Hello, all. As has become the custom, today’s edition will feature a number of clues leading to a song title. Good luck.
Hitting the Links Enjoyed “Girls’ Trip”
This will enable the team to play 21 games this year. According to the article:
One team will play a ridiculously tough 11-game national schedule that opens with a Kickoff Classic exhibition game with Florida 6A champion Carol City (Miami) and includes regular-season road games with Arizona 6A state champion Chandler, CIF Southern Section Open Division semifinalist Centennial (Corona), Utah 4A champion East (Salt Lake City) and Alabama 7A champion Hoover.
The other varsity squad will play 10 Florida 4A and 3A opponents, including 4A state semifinalist Berkeley Prep (Tampa). It will be coached on game days by IMG running backs coach Kenneth Stills.
IMG coach Kevin Wright said the split teams will allow all 120 players to get a chance to play a full varsity schedule. Neither team will compete in the state playoffs.
This was a small nugget, but one I thought was interesting. Jim Harbaugh said that some of the off-field staffing positions will be consolidated a little going forward, making a “better managed, better organized” approach.
“We’ve taken the approach of not hiring every job when somebody leaves and taken the approach of consolidating jobs where people are doing multiple jobs,” Harbaugh said Tuesday at Big Ten media day. “And I’m excited about that. I feel it can be better managed, better organized and that’s the direction we’re going.”
Then again, having Tom Gamble (or someone similarly competent and experienced) enables you to make changes like that. Michigan could end up being a haven for other NFL-type executives who are able to balance a wider range and more workload, and be fine. Harbaugh still has plenty of connections to the NFL - and his brother has even more - so there should be a steady stream of guys who would fit in Ann Arbor in some way and have their own reasons for doing so.
I don’t usually post feature columns, but then again it’s always fun to revel in Michigan State’s standing next to U-M these days. Wojo also does a good job of going through the arguments for and against U-M’s impending success.
And, not to jump back into the arrogant circle too soon - I know that ‘games aren’t played before they’re played’ and ‘rivalry games are always tough’, etc. - but this is a very different dynamic than just a few years ago and Michigan fans should be enjoying it, even as they stress about the season.
After all, it’s not like Michigan State is going to roll up a 35-6 win on the Wolverines any time soon, and the same goes for Cincinnati, Air Force, Purdue, Rutgers, and a good chunk of the other teams we’ll go up against. You couldn’t really say that a few years ago. We’re in great, great shape to win a lot of games, and it should be a lot of fun.
Fans are wondering whether it was a good idea to grab Luke Schoonmaker when he’s an under-the-radar guy, but let me say this. The recruiting services have a hard time scouting every single D-1 high school prospect in the nation, and some guys are just going to get missed. Grabbing a “three-star prospect” sounds bad (I guess?), but if you look at his film, the dude’s a train and should be a four-star prospect by the end of the cycle.
Don Brown’s crew is going to get a whole lot of sacks this year, I think, even without Taco Charlton and Chris Wormley.
...It’s going to be fun surprising the ones who don’t think we’ll get past third in the East. That hot take needs to die already.
Speaking of takes, Michigan fans have become pretty entrenched with what they’re expecting out of the QB battle. But in fairness to all three candidates, I think (and hope) this is a case where everybody’s working hard and doing a good job in practice. And whoever wins the job wins the job.
O’Korn’s gotten a lot of heat for his poor performance against Indiana, but I think things were stacked against him somewhat and it wouldn’t surprise me if he was doing a good job with Michigan’s offense in practice. (On the playing field, against strange defenses, is definitely harder, and that’s where experience comes in.) And Speight got a lot of heat too for his mistakes last year, whereas Peters hasn’t really screwed up in public yet. All of these guys are good, I truly believe that - and fall camp will help them get even better. You never know when an injury might happen and it’s good to have depth.
I think it’s just one of those things where you trust the coaches and ride through the season and hope for the best, and it’s good to have a talented group of individuals who are all potentially breakout candidates. As Anthony aptly pointed out, we’ll have to get used to always having good “what if” candidates around. A lot better than the alternative.
Will Michigan get a commitment during the BBQ?
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What’s the perfect number of varsity teams for IMG Academy to have?
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