With so many publicity stunts and media attention Jim Harbaugh garnered this off-season, he did a good job in making many believe that The Wolverines have no holes to feel in 2016. America, before you choose to stamp Michigan as a BIG Ten Champ and a member in the 2017 college football playoff, please wait until the season plays out through October. When Thanksgiving comes around, we will know who are the true contenders and pretenders in each Power 5 Conference. The Harbaugh Wolverines have a lot of questions to answer in 2016 such as:
(1) Who Will Replace QB Jake Ruddock?
The Wolverines are less than 3 weeks away from opening kickoff against Hawaii and The Will Speights vs. John O'Korn battle is still on. Now such was the case for the Alabama Crimson Tide's QB situation for the past 3-4 years and they always found one in mid-season that could take them to the promise land. Maybe such is the case for Michigan. One thing for sure is that Jim Harbaugh knows how to develop quarterbacks just as good or even better than Lane Kiffin. If it wasn't for Harbaugh, Andrew Luck, Colin Kaepernick, Alex Smith, and Jake Grudock wouldn't be as good as the currently are. However, this is the Microwave Age and people want answers now. With their soft 2016 Out-of-Conference schedule, the first three games will probably be treated as a Pre-Season in terms of Quarterback competition. Whoever performs well in the Colorado game may be the starter for the rest of the season.
(2) Is New Defensive Coordinator Don Brown The Right Replacement for D.J. Durkin?
D.J. Durkin was an outstanding Defensive Coordinator for the Wolverines in 2015. At one point during a span of 3 consecutive weeks, Durkin's Defense shut out BYU, Maryland, and Northwestern. Also, The Wolverines' Defense was top 5 in the conference for Points Allowed, Total Yards Allowed, Total Rush Yards Allowed, and Total Pass Yards Allowed in which they were #1. This past Off-season, Durkin accepted a Head Coaching job at Maryland. Now Don Brown replaces Durkin. Brown comes from Boston College having served as their Defensive Coordinator for 3 seasons. In 2015, Brown's Boston College Defense was #1 in the ACC for Points Allowed, Total Yards Allowed, Total Rush & Pass Yards Allowed. However, Brown faced weaker competition in the ACC. He is now with the Big Boys in the BIG Ten. It helps that he has experienced Lettermen returning on Defense in 2016.
(3) Will RB De'Veon Smith Improve from an Average 2015 Season?
The Wolverines will need way more than just 753 rush yards and 6 TDs from Smith if they want to win the BIG Ten and play in the College Football Playoff. Smith battled injury in 2015 which is pretty common if your team does not play Running Backs by committee in the smashmouth BIG Ten Conference. Smith is capable of having a good season; however, the games will be tougher in 2016 thanks to a combination of the Wolverines' good play in 2015 and Harbaugh's media antics in Summer 2016. Defensive Coordinators' throughout the conference will be game planning against Smith heavier than they did a year ago. Fellow Senior Running Backs' Drake Johnson & Ty Issac will have to step their game up to ease the load off of Smith.
The Wolverines will have a tougher schedule in 2016 by virtue of their good play in 2016 and Harbaugh getting on everybody's nerves from the media attention he put on himself in Summer 2016. In addition to that, they have a tough stretch to close the season. After the Homecoming game against Lovie Smith's Illnois squad, they will have to travel to: Michigan State (Oct. 29), Iowa ( Nov. 12), and Ohio State (Nov. 26). In addition to those road games, they have some dangerous trap games in between them. On Nov. 5, they face a Maryland team that is led by former Wolverines Defensive Coordinator D.J. Durkin. This game is in-between the Michigan State -Iowa game. The Wolverines could be worn out from that Spartan game and would probably look ahead to the Iowa game. Maryland on the other hand, would have settled into Durkin's defensive scheme by then and would be ready to put on an upset with the talent that they have on defense. In the 2015 match up against the Wolverines without Durkin, the Terps defense limited the Wolverines' Offense to only 2 Field goals in the entire first Half before the Wolverines surged in the Second Half to win the game. The second trap game will be on November 19 versus the Indiana Hoosiers. Now if you are laughing about this opponent, it is obvious that you did not watch them nearly upset The Wolverines and the Ohio State Buckeyes 2015. In the game against the Wolverines, the Hoosiers looked just as good as them going toe-to-toe forcing the game to go to 2 Overtimes. Michigan prevailed but the Hoosiers let them know that they are not the team of old. In 2016, The Hoosiers return with RB Devine Redding who rushed for 1,000 yards as a Backup Running back. They also return 4 Senior Offensive Linemen and 3 Wide Receivers who combined for 171 Rec. 2,625 yards. 15 TDs. in 2015. This game will be played in-between the Iowa-Ohio State game. The Wolverine players will be looking forward to getting revenge to the Buckeyes from the 2015 game, which means that they will forget that Indiana will be looking for revenge from that Double Overtime loss in 2015. The stretch from Oct. 29-Thanksgiving will be a tough one for Michigan, and it will be tougher if they happen to make it to the BIG Ten Title game on Dec. 3. Below is the scheduled tough stretch after homecoming.
October 29, 2016
@ Michigan State
November 5, 2016
November 12, 2016
November 19, 2016
November, 26, 2016
@ Ohio State
December 3, 2016
BIG Ten Championship Game
This past Off-Season, Jim Harbaugh really went above and beyond to garner media attention putting the spotlight on him. Now The Off-Season Reality show is over and it's time to see how The Harbaugh Wolverines will play in 2016. Despite Michigan State being the BIG Ten Title combatant, they are not the ones who will be the hunted in 2016. Harbaugh's Diva antics this past summer moved the Wolverines into that hunted spot. All of the social media memes, hip hop songs, etc. are over now and The Harbaugh Wolverines have to back up their coach's intensity. Their first three games of the season are so soft it could be considered as a Pre-Season. The real test begins on Sept. 24.
Thank you for reading and hope you enjoyed! This is Mr. Whitejack writing out of "The Sweet Cannabis Aroma" of Denver, Colorado! Peace.
Why do people out East always want it there way? When the NFL does its version of PAC 12 after dark with the Rams-49ers game four weeks from today, how many of those same people will boycott the NFL about that game starting at 10:20pm EST? They won't because when The Steelers-Redskins game hit the 4th Quarter, the west coast game will be getting ready to kickoff, so they tie right into each other. Such is the case for PAC 12 After Dark. Now for those of you who might not know what this is, PAC 12 After Dark is basically football games in the conference that are played late in the night based on the Eastern Standard Time Zone. Typically, when the Primetime SEC, ACC, & BIG Ten games are in the fourth quarter, PAC 12 games usually kickoff in the first Quater based on the Pacific Time Zone being 3 hours back. People who complain about PAC 12 After Dark is those who don't want to admit that they either (A) Fall asleep during those games or (B) Just doesn't find PAC 12 Football interesting. Those who fall under (B) are usually those who allow National TV Personalities to fool their minds. Anybody who takes out the time to watch a PAC 12 game will not say that this is a weak conference. The problem that the PAC 12 face is a good problem, which is the teams are so competitive when they play each other that it doesn't allow one team to stand out more than the other. Yes, Standford & Oregon are very good programs, but they do not dominate the PAC 12 similar to how Alabama controls the SEC or how Clemson & Florida State dominates the ACC or how Ohio State, Mich. State, & Michigan dominates the BIG Ten. The PAC 12 is just as competitive as all of those conferences, it's just that not enough attention is paid to the PAC 12 because of the East Coast bias media. Now you have a growing amount of people who don't really care about PAC 12 Football and they are trying to tell the conference that if they get rid of the late games, more people will pay attention to them. America, do you really believe that the East Coast bias media will pay more attention to a 12:30 pm PST game between Stanford & Oregon over a 3:30 pm EST game between Georgia & Florida?
Getting Rid of PAC 12 After Dark WILL NOT Help the PAC 12 steal media Spotlight from the Power 5 Conferences Out East
Think about it America. ESPN is headquartered in Connecticut, while ABC, CBS, & NBC are located in New York. The lone major sports channel located out west is FOX Sports which is a branch of FOX that is also headquartered in New York. If majority of these TV stations are located out east, what will make one think that getting rid of PAC 12 after dark will help the conference? Most of the people who work for these stations have graduated from colleges that are in SEC, ACC, and BIG Ten regions.
PAC 12 After Dark Benefits the Conference More than it does harm
Now, let Mr. Whitejack ask a question to those who demands the PAC 12 to end it's After Dark scheduling. Do you want PAC 12 games to be played the same typical time SEC & BIG Ten games are played? The average time for those games are at 12 noon or 3:30 EST while prime time games are at 7:30 or 8pm. So that means that you want PAC 12 games to be played at 9:00 am PST or 12:00 noon PST, because in doing so, the belief is that they will have a fair chance of getting attention with the other Power 5 leagues at the same time. Well, Mr. Whitejack will tell you that if the PAC 12 does something like this, the stadium seats will be empty. Anybody out West will tell you, that there are too many recreational activities available for one to do than to sit down and tune into a football game in the early mornings or afternoons on a Saturday. PAC 12 After Dark is perfect because once people are done having fun enjoying the outdoor nature, they can sit back, relax and enjoy some nice football in the evening. PAC 12 After Dark also adds value to the Campus Life, because not all college students love to party on a Saturday night. Some students would rather relax with their friends or couple at a nice event. A college football game at night is the perfect alternative for a student who may not feel like partying on that particular night.
PAC 12 Football Owns Sports Television on Saturday Nights
The PAC 12 can boast on something that the SEC, BIG Ten, ACC, & BIG 12 can't boast about, which is owning the sports television landscape in a certain time frame. While The other Power 5 Conferences are battling out for attention on Saturday afternoons, The PAC 12 have the late night and the early Sunday morning hours to themselves. Now are many people out east up watching? No, and why should they? for most of them are loyal to the teams that play in their regional area. Teams that they are more familiar with. Now, Mr. Whitejack has an idea that the PAC 12 could consider to help them captivate more east coast viewers, which is turning PAC 12 After Dark more into a party atmosphere rather than just a football atmosphere by having singers or rappers perform at half-time of the games. Now that may cause more people out east to stay up and watch a PAC 12 game, but that's another topic to discuss for another time.
The PAC 12 must not buy into suggestions from those out East who do not even care about PAC 12 football. PAC 12 After Dark is very unique and it fits well with fans who live in the Mountain & Pacific Time Zones. Instead of blowing this unique scheduling up, the PAC 12 should come up with other ways to give East Coast viewers a reason to stay up late. As of now, the focus should be primarily on West Coast viewers, because they are the ones who support the conference. Most if not all people out East do not give 2 cents about PAC 12 football. Therefore, PAC 12 After Dark should be here to stay, and the only time it should change is if fans out West have a problem with it.
Thank you for Reading and hope you enjoyed! This is Mr. Whitejack writing out of "The Sweet Cannabis Aroma" of Denver, Colorado! Peace
If The Buffs can develop good game planning and execute it, this could be their year. There is no reason why anyone should doubt a Colorado Buffs team who is the most experienced team in the PAC 12. The Buffs could and should win the South in 2016, and here are 10 reasons why.
#1 16 Returning Starters
16 Returning starters means experience. The Buffs lost a lot of close games in 2015. As a matter of fact, the ending result of 5 out of the 9 PAC 12 games was decided by 7 points or less. 2016 is a new year with an opportunity to correct those mistakes.
#2 Year 2 Under the Jim Leavitt Defensive Coordinator Regime
Jim Leavitt is a highly respected coach in the college football world. He was able to build the University of South Florida football program from the ground up. However, it's a new challenge in a tougher conference that has way better talent than the former Big East Football Conference. The Buff's Defense allowed a total of 357 points to the opposing offense in 2015. Now is a new year with Leavitt having the opportunity to implement his full scheme with his type of players. Mr. Whitejack expects an improved Buffs defense similar to how they ended the season strong against the Utah Utes.
#3 Three Returning Linebackers and Defensive backs
This is another reason why Mr. Whitejack believes Coach Leavitt's defense will improve. Linebackers are the heart and soul of the defense. They are the ones who have good visibility to call defensive audibles, adjust the gap assignments of the D-lineman, and are capable of letting the Defense know if the upcoming play is a pass or run. As for the three returning DBs, Mr. Whitejack believes that it is very important to have experience DBs in a Quarterback driven PAC 12 league. If a PAC 12 team does not have experienced DBs, they are in a load of trouble. Look For DB Chidobe Awuzie and LB Rick Gamboa to have a breakout season for this defense. Awuzie is capable of playing every position in the secondary which is a skill that Leavitt will utilize well, and Gamboa led the team in tackles as a Freshman in 2015.
#4 Year 4 of the Mike MacIntyre Era
It's make the PAC 12 Championship game or bust for MacIntyre in 2016. He would have been done if Chip Kelly chose The Buffs over the 49ers, but Chip Kelly is currently on a mission to prove that he can coach in the NFL. Too many times in college football, coaches are not given enough time to implement and develop their culture in a football program. It typically takes 4-5 years for a coach's product to truly manifest. However; due to the microwave era, fans want to see results immediately which is very foolish. Thanks to Chip Kelly, Coach Mike MacIntyre now has another year to prove that he can turn the Buffs into contenders in the PAC 12. With 16 returning starters, Coach MacIntyre might have the best group of talent that he ever had since coaching in Boulder. However, he must hope that Senior Quarterback Sefo Liufau is fully recovered from the foot injury.
#5 Year 5 in the PAC 12
Since entering the PAC 12 in 2011, the Buffs have a total conference record of 5-41. The road to improvement is not going to be easy in 2016 with road trips to Oregon, USC, and Stanford. The October-November schedule looks pretty brutal with back-to-back-to-back-to-back games @USC (Oct. 8), vs. Arizona State (Oct. 15), @Stanford (Oct. 22), and vs. UCLA (Nov. 3). With the amount of experience that the Buffs have, what a great year for them to prove that they are capable of competing in the league by going4-0, 3-1 or 2-2 in this tough stretch.
#6 Six Returning Lineman
Three O-Linemen and three D-linemen returning. Anybody who knows the game of football knows that it starts in the trenches. In a tough league such as the PAC 12, it is very important to have experienced linemen. If these young men stay healthy throughout the season, the Buffs will be capable of competing all season long.
#7 Seven Returning Starters on Offense
If there is no Offensive chemistry, you won't be able to score points.
#8 MacIntyre on the Hot Seat
The Buffs are the most experienced team in the PAC 12 South's 2016 campaign. If Coach Mac can't win the division this year, he never will. This added pressure and easy chance to win will propel Coach Mac to do better.
#9 Nine Returning Starters on Defense
Defense wins championships.
The Buffs lost a lot of close games in 2015. With the 16 returning starters and a hopefully healthy QB Sefo Liufau, they should be able to correct their mistakes in 2016.
This is year 5 in the PAC 12 for the Buffs. If the Buffs ever wanted a legitimate chance to make it to the PAC 12 championship game, this is their year. With the amount of experience they have, combined with the lack of experience that the other PAC 12 South teams have, it is either PAC 12 Championship or bust. No more excuses in 2016.
Thank you for reading and hope you enjoyed! This is Mr. Whitejack Writing out of "The Sweet Cannabis Aroma" of Denver, Colorado! Peace.