WolverineNation mailbag

Only one of Michigan's co-captains could be team MVP. If you guessed Denard Robinson ... AP Photo/Tony Ding

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan football is headed to the Outback Bowl and will ring in the New Year in Tampa. The Big Ten has become a basketball league (six teams in the top 20 doesn’t lie). And it still feels like springtime in December. I think I’m finally starting to believe the Mayans might’ve been on to something …

But it’s Wednesday, which means it’s mailbag day! Mike will be taking care of this next week so send your questions to @mikerothstein or michaelrothsteinespn@gmail.com.

Carter, New York: How did Jordan Kovacs win the team MVP award over Denard Robinson?

A: It’s a team-voted award so I think you need to look past the stats and consider how the team looks up to Kovacs. Honestly, I’m guessing it was a pretty close vote. Even with Robinson’s injury and missed time, he was an incredibly valuable player and there’s no denying that. However, I think Kovacs behind closed doors was the emotional compass for the team. I think everyone knows how valuable both of those guys are to the team, and that’s why they were both captains. Both were deserving, and one won it. I don’t think Robinson was upset over it, so I don’t think anyone else should be, either.

Jacob Bond via Twitter: Using freshman basketball player Caris LeVert’s redshirt for 6 to 10 minutes per game: Good or bad decision?

A: I’m not sure if I can say it’s good or bad, that’s probably different depending on whom you ask: Levert? Beilein? Opposing coaches? I guess you can’t argue with a coach when he says that one of his players became too good not to play. Plus, I appreciate a coach who sticks to his guns when he says he’ll play the best and then does.

I think part of it is looking toward the future though. You have a team that now has several players that might not stay all four years. How many times in the past has Beilein had to deal with that? Not many. So you look at a player like LeVert and know that getting him some minutes early in his career will help him -- and the team -- when he’s a junior or senior, as he likely won’t be one of those who leaves early. And then you look at this season and he’s another long, athletic guard who is going to be really important as Michigan gets into Big Ten play so there was no reason to hold him till then. Is his athleticism and length going to be better in Big Ten play than Matt Vogrich

Justin Anderson, Virginia: What are our chances with Laquon Treadwell, Derrick Green and Leon McQuay III?

A: It wouldn’t be a mailbag day if I weren’t asked about those three. But, let’s start with offense. Treadwell just took his official visit to Ole Miss and was hosted by Denzel Nkemdiche, older brother of top recruit Robert. Treadwell tweeted on Tuesday morning, “Ole Miss No. 1 on my list #HottyToddy no doubt in my mind that they are.” Tom and I have said for a while that Ole Miss is definitely the dark horse in this race. Ole Miss has his former Crete-Monee teammate Anthony Standifer, which was always a plus. He still has officials to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State as well as trips to Michigan and Notre Dame (as well as possible others). I don’t think his recruitment is close to being over. Yes, he has a No. 1. But keep calm and carry on.

The Wolverines still have a good shot with Green. He seems to be waiting on whom Auburn hires, but there really isn’t anything new to report on that front.

For McQuay, he has a top five of Michigan, Vanderbilt, USC, Florida State and Oregon (in no particular order). USC losing Monte Kiffin didn’t seem like a huge surprise to the McQuays, so that might not be a big deal. He’s still taking visits and he won’t announce until the Under Armour All-America game, though, he will make up his mind before that and tell the coaches well ahead of time since he intends to enroll early. Michigan’s music program and football program are unique, so don’t underestimate how important that combo is.