will be michigan's highest pick in a while
First, a checklist of things that are pure awesome we would like to see at games: RAWK music? check
Night game? check
HYP-P-P-P-PE VIDEOOOOOOOOS!!!(with annoying announcer guy)? check
A GIANT WOLVERINE HEAD TO RUN OUT OF?
We look to the Chicago Bears introductions for inspiration:
As for the Wolverine to run out of, we have two choices for the "style":
First Example: The full snarling/attack position wolverine. In this configuration, the players run out from underneath the wolverine. This type of wolverine intro would imply the players are protected by it, like, "Don't mess with us...we've got this ANGRY wolverine backing us up." Which...ok, it looks frightening from the front, but from the sides or back, not so much. This is a big issue for me considering the position of the tunnel at Michigan Stadium. See picture below. Note: Maize jerseys provide maximum intimidation factor (like the Orange jerseys pictured definitely achieve.)
Second Example: The head of the Wolverine appears to be coming out of the ground. In this configuration, the players run out of the mouth of the Wolverine. This implies, "We're so TUFF even this scary-ass wolverine couldn't eat us. We're gonna destroy you!". I prefer this method, as the visual is better from all angles, the giant teeth would be pretty scary, and it would achieve maximum intimidation for opposing players and fans.
Stay tuned: In the next issue of RAWK&RULE, we'll discuss the awesome power of intimidation with eye black....
I noticed this article over at thebiglead.com, noticed it was written by tyduffy, and figured it would be a hatchet job. Good to know I wasn't disappointed.
The premise is that Birkett should not have been reprimanded for his "snarky" comment regarding Dorsey in the chat a couple of days ago. Now, without rehashing what others have said, I'll remind people that we are talking about a grown man on one side, with a captive audience and the ability to have his voice heard across a broad range of mediums, and a teenager who was just accepted to the University of Michigan to play football but with some skeletons in his closet. Those skeletons were dealt with by the legal system and his record is officially clean, but in the court of public opinion he certainly has a stained and imperfect reputation.
I think what people like tyduffy forget is that we are still talking about teenagers when we rail against recruits, and while this is not necessarily the case with Dorsey, oftentimes they come from less-than-ideal backgrounds both socially and economically. For some reason, we expect these young boys to act like professional athletes, scholars, and good citizens, completely ignoring the fact that many of their peers could barely qualify in one or two of these categories when they step onto campuses across America.
15- and 16-year-olds make mistakes all the time, breaking laws and social norms in ways that are perplexing to the 20, 30, 40, and 50-somethings that love to pass judgment on them. That doesn't mean we should condone delinquency in minors, but we should also not brand them as incurable and cast them off forever. To do so would be an unnecessary overreaction to the maturation process that everyone has gone through in their lives and needlessly imposing draconian punishment on relatively minor offenses; the proverbial "throwing out the baby with the bath water."
It is clear that Demar Dorsey was involved in some activities that, at best immature and at worst criminal. But the legal system took stock of these offenses and meted out a punishment (community service and rehabilitation) it felt was appropriate. Now if you have an issue with the punishment, take it up with the Florida legal system, but don't impugn Dorsey's character simply because he complied with their orders.
Tyduffy counters that while the legal system may be content, society at large should not be some quick to accept Dorsey back:
If someone pled down from convictions in two sexual assault cases and was acquitted at trial in a third, he doesn’t deserve to be treated as upstanding when he applies to coach the girls’ soccer team. AnnArbor.com acting as though he’s wholly innocent is laughable.
Now, beyond getting into the extremely tenuous and misguided logic applied here (comparing a potential rapist to a 17-year-old who stole some electronics), the author clearly is of the opinion that Dorsey is guilty of greater offenses than he admitted to, and that he escaped his "proper" punishment. Now, as an equal citizen under law, men like Tyduffy and Birkett is entitled to their opinions; but so is Rich Rodriguez, the UM athletic department, the admissions office, and everyone else who signed off on Dorsey being admitted to UM. Society allows you to be unhappy, but it doesn't mean everyone else has to share in your unhappiness.
But the author goes on to argue the rather obvious:
Demar Dorsey is receiving a second chance, because he’s a talented football player. As a mere student, that marred past most likely would have kept him from being admitted. Apparently, improving the football team trumps kids feeling safe with their laptops in the dorms.
Yes, Demar Dorsey received a second chance because he is good at football. And guess what - this favortism has been going on since the beginning of organized sports, and will continue well after Demar Dorsey leaves UM. Of course, if both his parents were alums, he was a valedictorian from a disadvantage region, he penned a popular or critically-lauded short story, or was a genius programmer, perhaps his transgressions would also have been overlooked. We have no idea how often such "exceptions" are made for other students because those stories aren't bandied about on talk radio, dragged out in excruciating detail by talking heads on ESPN, or haphazardly vilified by largely anonymous bloggers. They occur behind closed doors and in dusky admissions offices across America, and those individuals go on with their lives. Some surely fall into recidivism, but others learn from their mistakes and become upstanding members of society. They are given second chances because someone, somewhere decides that just because you make a mistake when you were 17 shouldn't define who you are for the rest of your life.
Now this post has gone on for far longer than I expected, so I'll be brief - Birkett's comment probably wasn't meant to be as offensive as it appeared, but it was also immature and unnecessary. This was acknowledged, and both sides would be best served to move on. But as for authors like Tyduffy who demand their pound of flesh from everyone who seems to have "beaten" the system, remember that just because you choose not to give someone the benefit of the doubt doesn't mean they shouldn't be given a second chance to prove you wrong.
I am writing to bring the Good News to the Michigan faithful.....
March 12, 2010 was the start of the new modern era of our storied history.
We have finally been spawned again, by a great OSU man..... In 1968, an OSU coach came to us one day from the out-of-the-blue, revitalized our program and paved the way for three decades of excellence.
Last Friday, we have been spawned again, this time out-of-the-sky, in the form of a last second three point gift from the best player in the nation OSU Evan Turner. Note the relevance and irony of it.... since then...we've crushed MSU in East Lansing TWICE, and our Basketball program has been knocked out of its lethargistic state going forward. Notice even the very little things like getting warmer vibes from Ziegler and Hart.
Shed no tears, for that this was the only way it could happen, with both of our coaches from W.Va, so it had to come from a gift from the sky, and to those of you still wallowing in the heartache of that shot, don't. BE THANKFUL AND REJOICE.
Turner's Gift was both Capitulation and Rebirth.
Some signs will be quite evident going forward, most especially ...we will see Coach Rodriguez have his "Collateral"-film moment, when the football team finally morphs from a patsy to a bad-ass like Jamie Foxx did in the bar with a gun to his head, against all odds. We will see the return of the #1 jersey, earned by a very worthy wide receiver. We will also see the basketball program start to attract the top recruits in the nation and a fixture at the top. We will see Coach Beilein land several big players. We may even see a Fab-Five 2.0 of sorts, new and improved. But most of all, we will see the nation's most storied program which is ours, return to true prominence.
There have been a lot of requests for this to become a recurring feature (as it was on Varsity Blue), so I'll post the rankings weekly in the diaries, and frontpage it occasionally. The team rankings are very rough estimates until the services have released more full individual grades. Forgive me for being a day late this week, as I'm having all sorts of internet troubles at home.
Action since last rankings:
3-8-10 Minnesota gains commitment from James Farrow.
3-15-10 Ohio State gains commitment from Chris Carter (Not That Cris Carter)
|Big Ten Recruiting Class Rankings|
|Rank||School||# of Commits||Rivals 250||Scout Average||ESPN 150|
I'll only make charts for the teams that currently have commits. Rivals 250 means that a given prospect is on the Rivals 250 to Watch, and ESPN 150 means that a prospect is on the Watch List for the ESPNU 150. Scout ratings are on the 5-star scale.
|#1 Ohio State - 3 Commits|
The Buckeyes start their recruiting class with a couple bigtime defensive ends, and add an offensive lineman this week.
|#2 Minnesota - 2 Commits|
Minnesota has a solid beginning - for now.
|#3 Michigan State - 2 Commits|
The state's top prospect picks the Spartans.
|#4 Michigan - 3 Commits|
Michigan's first three prospects are not super-heralded at this point.
|#5 Illinois - 1 Commit|
Illinois gets a big in-stater to start off the class.
|#6 Northwestern - 1 Commit|
Northwestern holds steady with one prospect.
I'll get to the actual game recaps in a moment, but there are a couple other things I wanted to talk about before getting to the "actual events."
First, a mailbag question from Josh:
I was wondering if on the next Michigan lacrosse diary update if you could cover Michigan being a member of the CCLA. I mean they dominate everyone in the conference by almost 10 goals every game and have won 9 of the last 11 CCLA titles. Their last loss, to a CCLA member, came against Michigan State in April of 2006. I just do not see any advantage for Michigan to be a part of a conference that provides little competition to the team.
Is there a rule for the MCLA that states members need to be a part of a conference, or can members be Independent. I would imagine if members could be Independent then Michigan could actually make a schedule that includes many of the CCLA teams but they could also include a tougher caliber of opponent rather than playing Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan. Maybe make an East Coast road trip and play more PCLL teams, much like the West Coast trip every year. This trip could include teams such as Boston College, Northeastern, and New Hampshire. Another possibility could be to play a combination of road and home games with teams from the GRLC, such as Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa (through some Big Ten rivals in there). Any insight on this topic would be greatly appreciated.
I'm not sure whether the MCLA has a rule requiring teams to be in a conference. There are no independent teams competing now, and to the best of my knowledge there never has been. I believe the MCLA is more of a parent organization to the conferences, so it doesn't seem feasible. As for your question as it specifically relates to Michigan, the issue is not "can they?" but rather one of "would they want to?" I think the answer in this situation has to be "no."
What would Michigan's motivations be for leaving the conference? Though the CCLA isn't the toughest conference in the league (prior to Michigan's National Championship in 2008, every MCLA Champion had hailed from the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Conference or the West Coast Lacrosse League), it hasn't prevented Michigan from paying some tough schedules in the past few years. They had the #11 Strength of Schedule in 2008, the 3rd toughest schedule last year, and are on pace for the #2 SOS mark this year, all per LaxPower. In fact, one of the biggest aspect holding them back has been that they can't schedule themselves. Though they play in a conference that has a reputation of being "soft," that hasn't exactly held the Wolverines back come tournament time in the past couple years.
The other huge factor in this equation is the money. Playing fewer CCLA teams would mean that Michigan has to schedule more long road trips each season, and entice more big-name opponents to travel to Ann Arbor. As a club program (supported by player dues), the finances simply don't make sense, especially for the limited benefit they would get out of it. I think the program is much more concerned with making a push to earn Varsity status at Michigan than worrying about a slight bump in schedule difficulty.
As far as scheduling more Big Ten conference teams, that's something I would like to see, but the Wolverines play Michigan State every year, and have managed to play a Big Ten squad from the GRLC in recent years (Illinois for the past two season, Purdue coming up in April). A Big Ten Lacrosse Conference could be cool, but I doubt the Big Ten would sponsor a club league, so it would have to be far, far down the road for an eventual varsity program.
Speaking of a potential varsity program... Michigan Lacrosse is trying to make a push for varsity status (news at 11!), but it seems as though things have progressed more this time around than they had in past years. My personal speculation on this is that Bill Martin, in his drive to keep the Athletic Department financially viable, was one of the key opponents to adding more varsity sports. Michigan men's soccer coach Steve Burns was one of the few coaches who managed to successfully push for varsity status under Martin's watch. Coach Paul and other lacrosse supporters have undoubtedly talked to Burns about his experience.
The closer things get to a potential tipping point, the more fan support can help the effort reach a new level. Showing the Athletic Department that you're interested in seeing a varsity lacrosse team at Michigan can be as simple as commenting on these posts (or crafting your own!). Once lacrosse gains AD support for varsity status, things have the potential to move very quickly, as there are already plans in the works for a state-of-the-art lacrosse facility that would be among the best in the nation - at any level - and is merely waiting for support from donors who are confident in a D-1 team's coming into existence at Michigan. Video tour:
As I've made no secret in the past, I'm a strong supporter of a varsity lacrosse program at Michigan, and I'm confident it's something we'll see in the not-too-distant future.
The money (as always) will be a key factor here, but it will be tough for the Athletic Department to continue denying a consistently-excellent program the opportunity to play at the highest level. Remaining Title IX-compliant could be an issue, but the women's club lacrosse team and the women's synchronized skating and synchronized swimming teams also have club-varsity status, and if the dollars work out properly, a smooth transition is not only possible but likely. I talked a little about scholarship numbers in the comments of my last lacrosse post, so check that out if you're interested.
The Wolverines took on a pair of opponents this weekend, with Friday bringing the home opener against Simon Fraser University, and Saturday the conference opener at Eastern Michigan. Let's start with the home opener, in which the Wolverines wore all-new greay uniforms, with maize and blue accents.
Though the Clansmen(!) were ranked #13 coming into the game, Michigan made easy work of SFU, scoring the first seven goals of the contest on the way to a 22-10 rout. Though they allowed a couple scoring runs here and there, the early lead and the confidence it brought (on top of, like, being the better team) were too much for the opponent to overcome. BONUS video to the right of Michigan's 3rd goal, scored by Kevin Zorovich. Apologies for the lack of zoom, but that's life shooting video on a cell phone.
Trevor Yealy led the team with five goals, while Clark McIntyre and Jordan Kirshner each netted a hat trick. As per always, Michigan's ride was impressive, holding Simon Fraser to 16 successful clears on 33 attempts, and David Reinhard owned the faceoff X, winning 22 of 29 (75.86%) draws, and also notching his first goal of the year.
Mark Stone and Andrew Fowler split time in the cage, with Stone getting the start and the win.
Unfortunately, I was unable to attend Sunday's game, since the time was moved up by three hours and I was traveling in from out of town. Howeva, based on last year's game against the Eagles, I can definitively say one thing: they aren't a very good team, and the 19-2 final score yesterday speaks to that.
We'll start with the goalies, who often don't get a big enough share of the publicity. Well, in this game, they probably don't need it, as Mark Stone and Andrew Fowler each played a quarter - and neither faced a single shot(!!). Freshman Conor McGee played the second half, allowing two goals and making a save. I assume since he didn't get into this game that McGee's classmate Cy Adbelnour will redshirt the 2010 campaign.
In the scoring department, Clark McIntyre paced the team with five goals, and Trevor Yealy put in four of his own. After David Reinhard and Edward Ernst dominated faceoffs to start the game, freshman Harrison Silver got to try his hand at the X, winning 5 of 9 faceoffs.
One thing I've noticed thus far this year is that the offense has been much less Yealy-centric than last year's effort. That's likely a combination of the blowouts (at east over the last two games) that Michigan has been inflicting on teams, along with opponents gameplanning to not let the prolific junior beat them by himself. Either way, more balanced scoring throughout the team will certainly help make the offense more potent when they need it most.
Michigan has just one game next weekend, as they'll travel to Dallas, Texas to take on 8th-ranked Oregon in the Patriot Cup. The game will take place at 7PM Saturday in Ford Stadium on the campus of SMU.
The Duks are 6-0 on the year, with victories over #20 Cal, Stanford, Montana, #27 Santa Clara, Washington, and #34 Portland State. They are paced in scoring by Senior Attack Justin Blackmore and Redshirt Sophomore Attack Max Schlesinger, who have posted identical 12-goal, 5-assist statlines in the first six contests. The Ducks also get production from Junior Middie Kevin Clark and Sophomore Attack Sean Silverstein, who are both over two points per game as well. For comparison's sake, Michigan has one player over four points/game, another three notching greater than three points/game, and six total over two points/game.
In the net, Oregon has played three different goalies, with junior Nick Johnston getting the most time, playing in five games while posting a .685 save percentage and 3.4 goals against per game. He hasn't faced an offense like Michigan's, however, and it will be interesting to see how he holds up against the increased pressure.
The official Michigan Lacrosse Twitter page (@UmichLacrosse) will be providing scoring updates for those who want to follow live, and fans in the DFW area can head out to SMU for a full day of lacrosse.
TOM: What were you expecting to get out of this visit?
CHRIS: I was really just expecting a tour, to see the facilities, and everything. I wasn’t expecting a lot, but it was a lot more than that. I got to see the academic side more, which I hadn’t seen yet. The competitions with the players were fun, too.
TOM: How did the events go? Was it pretty relaxed?
CHRIS: Yeah, it was a lot of fun. The players obviously like competing with each other. We go to watch them compete in a bunch of different events, so it was pretty cool. I was impressed; they all seemed really strong and really fast. When they ran the 40 yard dash, it was pretty close.
TOM: Besides the events, did you get a chance to talk with the coaches?
CHRIS: I stayed overnight with my brother, so I got to see a little more. My parents left at night, but we all got a chance to ask the coaches some questions and talk with them. Before my parents left, coach Rodriguez talked to us for a while. He was just talking about how good of a school Michigan is, and where they’re at with the football program. My parents were previously Ohio State fans, but they were very impressed with everything. They came away the same way I did, and really liked everything they saw.
TOM: What else did Coach Rodriguez talk to you about?
CHRIS: We didn’t really talk about the depth chart, or anything like that. We both just wanted to get to know each other better, and build a relationship more. It was good to just talk with him. Coach Rodriguez just seems like a normal guy who happens to be good at coaching football. It’s weird, he’s the head coach, and I was just standing there talking to him. It was good.
TOM: After this visit where are you headed next, and what’s your timeline look like?
CHRIS: I’m going to Notre Dame’s junior day next weekend, and I might go to some other spring practices. I haven’t really planned a lot out yet. I don’t have a time line, it’s just going to be when I feel it’s right. I haven’t come up with a top list, because I haven’t seen enough schools, but my interest in Michigan is very high. I really like what they have to offer.