Tennessee is not recruiting well just because they got 18 dudes
Action since last rankings:
7-18-11 Minnesota gains commitment from Jack Lynn.
7-19-11 Penn State gains commitment from Skyler Mornhinweg.
7-22-11 Penn State gains commitment from JP Holtz. Indiana gains commitment from Darius Stroud.
7-23-11 Purdue gains commitment from Jimmy Herman.
|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 is not included in Minnesota's average.
On to the full data:
|#1 Michigan - 19 Commits|
No change for the Wolverines. May next week's BBQ recruiting event get the ball rolling again?
|#2 Notre Dame - 12 Commits|
No change for the Irish.
|#3 Ohio State - 11 Commits|
Though NCAA allegations may be scaring off out-of-state recruits, the Buckeyes are putting together a decent class - entirely from Ohio.
|#4 Penn State - 12 Commits|
Nittany Lions pick up a couple new commits. Yes, Mornhinweg is the son of NFL coach Marty.
|#5 Michigan State - 11 Commits|
No change for the Spartans.
|#6 Wisconsin - 8 Commits|
Wisconsin still looking for ratings for a number of their commits.
No change for Northwestern. 24/7's concept of their commit list is... limited.
|#8 Indiana - 13 Commits|
Hoosiers pick up JuCo linebacker Darius Stroud.
|#9 Minnesota - 16 Commits|
Rivals still doesn't include Nick Rallis as a Gopher commit. Jack Lynn has picked Minnesota.
|#10 Nebraska - 5 Commits|
No change for the Huskers' small class.
|#11 Iowa - 6 Commits|
No change for the Hawkeyes - though ESPN is reporting another commit in offensive lineman Ryan Ward.
|#12 Purdue - 8 Commits|
Jimmy Herman is finally a commit according to Rivals. The Boilers pass Illinoi on class size.
No change for the Illini.
This Diary is brought to you by MGoBlog user Michael Scarn. I posted a link to the full 139 pages of Tressel's interview last night and Mike went through and pulled a number of notable quotes and banter... Enjoy
I planned on laying out a grandiose narrative to introduce this diary, but decided most of the analogies, hyperboles, and myriad other literary devices had already been used by writers more talented and creative than me to discuss this topic. That, and the several tumblers of Macallan 18 I’ve consumed this Friday evening while writing this have left me with only so many remaining grammatically correct sentences in the keyboard. The bottom line is, we have access to the transcript of Jim Tressel’s February 8, 2011 NCAA interview, in all 139 pages of its glory. Knowing that you all are probably interested in the interviews substance while turned off by its length, I tried to highlight the most interesting portions. What follows is a mix of amusing quotes, the most interesting questions and answers, and just generally relevant stuff. Enough chit-chat, let’s get down to it:
Jim Tressel, and apparently others in the OSU athletic department, referred to his speeches to players as “sermons”:
Tressel (describing interactions with members of the compliance department):
“Or, there’s times when it’s just the opposite. Doug’s office gets the call. Doug comes into us and says, ‘Hey, you know, I don’t have a whole bunch on this, but I’m hearing they’re going to this bar a lot. And the word is that, you know, they’re letting ’em, you know, have a couple pops because they want the football players,’ or the basketball players or, you know, whether, the athletes, ‘there. In your sermons, you know, you need to weave that in.’”
Ted Sarniak wanted Terrelle Pryor to go to Notre Dame
Tressel: “Ted wanted him to go to Notre Dame. Strike that from the records.”
I, personally, prefer him taking this rival down. Charlie Weis took care of the Irish for us. Tressel also discussed how during Pryor’s recruiting process, there were some benefits waived in front of Pryor, but everything was so heavily redacted it’s not possible to get a remote clue of whom he was referring to. Tressel paints Sarniak as a great guy that kept Pryor’s head on straight.
Tressel claims the reason he didn’t move forward with information was that Cicero’s email that discussed a federal investigation scared him:
“But probably the thing that knocked me off my socks was at the bottom when there was a little description of this criminal. And, again, I didn’t emblazon in my mind his name. I just emblazoned in my mind, ‘Oh, my God. There’s a homicide. There’s drug trafficking. There’s possession of criminal tools. This is a bad situation. This is, you know, this isn’t like the girl that called from the hot dog stand. This is not like the guy that calls from the bar and says they might be getting a drink. This is frightening.’”
And, you know, it – I was scared, quite frankly, as I read that. I answered ’em and said, ‘You know –‘ I think we were in practice, and I got back after practice and happened to start grinding through my e-mails again and saw this one. I thought, you know – I said,
‘Thanks, Chris. Blah, blah, blah.’ And, you know, I guess I had a lot of the scared part of me elicited some things, you know?”
I know what I say when I’m scared. Happy Easter!
Tressel was scared the players Cicero was talking about in his emails were in a drug trafficking ring and involved in criminal activity. With the benefit of hindsight, he would’ve gone to the university’s legal counsel because he was scared of the federal investigation:
“Knowing what I knew – not knowing who all was involved with it– I mean, I knew one name. So you sit there saying, ‘Oh, my God. Do I got 25 guys drug trafficking? Do I got, you know, X number of people selling their stuff so they can feed their drug habits?’
You know? I mean, you go through a million things. If I fastforwarded to today, I think I have the answer to what I would do. I would go to the university legal counsel because it’s a federal issue. I wouldn’t go to the athletic department legal counsel. I wouldn’t go to the compliance office.”
When pressed on the fact that Cicero’s emails focus on his player’s involvement in memorabilia, not on any criminal activity by them, Tressel went back to his fear, and felt that any NCAA sanctions might end up being moot. He thought:
“I guess it won’t matter what NCAA problems you have if you’re in jail.”
Tressel Claims he went to Sarniak to protect Pyror:
“I don’t wanna be dramatic, but I would have a hard time having a second guy murdered or a second guy get incarcerated.”
When another name comes up from Cicero (Pryor was the only one at first), no parent or mentor for that player is contacted. So, he was concerned for Pryor’s safety, but not the second players…
When Chuck Smrt (I guess vowels were expensive the day his family got its surname), who was one of a few outside consultants for OSU present, offers to take a break, Tressel says something that comes off a little like he’s performing, rather than just speaking the truth:”
Tressel: “We’re rolling…I don’t wanna go and have a halftime, and come out and play a bad second half.”
Tressel says he sat down with the Tat5, and said that he vaguely told them to avoid people they were involved with, didn’t mention Rife, and never asked any questions about drugs or memorabilia, or anything really. No great quote for this, just a lot of rambling, so either take me at my word or read the whole document yourselves, ya filthy animals.
Tressel seems to have a slip up and talks about a plan for the “inevitable”(Chuck and Beth are members of the outside compliance firm hired by OSU:
And the last thing that I mentioned to Chuck and Beth was that what was critical in my mind was that preparing for this inevitable, we had to come up with a way to make sure our student athletes stayed in the educational process, because witness too often that when our guys error, then they’re some consequences, then they’re outta college. And I go back to sitting in that living room and saying it’s gonna be safe. We’ll do our best to help take care of ’em. It’s gonna be paramount in my mind that they get their degree because I know if they stay here long enough to get their degree, their maturity level will have been enhanced.
And so we better be thinking through and talking through, and even planning seeds, you know, about the importance of making sure, you know, we stay through this process, through the educational process. Didn’t plant seeds by saying – calling ’em in and saying, “Hey, you’re in some serious stuff,” you know, and all that. “And, by the way, you’re gonna get some consequences. But after you get the consequences, you gotta stay in school,” you know? We didn’t say that.
But just ways to, you know, to come up with a plan, you know, for when the inevitable occurs. And interestingly enough, when the inevitable did occur, which was a lot further down the road than I thought it might, seeing how we were sitting there with June 1st
with someone supposedly going to prison, well, now we know that they were using him, you know, obviously, ’cause they – I don’t think they sent him to prison, did they? No. He pled out, I think. So they were using him for all that time to go get the next guy, or whatever.
But when the inevitable happened to us and the letter came, you know, the hallelujah letter, in my mind was – from the US Department of Justice was there was no allegation that any of these players were involved in or had knowledge of Mr. Rife’s drug trafficking. I’m like, “This is the greatest.”
Now, we got issues. And all along, you know, we’ve known that one of the things that we’ve gotta be preparing ourselves for is we gotta find away to keep these guys here. Now when the NCAA, after all the reinstatement discussions and all that, decided that the guys could play in the bowl game and then they would be sanctioned later, okay, at first, I was really disappointed.
Later, on the “inevitable”:
Chuck Smrt:So what is the inevitable?
Jim Tressel:The inevitable is are we gonna be drug traffickers? Are we gonna be drug users? You know, are we gonna be a group of folks that sell their memorabilia, you know, as cash to buy my drugs that I gotta have? Who knows? Are we gonna be a group that violated selling memorabilia, which we know we can’t do? Inevitably, something’s gonna come from this. And I’m rooting for the least.
Chuck Smrt:You said earlier, back when we talked about the first e-mail and what you did and why you did it.
Chuck Smrt:Now we’re six weeks later –
Chuck Smrt:– almost seven weeks later, and it’s gonna be resolved, it looks – there’s a resolution.
Chuck Smrt:Why not go at this point then to compliance or to Gene Smith or someone?
Jim Tressel:Well, I don’t know that it’s gonna be resolved from a drug trafficking standpoint. Just because they put one guy in jail doesn’t mean, you know, that there’s not drug trafficking going on or – I mean, kinda like I mentioned, you know, when the feds want our help and our involvement, they’ll, you know, request it.
This is something that I’m just going to let you read on your own, nothing to really introduce, this is probably the most interesting part of the interview, and requires no interpretation, other than your own. I will say that there is a RIDICULOUS amount of hand holding/help by the NCAA ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF ENFORCEMENT. He sounds like Tressel’s attorney, not an investigator:
Tim Nevius(NCAA associate director of enforcement):
You were aware that violations regarding student athletes, particularly and had either occurred or likely occurred.
Tim Nevius:Is that correct?
Tim Nevius:And you did not report that those violations to anyone in athletics or compliance or the NCAA. Is that correct?
Tim Nevius:Okay. And were you aware that as a result of those violations that the student athletes would likely be ineligible then for participationduring the 2010 season?
Jim Tressel:No, I didn’t think of it like that. You know, I didn’t take that progression of thinking. I mean, I knew that inevitably they were gonna have a problem. I don’t – you know, I can’t sit here and say I thought, “Oh, these guys are ineligible.” I didn’t think it of it that way.
Tim Nevius:Okay. But you knew that the young men who were involved in the violations were going to participate in the 2010 season then.
Jim Tressel:Mm-hmm. You talking about –
Jim Tressel:Right. You’re talking about we’re sitting here at what point?
Tim Nevius:Anytime before the 2010 fall season –
Tim Nevius:– you knew they had engaged in violations –
Tim Nevius:– and that they were gonna then participate that season.
Tim Nevius:And that you had not reported any of that information to –
Tim Nevius:– the athletics or compliance.
Jim Tressel:And I knew why. But, yeah.
Tim Nevius:Okay. And I understand, and you’ve explained your reasons why. Do you understand that it is an NCAA violation not to report information concerning violations?
Tim Nevius:Okay. And then in that regard, can you provide us with any further context or explanation as to why you didn’t report that information?
Jim Tressel:Outside of what I already have? No. Outside of the gravity of what I thought the federal criminal investigation was, outside of the confidentiality request that was in front of me, you know, those – outside of that, no. I mean, just what we’ve talked about.
Tim Nevius:Okay. Did you think it was against the law at all to reveal the information that Chris had provided to you in those e-mails?
Jim Tressel:You know, I didn’t know. I didn’t know that.
Tim Nevius:Was that a thought that crossed your mind?
Jim Tressel:You know, it crossed my mind about, you know, the attorney/client privilege kind a thing as, you know, I think I had mentioned earlier in the day of like, “Is he allowed to do this?” You know? And did I know for sure why he wanted it confidential? Was it that? Was it that, you know, you could interfere with the federal, you know, investigation? Could you, you know, obstruct justice? You know? Exactly why, I did not know.
So to answer your question, did I think it was against the law? Yeah, I guess I thought it could be. I wouldn’t have said it that way. But –
Tim Nevius:Well, then is that why you did not report the information? Does
that help explain why you did not report the information?
Jim Tressel:If it helps explain the compliance – or the confidentiality part. But, no, I would say as I have been saying, I thought this was first and foremost a criminal investigation and that anything I would do to interfere with that would be against the law. You know? I did feel that way.
Tim Nevius:And did you feel that reporting the information would be interfering with the investigation?
Jim Tressel:You know, anything I would do with it, you know, I would think would have been, yeah.
Tim Nevius:So any action that you would have taken, you felt would have interfered with the –
Tim Nevius:– federal investigation?
Tim Nevius:Even if it’s just simply telling someone?
Jim Tressel:Well, now I’ll say this. If you’re talking about how did I feel then, yes. I thought anything I would – now, I would say to you as I’ve learned is if I would have gone to the person in our world that’s, you know, at that level that, you know, could speak to that federal criminal investigation part of it appropriately, that that’s what I could have done. Did I think there was anything I could have done, you know, that would have been appropriate? No.
Tim Nevius:You’re saying at the time?
Jim Tressel:At the time. Yeah.
Tim Nevius:You didn’t think there was – you thought the most appropriate thing was to not do anything.
Jim Tressel:Right. It was to let the federal investigation happen, you know, and that – again, you know, hopefully, that wouldn’t be something we were a part of.
Tim Nevius:And you felt that even though you knew that NCAA violations had occurred, and that you were gonna go forward with those student athletes participating in the 2010 season.
Jim Tressel:Yeah. Then we would – there would be, in my mind, as I mentioned it there somewhere, is that inevitably, we were gonna get as our works deserve, as we say. You know, we were gonna pay the fiddler, you know? And how – what, and how many, you know, who all? I mean, you know, I didn’t have a clue, nor did I have a clue to who and how many and all might be involved in a federal drug trafficking thing that might be, you know, huge in the federal arena. I mean, I didn’t know.
Tim Nevius:But did you anticipate that that would include – the consequences would potentially include NCAA sanctions?
Jim Tressel:Even if we were guilty of drug trafficking, you know, I’m sure we would, you know – I’m sure we would, along the way even though I suppose the guys wouldn’t be here. You know? I mean, there’d be record of that I guess is the way I’d put it. It would be, you know, somewhat irrelevant. But – and I tried not to infer that I really think these guys are drug trafficker. You know, I don’t think I’ve tried to say that.
But I also think it would be a poor defense to say, “Well, you know, I knew my guys weren’t involved in that.” (Ed: NO SHIT, SHERLOCK) And so I wasn’t gonna ignore any of the federal investigation. That’s their problem. I gotta go get my guys squared away and, you know, take care of their NCAA issues.” I just felt that there was a hierarchy. I don’t know.
Tim Nevius:I appreciate that, yeah. And I can understand what you’re thinking there. But I guess what the problem is that there was no action taken on either the NCAA issues or the federal investigation.
Tim Nevius:So despite the concern of one of those issues being more problematic than another –
Tim Nevius:– I don’t think that you – the facts are that you didn’t address
Jim Tressel:Right. And the federal ones weren’t over. So I couldn’t address. I had established in my mind, right or wrong, that there was a hierarchy, and that there was a confidentiality. And that there – in the higher part of the hierarchy, it had not been – there’d been no action. And I don’t know if all of a sudden, just ’cause – and I guess what I’m hearing you say is, okay. Now we’ve moved to September in your mind. And we’re talking about playing in the game. Okay?
That’s the way I’m feeling it, anyway. It’s not you decided to put ’em in a game. Okay? Well, to me, you know, it wasn’t tied to time. You know, just because, well, it’s the summer and there’s no games and, you know, we’ll wait on the federal, you know – the hierarchy is bigger federal now. But now when the games start, you know, the NCAA becomes bigger. You know, I did not think that way, no.
Tim Nevius:And I’m not suggesting that – I wasn’t necessarily jumping to September.
Jim Tressel:Oh, okay.
Tim Nevius:But it is important for a head coach to recognize that if student athletes had engaged in violations and they’re aware of that, that that information needs to be reported, and the student athletes have to go through the appropriate channels to be reinstated before they can participate in competition. You’re aware of that, too, right?
Jim Tressel:I am, yeah.
Tim Nevius:And you were aware of that at the time?
Jim Tressel:Yeah. I don’t know that I was thinking of it that way. But I mean, if you would have asked me the question, you know, if a guy sells memorabilia and we’re aware of it and so forth and so on, we have to deem him ineligible. You know, we’ve done that, you know, numbers of times. You know, not necessarily just memorabilia, but things come up and sometimes you have to declare ’em ineligible for a day ’cause something’s not paid or, you know, all that stuff. So I’m aware of that.
That didn’t all of a sudden come into my thinking and catapult over in my mind what was, you know, the biggest part of this situation. You know, and so then I was gonna shift gears and say, you know, “Now it’s – hey, now it’s different. We got games.” Well, I didn’t think of it that way.
Chuck Smrt:Did you – when – ’cause the first game, whether it’s August or September, before that first game, did you have a thought process, “Okay. I know in those e-mails I’ve got athletes that –” and I don’t know if the word is could be or are, but, “there are potential
eligibility issue.” Did you think about that in the fall prior to the –
Jim Tressel:In that context? No.
Chuck Smrt:And if you can, what were you thinking about their eligibility of at least those two guys –
Jim Tressel:I was thinking that when the situation is resolved, that they will certainly have penalties. And whoever else because, you know, the inference is in there where there were multiple, you know, X number of jerseys and, you know, stuff. So that, you know,
whether it be those two or those two and anyone who was involved, you know, there’s gonna be – you know, as I pointed out when I got off of my rambling thing there, is that, you know, we had to prepare for the inevitable, and there was gonna be an inevitable.
Chuck Smrt:All right. Okay.
Beth Chapman(Compliance Consultant hired by OSU):Can I ask just to – just so I’m clear, the letter from the feds that you eventually received, we you expecting that? Did you believe you’d get that at some point?
Jim Tressel:Yeah. I mean, I didn’t know anything about what form things take. I mean, the only reason I was given that is I was invited to a meeting to discuss the violations, the reinstatement process. “Here’s, you know, how this has come to fruition.” And I mean, I
didn’t know it would come, you know, just in this form. Nor did I know it would say so clearly, you know, the thing that, you know, was important.
Beth Chapman:But you thought at some point understand be notified that that investigation had concluded?
Jim Tressel:Yeah. Yeah. I mean, whether the guy went to jail or – I think in this case it says he pled. And I didn’t read it that close. But yeah, there was gonna be a moment. And, you know, I guess you could say, “Well, gosh. That could take three years, and these guys
could be long gone.” I don’t know. I guess it goes back to my – I don’t know what you’d call it – old-fashioned thinking that, you know, you’re gonna get as your works deserve. You know?
It’s gonna – you know, there’s no such thing as getting away with something. It’s not gonna happen. And now had all of these guys – whoever else – we knew how old were, okay? But let’s pretend that there was like nine other guys involved and they were all seniors, you know? And theoretically the only thing they could get sanctioned would be a bowl game. You know? I mean, that could have happened.
You know, I guess it – I guess in my – I use the phrase, as I was thinking about this whole thing is that I know there was times when I was paralyzed in the federal moment. I just was. And I guess I wasn’t concerned that that might happen. Now as I started to say before Chuck said I was rambling –
Chuck Smrt:I didn’t say rambling.
Jim Tressel:– all of a sudden, this happens, okay? They come to us. They say, “Our federal investigation is complete. Here’s a bunch of stuff. This guy claims he bought from your guys. We wanna know is it stolen or did they buy it?” We call our guys in. They say, “You know what? Yep. We got paid for it,” okay. Here’s the process.
Thing comes back saying they can play in the bowl game and they’ve got X number of games later.
And like I woulda felt a little bit better if they’d a said, “Don’t play in the bowl game,” because then I would know for sure that there’s no such thing as getting away with something. But the more I tried to think through what I had been thinking about for some time, which was there’s gonna be an inevitable day for whoever – for whatever. And we have got to find a way to make these kids be in school because they can’t run from their problems. They can’t run from their mistakes. You know? The worst thing they could do is flee and think that the world would be better over there.
And then it dawned on me, you know what? I think the NCAA did me a favor, because now I can say to those guys – it just so happened, none of ’em were seniors. And I can say to these guys,
“If you wanna play in the bowl game, ’cause the NCAA says you can, and your teammates want you to –” by the way, we went to the seniors first ’cause we always give the seniors – “Hey, if you don’t want these knuckleheads around, they won’t be around.”
“No, we want ’em, you know, blah, blah, blah.”
Went to the coaching staff. Went to Mr. Smith, you know, I’m sure he checked with the people above him. I said, “Well, here’s my opportunity to do just what we had been thinking about we need to get done to finish this job that we’ve said we were gonna
do when they were in their living room when we said, ‘Hey, you know, you have to sign this sheet of paper –’” which is not a legal document. I mean, it’s, you know – “But you have to sign this piece of paper telling me that you’ll live up to these things at the bowl game,” which is earlier curfew, go to the community outreach project, all the boloney, okay? “And that you are gonna be back for your senior year at Ohio State. And can’t get on the plane if you won’t sign.”
And so in my mind, the NCAA ended up doing me a great favor ’cause five guys signed the letter, had some moments at the bowl game where had to tell one guy I was gonna put him on the plane and send him back ’cause I had heard rumors that he was – you know, the head coach hears everything. I had heard rumors that he said, “I ain’t sticking around. I’m gonna play this game and have a great game and get drafted high. I’m outta here. I’m not sitting out five games.”
He was in, in his early curfew on New Year’s Eve. I said, “We’ll going out early. I can’t look at the NCAA in the eyes and not have any sanctions. Can’t do it. I can’t. Ohio State can’t. You know, can’t do it.” And so did I think about that there are sanctions, you know, and you have to, you know, live by the rules? Yeah.
Did I think about it preemptively before the federal issue was done? No, I did not. But I certainly did not – I guess my whole point in that ramble was that I don’t wanna give you the impression that that’s not something we don’t take serious is the fact that our guys, you know, and ourselves, have to take the consequences for the decisions we make.
Now do I wish he hadn’t a sent me an e-mail? Yeah. At the end of the day now I know how it turned out and I know our kids are gonna be in college and I know they’re gonna get a fourth year or a fifth year in some case, and I know they’re gonna be bet they’re prepared when they leave here, and I – yeah. No, it’s been painful and I know it’s been problematic and all the rest. But, you know, things happen. You gotta deal with it.
“Most of the time” #HALOL:
Chuck Smrt:Tim asked you earlier did you know it was contrary to NCAA rules not to report information. And what – and, again, what’s your answer to that?
Jim Tressel:Did I know?
Chuck Smrt:Did you know that it was contrary – do you feel like you have a responsibility –
Jim Tressel:Yeah, I definitely have a responsibility.
That’s why I do it.
Chuck Smrt:Okay. Okay.
Jim Tressel:Most of the time.
Jim Tressel:I mean –
So, that’s most of the substance that I found interesting. I’ll admit this was rushed more than a little bit, because I figured MGoFanatics like myself would want it quickly. This is not intended to be all-inclusive – I was trying to strike a balance between brevity and depth. Feel free to comment below with additions or changes or comments. Last few comments from my perspective:
- Tressel tries to play several sides. He likes to play ignorant, innocent and scared, but often sounds like an attorney in a deposition with phrases like “strike that” and repeated use of hearsay to describe why he doubted the substance of Cicero emails.
- The NCAA staff was disgustingly friendly to him. There were at least 3 or 4 times that I had to double and triple check that the NCAA staffers weren’t from OSU or Tressel’s attorney or something. To paraphrase Larry David, pretty, pretty, pretty, RIDICULOUS.
- Tressel didn’t worry about suspending his players or asking them about their involvement in terms of NCAA violations because he figured that would be moot if they were in jail? So not only was he playing ineligible players, he was playing players he at least somewhat suspected were involved in criminal activities.
While not technically a diary, in the sense most diaries on the site are anyway, I’m giving thought to starting a “video diary” of sorts, with fun mash-up projects and such, over the course of the season. I’ll prepare the video and give explanations of what I was thinking when I put it together. I’m not sure what I’m going to do or use, but I’m sure I’ll come up with something. If you have any suggestions, or ideas, feel free to post them in the comments. Now, without further ado … onto the entry:
After all the positive feedback from the “Ohio State Inception” Mashup, I felt that I needed to do something bigger for my next video. This logically led to one conclusion – a hype video.
Now, my opinion of what a hype video should be may differ slightly from others, particularly the “Better Son, Better Daughter” videos (which I LOVED, don’t get me wrong), but I think a hype video should be so incredibly grand and awe-inspiring that you have nothing but goosebumps at the end. In that vein, I was watching a particularly grand and epic blockbuster the other day, and I heard a speech that has from the time I heard it, been a particular favorite of mine … and it all just clicked together.
I won’t spoil it for you, and I’ll stop boring you with words and just say …
… here’s my submission for a Michigan Football Hype Video 2011.
For App Users: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzHGdhdKxVk
Initially, just FYI - I wouldn’t expect this kind of quick turn-around from me between videos in the future. I’ve been home-sick with the flu all week, and this was an outlet for my boredom. All in-all, this took about 20+ hours to put together, though at least 6-7 of that was downloading videos.
Also, as I’m all for giving credit where credit is due, many thanks to Brian, shortsgoblue, and all those who’ve contributed to the original hype videos that came before this one. They certainly served as the genesis for my own contribution and mine certainly wouldn’t have come about without them. Additionally, kudos to everyone on YouTube who has so meticulously catalogued Michigan football highlights, specifically WolverinesHistorian and parkinggod, as well as all of those people who put together hype videos of their own, as clips were borrowed from a great many sources. The nature of such a project as this is collaborative by default, given the limited material we all have to work with, so I do appreciate the efforts of others on their own videos.
The speech, if you didn't know, is from "Armageddon" by none-other-than Mr. Michael Bay. It's the speech the president gives before the astronauts blast off to go fight the asteroid. The clip can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_sUlupV48I
Now, a word about the music, as this is always the key subject matter for discussion aside from the actual video itself. As I said above, I wanted grandeur and spectacle for my hype video, hence the “over-the-top” anthem I chose from 30 Seconds to Mars. I love the grandiose-nature of their music (having used it for my “Movies in Action 2011” Mashup I posted a month or so ago), and I felt that it fit very well with the video I was trying to make. Also, if you’ll go and read the lyrics (http://www.lyricskid.com/lyrics/30-seconds-to-mars-lyrics/vox-populi-lyrics.html) I think you’ll find they fit this season better than you’d think.
I tried to make a video equivalent to what I think this season represents – namely reclamation of things we’ve forgotten these past few years and an attempt to recapture an old identity. This is why there are so many references to the past tied into the video itself. I wasn’t a RichRod basher or anything like that, and I’m all for more creative offenses, but there’s something inexplicably comforting about a return to past glory and having someone in place who we all know respects that past as if it was his own blood. That’s why this video had to be so epic, because I just can’t escape that feeling that something epic is just around the corner.
Until then … hopefully this video keeps a sense of “epic” alive over the summer months, a summer when recruiting has abnormally slowed to a crawl, and we’re all on the edge of our seats counting down the days until the season kicks off. Hope everyone enjoyed the video.
EDIT: Also, just FYI, a poster below made this point and I wanted to make sure I wasn't making myself "look to good" by taking credit for someone's work, but the "over laid" visual effects, like Denard's running highlights on a stadium wall, old fans in a new stadium, and the old players over the new block M, those were all from an ESPN special and an award winning student-produced film on Michigan football called "Michigan Stadium - A Timeless Tradition" respectively that were used in another 2011 hype video. I didn't do those myself, unfortunately.
Here's the link to the student short: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_Yg0x3gwB0
Last year witnessed the introduction of the most thrilling contest the sports world has ever known:
THE KNOWLEDGE CHALLENGE
Unfortunately THE CHALLENGE did not complete its entire course due to the highly irregular discontinuity in the spatio-temporal continuum of this universe, as THE KNOWLEDGE pointed out in one of his posts last year
this year, THE CHALLENGE has made its appearance again, and will through the course of the football season, notwithstanding any unexpected discontinuities
once the season starts, THE CHALLENGE will assume its usual form wherein the competitors will pick the score of the Michigan game, and the one(s) to predict the correct or closest score will be anointed as THE KNOWLEDGE's PROTEGE OF THE WEEK
as usual, THE KNOWLEDGE will only provide pointers to each game in order to aid in appropriate score selection (except, of course, for the first game where THE KNOWLEDGE will reveal the score himself, thus eliminating THE CHALLENGE for Week 1
at the end of the season, the person that has earned the POTW honors the highest number of times, or who has predicted the best overall will earn the greatest honor on this very blog:
TOP FRIEND OF THE KNOWLEDGE
as everyone knows, these honors are extraordinary in nature and the attainment of the ultimate honor of TOP FRIEND will instantly lend credibility and celebrity to the winner
as an addition for the year, THE CHALLENGE debuts RIGHT NOW (with this very post) in a different form
in this version of THE CHALLENGE, the reader is asked to predict the participants in the BSC title game in Jan 2012, and the winner of that game (the mythical national champion)
there is no need to predict the score of that game, as that is beyond the scope of other individuals on this board. any attempt to predict the score will automatically disqualify that person
the winner of this edition of THE CHALLENGE will be honored at the end of the season along with the TOP FRIEND as CO-SOARER OF THE KNOWLEDGE
as a pointer to significantly increase everyone's chances of winning, THE KNOWLEDGE would like to reveal that the title game participants will come from the following pool:
Baylor, LSU, Wisconsin, Oregon, Michigan, Oklahoma, Boise State, Western Michigan and TCU
since the results of this will not be known until the end of the year, THE KNOWLEDGE is also posting a smaller CHALLENGE, titled THE QUESTION
THE QUESTION is how many bowl games will OSU, Columbus be banned from playing in (other than the ones for which they don't qualify)
competitors are encouraged to predict the answers to both THE QUESTION and THE CHALLENGE
[Ed-M: Bumped because this totally punctuated my equilibrium. The best indicator yet of year-to-year defensive evolution. And great news: the mean has magnetism!]
Richard Goldschmidt hypothesized that the incremental changes to organismal phenotypes over the course of even thousands of generations was insufficient to explain the change from one species to another. He posited that evolutionary change is powered by great leaps forward, instances of saltatory mutation that generate a new species from the old. Goldschmidt’s ideas were ridiculed, mostly, and with good reason. The overwhelming evidence of population genetics and the theoretical triumph of the Neo-Darwinian synthesis seem to indicate that evolutionary change is effected gradually over time by the additive effects of allele substitutions in the genetic makeup of a given population; population change happens slowly, if at all.
But there are situations in which sudden changes to an organism’s ecological niche—a new predator or prey introduced, migration or population bottlenecks, climate change, a massive meteor falling from the sky and killing all the dinosaurs—opens up the opportunity for rapid (on the geological time scale) evolutionary change.
The defense was bad last year. And bad the year before. And the year before that. A number of reasons have been put forward for the awfulness. The defense was decimated. Really decimated. Seriously, it was decimated. GERG is a force of nature complete with his own effect. The coaches thought making in-game adjustments was tantamount to cheating. And so on. At the risk of overstraining the metaphor, it certainly felt as if we were watching the extinction of that species of animal previously known as the Wolverine defense. It’s at the very least an endangered species. But if the combination of the addition of Hoke and Mattison, Nebraska joining the BIG, and the tattoo-laden implosion of the 614 area code don’t count as a change in the environment that opens the possibility of rapid change, then my metaphor has no validity at all.*
Folks have tried to take a stab at what might happen this year, based on small sample sized studies of returning starters, even smaller sample sized bits of anecdotal evidence, and a healthy dose of Hoke-A-Mania! I collected data from http://www.cfbstats.com/ on total defense numbers from 2006 through 2010 and analyzed year to year changes for every team, based on total defense rankings. Even though I’ve got five years of data, I’m going to talk in terms of “Base year” and “Year 2;” since I wasn’t looking to find multi-year trends in defensive performance all I care about is the movement from one year to the next. So with five years of data I have four years (2006-2009) worth of data in my “Base year” set and four years (2007-2010) in my “Year 2” set
This diary doesn’t propose to do anything other than aggregate a little bit of data about what we can expect based on very recent history and to show how many teams over the last few years have been outliers. From there we can start to see what Michigan’s chances are of bucking the odds of Darwinian uniformitarianism.
Natura non facit saltum: The Case For Phyletic Gradualism
My first task was to look at the aggregated data on a very coarse grain. I wondered how much movement there was in rank from year to year, so I grouped teams into sets of ten based on their base year finish (top ten teams, teams 11-20, etc.) and then tracked where those clusters of teams finished on average in year 2.
So the 40 teams in the data set that finished in the top ten in the base year averaged a finish at around 20 year 2. If a team finished in the 111-120 rank range, they could expect to be at around 95 in year 2. The obvious thing that jumps out is regression at the two ends of the line. This suggests what should be obvious: it is difficult to sustain excellence or ineptitude. So, by staying terrible last year, Michigan is already an outlier. Yay? But as you move away from the ends of the line, the movement away from the base year gets less and less, so that teams that are average appear to stay average.
Then, since I care mostly about one of the teams at the gruesome end of the line, I looked more closely at teams that finished the base year in the 90-120 range, and got this for my troubles:
This looks at every spot in the ranking from 90 to 120 and plots the year 2 average for the teams that finished at each of those spots. There is a lot of noise here, because for each ranking spot there are only four data points, but the trend line is pretty much what we’d expect. The worse you are in the base year, the worse you can expect to be in year 2.
So the numbers look gloomy, suggesting that expecting much movement in one year is a recipe for disappointment. These numbers provide the baseline for the geological timescale. The pace of change appears to be slow.
Hopeful Monsters: The Case for Saltationism
Despite this evidence of evolutionary stasis there have been a number of teams who’ve managed macromutation from one year to the next, both up and down. Since 2006, 37 teams out of a possible 278 (obviously only teams ranked 51 or worse could possibly make a 50 spot leap) have managed a leap of 50 or more spots in the ranking from one year to the next, and 107 out of 378 possible have made jumps of 25 or more spots.
50 spot leap
25 spot leap
For what it's worth, these percentages are higher than I expected prior to compiling the numbers. It's not worth anything, by the way.
My original goal was to analyze the factors that these saltatory leaps might have in common, but finding reliable data on returning starters, experience, changes to coaches or defensive co-ordinators, etc. has proven difficult. I might try to look in detail at a few case studies to see if there are any similarities between Michigan 2011 and the hopeful monsters who point to the possibility of rapid change, but provide a link to my table so that anyone else who may want to can do the same.
Viva la evolucion.
*Yes, I’m aware my metaphor already has no validity at all.
Edit: I think this is what the first commenter is asking for.
This will be the home of the BBQ visitor list. The event takes place on July 31st and looks like it's invite only. I'm still working on confirming visitors so I should have more names added as I get them. Be sure to continue to check back frequently.
Here's who I've confirmed so far:
LB Royce Jenkins-Stone - Commit
DB Terry Richardson - Commit
LB James Ross - Commit
DE Matt Godin - Commit
DB Allen Gant - Commit
TE Devin Funchess - Commit
DE/LB Mario Ojemudia - Commit
DE Tom Strobel - Commit
OL Kyle Kalis - Commit, said he will for sure be there. He's going up with his head coach Finotti, because his coach wants to sit down with Mattison to talk defense.
OL Ben Braden - Commit
2013 QB Shane Morris - Commit
DT Danny O'Brien (6'2", 293 lbs, 4 Star)
WR Jehu Chesson (6'3", 182 lbs, 3 Star)
2013 OL Steven Elmer
2013 RB Wyatt Shallman
2013 LB Jonny Reschke
RB Bri'onte Dunn (6'2", 215 lbs, 4 Star) - His father told me yesterday that Bri'onte will likely be going up with his cousin Dymonte Thomas. Bri'onte's Dad might not make it up though.
DE Chris Wormley - Said via text he is coming to the event.
DT Ondre Pipkins (6'3", 325 lbs, 4 Star)
DB Anthony Standifer - commit
2013 WR Laquon Treadwell
2013 DB Dymonte Thomas
TE AJ Williams - Commit
2013 RB Ty Isaac
OL Jordan Diamond (6'6", 290 lbs, 4 Star)
DB Jeremy Clark - Commit, said he's going to try to make it up.
OL Caleb Stacey - Commit
WR Monty Madaris (6'2", 190 lbs, 3 Star)
LB Kaleb Ringer - Commit
LB Joe Bolden - Commit