"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
So I'm doing the Memorial Day thing and as such am almost completely out of pocket. I'm typing on a phone and therefore can't do various things I otherwise would do. Like link. Sorry in advance.
Preliminaries out of the way: wow. Ding, dong. /brucecampbellvoice. Tressel's dead, Ohio State won't have a new coach until November, when the Buckeye season will end no matter their record, and there's an SI story coming out in the next day or so that will apparently explain the sudden shift from "I hope he doesn't fire me" to dead man. In all likelihood that will contain details that put USC level sanctions on the table. In the interregnum in Columbus, shiny friendly not about to get cratered Brady Hoke will be in ur base stealing ur recruits. Full analysis tomorrow when I've got a computer and the SI story. Someone find a good place to get a Dispatch style count up clock in the meantime.
As odd as it may seem the 2012 class is already starting to get to the point where fans speculate on who fits where and how many spots are left. The offensive line is a big priority in this class and with two commitments on board the coaching staff is likely looking for 2-4 more. Here's a look at some of the prospects Michigan has a chance with and a few other notes.
6'6", 280 lbs.
Meador is a four star offensive lineman, ranked 241st overall in the country by Rivals. He holds offers from Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, Ole Miss, and Northern Illinois. He has also started to hear more from the Michigan coaches.
Coach Borges came down to my school a few weeks ago. He said they really like me and when they get back from spring recruiting they will discuss offering me. If they invite me up to take a visit then that's when they'll offer.
Jake lives relatively close by, but says he isn't too familiar with the Michigan program or Ann Arbor.
I don't know too much about them, but if they were to offer I would be interested. I would like to make a decision mid to late June. If they offer then I'll try to get up whenever I can.
We'll see what the coaches say about an offer, or if they ask him to camp. He says he wants to make his decision by June, but that could change if other programs start to show interest as well.
6'5", 275 lbs.
Thurston took a trip to Ann Arbor just a few weeks ago and came away very impressed. It seems like his recruitment is starting to wind down now.
I'm probably going to make my decision in July or August. I'll probably see what happens in the next few weeks then maybe take one or two more visits. After that I'll narrow my list down in June and make my decision from there.
Paul has a great offer list including Arizona, Cal, Arkansas, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oregon, Stanford, and UCLA among others. I think Michigan has a good chance here, but he keeps everything very close to the vest. I would be surprised if Michigan didn't make his top list, but anything can happen.
6'6", 275 lbs.
Magnuson is a four star offensive tackle who is ranked 34th overall in the country by Rivals. He holds an impressive offer list that includes Michigan, Cal, Miami, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Stanford and others.
He told me back in March how great of a relationship he has with the Michigan coaches from their days at SDSU. He went so far as to call offensive line coach Darrell Funk, "The man." The original plan was to come out to Ann Arbor for an official visit, but that plan has changed.
I'm coming out [to Michigan] on June 10th. I'm really strongly considering them so I want to get out there and see it. They have a couple good 2012 commits, and I know the coaches really well, so I really like them.
Erik also recently told me that Michigan was in his top three with two other schools to be named later. Michigan has a very good chance with Magnuson, and the fact that he moved his visit up to June is a really big deal for them. Just something to keep an eye on.
6'5", 220 lbs.
Camp Hill, Pennsylvania
Michigan already has a commitment for the 2013 class, so it's not too early to talk about it. Breneman is a 2013 prospect that already has offers from Alabama, Boston College, Maryland, Notre Dame, Rutgers, and now Michigan.
I hadn't heard anything from Michigan until last weekend when my coach informed me that they were coming to my school to offer me. I went to a game at the Big House with my family a couple years ago and was impressed. I'll decide soon if if's a place that I want to visit this summer. They'll definitely be a school that will get consideration.
It seems so early, but since he is already wracking up the offers he's already started in with his recruiting process and will evaluate schools this summer.
I don't want to say I'm going to narrow my list this summer, because I don't plan on doing that for some time. I am more going to decide which five to eight schools I want to visit. I want to learn more about some programs.
Plenty of time for Adam to figure everything out and it seems like Michigan is a place that intrigues him. We'll see if they get a visit or not.
In case you missed it last week, New York DB Wayne Morgan has moved his decision date to June 2nd instead of June 1st. There's no set time yet, but he plans on telling all the coaches of his decision first. I will hopefully have some film of Wayne from a camp this past weekend posted soon.
California DT Aziz Shittu is still committed to Stanford but told me there's a good chance he will still end up taking an official visit to Michigan.
Illinois OL Jordan Diamond tweeted that he will be moving his decision date up. He wants to take a few more visits, but has been canceling the most recent [Wisconsin & Auburn]. He told me it will likely come before his first game of the season. Michigan is in good shape.
A new name to potentially keep an eye on, and to go along with the offensive linemen theme is Oregon OL Isaac Seumalo (6'3", 280 lbs). Seumalo is good friends with Cali OL Erik Magnuson, and while he doesn't currently have an offer the Michigan coaches are aware of him. He is a four star and ranked 175th overall in the country by Rivals.
Upcoming visits include: New York DT Jarron Jones [I will have more on him next week] is planning a trip for June 10th, Ohio DB Allen Gant should be visiting in the next few weeks and that is something to keep an eye on, Illinois DB Anthony Standifer is trying to plan a visit in the next few weeks so his dad can make the trip. Ohio tandem Adolphus Washington and Dwayne Stanford had to reschedule their visit from this past weekend. They haven't set the date yet.
Washington OL Joshua Garnett says he wants to take an official visit to Michigan.
If you missed last week's Weekly Update, you can find it here.
When Michigan fans hear Washington offensive lineman they typically think of 6-foot-9, 310-pound Zach Banner who has said he will take an official visit to Michigan. Banner, however, isn't the only highly touted lineman from Washington that has interest in Michigan.
Four star OL Joshua Garnett (6'5", 275 lbs) holds an offer from the Wolverines as well. Garnett also happens to be the 22nd overall prospect in the nation, which ranks higher than Banner at 31. Here's a look at Garnett's film and what he had to say about Michigan.
TOM: We haven't heard too much from you, is Michigan recruiting you?
JOSHUA: Yes, they are. Coach Ferrigno is recruiting me, he's a very nice guy and we talk quite often actually.
TOM: It's tough to gauge someone's interest when they live in Washington. Are you interested in Michigan?
JOSHUA: Yes, very much interested. Michigan has a great football tradition and is also one of the top academic schools in the nation.
TOM: Are you interested enough that you think you'll take a visit to Michigan?
JOSHUA: Yes definitely. It will most likely be an official visit.
TOM: From the sounds of that I assume that you'll be taking your time with your recruitment then? Do you have a plan on when you want to narrow things down?
JOSHUA: Yeah, I plan on taking my time. I'll most likely have it down to five before the season starts.
TOM: Since you said you want to take an official to Michigan does that mean that they will most likely make the top five? I understand this isn't 100%, but as of right now, most likely?
JOSHUA: Yes, that's correct.
TOM: Michigan isn't just a car ride away for you. Is distance going to factor in to this at all for you?
JOSHUA: Distance is definitely never an issue. I like to say that a plane ride is a plane ride whether it's two hours or six hours.
TOM: What's the main reason you're interested in Michigan? Did you grow up a fan?
JOSHUA: I have always wanted to play in that Michigan - Ohio State game. I think that is a big reason why I like Michigan. That game is probably the biggest in college football, and the rivalry is unexplainable.
TOM: That's an answer that Michigan fans will enjoy hearing. Since they probably haven't heard much on you can you explain what type of lineman you are?
JOSHUA: I'm a bullet, not a bowling ball. I'm very fast and explosive. I really use my agility to beat defensive linemen instead of just my strength.
YOU TOO CAN OPEN YOUR MOUTH IN PUBLIC WITHOUT GETTING PEOPLE MAD
Don't. This is the easiest and best way to go about it. What does everyone think of David Baas? Exactly. We think David Baas won the Rimington award. We do not think he has some weird grudge against his younger doppleganger or is Joe Morgan.
If you have to, do not say anything about Denard. Nothing you can say about Denard will meet the standards of the Michigan fanbase, which thinks he is made of rainbows and sweetness and light and will brook not even the slightest criticism. For instance, saying…
You looked fantastic for five games against nobody. That's what you did.
…as a way to "blast college athletes' sense of entitlement" is taking a cheapshot at a guy playing opposite the worst defense in the history of man. Many people will make the internet annoying for a day until the next outrage.
More importantly, it's inane because Denard is the least entitled athlete at Michigan in a very long time. We get it: you hated Rich Rodriguez to the point where you'll roll your eyes at Denard Robinson. You can stop it now.
If you do say something about Denard, at least own up to it. Desmond Howard's response to this was to claim his comment was about "fans and the media," and while the fuller context of the quote does soften it somewhat it mostly emphasizes how bizarrely inappropriate it is to grab Denard Robinson of all people as a "perfect example" of entitled kids.
I mean, it's not like there's anyone else in Michigan's recent past that fits that bill slightly better—
If you have successfully piloted your speaking away from Denard, don't imply the kids currently on the team are lazy and soft. This is called "projection," a malady that often befalls middle-aged men past their glory days. The people on the team have worked very hard for little reward because there are a lot of people who aren't on the team for various reasons. So when you say the effort was "lacking" or Michigan "toughness" is back you are telling Ryan Van Bergen, who can stuff your desk-job-having ass in a can, that he's failing you.
This isn't very nice. Also, the opposite is in fact the case.
If you have managed to not talk crap about the players, you are most of the way home. Congratulations! Now you've only got three topics left:
- Rich Rodriguez is the devil. Accurate! So very accurate. But also played out. Everyone in the room will be envisioning you beating on a dead man. How did that go in the last season of The Wire? You didn't watch The Wire? You only read Rudyard Kipling books? Well, let me tell you: not so good. Also it was biting dead people but telling you that is pointless until David Simon writes a book of illustrated allegories featuring animals. How hard would I buy this book? So, so hard. I digress.
- Shuffling the fullback so you can run a power play at a defense that knows what's coming but is powerless to stop you is the only way to play football. Also very, very true but so obvious in the aftermath of Rodriguez being the devil that it hardly bears mentioning. You are trying to bring the Wisdom Of The Michigan Program to the public, but the public already knows that part in its bones. Fooling people is for communists. The wages of spread are turnovers.
- Brady Hoke is a cuddly bear-god who you, 6'9" high school tackle Zach Banner, should definitely play for. Now we are talking. This is a matter that the public is uncertain about—just look around here a few months ago—and Zach Banner is definitely uncertain about, being one of the few high school players in the country who has not leapt to play for our magic-poopin' cuddly bear-god. This is a topic of major interest amongst laymen and scholars and may result in honorary degrees from prestigious institutions if expounded upon at sufficiently withering, recruit-ensnaring length. Bonus points(!) awarded for pointed contrasts with Jim Tressel.
Escuche y repita. Like last year's Ohio State season, the last three years never happened. They are the Godfather III, the lying-newspaper-guy plot from The Wire, the Brian Ellerbe era… right… forgot. Kipling. Forget this bit.
Remember: the last three years never happened and therefore cannot be commented on BRADY HOKE MAGIC POOPING BEAR GOD SAY IT DO IT NOTHING ELSE
SPECIAL BO-ERA DUDE ADDENDUM: it is not racist that Corwin Brown was not hired by Michigan and you should stop saying that because it's not helping Corwin Brown any.
State turdstorm UPDATE! Yesterday Eleven Warriors graciously posted that Maurice Clarett might be a troubled weirdo who tried to take down Ohio State after he got the boot, but at least he's a trying troubled weirdo and he's not all bad. This is a level of understanding I do not have with Tractor Traylor even after the guy died tragically.
11W's reward for this understanding is to have Ray Small go MoCo:
"We have apartments, car notes," he said. "So you got things like that and you look around and you're like, ‘Well I got (four) of them, I can sell one or two and get some money to pay this rent."
The wheeling and dealing didn't stop with rings. The best deals came from car dealerships, Small said.
"It was definitely the deals on the cars. I don't see why it's a big deal," said Small, who identified Jack Maxton Chevrolet as the players' main resource.
The Columbus Dispatch reported on May 7 that OSU was investigating more than 50 transactions between OSU athletes and their families and Jack Maxton Chevrolet or Auto Direct.
Representatives for Jack Maxton Chevrolet did not return repeated requests for comment.
NCAA rules prohibit student-athletes from benefiting from the sale of their merchandise. Small said he wasn't the only one.
"They have a lot (of dirt) on everybody," Small said, "cause everybody was doing it."
Man… Ray Small. That guy was in trouble from day one at OSU, threw regular public hissy-fits about it, and he wasn't even that good at football. If I was an Ohio State fan he would be in my circle of the damned. Their term for this rapidly expanding category that includes Kirk Herbstreit and (to the truly deranged) Chris Spielman is "Fake Buckeye."
You can add Mark "Club Trillion" Titus to that list after he posted there was definitely something "shady" going on with football players' cars, then followed it up with a rebuttal saying that he shouldn't get death threats because that's mean. Titus claims the shadiness was to the point where most students knew or should have known what was going on.
Meanwhile, the local news station is investigating the Gibson thing and while that transaction continues to get more complicated it's not getting proportionally more explicable:
10 Investigates [sic] found that Gibson had a trade-in. He traded in a 2003 Chevrolet Monte Carlo that BMV records showed he bought for $15,400 just seven months earlier.
But the dealership may have given him only $1,000 toward the trade-in, [instead] dropping the sales price of the car he was buying by a substantial amount.
10 Investigates [sic] has learned that's what Kniffin has told investigators with the BMV.
The trade-in business materializes as predicted; an explanation for how Thad Gibson scraped together enough money to buy two cars worth a total of 30k in less than a year is yet to be explained. Along The Oletangy responds to the investigation apparently clearing the transactions:
In any case, it doesn't matter what the BMV finds when they analyze Jack Maxton Chevrolet's tax forms as long as no special treatment was given to Ohio State football players.
It's obvious plenty of special treatment was provided, but where is the smoking gun?
Position paper on demolition of Ohio State program and whether it is good or bad. If Ohio State was going to fall apart by Notre Daming themselves with a series of coaching hires ranging from questionable to insane, that would be a thing to be conflicted about in the same way certain Ohio State fans are bored with a terrible Michigan team they're just going to blow out.
This is a different thing entirely since it suggests the fence Tressel legendarily put up around Ohio's borders is one based on massive NCAA noncompliance. Meanwhile, thanks in part to this (and in part to Michigan imploding) they've gone 9-1 and turned the Big Ten into their personal playground. If the NCAA finds proof of this massive noncompliance and OSU gets bombed into the stone age and is no longer any good, there's no conflict there. It's an unadulterated good. Michigan has been hypersensitive about this stuff since the Ed Martin Day Of Great Shame, and it's obvious their main rival hasn't. Putting that on even footing will help put the rivalry there if it doesn't swing it all the way back to the Cooper days, which fine by me.
Hot under the collar, part II. ESPN's Mike Fish, you may remember from the above-referenced Maurice Clarett bombing, has a new article. This is the header image:
Africa basketball charity, AAU player headed to Indiana, Tom Crean, Indiana AAU coach. This can't be good. Not pictured: involuntary adoption. Hooray Beilein.
Hey let's rehash this again. MZone noticed that I hadn't mentioned Lloyd Carr's election to the College Football Hall of Fame and asks why I hate Lloyd Carr, complete with requisite psychoanalysis and link to me being mad in the immediate aftermath of the Hoke hire when everyone was mad, something I've obviously backed away from in multiple column-length pieces since.
To defend myself: I don't take the CFHOF seriously. It just elected Deion Sanders. When Tom Curtis was elected it warranted about two sentences. For better or worse, I am totally uninterested in the charity work of rich people. I've also said my bit about Carr as Michigan's coach over and over again. Contrary to two-bit psychoanalysis it was not negative, or at least it was far less negative than many.
And I am pissed off at the hostility to change that's obvious every time any former Carr player says something about anything. We've got a program of Joe Morgans. I'm worried how that will manifest itself on the field. It's not hard to draw a contrast between what's gone down the last three years and what would have gone down if Bo was still around. Bo would have been on the warpath; he probably would have dropped by to scream at Rodriguez some. The impression we've gotten from every one of Carr's former players is that there is exactly one person responsible for Michigan's decline—Rich Rodriguez—and not only is that incorrect (Horror, DeBord, Tressel vs Carr) but it's detrimental to Michigan's future. If we got back to the days where every bowl opponent laughs at how predictable we are that will not be good.
(I don't think that's happening because Borges is a real live offensive coordinator and not a broken robot that only calls zone left. Hoke uber alles.)
Eyerolling reorg. Adam Wodon on the inevitable hockey realignment coming sounds like anyone talking about anything last year when talking about conference realignment:
It all starts with Notre Dame. (Well, it all started with Penn State and the Big Ten, but that's already happened.) Think about it — you're Notre Dame's president. Your sports teams all play in the Big East, or, in the case of football, is the most storied program in college sports. You fire up CHN's iPhone app one morning to check the hockey standings, and what do you see? You see Notre Dame competing against some MAC and D-II schools. You recoil. This is not what Notre Dame does. This is not what Notre Dame is.
That is not a knock on the other schools, it's just reality. There is no way that Notre Dame is staying put. That means that the CCHA is certain to lose its remaining powerhouse (from an institutional, NCAA-wide standpoint), and fall further to seven teams. That means the CCHA is in trouble, as a whole.
Maybe Wodon's got some inside chatter on this that he's refusing to mention in an effort to make his column as annoyingly speculative as possible, but this is the impetus for an elaborate reorganization scenario that sees Notre Dame move to Hockey East because they'd rather play Merrimack (seriously) than Ferris State.
Notre Dame is choosing between some games against BC and then a bunch of schools no one at Notre Dame has heard of plus flying for literally every road game and staying in the CCHA. While ND has money, are they going to spend it on that for no real benefit? And will Hockey East expand to an eleven teams just for the dubious benefits of having ND in the conference? Travel costs matter in hockey, the longest season in the NCAA, and no one is going to make enough money on an ND move to justify the increased costs even if "this is not what Notre Dame does." Yeesh.