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Wednesday, November 21, 2012
WolverineNation mailbag

By Chantel Jennings

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Thursday is a day that we get to spend being thankful (though we should every day). I, for one, am thankful that my dad is a mastermind with turkeys. I'm thankful that the snow has held off as long as it has. And, I'm thankful for the questions people send in for the weekly Michigan mailbag. Since we won't be having a chat tomorrow, I decided to answer four! (I know, you're thankful now, too.)

Next week Mike will take care of the mailbag so send your questions to michaelrothsteinespn@gmail.com or tweet him @mikerothstein. But now, on to this week's Q&A. 1) Mr. Teeter via Twitter: If the current Michigan team started playing week two, what would its record be?

Michael Williams
Michigan is a much different team than the one that got routed by Alabama in the season opener.
A: Michigan's only losses since week two came from Notre Dame and Nebraska. If the Wolverines replayed Notre Dame with this situation, do they win? Maybe. Do they beat Nebraska? Probably. But that would've given Urban Meyer and Ohio State a lot more time to game plan for this scheme and how to better play against it. I'd say for most fans, they'd take two earlier losses to Notre Dame and Nebraska if it helps them beat Ohio State, no?

2) Ben Plum, Detroit: What is the most important difference between basketball and football recruiting at Michigan?

A: The football program has the history and legacy to rely on that basketball just doesn't have. When you're the winningest program in football history, you tend to bring that up a lot. And they do. They have 11 national championships, 42 Big Ten titles and a ton of players in the pros right now. Basketball? Not so much. Plus, Michigan is a football school. It's not like Duke, UCLA, UNC or UConn, which have that kind of rapport when going out for recruits. But that hasn't been the worst thing for the Michigan basketball program. John Beilein has done a good job of getting players with potential and developing that into great teams. He's doing that at Michigan and we're starting to see the benefits.

3) Sean Tyran, Warren, Ohio: With Devin Gardner playing so well right now, what are the chances that Shane Morris redshirts?

A: I'd say the chances are pretty high. It's hard to argue that he should move back to receiver when he has had this kind of a performance in the last three games, and he has only gotten better. I mean seriously, six touchdowns against Iowa? Yes, it was Iowa. But six touchdowns … geez. And it's not a bad thing for Morris either. I really do think a year of redshirting will ultimately help Morris from both a technical, physical and offensive perspective. It'll give him time to learn everything before needing to perform. I've said from the beginning that it's never in the best interest of a team to start a true freshman from day one. And this, no matter how Michigan got to this point, might be the best thing for everyone involved. 

4) Teddy, Grand Rapids: Regarding Laquon Treadwell, Derrick Green and Leon McQuay III, is it bad news for Michigan the longer this lasts?

A: Not necessarily. Treadwell and McQuay are still playing their senior football seasons, and Green's team just lost this past weekend. I think as top prospects' senior seasons wear down, players start to understand how precious that time is and they want to focus solely on high school football. For Treadwell and McQuay, I think that's the case. And for Green, I think that was his deal as well. So as far as people who say, "Why didn’t he pick this school or that school a month or two ago?" just remember that they're high schoolers trying to enjoy high school.

But as far as chances, Michigan is still in with all three. Treadwell keeps adding schools to his list, which might not be the best thing for the Wolverines, but Gardner's recent performances plus Morris' arm are positives. For McQuay, I think it'll come down to USC and Michigan because of football and the music aspect. With Green, he has gone a bit quieter but the Wolverines still have a shot.