Al Borges has obviously gotten a lot of criticism over the past two seasons. Putting that aside, though, here's an interesting look at some of the plays we have seen him tab most often.
Criticism and/or praise for Borges can be left in the comments section below, as I'm simply not going to do either here.
It is just an interesting look at a few of the most popular plays we have seen Michigan's offense run.
The 2013 college football recruiting season is quickly approaching its apex. On February 6, 2013, football players from all over the nation and beyond will put their signatures on papers of promise committing themselves to a single school and beginning a dream.
In the days approaching, coaches from all over the land will be scrambling to finalize a class of recruits that will fulfill their teams current needs and build their school's program for years to come.
Recruiting is more of an art than a science, and it involves so many variables that a person could go mad trying to figure it all out. However, the best in the business have their formulas, and head coach Chris Petersen of Boise State is no exception.
Petersen looks for guys that fit his system. The system at Boise State is one that is much more like a family than a team. It is made up mostly of young men with a passion to prove they belong but also a desire to become better on the field and off of it.
Petersen builds good players, but he is also looking to build great men.
In an environment like that, any player that doesn't fit in could stand out like a sore thumb and disrupt the goals of the entire family. It seems to be an added pressure to find not only talented players, but the right kind of talented players for Petersen and the Broncos.
Add to that the team's current needs, and you have a jigsaw puzzle of the most difficult measure.
The 2013 Boise State recruiting class is certainly no exception. There are several needs and the list is large. It will be interesting to see the final names that sign on the dotted line.
Until then, let's look at some of the possibilities and the greatest team needs for the Broncos.
Notre Dame's historic undefeated 2012 season was due largely to the impenetrable, top-ranked Irish defense. While head coach Brian Kelly caught most of the headlines, an equal amount of credit is due to defensive coordinator, linebackers coach and assistant head coach Bob Diaco.
The 39-year-old defensive coordinator has been Kelly's right-hand man since their days together at Central Michigan, following him to Cincinnati and finally Notre Dame.
Diaco's football education began early, telling Angelo Di Carlo of wndu.com:
You get habitized from when you are a kid---I can remember my dad when I was 8-years-old, pounding into my head the ideologies of defense, and making me repeat them to him---on demand.
Clearly, his father's education has paid off. The former Iowa player won this year's Broyles Award—an award given to the best assistant coach in college football—and was a semifinalist last year.
Diaco's skills have not gone unnoticed. Boston College interviewed him (per EagleAction.com's Mark Blaudschun) to replace head coach Frank Spaziani—a position that was eventually filled by former Temple Owls head coach Steve Addazio.
It comes as little surprise there is so much buzz surrounding Diaco. His defense finished its regular season ranked first nationally in points allowed (10.33), sixth in total yardage (286.8) and fourth against the run (via USA Today).
Many Notre Dame players credit Diaco with strengthening the Irish defense. "Our defense is strong because of him," captain and Heisman runner-up Manti Te'o told USA Today:
He focused on the little things. People tend to focus on X's and O's, schemes. Coach Diaco believes if I can coach my players to be the best players they can be, I can call any play and it doesn't matter what the offense does because he coached us enough that we will dominate no matter what.
"HA-- Coach Diaco is pretty nuts," then-sophomore Kapron Lewis-Moore said to Di Carlo. "When you look at him, he doesn't seem like he would be crazy, but he's a crazy guy on the field."
The much-beloved defensive coordinator will have his work cut out for him in 2013 when defensive stars Manti Te'o, Jamoris Slaughter, Kapron Lewis-Moore and Zeke Motta all move on to the NFL.
Here's how he must adjust his game plan this season to compensate for the losses and address other issues that dogged the Irish defense in 2012.
The most obvious issue Diaco will face is the defensive backfield, the team's Achilles heel in 2012. Outbound senior Zeke Motta will leave a big hole in the backfield that Diaco will have to fill. He may want to consider pairing 5-star recruit Max Redfield (per Rivals) with Matthias Farley as a starting safety. Whatever his decision, he has to accelerate coverage against the pass.
Speaking of pass coverage, starting cornerbacks KeiVarae Russell and Bennett Jackson—the top returning tackler from last season—will both return to their positions this fall.
Diaco needs to build on the experience his returning players will bring to the backfield to focus on defending against the pass.
As far as the front seven, Diaco must prepare his highly touted 2013 recruits to live up to the legacy left by one of the most celebrated defenses in Notre Dame history.
The most obvious loss on the D-line is star linebacker Manti Te'o. Te'o's heir apparent is 6'3" Jarrett Grace, who—with just 12 tackles to his name—will need a fair amount of direction from Diaco to live up to Te'o's legacy.
All is not lost, however, as linebacker Prince Shembo, nose tackle Louis Nix and defensive end Stephon Tuitt will all return to the defensive line; and former 4-star recruit Sheldon Day (per Rivals) will replace Kapron Lewis-Moore as a defensive end.
While the front seven was rock-solid for most of the season, the BCS title game exposed issues Diaco will have to deal with if he ever wants to take home a national championship. Adjusting the play-calling to compensate for the Eddie Lacys of the world will make the Irish a top defense and definitely put them in the hunt for the national title.
There is no shortage of defensive talent on the Irish defense this season, but Diaco must build out of the backfield and prepare the front seven for the big, physical running game of the SEC if the Irish want to be contenders in 2013.
Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com
After 22 long months, there was finally a breakthrough in the investigation into University of Miami athletics.
Rumors galore appeared across the Internet that the school was to receive its Notice of Allegations (NOA) from the NCAA within weeks—maybe even days. Former football and basketball coaches were reportedly close to seeing their own copy, too.
But stop the presses.
Or, conversely, fire them up.
NCAA President Mark Emmert dropped a proverbial bomb last week citing the organization used flawed tactics in its investigation of Miami.
Long story short, some evidence cannot be used as factors in determining the sanctions, but more importantly, the NOA will not be given to the university for a couple more weeks.
Greg Couch of FOXSports says the NCAA should simply throw out the case against Miami.
Yes. You read that right.
Gone. Sayonara. Hasta la vista.
Now, this latest development does not mean the former Hurricanes players did no wrong, it means that the wrong done was wrongly discovered.
But as ESPN's Robert Smith said, "not guilty by technicality is still not guilty."
So is this news good for the Canes? Or is it bad?
Recruiting-wise, this could either be fantastic news or temporarily disheartening.
On one hand, head coach Al Golden can use this development to his benefit as he can tell recruits with more certainty that Miami does not expect any surprises in the NOA.
On the other hand, it is possible the coaching staff would have known the specifics of the potential sanctions before national signing day on February 6. Unfortunately for them, gaining that knowledge currently looks doubtful at best.
Bleacher Report's David Mayer believes this news will aid Miami's efforts on the recruiting trail.
I cannot say with any certainty, however, that it will be beneficial in the short-term for the Canes because it delays the delivery of the sanctions at the most crucial point of the recruiting season.
Any recruit who has doubts about any possible penalties—though there seem to be few to none at this point according to CaneInsider's Jon Bastian—will not be in the loop, either.
For the current team moving forward, though, this is definitely an outstanding situation.
After the NCAA slip-up and ultimately serving three postseason bans by forgoing the 2012 ACC Championship Game, it is highly unlikely that the Hurricanes will endure yet another bowl ban.
Instead of playing 2013 for moral victories and imaginary championships, Miami and its 20 returning starters begin as early division favorites according to Athlon Sports.
Golden will work to have his Canes ready to prove they are worthy of that status when the season begins August 31 against Florida Atlantic.
But remember, nobody cares about preseason championships—just ask USC.
That said, Miami won't be playing for that ever-elusive imaginary championship trophy; the team gets a chance at a Coastal Division title and maybe even more.
Besides, the real one looks so much better.
Thanks for messing up, NCAA. Hurricane fans truly appreciate it.
Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com
The 2013 Senior Bowl saw a slew of impressive defensive plays—highlighted by Ezekiel Ansah's dominant performance—but the quarterbacks are always the subject of conversation in Mobile, Ala.
Following the South's 21-16 win over the North, it's time for these NFL hopefuls to look toward the NFL combine and the draft.
Let's take a look at where the top QBs from Saturday's game could land in the NFL.
Dysert was the sharpest of the three North quarterbacks on Saturday, completing 10-of-16 passes for 93 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
The Miami (OH) QB was the only North signal-caller to complete more than 50-percent of his passes and you can bet NFL scouts took notice of it.
Multiple NFL teams will be seeking quarterbacks in the upcoming draft, but I can really see a team like the Jacksonville Jaguars grabbing Dysert with their pick in the second round.
Perhaps the Jags look to bolster the offensive line in the first round and take Dysert in the second. Then they can attempt to establish a passing offense to go along with Maurice Jones-Drew on the ground next season.
The Arkansas QB didn't put together a memorable Senior Bowl, but because of what he did with the Razorbacks this season, he'll still likely be a first-round pick.
Wilson completed 8-of-11 passes but only threw for 40 yards—his longest pass went for 11 yards—and never found the end zone.
That's not to say it was a bad day for the 23-year-old, but it wasn't anything to write home about.
I like the Buffalo Bills to take a shot on Wilson with their No. 8 pick in the draft, as Ryan Fitzpatrick's status as starter of the Buffalo offense isn't guaranteed.
After a stellar season at Florida State, EJ Manuel took his talents to Mobile, where he had a solid day for the South.
Manuel threw for a touchdown and also rushed for a TD while completing 7-of-10 passes along with an interception.
He was the most productive QB for his team on Saturday and should be a first or second-round pick in the 2013 draft.
So where's he going?
Your guess is as good as mine, but for now I'm rolling with the Arizona Cardinals.
Their QB issues have been well-documented, so we know they'll be looking for a passer in the draft.
Follow me on Twitter: Follow @Pete_Schauer
Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com
The class of 2013 will be head coach Bo Pelini’s sixth in charge of Nebraska football recruiting. As signing day draws near, and Nebraska fans become increasingly worried about the lack of trophies in the cabinet, more focus than ever is put on Pelini’s acumen as a recruiter.
So in a shameless recycling of an idea from last year, let’s take a look at all of Pelini’s recruiting classes and see how they stack up against each other. As we learn more about the players recruited in the more recent classes, the grades of those classes can change from year to year, of course.
Penn State football is on the right path to returning to a successful program.
Head coach Bill O’Brien, who took over the team during the school’s darkest hours, turned the 2012 season into a strong year with a strong finish.
Now in 2013, O’Brien continues to face challenges, none much bigger than the current quarterback situation.
The second-year head coach will need to develop a game plan early in the season to prevent Penn State from experiencing the growing pains of a young, new quarterback.
Although the Lions have three solid signal-callers set to compete for the starting spot, none of them have started a game on the Division I level.
But getting any of these three through the growing process will be tough.
Hackenberg is the top-rated pocket passer by ESPN’s Recruiting Nation, but he will not be joining the team until this summer.
Ferguson, who has enrolled for the spring semester at Penn State, saw success at College of the Sequoias, but he has only played at the junior college level.
Bench is the only scholarship quarterback on the roster in State College with a year under O’Brien’s system and offense, but saw very limited action.
The fact is that in 2012, the Lions' situation at quarterback was much more favorable.
Former quarterback Matt McGloin was an experienced, savvy fifth-year senior that had seen playing time in the years prior to O’Brien’s hiring.
Without an experienced signal-caller, O’Brien will have to take the following steps to detour around the mistakes of a young quarterback.
While fighting the masses to exit Sun Life Stadium in Miami after witnessing Alabama steamroll Notre Dame 42-14 in the BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 7, I had one prevailing thought that may surprise you.
The movie Spiderman came to mind, specifically the scene in which Peter Parker's uncle, Ben, tells Peter, "With great power comes great responsibility."
Uncle Ben may as well have been speaking to Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly and his team following the program's widest margin of defeat since a 38-3 drubbing at the hands of then fifth-ranked USC in Los Angeles on Nov. 29, 2008.
Despite the unfavorable outcome, the Irish's appearance on college football's grandest stage placed them in a rather precarious position.
Since the inception of the BCS in 1998, Notre Dame fans have spent each offseason proclaiming that the next season is a 'BCS or Bust' season, despite the fact that their beloved Irish were, oftentimes, wallowing in mediocrity.
But this time around, those same fans have a true right to believe that next season is, indeed, a "BCS or Bust" campaign.
Unlike Notre Dame's trips to the Fiesta and Sugar Bowls in 2006 and 2007, respectively, its appearance in the BCS National Championship Game was not a product of smoke and mirrors.
Those Charlie Weis-coached teams relied heavily on pro-style, high-scoring offenses, and were embarrassed by stout defensive teams—their 41-14 loss to LSU in the 2007 Sugar Bowl being an unmistakable example of that common scenario.
Surprisingly, Brian Kelly, despite achieving success in previous coaching stops via flashy, high-scoring offenses, returned Notre Dame to "elite" status by building what championship-caliber teams are made of: Defense.
In his third season on the job at Notre Dame, Kelly's desired vision of his defense finally came to fruition.
The "D-Boys," as the Irish defenders commonly refer to themselves, have the numbers to back up their confident attitude.
As of Jan. 8, the Irish were ranked seventh nationally in total defense, 11th in rushing defense, 22nd in sacks and, most importantly, second in scoring defense.
What should have Irish eyes smiling is that eight defensive starters return next season.
Defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore, linebacker Manti Te'o and free safety Zeke Motta each must be replaced, and the sting of their departures has been lessened due to the Irish's success on the recruiting trail.
But what the Irish simply cannot repeat in 2013 is a strong reliance on that rock-solid defense.
Balance must be a priority during spring practices and fall camp. Notre Dame's offense paled in comparison to its superb defense in 2012, as it finished the season as the nation's 78th-ranked scoring unit.
That was largely due to the offense's tendency to sputter within the red zone, often settling for field goals. Remember Notre Dame's 22-13 victory against USC to end the 2012 regular season? Five of the Irish's 10 possessions ended with field goals.
For Brian Kelly and Co. to contend for another title, it's paramount that those drives end with touchdowns rather than field goals.
In this writer's humble opinion, Notre Dame's offense will be an improved unit in 2013 with Everett Golson in his second season as the Irish's starting quarterback. Many dislike the idea of Golson starting once again next season, but face the facts—Kelly is going to stick with him. I will gladly eat crow if I am wrong.
Either way you frame it, the odds that Notre Dame develops into a more balanced squad in 2013 are high, which will play a significant role in the Irish's run to the BCS.
That's a responsibility the Irish must handle carefully, because for the first time in more than two decades, Notre Dame will be fresh from an appearance in the national title.
BCS or Bust.
Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com
There are many things that go into making a successful college football coach; determination, talent, intelligence, and a strong personality are just some of the ingredients that combine to make a good coach.
But the truly great have something extra. It's not always good enough to simply be smarter than your opponent. Having a higher level of talent doesn't always guarantee victory. Sometimes, intimidation is necessary.
That's something the 10 coaches on this list certainly know how to do. Combining their set of skills with a level of intimidation could very well propel these men onto the list of all-time greats when all is said and done.
In the meantime, they occupy a spot on our list of most intimidating college football coaches.
Butch Jones is still over seven months away from coaching his first game as the head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers.
Recruiting season for the 2013 class is coming to a close, though, which means spring practice is not too far in the distant future. During spring practice, Jones will be installing his offensive scheme in Knoxville.
The Vols will be a team that runs the football and is heavily committed to it. However, they will also spread the ball around the field and work hard to get the ball into the hands of their playmakers in the open field.
Jones' offenses at Central Michigan and Cincinnati give Tennessee fans plenty of examples to look at for a preview of what the Volunteers' offensive attack will look like.
Every coach has favorite plays they go to in crunch time. Let's look at a couple of Butch Jones' go-to plays.
February 6 is just over a week away, and the rolling train that is 2013 recruiting will be coming an end, but just not just any ol' end but a huge finale. Predictions are all over the place about the top uncommitted recruits and where they are going to end up.
Well, I'm here to not only make predictions on the top 15 uncommitted prospects, but I'm going to give you some bold reasons why I think a recruit is going to pick a school. You may find these reasons crazy, funny or even right, but these are my bold, stone-cold predictions.
Check them out!
Denard Robinsons, former quarterback of the Michigan Wolverines, is undergoing a position change heading into the beginning of his NFL career.
It's a pretty big switch to go from quarterback to another position, but he definitely has the physical tools to make it happen, and wind up as an extremely successful NFL wide receiver.
The players on this list are another matter.
Most of them struggle to be successful at their current positions, and could use either early retirement or a move to another position.
The rest of the players found here, although successful to varying degrees, have skills that would make them solid choices playing at another position on the team.
Fifteen in all, a bunch of players that need to contemplate a change of position.
Notre Dame still has some work to do after getting a commitment from Durham Smythe, a highly touted 4-star tight end.
Smythe announced his decision on Jan. 27 following his weekend visit to South Bend (via Twitter):January 27, 2013
With Smythe locked in, the Irish must shift focus to the defensive side of the ball. February 6 is right around the corner, and two of the Fighting Irish’s top targets are still undecided about where they will play their college football careers.
Defensive linemen Eddie Vanderdoes and Kylie Fitts were both in line to go to USC after committing to play football for the Trojans in 2012. However, things changed, and the two California natives have extended their search from the confines of Southern California.
Could either one or both of them be headed to South Bend? Let’s take a look at the latest on their recruitment and an updated outlook for the Irish landing these two key prospects.
Eddie Vanderdoes, 5-star defensive tackle
Vanderdoes, a former USC commit, visited South Bend from Jan. 25-27 to hear the pitch from the Irish team. Irish DT Louis Nix was one of his hosts for the weekend, and he came away with a seemingly positive experience (via Twitter):
Great time out here at #ND everyone's so cool.— EV4™ (@EddieVanderdoes) January 27, 2013
He didn't stop there, tweeting once more about his experience:
Pretty cool that everyone knows me out here to. Even the students that don't play sports!— EV4™ (@EddieVanderdoes) January 27, 2013
Vanderdoes would represent a huge boost to an already successful Irish recruiting class. His size, strength and versatility to play in all three defensive line positions in the Irish’s 3-4 scheme would make him an integral asset and instant contributor.
But was his fun weekend in South Bend enough to sway him in favor of the Irish? Alabama will have the last shot at getting his commitment when he visits Tuscaloosa next weekend.
Kylie Fitts, 4-star defensive end
Like Vanderdoes, fellow Californian defensive lineman Kylie Fitts also spent the weekend in South Bend. And like Vanderdoes, Fitts also recently withdrew his commitment to USC.
Fitts sounds like he had a great visit, too, according to comments he made on his Twitter account following the trip:
Headed back to the airport! Had an awesome time here at Notre Dame thanks to @matthiasfarley !! Its gonna be a hard decision on feb 6!!!!— Kylie Fitts (@K_Fitts93) January 27, 2013
Whatever happened in Indiana was enough to sway Smythe to sign following the trip. Was it enough for Fitts, too?
There is still some time to go until signing day, but things are looking positive for the Irish to get a commitment from the very promising DE.
Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com
Iowa Hawkeyes head football coach Kirk Ferentz has taken his share of heat lately, most of it deserved.
However, it is worthwhile to consider some of the great moments he has brought to Iowa football. It is also worthwhile to keep in mind that while his current contract may be absurd, and it makes him effectively untouchable, he did earn it.
Lastly, there has been a positive return on the investment in his time at Iowa thus far. Therefore, absurd contract or not, he has earned one more chance to turn this program around.
The following will recount Ferentz's 14 greatest individual wins as the Iowa head coach. That is one for each year he has been in Iowa City, though, admittedly, the majority of the wins came between 2002 and 2004, an era that seems so long ago.
The wins are listed from least greatest to greatest.
The ranking not only takes into consideration the game itself, but also the importance of the game to the program and whether it contributed to a successful season overall.
For example, the 2006 Syracuse game, while exciting to watch—or at least overtime was exciting—was one small glimmer in an abysmal year. It was also against a team that finished the season 4-8 and whose head coach was pretty abysmal.
Enjoy, Hawkeye fans. I can remember where I was during all of them. Can you?
Another weekend of official visitors to the Plains has come and gone and it yielded positive results when 3-star athlete Marcus Davis committed to the Tigers. Davis was one of seven official visitors to Auburn this weekend.
Davis was Auburn's third commitment in three days. He joined WR Dominic Walker and LB Kenny Flowers, who both committed to Auburn on Jan. 25.
Since the start of the new year, Auburn has accumulated nine commitments to bring the number of commitments up to 19. The Tigers are ranked No. 17 in the 247sports composite rankings.
It appears that Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn and staff have some momentum on the recruiting trail with just a week and a half remaining until national signing day on Feb. 6.
"It's going really well," Malzahn told Joel Erickson of al.com at the Senior Bowl. "We've got some momentum, and I really feel like we'll finish well."
Auburn is poised to do as Malzahn predicted and make some noise on the recruiting trail in the remaining days until signing day. If things go the Tigers' way, they could land a fourth consecutive top-10 recruiting class.
Considering that Auburn just went through its worst season in the modern era and went through a coaching change, landing a top-10 class would be a remarkable achievement and Malzahn's first big win as Auburn's head coach.
College football recruiting is a season in and of itself. There are many ebbs and flows that go along with it.
That is not a surprise when an 18-year-old is at the center of it all. It is very cyclical and when a coaching staff has momentum on the recruiting trail, it feels like every prospect in America wants to come play for that team.
Without momentum on the trail, it feels like the bleeding will never stop.
Auburn found a band-aid for the bleeding it was suffering in a horrible downswing on and off the field.
On top of suffering through a horrible 2012 campaign, the Tigers saw seven decommitments from top prospects in the three weeks (Nov. 25—Dec. 18) after former head coach Gene Chizik was fired. Auburn dropped as low as No. 28 in the recruiting rankings.
The Tigers are now on an upswing.
Since that time, Auburn has added 10 names to the recruiting class and enrolled three JUCO commitments that will participate in spring practice.
A lot of this recruiting momentum that Auburn is experiencing has to do with the hiring of Malzahn's first coaching staff. His staff is filled with acclaimed recruiters who are very familiar with recruiting in the southeast.
Malzahn hired recruiting coordinators away from Florida State (Dameyune Craig), Arkansas (Tim Horton) and Georgia (Rodney Garner).
But the coaching staff isn't the only reason that Auburn is poised for a strong finish in recruiting.
The weekend of Feb. 1 will be huge for the Auburn program and could affect the next four to five years.
Auburn will be hosting three 5-star prospects on the Plains next weekend, at the very least. That number could jump to four if DT Montravius Adams decides to take an official visit. LB Reuben Foster and DEs Chris Jones and Carl Lawson have scheduled an official visit.
Those are prospects that will make an impact as soon as they step foot on campus wherever they choose to play.
Also scheduled to visit are 4-star FSU commits Marquez White and Austin Golson. It would not be a surprise to see other names added to the list before next weekend.
Auburn is the last scheduled visit for so many big names only five days before signing day, and that can heavily impact the decisions that these prospects end up making. The Auburn campus and football program will be the last thing they see and the time they spent with the coaching staff will be fresh in their minds.
If next weekend's efforts result in only one signature on national signing day, the efforts will be worth it.
Momentum is in the corner of the Auburn football program on the recruiting trail and it appears that the Tigers are poised to keep the ball rolling all the way to national signing day.
Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com