Though Michigan picked up preferred walk-on Kenny Allen and Notre Dame landed blue-chip 2013 OL Steven Elmer, neither of those commitments factor into these rankings. There were no other commitments in the Big Ten, so my job is rather easy this week. ESPN.com was down when I went to post this, so I'm foregoing any individual rankings updates until next week. Action since last rankings:
|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 (Minnesota), Darius Stroud (Indiana), Steffon Martin and Devin Smith (Purdue) are exluded from their respective team averages.
On to the full data, after the jump.
|#1 Michigan - 22 Commits|
No change for the Wolverines.
|#2 Notre Dame - 14 Commits|
No change for the Irish, except
the crushing of their souls the crushing of Sparty's soul and snapping up Elmer for 2013.
|#3 Penn State - 17 Commits|
No change for the Nittany Lions.
|#4 Ohio State - 12 Commits|
No change for the Buckeyes.
|#5 Michigan State - 14 Commits|
No change for the Spartans.
|#6 Wisconsin - 10 Commits|
No change for the Badgers.
|#7 Indiana - 18 Commits|
No change for the Hoosiers.
|#8 Northwestern - 16 Commits|
No change for the Wildcats.
|#9 Iowa - 10 Commits|
No change for the Hawkeyes.
|#10 Minnesota - 20 Commits|
No change for the Gophers.
|#11 Purdue - 16 Commits|
No change for the Boilermakers.
|#12 Nebraska - 6 Commits|
Still no change for the Huskers. This remains ridiculous.
|#13 Illinois - 8 Commits|
No change for the Illini.
Thus endeth the most boring recruiting rankings update of all time.
Info on how I score the CPR rankings is available here.
When I was a young boy my mother sat me down and said, "Son, one day you will grow up to write a moderately valued diary on a sports blog with a small but passionate user base."
I was a child of the 80's, so the term 'blog' was completely foreign to me. I dismissed this idea as a residual effect of too much acid and 'Earth, Wind, and Fire'. My mom was involved heavily in the 'counter-culture' movement of her era.
Twenty-some years later, as I sit here pondering whether my mom was clarevoyant or had just stumbled into some really good acid, I ask for your help. I want to write the best damned moderately valued diary that I can. I need to live up to my mother's expectations. Being that this is only my third week doing this, I am very open to suggestions. If you guys have any, let me know, as I will try to incorporate them as best I can.
Not much movement towards the front and the rear of the line, as both the top 3 and bottom 4 conferences remain the same. The middle saw big drops by the PAC 12 (5-4) and CUSA (5-3, with wins over only WAC and FBS teams). It also saw two conferences make decent gains as the ACC (6-2) and the MWC (5-2) both climbed multiple spots.
The BIG 12 continues to dominate the OOC schedule, going 9-1 this week to accumulate a 23-3 record. This record is even more impressive if you take into account the fact that they have played the fewest FBS cupcakes (6) of any BCS conference and have the most wins (also 6) against other BCS schools.
The SEC is trying to keep pace, but going 4-2 this week ensured that the BIG 12 gained ground on all other conferences. The two horse race for the innagural Cy-Hawk Trophy Memorial Award (CHTMA) has officially turned into a one point five horse race.
The Cy-Hawk Trophy Memorial Award, given to the Top Conference in the FCS.
CPR - Week 3
|Conf.||Wk 1||Wk 2||Wk 3||Season||CPR||+ / -|
The Bakers Dozen
Propelled by strong wins over Auburn, Ohio State, and Kansas; the ACC jumped 3 spots and nestled into number 6 in our CPR rankings. FSU showed flashes against Oklahoma, but came up short. The soon to be NKOTB both lost this week, as Iowa defeated Pitt and USC made short work of Syracuse.
The BIG 10 remained stagnant for the second week in a row, as a strong win by Illinois was offset by losses to two alleged conference contenders in OSU and MSU. Other teams, such as Penn State and Iowa sputtered but came through. The BIG 10 is starting to look like a microcosm of the NCAA conference picture as a whole; with a couple of solid players at the top, an extremely large middle class, and teams like Minnesota and Indiana fighting for food stamps.
The BIG 12 still looks tough, even after they packed up a little bit of snow and pushed it down the mountain, creating a snowball effect that will change the landscape of college football as we know it. As noted at the top, their 23-2 record is as impressive as it looks from the outside. The BIG 12 will have to fail miserably during the bowl season if any other conference intends on capturing the coveted CHTMA this season.
WVU continues to will the Big East to mediocrity. Without the 'eers, the Big East would have had nothing to hang their straw hats on. UCONN lost a close game to Iowa State and Pitt "Sparty nooooooo'd" away a win to Iowa. Many toothless babies were conceived in the cornfields of Iowa on Saturday. Yes, I am aware that all babies are born toothless. Except, of course, for Michigan babies, which are all born with a mouth full of teeth and grow up to be Michigan Men.
CUSA didn't really give themselves a chance to shine this week, as their only marquee game pitted Tulsa against Okie State. The rest of their OOC schedule consisted of teams that the average college football fan has probably never heard of.
The first two weeks must have been sweet for the MAC. They were 13-10, posting a few noteworthy wins along with some respectable efforts against big named schools (shoutout to Toledo!). Apparently, at some point this week, student athletes throughout the midwest woke up and realized that they played in the MAC. Consequently, the MAC posted a 1-8 record this week, with only Ohio (NTO) saving face.
The Mountain West climbed an impressive 3 spots in this weeks CPR, due to a 5-2 record which brought them to 12-6 on the season. They are currently the only non-qualifier that is ahead of a BCS conference, surpassing the Big East, ACC, and PAC 12. Their five wins all came against other FBS schools, including one against Washington State and the PAC 12.
I'm waiting to have one of those head asploding moments when some clueless ESPN drone suggests that the PAC 12 can rival the SEC for the best conference in the nation. I know it will happen. The PAC 12 has had the worst season among BCS conferences. Their 19-10 record is padded by 7 wins against FCS schools and 5 more against the worst conference (WAC) in the FBS. They are 4-6 against other BCS schools.
Here's a philisophical head scratcher... Can the SEC form a team SO TALENTED that another SEC team cannot beat them? Trick question, because when the SEC plays with itself, everyone wins. Right, Gary? As it turns out, NCAA rules state that there HAS to be a team that loses. Condolences to Tennessee and the state of Mississippi, as your teams were all losers this week. Speaking of losers, Auburn... lol.
God it gets boring breaking down the crappy conferences.
The WAC finished 0-4 against FBS opponents, cementing their place in the basement of the FBS and reminding me that I was supposed to be cleaning the basement while my wife is away getting groceries, and am instead creating a drawn out review of the week that was in college football.
Notre Dame finally played well enough to overcome themselves. If they stop turning the ball over, Lou Holtz may actually be proven right a few times this year. The service acadamies split their games against Northwestern (W) and SC (L). BYU got pounded by Utah, 54-10. BYU officials are checking into whether taking it that hard constitutes punishment for breaking the school's "no sex" policy.
Progress! The FCS got another win this week, as the Sycamores of Indiana State were triumphant over the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. It wasn't even close, either, as Indiana State compiled a 44-16 win. This brings their three week record to 3-71. For those keeping score at home, that win percentage is 4% higher than the 2008 Detroit Lions.
Inside the box score - Game 2, was bumped to Diary Status and front-paged linked twice last week, so I think I'm OK with making this a regular feature. [Ed-M: Yes! Yes you are!] I know that the folks just like having a handy link for the box score, so let's get that out of the way first, and then we'll follow with my commentary:
The BIG story coming into this game was Eastern Michigan averaging 331 yards per game rushing, and how could our rebuilding defense match up with that? During the first quarter, I was starting to believe that Mike Hart was the second coming of Fred Jackson. After that, our defense calmed down, and I found out that Mike is actually an offensive quality control coach. So how did we do against the greatest rushing attack in Ypsilanti? The EMU Fighting Emus tallied 10 rushing first downs, 207 yards rushing, and 4.5 yards per carry. 67 yards came from the 4th best QB in the state of Michigan, Alex Gillette. I was impressed with his running, but EMU could never get the passing game going. I'm a little worried about what this says about our chances against Scheelhaase. Could we be looking at another shootout?
Time to get inside the box score:
* First downs: UofM 24, EMU 12. Now that's more like it.
* Average yards per rush: UofM 7.5, EMU 4.5. That's a healthy serving of MANBALL right there.
* Net yards per punt: EMU 40.2, UofM 29.7. Mr. Hagerup, we eagerly await your return. Please obey your curfew and get your homework done. Thank you.
* Net yards per Kickoff: EMU 51, UofM 38. Giving up a first down's worth of field position with every special teams play is not special.
* Vincent Smith had 118 yards rushing. If there is a baby seal nearby, you can bet that Vincent has a club ready. He's looking better and better.
* Denard was 7-18 passing. Let's hope that was just a result of the injured arm they referenced on the B1G Network telecast. I'm not seeing 70%. I'll take 60%. <50% has me worried.
* FG attempts: UofM 1 for 1! I realize it was just 21 yards, but let's let the young man get his confidence up a little before throwing him out there for a game-winning 50 yarder into the wind.
* 23 players showed up in the defensive stats, lead by another linebacker. With all of the running EMU did, that's to be expected, but doesn't that feel great to see 2 weeks in a row?
And finally in our official's names section of the post,
* The linesman was "R. Studd." I wonder if he's related to Big John.
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”
Learn from yesterday...
The final score indicated a beat down as would be expected when Michigan plays Eastern, but I wonder if I am alone in feeling that yesterday's game exposed more flaws with this Michigan team than it addressed. What did we learn, after all?
- Michigan's defense is going to have trouble against the run all year. Seriously, giving up over 200 yards rushing to EMU despite being significantly ahead the entire second half is bad news. This defense would be looking much worse except for some timely turnovers, and while the turnover numbers are encouraging we shouldn't overlook that last year's team was also sitting 3-0 with a significant edge in turnover margin (10/4 this year vs. 6/2 last year).
- Michigan's offense is still mostly Denard, Denard, Denard and a healthy Mr. Robinson is still far more offense than most defenses can handle. Denard does seem to be more solidly built than last year and may hold up better for a while, but he definitely took a beating yesterday, much of which seemed unnecessary. The good news is that Borges seems to understand which side his bread is buttered on, and didn't try to go to mostly under center until the game was in hand. The bad news is summed up by that last drive by Denard, where it seemed like Hoke/Borges are so desperate to see Denard progress as a drop-back QB that they eschewed a great opportunity to get Gardner some meaningful snaps.
- Michigan needs Hagerup back. Wile's kicks aren't a ton shorter in distance, but their hang time is non-existent and every one is a threat to be returned for big yardage. It is leading to Michigan fighting uphill in the field-position battle every game. A kickoff into the endzone would be nice too, but doesn't seem to be in the cards unless the wind big at our backs.
- Michigan is much better in the Red-Zone it would seem. This may be because of the turnover margin not yet flipping like it did last year, but with 10 TDs and 1 FG out of 11 trips into the Red-Zone (1 actually from the 21, close enough), this year's team seems vastly improved in this area. Of course we must consider the strength of competition here.
Live for Today…
Several Michigan players should bask in the glow of their accomplishments:
1. Denard Robinson – Honestly asked to do far too much, Denard answered as only he can carrying the team with nearly 300 yards of total offense including ~200 yards rushing on 26 carries. He took far too many shots from EMU's defense and is going to be feeling some discomfort this week. It was ominous when the commentators noted that Denard was limited by arm-pain in practice last week. If Michigan is going to a decent bowl game this season, they are going to need Denard playing near 100%.
2. Vincent Smith – Really showed off the shiftiness that was missing last year, along with some great speed. 118 yards on 9 carries = awesome. The fact that Smith had no TDs validates the yards even more, as none were of the seeya variety.
3. Michigan Defense – The run defense was awful, see above. But Michigan did limit EMU to only 3 points and won the TOP for the first time in a long time. The most encouraging part of this year's defense is that they seem to get better as the game progresses. This is probably Mattison.
4. Jeremy Gallon – I just love that this guy is finally putting his stamp on the program. So far he seems like Odoms with better speed.
5. Drew Dileo – First TD in a Michigan uniform. Congratulations young man.
Also of note was the play of Jake Ryan, Mike Martin, and Craig Roh. Also Heninger seemed to redeem himself somewhat.
Hope for Tomorrow
Bask in 3-0 for now, because this team is looking to be on much the same course as last season so far. I think that our reliance on Denard Robinson will actually help us next week against SDSU, because our offense will not look like what Rocky Long remembers a Borges offense looking like. Then again, our run defense might get gutted by Ronnie Hillman. SDSU will put a scare into us at least.
Our biggest hope for the whole season may actually be Borges's willingness to adapt to Denard's strengths as well as Mattison's willingness to use naked aggression to mask our defense's glaring flaws. Like last year, this team is going to sink or swim based on their ability to outscore opponents. The opponents seem less daunting however, and we have better coaches. I am reasonably anticipating 8-9 wins still as long as the most key players stay healthy. If we can keep the TO margin on the happy side, perhaps this team can develop into a dark horse division championship contender.
Go Blue and stay safe.
A great fall football Saturday on tap for tomorrow!
It's a noon game, so if you're headed out the door early for tailgating make sure to have some warmer clothes with you - this is definitely a dress-in-layers day. Temperatures will still be in the mid 40s until around 9 or 10 am (slowly attempting to bounce up from an overnight low around 40). There's a calm northerly wind overnight, but around the same time the air temperature starts to rise, the winds will go up as well. Not a whole lot, but a gentle breeze shifting to come out of the east- enough to feel on your skin and make the leaves rustle.
Kick off looks great - the clouds will diminish throughout the day thanks to a high pressure system bringing in a decent amount of sunshine. Partly cloudy skies will get us up to about 60, complete with that light easterly breeze.
By halftime you'll be shedding some more of those morning layers as we reach the mid 60s, and even with the breeze you'll be warm as more of the sun begins to show.
We'll end the game still enjoying that warmer fall air, reaching the high for the day near 65. It'll be a great afternoon and evening to continue the celebration, with continually clearing skies, a light easterly wind, and temps remaining in the 60s until dinnertime. It'll be a slow cool off into the later nighttime hours, but if you're planning on staying out late bring along some of those layers you had with you in the morning.
Christina Burkhart is a meteorologist for NBC/ABC in Traverse City, MI. She grew up in Ann Arbor and associates Saturdays with Michigan football. Go Blue!!
This is a continuation of my post after week 1. Since week 1 the rankings have shaken out much more and unsurprisingly Sacramento State dropped out of the top 25 college football resumes. Points are determined by a combination of opponent ranking, winning, and margin of victory. I am still using Sagarin's rankings but I will begin to use my resume rankings in the next few weeks as more data points are accumulated. The decimal number in the right column represents the percentage of the first place team's points that each team has. Because a few teams have had byes, I have taken the average points accumulated per game to rank the teams. Here are the rankings for week 2:
Michigan is in the top 15. This is more a product of the weak schedules of other teams than an endorsement of Michigan's resume. This numbers do not include last night's game, LSU will certainly move up next week. We should be big fans of ND and Western this weekend as their success improves our resume.
I'm still tinkering with my model, but up to this point is seems reasonable.