The Wolverine

February 2017

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 4 of 75

FEBRUARY 2017 THE WOLVERINE 5   FROM OUR READERS (O-line for example) in certain areas. The player development in two short years for the inherited players was in- credible. Just imagine what they can do with more talented players over a three- to five-year period. Buckle your seatbelts, because Michigan is primed to have a run unseen by fans of the Maize and Blue. Michigan is on the verge of a spec- tacular recruiting class and has shut Sparty and Ohio State out of a very strong class in the Wolverine State. Harbaugh is the best coach Michigan has ever had and, unlike Bo, he seems to really enjoy recruiting. He knows how to assemble a great staff, and they not only sign big-time recruits but also have a great eye for talent. Everyone expects Michigan to be down next year. Don't bet on it. They will have to replace a ton of veter- ans, but will do so with more talented players. The schedule is very tough and starts with Florida at Cowboys Stadium. I think if they can get that win, the offense should be potent enough to enable a very young de- fense to come along to compete again for a Big Ten title. The offensive line will be very young with perhaps more than one true frosh starting. This does not con- cern me, as the multiple-year starters this season were solid, nothing more. In the future, Harbaugh and com- pany will have the type of road grad- ers capable of imposing their will on teams, with the ability to put teams away and close out games. Never has the future been brighter for Michigan football! Kevin G. Smith Orange, Calif. This did seem like the ultimate if-only season, Kevin. But you're spot-on with a lot of observations about the future. This train isn't going backwards. BUCKEYES DROPPED THE BALL Dear The Wolverine: What was the College Football Playoff committee thinking when it selected Ohio State as one of the four teams in the tournament? What were their criteria? Conference champion? No, that went to Penn State. Head-to- head competition? No, that too went to Penn State. Overall body of work? Seriously? OSU lost to Penn State and struggled at home versus Indiana and North- western. Wisconsin took them to overtime and they only beat a 3-9 MSU team by one point. And we cer- tainly can't forget the early Christ- mas gift they received from inept of- ficials against our Wolverines. Sports Illustrated acknowledged that they had a good quarterback and a stout defense, but noted that their offensive line was weak and the receivers and running backs were pedestrian. I believe the halo effect comes into play here: in the view of the com- mittee they are Ohio State and they are supposed to be good. This was the team that sent about 15 talented athletes to the pros last year. But that was then, and this is now. This year's team had no business being on the same field with Clem- son. I have great pride in the Big Ten Conference and cheer for our teams to win bowl games, but I must con- fess it felt really good watching this year 's Buckeyes being exposed for the team they really are. Harvey Dasho Walnut Creek Calif. In fairness, Harvey, Clemson did prove itself to be pretty good. Just ask Alabama. That said, Penn State fans certainly have reason to be crying foul over getting passed up by a team it both beat head-to-head and in terms of win- ning the conference title. If it's any further consolation, watch carefully when OSU rolls out its O- HI-O cheer in 2017. Every time the Buckeyes initiate it, they'll be showing off their playoff game score. THAT OLD FAMILIAR FEELING Dear The Wolverine: Spartan Bob rides again! The $10,000 fine should be di- rected against the blind men in stripes. We've seen this rerun too often. Ed Swanson Black River Falls, Wis. Big Ten officials have carefully and studiously reviewed the Michigan-Ohio State game, Ed, and have concluded that on the whole, they did a solid job. In other news, Buckeyes fans believe they just ran out of time, regarding an inevitable comeback win over Clemson. • How I view Jabrill Peppers is that he's an amazing athlete. He's got mad football smarts (plays 10 positions, no problem). He's selfless and puts his team first (look at the sheer number of positions he played and also what position he played on defense), and he's coachable. I wish I viewed him as a guy who refused to lose or who made the play to beat the Buckeyes, etc. — but he did very well. ronniebickmo • His on-field impact was nowhere near Charles Woodson's, so they aren't in the same ballpark. Really, his on-field production more mirrors a Marlin Jackson in the sense that he continuously moved positions to help the team and played those positions at a high level. Now he's more athletic than Marlin, and the punt returning puts him above Marlin, but in terms of on-field production, that's where I would slot him. So nowhere near the all-time greats. I hope he has a great pro career. loki2006 • I loved watching Jabrill play, and I think it's important that fans don't under- state how much his talent and versatility helped both Don Brown and D.J. Durkin produce highly ranked defensive units. However, the fact that he never played a postseason snap in his U-M career, or made any pivotal plays against OSU, will keep him from going down as an all-time great player. He is without a doubt one of the best, if not the best athlete to ever put on a winged helmet, though. TheMajor • It's very frustrating that Peppers was only able to play for two seasons and also missed both bowl games. If he plays in the Orange Bowl I think Michigan wins that game. That being said, he was a major contributor and team leader, and represented Michigan very well. He gave the program a huge boost when it desperately needed a boost. I have nothing but best wishes for that young man. DrMazenblue From Our Website

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolverine - February 2017