The Jim McElwain watch in Ann Arbor is essentially done. ESPN reports the former head coach of the Florida Gators has signed a deal to join Jim Harbaugh as a new member of the Michigan coaching staff. Michigan has not formally announced the new addition yet, but McElwain told ESPN he is getting to work right away as a wide receivers coach.
“I’m excited to get back into it and am looking forward to going there and learning and helping Michigan get better,” McElwain said to ESPN‘s Chris Low, who reported the latest update in the ongoing McElwain-To-Michigan story. It has been quite a year for McElwain, who has now gone from wanting to “beat the heck out of Michigan” to joining Harbaugh as an offensive assistant (Harbaugh was 2-0 against McElwain in head-to-head meetings between Michigan and Florida).
McElwain was fired by Florida last October in the midst of a disappointing season after discrepancies in McElwain’s claims about receiving death threats could not be backed up by the coach. Florida bought out McElwain’s contract at a reported $7.5 million.
Michigan had been looking to fill the role of receivers coach following the abrupt departure of Dan Enos to Alabama. Enos joined the Michigan coaching staff for a cup of coffee, getting hired in January after the Arkansas coaching staff was given an overhaul with the firing of Bret Bielema only to leave for a job with Nick Saban. McElwain, of course, is one of many coaches to jump into head coaching off the Saban coaching tree in recent years, first with Colorado State and most recently with Florida.
Previous reports have floated the idea McElwain will call plays for the Wolverines, but that remains unconfirmed.
Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh has certainly made a name for himself over the years with his affinity for a simple pair of khakis. It is not uncommon for clothes worn by coaches to be auctioned off for a charitable reason, but any hope of bringing in big money over a pair of khakis signed by the head coach of the Wolverines came up empty in a recent auction, according to Land of 10.
The U of M Club of Detroit hoped a pair of signed khakis would be a great auction item, but the one-of-a-kind auction item had nobody biting. Perhaps it was the starting bid of $900 that kept potential bidders away. Or maybe a signed pair of pants is just not at all the kind of piece even the most devoted Michigan collector wants to add to their collection?
This is not all that unheard of given the style of the auction. Because it was a silent auction, there was never a chance to see the bidding go back-and-forth between potential suitors. HAd the pants been auctioned off in a standard auction format, the odds are the item may have been able to be sold to one lucky high bidder. The risk, however, would be not fetching the desired goal for the item. If the starting bid was lower in a regular auction, there is no guarantee it would have reached the desired $900 goal.
For now, the pants will likely stay in storage awaiting the next silent auction, so all is not lost. The khakis will just have to wait for another day to be won by one lucky Michigan fan or devoted khaki enthusiast.
Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh confirmed starting quarterback Brandon Peters has been entered into the concussion protocol after being taken out of Saturday’s road loss at Wisconsin. Because of the concussion protocol, it is unknown if Peters will be available for Michigan’s regular-season finale at home on Saturday against Ohio State.
“He’ll be evaluated again by the doctors this week to see if he would be cleared for contact,” Harbaugh said, according to The Detroit News. “[John O’Korn] has remained diligent every single week to preparation and the game plan, always sitting on a spring ready to play.”
If Peters is unavailable for Saturday, the offense will be placed back in the hands of O’Korn. Wilton Speight has not been cleared to for contact practices yet as he continues to recover from fractured vertebrae earlier this season.
Michigan’s offense seemed to get a much-needed jolt when Peters was inserted in the offense in place of O’Korn, who had also replaced an injured Speight. Without Peters, Michigan’s offense has not been able to find much offensive success this season, and that could pose a significant problem this week against the rival Buckeyes, who will be playing to remain on the College Football Playoff radar.
As Michigan heads into November, Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh has an important decision to make if Michigan is going to finish the season on a strong note. He’s just not ready to show which way he is heading with it.
Harbaugh is holding off on sharing his decision on what to do at quarterback. After replacing John O’Korn with Brandon Peters in Saturday’s win against Rutgers, Harbaugh is in charge of a bit of a quarterback debate in Ann Arbor with just a handful of games remaining. The offense, which has been sluggish at best all season long under Wilton Speight and O’Korn, seemed to have a bit of a spark on Saturday once Peters got on the field. Of course, Michigan was playing at home against Rutgers so the barometer to determine whether or not this was legitimate hope for a sudden offensive turnaround is highly questionable.
Peters completed 10 of 14 passes for 124 yards and a touchdown on Saturday, but again, it was against Rutgers. With Michigan staying home this week for a primetime showdown with Minnesota with the Little Brown Jug on the line, Harbaugh has suggested both O’Korn and Peters will get playing time against the Gophers. He only went so far as to say Peters is “likely” to get the start over Peters, but the decision is split nearly right down the middle.
Michigan has the Big Ten’s 9th-ranked offense and 11th-ranked passing offense through eight games played this season. Michigan is 3-2 in Big Ten play and has lost head-to-head against second-place Penn State and third-place Michigan State in division play. Michigan will host Minnesota this week and play the next two game son the road against Maryland and Wisconsin before ending the regular season at home against Ohio State.
Michigan saw a bit of a spark on offense two weekends ago in a road win at Purdue when John O’Korn took over at quarterback in place of an injured Wilton Speight. With the Wolverines coming off a bye week ahead of a game against in-state rival Michigan State, Jim Harbaugh says O’Korn will be getting the start this week and beyond while Speight remains unavailable.
Various rumors were spreading online about Speight potentially being done for the year, but Harbaugh did not go so far as to confirm those reports. Instead, Harbaugh played it safe by going on a much shorter timeframe to worry about. Regardless of how long Speight is out, Harbaugh should trust O’Korn to run the offense in the meantime. Whether it was a one-game spark against a young program still in the early stages of competing or not, O’Korn has what it takes to lead Michigan’s offense for as long as he is needed. In fact, he may end up keeping the job anyway if he performs well by the time Speight is able to play again.
Speight had completed just 54.3 percent of his pass attempts this season with three touchdowns and two interceptions, but both of those interceptions occurred in the season opener against Florida. But he had gone the last two games without a touchdown pass before leaving the Purdue game early.
O’Korn completed 18 of 26 passes for 270 yards and a touchdown with an interception against Purdue in a 28-10 victory in Big Ten play.
Michigan hosts Michigan State this week and travels to Indiana and Penn State the next two weeks.