Happy Tuesday, folks. Welcome to Morning Brews. Most of us are probably getting off a slow start this morning after last night’s game, but several of Michigan’s teams aren’t taking their time getting back into the swing of their seasons. We’re checking in with several winter sports Wolverine squads before rounding out the morning with a bit of CFP discussion.
Let’s get to it:
Wrestling stretches perfect start to five meets. After roughly a month off, Michigan wrestling got back in the swing of things with two wins late last week. First, the Wolverines cruised to 33-8 victory over Oregon State to move their record to a perfect 4-0 on the season. Then, on Saturday, Michigan took on No. 16 Arizona State. The Sun Devils put up quite the battle, but the Wolverines took the final six bouts to win the meet 23-12. Now at 5-0 (1-0) on the season, the team will be back in action against Illinois on Saturday.
Women’s basketball edged by Purdue. They say it makes no difference whether you win by an inch or a mile, and the Wolverines were on the wrong end of the slimmest defeat there can be in basketball. After a back-and-forth slugfest all game, Michigan was unable to convert on their final possession and lost to Purdue, 71-70. Amy Dilk, Hallie Thome, Nicole Munger, and Hailey Brown all scored in double figures for the Wolverines, and the team shot an efficient 52.8% from the floor—but it wasn’t enough. Kim Barnes Arico’s team is now 10-5 (1-2) on the year. They next play Northwestern this evening at 7:00 p.m.
Women’s gymnastics opens season with Cancun Classic title. Coming off last year’s Big Ten championship, women’s gymnastics wasted no time in getting back to business this year. After a tidy exhibition victory over the directional Michigans, the Wolverines headed to Cancun to begin the recorded portion of their schedule. There, Michigan took care of business against Iowa State, West Virginia, and Rutgers. The Wolverines will next compete on Friday at No. 18 Alabama against the Crimson Tide, Bowling Green, and Denver.
College Football Playoff sticking at four teams, for now. Yesterday afternoon CFP board chairman Mark Keenum released a statement saying, “It is our unanimous agreement that the Playoff has been a tremendous success for students, fans, and universities. . . . As far as expanding the number of teams in the Playoff, it’s way too soon – much too soon – to know if that is even a possibility. . . . At some point down the road, as part of our regular review of all matters pertaining to the Playoff, the management committee will meet, and it will consider all aspects of the Playoff, as it routinely does. When that discussion happens, I advise observers not to read too much into it.” For more on what could factor into such a decision, check out the article linked above from the SB Nation mothership.
Over the weekend, Michigan hockey bounced back from the streak from Hell (0-3-4) with a 4-2 victory over No. 6 Notre Dame. Trevor has you covered with a recap, but I wanted to highlight this goal just to underline it. FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DEFENSIVE FRICKING BLUE LINE. You know, normal stuff. Hopefully this is the spark Mel Pearson’s squad needs to get back on track this year.
While we’re talking about whether the Playoff should expand, let’s also consider the day on which the National Championship game is played. For as long as I can remember (and the article above suggests it’s been at least 12 years), the game has been played on a Monday. Why? Well, this article from Jason Kirk over at the mothership has some ideas, but at their base it comes down to, “ESPN is the closest thing FBS football has to an authority figure (the NCAA is a theoretical concept), meaning much of the explanation goes back to the magical word ‘ratings.’” For when Kirk thinks the game should be played, and where, check out the article above.