Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Postgame: Fireworks issue blows up in Dave Brandon's face

The title clearly indicates some vindictive feelings, but John U. Bacon wraps up my thoughts pretty well on the fireworks thing. 

Hit the jump for three good looking women.

Video: Countdown to Kickoff - Days 10, 11, 12

Here are some links to the last few days of Countdown to Kickoff:

Day 12
Day 11
Day 10

Hit the jump for some good looking ladies in the middle of your Thursday.

2014 Season Countdown: #8 Blake Countess

Blake Countess
Name: Blake Countess
Height: 5'10"
High school: 180 lbs.
Position: Cornerback
Class: Redshirt junior
Jersey number: #2
Last year: I ranked Countess #9 and said he would start at cornerback with 55 tackles and 2 interceptions. He made 46 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 6 interceptions (returned for 169 yards and 1 touchdown), and 4 pass breakups.

Countess mostly had a great year in 2013. He returned from his 2012 ACL tear and showed no ill effects, tying for #1 in the conference and #7 nationally with 6 interceptions. When Michigan would go from their standard 4-3 defense to a nickel, he would bump down into the slot. He - along with anybody else the coaching staff threw out there - got torched by Kansas State wideout Tyler Lockett, which somewhat dampened the excitement about Countess's return coming into 2013. Regardless, he came up with some huge plays with 2 interceptions of Notre Dame, 1 pick against Ohio State, and another returned for a touchdown against Minnesota.

The 2014 season might be different altogether. One of the bewildering storylines is that Countess switched from the #18 to Charles Woodson's #2 jersey, which directly preceded the revelation that Countess has been running with the second string defense behind Jourdan Lewis, sometimes Jabrill Peppers, and sometimes Raymon Taylor. It was also revealed that Countess has been nursing a groin injury, so that may have contributed to the coaches taking it easy on him. It seems clear that Lewis has forced his way into the lineup as a sophomore, so the battle is for that other corner spot. I have a very hard time believing that an All-Big Ten player who made 6 picks and earned the #2 jersey from a fairly stingy coaching staff will be benched in favor of Lewis/Peppers, who have combined for 17 tackles and 2 pass breakups in college. The most likely lineup to me has Lewis and Countess on the field at virtually all times with Peppers bouncing in at nickel, while Taylor can rotate in or perhaps even play safety. Anyone who claims to know how the rotation will pan out is lying. Last year Lewis, Channing Stribling, and Courtney Avery were in a constant battle for playing time, and I expect defensive snaps to fluctuate once again this year.

Prediction: Starting corner; 40 tackles, 4 interceptions

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

MLive: Darboh hopes to bring a little extra to Michigan's offense

Wide receiver Amara Darboh has an interesting physical feature (LINK).

Hit the jump for three ladies of the good looking variety.

USA Today College Football Countdown: #18 Notre Dame

Paul Myerberg previews the 2014 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (LINK).

Rivals 250 updated for 2015

Mike Weber is the #104 player in the country
Rivals updated its top 250 players for 2015 on Tuesday (LINK). The Rivals 100 was updated yesterday (LINK).

101. John Reid - CB - Pennsylvania (Penn State)
102. Jashon Cornell - DE - Minnesota (Ohio State)
104. Mike Weber - RB - Michigan (Michigan)
114. Shaun Crawford - CB - Ohio (Notre Dame)
140. Juwan Johnson - WR - New Jersey (Penn State)
147. Matt Burrell, Jr. - OT - Virginia
148. Devonaire Clarington - TE - Florida
151. Miles Boykin - WR - Illinois (Notre Dame)
160. Tim Settle - DT - Virginia
164. Auden Tate - WR - Florida (Florida State)
165. Kirk Merritt - WR - Louisiana
167. Darrin Kirkland, Jr. - LB - Indiana (Michigan)
169. Keenan Walker - OT - Arizona (Arizona)
170. Pat Allen - OT - Maryland (Georgia)
175. Johnny Frasier - RB - North Carolina (Florida State)
192. Hjalte Froholdt - DT - Florida (Arkansas)
195. Tyree Kinnel - S - Ohio (Michigan)
199. Grant Newsome - OT - New Jersey (Michigan)
209. Josh Barajas - LB - Indiana (Notre Dame)
224. Devante Peete - WR - Florida
227. Ryan Bates - OT - Pennsylvania (Penn State)
228. Joshua McMillon - LB - Tennessee
236. William Sweet - OT - North Carolina (North Carolina)
237. Keaton Sutherland - OT - Texas (Texas A&M)
243. Jaylon Lane - CB - Texas (Oklahoma State)
244. Juval Mollette - WR - New Jersey (North Carolina)
246. Tyrone Wheatley, Jr. - DE - New York
247. Mook Reynolds - CB - North Carolina (Virginia Tech)
248. Jordan Whitehead - CB - Pennsylvania

2014 Season Countdown: #9 Kyle Kalis

Kyle Kalis
Name: Kyle Kalis
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 298 lbs.
High school: Lakewood (OH) St. Edward
Position: Offensive guard
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: #67
Last year: I ranked Kalis #29 and said he would start at right guard. He started eight games at right guard.

Kalis disappointed a lot of Michigan fans in 2013 with his unspectacular play. Despite being a redshirt freshman, a lot of the frustration for Michigan's failure to run the ball came down on Kalis. He would probably admit that he had a subpar season, but that could apply to the whole offensive line; it was a systemic failure that started with the offensive coordinator and trickled on down. Not only were the hogs up front not getting any push, but there were communication failures that allowed defenders to slice through the line at will. After the season, Kalis revealed that he had been hampered by an ankle injury and a back injury, which saw him get benched for a short mid-season stretch. He still managed to be named to the ESPN Freshman All-Big Ten team.

Unfortunately, the back issue still appears to be lingering. Kalis has missed several practices recently, including last Saturday night's open scrimmage. Head coach Brady Hoke stated strongly to the affirmative that Kalis would be starting if he were healthy. Considering the lineup sent out there on Saturday, my guess is that Graham Glasgow would slide back to center, Jack Miller would return to the bench, and Kalis would enter at right guard. Back injuries are notoriously tricky and can persist for long stretches of time, so it will be interesting to see how long this lasts for Kalis. I was frustrated by the line's play in 2013, but that does not dampen my hopes that Kalis can be a good college player moving forward.

Prediction: Starting right guard when healthy