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Wednesday, November 4, 2015


Some people like to collect coins, others prefer stamps. Some people still collect butterflies. But what about Jim Harbaugh, "America's Favorite TV Game-Show Host"? What does the Great Harboni like to collect? Khakis? DUIs? Worms with machine-guns?

Turns out the Michigan Football Coach is working on a vast collection of QUARTERBACKS, and he is proud to have just added another specimen to his collection. Some guy named Michael Shuster committed to UM last week to be a preferred walk-on. That brings the projected total of QBs wearing yellow pants next year to eight (8), a total that's almost twice the normal quota for college football teams.

Let's do the math:
  • There are seven (7) QBs on the Michigan Roster this season
  • There are two (2) more verbally committed for scholarships
  • Add-in this new guy Shuster as a walk-on for next season
  • That makes ten (10) total quarterbacks
  • Jake Rudock will leave after his fifth year, and some guy named Brian Cleary will also graduate
  • Ten minus two equals eight (10 - 2 = 8)

Do Wolverine fans think that "Eight is Enough"? Or is it too many? Let's compare to Michigan State University:
  • MSU has six (6) QBs on the Spartan Roster this season
  • Connor Cook and Tommy Vento will graduate
  • That leaves four (4) quarterbacks
  • One player is verbally committed to be a scholarship QB next season
  • That makes five (5) total MSU QBs next year, one for each "class"

You can see how "clean" the Spartan Quarterback progression is right now, with only one QB in each "class" (including 5th-year Senior as a "class"). Each player has his own shot at playing QB during his senior season, while there is ongoing competition for the right to play and/or start prior to that final year of eligibility. There is not much room for confusion in this system.

But under Harbaugh, at least for now, there is tremendous congestion at the quarterback position, leading to questions and imbalance moving forward, perhaps for years to come. Take Shane Morris, for example.

Jake Rudock was injured last weekend, and when he went down, it was unclear who would come into replace him. After Wilton Speight was selected, there has been some ongoing controversy over who should be playing the position for the rest of this season. There is also no clarity as to who will play the position next season. Rumors continue to swirl about Morris, the one-time "heir-apparent", possibly transferring away from UM.

Competition is intrinsic on football teams, but some position-battles are better than others. While it may be good to enter Fall Camp with tight fights for starter-time at defensive end and/or slot-receiver, it's really a lot better for the team to know who the starting quarterback will be as soon as possible.

We know there will be a position battle on the MSU team at Quarterback next Spring, but there hasn't been one for three years, and look how well the past three seasons have gone for the Spartans. There was a QB-position battle in 2012 and it did not go so well.

Michigan is setting up for a perennial position-battle at the most important position on the field, leading to possible transfers, player dissatisfaction, and potentially empty-quarterback-classes in the future. This element is one of the ways in which the UM team is lacking a "PROGRAM" of the same quality that MSU brings to the table, here in the Ninth Year of Dantonio.


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