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How close is Scout 300 receiver Ahmir Mitchell from deciding between Ohio State and Michigan?

It still appears that Ahmir Mitchell is leaning blue, but he apparently has accelerated him timeline for a commitment.  Mitchell had planned to make his decision closer to national signing day, but the top 300 player may have moved up his decision date.

Mitchell, the No. 123 player in the 2016 class and a standout at Egg Harbor City (N.J.) High, made visits to Ohio State and Michigan last weekend, and could be approaching a decision. Mitchell recently ruled out Ole Miss and Notre Dame, and seems set to decide between the Big Ten rivals.

According to his coach, Tim Watson, told Scout when he thought a decision would be made. One thing is certain, though, and that is Mitchell does not want his senior year to be distracted by recruiting.

The Crystal ball still has Mitchell almost a Michigan lock.

 



Michigan QB Job Jake Rudock’s to Lose?

In this edition of The Maize and Blue Sit-In, hosts Gregg Henson and Art Regner discuss the Michigan quarterback and running back competitions, as well as Wolverine head coach Jim Harbaugh’s treatment of fifth-year seniors.

 

Where Is Michigan Picked To Finish In The Big Ten East??

M TicketsThe B1G Media members have released their 2015 predictions for the B1g and Michigan is picked to finish fourth in the East.  I think that is about right for a pre-season prediction, but I think a good case could be made for Michigan being better than Penn State.  It isn’t a big deal, but didn’t a bad Wolverines team beat Penn State 18-13 last season in Ann Arbor?  I’m not buying what Penn State is selling, I know the program is off probation, but they still aren’t very good and they can be beaten by Michigan in Happy Valley.  It’s not a big deal hear as we are talking about the difference betwen 3rd and 4th place.  All of the other predictions seem to fall right in line with conventional wisdom.

 

Here are the media’s predictions:

EAST

1. Ohio State 280 (40)

2. Michigan State 240

3. Penn State 186.5

4. Michigan 163.5

5. Maryland 95.5

6. Rutgers 78

7. Indiana 76.5

WEST

1. Wisconsin 272 (32)

2. Nebraska 231.5 (5)

3. Minnesota 197 (3)

4. Iowa 158.5

5. Northwestern 125

6. Illinois 77

7. Purdue 59



Jim Harbaugh Makes 5th Year Seniors “Try Out” For Their Positions!

M TicketsEx-Michigan Tight End Keith Heitzman revealed in a recent newspaper article that Jim Harbaugh told his fifth year seniors they would have to “try out” for their positions in his first year as Head Coach at Michigan.  My instant reaction.  GOOD, why wouldn’t you have to audition for a new boss, we all do it in life, why should fifth year seniors at Michigan be any different.

“Obviously, Harbaugh coming in was going to change things at Michigan – do things his way,” Heitzman said. “But I didn’t know if I wanted to try out. That definitely took me off-guard. I was bummed out.”  I understand Heitzman not wanting to try out for a position, but that is life, we are all constantly called upon to prove our value to our organizations. This is actually a great life lesson for Heitzman, who will graduated and join the real world after his final season at Ohio University.  I actually think Heitzman handled this situation perfectly, he didn’t whine and cry or become a distraction on the way out, he simply looked for a better situation for himself and went about his business, it was a very mature reaction.  It will serve him well when he begins his career.

When I think about the “try out” edict from Harbaugh, I really don’t have an issue with players having to try out, especially a roster of player who lead Michigan to exactly five wins under Brady Hoke and were accused of “quitting” many time last year by their new coach Jim Harbaugh.  As I stated when other fifth year guys left the team, they didn’t want to put in the work required under the new staff and that is fine, Jim Harbaugh is not running a country club as it appeared Brady Hoke was in Ann Arbor.  Miller, Countess and Heitzman are all good young men who have bright futures ahead of them, but if you know there is no football future after college, why keep up with the grind, or worse yet, subject yourself to uncertainty? Miller retired, Countess transferred to Auburn (and may have an NFL future) and Heitzman took a fifth year in a lesser program and conference, there is nothing wrong with what any of these guys did, they made the right decisions for themselves.

Many people will claim, as the newspaper from Columbus appears to be trying to do, that Harbaugh is running off guys to free up scholarships but that isn’t true.  If Harbaugh thought any of these guys could play he would have sold them on the program and tried to keep them around.  They clearly aren’t good fits for the program and were better off transferring out in the spring than to wait until fall practice started.  Harbaugh is at Michigan to win, NOT let the inmates run the asylum as they did under Hoke.  It’s a new world in Ann Arbor.

 



PODCAST: Big House Nation With Gregg Henson 7-15-15

 



Today on Big House Nation, host Gregg Henson talks with sportswriter Adam Biggers of TodaysU.com about the new Michigan Nike deal as well as some other off season issues. He also catches up with a Wolverine living in Columbus to get an in-depth look at how the Maize and Blue are treated behind enemy lines.

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Current Michigan Commitment About to Get 5th Star



We all know that the star system is not a great indication of future success for a football player, but it is the only ranking system we have to measure recruits.  What is really important is a good coaches evaluation and Jim Harbaugh is one of he best at player evaluation and development.

One of his current committments for the class of 2016, Michael Onwenu, a 6’3″ 365 pound offensive guard from Detroit Cass Tech is one player who many recruiting experts think will add a 5th star following his performance at The Opening this weekend.

Here is what one recruiting expert had to say about Onwenu:

 

Current Rating: No. 6 Offensive Guard, No. 155 overall

Case to Add a Fifth Star 

Similar to Johnson, Michael Onwenu is a 4-star guard prospect who impressed all week in drills.

From a physical standpoint, Onwenu sticks out at 6’3”, 365 pounds. However, he proved that he’s athletic enough to carry his weight and use it to his advantage.

As Simmons notes, Onwenu won the majority of his reps and was among the most consistent performers in the trenches on either side of the ball.

The Michigan commitment has proven that he could be one of the rare interior offensive linemen who deserves consideration for a fifth star.

 

Here is the ridiculously over hyped Onewenu vs. Jonathon Cooper (Ohio State) that was making the rounds over the weekend.  While Michigan fan was patting itself on the back or this video, nobody seemed to notice Cooper tripped over his own two feet?

 

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National Writers Make Absurd Claim About Michigan “Masking Deep Issues”




There isn’t anything new in this podcast by Bruce Feldman and Stewart Mandel.

I’ll hold this up as a great example of drumming up content by simply putting Jim Harbaugh’s name on a post.  Listen to the podcast, they don’t even address the point they made in the headline about “masking deep issues” at Michigan.

This podcast appears to be complete baloney.  Am I missing something?  I didn’t hear them address “masking deep issues.”  The closest these guys come is concluding that Michigan is in a “rebuilding mode.”  Yes, they are in a bit of a rebuilding mode, but their assertion that 8 wins will be “lucky” is absurd, this program should get 8 wins minimum and with a little luck or an upset or 2 they could get to 9 or 10 wins.

It is very frustrating and unfortunate that this type of stuff makes it onto a major sports website as the headline is wildly misleading.  There aren’t “deep” issues at Michigan, they simply need better talent and that will come with time.  In the interview they didn’t even use the term “deep issues.”  Maddening.

Take a listen and let me know what  you think of the headline and the podcast.

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LISTEN: Jim Harbaugh Radio Interview With Mitch Albom



 

This interview says a lot about how Jim Harbaugh feels about ESPN and Colin Cowherd.  Take a listen and take notice of the difference between this interview and the debacle with ESPN’s Colin Cowherd last week.  The questions were adult and the answers were actually interesting.  This interview proves that the ESPN interview was largely the fault of Cowherd.  Face it, when you ask a question like a 16 year old give, “when are you most cupcake,” you can expect a ridiculous response.

Click here to listen to Harbaugh and Albom.

The ESPN narrative was once again flawed, no wonder people are turning off the network in record numbers!

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PODCAST: Maize & Blue Sit – In 7-9-15

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In this episode of The Maize & Blue Sit-In, hosts Art Regner and Gregg Henson discuss the offseason circus surrounding Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh. The guys also weigh in on what the Nike deal means to the Michigan athletics department.

 



Should Michigan Play Neutral Site Games?

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Earlier this week, Michigan Athletic Director Jim Hackett discuss playing neutral site games, he isn’t a big fan of them and prefers that Michigan not travel to neutral site games.  “We have the biggest stadium in the world, we have season ticket holders that say ‘why would you move a game away from us?'” Hackett said. “I’m not a big fan of those.”

For the most part, I agree with Hackett, the beauty and allure of college football is almost wholly based on being on campus in a college atmosphere with loyal fans of the program and season ticket holders in attendance.  There is absolutely no way you can replicate that atmosphere in a professional stadium like “Jerry Jones World” in Dallas.  These neutral site games are largely played in professional stadiums and are sterile to the college game.  College football really loses something when it is taken off campus.

For example, I am continually stunned at the lack of atmosphere when I attend Pitt games at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.  The Pitt Panthers moved to Heinz Field when it opened and will forever lack the amazing atmosphere of a true college game day because they are forced to play in a sterile professional stadium as a second class citizen.  Heinz Field attempts to make Pitt feel at home by hanging collegiate banners, but make no mistake, Heinz Field is the home of the Steelers.  Last season when Pitt hosted Iowa, it appeared as though Iowa was the home team as they traveled well and obviously wear exact replicas of the Steelers uniform.

Trust me when I tell you Minnesota jumped at the first chance they could to get out of a deal with the Vikings to share the Metrodome, they recently built an on campus site for their resurgent football program and the quality of the game day experience has been greatly enhanced.  Sitting in the Minnesota Vikings stadium watching a college game for me personally was one of the worst sporting events I’ve ever experienced.

For the most part I am not a fan of neutral site games because of the lack of atmosphere, but I am a big fan of Michigan being involved in large events on a huge stage.  According to Hackett, Michigan was approached about a potential game in a 160,000 seat venue. “You can’t believe the people knocking on (our) door for (neutral site opportunities) right now because of Jim Harbaugh,” Hackett told MLive. “And they’re not really good ideas for us.”  The enormous venue would appear to be Bristol Motor Speedway, which will host Virginia-Tech v. Tennessee next season.

These huge marquee events are the only games I’d be interested in seeing Michigan play, if for nothing else than the exposure it would bring the Wolverines.  Lacking the national draw of a record setting game, I agree, the Wolverines should play all home games in Ann Arbor!