Notebook: Harbaugh talks Playoff, quarterbacks

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said Sunday night that he thinks the ideal format for the College Football Playoff involves 16 teams.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said Sunday night that he thinks the ideal format for the College Football Playoff involves 16 teams. Buy this photo
Evan Aaron/Daily

 

Sunday, December 3, 2017 - 9:29pm

If you haven’t heard already, no Big Ten team made the College Football Playoff. 

Instead, the Playoff committee opted for a one-loss Alabama team.

It didn’t take long for Jim Harbaugh to be asked about his reaction to the lack of conference representation in the Playoff when he was featured on the Outback Bowl teleconference Sunday night.

And his answer didn’t disappoint, as he stressed that a 16-team playoff would be ideal in his mind.

“My reaction is that there should be more than four teams in the Playoff,” he said. “Again, just reiterate — eight teams, 12 teams, 16 teams. … That would make it more like every other sport. … I think it’s the ideal way to do it.”

PETERS THE NO. 1: According to Harbaugh, the Wolverines are set to resume full team practices Monday.

And when that time comes, redshirt freshman Brandon Peters will be Michigan’s starting quarterback.

“We’ll start practice with Brandon as the No. 1 quarterback,” Harbaugh said.

Peters took over the starting reigns midway through the Wolverines’ matchup against Rutgers, but was injured against Wisconsin and subsequently went through concussion protocol. Though he wasn’t cleared in time to face the Buckeyes, he did resume practicing last Tuesday.

Of course, the current certainty to start Peters comes in the wake of redshirt junior Wilton Speight’s announcement that he will be transferring to play out his final year of eligibility elsewhere. Harbaugh, though, has no hard feelings about Speight’s decision.

“I just support him, like all the guys on the team. I support what they think is best for them. … I’ve always had a good relationship with Wilton, and I was … just happy that he came in to talk to me.

“We had an honest discussion — always strive for that with all of our players — and just know what’s on his mind. Nothing secretive, nothing’s coming from the dark shadows. It doesn’t have to be that way — just good, upfront, honest dialogue. And I appreciate those kind of relationships the most.”

“NOT GOOD ENOUGH”:  As is customary, the preparation leading up to the Wolverines’ bowl game provides players — especially those who didn’t receive significant reps during the regular season — with nearly a full month to improve.

And Harbaugh was quick to acknowledge that the practice time will help Michigan reach a level it has failed to attain thus far this season.

“We look at it right now (as) we’re not good enough. Not good enough to win all of our games and we need to be better. We need to be good enough. And that starts now. That really started last week, as we go forward, building and attacking.”

MISCELLANEOUS: Tyree Kinnel said Sunday afternoon that he is “100 percent” healthy, after suffering his first ever concussion against Ohio State. He went through concussion protocol for a week before being cleared.

Harbaugh said he was “leaning toward” preserving Tarik Black’s medical redshirt by not playing him in the Outback Bowl. Black played in four games this year before suffering a broken foot, and according to NCAA rules four games is the maximum a player can play to qualify for a medical redshirt. According to Harbaugh, Black will most likely resume practicing.

Michigan’s starters did not practice last week, but did have weight room sessions. Backups practiced last Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Harbaugh said that full team practices will resume tomorrow.