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Thursday Morning Brews: Building A Calling Card

A few thoughts about Michigan's quarterbacks, smack talk with a Pro Bowl wide receiver, and hosting Art Briles.

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports


I'll keep this one simple. Dylan McCaffrey's commitment this week got me thinking; Michigan is quickly stacking up talent at quarterback, comparable in fact to what Ohio State has boasted the last few years. And something about it seemed cathartic.

The Last Time That A Big Ten Team Had A 3,000-Yard Passer
Passing Yards TD Ratio Comp. % Leading Receiver
2015 Michigan Jake Rudock 3,017 20/9 64.0% Jehu Chesson, 764 yards
2015 Nebraska Tommy Armstrong, Jr. 3,030 22/16 55.2% Jordan Westerkamp, 918
2015 Michigan State Connor Cook 3,131 24/7 56.1% Aaron Burbridge, 1,258
2015 Indiana Nate Sudfeld 3,573 27/7 60.0% Simmie Cobbs, Jr., 1,035
2013 Illinois Nathan Scheelhaase 3,272 21/13 66.7% Steve Hull, 993
2012 Penn State Matt McGloin 3,271 24/5 60.5% Allen Robinson, 1,018
2011 Wisconsin Russell Wilson 3,175 33/4 72.8% Jared Abbrederis, 933
2011 Iowa James Vandenberg 3,022 25/7 58.7% Marvin McNutt, 1,315
2009 Northwestern Mike Kafka 3,430 16/12 64.8% Andrew Brewer, 925
2009 Purdue Joey Elliott 3,026 22/13 61.7% Keith Smith, 1,100
1998 Ohio State Joe Germaine 3,330 25/7 59.9% David Boston, 1,435

Minnesota has never had a 3,000-yard passer in its program's history. Maryland has had two individual 3,000-yard seasons, in 1992 and 1993, while Rutgers has had three - '04, '07, and '08.

Look at the discrepancy between Michigan and Ohio State. In some ways, it's misleading - Michigan has only had two 3,000-yard seasons ever, in 2003 (John Navarre) and this past season. But long before the game saw 400-yard passing games come and go every week, guys like Jim Harbaugh and Elvis Grbac set the standard for efficiency and deadliness within a pro-style offense.

Ohio State has also had a pair of 3,000-yard individual seasons - 1995 and 1998, by Bobby Hoying and Joe Germaine. It has since gone the way of spread quarterbacks, guys like Terrelle Pryor, Braxton Miller, and Troy Smith. Few would see this as a weakness, but Jim Harbaugh specializes in turning opponents' strengths upside down. Thanks to more athletic wide receivers, a passing game led by Jedd Fisch, and a group of quarterbacks that are all learning from and challenging each other - Michigan is finding its calling card again. It's about to find it in a big way, and add plenty more layers to that legacy - from statistics to awards and everything else in between.

Hitting the Links Is A Novice With Coconuts

Art Briles Will Be Guest Speaker At Michigan's Camp

Briles joins John Harbaugh and Baltimore's entire staff, Frank Beamer, Mike Martz, Teryl Austin, and several high-profile high school coaches - including Joe Bolden's uncle, Tom Bolden, the head coach of St. Thomas Aquinas in Florida, Roger Harriott, the high school coach of Eddie McDoom, Bob Head, the high school coach of David Long, Marvin Sanders, and the head coach of IMG Academy, Kevin Wright. It's going to be a good show.

There are few coaches in the game that I respect - on the field - as much as Briles. He's a real cold fish, but the Baylor rosters that he's put together consistently form one of the best all-around teams in the country. I'm sure Harbaugh will enjoy talking some details with him, along with all the other names mentioned.

Allen Robinson vs. Channing Stribling

Two competitive guys going at it, one of whom has a weirdly long memory. Besides the tattoo, which is a little bizarre, this kind of smack talk happens on the field all the time. Corners are trained to forget about it and go to the next play. Receivers bring a little more diva to the party. Whatever works.

Ohio State Looking Into Another Satellite Camp

We'll see if satellite camps are allowed this summer; there should be a decision in April about it. In the meantime, Michigan has some company in their Southern invasion.

Josh Whitman Is Illinois' New AD | Finally, Stability | Five Requests

Congratulations to Illinois, and hopefully this makes them more competitive in the coming years.

Finding The Replacement For Darron Lee

Speaking of Lee, here is a good highlight video of him that I enjoyed. Song: "Go Harder," Future.

Five Big Questions For Northwestern

Northwestern has some great talent filtering through the program. They might not win 10 games again next year, but they should remain a contender in the West. It does feel like they're still peaking.

Talking Penn State, Recruiting, And A New Year 1

This goes into a whole bunch of detail about the program, with information I had no idea about - like assistants needing special background checks because of recent Pennsylvania laws that were passed as a result of Penn State's scandal a few years ago.

The Most Important Off-Season Of J.T. Barrett's Career

The impact Barrett could have on that offense - and as a leader of the entire team - worries me more than the impact that Greg Schiano could have on the defense. Maybe that turns out to be insane. We'll see.

Raekwon McMillan's Areas For Improvement

I've said this before (and I'll retire it after this), but McMillan's growth will be a key storyline of 2016 - I could easily see him turn in an All-American season if he checks off the things on this list. Absolute physical freak.

Ranking Every Team's Best Linebacking Corps In 2016

A surprisingly meaty article by Off Tackle Empire. And, true to form, they're not very fond of Michigan. Hidden towards the bottom was a good burn by an Illinois fan against their athletic department - having this to say about Illinois' linebacker situation: "I'm gonna be a good fan and do exactly what the university's interim administration wants me to do, and that's stop caring." Ouch.

John Navarre Touchdown

If you didn't click the Navarre link up top, at least check out this trick play.

Big Ten Tops SEC In 2015 Viewership

Not surprising, but still of note as Jim Delany renegotiates the Big Ten's television contracts this spring.