Mike Spath points out that doing an interview for the official site is a pretty good indicator he'll be back.
Arizona DE Craig Roh has committed to Michigan. Informative update coming.
GURU RATINGS & CHATTER
|4*, #67, #8 DE||4*, #188, #8 WDE||82, #87, #6 DE|
Roh's guru ratings are, on average, slightly better than Anthony LaLota, who committed last week. Roh will be a weakside compliment to Lalota, who's already around 260 and will probably play at at least 270. Roh's around 225, more of an edge rusher. ESPN bot Tom Luginbill:
"He is a prospect who plays smart and displays good recognition skills and instincts for the game and puts himself into positions to be successful on the field. He can quickly get off the ball and be violent with his hands. He has good speed and can pressure the quarterback. He is also a well-rounded prospect who also excels in the classroom with a 4.3 GPA."
ESPN's scouting report($) is weirdly reserved for a guy who is in their top 100 and will play in their All Star game this winter:
Roh is a productive and sound player. As he physically develops he has the tools to be a good and accountable defensive player at the college level. He may not always be the most athletic kid lined up, but he knows how to play the game and get himself in situations to be successful.
WTF? That reads more like the scouting report for a guy they give a three-star-equivalent rating. They mention the need to "add bulk," FWIW.
And your weekly dose of eeeeeeee Barwis:
"He's out-of-this-world good," Roh said of Michigan's new conditioning guru. "He was the most impressive strength and conditioning coach I've seen. He's very outside the box. They don't just do ordinary lifting, and that really impressed me."
Roh's final five was impressive: Michigan, USC, UCLA, Nebraska, and Arizona State. Other suitors were numerous: 40+ offers including Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Miami, Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri, LSU, Texas, and the entire Pac10.
99 tackles and 15.5 sacks as a junior, garnering all-state recognition.
FAKE 40 TIME
Roh's listed 40 is 4.72, which actually seems feasible given his stature.
Highlights from last year:
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
Well, the kid is a top 100 recruit with offers from just about everyone. That's good. The add-bulk thing might dictate a redshirt, but only if Brandon Graham sticks around for his senior year. Without that luxury we'll probably see Roh on the field as a slight but explosive pass-rushing DE that tantalizes with the occasional big play.
Think Tim Jamison, who flew up recruiting boards his senior year to be rated even slightly above where Roh is currently hanging out. It'll be interesting to see his development under Barwis as opposed to Gittleson; hopefully his big strong muscles are the things getting developed instead of his spare tire.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
Michigan's severe need at defensive end has been met in under a week by two high-rated players with offers from a who's who of college football programs. Huzzah! Assuming Michigan re-acquires the commitment of five-star DT Will Campbell, Michigan will have a full defensive line of four-star-plus prospects. Score.
The only potential downer: Lalota, who just started playing last year, and Roh, who needs to add weight, might need a year or two before they're ready to go. With Michigan's tendency to rotate defensive ends and the lack of options in front of him they might not have that luxury.
As far the rest of the class goes: Michigan's still in the running for a variety of other guys, including a top-50 type in SC DE Sam Montgomery, and may take a third. The next guy on commitment watch is Cass Tech safety Thomas Gordon; past that Michigan needs a couple more guys in the secondary and another OL or two.
Okay, so we put up the Bo T-Shirt during the summer and a lot of people purchased it. Then they waited because Rich Robots was switching providers and printers and this didn't go very well. These people got shirts, but very late, and they were charged very early.
Then we got a note from the Bo foundation/organization/paramilitary threatening to sue the begeezus out of us so we had to take the shirt down. We're currently trying to work something out with them, but I'm told things aren't looking great on that front. (But Bo can have his own merlot, which is a little mindboggling.)
This meant a large number of people who had not received the shirt sat there waiting and never got one and only got a refund eventually.
This is Not Good, and we're sorry. In an attempt to make it up to you, we've got a three-pronged attack:
- Anyone who ended up waiting an unacceptable amount of time and did not get a shirt should have a refund. If you don't, please email me. This summer I'm going to implement a "subscription" option that will remove the ads for anyone who signs up; these people will get two-year freebies.
- MGoStore is having a "no, seriously, we actually do make and send out shirts" sale. Everything is 25% off until September 30th. The sale code: "MGoBlog Autumn".
- We're also implementing a contest: every week the best diary entry as chosen by yrs truly, will get their diary bumped to the front page and a shirt of their choice for free. The start of a week is defined as Saturday; the diary contest will run weekly during the season and monthly the rest of the year.
Now is the time to get your "Bow Down, Little Brother" shirt.
- My father didn't wear the shirt to the Miami game.
- The sun got the message and went away like whoah
- Antonio Bass' traitorous knee doesn't seem like quite so enormous a deal after Dual Threet looked like an actual quarterback Saturday.
- Eagles Fans in Maize get off the board but project to return after Wisconsin.
- West Virginia has finally come around on Bill Stewart.
- Me, for completely forgetting this feature last week. If I do it again I'll have to be dead to me, which will be interesting.
- Ball oilers of South Bend. Hur hur hur. Actually, no: seriously, what's with the oily ball, South Bend?
- Incredibly Surprising Quarterback Draws. I'm done with these until Carlos Brown can run more than one play here. Also: Threet.
- Carson Butler. Line of the week came from commenter tbliggins in reference to the St. Patrick's Day Nerd Massacre: "Maybe Butler finally found the correct guy that asked to use his iron." +1. As for Carson: don't hit people, yo.
- The lack of sun. Dude, sun, you just don't do shades of gray on gameday, do you?
- The general bloodymindedness of the universe. *#@$ me, universe. Seriously? Are we seriously about to throw down?
- The 4-3 against a spread. Still not a fan, but probably will be against the Illini.
Roh! Though it comes with the promise of headline puns so horrible (Ruh Roh! or something about Rohing your boat, for example) that brains across the Midwest threaten to explode at the mere possibility, AZ DE Craig Roh will commit to a college tonight at 6:30 on ESPNU. If a guy commits on ESPNU, does he make a noise? We're about to find out. Probably the answer is yes.
As for the answer to "where will he go," all I can say is Sam Webb said something along the lines of "I am extremely, extremely, extremely, extremely, extremely, extremely confident" a couple days ago on WTKA, give or take an "extremely."
The peripherals are certainly encouraging: USC was thought to be the main competition but Roh took an unofficial to Arizona State instead of an official to USC last weekend. Meanwhile, the Trojans got Nick Perry in at the last second, which dims their depth chart's star in Roh's eye. He was scheduled to visit UCLA this weekend before suddenly deciding to decide.
So: probably good news.
You, you with the #38 jersey and diamond top hat. You're never going to believe your friggin' luck. No, seriously. This, my friend, is your lucky day.
Your lucky day.
BAM. Hey, I know what you're thinking: "a framed photograph of a pretty good but not exactly awe-inspiring kicker, I'd probably shell out at least 40 grand for that."
Well, let me tell you, man, this is your lucky day: just 170 bucks. It's hot, but it's not stolen!
Hey, remember when? I don't know what's weirder about this clip provided by a helpful reader: a future vice presidential candidate doing TV sports or Michigan basketball being notable enough to be discussed in Alaska. Relevant section comes after the dog racing:
Please, no politics discussion in the comments, as that only leads to doom.
Oh, Charlie. Classic Weis:
"I think the message I wanted to say to them before we went out of the locker room is, 'Today's the day you make the change,'" Weis said. "I'd like to sit there and take the kudos, but it wasn't me, it was the players."
Please attempt to imagine any other football coach in the world saying that.
Life on the margins sucks, yo. Anyone even vaguely familiar with Dr Saturday's brilliant Life on the Margins series knew that Michigan would figure prominently in this week's edition, and it is so:
Mr Hinton recaps the various pratfalls and sums up:
loss or not, Michigan should come away feeling better about its prospects for the season than it did after either of its first two games. Notre Dame's offense didn't do much when not handed a readymade scoring opportunity, and Michigan's offense, when not dropping the ball on the ground, looked like a functional unit for the first time, with a viable quarterback in Steven Threet and a potential star in Sam McGuffie. And there's no way they lose four fumbles again in a single afternoon.
This echoes the "Fluck" post from Monday; I co-sign except for the "now way they lose four fumbles again" part. Because: seriously.
For posterity. Because I just know there will be snarky newspaper articles going "lol internet" after Michigan ceases its reign of suck, I just want to note this lolmsm piece from the Monroe Evening News:
Well, Rich Rodriguez certainly has lowered the bar. After a 1-2 start, Michigan football fans searching for something are relegated to pointing out that the Wolverines have improved every week.
That's not saying much. Michigan was horrible in its season-opening loss to Utah. It struggled to beat less-than-mediocre Miami (Ohio) last week, a team that is tied for last place in the Mid-American Conference.
Indeed, Miami(Ohio) is tied for last place at 0-0. It goes on from there. It's vastly stupid and knee-jerk and all that. It did not come from the internet. I'm going to collect these.
Meanwhile in Cheeseland. Jonathan Casillas given a DUI after blowing a .15 and draws no suspension. Not that this is surprising since Bret Bielema has shown tremendous reluctance to suspend players for anything short of instigating thermonuclear war, but surely there has to be some Wisconsin-based Sharp ready to proclaim the downfall of western civilization. Actually, no: as of yet there's zero media reaction.
Also, Casillas was on a moped. This is in and of itself hilarious, but two years ago another Wisconsin linebacker, Elijah Hodge, was arrested for stealing a moped. So, like… wow. Mopeds.
It's alive. The Big Ten Network was a money sink last year, but not this year:
Murdoch said that its college sports channel—the Big Ten Network—cost about $83 million to launch. But in the past few months the network has reached distribution deals with most of the major cable operators—it signed deals with Comcast and Time Warner in June and August—and is expected to report a small profit this year.
Now just imagine if they got actual advertisements on the BTN.
Sometimes I am lame and don't answer questions in a timely fashion. So some of this stuff makes no the sense, as I meant to post this up before the ND game. Bear with me.
Why do our quarterbacks clap to initiate the play?. Is a traditional snap count something Rod has done away with to simplify the offense or is this just a feature of his spread? Our o-line is a weakness as it is, I don't think we need to make it any easier on opposing defenders...
I’m just as puzzled about the clapping as you are. The process appears to be:
- The offense sets.
- The quarterback raises his leg like you see most NFL QBs do in the shotgun.
- The QB checks with the sideline for a new play.
- QB claps, center snaps.
I’m pretty sure Michigan isn’t using no snap count whatsoever, it’s just that the count is silent. DEs don’t have license to time the snap with impunity. There will be variable pauses between the clap and the snap.
Michigan lines up in a set, ready-to-snap position to force the defense to reveal its formation, but after they go to the sidelines you'll see a lot of shifting by the D, making the first read of questionable value. Michigan hasn't snapped it after the first ready-snap signal yet… why? It would seem a good opportunity to catch the opponent napping.
I chalk it up to inexperience with the offense; I assume we'll see it later this year and in future years when Rodriguez isn't working with the equivalent of all freshmen.
How worried should we be that Rodriguez seems to be using too many scholarships on 3-star backs and receivers when we're in pretty severe need of, say, linebackers, DEs and O-linemen? I guess he probably knows what he's doing, but I feel like somebody needs to tell him, "hey, you're Michigan now, you can recruit sweet players at positions of need. And if you're going to stockpile that many skill guys on offense, you can at least get the good ones."
This email is a little old and was written before the Lalota commitment, but the point still stands. Until I knock it down. Michigan's three star skill commitments are:
- Teric Jones, who a lot of people think will move up.
- Vincent Smith. Smith is like 5'8 or 5'6", so he's not going to get high guru rankings unless he's ridiculous a la Noel Devine. But he's a fit for the spread at a spot (slot/RB) where Michigan needs more numbers.
- DeWayne Peace. Peace was the one camp offer/commit this year. Michigan usually got a few of these guys under Carr, so that's not out of line. Peace is also a potential corner.
That doesn't seem out of line when you consider that Michigan has a solid four-star RB in Fitzgerald Toussaint and a top-100 WR in Bryce McNeal. And no tight ends, ever again.
Meanwhile, Michigan is on track for a Lalota-Jones-Campbell-Roh DL (which reads excellent-good-sick-excellent in terms of guru hype and offers). They've got four-ish LBs in the class. And they'll be graduating no offensive linemen.
At this point the biggest needs are in the secondary, where Michigan has one excellent prospect in JT Turner and will probably pick up three-star safety Thomas Gordon but needs another two guys, and on the OL, where you'd like to see them acquire one or two more guys.
I have a question for you. I have located lists of things to do or see when I have been going to a couple of other colleges to watch games (Notre Dame, Michigan St), but I haven't ever seen a list of things to do or see when you are going to a Michigan game, other then at Maize N Brew, and I can't eat that much pizza. I had a great time touring around Notre Dame and walking around State before the Michigan/State game last year.
I am wondering if you can give a bit of help to a Canadian who is a big Michigan fan, but has yet to see many of the game day festivities on his trips to the big house, other then the stadium itself and saline rd. Any advice?
This email so old that I think this guy may have come and gone, but it's a good question anyway. I have a Visitors Guide to Ann Arbor in the works that has an ETA of 2009; for now I suggest checking out Arbor Wiki for a general overview of stuff and (debatably accurate since they don't have an entry that says STAY AWAY FROM "MONKEY BAR" AT ALL COSTS) restaurant/bar recommendations.
Personally, I don't really know much in the way of what goes on for gameday festivities because my routine since time immemorial has been to go to my family tailgate. Can commenters/emailers help?
Via Mike Krautner comes this summary of the Orin Incandenza action from the first two games:
Below is a list of of the yards for each of our opponents 14 punts this season:
52, 38 (but to the Michigan 11 yard line), 36 (touchback), 59, Blocked, 48, 50, 56, 55, 53, 74, 35 (but to the Michigan 10 yard line), 58, 46.
What a nightmare for a team with an awful offense (and a clueless punt returner).
And, finally, there's no way to post this without ripping off Bill Simmons:
Yes, someone got a custom-made MGoOnesie for their baby. I have to say it: yep, these are my readers.
|1||Southern Cal (65)||24.6||3.0||--|
|14||East Carolina (1)||12.9||4.7||4|
Total Ballots: 70
Well, it was nice knowing you, Ohio State. OSU takes the pipe, USC takes #1 by a vast margin, and the rest of the shakeout is pretty interesting. Though the preseason AP and Blog polls were nearly identical, three weeks in we have some large discrepancies:
- The BP is way more enthusiastic about #9 Penn State (#16 AP), #21 Vandy (UR AP), #22 Oklahoma State (UR AP)
- The BP is down on #15 Auburn (#10 AP), #18 OSU (#13 AP), and #25 West Virginia (#21 AP).
Last week the BP was much higher on ECU (then #10) than the AP (then #14) was, but enthusiasm scaled back after a narrow win against Tulane.
Wack Ballot Watchdog
I’ve again omitted anything from the resume zealots, such as “Texas #24”. We know the reasons behind these votes and as such they aren’t “wack.”
- ARRGH THIS IS WHY YOU POST YOUR BALLOTS FOR REVISION ON MONDAY: Buffs.tv has South Carolina #1. Wrong SC.
- To the four guys voting for Tennessee… really? I mean, seriously? Similarly… Cal voters?
- From Old Virginia shot Nebraska up to #11, three spots higher than any other voter and one of only three voters to place the Huskers above #20, after NU beat—woo!—New Mexico State.
- Except for couple resume zealots who have the Tigers lower, Garnet and Black Attack’s ranking of #20 for LSU is five spots worse than any other voter.
- Georgia #18 is weird even for a resume zealot (Rakes of Mallow in this case), especially since they have a win over an actual half-respectable SEC team and a similar team (Vandy) that had a narrower win over the same freakin’ team ends up #12. WTF.
- Fulmer’s Belly: dinging Arizona State one spot for a loss against UNLV seems generous.
There’s still not much because we have little data. Extracurriculars after the jump.
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.
Ah, Texas Tech, atop your familiar highest standard deviation throne. Play someone ever, please. Meanwhile, pay no attention to the “lowest STDEV” please: the Buffs.tv vote above throws it off like whoah.
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.
This will probably be the end of DocSat’s iron-fisted grip over one of the top two spots as voters start moving towards ranking by resume, but not yet. I can go into ballot oddities if you like, but you know the story already: voting exclusively by results on the field in the first few weeks is an exercise in wild swings and weird rankings:
- ECU #2, BYU #4, USF #6, Vandy #9
- Utah and Notre Dame living at #11 and #12 off victories over a distinctly non-vintage Michigan team.
- LSU #24, OU #13, OSU gone.
I should probably just denote resume zealots early in the year and have a separate table for them, eh?
I never have much to say about Mr. Numb Existence since by definition the winner of the award has submitted a ballot closely in line with the poll as a whole. And this is the one award that goes to a sane voter instead of an extremist. And I’m a bit concerned that people will think all publicity is good publicity. So, new feature: Mr. Numb Existence gets a good recent post highlighted.
Our inaugural Suck Up To The Sane people recipient is Third Saturday in Blogtober, which is a weird concept blog based around the Tennessee-Alabama rivalry. It covers both schools and is the kind of blog that actually seeks out painful moments from years past to relive; TSIB knows that pain is part of college football fandom. They’ve just dredged up a horrible, horrible moment from Vol history:
You’ve experienced it. It’s the moment when you stare ahead but you can’t really see anything. You know there’s noise around you, but you just hear a hum. Movement is everywhere, but you don’t notice.
Fourteen seconds. Dead silence. Players celebrating. Game-winner. Throat-slash. Dropped ball.
That’s all that fit in my small mind as I watched from the sideline.
It’s known simply as “The Catch” to Tennessee fans - Sept. 16, 2000.
Tennessee fans get their catharsis… Bama fans get their schadenfreude… all in one place!
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.
The CK Award could not claim a third straight victim, as Auburn beat Mississippi State 3-2, but hey, man, do you doubt this thing’s power? Just place the words “3-2 victory over Mississippi State” in your head with your favorite team in place of Auburn and see how you like it. That’s what I thought. This thing is evil. I give it 4/5 CKs for its performance last weekend.
Meanwhile, this week I believe we have a first: a non-BCS team taking the award. Block U has the temerity to rank Utah #13. Some mitigating factors: this is a bit high but the margin here isn’t in the outrageous range, Block U also has hated rival BYU a spot ahead of the Utes, and that vote isn’t even the highest for the school in question. In the past these things have sometimes let a CK victim off the hook.
There’s a dangerous game ahead for Utah: a roadie against Air Force.
Rope-a-dope wins the Straight Bangin’ award as Buckeye Commentary completely excises Ohio State from its ballot. This is a common coping mechanism for FAIL teams that have performed FAIL poorly the previous FAIL week. FAIL.
With all due respect to their win at Fresno State, this might be the worst top-ten team in the history of the major polls. They're just not very good on defense, with too much of a penchant for missed tackles, bad angles to ball-carriers, and blown assignments. Fresno couldn't take advantage because of an inaccurate kicker and some key drops. Teams like Penn State, Ohio State, and even Michigan State won't make those mistakes as much once we're in the teeth of the Big Ten season.
While I can’t sign up for “worst top ten team in the history of the major polls” because there has to be some 4-6 Notre Dame team out there claiming a national title, that’s a damning assessment from an actual Wisconsin fan.
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.
I’m all in favor of these massive swings from the resume zealots since they all represent their ballots coming more in line with those of the poll at large. Here, Saurian Sagacity’s strict tier system of voting improves massively from week two to week three. Here is an award. You are Manic-Depressive.
Sometimes the Mr. Stubborn winner isn’t all that stubborn, it’s just freakishly prescient. This is the case this week, as RazorBloggers already had USC at #1, USF pretty high, Kansas, ASU, UCLA, and Cal pretty low, ECU right around where they fall in the poll at large. It’s more amazing Kreskin than Mr. Stubborn.
Mizzourah is also is in a similar boat with extreme skepticism of the Pac-10 and Ohio State serving him well; oddly, they go from one of the poll’s most negative OSU voters (#8 last week) to one of its more optimistic ones (#13 this week).