jewell, FWIW.
Peters cleared; Black a maybe. Brandon Peters is good to go for bowl practices and the game, per Harbaugh. I assert that he will start. Yes, I assert that. Here's a randomly depressing stat!
Prior to the injury, Peters was 37 of 64 for 486 yards passing in five games, including three starts. He's thrown a team-high four touchdowns, and no interceptions.
Sweet fancy Moses.
In other bowl injury news, Tarik Black is back in practice and could play in the bowl game. Harbaugh says he's "leaning towards not doing it," and, I mean... don't. Michigan's in a good spot in the bowl game without him and a potential fifth year is far more valuable than whatever marginal bonus chance at a bowl win he provides.
Good luck, whoever you are. South Carolina has axed their offensive coordinator. Er, their co-offensive coordinator Kurt Roper. The other guy, Bryan McClendon, is at least temporarily the only cook in the Gamecock kitchen. He is 33 years old and facing down Don Brown with one of the worst offenses in the country. Good luck with that, sir.
FALSE. I love Harbaugh but this is a bad take he should feel bad about:
"My reaction is that there should be more than four teams in the playoffs," Harbaugh told reporters. "Again, I want to reiterate: 8 teams, 12 teams, 16 teams. Sixteen would be ideal in the playoffs."
For one, a team that reached the finals is playing 17 games. For two, the urgency of the regular season is obliterated if last year's Michigan team finishes their season they way they did and still gets in.
Add one fan. ESPN's Sarah Spain has been on a journey across college football to find a team to root for, and she stopped by the MGoTailgate before the OSU game last week:
Saturday morning I headed out to meet one of my hosts for the day, Gordie Fall (named in honor of Gordie Howe), at the famous MGoBus. The tailgate featured craft beer from Wolverine State Brewing Company, loads of breakfast food and, of course, the maize and blue MGoBus owned by Matt and Sara Demorest. While I was there, I learned more about life on campus and the UM scene with Brian Cook and Seth Fisher, of popular Michigan sports site MGoBlog.com. I also met former Wolverines running back Vincent Smith (you may remember him from this), who's now running community gardens in Flint, Michigan, and his hometown of Pahokee, Florida, to increase access to healthy foods, reduce juvenile crime and use gardening-based intervention to curtail violence. Very cool.
Adam was also there! Adam doesn't talk much. Thanks to everyone else's contributions but certainly not ours, Michigan was the pick. Welcome, Sarah. Prepare to be called a Walmart Wolverine despite going to Cornell.
Etc.: More on Dave Brandon The Program's first press conference with chief gobbledygook purveyor Herm Edwards. A timeline of Jimbo Fisher's unprecedented move. John Beilein gets shots up. Chris Collins tells a bald-faced lie in a postgame press conference. It remains impressive how many NU internet people openly loathe the guy who got them their first NCAA tourney bid.