Michigan linebacker Kaleb Ringer, offensive lineman Chris Bryant out for season - Injuries. They happen. Let's hope they happen with less frequency starting now.
What to expect: Offensive Line, Tight Ends 2012 - Chris takes a look at the line and says the same thing pretty much all of us have said, "the starting five is great but oh my god, is it legal to have that many freshmen in the two deep?" -- not a direct quote, but you get the idea.
Yes, four of the offensive line backups are true freshmen. Yes, the rest of the are unheralded recruits without much on-field experience. Yes, I am also terrified. The good news is, most of the true freshmen are highly touted recruits that come in around the field-ready size. Barring an injury to one of Michigan's starting tackles, the team should be able to (relatively) hide any of these guys on the inside. If Lewan or Schofield should go down for any significant time this year, Kyle Kalis will likely be the first off the bench at either tackle position. The rest will pick up time during blowouts early in the year as the coaching staff looks to solidify each position.
True freshman speedster Dennis Norfleet a leading candidate at kick return for Michigan football - Recent rule changes may make this irrelevant, but I like the move. Norfleet seems like the kind of guy that could give Michigan a strong return presence for the first time since Steve Breaston.
Dienhart: My thoughts from Michigan practice - Tom Dienhart took in a Michigan practice and has some interesting observations that I haven't heard elsewhere (Quinton Washington starting whaaa?). Some solid freshman hype in there. Let's hope it shows up on the field.
Opponent Breakdown - Alabama Offense Part 1 - Tremendous ups its game with a great Xs and Os preview of the Crimson Tide offense.
2012 Season Countdown: #7 William Campbell - Magnus slots Will "the big enigma" Campbell at number seven and, like the rest of us, is all like throwin' his hands up saying, "I just don't know, man." However, he touches on something interesting:
I still don't really agree with the deployment of Campbell, who would be tough to block for just about any offensive guard one-on-one. As a nose tackle who struggles to stay low, he's typically playing against centers (who are shorter and almost always use good leverage) and guards (who are sometimes shorter and often use good leverage). There were plays last season when Campbell destroyed single blocks, and there were plays where he got washed out of the action by double-teams.
With news coming out from Hoke's recent press conference that Campbell has been getting time at the 3-tech with Pipkins inside at the NT, Michigan could be edging closer not only to a beefier lineup inside, but toward using Campbell in a more natural role. If nothing else, it is a different look -- of which Michigan will probably need a few this year.
Over/Under: Picking 2012 Big Ten Win Totals - BHGP on your Michigan bet:
MICHIGAN -- 9 WINS (+170/-220) Michigan's ability to hit the over on this bet comes down to five games: the neutral site opener against Alabama, road games at Notre Dame, Nebraska, and Ohio State, and a home game with Michigan State. They should win the other seven games on their slate (assuming they can reverse the hex Iowa has had over them recently), meaning they need to go 3-2 in those five games to win the bet. That looks challenging. Bama is (as always) loaded, Notre Dame, Nebraska, and Ohio State will be spoiling for revenge after losing to Michigan last year (and The Game figures to have an added edge this year, since it will effectively be Ohio State's bowl game), while Michigan State is aiming to make it five straight over their big brother. I have Michigan going 2-3 in these five games (beating Notre Dame and Michigan State, losing to the rest). PICK: PUSH
Nine wins. Sounds reasonable.
No. 11: Wisconsin - The Badgers come in just outside the top ten in Paul Myerberg's pre-season countdown.
But at Wisconsin, with the Badgers fresh off back-to-back trips to Pasadena, the changing cast of assistant coaches is met with some degree of surprise, if not outright skepticism: Wisconsin has been so good over the last three years, was so dominant over the last two years, that you’d almost expect every one of Bret Bielema’s assistants to remain in the fold until a head coaching opportunity opened up, as was the case with former coordinator Paul Chryst at Pittsburgh. While Tennessee and Wisconsin share this overhaul, the similarities end there: U.T. wants to regain some of its lost luster in the SEC; Wisconsin wants more of the same — more wins, more intimidation, more points, another Big Ten title and another shot at the Rose Bowl.
Of course this means that Michigan State is A) the highest rated Big Ten team in the countdown and B) a top ten team to Myerberg.
Prevail and Ride: 2012 College Football Season Preview - This is only not safe for work if you consider the gratuitous use of cartoon penises to be not safe for work. In that case, it is very not safe for work.
You've been warned.