...says Denzel Valentine of Big Ten Tourney favorite MSU, which is 5-7 in its last 12 games. Cumong, man.
Note: The final BlogPoll will be posted at noonish tomorrow. Get your bets in.
In other news, Ohio State stands for gooded edumuhcation and strict NCAA compliance. Recently dismissed Miami running backs coach Don Seldinger:
'The one thing that bothers me is the U stood for family and tradition and all the things that other colleges don't have,'' Soldinger said.
You knew this picture was coming. (Er... second bullet.)
Holy balls. What is Seldinger's family like? Is he part harpy? Has he gotten his double-digit Jerry Spring guest chip? Is the most delusional thing that has been uttered in the last ten years? Fifteen?
Also of note: Miami offensive line coach Art Kehoe got the boot despite approximately two million years of quality service. He's regarded as one of the best, and with current OL coach Andy Moeller a former linebacker and current LB coach Jim Herrmann, uh, looking around, we could finagle ourselves an opening... nah.
Unfathomable! Inconceivable! I guess if you live in Idaho many things aren't fathomed on a regular basis, like disliking potatoes and turf that doesn't burn your eyes and, like, electricity. Thus Gutierrez's decision to leave Michigan gets this sentence in the Idaho State Journal:
The thought of another year on the sidelines as Henne's backup was unfathomable.
Other than that instance of thesaurus overload, the rest of the article on Gutierrez's future is quite good. Peruse.
(HT: "Wolverines," the simply-titled MLive blog that replaced Gregg Henson's abomination.)
Good riddance, various NFL-bound future opponents! The list of people we won't have to deal with next year is fairly heartening:
- OSU has lost WR Santonio Holmes, CB Ashton Youboty, and S Donte Whitner, bringing their total count of returning defensive starters down to two. Despite graduating the finest assemblage of remarkably ugly, remarkably effective linebackers in all the land, I wouldn't expect that unit to be anything less than average next year, but the secondary is now looking questionable at best.
- Notre Dame TE Anthony Fasano has left early. No doubt Weis E. Coyote will construct a new tight end from the mighty sinews of his frontal buttocks.
- Laurence Maroney and his warp drive are gone, though Minnesota seems to have a never-ending supply of guys they can plug in who will grind out 1,500 yards and watch helplessly as their defense blows yet another season. Gary Russel is next in line, though he won't have the opportunity to run behind Setterstrom and Eslinger.
- Diminutive, evil, Michigan-smiting Brian Calhoun has not officially announced his departure but is widely expected to enter the draft. His replacement can't possibly be as good... right?
- Purdue isn't technically an opponent, but there is a slight chance that they could be a bothersome contender for the Big Ten title next year (hey, I said a slight chance). This chance has gotten even slimmer, as both trash-talking safety Bernard Pollard and prototype DE Ray Edwards have declared.
If you can't beat 'em, inflate their NFL prospects enough to make 'em jump to the league, I guess.
Say goodbye to your little friend? After last year's dismal defensive finish there was a small assortment of tentative rumors regarding Jim Herrmann's demise that amounted to nothing. This year the rumors have returned after a year of Barry Bonds' Totally Legal And Healthy Supplements. They're pissed off... and likely true. Herrmann is reportedly scouring the professional ranks for a face-saving job of any description whatsoever (maybe he can be Butt of Cato June's Jokes Guy for the Colts), as he is unlikely to have a post at Michigan much longer.
Zounds! Three or four years after most Michigan fans had mentally written Herrmann out of the Michigan will and he finally takes the pipe... probably. Replacing him? That's not clear at this point. Humor me for a moment when I say that poster "dwags" from the RCMB has proven in the past that he knows a Michigan insider of some description and gander at this misspelled beauty:
Anyway, English and Lafloer? What do you think of that combo?
(Might have to start calling him "Guy.") I realize this is not the most rock-hard evidence in the world, but others have offered up a comparable rumor; I think there's a good chance that one or both will come to fruition. Loeffler is clearly in line for bigger things sometime soon, either here or elsewhere, and is a key player in the recruitment of one Ryan Mallet. Michigan is probably plotting clever ways to get him more responsibility without thrusting a guy who still gets carded into the role of full-time offensive coordinator.
As for English, he arrived from Arizona State three years ago with a reputation for liking big corners and press coverage, so I think it's safe to say that last year's gameplan did not heavily feature his input. Certain insiders have muttered about English's frustration with the passivity employed by the Wolverines leading to his departure sooner rather than later--that would clearly change if he was the guy in charge of the passivity... er... defense.
English and Loeffler as Michigan's offensive and defensive coordinators would likely signal a wholesale change in the philosophy of the program. Long known primarily for his stodginess, Lloyd Carr would be sporting two charismatic coordinators, one of whom is ethnic, under 40. And we might see a cornerback within ten yards of the line of scrimmage. I suggest you cease praying for orphaned dolphins and switch to an English/Loeffler double bill.
Also saying goodbye is backup quarterback Matt Gutierrez, who is transferring to I-AA Idaho State so he can play. Good luck to Matt, who got a major beating from fate about a year and a half ago but handled with as much class and maturity as is possible. It wouldn't be surprising to see him back on the sidelines in some capacity sometime in the future.
Also also (probably) saying goodbye is greasy-armed malcontent Max Martin. No doubt this will prompt a storm of criticism from those who saw him as something other than Fumblor The Misplaced Linebacker, but um... trust me on this one: we're better off without his presence. Gird yourselves, women and bouncers of Tuscaloosa, for he is coming.
All aboard the I-AA train of total boredom. Michigan finds themselves in a tough spot since the NCAA has authorized a 12-game regular season schedule but no additional week to play it in. Thus if Michigan is to schedule that 12th game it has to be their Big Ten bye week, November 4th. Obviously, this isn't the easiest date to find a free I-A school that wouldn't demand a return engagement. As a result Michigan is likely to welcome someone like the Maine Black Bears for a ritual slaughter.
There is another option: decline to schedule a glorified scrimmage in the middle of November and forgo the five million dollars. Fat chance of that even though Lloyd Carr has publicly slammed the twelfth game, as that five million could be used to build another opulent palace in which to stash the ever-more-important
harem girls academic advisors that are the linchpin of modern day recruiting. It seems more and more apparent that collegiate sports needs its own version of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks. Each BCS team has more than enough firepower to provide sexual congress to every recruit in the country hundreds of times over. It's time to stop the arms race.
|2||Southern Cal||...this is the exact order...|
|3||Penn State||...these somewhat controversial...|
|4||Ohio State||...top four teams were in before. Ha.|
|5||West Virginia||Uh... and I had WVU 13th.|
|6||LSU||Please make up your mind about the sucking.|
|7||Virginia Tech||At least next year will be mercifully devoid of Michael Vick and his chili cheese fries.|
|8||Wisconsin||My great hope for the BlogPoll is that a 10-3 Wisconsin team that played a very tough schedule and beat the tar out of a 9-3 Auburn team ends up, you know, in front of Auburn. Then, and only then, can the BlogPoll declare victory.|
|9||Alabama||It's good! Sort of!|
|10||Georgia||Kyle said it best when he bemoaned the fact that we won't be getting rid of this Big East autobid thanks to the Sugar Bowl.|
|13||Florida||Were handed the game by Iowa with a small assist from Conference USA. Still, 9-3, tough schedule, defense that tends to choke small children to death, etc.|
|14||TCU||Stupid SMU game.|
|15||Notre Dame||Fiesta was a few OSU turnovers from being a lot like that game against the other OSU (Oregon version) a few years back. In the end, ND's best result was a loss to USC. They beat one meh team in Michigan but showed that in reality not even a Super Genius like Weis E. Coyote can make his cornerbacks fast. Worse resume than any of the 9-3 teams ahead of them, thus the harsh assessement.|
|16||UCLA||Hard to believe they're 10-2.|
|17||Louisville||Oversight on first draft.|
|18||Boston College||Winning the Depression Bowl a tough trick for many teams.|
|19||Oklahoma||Not so much of a disaster after all.|
|20||Oregon||The Holiday Bowl: shutting up Pac-10 teams that whine about BCS at-large berths since 2004. And thank you for that.|
|22||Florida State||Wide everything!|
|24||Michigan||Best 7-5 team ever.|
|25||Iowa||Second best 7-5 team ever.|
Games I Saw: BCS bowls, Alamo fiasco, Iowa-UF, AU-UW, bits of VT-UL, and some other random stuff.
Help requested: Anything. There is a vast swath after about #8 where arguments are being heard.
Update: Bumped Oregon down and UCLA up (in front of Oklahoma), Added Louisville at #17, revamped the bottom of the poll to be more internally consistent: if I'm going to overrate Big Ten teams it may as well be the right ones. Thanks to commenter statprof for offering a strong argument in favor of the Cards.
That's Jai Eugene. You recognize the hat, I'm sure. Mr. Eugene is a Louisiana cornerback who everyone thinks is totally excellent (Scout #30, Rivals 250)... the first really high profile corner recruit Michigan has latched on to since Marlin Jackson. Informative update coming; until then Scout has a bunch of pictures and stuff; Rivals has an article.
Also, the basketball team managed to squeak by Purdue 68-65... less than inspiring but better than a loss. Mas later.
Update: There's clearly a strong difference of opinion between Scout and Rivals in this case. ESPN sides with Scout's "yowza!" take, giving him a grade of 7.9 and ranking him #15 overall and the #1 corner:
Eugene has all the tools to develop into a special player at the next level. ... has cover corner written all over him. He is the definition of a fluid football player.
They also chip in some caveats about experience, since Eugene is such a freaky athlete he ended up playing mostly quarterback--much like Antonio Bass. An article announcing his selection to the Army All-American team has a couple additional quotes on his ability (warning! Lemming alert!):
"A quarterback first in high school, Jai has tremendous athleticism. He sees the game extremely well, and has the physical tools to star at corner on the college level," says Scout.com.
"Jai shows big-time speed, instincts, and always gets a good break on the ball," says Lemming. "He takes good angles to the ball and shows tremendous range."
...and finally, this article has a quote from Eugene's coach:
...School's best prospect since safety Ed Reed, an All-American at Miami and first-round pick of the Ravens. "Everybody is looking for cornerbacks with the speed and physical ability to shut down the passing games in college," Destrehan coach Steve Robicheaux said. "Jai will fit the bill."
Destrehan quarterback Jai Eugene already had thrown five interceptions, including picks on the previous four possessions. But when it mattered most, Eugene lofted a pass to Joshua Martin at the 25-yard line, and Martin broke away from the St. James defense to sprint into the end zone for the winning touchdown.
; track supahstar.... as a sophomore.
Tennessee was also recruiting Eugene heavily, thus a series of articles concerning him from orange-clad parts. Here's an extensive one from April concerning him and his infant son (Google cache link; here's the original with Annoying Reg) with some quotes that if I had seen earlier I may have considered Eugene a strong possibility:
"That's [LSU's proximity to home] the only reason I'd stay here for school," Eugene said. "I like LSU a lot because my family can see me. I'd be here more. LSU is great. They have great fans. If I went there, I'd be able to see my son and my family. I'd say I'm 75-80 percent sure I'll go out of state, though.
"...I'll go to whichever college I need to, which one fits me best."
For extra bonus creepiness, check the comments out and revel in Tennessee eating it at the hands of, um, everyone this year. Actual quote: "God does not condone fornication." Yeah, well God doesn't condone Tennessee, either. You can tell because of the smiting. You can check out this video interview and see for yourself that Jai's a personable young man.
Insightful Editorial Summary: OMG YAY. This is the year of defying the curse of the south and picking up really fast dudes. Given Michigan's persistent whiffery on Darrin Walls, Justin King, Victor Harris, and every other major corner target Michigan set its sights on over the past couple years, Eugene's commitment is a unexpected, important bonus going forward. I would not expect him to redshirt, as his combination of freaky athleticism and financial need means that he will probably enter the NFL draft as soon as it makes sense.
Also, this is the second improbable commit who has been eerily projected by anonymous commenter "Matt," in case you're wandering around said comments wondering who to take seriously.
The Larger Picture: A second southern heist of one of the country's best athletes changes the perception of this recruiting class drastically. Michigan still needs an offensive tackle badly, but every other major need Michigan entered the year with has been met. An edge rusher, a second safety, and a tight end would all be nice, but if all of Michigan's commitments stick and reasonably good players fill out the rest of the class at a minimum it will grade out as a B, which isn't bad at all given the down year in-state, the excitement of new coaches at Pitt and ND, and the dismal on-field results.
Mutterings abound in the aftermath of the Season of Infinite Pain, and they're coming from everywhere--mysterious message board !nziD0rZ, reputable newspaper people, talk radio ravers, and the maniacs that compose the bulk of all sports fans who bother to post on the Internet. In general, they concern coaches and their roles on the Michigan staff... or potential lack thereof. Rosenberg's latest contains a lot of unverified voracity that's nigh blog-worthy:
Lloyd Carr is about to do something about it.
Since the season ended, Carr has met with each of his coaches individually and told them he will make changes to his staff. That probably doesn't mean outright firings, but it will mean a significant shuffling of responsibilities.
Like demoting a coordinator.
Maybe even two.
This, coupled with natterings from the aforementioned insiders that hint darkly at things going bump in a "locked down" Fort Schembechler that is on edge unlike any time in recent memory, has the Internet fanbase a tizzy with rumors.
well the wind is blowing, where am i going
off a bridge and falling, nobody's calling
on the ground and laying, nobody's praying
why can't you be nicer to me?
- QB coach, uber-recruiter, and all-around Boy Genius Scot Loeffler is being promoted to offensive coordinator. Or co-offensive coordinator. Or being given more responsibility in the offense. Or pissed off and about to leave.
- Former offensive coordinator Mike DeBord, who went splat at Central Michigan, is going to retake the post or co-retake the post and is being set up by Carr as his designated successor.
- Terry Malone is ceding some responsibility, or all responsibility, or has been shot.
- Jim Herrmann has a silly mustache.
- Also he may be relieved of his linebacker coaching duties, or his defensive coordinator duties, or just left to stand because that's how we roll. The mustache remains intact.
- Defensive backs coach Ron English is either about to leave for the NFL, about to be defensive coordinator, or about to undergo a strange procedure that leaves him crippled but able to deflect passes with his mind, like that cat.
- '07 uber-recruit QB Ryan Mallet of Texas has been told that Scot Loeffler will be offensive coordinator/mayor by the time he arrives and is polishing up for an unprecedented run of twelve Heismans.
- Former coach Gary Moeller is coming back to be defensive coordinator or something. Yeah, far out, dude.
- Ohio State is about to get hammered by the NCAA.
- Bobby Petrino is about to be the new coach.
- None of this will matter because Carr is still the coach and OMG LLLLLoyd is a LLLLLoser. oneoneone. two.
In short, all hell has broken loose. Up is down! Left is right! Cats and dogs sleeping together, mass hysteria! It looks like the only thing we can be sure of is that Notre Dame is really racist.* Hold to that one piece of knowledge in the swirling maelstrom of uncertainty ahead, my friends.
*(OMG joking, Irish fans.)
I did this last August, but I think now is a good time to bump this to the top. Recent events and all. Yeah, we've been there.
Hey, we're up 31-21. We're gonna win.
Um. That guy is kinda fast.
OMG THAT IS UNPOSSIBLE.
Shock, Horror, Disgust, Fear, Wailing; The Beating Of Your Chest, Rending Of Your Clothing, And General Renunciation Of God; In Brief, A Short Glimpse Into The Very Bowels Of Hell
AAAIGH! Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?*
Possessed By The Devil, A Murderous Rampage**
Mr. Hat says: Find the Herr-mann. Smite him. Eat him, eat all of him.***
* (Pure blasphemy.)
** (Look ma, I'm a New York Times headline writer!)
***(mgoblog does not condone the smiting and subsequent consumption of anyone, even people with redundant German last names and no ability to stop mobile quarterbacks.)