Here we are with the Thursday, August 15 edition of the Morning Brews. Lots to get to today so we will hop right into it.
The story that will not go away took another turn on Wednesday when Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell responded to Jim Harbaugh’s shot back over the transfer of James Hudson. When asked if he had heard what Harbaugh said on Tuesday night during his press conference, Fickell tried to take the high road, even if it comes across as a bit disingenuous.
Luke Fickell: "We had a couple kids (get hurt) yesterday and I spent time with them, spent time talking with their families. That, to me, was more important than what Jim Harbaugh had to say about us and our program or me in general."— Fletcher Page (@FletcherPage) August 15, 2019
Here’s the thing, if it truly is in the hands of compliance and Michigan and Harbaugh wasn’t blocking the transfer or the waiver, I’m not really sure what we’re doing here unless “help” means “say something different so we can get the kid eligible sooner.” Hudson was going to be Cincinnati’s starting left tackle and was repping with the ones in the spring, so that is kind of where the butthurt is coming from here.
Harbaugh seems to believe that Fickell was trying to get him to do them a favor and say that Michigan made him change from defensive to offensive line when that allegedly is not the case. That could have helped Hudson be eligible sooner. Maybe anyways. Nobody seems to know what the rules say, including the NCAA.
Fickell would go on to say that Ryan Day and Nick Saban at Ohio State and Alabama, respectively, helped to get their transfers eligible right away, but what does that really mean? Did they lie or stretch the truth on a situation? Cincinnati is not a threat to the Buckeyes or the Tide, so what do those coaches care if those transfers get to play early? A lot of times, it has to do with a kid being processed anyways because they are bringing in someone who may be better. No need to have the NCAA poking around and asking any questions that may tug on a thread. Harbaugh, a man who guards info like nuclear launch codes, would do no such favors and seems like he has nothing to hide here.
Anyways, this is probably over. Both guys have said their piece. Harbaugh, when asked, will refer back to his previous statement. Hopefully this is the last we speak of it, too.
In news that actually pertains to the on-field product at Michigan, Harbaugh seems to be in love with true freshman running back Zach Charbonnet, who has drawn comparisons to David Johnson of the Arizona Cardinals. Harbaugh said earlier this week that he is “coming on like a freight train” in terms of getting carries early on this season and should be in the mix to be the team’s lead back. He spoke with Big Ten Network during their visit to Ann Arbor about what he sees in the former four-star recruit.
We knew that Michigan had to come into the 21st century at some point offensively and they finally did when they handed the reigns to the offense over to Josh Gattis as the new offensive coordinator. How quickly that clicks could determine the season, but the folks over at Football Scoop think it will and named him as the most important assistant coaching hire of the offseason.
“This isn’t Harbaugh trying to fit a square peg into a round hole,” Football Scoop said. “If anything, it’s the opposite — it’s Harbaugh ditching the square peg and trying a round one instead. This should work. Gattis will be (Shea) Patterson’s sixth offensive coordinator in as many years, but Gattis’s offense is probably most aligned with Patterson’s skill set than any of the five that came before. So, yeah, this should work. And if it does, you’ve finally got a Michigan team that can deliver on the promise Harbaugh made when he strode in from San Francisco four years ago, to return Michigan to the promised land. In short, this has to work.”
It does not seem like Michigan fans would be opposed to this.
This one is a bit surprising, but perhaps bolstered by the fact that Michigan is The Winningest Program in College Football History™. FOX Sports put out a graphic saying that the state of Michigan, powered by the unified efforts of both the Wolverines and Michigan State Spartans, are the best college football state in the country based on winning percentage at 71 percent. The graphic they put out can be seen below. Perhaps Michigan-MSU can finally get the Iron Bowl-type hype that it deserves?
Can't argue with math...— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) August 13, 2019
Michigan is the best college football state in the country pic.twitter.com/aKgeh6PPMo
A basketball cameo makes its way into the Thursday Brews, and it is sort of surprising this did not happen sooner. New Michigan men’s basketball head coach Juwan Howard has officially extended a scholarship offer to his son, 2020 wing Jace Howard. He is currently unranked by 247Sports, but Rivals has him as a three-star prospect. Other offers include Brown, St. Louis, Northern Illinois and Dayton. It may not seem like much, but he is currently playing on the Nike EYBL circuit and is friendly with some of the prospects he has been playing with and against.
Not much to say here, but a follow-up on yesterday’s bit about Ohio State trying to trademark the world “the” for apparel and marketing purposes. Michigan fired back with a Tweet of their own where they jokingly take ownership of the word “of.”
You knew this to be true already. Here’s what Sports Illustrated had to say about the song fans hope to hear quite a bit during football season.
The all-time winningest program in college football, Michigan’s “The Victors” perfectly embodies the maize and blue. Written and composed by then-student Louis Elbel in 1898, a shortened variation of the nation’s best fight song is played every time the Wolverines score or make a major defensive play. “The Victors” is so bold and commanding that alumnus and past President Gerald R. Ford often requested the Naval band play the song in place of the customary “Hail to the Chief.” Upon his death, Ford requested it to accompany his funeral procession at the capitol.
- Ohio State is expected to name its starting quarterback by Monday. By all accounts, it is Justin Fields or bust, as there is not really anyone there to push him for the starting job.
- Florida and Miami are reportedly in talks for a home-and-home series sometime in the near future, according to the Orlando Sentinel. The two teams will meet next week in the Week 0 kickoff game from Orlando, Florida.
- A recent report found that Clemson’s recruiting budget was $292,595 on recruiting during the 2009-10 academic calendar for football, which coincided with head coach Dabo Swinney’s debut season. Last season, Clemson spent $2.9 million on recruiting, which is a 926 percent increase in that stetch of time. A lot more interesting findings are to be had in the full post by the Greenville News.
- Vanderbilt is set to be the latest in a recent trend of schools beginning to allow alcohol sales at its home football games. As is tradition around these parts, let’s raise a glass to the Commodores for jumping on board.
- Harvey Updyke, the infamous Alabama fan who poisoned Toomer’s Oaks on campus at Auburn, is heading back to court in October after the Lee County District Attorney told WRBL News 3 that he has been “consistently failing” to make his restitution payments to Auburn and they want him to explain why.
That’s it for today. We’ll be back on Friday to close out the week. Sound off on the weird and the wonderful in the comments below.