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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Wolverines look to reload after a run to the NCAA title game


Photo Credit: Scott W. Grau- Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
By: Geno Green
Twitter: @TheGenoGreen


Michigan Wolverines

2017-18 Record: 33-8, 13-5 Big Ten
2017-18 Postseason: NCAA Tournament National Championship runner-up
Coach: John Beilein, 248-143 (.634) at Michigan, 12th season


Key losses:

Mo Wagner, Duncan Robinson, Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman

Key returning players:

Charles Matthews, Jordan Poole, Zavier Simpson

Notable games:

Nov. 14 at Viilanova
Nov. 28 vs North Carolina
Dec. 1 vs Purdue
Dec. 8 vs South Carolina
Jan. 29 vs Ohio State
Feb. 24 vs Michigan State


Change can be a tough for any collegiate program, but Michigan Wolverines coach John Beliein relishes the opportunity, especially after losing invaluable assets such, as Mo Wagner, Duncan Robinson and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman off a 33-8 team that came a game short of winning the national championship with the Villanova Widcats prevailing, 79-62.

Despite the Wolverines’ 14-game win streak going into the last season’s NCAA tournament finale, Beilein wants to see Michigan start better out the gate, but recognized similar challenges to the previous team could occur.

“We knew midway through last season that we had to adapt to some things,” Beilein said. “That’s what I love in embracing change and trying to change both offensively and defensively. We have a chance to be a good defensive team again, but we are a work in progress on offense.”

If the Wolverines are to make it three consecutive Big Ten tournament championships— a feat which has yet to be accomplished since the inception in 1998, they will need players such as Jordan Poole to elevate his game to another level.

The majority of Wolverine fans remember the sophomore for his miraculous game winning three-pointer from the wing to knock off the Houston Cougars, 65-64 in the NCAA Tournament second round last season. Despite the fame from the play, Beilein has tried to re-train Poole on being a more assertive player in the first couple of weeks of practice.

“[Jordan] has got to shoot the ball a lot now and I had to stop practice to tell him like I told Duncan Robinson to shoot the ball,” Beilein said. “We need him to hunt and shoot the ball, but his idea of hunting than Duncan’s is different, but his ability to pass the ball has grown. We will play through him quite a bit.”

Poole will be one of many pieces in Beilein’s free-flowing offense predicated on floor spacing and timely player movement as Charles Matthews and Zavier Simpson will receive the majority of opportunities to run the backcourt. Matthews and Simpson struggled from the perimeter with percentages of 32 and 29, respectively, while Poole went 37 percent. For Beliein’s system to work with ease, perimeter shooting will need to have a more consistent presence across the board.

Isaiah Livers’ role will expand as he will be the primary replacement to Duncan Robinson at the power forward spot, while Jon Teske returns for his junior season at center.

Beliein’s system should create opportunities for several players to play positionless basketball by being able to fluctuate anywhere on the court with ease.

One of the players expected to be in the mix is 6-foot-7 freshman wingman Ignas Brazdeikis. Brazdeikis’ experience is not ordinary for a first-year player with an international run with Team Canada in FIBA play, to go along with an average of 29 points per game in his last two seasons of prep school basketball Orangeville Prep in Orangeville, Ontario, Canada.

With a mix of new and veteran talent, the Wolverines can go as far as the skies can take them if all of ducks fall in a row in the 2018-19 season.


Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Projecting the New Year's Six for Oct. 16





By: Geno Green
Twitter: @TheGenoGreen


Welcome to the seventh New Year's Six projections of the 2018 college football season.

The projections will be based off the CSO Mock CFP Committee rankings on a weekly basis.



Here are the seventh set of projections for this season:




Orange Bowl (CFP Semifinal), Dec. 29:

1) Alabama vs 4) Notre Dame


Cotton Bowl (CFP Semifinal), Dec. 29:

2) Ohio State vs 3) Clemson


Peach Bowl, Dec. 29:

6) Georgia vs 14) NC State


Fiesta Bowl, Jan. 1:

7) Central Florida vs 9) Oklahoma


Rose Bowl, Jan. 1:

8) Michigan vs 11) Oregon


Sugar Bowl, Jan. 1:

5) LSU vs 10) Texas


Social Media:



Follow College Sports Overload on Twitter @CSportsOverload

Monday, October 15, 2018

The Geno Green Experience- 2007 Illinois football with Paul Schmidt






By: Geno Green
Twitter: @TheGenoGreen

On this edition of The Geno Green Experience, Paul Schmidt comes on to talk about the 2007 Illinois Fighting Illini team.


Notable topics covered:

- Illinois' back-to-back top 25 wins at home
- Illinois' win over top-ranked Ohio State
- Illinois' unexpected run to the Rose Bowl Game vs USC









Social Media:


Follow College Sports Overload on Twitter @CSportsOverload.


CSO Mock College Football Playoff committee Top 25 for Oct. 15


Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus- Getty Images

By: Geno Green
Twitter: @TheGenoGreen




Thanks to the mock selection committee for coming through and making the seventh edition of the rankings possible this season.


Biggest jumps: Michigan 8 (+7) and Oregon 11 (+7)

Biggest fall: Miami (FL) 25 (-11)


       
           Team                    Points      Last Week

1) Alabama 7-0 (10)        250              1

2) Ohio State 7-0             236              3 (+1)

3) Clemson 6-0                234              4 (+1)

4) Notre Dame 7-0           220              5 (+1)

5) LSU 6-1                       195             11 (+6)

6) Georgia 6-1                  184              2 (-4)

7) Central Florida 6-0       182             7

8) Michigan 6-1                 180            15 (+7)

9) Oklahoma 5-1                169            10 (+1)

10) Texas 6-1                     161             12 (+2)

11) Oregon 5-1                   146            18 (+7)

12) Florida 6-1                    142            16 (+4)

13) West Virginia 5-1          128             6 (-7)

14) NC State 5-0                  112            19 (+5)

15) Kentucky 5-1                  96             20 (+5)

16) South Florida 6-0            72             22 (+6)

17) Penn State 4-2                 69               8 (-9)

18) Washington 5-2               68               9 (-9)

19) Texas A&M 5-2               59              24 (+5)

20) Cincinnati 6-0                  58             23 (+3)

21) Iowa 5-1                           54            NR

22) Wisconsin 4-2                  47             12 (-10)

23) Washington State 5-1       30             25 (+2)

24) Mississippi State 4-2        24             NR

25) Miami (FL) 5-2                 22             14 (-11)



Others receiving votes:


Auburn 19, Michigan State 17, Colorado 15, USC 13, Stanford 10, Virginia Tech 8, Utah State 7, San Diego State 5, UAB 4, Utah 3, Fresno State 3, Buffalo 2, Duke 2, BYU 2, Appalachian State 1

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Rosenberg: Michigan struck in style on Wisconsin under the lights


Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus- Getty Images

By: Jeremy Rosenberg
Twitter: @CSportsOverload


Old school Big Ten football was back with a vengeance Saturday night, as Michigan and Wisconsin slugged it out on a crisp, fall evening in Ann Arbor. 

With a performance that woke the ghosts of Rick Leach and Denard Robinson, Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson tore up the Wisconsin defense with his legs, rushing for 90 yards, on the way to a 38-13 victory.

On the defensive side, Michigan contained the vaunted Wisconsin running attack, keeping the Badgers to 183 yards on the ground. Junior quarterback Alex Hornibrook was unable to execute against Don Brown’s defense, finishing the game with a stat line of 7-of-20 for 100 yards and two interceptions.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Wisconsin was supposed to control the line of scrimmage. 

But on an epically awful night for Hornibrook, Michigan was able to stack the box in defense of the Wisconsin ground attack. Meanwhile, after a shaky start running the ball in the first half, the Michigan offense dominated the second half on the ground, with Karon Higdon and the Michigan offensive line asserting control.

The game was tight after a scoreless first quarter, but the tide of the game changed when Shea Patterson ripped off an 81-yard run, sparking the Michigan offense, and leading to an easy TD run for Higdon. Patterson later ran in a seven-yard touchdown, and backup QB Dylan McCaffrey romped in with a 44-yard TD run. Somewhere, Shoelace tipped his cap.

It was a promising beginning to the Harbaugh Redemption Trilogy. Games against Wisconsin, Michigan State and Penn State will define the 2018 season for the Michigan, especially with the opening loss to Notre Dame and a very difficult closer against Ohio State ahead. Two wins are needed, but really the Michigan fan base will not be satisfied with anything less than a sweep. If they play the way they did tonight in the next two games, a sweep is certainly possible.

It’s one thing for Alex Hornibrook to look bad. Normally he is at best a game manager. When he is off, he usually isn’t this terrible. But Saturday night, Don Brown’s defense reduced Hornibrook to a night that will live in infamy. Jim Sorgi and Scott Tolzien never had it this bad.

At the press conference, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh seemed businesslike. He wasn’t too interested in reveling in this victory knowing that there was more to accomplish. Karon Higdon said people will have to wait and see as far as what this team is capable of. There seemed to be an awareness that this was one step of what needs to be several before they can exorcise past demons, and current criticism.

On a night the Wolverines had something to prove, they laid a Big Ten beatdown on the Badgers. Next week, they will battle a newly confident band of Spartans. Both Michigan and Michigan State are peaking, and they have a high stakes battle ahead, an early elimination game in the Big Ten East division.

For Michigan, test one is complete.