here's one vote for "John Beilein's head in a Futurama jar"
The offseason is really starting to drag and recruiting is relatively calm after a frenetic start. At times like this, I have only one question: Has Indiana picked up a 2013 commit yet?
No, no they haven't.
Changes since the last rankings:
5-16-12: Nebraska picks up Greg Hart.
5-17-12: Iowa picks up Nic Shimonek.
|Big Ten+ Recruiting Class Rankings|
|Rank||School||# Commits||Rivals Avg||Scout Avg||24/7 Avg||ESPN Avg||Avg Avg^|
^The average of the average rankings of the four recruiting services (the previous four columns). The figure is calculated based on the raw numbers and then rounded, so the numbers above may not average out exactly.
NOTE: Unranked recruits are counted as two-star players.
On to the full data after the jump.
College Football 101
Welcome to the College Football 101 series. For those who are counting down the days, college football kicks off in 101 days. Every day until then, I will write about one topic per day. As the days get closer, the topics will get better and better until we get to #1 on August 29th, which is one day away from kickoff.
The series will consist of:
- Top 25 Programs
- Top 15 Rivalries
- Top 15 Bands
- Top 15 Stadiums
- Top 10 Coaches
- Top 10 Plays
- Top 5 Heisman Trophy Winners
- Top 6 Miscellaneous
In addition, I will do a very similar series starting Wednesday called Michigan Football 101. Both of these series will hopefully get all of you college football fans, specifically Michigan fans, excited for the season. So here it is!! 101 days until College Football Kickoff...
101. Boise State
A quick look at Boise State:
- Founded: 1932
- Nickname: Broncos
- Location: Boise, Idaho
- School Size: 19,664
- Stadium: Bronco Stadium
- Conference: Mountain West (subject to change anytime soon with the realignments)
- Conference Titles: 16
- National Titles: 0
- Overall Record: 377-145-2 (.721)
- Mascot: Buster Bronco
- Interesting Facts: The field, Lyle Smith Field, has blue turf.
Boise State is an interesting school. It is one of the few schools that is not in a BCS conference but is a threat. It is not a big school, but Boise State has made a name of itself since it defeated Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. Ever since Chris Petersen called a Hook-n'-Lateral to send the game to overtime and a Half Back Pass for a Touchdown followed up by a Statue of Liberty for the 2 Point Conversion to win the game-- and a proposal from Ian Johnson to his cheerleading girlfriend-- Boise State has attracted many college football fans.
Since 2006, the Broncos are 73-6 (.924). There are two people who hold almost all of the credit for that-- Chris Petersen and Kellen Moore. It just so happens to be that 2006 is the year Chris Petersen took over at head coach. Not only do they have a winning percentage of 92.4% under Petersen, but they are 4-2 in bowl games. This proves that Boise State has not only won all these games, but it can win the tough ones, too. This makes you wonder why they haven't played in the national championship game. They have had three undefeated seasons in the past five years, yet haven't played in the big game. Hopefully, the BCS can fix its problem, form whatever superconferences it needs, and give a team like this a chance to win a championship in a playoff.
Kellen Moore has the most wins as a starting quarterback in college football history. That is saying something! You think of all the great QBs-- Peyton Manning, Doug Floutie, Tim Tebow, Vince Young-- and Kellen Moore has more wins than any of them. His record at Boise State was 50-3 (.943). The lefty QB graduated this year and hopes to make the Detroit Lions this summer. Where does that leave Boise State? The Broncos have lost 14 starters-- six on offense and eight on defense. Junior Quarterback Joe Southwick is likely going to be the starter in 2012. He completed 15 passes on 19 attempts in the Spring Game and has taken over the leadership role. Boise not only lost its passing game, but senior Chandler Koch takes over for Doug Martin at Running Back. They are expected to fill the shoes of their predecessors according to Chris Petersen. They are definitely in a rebuilding year. Also, it doesn't help that they open up with Michigan State in East Lansing on a Friday night. Although many analysts are putting that game on upset alert, I don't think Boise State has a chance against the Spartans. It should be very interesting to see how Boise State does this year without its best player in program history.
Although they may be in some trouble this year, any team with a blue field has to be interesting. Personally, I find it interesting to watch them on TV because the players somewhat blend in with the field. My Dad says it hurts his eyes, but he's getting old :) but most people love it! How can you not like it? The stadium only seats 37,000 people, it's a relatively small school, and it's not a school full of much tradition. The Smurf Turf defines Boise State football. The first thing you think about when someone says "Boise State" is the blue field.
Boise State is not a well-known program simply because it has not won a single national championship. The Broncos are one of my Top 25 Programs because they do have a good winning percentage, they have a blue field and they have proven themselves over the years. They aren't scared to schedule tough teams-- they beat Georgia in Atlanta to open the season last year. The Broncos can prove themselves once again by beating Michigan State on the road to open up the season this year. Chris Petersen has certainly done an excellent job at Boise State, and it is going to be very interesting to see how well he does with his Broncos in this rebuilding year.
Boise State 2012 Schedule with predictions
- @Michigan State L
- Miami (OH) W
- Brigham Young W
- @New Mexico W
- @Southern Miss L
- Fresno State W
- UNLV W
- @Wyoming W
- San Diego State L
- @Hawaii W
- Colorado State W
- @Nevada L
My Regular Season Presiction: 8-4
Check back tomorrow to see what #100 (#6 Miscellaneous) is on College Football 101.
The Countdown begins... Only 101 days until college football! Hang in there!
Ok, so I was bored and messing around in Photoshop CS6 with some Moon photos I took a week or two back. The result was this...I like it as a nice widescreen background. Anyway, I hope ya'll like it and can use it as an off-season background until the rest of the MgoArtists start pumping out the football wallpapers.
Since Nebraska has moved to the B1G, I thought it would be interesting to look at their recruiting efforts, especially in B1G territory, and how that might affect Michigan and other B1G teams. So, I created two tables: the first table shows which states Nebraska recruits; the other table shows which B1G teams Nebraska successfully recruited against for players in the B1G footprint.
A few caveats before I discuss the tables: I only used Rivals data which provides just general information about recruiting and recruits and likely has some inaccuracies, 2013 recruiting is incomplete, and there are too few years with Nebraska in the B1G and Brady Hoke at Michigan to make truly informed statements about trends in Nebraska recruiting and how that affects Michigan. Also, I did not look at how many players Michigan successfully recruited that Nebraska was also recruiting. I see these tables and discussion as a starting point, not some final, fully supported claim.
|Year||Total #||NE||TX||Other Big 12||OH||Other B1G||Coach|
|2003||19||5||6||2||0||MI 3*, IL 3*||Solich|
|2004||20||5||1||3||0||IL 2*, 2*, MN 4*, 3*||Callahan|
|2010||22||4||5||5||4 *+||IL 4*, MN 3*||Pellini|
|2011||20||4||5||1||3*, 3*||IL 4*||Pellini|
|2012||17||1||2||2||3*, 4*||IL 3*, 4*||Pellini|
|2013||7||1||1||0||3*, 3*+, 4*+||WI 3*||Pellini|
Table 1: Number of NE recruits for B1G and other areas, 2002-2013. Asterisks indicate stars (e.g., 2* is a 2 star player). The plus sign indicates a recruit from Cardinal Mooney HS.
Bo Pelini does seem to be shifting his recruiting focus more towards the upper Midwest, especially Ohio. This shift started before the move from the Big 12 to the B1G, but may be accelerating with the move. Pelini has publicly commented about re-focusing on Texas:
Nebraska is not in a position to ignore Texas recruits, and Nebraska does recruit nationally, including pulling quite a few players from California through the years. But, Pelini also realizes he can’t concede the B1G country to the other B1G teams either, and being a graduate of Cardinal Mooney HS in Youngstown and of OSU has, no doubt, helped him to recruit Ohio. In fact, four of his nine Ohio recruits have come from Cardinal Mooney HS.
Here are a couple of cool maps created by Nebraska newspapers that illustrate the recruiting of Nebraska and other B1G teams, showing where the recruits are coming from:
|2010||Corey Cooper||IL||S||4||*||*||*||*||*||Stanford, FSU|
|Kevin Williams||OH||DT||3||*||*||*||*||*||OR, Stan, WV|
|V. Valentine||IL||DT||3||*||*||*||*||*||*||*||*||Alabama, OK|
|Courtney Love||OH+||LB||3||*||*||*||*||*||OK, USC, WV,|
|A. J. Natter||WI||DE||3||*||*||*||*||*|
Table 2: Nebraska recruits vs.B1G. The asterisks in each column indicate the schools who offered each player. At the bottom, the total offers are listed (e.g., MSU offered 9 of the Nebraska recruits). Plus signs next to OH indicate players from Cardinal Mooney.
As table 2 illustrates (caveats apply), Nebraska is competing well with schools like Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, and especially Michigan State for recruits, but not so much against Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State. As a matter of fact, Nebraska seems to be quite a problem for MSU, pulling in the kind of players from Ohio and elsewhere in B1G country that State has successfully recruited under Dantonio. It seems like a win-win situation for Michigan: Nebraska, for the most part, is not successfully competing against Michigan for recruits, but it is against MSU, our in-state rival, leaving fewer players for State to pick up.
DoubleB and I were/are engaged in a spirited debate under Brian's post regarding the home site concept being dead. Our debate is about whether or not to require entrants in the national title game to win their conference.
I believe the conference championship requirement is an important one for fairness and for preservation of the regular season. If you take a straight top four, you render many of the best regular season games (like Alabama-LSU last year, Michigan-Ohio State in 2006, USC-Notre Dame in 2005, etc) meaningless. Instead of being the biggest moments of the season, they are the least important. That, to me, is a crime against college football, where the regular season is more exciting than the playoffs of most sports.
DoubleB has made some good points against that idea, but he inadvertently introduced a piece of evidence that completely destroys the position: The 2008 college football season.
Here is the final BCS top ten from 2008:
1. Oklahoma (11-1)
2. Florida (11-1)
3. Texas (11-1)
4. Alabama (12-1)
5. USC (11-1)
6. Utah (12-0)
7. Texas Tech (11-1)
8. Penn State (11-1)
9. Boise State (12-0)
10. Ohio State (10-2) Terrell Who?
The final tallies of the AP and Harris polls had the same top four; the coaches poll ranked USC ahead of Alabama.
A four-team playoff constructed using BCS ranking criteria, taking the top four teams only, would give us a semi-final round featuring only Big 12 and SEC teams. It would probably look like this:
#1 Oklahoma vs. #4 Alabama
#2 Florida vs. #3 Texas
This would be met with cries of injustice, bias, and corruption. And the first two critiques would be spot on. In this scenario USC and Utah are left out in the cold so that the "cool" conferences can get their second members. The problem is that the rankings here are just plain wrong. How do we know?
2008 is a classic example of poll bias; pundits that know about as much as you and me watch football, think they know who looks good and who doesn't, and fill out polls that reflect their opinions. In 2008 everybody believed that the Big 12 and the SEC were the two best conferences. There seemed to be no question about it.
And everybody was wrong.
Now it may be that Florida was the best team in the country, but it's impossible to know for sure--Utah beat Alabama more convincingly than Florida did, and USC was absolutely unstoppable by the end of the season, as they were every year at the height of the Pete Carroll era. Unfortunately, we never saw the USC dynasty play a top SEC team during the mid-'00s. They did humiliate Auburn at home in 2003, but that Auburn team was a serious disappointment.
For all we know, USC was the best team in the country that year. Their only loss was early, on the road, to a talented Oregon State team; the next week they beat Oregon 44-10 in a game nobody noticed at the time, but looks a lot better now that we see that Chip Kelly was (as OC at the time) building Oregon into a powerhouse. This is the USC team that crushed Ohio State in Los Angeles 35-3; Texas needed every minute of the Fiesta Bowl to escape the same team. They defeated Penn State handily in the Rose Bowl. They were very good.
In the other direction, the Big 12 was already well on its way to becoming the defense-free league that nobody respected when Oklahoma State was begging for a Championship Game bid. It was a lot weaker than anybody wanted to believe, because they didn't have all the information.
And, of course, nobody believed Utah was good because they didn't even play in a "major" conference. No way they'd be able to handle the Big, Bad SEC.
Here's why it matters: There is no way to fairly rank teams based only on results, because there simply aren't enough results in a season where each team plays four non-conference games. There are biases that are present in the mind of every selector, every voter, every pundit.
Right now, for example, everybody believes that the SEC is far and away the top league; that may be right now, but it's not necessarily always true. And as much as they believe that, they have looked down on the Big Ten for decades. Even seasons when the B1G demonstrates its superiority on the field (1999, 2002) the story is buried because it doesn't fit in with current biases.
By requiring entrants to be conference champions, you help insure against those biases by preventing a love affair from a single conference from infecting the selection.
Would it work? Any time you test a theory like this, it's useful to apply it to past seasons to see how they would resolve. Let's apply it to the final 2008 standings and see what we get. Teams are selected based on ranking with teams that aren't conference champions disqualified:
1. Oklahoma (11-1)
2. Florida (11-1)
3. Texas (11-1)
4. Alabama (11-1)
5. USC (11-1)
6. Utah (12-0)
For a final seeding of:
That's much better. Fair. Just. Accurate. Compelling.
DoubleB adeptly provided a counterexample to the conference champion argument, that if LSU lost to Georgia in the SEC championship last season it's possible that neither of the best teams would be in the playoff. That is a legitimate criticism, but to fix the problem the SEC needs only to reform its championship structure to eliminate divisions and allow Bama and LSU to play each other. Alternatively, a compromise is available: Exchange the "Conference Champion" requirement for a "One team per conference" rule. That rule would preserve 2008 as I have adjusted it.
Verdict: In a four-team playoff, only conference champions should be admitted; or, at the least, only one team per conference.
Dear Mr. Woodson,
I see your name in a headline, in today's Detroit Free Press. It probably isn't what you had in mind.
Before saying anything else, however, let me thank you for your great years in Ann Arbor and all of the thrills we saw on the football field. Thanks for all of your hard work. Thanks also for all the time you've devoted to Mott Children's Hospital. You've done so much good, through the hospital and through your foundation.
I presume that as you have been getting ready for the annual Mott Golf Outing and assorted fundraisers, the outreach people have been talking to your agent, and arranging for you to talk to reporters, to promote the event. I presume that that is how Mark Snyder of the Free Press got some of your time in a private telephone interview. As much as you'd like to promote Mott events, it was a mistake on your part to talk to Snyder.
Because while Snyder is willing to throw in a few lines about Mott fundraising, you should have known what would happen; Snyder would ask you all about Mott, get your guard down, and then ask you about Rich Rodriguez. And whatever you gave him, Rodriguez (and not Mott) would become the day's headline.
That is part of the reason that Brady Hoke and David Brandon are not doing any private interviews with Snyder. Your interview with Snyder tore up that page of the Michigan playbook. The other very large part of the story, as you really ought to know, is that Snyder was part of the tag-team that did such damage to the football program. Your Michigan football program. Michigan's NCAA investigation was a wholly-produced effort in which Snyder played a big part. After the harm that was caused by Snyder, why you would give someone like that a private interview is almost unbelievable. There are other ways to get out the news of the annual Mott Golf Outing; in fact, the way that the Free Press goes about its business, it is almost guaratneed to distract from those good works.
There has not been much harm done, by one interview; so that much is no big deal. But put yourself in Snyder's position. He will be at the golf course and the clubhouse that day for the meetings and the dinner, and he will be looking for interviews and stories. You and your fellow football alumni should not give him anything. You all should know that the story that he wants is "the bad old days of Rich Rodriguez" story. He wants to use you guys, to essentially support his story from 2009. You don't have to give it to him. You don't have to talk to Snyder. And if you do, you can say, "All that I have to say about those years, is that the Free Press was awful to this football program. You want me to go on?"
If anyone wants to say, "Hey let's forget about the past; let's move on," that's fine. Just be assured, that when you are talking to Mark Snyder, his idea of "moving on" is by delcaring that Rich Rodriguez was a personal disaster, because that is what his paper is invested in. If you think it is time to "move on," then think about making that your answer when Mark Snyder asks you for an interview. Because that is the message that Brady Hoke and David Brandon are interested in. Ask them, if you are unclear about this.
Quit. Talking. To. Mark. Snyder.