The Wolverine

March 2020 Issue

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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4 THE WOLVERINE MARCH 2020 ONE TAKE ON HOW MICHIGAN STACKS UP Dear The Wolverine, I am LSA [College of Literature, Science and the Arts] class of 1973 so I came to Michigan with Bo. I see many similarities between the cur- rent teams and Bo's teams. Bo favored playing basically line- backers on the defensive line and de- fensive backs at linebacker — speed, speed, speed. It worked well against 90 percent of the teams we played but when we came up an elite of- fensive line, like USC, Oklahoma or Stanford, in a bowl game we wore down and lost late on a regular basis. Woody Hayes had the same phi- losophy as Bo and suffered the same fate in bowl games. Head to head, the two teams matched up well and broke about even. I wondered why we were fixing an offense that put up 39 on the Buckeyes in 2018 rather than a defense that gave up 63. Our offense this year scored two less points against the Bucks than Clemson … the difference was that we gave up 31 more points, I believe. You can beat MOST teams with good players and schemes. With elite programs you have to be able to match up on size and talent. They will equal you on scheme. Perhaps the bigger defensive line- men we have coming back this year will fare better. I am not sure that with our academic requirements we are ever going to be able to compete against the Alabamas, OSUs, and Clemsons of the world, particularly not on a consistent basis. This publication has mentioned that OSU may be the most ethically challenged program in the Big Ten. I do not care to compete in that cat- egory. My parents taught me that if you have to cheat you did not win no matter what the final score may say. Shalom, and GO BLUE! Tony Rickard Via the Internet THE GAP CLOSES ON THE RECRUITING TRAIL Dear The Wolverine, In fairness to Jim Harbaugh and staff, the Michigan-Ohio State gap opened up in the Lloyd Carr era. When Jim Tressel arrived, there began to be a talent gap that continued to grow annually. Tressel locked Michi- gan out of the talent-rich state of Ohio and save for Mario Manningham and a couple others the Buckeyes kept all the blue-chippers in state. Then Michigan made two bad coaching hires and the gap grew even wider. Then the sweater vest leaves in scandal and in comes Urban Meyer, who continued to lock down Ohio in addition to mining the deep South and Texas. Let's face facts that Ohio State has a high-level SEC team in terms of talent. Harbaugh has recruited well and is a good coach. He cannot be faulted for a lost class in 2015 but can be for a subpar one in 2018. You can't have two bad classes in a five-year span and be an elite program. March 2020 • Vol. 31, No. 8 ISSN 1048-9940 Editor John Borton Editor Chris Balas Football Recruiting Writer EJ Holland Staff Writers Austin Fox, Drew Hallett Bob Miller, Clayton Sayfie Managing Editor Ryan Tice Contributing Editor Steve Downey Layout And Design Jeanette Blankenship Chris Miller Contributing Photographers Lon Horwedel Per Kjeldsen Cover Photo Courtesy Publisher Stu Coman Business Manager Linda Autry Marketing/Merchandise Manager Beverly Taylor Director Of Advertising Michelle Delee-Hamilton Customer Service Cathy Jones, Laura Thornton The Wolverine is published monthly. A one-year (12 issues) subscription is $56.99. The Wolverine is printed at The Papers in Milford, Ind. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Wolverine, P.O. Box 2331, Durham, NC 27702. Periodical postage paid at Durham, NC 27702 and additional offices. For advertising or subscription information, call 1-800-421-7751 or write The Wolverine, P.O. Box 2331, Durham, NC 27702. The Wolverine is a publication of Coman Publishing Company, 905 W. Main St, Suite 24F, Durham, NC 27701. E-Mail Address: Subscription questions: Website: Be Heard! Send your letters to: Wolverine Letters • P.O. Box 2331 Durham, NC 27702 Or email: Letters may be edited for clarity or length.   FROM OUR READERS 2021 recruit Damon Payne is's highest-rated prospect from the state of Michigan (No. 29) in a loaded 2021 class that includes nine of the country's top 250 recruits. PHOTO BY BRANDON BROWN

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