Jim McElwain, Ex-Wolverine

Posts by: Thunder


2Dec 2018
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Jim McElwain, Ex-Wolverine

Jim McElwain

Michigan wide receivers coach Jim McElwain will reportedly be the new head coach at Central Michigan. McElwain spent just one season in Ann Arbor after previously being the head coach at Florida and Colorado State, along with being an offensive coordinator at Alabama. Central Michigan fired head coach John Bonamego at the end of the season, a 1-11 year and the worst in program history (Bonamego was 7-6, 6-7, and 8-5 the previous three seasons).

McElwain appeared to do a good job as the wide receivers coach this season. I heard positive reports from behind the scenes about his personality. And on the field, his charges performed well. While they didn’t put up huge numbers, they generally caught the balls that came to them and created some big plays. Donovan Peoples-Jones was a third team all-conference player (39 catches, 541 yards, 7 TD), Nico Collins had a breakout season (33 catches, 552 yards, 6 TD), and freshman Ronnie Bell was a low-ranked prospect who came in and caught 8 passes for 145 yards and 2 touchdowns.

It’s unclear how much McElwain was involved in play calling, since Michigan did not name an offensive coordinator this season. It has been assumed that McElwain, Pep Hamilton, and Ed Warinner all had some say in game planning, along with head coach Jim Harbaugh. McElwain also has not been known as an ace recruiter, so he should not be missed too much in that respect, either.

It’s too early to tell who will emerge as a possible replacement. Graduate assistant Roy Roundtree (a former Wolverine wide receiver) came to Michigan this season to work with the position, but his resume is rather thin after one year at Michigan and previously having coached at Indiana State. I would be very surprised if Michigan promoted him to the open wide receivers coach gig, except perhaps as a short-term replacement through the bowl game and for recruiting purposes.

2Dec 2018
Blog, homepage 10 comments

Who should be in the College Football Playoff?

Kyler Murray

I’ve seen a lot of debate about this topic, and the debate is borderline ridiculous to me. So I thought I would bring it to you readers for your thoughts.

Which four teams belong in the College Football Playoff?

My thoughts:

#1 Alabama: They’re 13-0 and won the SEC Championship. Their non-conference schedule was a joke (Louisiana-Lafayett, The Citadel, Arkansas State, Louisville), but they handled their business against SEC opponents and beat everyone on their schedule.

#2 Clemson: They’re 13-0 and won the ACC Championship. They had two solid non-conference games (a 56-35 win over South Carolina and a 28-26 win over Texas A&M). Their only other close game, aside from playing A&M, was barely beating a Syracuse team when the Tigers were down to their #3 quarterback (Kelly Bryant transferred, Trevor Lawrence got hurt).

#3 Notre Dame: They’re 12-0 with no conference championship game. They have some solid wins, but nothing great. However, they scheduled some tough teams (Michigan, USC, Virginia Tech, Stanford); it’s just that three of those four teams had down years (USC, Virginia Tech, Stanford).

#4 Oklahoma: No, they don’t play defense, but they’re 12-1 and avenged their one loss in the Big 12 Championship game. That was against a solid Texas team. Otherwise, they played some tight games, but that loss to Texas was better than the Purdue loss for . . .


#5 Ohio State: Yes, the Buckeyes won the Big Ten Championship, but their loss to 6-6 Purdue was not only a big letdown, but it was a blowout loss. The Buckeyes have the potential to beat those other teams in the top four, but the big-play guys for the top four would gash OSU more so than the all but Oklahoma. (For the record, I don’t have strong feelings about whether Oklahoma or OSU should be in the CFP – I think both would lose to Alabama in the first game.)

#6 UCF: UCF beat everyone on their schedule. They even won their conference championship without their starting quarterback.

#7 Georgia: This is the biggest, dumbest debate I’ve seen. Georgia played Alabama close, but they have already proven they can lose to TWO teams. How could you name a national champion who has two losses when three teams only have one? For example, should a 2-loss Georgia team be named national champions above a 1-loss Alabama team who split the season series between the two? The Patriots were 16-0 in the regular season before losing to the 10-6 Giants, and yet the Giants were the Super Bowl champs and go down in history as the best team that year. I don’t care if Georgia “looks” like a top-four team, because that’s subjective. What’s not subjective is that this season, they were worse than Alabama and worse than 9-3 LSU when it came time to playing those teams. They had a chance to settle the issue on the field, and they didn’t do it.

1Dec 2018
Blog, homepage 4 comments

Eric Gray, Ex-Wolverine

Memphis (TN) Lausanne RB Eric Gray

Memphis (TN) Lausanne running back Eric Gray decommitted from Michigan on Saturday. Gray committed to Michigan in early July, but his commitment has been viewed as being “soft” for a couple months. I had originally given him a TTB Rating of 82 (LINK). He’s a 4-star, the #3 all-purpose back, and #209 overall.

Gray’s commitment over the summer meant that he never visited Michigan for the atmosphere in Ann Arbor on game days. He had set up a visit a couple weeks ago, but he chose to visit Tennessee instead. While he had not been expected to sign with Michigan prior to that, the lack of a game visit against Indiana seemed to cement Michigan as an also-ran.

Michigan now has just one running back in the 2019 class, Zach Charbonnet. Michigan recently landed a commitment from Amauri Pesek-Hickson, who’s a running back/linebacker, and they have offered Florida running back D.J. Williams, an Appalachian State commit. Pesek-Hickson is expected to play linebacker in college, and Williams is probably going to stay somewhere in the south. With only three weekends remaining (including this one) for official visits, the Wolverines might be scrambling to get someone on campus before the early signing window.

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