Evidently someone decided to build a state-of-the-art resort in the Bahamas, complete with a casino, water park, and something called a Dolphin Cay. They named it Atlantis – originally created by Plato as an allegorical state in the distant Atlantic, and eventually becoming prominent in popular culture, often as “a fabled lost utopia / dystopia, often described as sinking due to man’s hubris and descent into decadence” (per TV tropes). Maybe the folks that run this Atlantis mega-resort / Carribean wonderland understand the irony of the name.
They’ve started an annual college basketball tournament, typically one that features some of the country’s elite programs – it’s surrealist basketball, played in a ballroom with the crowd bathed in a gloomy royal blue glow. This year, it’s a good field with intriguing possible matchups, the headliners being two opening-round contests between in-state rivals (Gonzaga vs. Washington and Texas vs. Texas A&M), and possible semi-final matchups between Syracuse and either UConn or Michigan (the former would be a reprise of a prominent regional rivalry in the old Big East, the latter would be the 2013 Final 4 rematch / Tyus Battle Classic).
Probabilities are derived from a log5 analysis of the Pythagorean rating on Kenpom (the probabilities were run at the completion of Tuesday’s games); the # next to the team name is their Kenpom Rank (out of 351 D-1 teams)
Ace will do a traditional game preview for the contest against UConn later this afternoon, but I’ll give a brief rundown of Michigan’s potential opponents on days two and three in the Bahamas. Blurbs on each of the other six teams are after the jump.
As we get closer to the end of the football season (noooooooo) we enter the heart of recruiting season. So I'll post one of these every so often as enough information changes to make a new post worthwhile. We had a very nice interview with Lorenz 2 days ago that helped clarify a lot of things.
Just for fun I did do one of these mid summer entitled "Way too Early Edition" - I always like to keep track of how foolish I look.... and who we thought the hot names at the time were.
Here is my framework
- Lorenz indicated Michigan has now signaled they have 27 spots (not 28 as we all assumed)
- Various peeps with premium access say we will grayshirt here or there, so I made some projections with that in mind
- We will have attrition from our current 21 recruits, so I took best guesses and knocked out 3. That knocked current class down to 18.
- I grayshirted 1 player. That knocked down class to 17* (grayshirt is still part of class but doesnt count against scholarship until January).
- My new commits are based on "most likely" within reason and based on momentum; of course things change weekly in that aspect.
My projections leave the class with 27 immediate scholarship and 2 grayshirts = 29 players which yield a 247 score of 285.25. That would have been 5th overall in 2015.
Section 1 deals with current commits - who is staying and who is going. And who is going to open a spot by grayshirting. I listed us with 17 immediate scholarships and 1 grayshirt - with 3 decommits. Will discuss below chart.
|Pos||Name||Ntl Rnk||Pos||Name||Ntl Rnk|
|OL||Ben Bredeson||37||ATH||Chris Evans||328|
|QB||Brandon Peters||78||LB||David Reese||553|
|OL||Michael Onwenu||90||ATH||Kiante Enis||634|
|CB||Sir Patrick Scott||663|
- Guessing on a grayshirt is hard to do. Half a year at UM for an out of state is still $12K or whatnot so I don't know how many kids families - esp in economically challenged spots - can afford this. Maybe they can financial aid. But a full ride elsewhere could always be the easier route. So I didn't want to put 3-4 grayshirts like some assume, so I am simply going with Josh Metellus as a guess.
- As for the 3 decommits, David Reese seems the most likely for multiple reasons. He wants early entry, all the crystal ballz of late have him to Texas, and we are recruiting a ton of LBs still.
- Chris Evans I put there because he was visiting Purdue. Now maybe that means nothing and he wants to visit school friends there. But I needed to make spots in this class for new kids and I think the staff really likes Weaver and Johnson so I have only so many kids I can eliminate - he was one.
- Kiante Enis - the quote in this week's roundup from Ace makes me feel like UM is "pulling a Stanford" on him where begin to lack communication with commits they don't especially want in a class (personally I don't love this methodology but it is what it is). I don't buy the reasoning some has offered that everyone is too busy and not one staff member can find 10 minutes in his day once a week to give a shout out to Kiante. If you want a guy you recruit him non stop even post committment which in this day and age means little. So hearing he has talked once to UM in a month has me thinking he will be replaced.
- Antwaine Richardon impressed coaches in a camp setting on a bum knee so I have him staying in the class; however maybe someone like he or Sir Patrick Scott could be bumped out of class if David Long, Lavert Hill and Chris Brown all want in. But I have them both in the class at this point.
Section 2 is who we will land and who we will miss on. This is based on trying to reverse engineer - obviously these things can change on a dime. I cheated here a bit by saying Quinn Nordin will be part of the class and decommit from PSU and go to UM despite having to pay out of pocket for a semester. That's a bit of a stretch but he is a Michigan kid and hey Harbaugh or Franklin for 4-5 years? So I have 11 commits which takes us to 29 total... 2 grayshirts.
|Pos||Name||Ntl Rnk||Projected||Pos||Name||Ntl Rnk||Projected|
|DL||Rashan Gary||1||UM||TE||Isaac Nauta||9||GA|
|RB||Kareem Walker||34||UM||ATH||Mecole Hardman Jr||21||GA|
|OL||Terrance Davis*||62||UM||LB||Caleb Kelly||23||OK|
|DL||Jordan Elliott||98||UM||CB||David Long||66||Stanford|
|CB||Lavert Hill (PSU)||136||UM||LB||Jeffrey McCulloch||73||Texas?|
|DL||Keyshon Camp (USC)||188||UM||DT||Boss Tagaloa||82||UCLA|
|LB||Devin Bush Jr||230||UM||OL||Jean Delance||92||Texas?|
|WR||π Young**||388||UM||WR||Dylan Crawford||94||Oregon|
|LB||Jonathan Jones****||415||UM||WR||Donnie Corley||118||MSU|
|DB||Chris Brown*****||710||UM||LB||Dontavious Jackson||119||Texas?|
|PK||Quinn Nordin*** (PSU)||>1000||UM||ATH||Jordan Fuller||124||OSU|
|*||Delance gets this spot if he wants it||DL||Levi Onwuzurike||273||?|
|**||Crawford gets this spot if he wants it||TE||Jacob Mathis||313||UF|
|***||Cramming Nordin into class via grayshirt||WR||Eddie McDoom||390||UK|
|****||McCulloch, Kelly, Jackson get this spot if any want it||WR||Velus Jones (USC)||420||?|
|Long gets this spot if he wants it||LB||Khaleke Hudson||593||WV|
Comments on Projected "YES"
- DL guys: Gary, Elliott, Camp are UM's 3 targets per Lorenz. We all know the Gary story - UM vs various and sundry SEC folk. UM seems to be the leader. Elliott got 2 major crystal ballz yesterday in Lorenz and Ace; concurrent with DL target Chris Daniels to Oklahoma. He will be here this weekend - momentum seems to be building. Last, Camp is coming to UM on an unofficial - that takes money and shows seriousness; he'd be a USC flip. He has a HS friend on the team as well in Jones.
- Walker - could be a silent committment at this point; 17 of past 18 crystal ballz to UM; he even wore a UM towel which is a clear signal this is 102% guaranteed. UM is not seriously recruiting another running back either.
- UM wants Delance as they want to add an OT. Davis is a guard. Lorenz indicated if UM gives green light to Davis he will accept and come to Michigan. So this is a waiting game on Delance. So that spot could be either OL guy - I went with the sure thing but its a coin flip at this time.
- Hill is a long rumored PSU flip - his brother plays on the team and he has been to UM 5x this year and apparently 0 to PSU. Maybe - just maybe - UM is slow playing him as they think they can get another corner ala David Long? I don't know - I also wouldnt risk that as some think he will flip to MSU with HS friend Corley if not to UM.
- LBs - hard to predict with a lot of moving spots and I assume 2 open spots. I gave them to Bush Jr who is probably 50/50 with UM v FSU and Jonathan Jones who like Davis has been a "UM lean" for half our adult lives. I suspect Jones is possibly being slow played while UM sees if it can land a Dontavious Jackson type. I imagine we'll get 2 LBs - but which 2 (Kelly, Jackson, Bush, Jones) is an unknown. We'll probably know a lot more about Jackson's prospects after this weekend, Bush will be at UM Dec 11th. If Jones suddenly commits to Notre Dame that may actually be a good thing for UM as it might mean he has received word we don't have room for him as someone else "silently" took his spot.
- UM wants Dylan Crawford but Crawford has said Oregon is his dream school and they recently offered. So it's a battle for his services - if he says yes, we get him and we are done. If he says no guys like McDoom, Young, Jones are next in line - I went with the sure thing in Young as he seems like he would say yes tomorrow if given the green light.
- I projected a 2nd corner - while I would love for that to be David Long who is a Stanford commit who really liked his UM visit, I went with Chris Brown (NTCB) who is a Texas v UM battle. If Long says yes that obviously takes Brown's spot unless Lavert Hill is rated lower on UM's internal board I guess. Or 1 of our current commmitted corners is bumped out of the class.
- I slipped in Nordin as a grayshirt as noted above - it's a reach to assume that.
[this photo has nothing to do with the piece but it needed more photos so this one works for me]
Comments on Projected "Misses" not mentioned above
- Hardman Jr has pushed back his committment to NSD. That only helps UM. But right now I assume Georgia until we see a flurry of crystal ballz change. Hopefully he is a signing day shocker.
- Nauta - see Hardman. He apparently loved his UM visit and this offense is built for TEs but until we see some tangible movement I assume Georgia.
- Caleb Kelly it's been pretty quiet here - some people think its 50/50 UM v OK but not a single crystal ball has turned UM's way. If that changes at some point he would seem more viable but hard to project him for UM right now.
- David Long seems like a 50/50 with Stanford v UM. Of everyone in this group of "misses" he probably (?) is the most likely to be in the UM class
- Guys like McCullouch, Tagaloa, Fuller are sort of just guys out there UM likes but until there is more significant movement on their part hard to put them in the class.
- I think Donnie Corley has been a silent MSU commit for a long time - so "he gone" Dec 8th.
- Connor Murphy is interesting from the family connection to Harbaugh - I think he has an official scheduled in December (?) [could be wrong] but hard to find a spot for him if we take 3 DTs (Gary a DT/DE hybrid]
- Onwuzurike is a guy no one seems to know anything about - he must be very quiet. But same issues as Murphy in terms of room in class.
- One problem with my class projection is it only has 1 TE - and a lower rated if athletic one at that. With the season Florida is having I see it as difficult to go to Jacob Mathis at last minute if Nauta falls through and say come to Michigan, you were always #2 in our hearts but we want you now ... but crazier things have happened. I want to put 2 TEs in this class somehow but it might be just 1?
After seeing a couple Thanksgiving messages on the board this morning, I was a bit hesitant to post my own, but I did want to point out some of the things that we as a community of highly engaged fans do have to be thankful for.
As we walk towards our game with Ohio State, who among us at this time last year – when we were playing this game merely to be bowl eligible – would have thought that now we could be 9-2 and #10 in the CFP rankings in this week? I am going to assume that not many of us – probably none of us – thought this was a possibility. The future was cloudy indeed.
The occurrence for which most fans of Michigan football are undoubtedly most thankful for in this past year came about a month after that game, in a winter that for us would be quiet, without a bowl but on the blog, full of “CC threads” and understandable hand-wringing about what laid in store for the program once Brandon and Hoke had been removed. Oakland was not in play, and Jim Harbaugh came home to Ann Arbor.
Even so, after that introductory press conference, the future was brighter but now the timeline was uncertain. Many of us thought 2015 would be another transitional year – perhaps a bit bumpy, but necessary – and over the summer, numerous prediction threads amounted to cautious optimism for 2015. In the background, however, we could see the rapid transformation of the program into something far more familiar to many of us. It was transformed – again – into a program which lives “The Team, The Team, The Team” and preaches competition and accountability, not only to the staff but to teammates and the university and its traditions.
We assumed the cultural changes would lead to the on-field success down the road, but I don’t know how many of us in the MGoCommunity thought we would see the cultural transformation change the on-field performance that rapidly, and not just in the sense of being 9-2 right now. The team has bought and is emulating the message of Jim Harbaugh and it is translating into a ruthlessly efficient, never-quit team that has improved itself in every conceivable way.
Now, we walk into the Ohio State game with a considerable chance of winning it, being 10-2 and going to a New Year’s Six bowl after a season where we went 5-7 and watched others go bowling in December and January. We shall see how it shakes out at about 3:30 PM on Saturday and then so on into the final CFP rankings, but that we can do it is an amazing feat for this staff and team indeed.
Thanks to Jim Hackett for refocusing the athletic department in general – not just for football – on the things that are indeed part of the department’s stated mission, which is to serve its students and its supporters. Thanks to Jim Harbaugh for coming home and beginning a new chapter in Michigan football in which possibilities are seen in places where we were beginning to doubt they existed. Thanks to the MGoCommunity for keeping itself somehow glued together – albeit elaborately and with what seemed like the psychological equivalent of Elmer’s at times – and sharing now in this much brighter future.
Before I forget, thanks to Brian and the paid staff here for providing a place for us to ruminate about all this and share statistics, ideas, strategies and information in a quantity that I don’t think you’ll find on many college sports blogs. The MGoCommunity is different – not merely fans, but extra nerdy fans who can remember down, distance and formation on specific plays in games played long ago and write treatises on whether it was or was not the best call. That’s part of the Michigan difference, and it is on display here.
Further, thanks to my fellow mods for helping to maintain this place as one of the better-run, most readable boards out there. Even if we struggle with the amount of content at times, we do our best to pick through it as much as possible and streamline it for everyone. Thanks to my parents as well, for if I weren’t raised by such obsessive people, my obsession with Michigan athletics and everything Michigan might not have come into my makeup.
Finally, thanks to the MGoCommunity for allowing me to give back and help manage the place and for keeping me sane in moments that have been trying throughout the last few years. It means much.
Have an excellent Thanksgiving.
Here's the Advanced Statistics Schedule Rundown for UM as of the end of Week 12, and despite the Buckeyes intentionally throwing that game against Sparty, the chart is still including a B1G Championship Game since UM still has somewhere in the range of a 10:1 to 4:1 chance to play into it. Iowa, of course, is a lock for Indy even if it dumps the Nebraska game, so they're the de facto opponent. Here's your embiggable chart:
The race in terms of fancy stats has taken a slight turn in M's direction on account on the heels of essentially dominating performance of PSU, which has effectively rekindled the S&P+ romance with M. OSU's debacle didn't help its position, which pretties things up nicely looking into The Game. Of course, the same can't be said for MSU, but overall as of this writing, MSU still sucks. What follows below is a discussion of some of the details and week-to-week fancy-stat trends of M, OSU, MSU, PSU and Iowa.
In the S&P+ ratings, M improved its standing in Offense again over last week's results, moving up one position from #42 to #41, while MSU climbed from #32 to #29. OSU plummeted from #16 to #23, PSU dropped from #66 to #68. On S&P+ Defense, M took an impressive stand against PSU, particularly on the DL, and moved back up from #3 to #2. Putting Taco on the end and moving Hurst over appears to have been the proper remedy in lieu of the approach attempted at IU – so this bodes well for The Game. Moreover, the rating improved by 0.3 points from 12.0 to 11.7. Likewise, the PSU & MSU defensive units continued to register improvements. PSU moving up slightly from #13 and #11, and MSU significantly from #35 to #21. OSU dropped one spot from #7 to #8. Overall, M and OSU swapped order in the rankings: M now at #4, and OSU at #5, with the spread opening once again by 2.0 points to M -3.8. Despite yet another win, Iowa dropped again in overall S&P+ rank from #28 to #29, with the net spread vs. M increasing by 0.6 points to M –7.5.
As for the FEI Ratings, it appears M has managed to turn around its retrograde Special Teams play, moving back up from #15 to #14 – but still a far cry from having been #1 just 3 weeks ago. Giving up a blocked punt were probably neutralized by Lewis' fabulous KOR as well as the fumble recovery on the botched fair catch by PSU. The next closest teams are Iowa and OSU at #33 and #40, respectively. As for MSU and PSU Special Teams ... they continue to wallow in the lower echelons.
FEI warmed slightly regarding M's offense, which improved its rating while holding its rank #39, thanks yet again to a gritty, workmanlike performance by Jake Rudock. The running game is what it is, but at least coupled with an array of screen passing schemes and some solid pass protection, it can be sold off enough to make play-action effective. This is a situation where scheme is everything, and it appears by virtue of M having gotten this far on that basis, M's coaching staff are schemers extraordinaire. MSU also held its rank at #19, as did PSU its middling performance, shifting from #75 to #76. OSU meanwihle dropped by a good chunk from #31 to #38 – just one ahead of M! On the other hand, Iowa popped up from #32 to #24, so good for them. Wouldn't it be interesting to see a matchup of Rudock and C.J. Beathard in the B1GCG?
Carrying on with the trend from last week, the most alarming aspect here is the FEI Defensive numbers, which sees M continue retrograde movement from #7 to #11, while OSU stepped up from #11 to #8 – a remarkable reversal. MSU also popped up from #31 to #24 however, PSU and Iowa's defenses continued to slip from #14 and #36 to #17 and #44, respectively. As such, the FEI and S&P+ characteristics for offense and defense are largely congruent.
FEI Overall rankings show M held steady at #10, while OSU gave MSU the #6 spot while retreating to #9. PSU continues to wallow in mediocrity, sliding back from #48 to #51, and Iowa slipped a good bit from #19 to #24.
Rolling the S&P+ and FEI numbers together, Connelly & Fremeau come up with the F/+ Combined Ratings, in which M swaps places with OSU, moving into the #5 spot, while OSU drops down to #6. MSU advances significantly from #15 to #10, but is still not as highly regarded as two teams from whom they've managed to steal games. PSU drops from #36 to #40, while Iowa continued its decline as well from #23 to #24.
Last but not least are the Football Power Index (FPI) ratings from ESPN. Here as well M reversed last weeks trend, moving up by 0.5 points from #17 to #16, while OSU held onto its CFP placement at #4, but with a 1.0 point lower score. As with S&P+, the total spread moved 1.5 points in M's favor from M +3.7 to +2.2, not a bad trend going into The Game! What's more, the spread between MSU and PSU, at MSU –5.4, is also within one score. Now, if Hackenberg can just get enough time to put a deep ball in the seam between MSU's safeties, they might still do what OSU did not.
Yours in football, and Go Blue!
after a long hiatus, got a chance to put one of these together this week. long story short is that my boss sits a couple desks behind me know, so its been a little complicated logistically...
in past years, when enthusiasm is down, so is interest in this feature, based on scribd's data. i think enthusaism is up a bit this year... let me know if there are any things that need to be changed, might have a chance to get to it this week.
hoping to be a little more on top of this for the next games and next season, so if you have any suggestions about other information to include, i can see what i can do.
Decided to upload the Hate Week wallpaper I made. Hopefully some will enjoy.
Direct link: http://i66.tinypic.com/n65ac8.jpg