Did something happen Sunday night? I had a quiet evening going. Sitting by the fire (fine, it was Netflix’s Fireplace for your Home), a quality book in one hand and a glass of the good stuff in the other. And then, all of a sudden, seismic shock waves originating in Houston hit my humble abode in Virginia. Twitter lit up in a way it hasn’t since...oh never mind.
Before we get to all that, though, let’s quickly recap the National Signing Day that was - just so we can get one last taste of football before our lonely eyes turn to the calendar, wondering when Spring practices start.
If you’ll all allow me a brief programming note, there is a new roundtable in the works that will cover a little bit of football but will largely focus on the Michigan sports that often get overshadowed by the football program. When it goes live sometime in the next week or so we’d appreciate your feedback (what you like, what you don’t like, what sports you’d like to see more/less of, etc.).
With that being said, let’s hit the links:
If you didn’t watch the end of the Super Bowl on Sunday night, you should find a replay and watch it. Michigan alums Tom Brady and Alan Branch added another championship ring to their fingers following what was perhaps the most exciting Super Bowl ever. Not only was it the first Super Bowl to go into overtime, but it did so in a relatively high-scoring game that featured a feverish 16 point comeback during the fourth quarter. Brady earned his fifth championship while going 43-62 (most attempts in SB history), for 466 yds and 2 TDs. Branch had 3 tackles, including a half a sack and a half tackle for loss. Brady also earned Super Bowl MVP honors for his efforts, the fifth time that a former Michigan player has done so. That’s the most of any college, with four teams having three.
Ticket information for next year’s season-opener against Florida at Jerry World was recently released. There will be a graduated release process, relying on Priority Points in order to determine when you will be eligible to buy tickets. Priority Points are the University’s way of tracking involvement with the University, such as donations, years as a season ticket holder, degrees received, etc. If there are any tickets remaining after the allotment works its way through those with Priority Points, a public sale will commence on February 27. The game is scheduled for September 2, 2017.
Women’s basketball edged the Iowa Hawkeyes late at home to improve to 19-5 (8-2) on the season. The Wolverines were down by 15 points at one point in the first half, and trailed by nine points in the fourth quarter. The Wolverines took the lead for good on a Nicole Munger layup with 20 seconds left. Kysre Gondrezick led the team with 23 points, and Hallie Thome contributed 16 points, five rebounds, and two blocks. Siera Thompson also tallied her 500th career assist. She’s only the second player in Michigan history to do so. The win propelled the Wolverines into the Top-25 for the first time this season. All of their losses thus far have been against teams that are currently ranked in the Top-15. The next game for Women’s basketball is tomorrow at Purdue. Tip is at 6 PM.
Derrick Walton is closing in on history for the Men’s basketball program. He’s only 12 rebounds and eight assists from becoming the first player in program history to tally 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, and 400 assists in a collegiate career. Despite team struggles, Walton has been putting up wonderful numbers recently. Over the last three games he’s averaging over 23 points, seven rebounds, and four assists per contest - while shooting 52.8% from the floor. The Wolverine’s next game is tonight against Michigan State. Tip is at 9 PM and the game will be on ESPN.
Jim Harbaugh's recruiting ideas anger opponents, but they're working https://t.co/lpZlz7UeZu— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) February 4, 2017
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but Jim Harbaugh is making waves in college football. From satellite camps, to climbing trees, to IMG Academy for Spring break, to Rome, Jim is no stranger to innovation. His antics often ruffle some feathers, and he’s done battle in the media, on Twitter, and at the NCAA rules conference. One thing that appears here to stay, though, is his recruiting success. After putting together a Top-10 class in his first full recruiting cycle at the helm of Michigan football, Harbaugh put together a Top-5 class for a second act. For all his irregular antics, one thing is for sure - Jim Harbaugh is finding success, and it’s unlikely to stop any time soon.
2017 S&P+ PROJECTIONS! Bama, Ohio State, and FSU lead the way, naturally, and ... sell, sell, sell on WVU. https://t.co/zWmY2RRi2n— Bill Connelly (@SBN_BillC) February 3, 2017
The 2017 pre-season S&P rankings have been released, and Michigan comes in at #10. The pre-season rankings are a function of three categories: recruiting (2 years), returning production, and recent history (5 years). The values are weighted 25%, 56%, and 19%, respectively. Michigan’s recruiting successes (#4) are offset by returning production (#13) and recent history (#17). The rest of the Top-10 consists of Alabama, OSU, FSU, LSU, Oklahoma, Clemson, USC, PSU, and Auburn. I, for one, look forward to Auburn crashing out of the Top-15 next year in what promises to be yet another installment of “rankings outlet gives non-first-tier SEC teams more credit than they deserve.”