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Tuesday Morning Brews: Cereal, Sugar, and Pigskin

On the eve of Wisconsin-USC, and two days away from the semifinals, it still feels like the middle of Christmas.

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Hitting the Links Likes The Kitchen

Michigan Has Plans To Extend Jedd Fisch's Contract

This is great; Michigan had a string of wide receiver coaches for a while who were better recruiters than they were coaches. Jedd Fisch is in the opposite direction of that.

Brian Cole Settling In At Safety; Peppers' Hand In Splint

This hasn't been talked about much, but Brian Cole's move to safety was a brilliant touch by Jim Harbaugh, assuming that some of the rumors are true that Cole needed motivation. (I never got around to mentioning this, but when I looked back at Brian Cole's Hudl highlights, effort did seem to be a recurring problem.) Safety is less glamorous, requires more focus and information, and sinks a player into an uphill, team-based mentality. And, if Cole sticks at that position, he could be one of the most athletic safeties in America.

Devin Bush Is Eager To Contribute EarlyOthers, Too

A lot of offensive players, and a lot of great players, will be making their way to Ann Arbor this January. Between the hype for Kareem Walker and Brandon Peters, Ahmir Mitchell is another someone who's started to sneak under the radar for a bit. But then, it's hard to point to anyone in this class who's not a program-changing talent.

The Motivations of Cameron Dillard

One of Florida's starting offensive linemen grew up in Michigan and has a little extra motivation to play well - proving he was worth a scholarship offer.

Rutgers Adds Aaron Henry As DB CoachZak Kuhr At WR Coach

Ash wants a "young, energetic, hungry staff." He's about to get stuck with a group that has almost no experience. Is the youth and energy really going to be his recipe for success? Will they be working 18-hour days instead of the usual 16-hour days that coaches work? 20-hour days, maybe? Sometimes it's better to know how to be successful than it is to be energetic. That's where experience comes in handy. I have a bad feeling that this new approach by Ash is not going to work.

Illinois Adds Paul Williams As DB CoachTim McGarigle For LBs

Solid again by Cubit. The addition of Paul Williams is particularly valuable for developing recruiting ties to Florida.

Purdue Adds Tim Lester As QB Coach

It's tough for Purdue to make bold additions when Darrell Hazell is on the hot seat. Lester seems like a pretty good addition, but he'll have a challenging position group to work with.

Northwestern's Coaches Grades

I had not heard about the hashtag #WTFitz, for people who are upset with Pat Fitzgerald. But it's hilarious.

Draft Departures: Jordan HowardMaliek Collins

Best of luck to both young men. They'll get paid handsomely, that's for sure.

Minnesota 21, CMU 14: Quick ThoughtsWhat It Means

Three 5-7 teams were invited to bowl games. All three won their bowl games.

Eight Things We Learned From Duke-IndianaIs IU Close?

When people start making ranking the Big Ten East for next season, IU will probably be toward the bottom. But this team is an interesting case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and if the defensive coaches are able to install some more schematic knowledge during the off-season, this team's athleticism could start winning some of the games it was competitive in this year.

But, getting away from hypotheticals: Thomas Sirk, Jela Duncan, and Shaun Watson all had 100 yards and at least 7.8 yards a carry against Indiana three days ago. It's not a good day for your defense when one runner can do that; three and you're not going to win a lot of games. It's too bad, because outside of the run game and one kick return touchdown, IU played really well - including their pass defense. But that's four touchdowns' worth of 'but's to be excused from.

Report Card: Nebraska-UCLA

Don't bet against running and run defense. Nebraska has to figure something out at linebacker, though, especially now with Collins not protecting the middle.

Ohio State Missing Two DTs, But Are Unconcerned

Combined with the issues Ohio State is likely to have covering Notre Dame's stable of excellent receivers, this could be a long, long day for the Ohio State defense. Brian Kelly, though, was effusive in his praise for their opponent:

Buckeyes Discuss Notre Dame's 'Cleanup Hitter,' Will Fuller

Fuller is a lot of fun to watch. Here's a recent compilation of highlights.

No Rose Bowl For Jake Duzey

When Duzey was on, he was great. But there's no doubt that his was an unfulfilled career. Blocking ability kept him on the sideline, in part; Kirk Ferentz also had a reputation for a while of going with reliable, sturdy types over more electric play-makers. The Troy, Michigan native ends up with 678 career yards.

Tommy Armstrong RunStanley Morgan Catch

There were a lot of good plays against UCLA's defense, but this first run is gritty, valiant work by Tommy. As for the catch, what more can I say about Nebraska's receivers. Morgan is a true freshman, and hasn't even begun to make an impact yet.

Inside Michigan State's S&C Program

This is a great article; the kind of one I'm fascinated by, because this is a big part of college football success and doesn't get much attention.

Also, Nick Saban was hired by MSU on December 3rd, 1994. Nick hired Ken Mannie five days later, and 21 years and a few weeks after that, Mannie is still in East Lansing, doing the right stuff and preparing his team for Alabama.

Details About Zeke's Off-The-Field Situation

No comment (and no comment needed).

Corey Clement Reflects On A Rough 2015

On the field, Wisconsin needed Clement this year. Off the field, in what he could do to train Wisconsin's younger backs, Clement will be more important next year as Dare Ogunbowale and Taiwan Deal continue to hone the finer parts of their game. Dare showed some really nice flashes this year, so did Taiwan Deal, and Wisconsin moved linebacker Alec Ingold over to running back to give some more reliability in the red zone. But in the Badgers' three losses - 35-17 to Alabama, 10-6 to Iowa, and 13-7 to Northwestern - Wisconsin rushed for 100 yards on 81 carries. That will need to get better going forward.

Man On A Mission: The Story of Matt Harris

A quote I heard on HBO's Ballers rang true and stayed with me: football can help make people whole. At its best, there's no better therapy.

Great Throw By LeidnerBig Gain By Rodney Smith

Shannon Brooks had some great runs, too, but this Rodney Smith gain was my favorite.

Nate Sudfeld Touchdown

There were bigger plays - there always are, when Sudfeld is involved - but this was a gorgeous three-yard lob from the Indiana senior. That kind of timing and accuracy is rare, and gorgeous to watch.

Update on Dwayne Haskins: Still Committed

D.J. Durkin has basically had to re-recruit Dwayne Haskins, who's the centerpiece of Maryland's recruiting class - a class that's done pretty well at grabbing in-state talent. Durkin has gotten one commitment during his short time at College Park - four-star offensive lineman Richard Merritt, who is out of the D.C. area. But Durkin is busy turning over a lot of stones, most recently with South Carolina commit Javon Kinlaw, who will now be looking closely at Maryland. Durkin has a chance to put a dent in some other recruiting classes before February rolls around.

B5Q Q&A: Talking USC | A Chance To Validate Wisconsin's Defense

Both teams might be wise to run the ball a lot - Wisconsin doesn't have the athleticism outside, and USC's offensive line might have a hard time protecting Cody Kessler.

Northwestern Beats Tennessee - At Bowling

Yeah, actual bowling, not the cereal or the football kind. Between this and Clayton Thorson's funny interviews, Northwestern has been putting out a lot of social media-friendly stuff lately.