When ESPN College GameDay analyst Desmond Howard revealed his picks for the College Football Playoff last weekend – a foursome that included Michigan, Baylor, Pitt and Texas A&M, social media had several choice reactions.
"They’re my picks," Howard told Sporting News. "People get mad at me – for my picks. So, should I just pick what you guys want me to pick? Then I’ll be OK? It’s amazing to me."
Howard, who teamed up with Town House Game Day Dippers for the 2022 se Furman Paladins clothes ason, has three first-timers there with the Aggies, Panthers and Bears. In this scenario, the Wolverines would defend the Big Ten championship and return to the CFP.
"Did any of you learn anything from last year?" Howard asked. "Michigan made it last year. At this time last year, Michigan was picked to finish fourth in their division. Not the confere Dickinson State Blue Hawks clothes nce. Fourth in their division."
In that regard, Howard has a point. Michigan beat Ohio State 42-27 last year, breaking a decade-long drought against the Buckeyes and clinching the first Big Ten championship under Jim Harbaugh.
In the offseason, Harbaugh interviewed for the Minnesota Vikings coaching vacancy in the NFL, recruiting stalled and Ohio State was picked to reclaim the Big Ten championship in most preseason polls. The Buckeyes led the nation in total offense in 2021.
Could Michigan match that in Clemson Tigers shirt 2022?
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"They have as much firepower as any team in the conference, and maybe any team in the country offensively," Howard said. "You have two quarterbacks. These are two really good quarterba College Cold Weather Gear cks. You have Donovan Edwards who you put in the backfield with Blake Corum. That’s a hell of a 1-2 punch. I said it two weeks on 'College Football Live,' when it comes to quality of depth I think they probably have the deepest receiving room in the country, and they have two tight ends that are going to play in the NFL."
That last part is going to generate conversation consider Kentucky vs. Louisville Rivalry shirt ing the talent Ohio State brings back, particularly at wide receiver, but that isn’t the focus in Ann Arbor, Mich.
It’s about the two-quarterback system in place for the early part of the season. Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh announced that returning starter Cade McNamara would start the opener against Colorado State on Saturday, but that sophomore J.J. McCarthy would start against Hawaii in Week 2. Harbaugh explained the decision at a press conference on Monday by saying it’s a "biblical approach" and even cited Solomon.
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"I understand people may think that’s really different and unconventional," Howard said. "I get it because it’s a unique situation. Unique circumstances call for unique solutions, and this is one of those solutions Coach Harbaugh and his coaches came up with based on what they’ve seen in camp and everything else."
McNamara finished with 2,576 yards, 15 TDs and six interceptions last year as the full-time starter and was selected as a tea Florida vs. Georgia Rivalry Shirts m captain for 2022. McCarthy, a five-star recruit in the class of 2021, accounted for 58.2 yards per game of offense in 11 games. It’s an experience vs. talent debate that will define the Wolverines’ Big Ten championship defense.
Howard said he does not think the coaches have a specific timeline – the Wolverines have four straight home games to start the season that includes Connecticut (Sept. 17) and Maryland (Sept. 24) after the first two games – for a permanent decision. The first road game at Iowa (Oct. 1) will be a true test. So, there could be more unconventional decisions with those quarterbacks in the future.
"No one who has ever played football can ever refute this – the best way to ever evaluate a player is real-time game action," Howard said. NCAA Crewneck Sweatshirts "You could set up game-like scenarios in practice, but it just isn’t the same.
"This competition has taken them to the point where they need to see real, live game-time action between the two in 2022," he said. "That’s going to help them make their decision."
Did the transfer portal play a role in this plan? Harbaugh denied that, but Michigan was able to integrate both quarterbacks last season. The Wolverines lost 34-11 to Georgia in the College Football Playoff semifinal, a game in which McNamara struggled and McCarthy played most of the fourth quarter.
Can Harbaugh manage to keep both quarterbacks on the roster again?
MORE: Take the SN Transfer QB Quiz!!
"You would be pretty – clueless – if you didn’t consider the transfer portal in any decision these coaches are making nowadays," Howard said. "All c Kentucky vs. Louisville Rivalry Jerseys oaches have to take into consideration the transfer portal when making decisions. Nick Saban, Kirby Smart, Jim Harbaugh – all coaches factor in the transfer portal. That’s a given for sure."
Howard seemed more concerned with the new setup in the booth. Offensive coordinator Josh Gattis left for Miami, and Sherrone Moore and Matt Weiss are the new co-offensive coordinators.
"From what Jim Harbaugh has said, it’s going to be offensive coordinator by committee," Howard said. "There is no one OC now. There are two, maybe three guys. I’m curious to see how that experiment works."
Howard teamed with Town House, which released Town House Game Day Dippers, football-themed crackers. Specially marked boxes will feature a chance to enter a contest for a chance to win $10,000 toward a Fan Cave. "It combines my two passions. I love football, have a strong passion for football, and obviously the true MVP of tailgating is food and snacks. These Townhouse GameDay game-dippers are a snack for any tailgate," Howard said.