will be michigan's highest pick in a while
As Brady Hoke and Co. look to reverse the offensive transition that took place under Rich Rodriguez, running back will be a main piece to getting Michigan where they want to be offensively. With six returning backs and two additions to the 2011 class, Hoke has depth to work with, but would like to add an elite runner of his choosing with the upcoming recruiting cycle.
There are six names that have surfaced so far with Michigan extending offers. Matt Jones (6'2", 200 lbs) from Seffner, Florida who recently commited to the Gators, current Ohio State commit Bri'onte Dunn (6'2", 215 lbs) from Canton, Ohio also received a Michigan offer. Ronald Darby (5'11", 172 lbs) out of Oxon Hill, Maryland is on this list, although he's probably being recruited as a defensive back. Darby has had the most contact with Michigan defensive backs coach Curt Mallory, and says he's definitely interested in Michigan. "They have a strong traditional program. The coaches seem cool, and the education is real strong," said Darby. "I want to commit late in the summer or in the beginning of the season, so I'm going to be looking for the school that fits me best; a place that feels like home."
One of the most sought after running backs in the country, Keith Marshall (5'11", 190 lbs) in North Carolina not only has an offer from the Wolverines, but has mutual interest as well. "Coach Montgomery offered me sometime last week; I'm definitely interested. They were one of the teams I liked growing up, and then I started liking Georgia and USC," said Marshall. With around twenty two offers in hand, Marshall will be able to choose from any program he sees fits best. "I plan on narrowing down my list this summer; I don't really have a top group yet," Marshall said. "I'm going to be looking at the overall direction of the football program, as well as the academics." Keith says his biggest strengths are his speed, acceleration, and vision, while he still has a few things to work on. "I'd prefer to play in a pro style offense, so I'm working on getting bigger and stronger so I can run between tackles at the next level," he said.
Marshall's speed has definitely caught the eye of college programs, he reports his fastest time is a 4.25 forty time, and maybe even more impressive he reports a similar GPA around 4.1 overall. Marshall ran for 1600 yards and 18 TD's this past season.
To stick with the theme of both size and speed, Greg Garmon (6'1", 190 lbs) out of Erie, Pennsylvania was the most recent recipient of a Wolverine offer. Garmon says his game is similar to that of Reggie Bush with the combination of his size, speed, and playmaking abilities. Those are some big shoes to compare yourself to, but Garmon is confident in what he can do on the field. "I would like to run in a pro style offense, because I'm more of a down hill runner, but yeah I would compare myself somewhat to a Reggie Bush," Garmon said.
Specifically with Michigan, Greg is from the midwest and has familiarity with the Wolverines program. "I'm very interested in Michigan. I hope I can visit there soon, I heard great things about it from a friend of mine that goes there," he said. When a prospect says they are very interested in a school this early on it can often be relative, but that doesn't seem to be the case with Garmon. "After everything is done [Michigan] will be one of the top schools I pick from," said Garmon.
The final running back boasting a Michigan offer (thus far) is Norman, Oklahoma back Donovan Roberts (6'0", 195 lbs). Roberts highlight film is the epitome of a physical back. He breaks tackle after tackle, and doesn't seem to shy away from contact. "Every time I get the ball, a lot of backs will try to just get out of bounds if they're by the sideline, but I'm more of a physical back. I'm going to do everything I can to get that extra couple yards," said Roberts.
Donovan has been in communication with the new coaching staff, but is still building the relationship to get more comfortable. "I want to learn a little more about the coaches, because I know they're new. I've always loved the way that Michigan plays," he said. "The coaches told me how they're going to be switching up the offense to more of a pro style, which is good. They told me how they want to fix Michigan, and what they're doing with the program." Talking to him you would think that he grew up in the state of Michigan, with how he speaks of the Wolverines. "Michigan has always been a high caliber team. I've always watched them and they've always been a top team. We're definitely going to work out something to see if I can come down there in the spring or the summer. I just have to figure it out with my parents," said Roberts.
Although he's from Oklahoma, and Norman at that, Roberts says the hometown Sooners aren't a big draw for him. "I have interest in Oklahoma State, but not as much with Oklahoma. A lot of people think I would because of where I'm from. I'm just trying to look around, and see everyone that's interested," Roberts said. As far as a timetable or timeline for his decision, Donovan is just letting everything fall into place. "Some people try to wait it out, but I'm just going to go with the flow. If an opportunity comes by and I want to commit early, then I will. I'm probably just going to see how everything flows and take it from there," he said.
While he's had no in person contact with the Michigan coaches yet, Donovan feels 100% comfortable and confident that these will be the coaches to turn the Michigan program around. "I've really enjoyed the fact that they've shown interest in me. Those coaches are there for a reason and they're trying to get the program better, I think they're going to do it," said Roberts.
This list will definitely grow as Michigan continues to find new running back prospects that fit with what they're looking for. They have targeted some of the top backs in the country and judging by the early feelings from some of these prospects, the Michigan staff has put themselves in a position to contend for their services.
DE Matt Godin just got back from an unofficial visit to Ann Arbor, and I caught up with him to get his reaction. There was no commitment on this trip. Matt will take a little more time with his decision just to make sure it's right.
TOM: How was the trip?
MATT: I loved it. It was probably a 9 out of 10.
TOM: So walk me through what happened, and who you met. What made it a 9?
MATT: I came in and saw Coach Singletary in Schembechler Hall. That was my first time there, so I was blown away by that. It was awesome. Coach Singletary took me in to see Coach Montgomery, and I sat with him for awhile. He told me everything basically, how they would use me, the scheme and where they want me.
TOM: How do they want to use you on the field?
MATT: They said probably in the 5 technique, possibly playing around 290. They said that would let me stop the run, but I could still get some pass rush in too. [Ed.: This would be the strongside DE spot.]
TOM: Did you get a chance to meet with Coach Hoke and Mattison, too?
MATT: Yeah, I talked to Coach Hoke for about 30 minutes in his office. We talked about everything, and you can tell he doesn't take any crap. He's ready to bring Michigan back. He was basically telling me how they need defensive linemen, and they think I can help bring Michigan back. I talked to Coach Mattison before that, and he threw on the Ravens film to go over. It was funny because I brought one of my friends and he joked before hand that Coach Mattison would probably put the Ravens film on.
TOM: It sounds like the trip was a success then?
MATT: I absolutely loved it, a lot of it was more of what the coaches were saying and how they want to bring Michigan back. Also, at some schools you don't really see the players that much, but I walked in there and all the players were in the locker room joking around. It was a good experience, especially for my dad to be there. He's a season ticket holder for 30 years, and for him to see his son get a scholarship from the university he loves is great.
Offensive line is one of the harder positions to recruit because it takes longer to evaluate players who will change vastly in college. In addition, there are different styles of offense that require different types of linemen.
However, every year there are a few standouts in recruiting that everyone wants no matter the offense. This year Illinois offensive tackle Dan Voltz (6'5", 290 lbs) is one of those recruits. With around twenty offers already from some of the biggest programs, Voltz will be one of the more sought-after linemen in this class. I caught up with Dan to ask him about his recruitment, and how Michigan factors in. Here are his highlights, then the interview.
TOM: First, for anyone that has never seen you play, can you describe what kind of football player you are? Maybe what you bring to the table.
DAN: I bring 100% effort all the time. I am an extremely hard worker, and I will do anything to become a better football player. I think I play physical and I play offensive line the way it's supposed to be played. I also think I'm pretty athletic for a big guy.
TOM: With your recruitment, Michigan has offered you already, is that a school that you want to learn more about?
DAN: Yes, I'm really interested in Michigan. They offer a great combination of top notch academics, and a legendary football program. I will definitely be looking at them hard.
TOM: Someone like you who's being recruited by a ton of schools, how do you plan on letting everything play out? Do you have a timeline?
DAN: I am actually making a top five or top six list in the upcoming weeks. I'll let you know which schools are on there when I make it.
TOM: When you go to make that top list, how does a school get in the top group? What are you looking for?
DAN: The schools will have, like Michigan does, a good combination of football and academics. It has to be a school that I feel comfortable being at because I will be spending the next four to five years of my life there. Lastly, there has to be a stable coaching staff, that will play a part in it.
TOM: Once you develop the top list, what comes after that? How will you decide from there?
DAN: I will try to visit those schools as many times as I can before the start of my senior year, and hopefully choose one school to call home. If not, I will push my decision timetable back and possibly take a few official visits.
TOM: So the plan for right now is to commit before the season, but it could go into the season?
DAN: Yes, that's right.
TOM: A lot of times with southern kids they like to stay in the south. Since you're from the Midwest, are you more comfortable staying in the Midwest, or even playing in a Big Ten type offense?
DAN: I would love to stay close to home and play Big Ten football. If there is a school that I visit and like outside of the midwest or Big Ten, then I won't hesitate to seriously consider them.
TOM: Last question, to go back to Michigan specifically, what are you looking to find with Michigan? What are you looking to learn about them?
DAN: Right now I just want to see the campus for myself and talk to the coaches more; gain that comfort level with them.
The theme of 2012 recruiting for Michigan so far has been wide receivers and linemen. Forty of the (approximately) sixty-seven offers have gone to wide receivers, defensive, and offensive linemen. MGoUser umhero has been gracious enough to update the offer list here. If you'd like to go even more in depth, Rescue_Dawn has used his free time to create a recruiting map. As always, if you would like more updates from me you can head over to Twitter and folllow me @TomVH. If you have any recruiting tips or questions please email me at TomVH@MGoBlog.com.
6'6", 270 lbs.
Another recruit out in my neck of the woods, Peat has racked up offers from almost everywhere. Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Notre Dame, Texas... you name the school they've offered Andrus. That offer list includes the Wolverines. Andrus returns some early interest, and wants to find out more about the program.
I definitely have interest in Michigan. Their program's prestige and just how they have consistently won over the years is definitely a plus for me. The fact that they produce great offensive linemen, and NFL guys is great too. Michigan is definitely a school I would like to get out and see. I'm going wait until all my offers come in and then go from there. I'll take some spring and summer visits then cut my list towards the end of the summer.
Peat's father played in the NFL and his brother was a Nebraska signee for the 2011 class so he has some familiarity with the process. The fact that his brother chose a team to the north says distance may not be a factor. It's too early to tell if Michigan will make the cut. They have their work cut out for them since they're competing against the world.
6'0", 209 lbs.
Orchard Lake, Michigan
Ross is probably the top prospect in the state of Michigan for the 2012 class. He has been racking up the offers lately, and recently received a verbal one from Ohio State. James and his father recently visited Ann Arbor before the Best of the Midwest combine so they could get a better feel for the new coaches. His father (also named James) told me about how that trip went.
We've been up there quite a few times, but I wanted him to meet the new staff. The staff was actually trying to get him up there as much as I was. Everything was smooth, everything they said was what he was looking for.
I'm not sure I even need to say this any more, but Greg Mattison has again left his mark on a recruit.
He fell in love with coach Mattison. I never paid attention early on to coordinators that much, but that guy was great. He was kinda funny too. He and coach Hoke broke it all open for him. We were there close to three hours just talking about football with Mattison, and more conversation with Hoke. Hoke's like a good ole boy, it was refreshing.
Besides gaining comfortability with the new coaches there were a few questions that were answered on the visit as well.
I know I read what type of defense they were going to run, and they told us it's going to be a 4-3. We run a 3-4 at Orchard Lake St. Mary's. What they want out of him is probably better for James, though. They said they want him to play WILL linebacker to emphasize his speed and have him free, a lot of blitzing, and basically let him play his game. James and the coaches saw eye to eye on that, I disagreed, but James thought that was good.
This visit did a lot for Michigan for both Mr. Ross and his son. It gave them a clear picture of how James would be used, and the people that would be coaching him as well. Mr. Ross is a Michigan fan, but has made sure he lets James make his own decision. Mr. Ross thinks that James will likely make his decision once he finds the place he feels is right.
6'6", 315 lbs.
As I mentioned last night, Dodson received a Michigan offer yesterday. He's a monster offensive lineman reporting other offers from Illinois, Michigan State, NC State, and West Virginia.
[Michigan] was definitely a school I wanted an offer from. Coach Funk was the one that offered me. He said they enjoyed watching my film and I look like a player they want at Michigan. They have a lot of tradition, and even though they haven't been playing that well lately I still have a lot of interest in them. I'm definitely going to try to make it up there for the Junior Day.
Growing up in Ohio typically means there are some ties to Ohio State, and that's true for Kyle.
How I was raised, I grew up a Buckeye fan and not liking Michigan. Now that I'm more mature and I'm looking at schools it's completely different. This is my decision, and it's going to be my choice so all that stuff goes out the window. I'm first looking at academics, because I want to major in criminal justice, second a family based football team, and third the environment and surroundings.
Dodson is planning on taking a trip to Ohio State soon, and could see an offer soon from the Buckeyes. He's also getting attention from Auburn, Oregon, Wisconsin, and North Carolina.
A Few Names to Watch:
Illinois DT Jaleel Johnson (6'2", 277 lbs) is expecting a Michigan offer in the next two weeks, and told me he will definitely be at the Junior Day.
Georgia DT Jordan Watkins (6'5", 260 lbs) is hoping to hear from Michigan. Watkins has a 3.66 GPA and offers from Auburn, Georgia Tech, and Miami to name a few. His film is here.
New York DB Wayne Morgan (5'11", 188 lbs) just received an offer from Alabama. His high school DB coach told me has interest in Michigan. Here are his sophomore highlights, junior film should be done this week.
Cali DT Ellis McCarthy (6'4", 310 lbs) his coach tells me Michigan is interested and has his film. He's extremely athletic for his size, quick, and goes whistle to whistle. Junior film is here.
Texas DE Mario Edwards (6'4", 260 lbs) already has big time offers and has had contact with Michigan, according to his coach. His coach also told me they've produced NFL talent before and Mario might be better than all of them. Mario's dad also played for the Dallas Cowboys. Junior Film.
- Illinois OL Jordan Diamond took in an unofficial visit to Ann Arbor, and told me how that went.
- Michigan DE Matt Godin was offered by Michigan and will be back up to Ann Arbor on Tuesday with his dad to talk to the coaches. He and Danny O'Brien give an update on where they're at here.
- Georgia DE Jordan Jenkins, Cali WR Jordan Payton and OL Jordan Simmons were all offered.
- Offensive linemen Kyle Murphy and Tyler Alt gave me an update on where they're at.
- Detroit OL Daron Brown (6'5", 310 lbs) took an unofficial visit to Michigan hoping for an offer. He told me he didn't get the offer, but the coaches told him they were definitely interested.
[Ed-M: Bumped to diary.]
I posted this the other day and it was well received. So, in light of TomVH's news, I thought I'd share the update.
I refined the table a little bit. I removed the column that says Michigan offered since that is evident and I added a column showing Scout's current player rank.
|Targets||Ht.||Wt.||40||Scout Rank||Rivals 250||Commit|
|Zeke Pike||6'5"||220||4.7||Dixie Heights HS, Edgewood, KY||4 Star||Yes|
|Gunner Kiel||6'4"||220||East HS, Columbus, IN||4 Star||Yes|
|Bennie Coney||6'2"||205||4.8||Plant City HS, Plant City, FL||3 Star||Yes|
|Maty Mauk||6'2"||185||Kenton HS, Kenton, OH||3 Star||Yes|
|Connor Brewer||6'2"||195||4.7||Chapparal HS, Scottsdale, AZ||4 Star||Yes||Texas|
|Matt Jones||6'2"||200||4.53||Armwood HS, Seffner, FL||4 Star||Yes||FL|
|Keith Marshall||5'11"||190||4.32||Millbrook HS, Raleigh, NC||5 Star||Yes|
|Bri'Onte Dunn||6'2"||215||4.59||Glenn Oak HS, Canton, OH||4 Star||Yes||Ohio St.|
|Latroy Pittman||6'1"||190||4.7||North Marion HS, Citra, FL||Yes||FL|
|Stefon Diggs||6’1"||185||4.4||Our Lady of Good Counsel, Olney, MD||4 Star||Yes|
|Dorial Green-Beckham||6’6″||215||4.4||Hillcrest HS, Springfield, MO||5 Star||Yes|
|Dwayne Stanford||6'4"||200||4.5||Taft HS, Cincinnatti, OH||NR||Yes|
|Aaron Burbridge||6'0"||175||4.35||Farmington Harrison HS, Farmington Hills, MI||3 Star|
|Derrick Woods||5'11"||180||4.5||Inglewood HS, Inglewood, CA||3 Star||Yes|
|Deontay McManus||6'0"||209||4.5||Dunbar HS, Baltimore, MD||3 Star||Yes|
|Malik Gilmore||6'3"||195||4.67||Lakewood HS, Lakewood, CA||3 Star|
|Jordan Payton||6'2"||199||4.49||Oaks Christian High School, Westlake Village, CA||4 Star||Yes||USC|
|Leonte Carroo||6’1"||205||4.4||Don Bosco Prep, Ramsey, NJ||3 Star||Yes|
|Avery Johnson||6'2"||180||4.44||Blanche Ely HS, Pompano Beach, FL||4 Star||Yes||LSU|
|Jody Fuller||6'0"||186||4.52||Sun Valley HS, Monroe, NC||3 Star||Yes|
|Sam Grant||6’6″||230||4.8||St. Edward HS, Lakewood, OH||NR|
|Sean Price||6'4"||206||4.9||North Marion HS, Citra, FL||3 Star|
|Devin Funchess||6'5"||205||Farmington Harrison HS, Farmington Hills, MI||NR|
|Ron Thompson||6'4"||225||East Detroit HS, Eastpointe, MI||NR|
|Taylor McNamara||6'5"||235||Westview HS, San Diego, CA||3 Star||Yes|
|D.J. Humphries||6’5″||265||4.9||Mallard Creek HS, Charlotte, NC||4 Star||Yes|
|Jordan Diamond||6’6″||289||5.0||Simeon Vocational HS, Chicago, IL||4 Star||Yes|
|Zach Banner||6'9||295||Lakes HS, Lakewood, WA||4 Star||Yes|
|Dan Voltz||6’5″||289||5.3||Barrington HS, Barrington, IL||4 Star||Yes|
|Andrus Peat||6’6″||270||Corona Del Sol HS, Tempe, AZ||5 Star||Yes|
|Kyle Murphy||6’6″||255||San Clemente HS, San Clemente, CA||3 Star||Yes|
|Jordan Simmons||6’5″||295||4.9||Crespe HS, Encino, CA||4 Star||Yes|
|Taylor Decker||6’8″||270||5.0||Butler HS, Vandalia, OH||3 Star|
|Mark Harrell||6’5″||260||Charlotte Catholic HS, Charlotte, NC||NR|
|John Theus||6’6″||292||5.2||Bolles HS, Jacksonville, FL||5 Star||Yes|
|Avery Young||6’6″||273||4.9||Palm Beach Gardens HS, Palm Beach Gardens, FL||4 Star||Yes|
|Kyle Dodson||6’6″||315||Cleveland Heights HS, Cleveland, OH||NR|
|Paul Thurston||6’5″||265||5.1||Arvada West HS, Arvada, CO||3 Star||Yes|
|Chris Wormley||6’4″||255||Whitmer HS, Toledo, OH||4 Star||Yes|
|Ifeadi Odenigbo||6’4″||210||4.44||Centerville HS, Centerville, OH||NR|
|Pharaoh Brown||6’6″||220||4.7||Brush HS, Lyndhurst, OH||NR|
|Tom Strobel||6'6"||240||4.9||Mentor HS, Concord, OH||3 Star||Yes|
|Mario Ojemudia||6'3"||215||4.65||Farmington Harrison HS, Farmington Hills, MI||NR|
|Se'Von Pittman||6’5″||235||4.65||McKinley HS Canton, OH||4 Star||Yes|
|Adolphus Washington||6’6″||240||4.7||Taft HS, Cincinnatti, OH||4 Star||Yes|
|Jordan Jenkins||6’3″||225||4.69||Harris County HS, Hamilton, GA||4 Star||Yes|
|Tommy Schutt||6’3″||301||Glenbard West HS, Glen Ellyn, IL||4 Star||Yes|
|Eddie Goldman||6'4"||307||Friendship Collegiate Academy, Washington, DC||5 Star||Yes|
|Vincent Valentine||6'3"||300||Edwardsville HS, Edwardsville, IL||4 Star||Yes|
|Sheldon Day||6'2"||268||Warren Central HS, Indianapolis, IN||3 Star|
|Danny O’Brien||6’4″||255||5.1||Powers Catholic HS, Flint, MI||4 Star||Yes|
|Greg Kuhar||6'3"||265||St. Edward HS, Concord Township, OH||NR|
|Matthew Godin||6'5"||253||5.03||Detroit Catholic Central, Novi, MI||3 Star|
|Deaysean Rippy||6’2″||198||Sto-Rox HS, McKees Rocks, PA||4 Star||Yes|
|James Ross||6’0″||203||Orchard Lake St. Mary’s HS, Orchard Lake, MI||4 Star||Yes|
|Royce Jenkins-Stone||6’2″||215||Cass Tech HS, Detroit, MI||3 Star||Yes|
|Vince Biegel||6'3"||210||4.53||Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln HS, Wisconsin Rapids, WI||3 Star||Yes|
|Kaleb Ringer||6'1"||225||4.45||Northmont HS, Clayton, OH||3 Star|
|Peter Jinkens||6'1"||208||4.45||Skyline HS, Dallas, TX||3 Star||Yes|
|Camren Williams||6'2"||200||4.58||Catholic Memorial HS, West Roxbury, MA||3 Star|
|Jeremiah Tshimanga||6'3"||226||Richland HS, N. Richland Hills, TX||3 Star||Yes|
|Terry Richardson||5'9"||160||4.5||Cass Tech HS, Detroit, MI||3 Star||Yes|
|Armani Reeves||5'11"||185||4.4||Catholic Memorial HS, West Roxbury, MA||4 Star|
|Elijah Shumate||6'1"||205||4.5||Don Bosco Prep, Ramsey, NJ||4 Star||Yes|
|D.J. Singleton||6'3"||195||4.5||St. Peters Preparatory School, Jersey City, NJ||3 Star|
|Deon Bush||6'1"||177||4.44||Columbus HS, Miami, FL||NR||Yes|
|Jarrod Wilson||6’2″||190||4.5||Buchtel HS, Akron, OH||NR|
We are up to 67 offers.
- 5 QBs
- 3 RBs
- 12 WRs
- 5 TEs
- 13 OL
- 8 DEs
- 7 DTs
- 8 LBs
- 2 CBs
- 4 Ss
BTW - I mentioned this in another thread, Scout currently has ranked 12 5 Stars and only 89 4 Stars. They will end up with 50 5 Stars and 250 4 Stars.
After tonight’s Senior Night heroics by Carl Hagelin (bork bork bork!), Michigan hockey stands 6th in the Pairwise rankings and 2nd place in the CCHA, one point behind Notre Dame.
Quick Pairwise summary for the uninitiated:
Teams are compared to each other in four categories: RPI ranking, record against Teams Under Consideration (TUC), record against common opponents (COp), and head-to-head record. The TUCs are, this year, the teams with an RPI above 0.5, so the top half of college hockey. For the Pairwise, teams earn one point for each of the first three categories won, and one point for each head-to-head victory, and whichever team has more points in its comparison with another wins the comparison (ties are broken by the higher RPI ranking). The Pairwise rankings total up each team’s number of comparison wins against all of the TUCs and ranks them in order of comparisons won. This system is an approximation of how the NCAA decides on the tournament field and has predicted the teams in the NCAA field perfectly for years.
This weekend's results
Friday night saw Michigan get a lot of help:
- MSU lost to Alaska, making it less likely that they’ll climb over the TUC cliff and hurt Michigan’s comparisons.
- Dartmouth and Rensselaer lost in ECAC play, and Wisconsin lost to Minnesota, lessening the chances that they pull ahead of us.
- Elsewhere in the WCHA, Minn.-Duluth lost to Minnesota State (who should absolutely be called the Screaming Eagles, but aren’t), Neb.-Omaha lost to Alaska-Anchorage, and Denver lost to Michigan Tech. The UNO loss isn’t that big, since the big games to decide the comparison are over the next two weeks. The Denver loss is big enough to pull us within reach of their RPI, giving us a couple ways to pull ahead of them. The biggest of these, however, is UMD’s loss to MSU (NTMSU or the other MSU). It basically means that a sweep over Northern next week puts us ahead of them.
- The Friday win over Western (actually, Notre Dame simply playing Ferris) temporarily pulled us ahead of Notre Dame by virtue of a massively improved record against common opponents. Michigan added a 3-0-1 record against Ferris, while ND added a 1-0-1 record against Western, which makes our record a little bit better than theirs. However, this comparison will still come down to whoever wins more games down the stretch, and is basically a tie right now.
In Saturday’s action:
- OSU beat Lake State, bumping them above the TUC cliff and helping Michigan’s comparisons by adding our 3-1-0 record against them. OSU plays Ferris next week, and ideally OSU picks up a couple points and both OSU and Ferris stay above the TUC cliff.
- In Hockey East, BC lost to Northeastern 2-1 after tying them 7-7 (!!) the previous night. Also, New Hampshire tied a pretty bad Vermont team.
What has changed since last week?
- We have flipped our comparison with UNH, as our RPI moved ahead of theirs. We have also flipped our comparison with BC temporarily, as our record against TUCs is now percentage points better than theirs. However, BC plays UNH in two weeks, so one of those teams will almost certainly move back ahead of us after that weekend. The only way that might not happen is if the two teams split their series and Michigan sweeps Northern, but that might still leave our RPI behind UNH’s. Count on losing one of these comparisons (probably the one with BC).
- We have flipped the comparison with Neb.-Omaha as well, moving ahead in TUC record thanks to OSU’s and Bemidji’s move into the TUC field. This is temporary, since their remaining games are all against TUCs. How they finish will probably determine the status of this comparison. However, we should win either this one or Denver, depending on how they do against each other and (believe it or not) whether Bemidji State can stay in the TUC field. Yes, that matters.
Here are the comparisons that we are currently losing, along with whether those comparisons can be flipped by season’s end.
1. Yale: not flippable.
2. North Dakota: not flippable. Well, if they were to end up with no better than a loss and a tie against Michigan Tech in two weeks, and drop a game to Bemidji State next week, maybe. But that’s not going to happen.
3. Merrimack: only flippable if we pass them in RPI and they meet and lose to UNH in the Hockey East tournament, or they get swept at Maine next weekend. Highly unlikely.
4. Denver/Neb.-Omaha: we will probably win one of these and lose one. At the moment we are beating UNO and losing to Denver; before Bemidji State beat Colorado College it was the other way around. Bemidji is 3-0-1 against UNO, and 0-2 against Denver, so Bemidji’s presence as a TUC dramatically affects both teams. The two teams play each other in Denver next weekend. As Bemidji is likely to fall back down, giving us the win over Denver, I’d root for UNO in those games, but it’s anyone’s guess.
5. Minn.-Duluth: we have closed the gap a bit in RPI, but this comparison will be decided by the next two weeks, as they play two at Colorado College and two at home against UNO, and we have two at Northern. These are all common opponents for both teams, and the comparison is pretty close there. Whoever wins that should win the overall comparison. This is the most flippable of all the pairwise comparisons.
1. We have pretty much locked up a spot in the tournament. Getting swept by Northern would be damaging, but we’d still make it without an implosion in our first series of the CCHA tournament.
2. This is about as high as we can get. It’s almost impossible to flip two of these comparisons. The best we are likely to do, if we win out, is a tie for fourth and winning the RPI tiebreaker to get the top seed in a regional. Of course, none of the regionals are particularly close (the closest are St. Louis and Green Bay), but the top seed means not having get by an east coast team on the east coast to get to the Frozen Four. This, however, is about as likely as the basketball team making the NCAAs. The most likely scenario now is a 2-seed. It is very easy for us to lose the Notre Dame comparison, and we will probably also lose at least one of the BC and UNH comparisons.
3. If things ended today, we’d probably either get sent to Green Bay as the 2-seed with North Dakota the 1-seed, or to Manchester, NH as the 2-seed, with Boston College the 1-seed. A lot will change in the next few weeks, though.
Who/what to root for in the next few weeks:
- Michigan, obv.
- Ohio State to at least split with Ferris and make it to the quarterfinals of the CCHA.
- Ferris to also stay a TUC.
- Colorado College to take points from Minn.-Duluth.
- Lake State to steal one against Miami and get up to the TUC field.
- UNH losing other games but beating BC.
- A split between UNO and Denver is probably the best way to pull ahead of both.
- Bemidji to steal points in North Dakota or against Minnesota.
- Michigan State to stay below the TUC cliff by dropping points to Bowling Green or losing quickly in the CCHA tournament.
- Notre Dame to drop at least a point against Western next week. Besides getting us the regular-season CCHA title, it would be great to go into the CCHA tournament knowing we wouldn't have to face both Miami and Notre Dame.