So I'm dusting off the blog, weeks after the NFL draft ...
Irish Sports Daily released a list of the top five running backs that Notre Dame will face in 2013 - with none being from Michigan. (The list is made up of four Pac-12 products and one Big 12 back: Damien Williams, Oklahoma; Silas Redd, USC; Marion Grice and D.J. Foster, Arizona State; and Tyler Gaffney, Stanford) Should that be a surprise? Frankly, Michigan's stable of running backs, right now, don't deserve to be on that list.
Michigan's offensive backfield enters the 2013 season bearing a big maize-and-blue question mark. The top two contenders at running back/fullback are Fitzgerald Toussaint, a senior who never quite found his groove during an unsettled 2012 season that ended with a broken leg against Iowa, and Derrick Green, a heralded yet unproven incoming freshman.
That uncertainty, however, might be good for Michigan, in an under-the-radar way.
On the other hand, ISD puts Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner as one of the top five quarterbacks the Irish will face in 2013 - a ranking that's warranted, given that Gardner took control of Michigan's offense in the five games he started at quarterback in 2012.
Michigan's challenge going into the 2013 season will be to find that balance in the pro-style offense between its quarterback and its run game. The second half of that equation depends on who emerges in the backfield.
The Sporting News has named Taylor Lewan as one of the top 25 college football players entering the 2013 season - at No. 11.
Texas A&M quarterback and Heisman winner Johnny Manziel tops the publication's list, even after a weekend in which he nearly begged out of College Station via Twitter.
And I'm doing some crowdsourcing ...
Rank these three opponents as far as the rivalry goes:
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me on Twitter - @RLenziBlade - with your thoughts.