From Portage Northern.
I am back from vacation, and so are the recruiting rankings. In this update, we see Ohio State, Notre Dame, and Penn State all edge closer to Michigan, which still is well ahead of the field despite not picking up a commit in forever, you guys. Changes since last rankings:
3-26-12: Notre Dame picks up Rashad Kinlaw.
3-27-12: Notre Dame picks up Corey Robinson. Penn State picks up Curtis Cothran.
4-1-12: Ohio State picks up Ezekiel Elliott and Jayme Thompson. Wisconsin picks up T.J. Watt.
4-4-12: Notre Dame picks up Devin Butler. Iowa picks up David Kenney.
4-5-12: Penn State picks up Greg Webb.
|Big Ten+ Recruiting Class Rankings|
|Rank||School||# Commits||Rivals Avg||Scout Avg||24/7 Avg||Avg Avg^|
^The average of the average rankings of the three recruiting services (aka the previous three 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 one-star players. This may be a bit unfair this early in the process, considering there are many unevaluated recruits out there at this stage, but that's life.
On to the full data:
Glory, friends, sweet shining glory! Both Michigan tennis teams (men's and women's) have beaten Illinois in convincing fashion. On April 7, 2012, #15 Michigan women defeated #19 Illinois 6-1 at the Varsity Tennis Center. Michigan won the doubles point and all but court 5 of the singles court in a rout of their ranked opponents. 1 court and national #10 Emina Betkas needed three sets to win, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2. Michigan courts 2-4 all won in straight sets. With this win in hand Michigan women's tennis has improved to 13-5 on the season including a 6-0 mark in the Big Ten.
Michigan men's tennis played at Illinois' Atkins Tennis Center on April 6, 2012. The match was decided by a 4-3 margin in favor of Michigan. 1 court and national #10 Evan King won the critical fourth point to break a 3-3 dual deadlock over national #4 Dennis Nevolo, 7-6(3), 3-6, 6-3. 2 court Shaun Bernstein had a tough day, losing to national #31 Roy Kalmanovich 6-1, 6-2. Michael Zhu fared little better on 4 court, falling 6-2, 6-1. Suprisingly in doubles Petrone/Zhu lost their match; usually Franks/Buzzi is the doubles team more likely to drop their game. With the doubles point in hand thanks to the usual diligence of King/Bernstein and victories from Petrone and Franks(!) on 3 and 5 courts Michigan wrapped up another tough road win. Michigan is now 12-5 with a 5-1 Big Ten mark. With some luck in Columbus April 22 against #3 Ohio State (24-2, 6-0 B10) Michigan could win the regular season title.
What if a man suddenly shut down in the line of duty awoke to a world unlike what he had known before? What if a football coach, coming off a great year and intense spring practices suddenly entered a world of true football dead season. Practices? Not allowed. Recruiting class? Done. Can it be true? Has the entire college football world gone dead? Is there any hope or escape from this seemingly endless nightmare?
In the coming months, we shall find out if, for coach Brady Hoke, there is any escape from...
If... you know, I get off my lazy ass and actually do it.
OMG THEY TOTALLY RIPPED OFF BRIAN'S PODCAST THEME!!!
H/T to Karpodiem for uploading the torrent.
THE SPRING LULL
(Click the image to view full size)
For some, it is a glorious time of year, when the flowers bloom, and the
butterflies unfold their beautiful wings, and life begins anew. For others, however,
it is a desolate tundra of sports inactivity, no disrespect for big league baseball
or even the pending playoffs of basketball and hockey.
For a family like THE BLOCKHAMS™, there is no lull. We reflect on the past,
we inspect the current practices, and we drool like drug addicts at the
prospects of next season. And we love every minute of it. Go Blue.
OnThursday we'll address some of the more recent leisure pursuits of some
members of the football team. And no, Kate Upton is in no way involved.
THE BLOCKHAMS™ runs (typically) every Tuesday here at MGoBlog, and at least
every Thursday on its official home page. Also, don't forget to check out our newest
feature, Friday Roughs, a spontaneous low-end comic based on trending
Michigan events, available on Twitter and Facebook every Friday.
As you most likely know, the National Association of College Directors of Athletics (NACDA) awards an annual Director's Cup to the nation's top athletic program, based on a points formula that encompasses all men's and women's varsity sports (more info here). Stanford has won the award for the past 17 years in a row, but Michigan has been among the top performing schools in the annual standings, finishing in the top ten in 14 of the 18 years the rankings have been compiled.
Unfortunately, the past two seasons have been down years, with Michigan placing 25th (2009-2010) and 15th (2010-2011). With some resurgent programs this year, I have been hoping that our maize and blue heroes could return to their rightful place in the top ten. I decided to take a look at MIchigan's current status and forward-looking expectations.
In the last published update (3/22/12), Michigan fell from 5th place to 12th place in the standings. This Thursday, the updated Winter standings will be released, adding results for men's and women's basketball, men's swimming, and fencing. If my figurin' is correct, the updated standings should look something like this:
Michigan should climb barely back into the top ten, while Ohio State shoots up to the number two spot, based not only on basketball success, but also on winning the recent national fencing championships held in Columbus. Unfortunately, the NACDA points accumulated by the Buckeye sabre-rattlers will exceed the total points registered by the combined efforts of Michigan's men's and women's basketball teams plus Ice Hockey team. Curses! Foiled again. Yeah, the scoring system is a little flakey.
Looking ahead to the home stretch, some schools are traditionally stronger in spring sports and are likely to make a late move. If we were to project that each school's spring teams will match their performance from last year and tally up the resulting standings (allowing points for no more than 10 sports in either men's or women's categories), the projected final standings would turn out like this:
Of course, there is likely to be a great deal of variance in actual results, but this should pretty well identify who the top contenders are.
Michigan's spring prospects vary by team. Wolverine men and women gymnasts and tennis racketeers are likely to pile up some points, but it will be a challenge to just match the output of last year's successful teams. Struggling golf teams on both men's and women's side will be hard pressed to make the NCAA's this year (still, we can hope). The inaugural men's lacrosse team will not register any NACDA points this year, but it can only help to have a men's and women's varsity lacrosse program in years to come. Prospects also do not look very promising for the baseball team or either track and field team. Surprise us, please!
On the plus side, there is room for improvement over last year from the young and developing softball team, the women's rowing team, and the women's water polo team. Gals, we're counting on you!
It is all but certain that Stanford will repeat as the trophy winner for the 18th straight year. Ohio State, Florida, and California are likely to battle it out for the runner-up spot.
Michigan has a very realistic shot at returning to the top ten. We should almost certainly improve over the past two seasons. Sadly, there is very little chance of a top five finish this year or of overtaking that ohio school. Don't taze me bro', I'm just crunching numbers here. I personally have faith in Dave Brandon's determination to continue to elevate the competitive level of all of Michigan's varsity programs and I expect that we will once again become a consistent top finisher in the NACDA standings. Go Blue, one and all!