It was a football frenzy last night on “The Knee Jerks”, my weekly sports gabfest with Big Al from The Wayne Fontes Experience.

Our guest was U-M and Lions radio analyst Jim Brandstatter, who gave us some insight on Michigan football after the Wolves’ 31-7 win over WMU on Saturday. And yes, we touched on the controversy brewing in Ann Arbor over practice time.

“I believe Michigan does things right,” Brandy said, admittedly not surprisingly!

We did about 25 minutes on U-M, then another 25 on the Lions. More big news to talk about there, with the naming of Matthew Stafford as the starting QB.

“It was just a matter of time,” Brandstatter said of Stafford becoming the starter.

We thank Mr. Brandstatter, who hustled back home after a couple days up north with his family to do a special Labor Day edition of TKJ. Thanks, Brandy!

After Brandstatter, Al and I gave our opinions on Michigan and the Lions, then we launched into a spirited discussion about the Tigers and their playoff chances (I declared the race over and done with). As we talked, a dark horse name emerged as the team’s third starter in the playoffs.

By the time we got done with football and the Tigers—which included handicapping Jim Leyland’s chances of being Manager of the Year, Miggy Cabrera’s chances of being AL MVP, and Placido Polanco’s chances of being a Tiger next year (he’s a free agent after the season and young 2B Scott Sizemore is in the wings)—it was time to name our Jerks of the Week, which we colorfully did, as usual!

Some highlights:

Big Al

On U-M QB Denard Robinson: “This kid has another gear that I didn’t think was humanly possible. A couple defenders had an angle on him during his touchdown run and he just ran right past them!”

On new D-coordinator Greg Robinson: “Robinson might be the best ‘acquisition’ Michigan picked up in the off-season. The defense was aggressive and not reactive, as under (2008’s coordinator) Scott Shaffer.”

On Cabrera: “We got on his case earlier in the season for putting up empty stats, but this guy’s been on fire since the All-Star Break.”

On Leyland: “He has that 2006 aura going on right now.”


On who should be the starting QB for U-M: “Sooner or later you have to throw the ball, and while I like Robinson’s athleticism, I think Tate Forcier’s the best choice, long term.”

On Rich Rodriguez: “The win over WMU was nice, but he’s going to have to do a lot more than that to ingratiate himself in the Michigan culture. If he beats Notre Dame, that’s a huge step in the right direction.”

On U-M/Notre Dame: “I see a blowout for Michigan. I don’t know what it is, but I just sense Michigan winning by at least two touchdowns. I think Charlie Weis is overrated, too.”

On Polanco: “If the Tigers only offer him a one-year deal, that’s an insult. And why not move Scott Sizemore to shortstop and let him play there until Polanco’s ready to move on or retire?”

You can listen to the episode by clicking HERE.