"He makes it really easy on you as a coach because he has tremendous football instincts," Michigan tight ends coach Jay Harbaugh said. "Things come really naturally to him. He doesn't have to see things too many times. He has a good sense for how things should look and feel, and he's a tough, physical guy."
As I am writing this article, I am in sunny, warm Ohio (and no it’s not because my couch is on fire – I’m not in Columbus); by the time this article is posted, I’ll be in Curacao.
Between December 17, 2011 and January 9, 2012, there are 24 days, but 35 bowl games. Some say there are too many bowl games (like who/what is Gildan and why are they sponsoring the New Mexico Bowl when they are a Canadian company?). Some will be outdoor cold weather games, like the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, Military Bowl, and New Era Pinstripe Bowl. Some cities will host more than one bowl game, like New Orleans (New Orleans Bowl, Sugar Bowl, and BCS Championship Game) and San Diego (Poinsettia and Holiday Bowls). Finally, some states seem to have a corner on the bowl market, like Florida (St. Petersburg , Champs Sports, Outback, Capital One, Gator, and Orange Bowls) – 6, Texas (Alamo, Armed Forces, Texas, Sun, TicketCity, Cotton Bowls) – 6, California (Poinsettia, Holiday, Fight Hunger, and Rose Bowls) – 4, and Louisiana (New Orleans Bowl, Independence, Sugar, and BCS Championship) – 4.
During the regular season, the Upset Watch reviewed picks from the previous week, noted the bad picks, and pointed out a few games to give the underdog some credit in, even if it was only in Vegas. It also looked at one or two sure-fire favorites (two when Michigan wasn’t playing).
Because this is the bowl season (and our last hurrah for the 2011-2012 regular season), we’ll cover each of the bowl games, splitting them up by week.
Be sure to check out my website, Before Visiting the Sportsbook, throughout the week, for more content.
@ New Mexico State (4-9) +14.0 Utah State (7-5). Result: Utah State 24 New Mexico State 21.
Michigan State (10-3) +9.5 Wisconsin (11-2). Result: Wisconsin 42 Michigan State 39 [Props to jrt336 and Trebor for correctly predicting that Michigan State would cover].
West Virginia (9-3) -1.0 @ South Florida (5-7). Result: West Virginia 30 South Florida 27 [Props to jrt336 and BrewCityBlue for correctly predicting that West Virginia would cover].
Syracuse (5-7) +13.0 @ Pittsburgh (6-6). Result: Pittsburgh 33 Syracuse 20.
Troy (3-9) +17.5 @ Arkansas State (10-2). Result: Arkansas State 45 Troy 14.
@ Florida Atlantic (1-11) +11.5 Louisiana-Monroe (4-8). Result: Louisiana-Monroe 26 Florida Atlantic 0.
Wyoming (8-4) -5.0 @ Colorado State (3-9). Result: Wyoming 22 Colorado State 19.
Trebor added in LSU (-13.5, 42-10), besides his Michigan State pick.
Bosch picked up a win with Southern Miss (+12.5, 49-28).
BrewCityBlue added in 6(!) more, besides the West Virginia pick, with THE Ohio University (+3.5, 20-23), Oklahoma State (-3.5, 44-10), Baylor (-1.5, 48-24), Southern Miss, and LSU.
Number 7 was on the LSU pick, too.
Only three bowl games will take place between now and the next Upset Watch, which will be on December 20th (we’ll have six bowls on the next Watch). Temple earned an at-large selection to the New Mexico Bowl (since the PAC-12 didn’t fill their bowl allotment) to face the #4 selection from the Mountain West #4, Wyoming, on Saturday (2:00 PM EST/ESPN). The Idaho Bowl will pair Ohio University, the #3 selection from the MAC, against Utah State, the #2 selection from the WAC (5:30 PM EST/ESPN). The final game on Saturday is in New Orleans, with San Diego State, an at large selection since Conference USA did not fill their bowl allotment, against Louisiana-Lafayette, the top choice from the Sun Belt (9:00 PM EST/ESPN).
Temple (8-4) -6.0 Wyoming (8-4) (@ Albuquerque, NM). The Owls are 67th in total offense (7th rushing, 117th passing); Wyoming is 48th (32nd rushing, 73rd passing). Temple is 15th in total defense (26th rushing, 19th passing); the Cowboys are 98th (115th rushing, 34th passing). These two teams last met in 1990, with Wyoming winning 28-23. Temple is 1-2 all time in bowl games (1-1 ATS; 1-1 ATS underdog). Wyoming is 6-6 all time in bowl games (2-3 SU in last 5; 3-2 ATS; 3-2 ATS underdog). Wyoming Coach Dave Christensen is 18-19 (21-14-1 ATS, 16-8-1 ATS as an underdog); Temple Coach Steve Addazio is 8-4 (8-4 ATS, 6-4 ATS as a favorite). Temple is 6-4 ATS as a favorite this year (8-4 overall ATS); Wyoming is 5-2 ATS as an underdog this year (7-5 overall ATS). Temple’s last bowl game was the 2009 EagleBank Bowl, a 30-21 loss to UCLA; Wyoming’s last bowl game was the 2009 New Mexico Bowl, in Albuquerque, a 35-28 win over Fresno State. Take Temple to cover the points.
Ohio University (9-4) +3.0 Utah State (7-5) (@ Boise, ID).The Aggies are 20th in total offense (6th rushing, 95th passing); Ohio University is 21st (24th rushing, 39th passing). Utah State is 50th in total defense (32nd rushing, 76th passing); the Bobcats are 42nd (30th rushing, 67th passing). These two teams last met in 1994, with Utah State winning 5-0. Ohio University is 0-5 all time in bowl games (0-3 ATS; 0-2 ATS underdog). Utah State is 1-4 all time in bowl games (0-1 ATS; 0-1 ATS underdog). Ohio University Coach Frank Solich is 49-40 (46-38 ATS, 21-16-1 ATS as an underdog) at Ohio; Utah State Coach Gary Anderson is 15-21 (19-16 ATS, 5-11 ATS as a favorite). Utah State is 2-6 ATS as a favorite this year (6-6 overall ATS); Ohio University is 2-1 ATS as an underdog this year (6-7 overall ATS). Utah State’s last bowl game was the 1997 Humanitarian Bowl, in Boise, a 35-19 loss to Cincinnati; Ohio University’s last bowl game was the 2010 New Orleans Bowl, a 48-21 loss to Troy. Take Ohio University to cover the points, and win.
San Diego State (8-4) -4.5 Louisiana-Lafayette (8-4) (@ New Orleans, LA). The Aztecs are 35th in total offense (28th rushing, 64th passing); Louisiana-Lafayette is 65th (86th rushing, 40th passing). San Diego State is 57th in total defense (82nd rushing, 31st passing); the Ragin’ Cajuns are 72nd (55th rushing, 92nd passing). These two teams have never met before. Louisiana-Lafayette is in their first ever bowl game. San Diego State is 2-4 all time in bowl games (2-1-1 ATS in last 5; 1-1 ATS as a favorite). Louisiana-Lafayette Coach Mark Hudspeth is 8-4 (8-4 ATS, 4-0 ATS as an underdog); San Diego State Coach Rocky Long is 61-50 (54-51-2 ATS, 25-26 ATS as a favorite) since 2001. San Diego State is 3-5 ATS as a favorite this year (5-7 overall ATS); Louisiana-Lafayette is 7-0 ATS as an underdog this year (8-4 overall ATS). San Diego State’s last bowl game was the 2010 Poinsettia Bowl, a 35-14 win over Navy. Take San Diego State to cover the points.
Who ya got?
- Michigan entered the dual ranked 8th. 4 of their 5 top 20 ranked wrestlers competed
- Wisconsin entered unranked. They had 2 top 20 ranked wrestlers
- Grant Pizzo (125) wrestled for the still out Sean Boyle. Boyle has fallen out of most ranking due to the fact he has yet to compete.
- Mike Hillock (149) wrestled for Eric Grajales. Grajales is ranked 4th.
- 3 bouts included rematches of guys that met each other at the Cliff Keen invitational.
- Michigan was 1-1 in duals. This was their first B1G contest
- Wisconsin was 5-1 in duals. This was their first B1G contest
Wisconsin @ #8 Michigan
This set up to be an assumed win with some good matchups for the Wolverines. One of the anticipated bouts didn’t work out. Michigan took the lead and then released it, being down by as much as 4 midway through the dual at 8-12. They rattled off 4 straight wins to go 1-0 in the B1G with a 21-12 win. This was a disappointing dual for a couple Wolverines that fell to upsets. On the bright side, the weaker links stepped up.
Bout By Bout
- 125 – Grant Pizzo(UM) major dec. Austin Hieptas(UW) 9-1. Pizzo picked up his first B1G dual win, stepping in for Boyle. He dominated a weak opponent in Hieptas. Not surprised to pick up the win, even with a backup in. But, Pizzo getting the major was a nice touch. Michigan leads 4-0
- 133 – Tom Kelliher(UW) dec. #12 Zac Sanders(UM) 8-4. Kelliher was beat out of a tough tournament Sanders finished 4th at. This was disappointing. Sanders has fallen to 15th in the latest ranking as a result. Kelliher was fairly competitive last year at 125, but, this should have been a comfortable win for Michigan. Michigan leads 4-3
- 141 - #4 Kellen Russell(UM) major dec. Thomas Glenn(UW) 10-2. Glenn doesn’t offer much competition to Russell and Kellen has been wrestling strong since suffering his first defeat in two years. Michigan leads 8-3
- 149 - #9 Cole Schmitt(UW) dec. Mike Hillock(UM) 5-3. I was hoping to see a Grajales Schmitt match, but, Hillock got the call and did pretty well. I think Schmitt may be over-ranked, but, Hillock showed he could stay with a top 20 wrestler at least. Michigan leads 8-6
- 157 - Shawn Perry(UW) dec. Brandon Zeerip(UM) 5-2. First of the 3 rematches from Cliff Keen and this was a reversal for Wisconsin. Zeerip won 3-2 last time. These are two borderline top 20 guys, so the flopping of wins isn’t a surprise. I still believe Zeerip has enough to distance himself from Perry and up the rankings by year end. Wisconsin leads 9-8
- 165 - #17 Ben Jordan(UW) dec. Dan Yates(UM) 8-3. Same score from last time these two met at Cliff Keen. Yates has fallen from being in the top 20 to begin the year. Two decisive losses to to a 17th ranked wrestler don’t bode well. Wisconsin leads 12-8
- 174 - #11 Justin Zeerip(UM) major dec. Frank Cousins(UW) 10-2. The senior campaign for Justin continues. He rolled over Cousins at Cliff Keen 11-1 and did so again 10-2 in this dual. Cousins is a RS Fr. Tied 12-12
- 184 – Hunter Collins(UM) dec. Timmy McCall(UW) 4-3. McCall has had a solid season for Wisconsin, so a good win for Collins. I’ve expressed he is the weak link of this lineup, so, him stepping up to get a win in a close matchup is big. Michigan leads 15-12
- 197 – Max Huntley(UM) dec. Jackson Hein(UW) 4-2 SV. Overtime needed for Huntley. I expected a win here. Huntley is a fringe ranked wrestler. Fist B1G dual win for him. Michigan leads 18-12
- Hwt - #18 Ben Apland(UM) dec. Cole Tobin(UW) 8-4. Apland needed a little comeback to avoid another upset on the night. He did and then coasted to a win to seal the win. Michigan wins 21-12
Solid win and moving on. Michigan is on a bit of a break till the 29th for a Mat Town Invitational. Then they hit the duals hard with the first 3 being B1G matches.
To: The Executive Committee of the University of Michigan Club of Greater Detroit
Dear Committee Members,
Tonight, the Club hosts the 91st Annual Football Bust. It is the continuation of a grand tradition. Not only is it the celebration of the team's successes; it is also the single largest annual gathering of the Club's members and friends.
The U-M Club of Greater Detroit is, almost by definition of its membership, more than a sports-booster organization; it is an extension of the University's alumni. Our university, whose seal since 1895 has borne the motto "Artes ~ Scientia ~ Veritas." Veritas; truth.
In the spirit of "Veritas," I'd ask that the Executive Committee take a moment today, to reflect on truth and the pursuit of truth with respect to the U-M Club of Greater Detroit. This past fall, the club scheduled its December 6 meeting at the Detroit Athletic Club, which was to feature John U. Bacon, author of Three and Out: Rich Rodriguez and the Michigan Wolverines in the Crucible of College Football. But for reasons that the Club has not provided, Mr. Bacon's engagement was cancelled, and on November 21 it was announced, with no other explanation, that another speaker would address the December 6 lunch meeting.
Mr. Bacon's website announced only that his engagement had been cancelled. Mr. Bacon, I am assured, did not cancel his engagement. The U-M Club of Greater Detroit, as far as I know, cancelled it.
To date, Mr. Bacon's fall book tour has taken him to alumni gatherings across the country, from Chicago to San Diego to Austin, Texas and all points in between. He's drawn record-setting crowds of alumni wherever he's been, and his book appears not once but twice (hard copy and Kindle) on Amazon's list of top-selling football books.
Your action, in first scheduling and then canceling Mr. Bacon's appearance, defies understanding. Respectfully, I suggest that the onus is now on the U-M Club of Greater Detroit, to explain whether or not this is an instance in which "Veritas" has been sacrificed for other interests.
Officers and Governors of the University of Michigan Club of Greater Detroit:
President: Jeff Cohen
1st Vice President: Jared Buckley
2nd Vice President: Bill Wenzell
Secretary: Rich Hale
|Board of Governors 2012 - 2015|
To June 2012
To June 2013
To June 2014
To June 2015
Previously: Introducing Shaq Wiggins
Tyrone (GA) Sandy Creek CB Shaq Wiggins is a member of both the ESPNU 150 Watch List and the Early 247 for the class of 2013. He has been high on Michigan throughout the early stages of the recruiting process after an outstanding performance at last summer's Sound Mind Sound Body camp in Southfield put him on the radar of several Midwest schools. Wiggins holds offers from Michigan, Ohio State, Tennesee, Cincinnati, Wake Forest, Ball State, Ohio, and Toledo, and he was in Michigan Stadium a couple weeks ago to take in the Ohio State game. I caught up with Shaq over the weekend to get the latest on his status:
ACE: How's everything going in terms of your recruitment? How many offers are you sitting on right now?
SHAQ: Still sitting on eight. A couple schools came to see me, and for the most part they want me to come to their junior days and stuff like that. I'm going to sit down and pick out some of the schools that I'm going to consider and go to their junior days.
ACE: Are there any schools that are standing out for you right now?
SHAQ: I would probably say Tennessee right now.
ACE: You had the chance to come up and visit Ann Arbor for the Ohio State game. What were your impressions of Michigan coming out of that?
SHAQ: Well, right off the bat, I mean the crowd—114,000 fans—that was pretty amazing, I never saw that before. I know Ohio State and Michigan are good rivals. They executed well against Ohio State, the play was great, the environment was great—it just makes you think more and more about being a Michigan Wolverine.
ACE: Did you get the chance to talk to the coaches while you were up on your visit? What have they had to say about your recruitment?
SHAQ: I talked to Coach Montgomery most of the time, and I talked to Coach Mallory for a little bit. They were telling me to keep focusing—this was while the season was going on—keep focusing on my style of play and just playing hard for my team and they would come to see me in the next two weeks when they come and recruit the South.
ACE: What's the status of your Michigan offer? Depending on where you look, it says you may have one or you may not.
SHAQ: Yeah, I don't know why—someone talked to me the other day [and said that] on ESPN the check was off my Michigan offer or something like that. I know I have a Michigan offer, so I don't know what the rumors are or anything like that, but I can't worry about that.
ACE: Did visiting Michigan change how you look at the school and how they fit in with the teams you're looking at right now?
SHAQ: Yeah, it definitely gives a little spark in my eye. Just looking at the freshman, Blake Countess, playing early, and the depth chart looks pretty good. So, I mean, Michigan I would say is a priority.
ACE: Looking at your season, you guys went through the regular season undefeated and got into the third round of the playoffs. How'd you feel about your team's performance this year and your performance individually?
SHAQ: My team's performance, I thought it was as good as it could get. In the last game we didn't play as well as we should have, but as a team throughout the whole season, the season was great. We played an undefeated regular season and won the regional championship, so some of the goals we set we accomplished them, and obviously the goal we set to win the state championship didn't go as planned. All we can do is come in harder next year. My season individually, you know, I never thought I would have nine interceptions in one season. I guess from all the hard work in the summertime, that's what I got.
ACE: Nine picks is obviously a very impressive number. How'd you feel you improved over the season, and what are you still working on for the next level?
SHAQ: I try and get better at every aspect of the game, especially at cornerback, I try to work at everything. But the most important thing that I want to work on is my size, a lot of people talk about my size—not that I really take offense to that, it's true, I have to get bigger, stronger for the next level in order to contribute to my team. I would probably say that's one of the main focuses of my game. Once I get a little stronger and bigger I think my game will be kind of complete and good and I'm just hoping to get better.
ACE: Now that your season is over, what are you looking at in terms of possible junior days and summer visits?
SHAQ: Yeah—hopefully Michigan again. I know I'm taking a trip to Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee, and maybe one more school.
ACE: Do you have any idea in terms of a timeline about when you'd like to wrap up your recruitment?
SHAQ: I'm hoping summertime of 2012, going into my senior season, but I'm not trying to rush anything. I would like to get my recruitment over with by summer so I can just focus straight on my season.
I was recently interviewed (by a freshman girl for her English class... gotta start somewhere) about my "Pre-Gaming with Pat" videos and thought some people might be interested in reading this to learn more about how they came to be:
What gave you the idea for Pre-Gaming with Pat? When did you start doing it?
Last year before the UConn game some Michigan fans were promoting something online called "Mustaches for Michigan," so I decided to grow out my beard and get a straight razor shave into a mustache before heading down to tailgate with my friends. I thought it would be funny to film people's reactions to my mustache and maybe interview other people with mustaches, but I wasn't sure how receptive people would be to being filmed. I grabbed my Flip camera right before I walked out of my apartment and figured it would be something that I sent to a few friends, but nothing more than that. As the day went on I found that people really wanted to be on camera (mostly because they were drunk) and I ended up getting some really funny footage. I figured the video would be a lot more exciting if it featured music, so I used a song by All Out called "Lights" that I had been playing on repeat in my apartment and edited it using iMovie the next day. It's actually the first video on my Youtube page, although I've been making videos since high school. I had no expectations when I posted it; I figured some of my friends might enjoy it, but everyone seemed to like it (some people even "liked" it on Facebook). I think the only places I posted it were on my Facebook page and in a forum on MGoBlog, but people seemed to get a kick out of it.
What was the initial reaction to Pre-Gaming with Pat? How did/do you promote it?
The first one was received well, but the reaction was nothing compared to how people responded to the videos I made this year. I think the biggest reason why these videos have caught on is because I know more people on campus than I did when I made last year's video. I had to stop making pre-gaming videos last year after the first one because I joined the lacrosse team and I would've gotten the team in trouble if I continued to promote alcohol consumption, so I spent the rest of the year focusing primarily on my classes and lacrosse. I also blogged for Inside Lacrosse and made video blogs that accompanied my posts that were very similar in style to the first Pre-Gaming with Pat video (in that they featured music prominently and were a combination of interviews and action, in this case lacrosse practice or games).
By the time I moved back to Ann Arbor in the fall after graduating last spring and working at at an advertising agency in Boulder more people knew who I was (because of my lacrosse videos, how often I frequented Rick's, etc.) which helped tremendously, both with filming the videos and promoting them. After the Notre Dame "Under the Lights" video came out I didn't really have any problems getting footage, but the first two videos were difficult because people didn't know why I was filming. It's very uncomfortable to stand in a crowd of drunk college students (some of whom are underage, all of whom will want a job someday) while holding a giant camera, but as the videos became more and more popular people became more receptive to being in them.
To promote these videos I relied mostly on social media to help spread the word. Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr are the main sites that I use, and they're all amazing tools if you know how to work them. I've learned a ton about how to reach a wider audience just by trying different promotional methods on these sites. Getting the videos on sites like MGoBlog and BroBible was also extremely helpful because it helped me reach a different kind of audience beyond just college students at the University of Michigan. I really wish I didn't have to self promote, but I've learned that it's necessary at this stage of my career if I want people to see my stuff.
When you're conducting interviews, how you do go about choosing your subjects?
I tried to interview as wide of a variety of people as possible, but as the season went on that became more difficult because I realized that most of the people who were watching the videos were college students. I also broke my ankle after the fourth video, so I was forced to stay in one place and wasn't able to walk around and interview people outside of the fraternity pre-games. I tried to find people who knew a lot about Michigan football for the interviews, but I think anyone who has seen the videos knows that a lot of the humor comes from how little some people knew about the games that they were pre-gaming for.
Do you go into the day knowing which questions you want to ask?
The night before every game I would write out a few questions I wanted to ask people based on who Michigan's opponent was that week, but for the most part I would just ask questions that I thought would produce a humorous answer. My favorite question from all the videos was from the Eastern Michigan game when my friend Skyler Fulton asked an older professor at Michigan "what was it like playing for Fielding Yost?". That was a question I thought of on the spot (I would've asked it myself but I was holding the camera at the time) and while it had nothing to do with that week's game, I thought it was funny and it makes me regret not asking more spontaneous questions throughout the series.
Do you edit the videos yourself?
Yes. I use Final Cut Pro for editing and each video took six hours on average to complete. In addition to a list of questions, I went into every game with a song in mind for that week's video. That helped with knowing how much footage I had to shoot and what kinds of shots I needed to film in order to ensure that the visuals fit with the theme of the song. Youtube is very strict with copyright laws so I try to use music from up and coming artists; I'm not a huge fan of "mainstream" music and I've developed great relationships with some of the artists whose songs I've used in my videos. My favorite artist is Hoodie Allen and his brother is a freshman at Michigan, so when he visited Ann Arbor for the San Diego State game I made sure he got a cameo in that week's video, which made me look a lot cooler than I actually am. As an aspiring comedy writer I understand and appreciate the value of someone sharing my work with their friends and/or fan base, so I'm always happy to help promote talented artists and help their music reach a wider audience.
The most difficult part of editing the videos was deciding what interviews to use and which ones to leave out. There were many interviews I had to leave out that I really wanted to use because the person said something offensive or something that could've potentially hurt their personal image or future job prospects. My intent with making these videos was never to embarrass anyone or get anyone in trouble; I simply wanted to showcase how unique and awesome the pre-gaming experience at Michigan is.
What has been your most ridiculous experience through Pre-Gaming with Pat?
I think being recognized by people around town and getting positive feedback is the most ridiculous thing to me. I don't really think of myself as a performer, but I've realized that I have to do more than just write if I want to be noticed and eventually make a career in comedy. It's funny because before I decided to play lacrosse last year I was planning on focusing entirely on comedy and my career, but if I hadn't joined the team I wouldn't have met many of the people who helped make these videos a reality. Like I said before, these videos are controversial and difficult to make because people don't typically want to be filmed when they've been drinking alcohol, but the connections I've made allowed me to go to different pre-games around campus and get footage because my friends allowed me access and explained what I was doing to people who didn't know me or hadn't seen the videos.
As far as filming goes, the most ridiculous thing I saw was when I was shooting the last video of the year before the Ohio State game. I saw (and filmed) a kid who was dancing on a tabletop to Avicii's "Levels" suddenly stop, pull the trigger, vomit into a bush, wipe off his face, and resume dancing. Obviously it was something that I would never use in a video, but it all happened within a matter of seconds and I thought it was humorous that I was the only person to notice it. Whenever that song came on I always got incredible party footage, so I have take a moment and give a special shout-out to Avicii for his contribution to my videos.
Now that so many people recognize the series, do you find that people act differently around you? How so? How has the show affected you personally?
It certainly hasn't hurt my ability to meet girls at the bar, but other than that nothing has really changed. I love when people come up to me and tell me they've enjoyed something I made, but it also makes me uncomfortable because I'm not sure I deserve recognition at this point in my career.
These videos all stem from me wanting to show off one of my favorite aspects of my time as a student at Michigan, and I get the most satisfaction when someone tells me that they wish they had gone here or that they want to go here after watching them. Obviously I hope no one chooses to attend the University of Michigan solely because of my videos, but I think Michigan has a reputation amongst outsiders as not being the most fun place to go to school when in reality it has the best combination of academics, athletics, and social life of any school in the nation. I'm glad I was able to give students and alumni an opportunity to show their friends just how unique and fun our football Saturdays can be.
Do you plan to continue with the show next year now that you've graduated? What are your plans for the future? Do they involve comedy?
As of now, I have no idea. Besides showing off how awesome the pre-game experience at Michigan is, the main reason why I made these videos was to try to convince people that I'm funny. I've found that if I post a comedy sketch or a clip of me performing stand-up comedy it won't get many views, but if I show girls dancing on tabletops for thirty seconds, followed by ten seconds of me trying to be funny, followed by girls dancing on tabletops for thirty seconds, more people will be willing to watch it. I'm fully aware that the "success" of these videos is largely due to the fact that Michigan students and alumni are so passionate about their school and not because I'm funny or good at editing or any other reasons that have to do with my abilities. I'm hesitant to keep making them because I don't want to be known only as the guy who makes pre-gaming videos or as the guy who piggybacks off of the University of Michigan.
The only way I would consider continuing the series in the future would be if I could find a way to travel to a different college campus each week for a game. I'd like to start traveling more and I'm a huge college football fan, but I'm also a broke, unemployed film major, so as of now the likelihood of any of this happening is extremely slim. The only way I could foresee it working would be if I could convince a website to sponsor me and pay for my travel expenses, which I'm currently looking into. But if anyone who's reading this wants to fund it themselves, that'd be great too.
My plan right now is to stay in Ann Arbor for a few more months while my ankle heals and continue making comedy videos until I can justify moving to Los Angeles or New York. My dream job would be to write for a website like Funny or Die, but I need to work extremely hard if I'm ever going to achieve that. As far as future projects go, I'm currently filming a mockumentary called AMCULT 315: Rick's vs. Skeeps based on a fake syllabus I wrote during my senior year at Michigan. After that, I have no idea. I have a lot of projects lined up, but it all depends on who is available and which video I'm in the mood to make.
How do you deal with some of the bad press that you get? i.e. Negative comments on Youtube, etc.
I try to make myself very available and approachable online, but I don't worry about Youtube comments, or any online comments for that matter. That's not to say that I don't read them or respond to them or appreciate the feedback, but my mindset whenever I'm making anything is to try to create something that me and my friends would enjoy. While it's frustrating to make a video and see it get a great response on one site and ripped apart on another, I've learned that you can't please everyone. I just hope that people understand that I made these videos to try to capture how much fun students have on football Saturdays without hurting anyone or getting anyone in trouble, and I think that, for the most part, I succeeded in doing that.
What was your personal experience with Michigan pre-games like when you were a student?
I had a great time, and I'm glad no one was filming me. Let's leave it at that.
What's your favorite pre-gaming memory?
I don't have one specific favorite memory from pre-games as a Michigan student or as a graduate. I just love the anticipation of waking up early on a Saturday morning and knowing that I'm about to spend a few hours with my best friends before going to the biggest football stadium in the world and watching the team I've loved since I was born play for 60 minutes. It's so special to me and it gives me chills just thinking about it.
I've lived in Ann Arbor since I was three months old, but I had no idea that these kinds of pre-games existed until I transferred to Michigan from Bucknell (a small liberal arts school in Pennsylvania) in the Fall of 2009. Up until that point I had only gone to games with my Dad, and while I heard my friends who attended U of M talk about pre-games, I was amazed at how much fun they actually were. To see so many fans come together and bond before the game is incredible to watch, and I still can't believe that I was lucky enough to spend two years as a student here.
What does your family think about the series?
I'm not sure my parents fully understand what I'm trying to do career wise, so it's hard to say with them. They both enjoy watching the videos, but the fact that I'm not getting paid to do any of this concerns them. My brother is currently choosing between attending Wharton, Tuck, and Michigan to pursue his MBA and my sister goes to Harvard, so they're both making life a little more difficult for me. They have a better idea about the career path I'm trying to pursue, but until I can start supporting myself I don't think anyone in my family is going to be completely enthusiastic about what I'm doing.
Is there anything else that you think people should know about the series?
If there's one thing I've learned from making these videos, it's that you have to work with what you have. I don't have much production experience and I know just enough about my camera to get by, but I have a pretty good knowledge of college football, lots of connections on campus, and I like to think that I know what college students and recent graduates are interested in seeing. I think some people who only know my "online persona" think I have my shit together and that I know exactly what I'm doing, but none of this would have happened if I hadn't stuck a Flip camera in my pocket over a year ago.
One of my favorite quotes is "It has taken me all of my life to get to where I am now." I keep a piece of paper in my wallet with this quote written on it to remind myself that no matter what amazing or idiotic decisions I make along the way, they all matter. I have no idea what these videos will do for my career, but I'm glad that I was able to capture what pre-games are like for (not all) students at Michigan. It still amazes me that people enjoy watching them and I really hope I can continue making them in the future.
I'd like to thank everyone who has helped me, whether it was by helping me film or just sharing a video with their friends online. I hope I can continue to create content that people enjoy and I'm very grateful for all of the support I've received from people at the University of Michigan. Thanks again, and GO BLUE!
Michigan loses a commit, Indiana loses two, and otherwise there isn't much going on this week. The most notable commitment is four-star DE Faith Ekakitie going to Iowa. Action since last rankings:
11-28-11: David Cooper decommits from Indiana.
12-6-11: Dante Blackmon decommits from Indiana. Northwestern picks up Andrew Scanlan.
12-7-11: Iowa picks up Faith Ekakitie.
12-8-11: Anthony Standifer decommits from Michigan. Nebraska picks up Thomas Brown.
12-11-11: Iowa picks up Kevin Buford.
|Big Ten+ Recruiting Class Rankings|
|Rank||School||# Commits||Rivals Avg||Scout Avg||ESPN Avg||24/7 Avg||Avg Avg^|
*ESPN doesn't rate JuCos, so they are counted as unranked recruits for the sake of consistency (trust me, it makes sense when you look at the spreadsheet).
^The average of the average rankings of the four recruiting services (aka 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.
On to the full data, after the jump.