Over the next few weeks we're going to be taking a look at a few of the Pac-12 nonconference opponents a bit more closely in a series we'll call "Better know a noncon" in which we look at the most compelling storylines to follow for each team this offseason.
Today, we're checking out Michigan, which has been making all sorts of headlines this spring thanks to Jim Harbaugh and his off-field (we'll call them) antics. But he's out to make his alma mater a contender again. He has Utah in Week 1 and Oregon State in Week 2. How will he fare against the Pac-12?
ON THE FIELD
Michigan coach Brady Hoke got rid of offensive coordinator Al Borges a year ago and hired Doug Nussmeier from Alabama. However, that didn't really help the offense. And now with Hoke gone (as well as QB Devin Gardner) the Wolverines are searching for a quarterback to make their offense go. Currently, Michigan has six quarterbacks contending for the starting spot, according to The Detroit News' Angelique Chengelis.
But don't expect to know which of those six will come out on top for a while. "That's the thing about every college program: Somebody will emerge over the summer," Harbaugh said at a recent high school camp. "It could be two guys or it could just be one, somebody who makes a significant jump over the summer, because quarterbacks are allowed to work at the game by themselves. ... We will be excited to see who that is."
Jumping over to the defensive side of the ball, former defensive coordinator Greg Mattison is now just focused on the defensive line while D.J. Durkin has taken over the full defense. It seems like there's going to be a bit more of a 3-4 defense on the field this year. And some folks who cover the team seem to think this is a good move to make.
One of the most exciting developments of the coming season is the return of Jabrill Peppers, the highly touted recruit who missed basically all of last season with an injury. ESPN.com's Austin Ward said he's the Wolverines' most exciting player.
OFF THE FIELD
As you've probably seen, Harbaugh recently did a satellite camp in Alabama, where he removed his shirt and promptly broke the Internet. And speaking of satellite camps, Harbaugh has been making quite a few waves with those. SEC coaches aren't huge fans of those. But Harbaugh says it's a free country and he can cross state lines if he wants. USA Today says it's all pros and no cons for Harbaugh's camps.
Not only did Michigan get rid of its football coach after last season, but it also got rid of its athletic director. Jim Hackett is serving as the interim AD and last Thursday reported a $7.9 million deficit. Hackett also needs to decide which company Michigan will use for its apparel contract. He has set a deadline of July 1.
The recruiting between Michigan and Ohio State is heating up.