Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wall Street Journal: A Chat with Jim Harbaugh's Lawyer

Ashby Jones relays a conversation with Jim Harbaugh's lawyer about how Michigan's hiring of the coach took place (LINK).

Michigan Assistant Coach Rumors

Greg Roman could be Michigan's next offensive coordinator
We as fans are never happy. We just got our dream coach, and now we'll be concerned about who his assistants will be. When Jim Harbaugh was asked about filling his staff, he said, "Measure twice. Cut once." So he wants to be careful about who he brings on as assistant coaches. Here is a look at some potential coaches to fill out the ten offensive and defensive staff jobs:

1. Jim Harbaugh, Head Coach: Signed, sealed, and delivered. Next.

2. Offensive coordinator: San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman has been with Harbaugh since the Stanford days, and some reports - as well as common sense - suggest that he will follow Harbaugh to Michigan. Roman is from New Jersey and has spent most of his time in the NFL, except for two years in Palo Alto. Roman has mostly worked with the offensive line and tight ends throughout his career, so I would expect him to help out with one of those positions.
Other possibilities: Andy Moeller, Tyrone Wheatley

3. Running backs: Buffalo Bills running backs coach Tyrone Wheatley has not been promised a return in 2015, and being a Michigan legend, he might feel a desire to return to Ann Arbor to help resurrect the program. Harbaugh might also float the idea of being a co-offensive coordinator, which would make a little more sense from Wheatley's perspective. He has a desire to be a head coach someday, so one would expect him to be looking for some kind of promotion up the ladder.
Other possibilities: Reggie Davis, Fred Jackson, Roy Manning

4. Wide receivers: No, this isn't the former Detroit Lions wide receiver, but San Francisco 49ers wide receiver coach John Morton is out of a job. Morton grew up in Michigan and played wide receiver at Western Michigan, so he's a midwest guy and would presumably have some connections in the area. San Francisco's wide receivers weren't spectacular, but he has worked with some pretty big names in Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree.
Other possibility: Ronald Curry

5. Tight ends: Kentucky tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow has been rumored to be a possibility. Harbaugh has reportedly already reached out to Marrow, whose help in recruiting at Kentucky has been pretty impressive. Marrow grew up in Ohio and played football at Toledo, so he's another midwest guy.
Other possibility: Reggie Davis

6. Offensive line: San Francisco 49ers offensive line coach Reggie Davis was with Harbaugh for each year in San Francisco. He has spent his entire playing (Washington, San Diego Chargers) and coaching (UNLV, Oregon State, San Francisco 49ers) career on the west coast. Maybe he's attached to the lifestyle, family, and friends out there. If he comes with Harbaugh, he'll be a much needed connection on the west coast.
Other possibilities: Tim Drevno, Andy Moeller

7. Defensive coordinator: Florida defensive coordinator and interim head coach D.J. Durkin has been a popular name floating around for the past few weeks. He worked with Harbaugh at Stanford and has experience working with special teams, defensive ends, and linebackers, so he could help out in any of those areas.
Other possibility: Greg Mattison

8. Defensive line: Oklahoma defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery has been suggested as a possibility. Montgomery, of course, was at Michigan for the first couple years of Brady Hoke's tenure and then left for a bigger paycheck in Norman. Montgomery was only ever in charge of part of the defensive line at Michigan, so the only real reasons to move back would be another pay raise and/or control over the whole position group.
Other possibilities: D.J. Durkin, Roy Manning, Greg Mattison

9. Linebackers: Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison might be a holdover from the previous staff to this one. Mattison has family in the area, loves the University of Michigan, is a pretty good coach with NFL experience, and is a great recruiter. He also has connections to Harbaugh and potential defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin.
Other possibility: Roy Manning

10. Defensive backs: San Francisco 49ers defensive backs coach Greg Jackson will be looking for a job. He is from Florida and played college football at LSU, so his potential connections in Florida and SEC country could help Michigan's recruiting efforts in difficult locations.
Other possibility: Roy Manning

It would be unlikely that so many 49ers guys would follow Harbaugh to a college to which they have no connections, and other guys coming to Ann Arbor from the NFL (Wheatley, Moeller) would also be a bit of a stretch. Will all of those guys end up standing on the sidelines of Michigan Stadium? Probably not. But I would expect at least a couple of them, particularly Roman. Otherwise, some likely possibilities seem to include Vince Marrow and D.J. Durkin.

Otherwise, Michigan has a couple ace recruiters in its pocket with Mattison and Manning if they so choose to keep them. Manning is supposedly still in Ann Arbor and hoping to catch on with the new staff. I didn't list him as option #1 at any positions above, but that's partly because he has coached running backs, linebackers, and cornerbacks, and he played a hybrid defensive end position. Harbaugh could put him in a variety of spots, although Michigan's cornerbacks performed questionably this past season under his tutelage. I would not want Manning to be in charge of all the defensive back positions by himself, but maybe a year of honing his skills with the cornerbacks could help him improve in year two of coaching the position.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Wall Street Journal: How Michigan Landed Jim Harbaugh

John U. Bacon talks about why Jim Harbaugh returned to Ann Arbor to coach the Wolverines (LINK).

Hit the jump for an amazing selfie and then a 49ers fan who enjoys grilling.

Details on Jim Harbaugh contract

(image via U of M Diehards)
Here are the major details about Jim Harbaugh's contract with Michigan:

  • 7 years, $5 million per year; 10% increases after year three and year five
  • $125,000 for team playing in Big Ten Championship Game or $250,000 for team winning Big Ten Championship Game
  • $200,000 for team playing in bowl game selected by College Football Playoff Selection Committee or $300,000 for team playing in four-team College Football Playoff
  • $500,000 for team winning national championship
  • $50,000 for winning Big Ten Coach of the Year (voted on by coaches)
  • $75,000 for winning various other media-chosen Big Ten Coach of the Year awards (only one per year)
  • Up to $150,000 per year for Academic Progress Rate (APR) of 960 or higher
  • $2,000,000 signing bonus

Video: Jim Harbaugh introductory press conference

Jim Harbaugh, Wolverine (again)

Jim Harbaugh
Today Michigan is expected to announce that they have signed Jim Harbaugh to be the next head coach. After finishing up his tenure as the San Francisco 49ers head coach with a win on Sunday, he and the 49ers "mutually agreed" to part ways. Harbaugh hopped on a plane on Monday to head to Ann Arbor, and he reportedly signed the contract last night. Several NFL teams were reported to be interested, including the across-the-bay Oakland Raiders, who made overtures to Harbaugh but were turned down.

I already posted a somewhat in-depth summary of Harbaugh's career and accomplishments (LINK), so I won't rehash most of that info.  Harbaugh played for Bo Schembechler at Michigan in the 1980's, went on to a successful but unspectacular NFL career, turned around programs at San Diego and Stanford as a head coach, and then had a good four-year run with the 49ers. Despite making it to three straight NFC championship games - and one Super Bowl - the wheels came off during the 2014 season, when Harbaugh's clashes with the front office became public and the team fell to 8-8, missing the playoffs. It had been understood for half the season that Harbaugh would not return, regardless of how the season turned out.

In my ranking of viable coach options, Harbaugh was #1 on my list for numerous reasons. First and foremost, I guess, is that Harbaugh embodies what Michigan's administration, fans, and alumni want. He is demanding and intense, and for a program that deifies Bo Schembechler, that intensity pairs nicely. Harbaugh's competitiveness showed during his career. He was never the fastest guy or the most accurate or the one with the strongest arm, but he was a Heisman contender as a senior and scrapped as a pro football player and coach to try to get to the highest levels.

Another somewhat nice thing about Harbaugh is that his desired personnel and systems are already mostly in place. He had to rebuild at San Diego and Stanford, while the 49ers job had some decent talent already in place. Either way, he wants to run the ball, pass efficiently, and play good defense. Michigan has recruited and developed the roster to do just those things. There are a couple highly touted running backs on the roster, some big-time recruits on the offensive line, some solid tight ends, and good defensive players at every level returning in 2015. The question marks are at quarterback and wide receiver, but a commitment to running the ball should take some of the pressure off of whoever wins the QB job. Harbaugh will regularly send out multiple tight ends, and with the current quarterback situation, he'll probably use a fullback quite a bit instead of the read option that he used with San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

There are a few drawbacks with Harbaugh, as there are with any coach. Most immediately, he is a different breed of coach than Brady Hoke; Harbaugh is still a good leader, but he may turn off some players with his intensity. Hoke is a fatherly type and a great guy, by all accounts; Harbaugh is an in-your-face task master. Secondly, Harbaugh probably can't be described as controversial, but he will be outspoken at times. Some of his antics, comments, and behaviors will be dissected by local and national media, such as his post-game handshake with the Lions' Jim Schwartz a few years ago or his negative comments about Michigan's academics when he was at Stanford. Lloyd Carr kept everything behind closed doors and was mostly tight-lipped with the media, and Brady Hoke was the same. In between, Rich Rodriguez was an outsider who ruffled some feathers by having a West Virginia accent and screwing up some Michigan traditions. Harbaugh will be given some leeway because of his local roots, but the spotlight will be bright.

Lastly, I do not believe Harbaugh is a long-term answer at Michigan. Unfortunately, virtually everyone agrees that he wants a Super Bowl ring. He might fall in love with being Michigan's coach, but I think there's a good chance that in, I don't know, four years, he might want to head back to the NFL. However, if he can get Michigan back on the right track and develop a coaching tree like he did at Stanford, then Michigan might be okay post-Harbaugh. The Wolverines might be looking for a new coach in 2018 or 2019, but he set Stanford up for success (they won double-digit games for the first three years after he left) and could do the same in Ann Arbor.

Regardless, I'm happy Harbaugh is back at Michigan. This was the ideal choice at this juncture, and interim athletic director Jim Hackett somehow made it happen. Harbaugh will be welcomed back with open arms, Michigan is getting some positive publicity, and we should see some improvement on the field next year. Hoke did a good job of recruiting a roster full of talent. Now we can watch as Harbaugh molds that talent into a quality football program once again.

Monday, December 29, 2014

MLive: Jim Harbaugh lands in Michigan, anticipation builds

Supposedly, some announcement is going to take place during the basketball game on Tuesday (LINK). I'm not sure what it will be, but it sounds like kind of a big deal.

My bet is that Mitch McGary is coming back to college after the NCAA rescinded his suspension.

Meanwhile, girls exist after the jump.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

MLive: Jim Harbaugh, 49ers part ways

The thing that's not up in the air is whether Jim Harbaugh will return to the 49ers next year; he will not (LINK).

On the other hand, I might be a bit of a pessimist, but I will not be posting a "Hello" post for Harbaugh until there's a press conference. Not only am I skeptical because Harbaugh is a bit flaky, but also because - most importantly - I had a bad dream last night that he flaked. He flew to Ann Arbor to sign the contract, the Raiders came through with a monster offer, and he booked it right in the middle of his "welcome home" party.

I'm not saying it won't happen, but I don't want to jinx it.

On the plus side, there are good looking women beyond the jump, including a nice bum.

What I've Been Reading

Sharp Objects  by Gillian Flynn. I swear I didn't jump on the Gone Girl  bandwagon once it was optioned as a Ben Affleck movie, but it did get me hooked on Gillian Flynn . . . sort of. Sharp Objects  was the author's first book, and it seems like a little bit of an amateur effort. I appreciate Flynn's wit, but I thought this was a little Chuck Palahniuk Lite. The protagonist, Camille Preaker, is a newspaper writer outside of Chicago when she hears of a serial killer in her Missouri hometown. She's dispatched to Wind Gap, MO (which is not a real place) to follow the story. While there she deals with her hateful, cruel, rich mother (a woman of the type that probably does not exist), her promiscuous 13-year-old half-sister, and the gossip-fueled women of Wind Gap. In what's seemingly supposed to be a believable murder mystery, the story is thrown off by the ridiculous mother, the ridiculous sister, and the ridiculous protagonist herself. I had a hard time getting entranced by the story involving self-mutilators, 13-year-olds getting gangbanged, and a 30-year-old professional reporter dropping acid with her 13-year-old sister.

Blink  by Malcolm Gladwell. I've been on a Malcom Gladwell kick for the last several months, and the only book of his I have yet to read is David and Goliath. Blink  talks about humans' abilities to "thin slice," which is taking small amounts of information and making quick decisions. Some of the chapters talk about Pepsi vs. Coke taste tests, police interactions with suspects (which I find relevant to the Michael Brown/Darren Wilson situation in Ferguson, MO), judging the authenticity of works of art, etc. One portion I found relevant was where Gladwell talks to a tennis coach who has an uncanny ability to judge whether a tennis player is about to double-fault. Even the coach himself couldn't explain what body movements during a serve would help him judge the player's serve accuracy, but he's almost always correct. I found that somewhat applicable to my job as a coach and, to a lesser extent, my "job" here as a fan, blogger, and recruiting fanatic. Of course, I wouldn't claim to be right the vast majority of the time, but sometimes there just appear to be body movements that are or are not conducive to being successful in sports.

The Magician's Land  by Lev Grossman. I have previously touted the books The Magicians  and The Magician King  by Grossman on this here blog, and The Magician's Land  is the third installment, which was released late this summer. I am such a fan that I pre-ordered the book. I have never done that for a book before. The trilogy started off with a kid named Quentin Coldwater, who was recruited to a Hogwart's-like school. Quentin isn't The Chosen One like Harry Potter, but he's a pretty good magician who finds himself in some hairy situations, including traveling to a Narnia-like universe. I can't really put my finger on what I like about this series so much, but each of the books has been a page-turner to me. This third part of the trilogy concentrates on Quentin trying to bring the love his life back from the dead, as well as the possible extinction of Fillory (a.k.a. Narnia). If you like fantasy stuff at all, I highly recommend this series.

Guardians of the Galaxy: The Complete Collection Volume 1  by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. Unlike with Gillian Flynn and Gone Girl, I totally was not interested in these comics until I saw the movie this summer. The movie was so fun and interesting to me that I wanted to get some of the background. While the comics aren't quite as interesting to me - let's just say Chris Pratt is more entertaining on screen than Star-Lord is on the page - I still found them enjoyable. Also, I can deal with Rocket Raccoon as a main character, but Cosmo the telepathic Russian space dog is too over the top for me. Maybe that's why they didn't include him in the movie. It's just too much to handle at once. You mean there's a dog that talks? And not only does it talk, but it has supernatural powers? And not only does it talk and have supernatural powers, but it inserts a "k" sound whenever there should be a "g" sound? Okay, that's too much. I'm going to need some time to process this. Let's just start off with the raccoon who seems to be a candidate for NRA president.

You can check out my past "What I've Been Reading" posts here (LINK).

Saturday, December 27, 2014

MGoBlog: Searchbits XXX - That's What My Jug Says Too

Brian Cook is extremely optimistic that this Jim Harbaugh guy is getting hired (LINK).

Hit the jump for some good looking women and a Lindsay Lohan gif.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Welcome to the Weekend!

This is the weekend, so start enjoying it with some pictures of very good looking women, including an impressive gif.

MLive: Harbaugh began recruiting as NFL quarterback

Here's some more background info on Jim Harbaugh (LINK).

Recruiting Update: December 26, 2014

Former Michigan commit Darrin Kirkland, Jr.
This is probably the last recruiting update for 2014, so grab some Klee-nex. On the plus side, there should be some good recruiting news in the coming days and weeks with a new coach soon to be hired and National Signing Day coming up at the beginning of February.

Waco (TX) Midway safety Kahlil Haughton committed to Oklahoma.

Mesquite (TX) Poteet linebacker Malik Jefferson committed to Texas. The 5-star prospect is the second 2015 linebacker to choose the Longhorns over the Wolverines, joining Cameron Townsend. Jefferson will be playing in the Under Armour All-American Game in early January.

Scottsdale (AZ) Saguaro wide receiver Christian Kirk committed to Texas A&M. Another 5-star, Kirk was high on my wish list, although he was a long shot even if Michigan had a good season and had coaching continuity. He'll head to College Station to catch passes from Kyle Allen, who is from across town at Desert Mountain.

Indianapolis (IN) Lawrence Central linebacker Darrin Kirkland, Jr. committed to Tennessee. Kirkland was committed to Michigan for several months, but the Wolverines' poor season and coaching situation led him to decommit late in the season.

Stephenville (TX) Stephenville quarterback Jarrett Stidham committed to Baylor after decommitting from Texas Tech. I always thought this seemed like a no-brainer because Baylor head coach Art Briles made his name as Stephenville's head coach, but for whatever reason, Stidham was sold on the Red Raiders for a while. After all the points Baylor has thrown up on the board and the success of their quarterbacks, this looks like a good choice for Stidham.

There are a bunch of all-star games coming up in about a week, so I posted all the Michigan targets/commits you can see in those games:

Over on Recruiting Season, I posted/updated profiles on Grand Rapids Christian's Lukas Thompson, Cass Tech's Demetric Vance, and Chippewa Valley's Stefan Claiborne.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

MLive: Harbaugh's ability to develop talent sets him apart

Nick Baumgardner says that one recent weakness - talent development - is supposedly Jim Harbaugh's strength (LINK).

Speaking of talent, there are some good looking ladies beyond the jump.

Self-Indulgent Post of the Week: Saturday Night Live, Season 40

As a fan of Saturday Night Live since I was a kid, I have become more and more aware of how great certain sketch comedians are . . . and how quickly others fade into oblivion. That discrepancy seems to have been made blatantly obvious over the past couple seasons, the last of which - season 39 - included a lot of cast turnover. New cast members pop up every year, but SNL seems to be in rebuilding mode recently. Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, and Jason Sudeikis all left before season 39, and then Seth Meyers left in the middle of the year. After the season finished, John Milhiser, Nasim Pedrad, Noel Wells, and Brooks Wheelan all left or got fired; the only one of those with any talent whoatsoever seemed to be Pedrad.

Now it's season 40, and there are still some decent talents hanging around but nobody who seems like a future star. In the days of yore, it seemed SNL always featured a guy or girl with enough charisma to move on to his or her own talk show, comedy, movies, etc. There are some people I really like, but nobody who looks like a Will Ferrell, Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy, Chris Farley, Kristen Wiig, etc.

So after watching the first half of the season, here are the current SNL actors from best to worst:

Bobby Moynihan: Moynihan doesn't have the same kind of physical presence as Chris Farley or John Belushi, but he has taken that chubby guy role and done some great things with it. He's good at improvising if things go sideways, and his facial contortions help him sell his characters. My favorites are Anthony Crispino - who's pretty sure his secondhand news is accurate - and Drunk Uncle, with some Kirby the Astronaut mixed in.

Kate McKinnon: McKinnon has "crazy eyes" that make her a little off-putting and intriguing at the same time. Her impressions are unmatched on the current show, and she goes over the top just enough with her takes on Justin Bieber, Ellen DeGeneres, and Martha Stewart, among others. She's probably the most consistent actor on the show in committing to the sketch and staying in character.

Pete Davidson: Davidson is my favorite new-ish actor on the show. He's only 21 years old and so he shows his immaturity by occasional breaks in character, but he looks comfortable on stage and delivers his lines with an underlying energy like Jimmy Fallon or Adam Sandler. (Interesting note: Davidson's father was a firefighter who was tragically killed during the September 11th attacks.)

Kenan Thompson: Early in his career I thought Thompson was pretty bad, because he seemed to break character left and right. Now he's been around forever (he joined the cast in 2003 and has stuck around longer than Grandpa Tim Meadows), and he has grown on me. He still breaks character sometimes, but the creator of the knucklepuck has developed enough lovable roles to make him a comfortable sight on Saturday nights.

Taran Killam: Killam is pretty skilled impressionist, and he's currently the "good looking" guy on the roster who can play the role of a Hollywood leading man or a goofball. He's no match for Darrell Hammond at doing impressions, but he's versatile enough to fit into almost any sketch.

Cecily Strong: Strong is someone I can see becoming a supporting actress in movies or TV shows. She's good looking enough to make a passable Hollywood actress, she's pretty versatile with her characters, and she's relatable enough to make her a sympathetic character.

Colin Jost: Jost is the head writer and a standup comedian. After some early snafus, he has become pretty solid as an anchor on Weekend Update. Some of his deliveries are similar to those of Norm McDonald, and he has the face to make a convincing news anchor. He doesn't seem to have the same improvisational chops as some of the former anchors (Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Seth Meyers), so I can't see him moving to his own talk show. But he seems like a good writer and is coming into his own as a performer.

Vanessa Bayer: Bayer is a good bit player who can make a cute girl or play an androgynous role like, say, a Jewish boy. You need good glue girls like her.

Michael Che: Che has some funny moments as the co-host for Weekend Update. Unfortunately, he stumbles over the setups and punchlines so often that he's very inconsistent. For every joke that succeeds, at least one fails because the timing gets thrown off.

Aidy Bryant: Bryant is in her third year on the show, and while I liked her at first, her act has gotten a little stale for me. She plays essentially the same person in all of her skits, and her best one - co-host of Girlfriends Talk Show - has run its course. She has her funny moments, but she's too one-dimensional.

Jay Pharaoh: Pharaoh - whose Barack Obama impersonation has improved over the years - has never impressed me. You have to have someone around who can impersonate the President, so I guess he's necessary. But the guy just isn't that funny. Almost every impression he does is sold only by the people doing his makeup and costumes.

Sasheer Zamata: I have a feeling I will forget about her in a few years. Kind of like how you forgot about Paul Brittain.

Beck Bennett: Bennett's best professional moments came in AT&T commercials talking to little kids. Otherwise, his best role is Casey, a local skating talk-show host. Generally, he's too stilted and awkward and monotone to be of much use.

Kyle Mooney: As Bennett's co-star on the skating talk show, Mooney isn't atrocious. He makes an acceptable stoner. That's about all I can say for him. His impressions are disasters.

Leslie Jones:
 Leslie Jones is terrible and one-dimensional. I'm not quite sure why she was added to the cast, but I would be happy if she did not return for season 41.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Sports Illustrated: A first-time skydiving experience, a fall to Earth, and a terrible accident

I'm certainly late to the party and I saw this on the news a few months back, but catching up on some issues of Sports Illustrated around the holidays, I came across the story of Dave Hartsock. Hartsock was a skydiving instructor whose heroic actions underneath a failed parachute saved the life of a woman named Shirley Dygert (LINK). Long story short: When the parachutes failed to deploy properly, he positioned himself underneath her to cushion her landing. She suffered some serious injuries but fully recovered, while Hartsock is a quadriplegic.

If you're not all charitied out during the holiday season, consider giving to his recovery fund HERE as his care costs $1,000 per week.

Go Blue!

As an extrinsic reward, here are some good looking ladies dressed like Santa Claus.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

MGoBlog: Searchbits XXVI - Everybody Increments

Brian wraps up some recent news bits and storylines about Michigan's coaching search (LINK).

Hit the jump for some good looking girls and a dodgeball gif.

Current FBS Coaches Coaching at Their Alma Maters

Kliff Kingsbury, the most photogenic coach in college football, coaches where he played college football.
In the midst of a coaching search that has a lot of "insiders" believing Jim Harbaugh will return to Michigan as its head football after playing in Ann Arbor in the 1980's, I thought I would take a look at current college coaches who are at their alma mater. Harbaugh could be the first Michigan player to return as head coach since Bump Elliott, who played at Michigan in the 1946-1947 and then compiled a 51-42-2 record as the head coach from 1959-1968.

Troy Calhoun, Air Force (59-44 since 2007): Calhoun was a Falcon quarterback from 1983-1986. After a career as an assistant in both college (Air Force, Ohio, Wake Forest) and the NFL (Broncos, Texans), he returned to Air Force in 2007. The Falcons made an impressive turnaround from a 2-10 season in 2013 to completing a 10-3 year with a win over Western Michigan in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl a few days ago.

Hit the jump for the ten other coaches on the list.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

MGoBlog: Searchbits XXIV - Holding Pattern

Brian at MGoBlog has a helpful, hopeful update on the coaching search (LINK).

There are some good looking women beyond the jump, including Emily Ratajkowski in a gif.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

MLive: Jim Harbaugh has a little crazy in him, and so does Michigan

Nick Baumgardner makes a case for the re-connection of Jim Harbaugh and Michigan, since both are a little nuts (LINK).

Hit the jump for the good looking, bikini-clad women of the day.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Welcome to the Weekend!

Start your weekend off with some pictures of beautiful women.

Coaching Candidate Rumors

Jim Harbaugh
Brady Hoke's firing was publicly announced on December 2, so it has been 17 days since Michigan has had a head coach. Obviously, athletic director Jim Hackett is waiting on Jim Harbaugh, who declined comment about the Michigan job when asked on Thursday afternoon. News leaked - from one side or the other - that Harbaugh had been offered a 6-year, $48 million contract but Bruce Feldman says that figure is inaccurate (LINK).

Rumors persist that Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops would be Michigan's #2 option, but he might be off the table because someone of his coaching stature would not want to play second fiddle to Harbaugh. I say there's no shame in being the backup to an NFL head coach who would potentially be coming back to his alma mater. That's not an insult to Stoops, but hey, the guy has won more championships than Harbaugh.

LSU head coach Les Miles told reporters off the record that he would not be coming to Michigan.

A lot of people have been saying that Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen is not even being considered, but he has yet to sign a rumored contract extension with MSU. He may not be on Michigan's radar, but he seems like a guy who might be waiting for some dominoes to fall in the coaching world before he marries himself to the Bulldogs for too long (or for too big of a buyout).

Meanwhile, potential Plan C option Steve Addazio signed an extension with Boston College through 2020 (LINK). Another potential coach, Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman, has been hired as Houston's head coach for five years and $6.75 million (LINK).

With Pitt head coach Paul Chryst taking the job at Wisconsin, the Panthers are now looking for a head coach. While they probably wouldn't be able to poach an established head coach, they may be able to snag an up-and-coming coordinator or head coach. Western Michigan head coach P.J. Fleck just signed a contract extension through 2020, but there are still guys like Greg Schiano, Tom Bradley (former Penn State defensive coordinator, current WVU assistant head coach) and Pat Narduzzi hanging around. I could see Schiano or Bradley taking the job, but Narduzzi seems to be holding out for something better than Pitt since he rebuffed UConn last year.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

MLive: Harbaugh takes losers and makes them winners

Nick Baumgardner talks to some of Jim Harbaugh's former players (LINK).

Hit the jump for some pictures of Daphne Joy.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

SB Nation: How all 128 FBS football teams fared against expectations

This is not a flattering article, but SB Nation looks at the most over- and under-achieving teams in FBS football (LINK). Michigan comes in 124th out of 128 teams after winning three fewer games than Vegas projected.

Click through to the jump for some good looking women.

Grantland: Dear Jim Harbaugh - Just Go to Michigan

Andrew Sharp says Jim Harbaugh should just go ahead and become Michigan's next coach (LINK). Who are we to argue?

The good looking ladies below totally agree, I'm sure.

2014 ESPN Big Ten All-Freshman Team

The Big Ten Blog put out an all-freshman team (LINK). The team includes Michigan left tackle Mason Cole. There are several players that Michigan pursued coming out of high school, plus a couple that I wanted Michigan to recruit.

Player that held Michigan offers:

Mason Cole - OT - Michigan
Billy Price - OG - Ohio State
Malik McDowell - DE - Michigan State
Eli Apple - CB - Ohio State
Montae Nicholson - S - Michigan State
Marcus Allen - S - Penn State

Players I wanted Michigan to recruit:

Justin Jackson - RB - Northwestern
Curtis Samuel - RB - Ohio State

Michigan has some bruisers on the roster, but it would be nice to have some skills guys who are dangerous with the ball in their hands. Unfortunately, Michigan doesn't have many guys who are quick enough to take it the distance at any given time. We're left waiting for Dennis Norfleet to finally bust a big one or hoping that teams are shoddy enough tacklers to allow Derrick Green to plow through a few guys for a big score. Otherwise, all Michigan can do is gain chunks of yardage.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

MLive: Regardless of coach, QB will be biggest issue in 2015

Nick Baumgardner talks about the somewhat uninspiring quarterback options available to Michigan in 2015, plus some other question marks (LINK).

Hit the jump for some nice looking ladies, including a fun gif.

Michael Ferns III, Ex-Wolverine

Michael Ferns (front middle, image via Times Leader)
Rising sophomore linebacker Michael Ferns III has left Michigan's football program, most likely headed for West Virginia. He redshirted as a freshman this past season.

Ferns was Michigan's first commitment in the class of 2014 and committed in August 2012, almost six months prior to the next guy (Wilton Speight). Ferns spearheaded a project to send "Team 135" t-shirts to every new Michigan commit for the remainder of the class. Meanwhile, he was a stalwart at St. Clairsville (OH) St. Clairsville and earned some national notoriety for running out of bounds at the 1-yard line to allow a grieving high school teammate to score a touchdown. He finished the recruiting cycle as a 247 Composite 4-star, the #6 inside linebacker, and #158 overall.

Ferns was listed at 6'3", 239 lbs. and was playing middle linebacker, although he was reportedly really struggling to adjust to the college game. He was buried on the depth chart behind several promising inside linebackers, including a few who will be returning in 2015 (fifth year senior Desmond Morgan, senior Joe Bolden, junior Ben Gedeon, and redshirt sophomore Mike McCray II) and even some classmates.

The depth chart may have less to do with the transfer than some expect. Ferns was recruited to Michigan by Brady Hoke and sold on the "Team 135" thing, and now that whole idea has lost some of its luster. Also, Michael has a younger brother named Brendan, a 2016 linebacker who has not been offered by the Wolverines. The reasons for the lack of an offer are unclear (he's a 247 Composite 4-star, the #2 inside linebacker, and #74 overall), but that was probably causing some friction, anyway. Brendan holds offers from Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, and West Virginia, and part of the plan could be to play together in Morgantown; 247 Sports' Crystal Ball prediction for Brendan has him at 64% for Ohio State.

Regardless, Michael Ferns is the first casualty from the 2014 class. The Wolverines have three other linebackers remaining from the 2014 class, and the aforementioned inside linebackers have the position pretty well under control. This move would not appear to affect Michigan's defense in the long run, and it opens up another spot in the 2015 class (LINK). Right now it looks like Michigan can comfortably fit 12 players into the class, but that number could grow in the coming weeks, depending on Michigan's coaching situation. I have heard rumors of a few other players also considering transfers, and I would guess that at least one or two of them come to fruition.

2014 Scholarship Count

Players are listed in order of remaining eligibility.  With 8 seniors scheduled to graduate and 81 scholarships allotted, Michigan's class of 2015 should be at least 12.


- Michael Ferns will transfer.

- Desmond Morgan will take a medical redshirt for 2014.

- Csont'e York was dismissed from the team.

- Ty Isaac transferred to Michigan from USC.

- Jordan Paskorz will not return in 2014.

- Chris Bryant has taken a medical hardship.

- Richard Ash, Josh Furman, and Thomas Rawls will not return in 2014.

REDSHIRT SENIORS = 3 (Final season 2014)
QB Devin Gardner 
LB Jake Ryan 
P Will Hagerup
WR Anthony Capatina
OL Joey Burzynski

SENIORS = 5 (Final season 2014)
DE Brennen Beyer
DE Frank Clark
CB Delonte Hollowell
CB Raymon Taylor
K Matt Wile

REDSHIRT JUNIORS = 7 (Final season 2015)
QB Russell Bellomy
RB Justice Hayes
C Graham Glasgow
C Jack Miller
TE Keith Heitzman

LB Desmond Morgan
CB Blake Countess

QB Alex Swieca
FB Joe Kerridge
WR Jonathan Keizer
DE Alex Mitropolous-Rundus

JUNIORS = 10 (Final season = 2015)
FB Sione Houma
WR Dennis Norfleet
TE Devin Funchess
TE A.J. Williams
DE Mario Ojemudia
DT Ondre Pipkins
LB Joe Bolden
LB Royce Jenkins-Stone
LB James Ross

S Jarrod Wilson

REDSHIRT SOPHOMORES = 14 (Final season 2016)
RB Drake Johnson
OL Blake Bars

OL Ben Braden
OL Kyle Kalis
OL Erik Magnuson
WR Jehu Chesson

WR Amara Darboh

DE Matt Godin
DT Willie Henry
DE Tom Strobel
DE Chris Wormley
LB Allen Gant

CB Terry Richardson

S Jeremy Clark

QB Brian Cleary
WR Bo Dever
TE Michael Jocz
OL Ben Pliska
DT Ryan Glasgow
LB Nick Benda
LB Bobby Henderson
LB Mark Lawson
LB Dan Liesman
S Shaun Austin
S A.J. Pearson
P Kenny Allen

SOPHOMORES = 14 (Final season 2016)
QB Shane Morris
RB Derrick Green
RB Ty Isaac
RB DeVeon Smith
WR Da'Mario Jones
TE Jake Butt
OL Kyle Bosch
DE Taco Charlton
LB Ben Gedeon
CB Delano Hill
CB Jourdan Lewis
CB Channing Stribling
S Dymonte Thomas

REDSHIRT FRESHMEN = 14 (Final season 2017)
FB Wyatt Shallman
WR Jaron Dukes
TE Khalid Hill
OL David Dawson
OL Chris Fox
OL Patrick Kugler

OL Dan Samuelson
OL Logan Tuley-Tillman

DT Maurice Hurst, Jr.
DT Henry Poggi

LB Mike McCray
CB Reon Dawson
CB Ross Douglas
LS Scott Sypniewski

QB Garrett Moores
WR Blaise Stearns
WR Jack Wangler
OL Greg Froelich
DE Garrett Miller
CB Anthony Dalimonte

FRESHMEN = 15 (Final season 2017)
QB Wilton Speight
WR Freddy Canteen
WR Drake Harris
WR Maurice Ways
TE Ian Bunting
OL Juwann Bushell-Beatty
OL Mason Cole

DE Lawrence Marshall
DT Bryan Mone
DT Brady Pallante
LB Noah Furbush
LB Jared Wangler

LB Chase Winovich
CB Jabrill Peppers
CB Brandon Watson
QB Joey Hewlett
LB Michael Wroblewski
S Francois Montbrun

Coaching Candidate Rumors

Tyrone Wheatley, if for not other reason
than bringing back happy memories.
I have a few posts waiting to be completed, and even a few that are already finished. But a lot of them have to do with recruiting, and I don't think anyone cares much about recruiting right now. All Michigan fans care about is who the next coach will be, and I can't say I blame them. As Michigan fans, we can't move forward. (On the other hand, I have been moving forward with catching up on Parks and Recreation.)

Detroit Sports Rag contributor Jeff Moss tweeted out last night that there has been a "sea change" in the reporting on Michigan's head coaching job. Other Twitter feeds have also changed their tune somewhat, based on someone in Michigan's administration supposedly giving info that Jim Harbaugh could be leaning toward returning to Ann Arbor. Moss also said that he will release the source of this information at 9:00 a.m. today, so that ought to be interesting.

Aside from Harbaugh's return, there have also been rumors that:

  • Former Michigan running back Tyrone Wheatley, currently the Buffalo Bills running backs coach, will return as co-offensive coordinator
  • Former Michigan offensive line coach Andy Moeller, currently the Cleveland Browns offensive line coach, will be Wheatley's co-offensive coordinator
  • D.J. Durkin is being considered as the defensive coordinator. Durkin was at Florida under Will Muschamp and is currently their interim head coach; he also worked for Harbaugh at Stanford
I am posting this info not because I necessarily believe it, but because this is all anyone seems to want to discuss. Past coaching searches have taught me not to believe anything (thanks, Kirk Herbstreit), but we all know that Jim Harbaugh is Michigan's #1 choice for the coaching job at this point. Until his situation is resolved with the San Francisco 49ers (whether he resigns, they fire him, they try to trade him, etc.), Michigan's football program and Wolverines fans are in a holding pattern.

In other news, former Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden signed a contract extension with ESPN.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Grantland: The Kiss

Bryan Curtis talks about the social impact of Michael Sam kissing his boyfriend after being drafted earlier this year (LINK).

Hit the jump for some good looking ladies.

2014 ESPN True Freshman All-America Team

Mason Cole
ESPN put together a freshman All-America team (LINK) that includes several names that will be familiar to Michigan fans, not only from watching college football, but also following recruiting. All four members of the secondary were recruited by Michigan. The team also includes Michigan left tackle Mason Cole, who started every game this season.

Other notable players:

Artavis Scott - WR - Clemson*
Cam Robinson - OL - Alabama*
Myles Garrett - DE - Texas A&M*
Raekwon McMillan - LB - Ohio State
Lorenzo Carter - LB - Georgia*
Dravon Henry - DB - West Virginia*
Jamal Adams - DB - LSU*
Quin Blanding - DB - Virginia*
Adoree' Jackson - DB - USC*

*Recruited by Michigan

The Transition Effect: Carr to Rodriguez

Ryan Mallett
With an upcoming coaching transition, there has been some concern that players will take flight to greener pastures. When Michigan went from a pro-style scheme to a zone read option scheme in the off-season between 2007 and 2008, some offensive players headed out the door. Not much of that can be attributed to the spread. Every team loses players in the off-season. Sometimes players are sick of standing on the sideline, sometimes they get homesick, and sometimes they butt heads with the coaches. Here's a look at what the transition from Lloyd Carr to Rich Rodriguez cost Michigan going into 2008 and beyond.

Decommitted due to coaching transition: John Wienke, Christian Wilson
Wienke, a pro-style quarterback, decommitted in favor of Iowa, where he never saw any significant time. Wilson ended up committing to North Carolina due to the fact that Rodriguez's offense didn't leave a ton of room for fullback/H-back types. Wilson played but never made a huge impact for the Tarheels.

Transferred to other FBS teams between regimes: Justin Boren, Ryan Mallett
Offensive guard Justin Boren would have been a junior starter in Rich Rodriguez's first season, but some alleged frictions between Rodriguez and Boren's family led to his departure. Boren transferred to his home state Ohio State Buckeyes program, where he eventually started and became an undrafted free agent; he never played in an NFL game despite making the practice squad with a couple teams. Meanwhile, his right guard position was taken by David Moosman, who turned out to be a decent but forgettable piece up front for the Wolverines. Theories differ on Mallett, a touted quarterback who transferred closer to home at Arkansas. Some say he was already on his way out the door because of butting heads with Carr; others say he realized he wouldn't fit into Rich Rodriguez's offense. Either way, he was replaced by walk-on Nick Sheridan and Georgia Tech transfer Steve Threet, both of whom were subpar passers and poor fits for Rodriguez's scheme. After the 2008 season,

Left early for the NFL Draft: Adrian Arrington, Mario Manningham
Arrington blew up in his final game, a bowl win over Florida, which might have sealed the deal. His 882 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns in 2007 as the #2 option behind Manningham were impressive, although he slipped into the Draft in just the 7th round, making just 9 receptions in a short NFL career. Manningham had some issues following rules/laws and seemed to be headed for the door after a stellar three-year career; he possibly would have been a 1st round pick if not for a marijuana charge, and instead fell to the 3rd round. He was picked by the Giants and has had a solid but injury-marred career with 2,849 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns.

Transferred to other FBS teams after giving Rodriguez a chance:* Toney Clemons, Vince Helmuth, Dann O'Neill, Steve Threet
Clemons spent a year trying to wedge himself into the slot receiver role for Rodriguez, a role he was ill suited for because he was not very quick or elusive. Clemons had been recruited by Lloyd Carr as an outside wide receiver, and he transferred to Colorado for that reason. He had a decent career for the Buffaloes and managed to get drafted. Helmuth was brought in as a Lloyd Carr fullback, eventually moved to defensive tackle under Rodriguez, and then transferred to Miami-OH, where he never played, either. O'Neill spent a year redshirting and then transferred to Western Michigan, where his lack of lateral mobility was less of a hindrance; he started for several years for the Broncos. Threet got kind of a raw deal. After enrolling early at Georgia Tech in January 2007, he transferred to Michigan over the summer and redshirted during the season, hoping to follow Chad Henne as the starter for the Wolverines. Then when Rodriguez got hired, Threet and walk-on Nick Sheridan split playing time before Threet lit out for his third school, Arizona State. He had to sit out the 2009 season to transfer, and then concussions caused him to end his football career early.

Left early for the NFL Draft after giving Rodriguez a chance:* Carson Butler, Donovan Warren
Butler was unhappy with his role as a tight end in Rodriguez's offense, so he made a mid-season switch to defensive end, finishing with 2 catches, 17 yards, and 5 tackles. He tested the waters of the NFL but was ultimately unsuccessful.  Warren left after his third season in Ann Arbor, hanging around through 2009. It's unclear whether a different coach could have kept him around for a fourth season, but Warren was All-Big Ten and made 4 picks in 2009, after which he made an ill-advised attempt at making it in the NFL. He was not drafted and spent a few years bouncing around practice squads.

If Michigan changes systems to a spread or, say, a triple option, some transfers can naturally be expected. That change seems unlikely based on what we have been hearing, but anything is possible. The one guy who seemed like a possible early entrant into the draft (Devin Funchess) is gone already. The quarterbacks are mostly pro-style guys, so that would present a challenge if Michigan wanted to run any kind of option-type stuff. Michigan has been running a lot of zone schemes, so a loss of linemen would not seem to be a huge risk, regardless of the coach. The receivers are mostly big, pro-style guys who could get squeezed out if the new coach wanted to put tiny slot guys out there in spades. Michigan's stable of tight ends would likely not be happy with a move to a spread, though A.J. Williams will be a senior and Jake Butt could be just a year away from heading to the NFL; the biggest flight risks there would probably be the young guys, Ian Bunting and Khalid Hill, who would still have time to redshirt for a year and make an impact elsewhere.

*There were some other transfers (Sam McGuffie, Marell Evans, Kurt Wermers, etc.) that seemed to have less to do with Rodriguez and more to do with homesickness, academic difficulties, etc.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Grantland: The 2014 Patrick Willis All-Star Team

Here's Grantland's "Patrick Willis All-Star Team," which is their way of picking the best players on crappy teams (LINK).

Hit the jump for three very good looking ladies.

2015 Projected Depth Chart

Jake Butt might be the face of Michigan's offense heading into 2015
Yes, I know it's really early in the off-season. We don't have a bowl game this year. We also don't have a coach. But it's never too early to start prognosticating about the 2015 season. So here's my stab at a 2015 depth chart that will surely change between now and the spring, let alone next year's season opener.

Some notes before jumping into it:
  • I expect Devin Funchess to declare for the NFL Draft, even though I think he would be better off returning for his senior year (EDIT: I originally posted this last week before Funchess did, indeed, declare for the draft. I bumped it to Sunday because I had a busy weekend and couldn't post something new this morning.).
  • I expect Russell Bellomy to graduate and/or transfer.
  • I have heard of some other players leaning toward transferring, but I am keeping them on the chart for now. I think most players are in a holding pattern pending the coaching hire, anyway.
QB: Shane Morris (Jr.), Wilton Speight (RS Fr.), Russell Bellomy (5th), Alex Malzone (Fr.)
RB: Ty Isaac (RS So.), Derrick Green (Jr.), Drake Johnson (RS Jr.), De'Veon Smith (Jr.), Justice Hayes (5th)
FB: Joe Kerridge (5th), Sione Houma (Sr.), Wyatt Shallman (RS So.)
WR: Amara Darboh (RS Jr.), Maurice Ways (RS Fr.), Bo Dever (RS So.), Jaron Dukes (RS So.)
WR: Freddy Canteen (So.), Jehu Chesson (RS Jr.), Drake Harris (RS Fr.), Brian Cole (Fr.)
SR: Dennis Norfleet (Sr.), Da'Mario Jones (RS So.), Ross Douglas (RS So.)
TE: Jake Butt (Jr.), A.J. Williams (Sr.), Khalid Hill (RS So.), Keith Heitzman (5th), Ian Bunting (RS Fr.)
LT: Mason Cole (So.), Erik Magnuson (RS Jr.), Logan Tuley-Tillman (RS So.), Grant Newsome (Fr.)
LG: Graham Glasgow (5th), Kyle Bosch (RS So.), Dan Samuelson (RS So.)
C: Jack Miller (5th), Patrick Kugler (RS So.)
RG: Kyle Kalis (RS Jr.), David Dawson (RS So.), Blake Bars (RS Jr.), Jon Runyan Jr. (Fr.)
RT: Ben Braden (RS Jr.), Chris Fox (RS So.), Juwann Bushell-Beatty (RS Fr.)

SDE: Taco Charlton (Jr.), Henry Poggi (RS So.), Tom Strobel (RS Jr.)
DT: Willie Henry (RS Jr.), Chris Wormley (RS So.), Maurice Hurst Jr. (RS So.), Matthew Godin (RS Jr.)
DT: Ryan Glasgow (RS Jr.), Bryan Mone (So.), Ondre Pipkins (Sr.), Brady Pallante (RS Fr.)
WDE: Mario Ojemudia (Sr.), Lawrence Marshall (RS Fr.)
SLB: James Ross (Sr.), Royce Jenkins-Stone (Sr.), Allen Gant (RS Jr.)
MLB: Joe Bolden (Sr.), Mike McCray II (RS So.), Chase Winovich (RS Fr.), Michael Ferns (RS Fr.)
WLB: Desmond Morgan (5th), Ben Gedeon (Jr.), Noah Furbush (RS Fr.), Jared Wangler (RS Fr.)
CB: Jabrill Peppers (RS Fr.), Channing Stribling (Jr.), Reon Dawson (RS So.)
CB: Jourdan Lewis (Jr.), Terry Richardson (RS Jr.)
NB: Blake Countess (5th)
S: Jarrod Wilson (Sr.), Dymonte Thomas (Jr.), Brandon Watson (RS Fr.)
S: Delano Hill (Jr.), Jeremy Clark (RS So.), Tyree Kinnel (Fr.)

K: Andrew David (Fr.)
P: Kenny Allen (RS So.)
LS: Scott Sypniewski (RS So.)

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Grantland: 2014 College Football Awards

Bill Simmons hands out some college football awards for the 2014 season (LINK).

Hit the jump for some nice looking girls wearing very little, plus a girl in a wrestling ring who looks excited.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Welcome to the Weekend!

Start your weekend with some pictures of beautiful women, including a gif of Emily Ratajkowski. Enjoy!

The Wolverine: Best of the Bust

The Wolverine discusses some of the best moments from Monday night's end-of-season bust (LINK).

Hit the jump for three very good looking women and a bouncy gif.

Former Michigan Athlete of the Week: Tom Brady

Tom Brady
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was 28/44 for 317 yards and 2 touchdowns in a 23-14 victory over the San Diego Chargers.

Honorable mention: New York Jet David Harris had 9 tackles and 1 tackle for loss in a 30-24 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Jacksonville Jaguars running back Denard Robinson had 10 carries for 30 yards before suffering a foot sprain that will cause him to miss the final three games of the season; the Jaguars lost to the Houston Texas, 27-13. Oakland Raider Charles Woodson made 8 tackles, 1 interception, and 1 pass breakup in a 24-13 win over Jim Harbaugh's San Francisco 49ers.

Poll results: Who will be the next head coach at Michigan?

Jim Harbaugh
Michigan fans are buying the hype - almost 50% of them think Jim Harbaugh will be the next Michigan head coach. Greg Schiano is ranked too high at 2%, though, people.

Jim Harbaugh: 47%

Other: 41%

Les Miles: 8%

Greg Schiano: 2%

Recruiting Update: December 12, 2014

Chesapeake (VA) Oscar Smith defensive end Josh Sweat
Long Beach (CA) Poly cornerback Colin Samuel committed to UCLA. Samuel was offered late in the season as a reaction to Michigan's losses of Shaun Crawford (Notre Dame) and Garrett Taylor (Penn State) from the 2015 class. He is a teammate of 5-star cornerback Iman Marshall, who is expected to sign with USC.

Chesapeake (VA) Oscar Smith defensive end Josh Sweat committed to Florida State. Sweat is an extremely impressive athlete who unfortunately tore his ACL early in his senior season, but he's still the #1 overall player to 247 Sports and the #6 player in the 247 Composite rankings. Florida State has three Michigan-offered defensive ends in the 2015 and 2016 classes, including Sweat and 2016s Josh Brown and Janarius Robinson.

Lawrenceville (GA) Central Gwinnett linebacker Adonis Thomas committed to Alabama. Thomas had originally committed to Florida, but he decommitted in late October as their season spiraled downward.

Detroit (MI) Cass Tech running back Mike Weber committed to Ohio State. Weber had originally committed to Michigan, but he announced his decommitment during the Wolverines' loss to Maryland in late November.

Rivals updated their rankings for 2015 (top 100, top 250) and 2016 (top 100, top 250) over the past couple weeks.

Over on Recruiting Season, I posted profiles for Orchard Lake St. Mary's OG Cameron Kolwich, Grand Rapids West Catholic TE Bryce Witham, and Warren De La Salle RB Allen Stritzinger. There are also several updated profiles with new offers and highlight videos.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

EDSBS: A Quick Glossary About That Ongoing Coaching Search

Spencer Hall goes through the terms that we've already heard 100 times in the week and a half since Michigan fired Brady Hoke (LINK).

Hit the jump for a good looking model named Elly Tran.

Coaching Candidate: Bret Bielema

Bret Bielema
Bret Bielema
Current position: Arkansas Razorbacks head coach
Salary: $2,950,000 per year
Head coaching experience: 9-15 at Arkansas Razorbacks (2013-2014), 68-24 at Wisconsin Badgers (2006-2012), 77-39 overall
History: Bielema grew up in Illinois and got a scholarship to Iowa as a defensive tackle. After a short playing stint in the Arena Football League, he latched on at Iowa as a graduate assistant and then the linebackers coach from 1996-2001. Kansas State hired him away as a co-defensive coordinator in 2002-2003, and then he was hired by Wisconsin head coach Barry Alvarez as the defensive coordinator for 2004 and 2005. After Alvarez retired from coaching, he handed over the reins to Bielema. The Badgers continued their string of highly productive running backs, starting with P.J. Hill (1,161+ yards from 2006-2008), John Clay (1,012+ yards from 2009-2010), and Montee Ball (1,830+ yards in 2011-2012). Bielema and Wisconsin had developed a reputation for producing big-time running backs and big-time offensive linemen. In a bit of a surprising move, he took the head coaching job at Arkansas after the 2012 season. The Razorbacks won their first three games of 2013 but then lost nine straight to end the year, and they are 6-6 so far this year with a bowl game against Texas pending. Meanwhile, his teams' rushing prowess has continued with two 900+ yards rushers in 2013 and two 1,000+ yard rushers this season.
My thoughts: I hate Bret Bielema. "Hate" is a strong word, because he's not a criminal or anything. But as far as coaches go, he's a notch below the likes of Bobby Petrino and Mark Dantonio in my book. Bielema is pompous and a little bit slimy, and he comes off like a meathead. All that aside, he appears to be a pretty darn good football coach. His offensive lines have typically been excellent, and his running backs have been outstanding (at least in college); his quarterbacks have been game managers, and his defenses have been solid (#24 in total defense in 2014, #15 his last year at Wisconsin). It's hard to argue with his success at Wisconsin, and his current Razorbacks program is headed in the right direction. Michigan is built like a Bret Bielema team - there are highly touted offensive linemen used to a pro-style offense, there are between-the-tackles runners in the stable, and there are pocket-style quarterbacks who should be able to manage games if the running component can improve. At the same time, a move from Arkansas to Michigan after only two years would indicate some instability and make me wonder what his long-term goals would be. Would a successful run in Ann Arbor lead to a jump to, say, Alabama or USC or possibly the NFL?
Likelihood of coming to Michigan: Between the lines, Bielema seems like a great fit at Michigan. His current salary is not steep enough to ward off the Wolverines. His personality might not exactly fit, but he's familiar with the Big Ten and surely recognizes the traditions, rivalries, etc. Arkansas is a step ahead of Michigan when it comes to their current programs, but he has to understand that Michigan's ceiling is significantly higher. However, unless he views Michigan as a dream job, it would be hard to jump at this point. I do think Bielema should be on Jim Hackett's list of potential candidates, and probably higher than just about any other reasonable option.

My wish list (updated):
1. Jim Harbaugh
2. Bob Stoops
3. Bret Bielema
4. Dan Mullen
5. Tom Herman
6. Jim Mora, Jr.
7. Les Miles
8. Greg Schiano
9. Pat Narduzzi
10. Mike Shanahan
11. Steve Addazio

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Detroit News: Michigan contacted Miles' agent, did not offer Cutcliffe

Here's an Angelique Chengelis update on the coaching search (LINK).

Hit the jump for a few good looking girls and one using a jackhammer.

School in the News: Wisconsin

Antonio Williams (image via
Well, head coach Gary Andersen pulled a shocker this evening when it was announced that he was leaving Wisconsin for the ripe football program at . . . Oregon State? In the world of rodents, I guess Beavers are cooler than Badgers.

I didn't care much when Oregon State lost Mike Riley to Nebraska, because Michigan doesn't compete with the Beavers for recruits very often. But Wisconsin and Michigan do cross paths quite a bit on the recruiting trail. In fact, class of 2016 running back Antonio Williams - who had developed a good relationship with Michigan assistant coach Roy Manning - just committed to the Badgers last week. So depending on the hire in Madison goes, Michigan might be able to get back in the equation if they make a good hire in Ann Arbor.

2015 commits with Michigan offers: None
2016 commits with Michigan offers: RB Antonio Williams
Roster players recruited by Michigan (with 2015 eligibility): OL Ray Ball (5th), LB Vince Biegel (RS Jr.), RB Corey Clement (Jr.), RB Melvin Gordon (5th), QB Tanner McEvoy (5th), DE Conor Sheehy (So.), OL Dan Voltz (RS Jr.), Robert Wheelwright (Jr.)

I wouldn't expect anything to come out of this for Michigan as far as transfers, but the coaching change may have a slight effect. There's no doubt that Wisconsin would want a run-heavy coach to fit their personnel since they've been having quite a bit of success, so someone like former Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst (now the head coach at Pitt) makes sense.

Coaching Candidate: Steve Addazio

Steve Addazio
Steve Addazio
Current position: Boston College head coach
Head coaching experience: 14-11 at Boston College (2013-present), 13-11 at Temple (2011-2012), 27-24 overall
History: Addazio was born in Connecticut and played football at Central Connecticut. After some time coaching at a small college and in high school, he got a job with Syracuse in 1995. He then worked at Notre Dame under Bob Davie, Indiana under Gerry DiNardo, and Florida under Urban Meyer, all coaching the offensive line (and occasionally tight ends) through 2008. When Florida offensive coordinator Dan Mullen left to take the head coaching job at Mississippi State, Addazio was promoted to his spot. The Gators went 21-6 in Addazio's two years as offensive coordinator, where he worked with Tim Tebow in 2009 and John Brantley in 2010. Tebow was spectacular, while Brantley threw 9 touchdowns and 10 picks. When Urban Meyer "retired" after the 2010 season, Addazio took the head coaching job at Temple. The Owls went 9-4 in the MAC that first year, ranking #1 in the conference in total defense and #7 in offense. When Temple moved to the Big East in 2012, they were last in defense and second-worst in offense on the way to a 4-7 record. Somehow that earned him a promotion to Boston College. His first team saw running back Andre Williams rush for 2,177 yards, but they still finished #11 in the ACC in offense and #14 in total defense. That defense jumped to #3 in the conference in 2014, but the Eagles were still #10 in defense. Senior quarterback Tyler Murphy eked out 1,000 yards rushing on the ground to lead the team, while freshman running back Jon Hilliman managed just 3.83 yards/carry. Both seasons in Boston College have resulted in 7 wins (with a chance to get to 8 this year).
My thoughts: I am thoroughly unimpressed with Addazio's resume. Addazio's teams are wildly inconsistent, and the individual successes - Tim Tebow in 2009, Andre Williams in 2013, Tyler Murphy in 2014 - are odd and unreliable, too. Aside from Tebow that first year, the quarterback play has been subpar with his guys totaling 61 touchdowns and 40 interceptions. From what I gather, Addazio is an upstanding guy whose personality would fit in very well with what Michigan wants. That's the scary part. His record is slightly above .500, which is frighteningly close to Brady Hoke's 47-50 job before arriving in Ann Arbor. Unfortunately, that comes without the ingrained affinity for the Wolverines and the upward trajectory that Hoke's Ball State and San Diego State's teams had. This would be an underwhelming hire, and recruiting would suffer, particularly in the short term.
Likelihood of coming to Michigan: Addazio is getting too many mentions in the media and the Michigan blogosphere to ignore. Likely because of his cultural fit and desire to run the ball, he seems to be on the list. I would assume that athletic director Jim Hackett realizes how disappointing this hire would be, so Addazio seems like an emergency possibility in case Harbaugh, Stoops, Miles, and probably others fall through. Regardless, his name terrifies me and would seem to assure mediocrity for Michigan.

My wish list:
1. Jim Harbaugh
2. Bob Stoops
3. Dan Mullen
4. Jim Mora, Jr.
5. Les Miles
6. Greg Schiano
7. Tom Herman
8. Pat Narduzzi
9. Mike Shanahan
10. Steve Addazio

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

MLive: Only Jim Harbaugh can bring clarity to Michigan's coaching situation

Check out Nick Baumgardner's column on the coaching search (LINK).

Hit the link for some good looking girls, including a gif of a girl walking down some steps.

Devin Funchess declared for the NFL Draft

This was Devin Funchess's one impressive game in 2014
Michigan tight end/wide receiver Devin Funchess declared for the NFL Draft on Tuesday afternoon. Coincidentally, this morning I left him out of a projected 2015 depth chart (LINK) because I figured he would be out of the picture. The 6'5", 230 lb. true junior led the Wolverines this season with 62 catches for 733 yards and 4 touchdowns playing wide receiver full-time. He was voted Second Team All-Big Ten this year by conference coaches.

As a sophomore in 2013, he split time between tight end and wide receiver, ending the year with 47 catches for 727 yards and 6 touchdowns. He thought that was good enough to warrant asking for the #1 jersey, which is kinda sorta given to players who will honor the jersey with their leadership and play on the field; Brady Hoke agreed to give it to him prior to the 2014 season.

Aside from an outstanding performance in the 2014 season opener against Appalachian State (3 touchdown receptions), Funchess was mostly a disappointment. His production slipped because of a mediocre offensive line and a struggling quarterback, but also because Funchess looked like he was going about 75% for most of the season. After spraining an ankle against Notre Dame in week two, he missed the next game against Miami. I've suspected for a while that he didn't want to go 100% because he was saving himself for the draft, and that's exactly what appears to have occurred. Funchess had numerous dropped passes, would not risk his body to make anything other than routine catches, and rarely attempted to break tackles despite being about 6" taller and 35-40 lbs. heavier than most defensive backs trying to bring him down.

At one point Funchess was projected to be a 1st round pick, and he still might be. His size and speed are tantalizing. I recently saw him projected as a #26 overall pick. The Detroit Lions took a similar player in the 1st round in 2014, Eric Ebron out of North Carolina. I would hope that NFL scouts and coaches look at Funchess's inconsistency and lack of effort in 2014 as a warning sign, but you never know.

I cannot say that I wish Funchess professional success beyond college. I am indifferent to his success. He was moved away from tight end because he was unwilling to block, and he took the #1 jersey physically but not in spirit. Head coach Brady Hoke stated that he didn't name captains until the end of 2014 because he thought the 2013 squad had too much of a sense of entitlement, but entitlement seemed apparent in Funchess. Maybe that's a product of the leadership Hoke mentioned from last year. Regardless, I have very little respect for players who don't put forth maximum effort, especially on such a regular basis.

Rivals 250 for 2016 updated

Dele' Harding is the #215 recruit in the country (image via
Rivals updated their list of top 250 prospects for 2016 (LINK). Here's what it looked like in July (LINK). They updated the top 100 yesterday (LINK). Movement for Michigan commits:

- Dele' Harding dropped from #186 to #215
- Messiah DeWeaver dropped from #210 to #219

Here's the full list of Michigan's offerees from #101 to #250:

104. Theo Howard - WR - California
106. Damar Hamlin - CB - Pennsylvania
108. Elijah Holyfield - RB - Georgia
112. Cameron Chambers - WR - New Jersey
113. Darrian Franklin - LB - California
125. Joseph Jackson - DE - Florida
126. J.P. Urquidez - OT - Maryland
130. Josh Imatorbhebhe - WR - Georgia
132. Binjimen Victor - WR - Florida
151. Shaquille Quarterman - LB - Florida (Miami)
152. Brad Hawkins, Jr. - WR - New Jersey
154. Justin Layne - WR - Ohio
164. Luke Farrell - TE - Ohio
170. Michael Onwenu - DT - Michigan
177. Austin Mack - WR - Indiana
185. Antonio Williams - RB - North Carolina (Wisconsin)
186. Kaden Smith - TE - Texas
187. Clark Yarbrough - OT - Virginia
188. Auston Robertson - DE - Indiana
193. Kentrail Moran - RB - Illinois
215. Dele' Harding - LB - Maryland (Michigan)
219. Messiah DeWeaver - QB - Ohio (Michigan)
225. Jordan Woods - DE - Florida
232. Michael Jordan - OT - Michigan
243. Lavert Hill - CB - Michigan

2014 Football Team Award Winners

Jake Ryan
Michigan held its annual Football Bust on Monday evening, and here are the award winners from the event:

Bo Schembechler Team MVP: Jake Ryan, LB (5th)

Captains: Jake Ryan, LB (5th) and Devin Gardner, QB (5th)

Hugh J. Rader, Jr. Award (best lineman): Jack Miller, OC (RS Jr.)

Dick Katcher Award (best defensive end/outside linebacker): Brennen Beyer, DE (Sr.)

Roger Zatkoff Award (best linebacker): Jake Ryan, LB (5th)

Robert P. Ufer Award (senior who demonstrates love and enthusiasm for the program): Brennen Beyer, DE (Sr.)

Dr Arthur Robinson Scholarship Award (senior scholar): Joey Burzynski, OG (5th)

I don't think any of these awards would surprise anyone except perhaps the Rader Award. Miller took a lot of heat during the 2013 season for his performance, and he was eventually replaced by Graham Glasgow last year. But he turned into a solid lineman in 2014, which I think is simply proof that experience is key on the offensive line. Michigan improved with two new starters at the offensive tackles, and the interior included two redshirt juniors and a redshirt sophomore. Assuming all five players return in 2015, Michigan will be starting (from left to right) a sophomore, a fifth year senior, a fifth year senior, a redshirt junior, and a redshirt junior. The 2016 season could see a junior, a redshirt senior (Erik Magnuson?), a redshirt junior (Patrick Kugler?), a redshirt senior, and a redshirt senior. Michigan is on its way to having some age and experience across the offensive line once again.

Coaching Candidate: Jim Mora, Jr.

Jim Mora, Jr.
Jim Mora, Jr.
Age: 53
Current position: UCLA head coach
Salary: $1,935,000 per year
Head coaching experience: 28-11 at UCLA (2012-2014), 5-11 at Seattle Seahawks (2009), 26-22 at Atlanta Falcons (2004-2006), 59-44 overall
History: Mora is the son of former NFL head coach Jim Mora. Mora, Jr. lived in California as a kid and attended high school in Washington, where his dad was an assistant with the Washington Huskies and the Seattle Seahawks. After graduating high school, Mora, Jr. walked on at Washington and played linebacker/safety. He became a graduate assistant at Washington before moving to the San Diego Chargers as a quality control guy and defensive backs coach, eventually coaching DB's for the New Orleans Saints (under his dad) and the San Francisco 49ers. He became defensive coordinator of the 49ers in 1999, and he did well enough to be hired as the Atlanta Falcons' head coach in 2004, where he was under scrutiny for his tutelage of Michael Vick. Fired after a 7-9 season in 2006, he worked under Mike Holmgren in Seattle as the defensive backs coach and associate head coach. He was promoted to head coach in 2009 but was fired after a 5-11 season. Mora, Jr. worked for the NFL Network and Fox Sports before taking the had job at UCLA prior to the 2012 season. He took a program that had been 21-29 in the previous four seasons under Rick Neuheisel, and has since won 9, 10, and 9 games. Mora, Jr. has shown a willingness to adapt with a shotgun/pistol spread offense, a mobile quarterback in Brett Hundley, and a guy who doubles as a linebacker and running back (Myles Jack).
My thoughts: Mora holds some clout as a coach because of his NFL work and how quickly he turned around UCLA, and he has been a good recruiter there. Neuheisel's final full class in 2011 was ranked #45 by Rivals, and since that point, Mora's classes have been ranked #8(tie) in 2013, #18 in 2014, and currently #16 in 2015. Mora's offenses have been pretty good, but his defenses have been mediocre each season. I like that he's willing to think outside the box (it's not often that linebackers also play running back) and adapt to the college game with the pistol, and he's young enough to connect with players without seeming like an out-of-touch old fogey. However, Mora has no ties to the midwest and would be playing from behind in terms of recruiting. He has recruited the west well, but he has just a few recruiting successes in the northeast quadrant of the country (1 from New Jersey, 1 from Indiana, 1 from Delaware). Any connections in Big Ten country would have to come from his assistants.
Likelihood of coming to Michigan: Supposedly, Mora is the one who has reached out to Michigan through some back channels. It could be an effort by his agent to squeeze some extra money out of UCLA, because it would be odd for a West Coast guy (who grew up in California and Washington, who has worked in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and Seattle) to want to suddenly move to the Mitten. It seems to me that the only legitimate desire to move might come from the belief that he will be playing from behind against USC and Oregon, a notion that I find hard to believe when Michigan is in direct competition with Ohio State, Michigan State, and Wisconsin for recruits and conference dominance. Unless there's some sort of inner turmoil going on within the athletic department at UCLA, this would be an odd move.

My wish list:
1. Jim Harbaugh
2. Bob Stoops
3. Dan Mullen
4. Jim Mora, Jr.
5. Les Miles
6. Greg Schiano
7. Tom Herman
8. Pat Narduzzi
9. Mike Shanahan