Chat with Michael Rothstein
Welcome to WolverineNation! On Thursday, reporter Michael Rothstein stops by to chat about the state of Michigan football.
Rothstein joined ESPN.com in 2011 after covering the University of Michigan for AnnArbor.com, Notre Dame for the Fort Wayne (Ind.) Journal Gazette and a host of colleges for the Daily News-Record (Harrisonburg, Va.). A Syracuse graduate and an East Meadow, N.Y. native, he lives in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Send your questions now and join Rothstein Thursday at noon ET!
Michael Rothstein (12:01 PM)
Hey everyone. I'm here and ready to chat. Some interesting stuff already today with Big Ten schedules out and Trey Burke in the midst of another summer league game right now with the Utah Jazz. Oh, and football season is creeping up real fast. So let's get to your questions.
can Michigan have similar success with the 2015 class as it with the 2013 and 2014
Michael Rothstein (12:03 PM)
Yes and no, Tim. This staff has shown they have the ability to recruit nationally and bring in some of the nation's top players (Jabrill Peppers in 2014 is an example). However, eventually Michigan is going to realistically lose one of its selling points now -- immediate playing time at certain spots. Then it becomes a game of finding guys who are willing to wait their turn and compete for spots instead of having a clearer path to playing time. But yes, Michigan can stay on this level of success.
Good morning, How many more home games than away games as the "winningest ream in college football" played all time? How come LLoyd Carr doesn't have a building name after him. Schembechler does and he never won a NC?
Michael Rothstein (12:06 PM)
I'm checking on the home/away splits, Bill, as that's something I've never been asked before. In the meantime, to your other questions...
Michael Rothstein (12:09 PM)
As far as Lloyd Carr not having a building named after him, he's still less than five years out of coaching. While he does have a national title, most of Michigan's buildings have been named long, long ago. It wouldn't shock me if it happens down the road in some way. He does, though, have the Lloyd Carr Pediatric Wing at the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor. That is an equally big deal around here. Schembechler, around here, had a much more lasting effect than winning titles. He completely changed and enhanced the attitude and culture of the Michigan program. Plus he coached for two decades at Michigan.
When the Michigan victory over osu at home 2 years ago is brought up it is always mentioned that it was a down osu team and one of their worst teams in decades. Why is it never brought to attention that the 3 seasons prior to that, Michigan was in the midst of a horrible three year stretch.
Michael Rothstein (12:10 PM)
Matt, it probably has to do with that Ohio State had been beating Michigan beforehand anyway so it wasn't like much changed there. Also, that was the worst Ohio State team, record-wise, in a long time and it ended a long losing streak against the Buckeyes. So that, in my opinion, is why you hear that.
Dan (Colorado Springs)
With the big 10 schedule released how do you feel about Michigan always play OSU or MSU either home or away? I feel like these two should have been alternated.
Michael Rothstein (12:12 PM)
When it was announced with the 2014-15 schedules I said I didn't really like it and still don't, especially with the Notre Dame rivalry no longer being played. I think it does the fans a disservice when it comes to escalating ticket prices every year. That said, I understand from a scheduling perspective why it had to happen because there are certain metrics the main scheduler, Mark Rudner, are given by the ADs. There are only a certain amount that can be realistically followed and that was not high up on the list. In a perfect world, it'd be alternated but as well all know, this is not a perfect world.
Have you read "Three and Out", John Bacon's book on Rich Rod's tenure at UM? If so, what were your thoughts on it?
Michael Rothstein (12:14 PM)
I read it before it came out. Thought Bacon did a really good job with it. Confirmed a lot of what I had heard from others but couldn't confirm myself. Just finished his latest book, which is due out in September, and also found it good. Not as much Michigan stuff in there, obviously, but a pretty interesting read on the Big Ten.
Mari IL [via mobile]
I am an Ilini fan so i will ask you and the buckeye ward later on do we scare anyteam this year in the big ten in basketball
Michael Rothstein (12:16 PM)
You should. In basketball. Not so much in football as the Illini still seem to be in a rebuilding mode there. But in basketball, the Illini should be a decent squad. John Groce is a good coach and I like Bertrand and Tracy Abrams as players. There's a lot of youth on the roster, obviously, but Kendrick Nunn could be a special player. He'd be a guy I'd look at who could surprise people this season.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What Michigan Wolverines were selected in the 2013 NFL Draft?
Michael Rothstein (12:17 PM)
Denard Robinson (Offensive Weapon) and Will Campbell (line).
what are the chances english gets let go from E. Mich. and michigan picks him up to be mattisons future successor?
Michael Rothstein (12:18 PM)
I'm not one for predictions -- loyal chat followers know that -- but Mattison seems to want to be around for a while so I don't even think this is a likely discussion at this point. Plus, Ron English is still at Eastern Michigan. Considering it is one of the toughest FBS jobs in the nation, I wouldn't count him out of there.
How do you see the 2014/5 basketball classes finishing out with recruiting?
Michael Rothstein (12:20 PM)
Long way to go on both of these. Michigan has offers out to both classes: Devin Booker, Kameron Chatman, Trevon Bluiett in 2014 and Luke Kennard, Jalen Coleman and Jalen Brunson in 2015. More guys are also in line for offers if/when they visit or hit on all of John Beilein's requirements. All, too, are pretty highly sought-after so I'd be hesitant to make a real prediction.
Couple of schedule questions. Is there any chance of Michigan replacing ND for 2014? If it is apparent that non-conference strength of schedule is a big deal for the playoffs- would Michigan drop any of Hawaii, Colorado or Ball State for 2016? Who could they replace with if possible?
Michael Rothstein (12:22 PM)
Michigan is big on honoring contracts so I have a hard time seeing them pulling out of any of these games. Also, there are major buyout dollars attached with all of them. Not sure why Michigan would replace Notre Dame in 2014. Yes, I know the reasoning of home vs. away, etc., but someone is always going to get the last home game at the end of the series. As far as 2016, we'll see what happens there but as of now I haven't been led to believe Michigan is pulling out of any of those games.
Have you heard anything new on Adoree' Jackson?
Michael Rothstein (12:24 PM)
I have not, but that is more of a question for Tom.
Do you, Tom or Chantel have a final BBQ visitors list? If so, can you post it somewhere. thx
Michael Rothstein (12:26 PM)
I do not have one, but I know Tom & Chantel are working on that stuff for everyone.
Rich Watson (CA)
Mike, if Hoke goes 8-5 again, is he considered "on the hot seat"
Michael Rothstein (12:27 PM)
Rich, no I don't believe he would be, although I would say 2014 would then become a much more important year for him and his staff. Why? Mostly because the momentum and trajectory of the program would have come down from its first season. That and this year's schedule (ND, Ohio State at home) is much more favorable than last season's. It would be something to keep an eye on if he went 8-5 again this season but I don't think that will happen, personally.
When conference games start for the B1G next season- who will be the starting 5 for Michigan. My prediction is Walton, Levert, Irvin, Robinson, McGrary.....nothing against Stauskas or Morgan, I just think these will be the best 5.
Michael Rothstein (12:32 PM)
That's a good question and it accentuates Michigan's depth this season since you didn't even mention Horford or Albrecht. That said, I think you're close.My gut by Big Ten season would be: Walton, Stauskas, Robinson, McGary, Morgan. My reasoning on that is this: Robinson III & McGary both want to play their more natural positions in the pros and that is at the 3 and 4. Stauskas is still Michigan's best and perhaps only consistent 3-point shooter and I have a tough time seeing Beilein pulling him from the lineup, especially if his defense improves. I see Walton eventually starting at the point, but think it'll be a 25-15 or 28-12 share at the point with Albrecht all season. Morgan is going to be the experienced leader and think he'll end up as a starter most of the year. If he doesn't and they move McGary to the five, I think you'll see Irvin or LeVert slide into the lineup. All seven of those guys will see major, major minutes, however.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
What are your predictions for Devin Gardner this year? Does he challenge Braxton Miller and Taylor Martinez for all conference honors?
Michael Rothstein (12:34 PM)
Personally I think he does. I've been high on Devin Gardner for a while now and think he has the potential to be an NFL quarterback. How he performs this season will be less dependent on him (I think he'll be fine) and more on the interior of the offensive line and the running game. If neither one of those is effective, it'll turn him one-dimensional and will hurt his performance. But I think he could push both Miller and Martinez for the league's top quarterback.
Mari IL [via mobile]
Who enrolled early and are coaches fearful of early enrolles maybe taking summer classes and messing up becoming ineligilble
Michael Rothstein (12:36 PM)
I have hardly ever heard of the second part of your question, mostly because early-enrolling players usually have been good enough in the classroom to make the quick transition to college. Also, the coaches are able to keep a better eye on grades then. Early enrollees for 2013: Kyle Bosch, Logan Tuley-Tillman, Taco Charlton, Ross Douglas, Dymonte Thomas and Jake Butt.
Any chance we see a three running back formation like the Maryland I with all of the beef we have in the backfield?
Michael Rothstein (12:36 PM)
I'd be surprised if you saw that. Could be a small wrinkle, perhaps, but I'd be stunned if you saw that anything other than a surprise tactic, if at all.
Rich W. (CA)
If Hoke goes 8-5 again this year he is now on the proverbial "hot seat"
Michael Rothstein (12:38 PM)
Mentioned this earlier but I think it would make 2014 a very important year for him. The reasoning isn't due to a "hot seat" but rather the momentum and trajectory of the program would be trending opposite of the direction Michigan would like it to. But I wouldn't put him on any sort of hot seat with 8-5.
If Gardner is successful, does he go pro after next year?
Michael Rothstein (12:40 PM)
That's a good question, Richard, and one that is sort of way off in the distance. That said, if Gardner has a really good year, I'd think he'd have to at least look at it. Here's why: He's already graduated and would have to be enrolled for two years of graduate school if he returns in 2014. Also, and this goes for almost any college athlete looking at the pros: The time to be a pro athlete is very, very finite. So the players have to cash in and make money when possible. While college athletics and, in theory, the college experience won't always be there, the physical university and the potential for a degree (or in Gardner's case a graduate degree) isn't going anywhere.
Is there any reason why every where I look Kalis is projected at RG rather than LG. you'd think with a guy of his high level recruiting ranking and all the positives we heard last year, you'd pair him with the best left tackle in America to form another great LG, LT combo at michigan. Always made me curious to know why. thanks!
Michael Rothstein (12:42 PM)
It's an interesting theory, although with Ben Braden (the potential starter at left guard) also a future left or right tackle, lining him up next to someone he could learn from as the future there could only help. Also, if you have three inexperienced guys on the interior anyway, you can balance the line by putting your best guard with your, in theory, second-best tackle, etc. That said, Michael Schofield is a good tackle who could end up as a NFL draft pick as well, just not where Lewan will be.
Michael Rothstein (12:43 PM)
I've got a little while left here. So get those final questions in.
Rich W. (CA)
Mike sorry about the repeat question above; I have another:Is Hoke the coach for the long run at Michigan; the demands are high (beat OSU, win Big Ten Championship, etc.)
Michael Rothstein (12:46 PM)
I think Michigan believes he is. So far he has shown the ability to get close to that with a roster of talent which didn't fit what Michigan wanted to do on offense. This season (and next) will be the first real barometers for where the Wolverines could eventually get to under Hoke.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Does Brady Hoke go 2 for 2 in Ann Arbor versus the Buckeyes and spoil Ohio State's national championship hopes John Cooper styel?
Michael Rothstein (12:47 PM)
In the past I've said no to the question, Tony. I think Ohio State beats Michigan in Ann Arbor this season. No reason to really change that thought at this point. A long way to go, though.
Both teams have momentum but which team is in better shape to be successful for the next 4-5 years- Michigan football or Michigan basketball? Why?
Michael Rothstein (12:49 PM)
That's a good question, but I'd say Michigan basketball. In the past two years Michigan has had a Final Four (and championship game) appearance and won a share of the league title. Plus this season they have one of the more talented rosters in the country. While recruiting is still unknown for what Michigan will pull in for 2014 and 2015, I think there is a ton of potential there. Plus, Beilein already has everything in place. Football, in my opinion, is much harder to have sustained success in at least in terms of what Michigan's goals are there.
A lot of rollouts and bootlegs this year to mitigate an inexperienced line?
Michael Rothstein (12:51 PM)
You could see that early on, but if you didn't really see it a ton with Denard Robinson, who was at his best on the run, then I don't know if you see it from Devin Gardner, who can do that but also has the capabilities of being a dropback pocket passer, too. So there could be some of that, but I don't think it'll be an every down or every series situation. If it is, that could be very concerning for Michigan and its run game.
Do you think D Robinson will be able to make a career in the NFL as a NON-QB?
Michael Rothstein (12:54 PM)
More and more I do, Keith. I was very skeptical about that over the first half of this year, but it looks like Jacksonville is going to try and use him how Michigan maybe should have over the past season, a little bit of everywhere. If the Jaguars do use him like that, he will have a good chance to be successful.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Are there any potential breakout stars in the front seven for Michigan this year?
Michael Rothstein (12:55 PM)
Frank Clark is the obvious name in the front seven based off athleticism and spring practice, but I think Willie Henry, if he gets on the field, will surprise some people on the interior of Michigan's line. I know his former teammates (read: seniors) were really high on him as he redshirted last year.
Aaron (Leesburg, CA)
What will be the carry breakdown between Toussaint and Green in 2013?
Michael Rothstein (12:56 PM)
Still way too early to tell. As that magic 8-ball used to say when you shook it up: "Ask again later."In all seriousness, until the coaches can work with Green and see Toussaint take a few hits, they won't really know that answer.
Rich W. (CA)
why is gardner on Heisman watch lists after only five starts and two of those were losses
Michael Rothstein (12:57 PM)
The potential he has shown is part of it. Plus, a lot of people end up on watch lists in July that end up off those same lists by October. That said, what Gardner did in five games (losses or not) was impressive enough statistically to catch the eye of potential voters to put him on a list. But a list is just a list of names until games start being played.
Michael Rothstein (12:58 PM)
That's my time for this week. Wanted to thank you all for the great questions. Have a great weekend and chat with you next week.