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Tuesday Morning Brews: Brotherhood & Optimism

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PSA: Stop trying to make Michigan-Rutgers a rivalry. It's not going to be a rivalry.

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Hitting the Links Congratulates James Conner

Michigan Given Second-Best Odds To Win 2016 Title

We really are going to be the villains this year, aren't we. It won't help that we'll play with an old-fashioned, ground-and-pound attack that people don't like to watch, and the 'easy schedule' we're reputed to have will cause a lot of fans to discredit any early success. There's going to be a lot of mud.

The 16 Most Irreplaceable Players In College Football

Coming in at #16? Michigan's very own De'Veon Smith.

Michigan Ranked Fifth-Toughest Home Crowd In The Conference

Michigan did have a reputation for a while of being an older, quieter crowd, but from what I've heard this has started to change more recently - more kids, younger people.

Athlon Sports: Reasons U-M Will/Won't Exceed Expectations

After last year, I'd be lying if I said the linebackers didn't still worry me a little bit. Athlon also has a 2016 preview up for Michigan, but that's more of a rehash and a lighter recommendation.

Inside The Raw Talent Football Camp

This camp, which will be taking place on June 8th in Ohio, will feature both Michigan and Ohio State, among others.

Michigan State Offers Eighth-Grader

I'm actually a little bit late on this, since apparently the Spartans offered him last week. Still, let's talk about Jesus Machado for a minute, because he's getting famous. The linebacker prospect out of Florida has offers from Alabama, MSU, Miami, and West Virginia, among others. Why are they offering him? Well, the 2020 prospect (!) has the kind of speed on film that makes it almost make sense to offer the guy, but really they're trying to make an early impression. It might seem ridiculous, and it definitely is, but sometimes that's what works for recruiters.

Also, I hereby make a prediction that Machado will end up committing to Kansas, and he will lead the Jayhawks to four straight national championships from 2020-23. Anything's possible.

Northwestern Running Backs' Bond Propels Them Forward

It's a big help when there's leadership by example, and genuine support, from the people at the top of the food chain. Justin Jackson provides them that, on top of the 4.7 career yards a carry.

Optimism For Rutgers' Defensive Line?

They did look very solid in the spring game, which was probably issue #1 on my personal list with Rutgers. Quarterback, offensive line, and linebacker will be critical areas to address as well, but a good defensive line ensures this won't be a nightmare season.

D.J. Durkin Recruiting Better Than Other New Coaches

The five-star commit is immediately noticeable, sure. But I'm excited to parse through this class and see what Durkin does with the quote-unquote "bottom part of the class," because I'm willing to bet he can find some diamonds in the rough. DMV kids, Florida, maybe Australia. He's not quite Harbaugh, but he'll be fascinating to watch nonetheless.

Comparing Ohio State's OL To Alabama

Ohio State has definitely gone with an "ironman" approach at OL, with a starting five that is very good and that they sometimes need to always stay on the field. That looks to be the case again for the Buckeyes this year.

Lack of 2017 QB Talent Could Lead To Early Departure For J.T.

Meanwhile, here's a piece on OSU's quarterback. Not only is the talent a little underwhelming (though that could change after the 2016 season is through), the NFL deeply, desperately wants quarterback talent. Barrett's a smart, heady guy who would do well there.

Ra'Zahn Howard To Transfer From Purdue

Depth at defensive tackle will be a big issue for Purdue going forward, which is about the last thing they needed.

No Big Ten On ESPN Would Take Getting Used To

A well-written piece of some well-tread ground.

Indiana paid a little less than a million dollars for some new turf, which should last for around a decade. Meanwhile, Purdue is starting construction on some $65 million upgrades.

Encouraging Fans To Tweet At Croots?

To be fair, I'm not entirely sure that Mike Riley knows all the little rules of the Internet. This one is job-relevant, though, and I'm sure he's up to date on it now.