Football and Angels at the Big House

Michael’s love of anything related to the University of Michigan, especially Michigan sports was no secret to all who knew him. He was TRUE BLUE when it came to Michigan displaying his loyalty through a full wardrobe of Maize and Blue, a walking resource of  Wolverine sports facts and of course breaking out in “Hail to the Victors” at any given moment. While he had been to Ann Arbor with his dad and brothers, he had not seen a game in the Big House which was one of his dreams.

When Michael’s story was shared with both players and coaches at the University of Michigan, this dream became the motivation to honor Michael, inside the Big House on November 19th. Thank you Anna Schueler and your wonderful family as well as Henry Poggi for telling Coach Harbaugh about Michael’s passion for Michigan football. And many thanks to Coach Jim Harbaugh for inviting our family to the last home game and to J.T. Rogan who made sure we had sideline passes for pregame warmups and great seats to watch all the action. It was such an emotional, important and very memorable day for our family.

Michael, your family made several trips to another one of your favorite places that day, the M Den and we proudly wore our Maize and Blue for you that day.

Although a little too close for comfort, the game did not disappoint and definitely kept us on our feet. The Wolverines won the game in a snow storm that completely covered the field. A great day for the team and especially for the seniors. A remarkable day for us as the Michigan cheerleaders ran out on the field and made snow angels.  Angels…we could only think of you Michael, our heavenly angel.

The Big House is probably all that you imagined Michael plus more. There’s not a doubt in our minds that you were taking it all in with us. Loving you FOREVER  and rooting for your team…..GO BLUE!

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Michael’s College Football Predictions

One of Michael’s favorite times of year was awaiting after he returned from camp…the start of the college football season. He loved the hype, the predictions, College GameDay and watching all the action.

He was getting ready to start something new on his blog and that would have included some video-blogging. In preparation for that, he spent some time earlier this summer working on a few of his predictions for the season. He completed predictions for eight teams in total, including his two favorites, Michigan and Oregon. We watched Michael work on these eight teams and saw him meticulously balance the wins and losses as he started this process, paying close attention to detail which would have carried through to those teams that he had yet to do.

We will be eagerly watching Michael’s predictions as this season gets underway!

We love you Michael and will be rooting for your teams❤️
IMG_8530Something tells us he would have snuck in a “Go Blue” here

IMG_8537And a “Go Ducks” here

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Satellite Camps Are Good for College Football

Michigan head football coach, Jim Harbaugh, has been the biggest advocate for satellite football camps. Satellite camps are football camps for high schoolers hosted by college coaches that are off campus, hence the word satellite. Satellite camps have been a controversial topic, and while there are many coaches and people who are in favor of these camps like me, there are some people (cough cough) the SEC who are not big fans of satellite camps.

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Alabama head coach, Nick Saban has publicly shown his disapproval of these camps. “I’m saying [Satellite camps] are bad for college football”, said Saban. One of Saban’s biggest points against these camps is that there are no specific guidelines and he believes that many college coaches could be breaking NCAA rules. While this could be true I believe that it is very unlikely.
The real reason Saban and the other Image: Nick SabanSEC coaches hate satellite camps is because they do not want other coaches encroaching on their recruiting territory. Jim Harbaugh has quickly become Saban’s and the SEC’s biggest nightmare by holding these camps in the southeast and others areas as well. This is a selfish act by Nick Saban and everyone against satellite camps.

These traveling camps are very beneficial for the high school football players, and that is the most important factor. 86 percent of college athletes live below the poverty line. Going on trips to colleges to just attend camps can be very expensive and many families of these athletes cannot afford to go on these trips. With satellite camps coming to the high schools it is very convenient for the players and the families. By campaigning against satellite camps, Nick Saban is trying to take away or limit opportunities for 17 and 18 year old athletes. So why is he doing this? Seems self-serving to me.
Harbaugh has commented on Saban’s actions by tweeting, “Amazing to me- Alabama broke NCAA rules & now their HC is lecturing us on the possibility of rules being broken at camps. Truly amazing.”

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Jim Harbaugh vs Nick Saban is developing into a fantastic coaching rivalry, and this makes me even more excited for the college football season.

College Football Playoff National Champioship Preview

The stage is set and #1 Clemson is ready to face off #2  Alabama for all the marbles. The National Championship is finally here. We are all hoping that this will be a great game, unlike most of the bowl games.
Clemson is the only undefeated team and has been #1 week after week, but once again they are underdogs. This is puzzling because Clemson has been the best team in football 635850100243740361-ACC-Championship-Football-bboatwri-greenvillenews.com-56this year. Alabama is favored seven points, which means the Tigers have them right were they want the. No one has given this team any respect, and this will be a benefit for Clemson. Deshaun Watson has been awesome this year. He is the best quarterback in the country and is already writing his legacy in college football history as a sophomore. In the first half of the Orange Bowl, Watson had to do everything for Clemson. It is remarkable they were in the game at half time, but he is that great. In the second half Wayne Gallman and the other Tiger running backs decided to show up and they ran all over the Sooners. Watson and Gallman need to get the running game going and be creative with their play calls to keep this massive Bama defensive line on their toes.
This may have been Nick Saban’s best coaching job of his career. Many people including me thought this was going to be more of a transition year after loosing a lot of talent to the NFL, but as Alabama does time and time again, they prove me wrong. During their blowout www.usnewsCotton Bowl victory over the Spartans, quarterback Jake Coker had a coming out party. Coker played the best game of his career in the bright lights, and proved all of the doubters wrong. I believe Alabama will go back to what they do best in the Championship, which is to run the ball. Coker had a great game in all, but when you have a 6’3 beast in the back field, who is also the Heisman Trophy winner… feed the ball to him. Derrick Henry is going to have to get a lot of carries and keep Clemson’s high powered offense off the field.
This will be a great game and a Championship to remember. Alabama’s kryptonite has always been dual-threat quarterbacks. Guess what, they are facing the best running quarterback and just the best quarterback in the country. Deshaun Watson will give Alabama’s defense fits and Clemson will win the College Playoff National Championship.
Prediction: Clemson 35, Alabama 34
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Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) throws oranges to the crowd after his team won the Orange Bowl NCAA college football semifinal playoff game against Oklahoma, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015, in Miami Gardens, Fla. Clemson defeated Oklahoma 37-17. (AP Photo/Joe Skipper)

Alamo Bowl Preview

When they released the bowl games, the Alamo Bowl looked like it was going to be a great one. Football fans were excited to see two star quarterbacks face off. Sadly this will not be the case because TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin has been suspended for the game. TCU has had a season crippled by injury o both sided of the ball. Without Boykin to lead them, coach Gary Patterson has to get his defense ready for the high flying duck offense.
Oregon’s season has also been affected by injury. Quarterback Vernon Adams Jr is one the most exciting players to watch in the country. I truly believe if Adams did not break his finger against Michigan State, they would have won that game, be in the Playoff, and he would be the Heisman Trophy winner. Adams is that electrifying. 920x920
I think TCU will be able to put up a lot of numbers and score a lot angainst Oregon’s struggling defense, but without Boykin, they will not he able to keep up with Vernon Adams and the Fighting Ducks.
Prediction: Oregon 61, TCU 41

Sugar Bowl Preview

The Sugar Bowl is the Finale of the the New Years Six and it will be a good one. Ole Miss has no intent on ending their season like they did last year in the Peach Bowl. After TCU clobbered the Rebels and embarrassed them,images-7 Ole Miss has been on a mission. Beating Alabama was the highlight of their season, but they are not just a one trick pony. Laquon Treadwell is one of the best players in the country and is a huge deep threat for explosive quarterback Chad Kelly. The Rebels are known for their great defense, but trust me they are the best offense in the SEC.
The Oklahoma State Cowboys started off winning their first ten games. 5627dbc722a01.imageThey were looking like they were ready to roll to the Playoff, and then they lost their last two games of the season. The Cowboys move the ball up and down the field with their explosive offense, but their defensive line has been great. Defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah has been sensational this season.
Oklahoma State’s offensive line has been shaky this year, but star Defensive Tackle, Robert Nkemdiche has been suspended for the game. I think Ole Miss will still be able to rush the passer, and they will be able to throw the ball all over the field and out run Oklahoma State.
Prediction: Ole Miss 48, Oklahoma State 38

Rose Bowl

It is New Year’s Day, and that means it is time for the Grandaddy of them all. Iowa faces Stanford in the Rose Bowl. This game just feels like a classic Rose Bowl game, unlike last year’s game when Florida State was in it. It images-5feels great seeing B1G vs Pac 12 in this iconic Bowl game. Nobody would have thought Iowa would have the season they are having, well except the Hawkeye fans. This team plays great defense, runs the ball well, and has a quarterback in CJ Beathard who makes their offense so much more versatile. It is the first time in a while that Iowa has a difference maker at that position. Beathard has been shaken up by a groin injury, but says he feels 100%.
Stanford’s season has been a long and emotional one. Starting the season with a stunning loss to Northwestern in the battle of the brains. After this images-6loss everyone wrote the Cardinal off. They rebounded and they were on a tear winning game after game. Then they hosted the Oregon Ducks. That night was a night to forget for Cardinal fans. It was the Vernon Adams show as Oregon’s magical quarterback did everything and destroyed Stanford’s, playoff dreams. Once again the Cardinal bounced back, beating Notre Dame in one of the best games of the year.
This game is going to be awesome. Many people believe it will be all Stanford fans because of proximity, but trust me Hawkeye nation will come in waves. This game will be back and forth, running the football down the field. Christian McCaffrey is going to have to be the difference in the game for Stanford. The Heisman Trophy runner-up has to have a huge game. Iowa is a better version of Northwestern, and we all remember what Northwestern did to Stanford. That is why I am picking the Hawkeyes to win their first Rose Bowl in a while.

Citrus Bowl

The Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus bowl is a matchup of the two premier coaching hires of the offseason, Jim Harbaugh and his Michigan imgres-8Wolverines vs Jim McElwain and his Florida Gators. This game may be lower scoring than the first half of the Cotton Bowl. These two defenses are incredible, they both rank in the top 10 in scoring defense and they are both full of talent. Michigan started off the season hot, but since their “loss” to Michigan State they have never been the same. Quarterback Jake Rudock finally got a feel of the offense, and he has been rolling. Jabrill Peppers is the x-factor for this Michigan team, Peppers is the star for the maize and blue. If Peppers is fully healthy, look for him to have a big game. Florida has the most talented defense in the country, but their offense is just painful to images-3watch. Almost as painful to watch as the Cotton Bowl. The Gators have trouble completing a forward pass. Florida is going to have to score on special teams and defense. This will not be a high scoring affair, but Jake Rudock and Michigan will get a feel of the Gator defense and run away with the game.
Prediction: Michigan 17, Florida 3

Outback Bowl Preview

The Outback Bowl is a classic B1G vs SEC matchup. Northwestern has quietly been a great team. The Wildcats season had big wins against images-2Stanford and Wisconsin. Most people only saw the Cats in their two blowout loses to Michigan and Iowa. Trust me they are a better team then they showed those two weeks. Northwestern has a tough defense, and a smash mouth running back, Justin Jackson. Tennessee may be the most talented team in the SEC, and in my opinion the best in the East division. This inexperienced team blew leads to Oklahoma, Florida, Arkansas, and Alabama. Imagine if they just kept those leads, we would be talking aboutimgres-7the Playoff. Quarterback Josh Dobbs is one of the most dynamic players in the country. I believe Tennessee is bigger, more talented, and I don’t think they are going to give Northwestern any respect. That is why I am picking the Wildcats. They will have a massive chip on their shoulder. The Outback will be giving free coconut shrimp, because the B1G will win this one.
Prediction: Northwestern 17, Tennessee 14

Cotton Bowl Preview

The second Playoff matchup of the day, number two Alabama vs number three Michigan State, is a tough old school game. These two teams are going to run the ball and play great defense. This is the formula both programs have used to thrive this past decade. After Alabama’s loss to Ole Miss early this year, Bama made a  lot of changes, but the biggest difference they made was that they started to hand the ball to Heisman winning running back, Derrick Henry. He has been a complete beast this year, breaking the SEC’s single season rushing record. Alabama is going to have to continue pounding defenses with the run game.derrick-henry-ncaa-football-cowboys-classic-wisconsin-vs-alabama-850x560
Michigan State has been a team of destiny, or it may be that they are just lucky. I am not taking anything away from Michigan State because it is really good to have luck on your side. It is just mind boggling how MSU has pulled out some of their wins. Connor Cook is finally healthy, and I think that is going to he a huge difference in the game. Madre London and LJ Scott, Michigan State’s two running backs are going to have to find some space against Alabama’s huge front seven. Michigan State will need to control the ball, run the ball, and keep the defense honest for them to have a chance in this game. dfp0908cook
This game will be full and drama and excitement. Reggie Ragland and the Crimson Tide defense will force Connor Cook into some trouble, but I do not think Jake Coker will be able to make enough plays against the Spartans veteran defense, and he will turn the ball over too many times like he did against Ole Miss.
Prediction: Michigan State 28, Alabama 24