Meram is scoring some sweet-ass goals of late
The Heisenblog has all college commits and players helpfully listed. I distill further:
23 PACIORETTY, MAX USHL SIOUX CITY 20-Nov-88 6' 1.5" 203 * LW L
68 PALUSHAJ, AARON USHL DES MOINES 7-Sep-89 5' 11" 170 * RW R
89 WINNETT, BEN BCHL SALMON ARM 3-Apr-89 5' 11.75" 173 * LW R
90 LLEWELLYN, TRISTIN USHL TRI-CITY 2-May-89 6' 1" 189 * D L
124 RUST, MATT USDP USA U-18 23-Mar-89 5' 9.5" 192 * C L
152 CAPORUSSO, LOUIE OPJRA ST. MICHAELS 21-Jun-89 5' 9.25" 185 * C L
(Note that D commit Kevin Quick was a third-rounder last year and G commit Bryan Hogan is ranked #14 amongst goalies.)
Now, these are all "NA" rankings. The CSB holds North American Skaters separate from Euros until their final rankings, so mentally shove everyone down a few rounds. Pacioretty is probably a second-rounder. Palushaj fourth, Winnett and Llewellyn fifth or sixth, and Rust and Caporusso will either go at the tail end of the draft or not at all.
Note: if you see last week's poll it's a cache thing, I think. Refresh should cure it.
Hurray, that's the poll hurray. If you're interested, you can see all the individual ballots here.
Four voters bail and swim to the flatly indefensible idea of Boise State, national champions. Don't take my word for it: SMQ demolished blue-turfed hopes yesterday. Defectors from the cause of sense and sensibility:
- Card Chronicle
- Pitch Right
- The Nittany Notebook
- 50-Yard Lion.
Penn State loves them some contrarianism or hates them some Urban Meyer, take your pick. Despite said aberrations, Florida is your 2006 Blogpoll Champion.
Grating: Wisconsin over Michigan, as there's little doubt Wisconsin's record would also feature two losses had they bothered to play Ohio State; add in the matter of Michigan's two-touchdown victory over the Badgers in the Big Ten opener and that ranking smacks of rote AP-ism. Bad voters.
Risers: Cal was your biggest winner, up six after blowing A&M into ag nuggets in the Holiday Bowl. Boise shot up to #4 after Fiesta Del Johnson.
Fallers: Though oddly forgiving of Ohio State's thorough beating in a bowl game because their offensive line decided they couldn't block, voters hammered Michigan six spots. Notre Dame's thorough beating for similar reasons -- sensing a midwestern trend here -- similarly cost them six spots. But the biggest dropper was Tennessee, down eight to #25 after losing to Penn State.
Now on to the extracurriculars. First up are the teams which spur the most and least disagreement between voters as measured by standard deviation. Note that the standard deviation charts halt at #25 when looking for the lowest, otherwise teams that everyone agreed were terrible (say, Eastern Michigan) would all be at the top.
Ballot math: First up are "Mr. Bold" and "Mr. Numb Existence." The former goes to the voter with the ballot most divergent from the poll at large. The number you see is the average difference between a person's opinion of a team and the poll's opinion.
Mr. Bold is 50-Yard Lion, one of our Boise fans. Other anomalies: Hawaii #16, Texas #20, Arkansas #22, BYU #10, TCU #14. Mid-major mad is 50YL.
Mr. Numb Existence Is Maize 'n' Brew; in case anyone is wondering that 0.75 is extraordinarily low. But you weren't so nevermind.
Next we have the Coulter/Krugman Award and the Straight Bangin' Award, which are again different sides of the same coin. The CKA and SBA go to the blogs with the highest and lowest bias rating, respectively. Bias rating is calculated by subtracting the blogger's vote for his own team from the poll-wide average. A high number indicates you are shameless homer. A low number indicates that you suffer from an abusive relationship with your football team.
Straight Bangin' Award is Rocky Top Talk's for excluding Tennessee from his ballot. Since Tennessee is #25 in the poll at large, this can be safely filed under "sane" and we can move on.
Swing is the total change in each ballot from last week to this week (obviously voters who didn't submit a ballot last week are not included). A high number means you are easily distracted by shiny things. A low number means that you're damn sure you're right no matter what reality says.
Mr. Manic-Depressive goes to Orange 44, and it's fairly easy to see why: WOOOOO BOISE STATE, up 18(!) to #2. The rest of the ballot follows in that vein.
Mr. Stubborn is the 614, an Ohio State blog who probably wishes it was still last week and his ballot reflects that.
Warning: if you like pot way too much stop reading right now before it's too la--
Duuuude. Freaky. I am your duly appointed nomination representative for the following awards.
The Trev Alberts Quits To Do Construction Award
(AKA "The Award Winner For Winning The Most Clumsily Named Award Category Winner Award Award," AKA "The Trev")
FOR: The funniest blog.
(Wait... where am I? This is bullcrap! This is just like the BCS.)
Best New Blog
FOR: The best blog started within the past year.
- Card Chronicle
- Fire Mark May
- Conquest Chronicles
- Saurian Sagacity
- Corn From A Jar
- Double Extra Point
Best Podcast/Audio Thing
FOR: A somewhat abstract category, this is either for the best (semi-) regularly produced college football podcast or the single best piece of audio put out by the college football blogosphere during the year.
- Lee Corso Slo Jam, Every Day Should Be Saturday
- The Orgeron Song, Verno's Blog
- Michael Lewis Interview, Every Day Should Be Saturday
- In The Bleachers, In The Bleachers
- Midwestcoast Bias, Midwestcoast Bias
- The Double A Zone
- Friday Night Lites, The House Rock Built
Note that the first three are individual things; the latter four regular podcasts.
Best MSM Blog
FOR: The best blog rocked by an Official Journalist. For the purposes of this category, "Official Journalist" is anyone blogging in said capacity at either a newspaper website or one of the big internet sites like SI.com or ESPN.com; Official Journalists with indie side projects go elsewhere.
Hurray those are the nominees hurray.
Peter Bean has the next batch of soon to be incredibly rich and famous nominated bloggers over at Burnt Orange Nation. He'll post his list around 1 PM.
Unfortunately... ballots were due like an hour ago so no revisions this time. But here.
Poll coming ASAP.
Update 1/9: Removed a fair number of commitments to other schools. Moved CA CB/S Michael Williams to committed. Added NBC's US Army Bowl "highlights" which are less highlights and more "every play." Michael Williams features intermittently, but they're under Mallett (and here: first quarter second quarter third quarter fourth quarter). You'll have to watch Mustachioed Non-Heisman Winner plug Sprint four times, but you can also get in the entire game in like 25 or 30 minutes, which is way less creepy and pedophiliac than watching it live. Or at least that's what I'm telling myself. Game fallout: guy who looks like he walked right off the 1988 World Series of Poker set and into the Texarkana Gazette goes OMG Mallett; GBW gushes; ESPN says that Mallett is at least Clausen's equal($) but they aren't "in love" with any of this year's quarterback class -- they still lifted him from #54 to #12, though.
Meanwhile, three Michigan commits -- WR Toney Clemons, S Jerimy Finch, and C David Molk -- featured in another game that no one saw because it was on ESPNU. Scout has a recap. Sounds like Molk did well; Finch has been shooting up Rivals' -- the lone dissenter on his awesome talent -- board for a while now. He's #30 with a bullet in their latest top 100.
Linked to article on NC DE Kourtnei Brown.
Editorial Opinon: I missed the Army Bowl, which I plain forgot was on, but NBC's extremely helpful video clips above are the entire game compressed into about 25 minutes, so I saw the Mallett exhibition. And... like... damn. He was ponderous on the one designed run they had, but he's ginorbous so that's okay. Most impressive to me were a couple of plays outside the pocket late in the third. One was a waggle bullet put right in his receivers' numbers well downfield, and the second was a similar rollout, only this time Mallet evaded two unblocked defenders smoothly and rifled a ball in-between a couple of defenders. There were also a couple sweet seams, but Clausen and a couple of the harried East quarterbacks found similar success looking for that route so I lean towards coverage restrictions making that a money play in this particular All-Star format.
MGoBlog philosophy on All Star games is this: chemistry and odd rules issues make a poor performance excusable -- dismiss mucho-hyped recruits based on half a game's worth of snaps at your peril -- but there are generally a few players in each game who jump out and establish themselves as no-doubt stars. Witness Justin Boren's roadgrading a year ago, Desean Jackson's explosive performance two years back, etc etc. To me, three guys leapt off the screen: USC commits Everson Griffen and Chris Galippo plus Mallett. Extremely encouraging.
Williams didn't see much action aside from acting as the punt and kickoff returner for the West. He had a couple decent returns but didn't look like a monster threat. At defensive back, he wasn't tested and it's impossible to know if he A) didn't play much, B) covered scrub-ish WRs, or C) was good enough in coverage that QBs shied away from him. Anyone with a more comprehensive opinion on Williams' game is welcome to post it in the comments.
No one saw that other All Star game, but some general impressions from, er, the impressions I've seen:
- Toney Clemons looks like a future star, emphasis on "looks." Raw as hell at the moment, so raw you might want to spell that hell "hail" and put it in italics, mentally.
- Molk is still short but a good pickup anyway. From the above-linked GBW recap:
David Molk really impressed in this All-Star game with his blocking ability and his athleticism. The East's Head Coach, Don Soldinger, when asked who the best player on the team was said -- David Molk. He possibly could be the most athletic offensive center Michigan has had in a very long time. He gets under the pads of the defensive player and drives him down the field and then he searches out the linebacker to block.
Discount for standard GBW-OMG-hype but still something in the plus column for Molk.
Many commits elsewhere. I think the only one I was holding out much hope for was Lorenzo Edwards, who ended up at Florida. That may have been presaged by some MGoBlog commenters who made it clear that majoring in architecture and playing football were not compatible endeavors at Michigan.
The Stretch: Michigan now has 20 commitments and can hypothetically take five more (or even more if they're willing to bend/stretch stuff, but that seems unlikely). Guys remaining we have a shot at:
- TN WR Rashad Mason. Proverbially "blew up" after his senior year. A true sleeper who lost his junior year to a severe car accident. Mason's a 6'6" leaper whose senior film got him offers from a bunch of places. Has set up visits to M, UCLA, and a few SEC schools. Decent shot and this is a recruit Michigan wants badly, stars or no, given the 3 or 4 wideouts already committed in this class.
- MI CB Ronald Johnson. The most shirtless of all corner recruits this year. Widely proclaimed to be a Michigan lock since his name started circulating over a year ago, but we all saw what happened with Dionte Allen. Not a stretch to say that a class with him in it is a success (albeit still slightly disappointing) and one without him is a failure. If any recruit is a must-get, it's him.
- OH LB Jermale Hines. Glenville linebacker now has an OSU offer. Not coming.
- CA CB Donovan Warren. Down to Michigan and various California schools. Not USC would be a shock.
- IN DT Jeff Boyd. Marginal Michigan recruit. Committed to KY but looking around. Teammate of Finch.
- NC DE Kourtnei Brown. Alabama soft commit that will likely firm up his verbal now that Alabama finally has a coach. Says he will decide on signing day between Michigan and a wide array of southern teams. Highly improbable.
- NY OT John Elliot. High profile tackle down to four schools with the instability at BC. All are academically good: Rutgers, UVA, Michigan, etc. Doubtful he comes but not impossible.
- MO OT Donald Stephenson. Three-star OT, Kansas decommit who is visiting. Competition is various Big Twelve schools. Maybe?
Realistically there are two-ish commitments on that list, so Michigan might go scouring for Engelmons as signing day approaches if it has some pending transfers or guys that are not returning for a fifth year and thus surplus scholarships.
There's a press conference at three where Alan Branch will announce his intentions in re: NFL draft. Since he ain't enrolled, it doesn't look good. But official word will go here as soon as there is one.
Update: ESPN says he gone. Not a surprise.