Del Olaleye's college football report

The time is now for Michigan to beat Ohio State

The time is now for Michigan to beat Ohio State
Urban Meyer and Ohio State are vulnerable. Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Now or Never for Harbaugh

If he’s not going to beat Urban Meyer now, then when it is ever going to happen? Ohio State is 10-1 but is as vulnerable as they have ever been in Harbaugh’s tenure at Michigan. Meyer can barely stand up straight from play to play and that normally solid Buckeyes defense has appeared to be a sieve in multiple Big Ten games against lesser opponents. That defense is coming off a game where they gave up 44 of the total 51 points scored in an overtime win at Maryland. Michigan on the other hand has had a pretty easy run during Big Ten play. Since coming back from down 17 points at Northwestern the Wolverines have made easy work of their  Big Ten schedule including dominant wins over Big Ten East rivals Wisconsin and Penn State by a combined score of 80-20. Those two games were at the Big House. Saturday’s game is at The Horseshoe where Michigan hasn’t won since 2000. Harbaugh’s hasn’t beaten Ohio State since he was hired at Michigan and the Wolverines overall losing streak is at six. Harbaugh was hired to beat Ohio State. This is his best shot.

Big 12 Pettiness

Texas defensive end Breckyn Hager told the world that Oklahoma still sucks this week because that is what Texas people do. The Big 12 responded with issuing a public reprimand of Hager and added that they expected a public apology from Hager. Hager obliged shortly afterwards. As you might imagine Texas people weren’t thrilled. That will only be footnote in this year’s edition of the rivalry if things go the way I want them to. If things break right in Morgantown on Friday and Lawrence, Kansas on Saturday, Hager may get a chance to prove himself right in a rematch against Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game. In what would be the biggest game in the rivalry since 2008, Texas would have chance to beat Oklahoma twice in the same year and win their first conference title since 2009. An Oklahoma win would put the Sooners in line for a possible CFP berth if favorable things happen in other games around the country. “OU Sucks,” “Horns Down.” Whatever. Just give me a rematch.

Chad Morris is No Fun

I thought he was fun. Dabo Swinney hired him at Clemson to run the offense and he helped turn that program from an afterthought into a national power. When he was hired at SMU he sanctioned the use of the hashtag #PonyUptempo as part the social media campaign for the Mustangs football program. All that goodwill is now undone. Not really, but I’m less of fan. Morris decided to suspend starting defensive backs Ryan Pulley and Kamren Curl because they “fraternized” with the spirit squad of the Mississippi State Bulldogs before this past Saturday’s game. The fraternization included taking pictures and coming back out of the locker room to exchange information with members of the squad. The Razorbacks aren’t very good and they’re not going to bowl so the two starters are done for the season. I get why Morris did it. He’s in his first year at Arkansas and he’s trying to instill his culture at the program. All that coach stuff and blah, blah, blah. In modern basketball, shooters are taught to shoot their shot no matter the situation. “Shoot your shot” is the way the phrase goes. Pulley and Curl are clearly shooters.

College Football Playoff Game of the Week

#4 Michigan at #10 Ohio State.

It means everything to Michigan and Ohio State is unfamiliar position of spoiler. The time is now for the Wolverines. Go get it done #goblue

 

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The Astros rotation looks like a strength moving forward. Composite Getty Image.

The Houston Astros are coming off a much-needed series win over the White Sox, but have a quick turnaround as they host the Orioles on Friday night at Minute Maid Park.

The 'Stros dropped the first game of the series with Framber Valdez on the mound, but were able to rebound with Hunter Brown and Spencer Arrighetti starting the final two games.

Brown was brilliant once again, and Arrighetti bounced back after a disastrous start against the Tigers over the weekend. Despite all the injures to the Astros staff this season, their young pitchers are stepping up when they need them the most.

Brown has six consecutive quality starts and is beginning to show signs that he can be the top of the rotation pitcher the club always hoped he could develop into.

Arrighetti has stepped in and shown that he belongs in the big leagues, and has provided innings Houston desperately requires with so many pitchers on the injured list.

Speaking of which, with Justin Verlander on the IL, Double A prospect Jake Bloss will make the start for Houston on Friday night. Bloss has quickly progressed through the farm system, having been drafted just a year ago.

We'll see how he performs in his MLB debut, but the club seems to have a lot of quality pitching options moving forward, especially with Luis Garcia and Lance McCullers scheduled to return in late July and early August respectively.

And as we look at the Astros rotation moving forward, perhaps they will go back to a six-man rotation during certain stretches in the second half of the season.

Which could prove to be vital to the team's success. As good as Ronel Blanco has been, he's never pitched as many innings as he'll be asked to pitch this year. Same goes for Arrighetti. And let's face it, sending Verlander out to pitch on four days rest consistently at 41 years old doesn't sound like a wise decision. He's already been on the IL twice this year.

While some see Garcia and McCullers as wild cards to help the team this season, Astros GM Dana Brown doesn't see it that way. He told the Astros flagship station this week that he's counting on those guys to make big contributions when they return. And he's counting on their postseason experience should they get there.

Keep in mind, Garcia has a 3.61 career ERA and has been durable outside the Tommy John surgery. And McCullers has always been good, it's just the health that causes concern.

Garcia is also an example of how a player can skip Double A and Triple A and have success right away in the big leagues. Hopefully, Bloss can follow in his footsteps, since he's bypassing Triple A to make his first start.

So what's the short and long-term outlook for the Astros rotation? And should we expect Verlander to return in 2025?

Be sure to watch the video above as we address those questions and much more!

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