The holiday season is a time for reflection. For example, the recent snowfall has made me reflect on whether Ann Arbor is actually the North Pole and whether snow pants are an acceptable everyday outfit for an adult. The answer to both, if you’re wondering, are no. But that hasn't stopped me.
At least some will be able to escape this tundra and head somewhere warm for the holidays. I will be going to Minnesota. (Bring on the snow pants.) But for those of you thinking warm thoughts about Arizona weather and spicy wings (which makes you, naturally, think about football), let's discuss some of those thoughts. Let's get our mailbag on...
1. Carlos Moncada, Ann Arbor: Will anyone (aside from Devin Gardner) that was injured during the season be available for the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl?
A: Michigan coach Brady Hoke said this week that Brendan Gibbons was “iffy.” Per a source, Gibbons suffered a groin injury, which goes along with Hoke saying that it’s important that he doesn’t “over-kick” Gibbons before the game. However, if he’s not good to go, Michigan would be fine. Matt Wile is a good kicker and this week in Glick, I saw Kenny Allen hit a couple 60-plus yarders. And on a much smaller scale, it appears as though the cut on Taylor Lewan’s head seems to be getting much better.
2. Micah Nuechterlein: Give me your starting five for a basketball squad from this year’s football team's full roster.
A: Great non-question question. My pick for the team’s point guard would be Allen Gant. In high school he was an all-league and all-district selection, so I think he’d be a good choice. At two, I’d go with Jeremy Gallon. He’s kind of a sneaky pick because of his size, but as in football, I’d imagine that some teams would overlook him. But he can dunk, so I like him offensively for that and he’s probably a decent rebounder as well. At the three, I’d pick Devin Funchess. His freak athleticism is probably up there with basketball players like Glenn Robinson. At the four, I’m going with Taco Charlton. He played in high school and he’s another super athletic kid. Essentially, this would be a four-guard John Beilein offense and so we just need a big, athletic kid in the middle. So, why not Taylor Lewan? He’s athletic and would probably be a really great trash-talker and team motivator.
3. Russ T.: So we just had the worst two (non-Rich Rodriguez) seasons in 46 years. Why are people not more outraged?
A: Well, that’s not really a question for me. Yes, where Michigan is right now is essentially where it was three years ago, in Rodriguez’s final season. However, the athletic department is happy with Brady Hoke and they’re backing him publicly and I think that sort of leads the way for fans. On top of that, the players are happy to play for him and love him, which again, makes him more liked by the fans. Hoke has made a bowl game every season (which Rodriguez didn’t do) and I think the BCS bowl win in his first season went a long way with fans. Up until this point, the staff has also done a really good job recruiting top names. Their top recruit in the 2015 class (George Campbell) recently decommitted, so it’ll be interesting to see how that all plays out and how people react, but even so, good recruiting classes also go a long way.
A: I’d imagine Green will be the featured back and Smith will be the next one in. The Wolverines need to win this game (or else their record will be the exact same as it was in Rodriguez’s third year), and the best chance to do that is with Green taking the majority of the carries. I think Hoke knows that and he’s not going to play around. Toussaint will probably get in for a few carries -- maybe similar to what Michigan did with Green in earlier games this season -- but expect to see a lot of No. 27.