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Daily Brews: Chris Spielman on U-M says ‘I can’t recognize what I’m seeing’

The latest with the Michigan Wolverines and college sports world for Sept. 25.

NFL: MAY 01 NFL Draft Rounds 2 and 3 Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Chris Spielman may be an Ohio State Buckeye at heart, but he has ties to the state of Michigan being a former member of the Detroit Lions and now is one of the top analysts in the sport — college, NFL or otherwise.

Spielman spoke about the Wolverines on his podcast with Bruce Hooley this week, which was the topic of an article from Angelique Chengelis of the Detroit News.

Here’s a snippet of what he had to say:

“I’m not being facetious or I’m not speaking in hyperbole, take the helmets off, and I might as well turn on Central Michigan, Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Ferris State, Wayne State, any other state up there, Grand Valley State, because that‘s not a Michigan team,” Spielman said on the podcast. “When you go to a place like Michigan, there’s a certain standard to be upheld. When it’s not upheld, there are going to be consequences.

“Are they going to come together? Are they going to have pride?”


“Watched the whole Michigan game. I can’t recognize what I’m seeing on the field,” Spielman said. “It comes down to this, people can say what they want about Jim Harbaugh and maybe he’s lost it a little bit, I don’t know, as far as being in touch. It seems like he’s out of touch, that’s what they say, but it’s there’s such a discrepancy in talent when you compare Ohio State’s talent to Michigan’s talent. It’s not even close, and I have no idea how it got that way.

“Michigan should never be in a position for wanting for talent. (Defensive coordinator) Don Brown’s a good football coach, Ed Warinner’s a good offensive line coach. The other thing people weren’t talking about, if you want to run that offense, you have to recruit to that offense. They haven’t been recruiting to that offense. It’s a mess right now. It’s a big mess now. It’s one loss in the Big Ten so they certainly can turn it around, but I don’t see any signs of them turning it around. People are complaining about the offense? I mean, you look at it, (Wisconsin running back) Jonathan Taylor had to get IVs after the first quarter because he ran so much. I thought he was on the cross country team.”

Kirk Herbstreit weighs in on Don Brown

From one former Buckeye turned analyst to another, but one that carries weight regardless seeing as the comments reflect what most level-headed reactions have been coming out of last weekend.

ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit said on his podcast this week that while questions about the offense are warranted, the biggest question is what has happened to the Wolverines on the other side of the ball.

“We’ve talked about that for weeks, if not months, about what’s going to happen with Josh Gattis,” Herbstreit said on a podcast. “He’s got all of this talent to work with. Boy, this is going to be fun to watch. … The troubles continue on that side of the ball. But what in the world has happened to Don Brown and the Michigan defense? I can’t believe … you go back to the Ohio State game and the bowl game and the way they’ve looked here early. I just can’t believe it. I really can’t. I’m a big fan of that style of defense and that aggressive nature. … They don’t look prepared, which is mind boggling. They’re out of position. They look like they’re thinking too much at times instead of just playing.”

Regardless, Herbstreit is not out on the Wolverines just yet and expects Harbaugh to be more involved with the implementation of the offense.

“The season’s not over,” Herbstreit said. “They could get this thing going. I think all of us expect them to do that. … There’s still a year that can be exciting and still a year that can win some big games. They’re 2-1. It’s not like they’re 2-3. They’ve got a win this week against Rutgers to get to 3-1 and then Iowa. Then you go to Champaign. Then it’s go time, back-to-back games against Penn State and Notre Dame at home. They need to right the ship right now. I’m guessing (Harbaugh) takes more of a hands on approach with the offense. He’s going to have to.”

Michigan’s response to its most recent setback will define them moving forward and the harsh criticisms are coming from every corner of the football world. We will see how they respond this weekend against Rutgers, which we’re hoping will be a thorough and decisive effort.

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