Michigan Wolverines news: Transfer portal departures, Nick Saban retires, and more

Michigan football beat Nick Saban in his final game as Alabama head coach, plus more in our Michigan Wolverines news roundup.
Dec 31, 2023; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban (left) and Michigan
Dec 31, 2023; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban (left) and Michigan / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It was amazing to watch Michigan football beat Nick Saban and Alabama in the Rose Bowl. It made winning the national championship taste even sweeter for the Michigan Wolverines.

But as it turns out, it was the final game of Nick Saban's career as the 27-20 win for the Michigan Wolverines proved to be his final game as Alabama head coach. Saban announced his retirement on Wednesday, leaving just Jim Harbaugh, Kirby Smart, and Dabo Swinney as the three current college football head coaches to have won a national title at their current job.

It just shows how wide open the world of college football is, especially with that departure, which makes the Jim Harbaugh decision to stay or go the NFL even more important. If Harbaugh returns, and J.J. McCarthy returns, a repeat is definitely possible.

Michigan Wolverines lose two to transfer portal

Michigan football players have time to enter the transfer portal after the season and both Jake Thaw and Darrius Clemons entered on Wednesday.

Thaw, of course muffed the final punt return in the Rose Bowl, but smartly recovered the fumble and was able to prevent a safety. It saved the season and Michigan football wouldn't have won the national championship without him. He also made a key catch in the fourth quarter before Michigan's touchdown drive to go up 27-13. The Wolverines had let the ball hit the ground all night on punt returns, in part because of the low line-drive punts from Washington, but that saved field position and was another huge play.

So thanks Jake Thaw, and please don't beat yourself up, man. You're a national champion. Clemons is a former top-150 recruit at wide receiver and his departure stings. With Roman Wilson and Cornelius Johnson going to the NFL, his role would have expanded. But Michigan football doesn't throw the ball a ton.

Strange Dug McDaniel suspension

It was announced on Wednesday by Dug McDaniel and the Michigan basketball program that the Michigan Wolverines point guard would be serving a six-game suspension, which starts for the game tonight in Maryland.

It sounds like it's related to academics. McDaniel will be able to play for home games, but will miss the next six road games if I'm understanding things correctly, which isn't great news for the 6-9 Michigan basketball team.


This team has struggled with Dug McDaniel who is not only the point guard, but one of the best scorers on the rosters, so it's hard to know what we'll get from the Wolverines Thursday night in Maryland.