Land of 10
Breakfast of Victors

Michigan’s loss at Northwestern a gut punch but not devastating, Devin Funchess returns and more …

Wake up University of Michigan fans and welcome to Breakfast of Victors, Land of 10’s daily morning briefing of Wolverines athletics. We’ll get your weekdays started with all the latest Michigan news, notes and insights. Our goal is to bring you closer to the Maize-and-Blue, your favorite school.

Today is Thursday, March 2, and here’s your Breakfast of Victors …

Michigan’s last-second loss at Northwestern on Wednesday night stings and hurts the pride, but don’t expect it to be a blemish on the Wolverines’ NCAA tournament resume.

The loss did drop Michigan to 2-8 on the road this season, but losing on a heave-and-a-prayer to another NCAA-caliber team like Northwestern is no shame. Michigan went into the game ranked No. 27 in the rankings, and the loss didn’t affect that standing. The same thing should happen with other rating systems.

Even Jerry Palm thinks so. And he knows a thing or two about brackets.

The wins against Wisconsin and Purdue were much better than this loss at Northwestern (21-9, 10-6 Big Ten) was damaging. Don’t forget about Michigan’s November non-conference victories against SMU (25-4) and Marquette (18-11), which continue to look better and better.

Michigan (19-11, 9-8) is assured of opening the Big Ten Tournament next Thursday regardless of what happens in the regular-season finale Sunday at Nebraska.

“Just a wonderful atmosphere. Two great teams. Northwestern is doing it the right way with great student-athletes that really played their heart out,” Beilein said. “For us, our kids are a bit devastated right now because we fought so hard to get in the game, to stay in the game. We just had some unusual things happen and then we lose the game in that way.

“It had to be an absolutely perfect pass to make that happen.”

Back home, with a friend

The NFL is focused on its draft process, especially with the annual combine having started in Indianapolis. While that’s going on, players who have already gone through that process are busy getting themselves ready for next season and for life after football.

Former Michigan wide receiver Devin Funchess, now with the Carolina Panthers, is back in Ann Arbor working out. Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston is working out with him at the UM facilities. According to a tweet by Michigan director of player personnel Sean Magee, Funchess and Winston are also taking part in the inaugural NFL Business Academy at Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

The week-long seminar is designed to provide players with a variety of tools in business aspects, including entrepreneurship, leadership, management skills and marketing.

“We are dedicated to preparing our players for the next phase in their lives,” said Charles Way, vice president of NFL Player Engagement. “This expanded program provides the education, mentorship and business advice that will help our players and their significant others to achieve success in a variety of careers after their time on the field.”

Breakfast links