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Thursday Morning Brews: Lost dogs

The Wolverines conference fate remains hidden

Michigan v Northwestern Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Happy Thursday, folks. Welcome to Morning Brews. We’re hurtling toward Michigan’s third matchup of the Big Ten schedule this weekend against Maryland. Like Northwestern, Maryland is coming off a bye week and would normally be thought to be a non-threatening opponent for the Wolverines, so who knows what will happen.

As usual, there is a song referenced in this morning’s article. There are at least two clues. Clues may be words, phrases, or photos, and may reference lyrics, the artist, or the album. If you think you know this morning’s song, fire away down in the comments.

Let’s get to it:

Matt Millen steps away from the broadcast booth. Yesterday afternoon the Big Ten Network released the news that Matt Millen wouldn’t be returning to the broadcast booth for the remainder of 2018. Millen, who has amyloidosis, needs to take time away from football to focus on his health—including, potentially, needing a heart transplant. Many of us who live, or whose favored sports franchises reside, in Southeast Michigan have a beef with Matt Millen; but I hope you’ll all join me in wishing the best for Millen and his family as he battles this illness.

Big House opened 91 years ago this month. It certainly doesn’t look it (due, in part, to some recent renovations), but the Big House turned 91 years old this month. The University noted in a tweet Monday that it was the 91st anniversary of opening day, a victory over now-DIII school Ohio Wesleyan. The stadium was dedicated three weeks later on October 22, 1927, prior to the Wolverines beating Ohio State for the sixth consecutive meeting at the time. Hard as it may be to believe today, just 17,483 fans attended that opening game against Ohio Wesleyan.

USA Today releases annual coach compensation data. Michigan head man Jim Harbaugh ranks third in this year’s annual survey of NCAA coach compensation compiled by USA Today. In front of Harbaugh are Nick Saban, who will pull in $8.3 million this year, and Urban Meyer, who will receive $7.6 million. Harbaugh, for his part, will receive a hair over $7.5 million; just in front of Jimbo Fisher ($7.5m), but further ahead of Gus Malzahn ($6.7m) who rounds out the Top-5. In case anyone is wondering, Harbaugh’s buyout would be $17.1 million—which, in comparison, is eminently more reasonable than Jimbo Fisher’s astronomical $68 million.

Rashan Gary’s consecutive game streak at risk. Michigan’s coaches are notoriously cagey about injury updates, but one of the things Don Brown said during his press availability yesterday was that Rashan Gary is, “day-to-day.” If Gary is unable to go, it would bring to an end to a string of consecutive appearances dating back to his freshman year. In fact, as Aaron McMann points out in the above, it would be the first time Rashan Gary hasn’t appeared in a game since arriving on campus. We’ll find out if his iron man streak will continue Saturday afternoon.

It’s not us, Scott — it’s you. The SB Nation mothership took a light-hearted look at Nebraska’s schedule this season and learned that all (really it’s just most) teams playing the Cornhuskers this year have reason to hate Scott Frost. For some, like Michigan, the reasons are rather obvious. *Cough* 1997 *Cough*. Others, are a bit of a stretch; like Bethune-Cookman, where the article posits, “His team didn’t even schedule them until the Akron game was canceled.” Regardless, check out the article above and reflect on how many people are miffed at Scott Frost in the world of college football.

Also from the SB Nation mothership, we have this look at UConn head coach Randy Edsall’s contract—and it’s interesting, to say the least. Most coaches have benchmarks or performance bonuses built in to their contracts. Win a conference championship? Here’s a nice check. CFP appearance? You betcha. National title? Harbaugh gets $500,000. Randy Edsall’s bonuses are much less aspirational, and as the article above points out they might reflect what you’ll find in your local sports betting establishment. Score first? Bonus. Lead at halftime? Bonus. Record more sacks than your opponent? Bonus. I suppose there are different ways to go about motivating your coaches, but this seems to be out of the norm.