Lots of good diaries this week. I'm breaking them up so we can comment, and you know, provide content and stuff.
So three guys from Detroit go to hell. The Devil's walking around doing his rounds to make sure everyone's getting the proper amount of torture and finds the Detroit guys sitting out in the open, drinking beers, grilling, and generally smiling at the hell fires.
The Devil is like "what are you guys doing?" and the three Detroit guys calmly explain that they're from Michigan, the land of snow and ice; when you get a warm day you gotta enjoy it.
So the Devil decides to turn the heat way, way up in that sector – enough to melt the rock – and moves on. Later he figures the Detroiters are good and cooked, and goes back to check on them, only to see them out in the middle of the lake of fire, having found a bunch of motor boats and tied them together, drinking and sunning themselves and fishing. The Devil's like WTF and the Detroiters explain again about the snow and ice and enjoying a nice day.
So the Devil's like I gotta screw these guys: He turns the temp way down, to absolute zero. And after enough time he comes back to check on the Detroit guys and there they are throwing a huge party, screamin', hollerin' whoopin', and just celebrating like crazy. The Devil's is apoplectic: "What the HERE guys?"
And they all look at him blankly like this should be obvious and are like "Dude: Hell froze over."
"The Lions must've won the Superbowl!"
Bask, man. Bask
I usually skip those ubiquitous Power Rankings articles that force e.g. Yahoo columnists to come up with (un-)clever one-liners about each team so they're not just posting a table, because without 19 words on Brian Wilson's beard etc. the thing just looks like an arbitrary table. The exception is when my teams are doing well, for the same reason Scrooge McDuck takes daily dives into his silo of gold and people in Michigan will never pass up a chance to put their face in the sun.
When your team is sweeping its region in recruits and steals a 5 star at its greatest position of need from an evil arch nemesis, no matter where everyone thinks you are, you bask. Never mind that part about the offense regressing from arguably sweet because of a scheme change, and a defense that needs to come up 10 levels just to get out of hell. Just follow where Brady Hoke points and get to the good stuff.
The recruiting binge that followed Hokeamania reached a new crescendo this week with our first committed 5-star (except not yet on Rivals), launching a new Diary genre: Let's Rank Our Class. Tim does it regularly for our conference (and teams that play half a Big Ten schedule but claim independence). TomVH took a shot at it last week, figuring how we'd finish. And now the diarists are having at it.
Looking at this list, I created a simple way to estimate where each teams class could end up if they recruited about 2/3 as well as they have so far and every team ended up with about 25 recruits. We all know this will not be the case and especially for a team like USC but their recruiting class to date deserves to be on this list.
That's from Hill.FootballRecruits, who has Michigan finishing 5th behind Texas, Auburn, FSU and Florida. If you take his Top 12 (based on Rivals) and project onto a graph that is really hard to make on Excel you get:
(click gets you larger)
So that's pretty good, especially when you figure Kalis will be a 5-star in short order. While we're at it, Big Ten:
How much better is Michigan's recruiting than our rivals' this year? Soooo much! And consider a few weeks ago that block of reddish-orange used to be affixed to the end of Ohio State's not nearly as impressive 2x4; tatgate's the table saw, Hoke's the wood glue.
Just for the sake of torture, here's Michigan's 2012 class (in mid-July (!)) versus the hellfires of yesteryear:
Er, if that's hellfires either I've been caught dead at the Jobbie Nooner, or the Lions just won the Superbowl. Only it's mid-July 2011 right now, not mid-February 2012, and Michigan is more likely to add more orange and red to the left side of the axis before all's said. The other thing you can see is that the 3-stars are very yellow-green, contrasting sharply with the greenie-green and even bluish shades which broke that up in the late-Carr classes. This is what we mean when we say the 3-stars aren't like the 3-stars of yesteryear. If indeed Rivals has been recently underrating high 3-stars in the Midwest due to the lack of a scout, perhaps this class is a shade more yellow than we're giving it credit for.
Play us out, Six Zero's Overly Entitled Wolverine Mascot…
Michigan is almost to the start of the season and ahead of schedule recruiting wise. There are a few more big events coming up like the BBQ at the Big House on July 31st. I outlined some confirmed visitors for the BBQ in last week's Weekly Update, which you can see here. Now here's a look at what happened this week and what's in the near future. As always you can follow me on Twitter @TomVH and email me with any tips or questions at TomVH@MGoBlog.com.
6'2", 215 lbs.
There was a lot of noise this week about Royce and his teammate Terry Richardson potentially taking visits in the near future. I mentioned and figured that the visits probably wouldn't happen and them saying they would continue to visit schools wasn't a big deal. Since then, Royce has said he will no longer be taking visits and is happy with that decision.
What changed my mind was talking to Coach Wilcher and how he was saying I shouldn't go chasing schools. If I do it might seem like I'm trying to change my mind on my school. That's basically what the [Michigan] coaching staff said too. So yeah I'm good on visits.
This is the outcome that I expected. I don't believe the Michigan coaches will allow visits to happen for any commits. Nothing to worry about.
6'2", 199 lbs.
Westlake Village, California
I reported awhile ago that Payton had decided to decommit from USC and was very interested in Michigan. He told me that they would be a school he wants to visit and that he has a lot of interest. Since then he has scheduled his visit out to Ann Arbor.
I'm visiting on September 10th for the game against Notre Dame. I'm just excited to see the atmosphere and really experience everything Michigan has to offer.
Jordan also mentioned that he doesn't expect his recruitment to drag out much longer. He will potentially make a decision sometime shortly after those visits. I think Michigan has a chance, but I'm not sure where they rank out yet for him.
6'6", 275 lbs.
Bisnowaty is a lineman that not many people talk about, partially because he doesn't say much publicly. The Michigan coaches are still very much interested in him, and he took a visit to Ann Arbor a few weeks back. He was recently in Oregon for the Nike event The Opening. I caught up with him to talk about his experience and where he's at in his recruitment.
The Opening was awesome. The coaches were unbelievable and the competition was great. I talked to some of the Michigan commits and asked them why they chose them. I talked to everyone that was committed somewhere really. It was basically to figure out what they liked about each school because it's hard to see what stands out sometimes.
As you've seen numerous times the Michigan commitments love recruiting other prospects and they did a good amount of it at The Opening.
I know I talked to Erik [Magnuson] and he told me that Michigan was just the place for him, he just likes it a lot up there.
Adam's trip to Michigan was his first time on campus and he talked a little about what he saw.
We didn't get the full tour, because we didn't have a lot of time, we mostly talked to the coaches. The school itself is unbelievable, I'd like to see more of the school and meet a couple more players to see how comfortable I am with them. The main thing is that they're short on tackles. They were saying people can come in and potentially be on the second team just by walking in the door. Other than that they were telling me that people want to be at Michigan, they have a recruiting class now of like 20 kids.
He enjoyed his time up there, and said that playing time will definitely be a factor in his ultimate decision. He is also aware of Michigan's numbers recruiting wise but says that won't affect his timeline.
Playing time definitely factors in. Everyone's goal is to make it to the pros and you have to play to get there. I'm looking at the players, the coaches, how I feel on campus. I always ask myself If I could go to this school if I didn't play football. If Michigan's class fills up then it fills up. I want to go there for the right reasons not just because I need to hurry up and decide. If it's still available when I decide then I will definitely consider them.
Bisnowaty considers himself a finisher on the field, big on pancakes, and thinks he plays tough but not dirty. As he mentioned he didn't feel he had enough time in Ann Arbor so he would like to potentially take an official visit to Michigan to get a better feel for his comfort level. He's looking to make his decision relatively soon, he won't be waiting until after the season to decide. He'll potentially take a few official visits then make his decision.
As I reported Thursday night, Cincinnati WR Monty Madaris was offered and is planning on visiting for the BBQ at the Big House on July 31st.
Ohio RB Bri'onte Dunn's father said they should know soon if they will be attending the BBQ. I'll keep you posted.
If you missed it I had an interview with Taft teammates Dwayne Stanford and Adolphus Washington's head coach. He said they are not likely to take any more visits in the near future because of AAU basketball.
A lot of people have been asking where Michigan's class could end up ranking overall on signing day. I broke everything down in this diary and gave you a decent look at where the class might end up being ranked. i said probably in the 7-13 range at the end of the day, if nothing changes [There is potential for the class to be ranked higher, this is just a conservative guess/projection based on the info we have right now].
With more new Michigan commits, we're hitting the front page after a hiatus of a couple weeks. Action since last rankings:
7-10-11 Michigan gains commitment from Kyle Kalis. Notre Dame gains commitment from Romeo Okwara. Penn State gains commitment from Nyeem Wartman. Indiana gains commitment from Wes Rogers. Minnesota gains commitment from Samad Hinds.
7-11-11 Minnesota gains commitments from Brian Nicholson and Jordan Hinojosa.
7-13-11 Ohio State gains commitments from Luke Roberts and Pat Eiflein. Michigan State gains commitment from MacGarrett Kings II.
7-14-11 Illinois gains commitment from Joseph Spencer.
7-15-11 Northwestern gains commitment from Dwight White.
7-17-11 Penn State loses commitment from Jamil Pollard.
|Big Ten+ Recruiting Class Rankings|
|Rank||School||# Commits||Rivals Avg||Scout Avg||ESPN Avg||24/7 Avg|
*ESPN doesn't rate JUCOs, so Isaac Fruechte is not included in Minnesota's average, and Steffon Martin doesn't count against Purdue.
On to the full data, after the jump:
I'll take "ways to get my wife(!) to murder me" for 1000, Alex
So I'm out on my honeymoon until the 29th, and I won't get in until late so the next you hear from me will be August 1st. I have canned a few "2011 Recruiting" posts and Tim/Tom/Misopogon will be covering my absence, so content will continue to flow. I will be monitoring my email and the site for any recurrence of the recent issues. If you've just been itching to put up an extensive diary, this is a bump-rich environment.
Thanks for your patience during this trying time. If it's any consolation, given my previous vacation activities this summer by the time I return Ohio Stadium will literally be a smoking crater in the ground and Michigan will have been granted a permanent boost of ten scholarships because Brady Hoke found a power-up in the rubble.
I refuse to spend football season in Kazakhstan even if this happens.
Brady, Bernie. Bernie, Brady. Man, local sportscasters never die.
Bernie's "Hoke impression" is… something.
Yes and no. Desmond Howard wants his number retired or a statue or something:
"You travel around and you see how a lot of these programs have retired jerseys of players who haven't even accomplished some of the things on the field like myself and Woodson have accomplished," Howard said. "It's just a way they try to honor their players."
At Oklahoma and Florida, for instance, Howard has seen statues of former players.
Howard says Michigan is now more receptive to change.
"You look at these things and you understand the tradition and the way Michigan has handled that in the past, but obviously, you kind of got to get into what's happening now," Howard said. "We're moving in that direction. Just like … the stadium — you update your stadium to keep up with the competition."
I'm not a fan of retiring numbers. I like seeing a guy out there rocking the #2 or #21 and being reminded of Howard or Woodson (and usually how much less good at football the current guy is than Howard or Woodson). I wouldn't mind a Ring Of Honor bit where they have the names in the stadium. With the boxes there's even a place to put them.
Statues are cheesy unless you are deceased, and sometimes even if you are.
Q: if there was an in-stadium commemoration thing who would be on it?
- Obvious Heisman Guys: Harmon, Howard, Woodson
- Essentially as obvious: Ford, Oosterbaan, Friedman, Carter
- Fringe-y sorts: Braylon, Jake Long, Steve Hutchinson, Dan Dierdorf (someone from 1969 is a given, no?), Tom Curtis (all time INT leader, CFBHOF), Woodley, Graham (all time sack leader), Messner, Irons
I'd probably grab one guy from the 1969 team to go with the obviously obvious ones and call it a day. Add one name per year starting with Harmon.
- Jim Tressel got an "unacceptable" on his 2006 performance review when it came to promptly informing compliance of stuff.
- Tressel was specifically admonished to pay closer attention to the cars his players were driving after the Clarett business.
- That was the last performance review Tressel got because Gene Smith started doing verbal reviews; Thad Matta continued to get written ones.
- Ohio State's reviews that loaners were totally on the up and up were regarded as suspicious even by people in the department: 'Greg Gillum, director of football operations, wrote to Smith and Archie that car salesman Aaron Kniffin, who once worked at Maxton and later at Auto Direct, "is supposedly working on players' cars and sending guys to Auto Direct for loaners ... Our suggestion is that someone from compliance try to investigate whether this arrangement is valid."'
- Ohio State "heavily" redacted the documents, including blacking out the number of cars purchased from one particular dealership.
- One redacted Ohio State player was driving around a 75k vehicle.
- The investigation into ten pairs of cleats claimed stolen by Pryor, Herron, and Posey reached a dead end after a random purchase of some old-model Pryor-signed cleats.
I'm not sure if there's any upshot here except the car stuff going further back to Clarett and the lack of reviews for Tressel. Pryor entering the supplemental draft when his stock is poisonous certainly implies the NCAA will find him ineligible for car-related hijinks Ohio State started right at and chose to ignore.
Strike while the iron is hot, which it is because you just breathed on it. The "Mankato" in Minnesota State Mankato seems likely to become useful instead of redundant, because DUCK—
Flames all up in here, all golfin' and stuff. Also this guy:
Moorhead is a DII program with no hockey program… yet. They just announced today that they're looking for $37 million to start one and already have 15 in soft commitments. They're looking for the rest in the next three months; if they make it the WCHA will no doubt snap them up. And then everyone gets to play against the Dragons.
Mwahahaha. Rivals has just released its state rankings for Michigan, and Brady Hoke All Your Base Co. has secured five (RJS, Ross, Richardson, Funchess, and Godin) of the top seven. Michigan is heavily involved with the two others, Aaron Burbridge and Danny O'Brien). MSU's first commit is #8 Jamal Lyles, and it's a little surprising Ben Braden isn't ahead of him—he's been killing people at camps and I was under the impression he had a shot to move up to four stars. Maybe that was Scout.
Etc.: LSU is still oversigned by seven(!) in the middle of July. They've been "transparent" with the kids this time around, so at least the guys know two of them are totally screwed. Les Miles == NFW. Meanwhile, South Carolina people are upset because Spurrier didn't renew the scholarship of a track walk-on who got one last year. I'm high on the zealotry scale when it comes to oversigning but that one fails to stoke any outrage with me.
MVictors on old-timey polls. Dodd suggests college football's cleanup needs to start at OSU. Okay by me. Stewart Mandel's version of "Brady Hoke poops magic." Wojo on the open door in Ohio. Glenn Robinson hooping it up. No one closes the barn door or writes open letters like the Ohio State Buckeyes. The SBN ND blog is newly extant. Alex Massie likes the CFB blogosphere.
you're the mascot now, dog
Michigan's mascot should clearly be a giant middle finger named "Tradition." Imagine the photographs. This won't happen, though, because I've triple-trademarked the idea and will only sell it for one million dollars.
We'll have to crowdsource it, then. The Detroit News is way ahead of us, having already launched a contest and announced a winner, which is a werewolf in the #1 jersey. Braylon says this aggression will not stand.
VARIOUS WINGED-FACE AMBIGUOUSLY GAY FURRIES
It's like a normal mascot except the winged helmet is part of its head. Except for the one where it isn't, and that one doesn't even have a tail.
Pros: Ammunition for 4chan. Slight possibility meme launched. If actually named "Furriester" I will die laughing.
Cons: This is why you picked Michigan, so you could go to a sporting event without thinking of… the incident. It all comes rushing back now: one night in Venice with hairy thighs and scratch marks and shame imprinted on your soul. Shame deeper than the catacombs, broader than the sea, shame you ran and ran and ran from until you stopped, panting, in Ann Arbor.
I guess that's it, then. Time to buy some whiskey and a gun.
DO YOU LIKE FOOTBALL I LIKE FOOTBALL TOO I JUST WISH THEY WOULDN'T BE SO MEAN I LIKE NICEBALL WHICH IS LIKE FOOTBALL EXCEPT INSTEAD OF HITTING SOMEONE YOU GIVE THEM A LOLLY
Pros: Michigan becomes Japan's team, gets own video of hot girly pop stars frolicking with related paraphernalia.
Cons: Michigan's record under the watchful eye of Hello Wolverine will be 3-89 because he cries every time someone falls down.
WHERE THE WOLVERINE THINGS ARE
Mascot has a hissy pregame and flees to a world of his own devising containing 110,000 magical friends.
Pros: Canned music in stadium now exclusively Arcade Fire. Stadium becomes breathtaking wonderland of childhood delight…
Cons: …which falls apart as soon as someone takes a mud clod to the face, leaving everyone in the stadium a harrowed emotional wreck in need of some soup and a hug from mom.
Actually, this has already been our mascot for quite a while.
HELLO ANIME HORROR
It's incredibly cute for a demon, I'll give it that.
Pros: Dismembered Brutus one-ups the Ohio Bobcat, and according to Brady Hoke Ohio is our great and true nemesis.
Cons: Your soul is next.
PIG… WEREWOLF… CHEERLEADER… GUY
Pointy teeth: check. Bear ears: check. Bulbous nose: check. Tail: check. Are those horns? What is going on?
Pros: Block M on nose is consistent with branding initiative. May be able to lead locomotive cheer.
Cons: Is hideous interspecies mule that only wants two things: a Michigan victory and the sweet release of death.
CAT… DOG… CHEWBACCA… THING
Even its big weird clown shoes have teeth.
Pros: Seems happier about its status as a genetic outcast, at least. Downright jolly. Good at comforting: "yeah, we just lost to Ohio State for the million time in a row, but all of your chromosomes have matches! I wish I was so lucky."
Cons: Will rip your arm off if you beat it at chess.
NICE TRY, SUPERFAN
No, dude, seriously, even the winged helmet has wings. They're recursive wings. I'm totally not Batman.
Pros: Cheap. Recursive wings briefly stoke engineering interest. Is actually Batman so don't try anything, buddy.
Cons: Keeps cutting his feet off at the ankle when he tries to run. Camera flash reminds him of his parent's murder.
I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE
This is a skunk. It was submitted by someone in Ohio.
Pros: Might confuse Ohioans into killing and eating it. Hideously malformed right arm would give Michigan the nation's first handicapped mascot.
Cons: Everything else.
What's even friendlier than a live wolverine in a cage at a football game? A zombie version thereof.
Pros: Would forever end discussions about who has the manliest mascot in all the land. Forces band to play "Thriller" every home game. May distract Joe Paterno from games against Penn State as he seeks elusive zombie bestiality romance.
Cons: Zombie bestiality romance. 110,000 people plus one rabid zombie biting machine is pretty much asking for a zombie apocalypse. In the aftermath survivors would walk around screaming "we didn't listen."
UNCLEAR ON THE CONCEPT, OR GENIUS?
If I had a pirate ship, this would be its flag.
Pros: It's original. I kind of want to put in in the store minus the lawyer-baiting block M. Could lure Mike Leach to campus to be the OC.
Cons: It's original because it is a Jolly Roger flag with a block M and a wolverine skull instead of, you know, a mascot. Unless it was Marvin Riedel's intent to make a Michigan mascot that was entirely notional, which… whoah. I'm feeling all deconstructed.
I vote for the giant, barely anthropomorphized block M:
Pros: Remove the eyes, pretend she's female, and call her "Emmy." I wouldn't even be mad about this. If Michigan had a giant, armless walking M accidentally smashing into cheerleader pyramids it would be awesome.
Cons: Is not giant middle finger named "Tradition."