Better know a noncon: Michigan

Jim Harbaugh has work to do to get Michigan back on top, including choosing a quarterback. Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

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?


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.

Bleacher Report previewed the entire roster and their breakdown can be found here. And the Block U did a Utah-centric opponent preview.