in town for free camps
I just got off the phone with DeAnthony Arnett's brother, Ralph, who helps DeAnthony with his recruitment. They have a solid group of schools that make up his top six, and there will only be one school that could be added.
The top six is (in no order), USC, Cal, Oklahoma, MSU, Tennessee, and Iowa. The wildcard that could be thrown in, if they offer, is Miami.
Apparently, the recent quarterback commit to Miami, Teddy Bridgewater, really likes DeAnthony, and wants him at Miami. The only reason Miami hasn't offered yet is because their recruiting coordinator left, and coach Shannon never got to finish watching his film. It seems like they might be a big player, if the offer comes.
Ralph told me his take on everything with Michigan and DeAnthony is that at the end of the day, he has to do what's best for him, and he doesn't feel that offense will get him to the next level. He dropped Notre Dame for the same reasons, and said the only spread he would want to play in is Oklahoma's. It has nothing to do with the coaches at Michigan, who they think very highly of, or any other reason. Both Ralph and DeAnthony think that Rich Rod will have a lot of success at Michigan, it's just not the place for him to be a big time receiver, like he wants to be.
England’s superiority complex is larger than their beer gut.
After my knee-jerk Starting XI, and my Post US-Turkey Starting XI, it is time for a final look at my proposed lineup for this Saturday. Nothing really changed for me as the game itself was not very telling with both teams playing not to get hurt and adjusting to the altitude and weather.
Cherundolo DeMerit Onyewu Bocanegra
Donovan Edu Bradley Dempsey
top subs, Torres, Holden, Goodson
Still Findley up top? Yes, still Findley up top. Dempsey is much more effective on the wing mid (as is Donovan) and having the speed forward paired with a holding forward is a very lethal combination. Dempsey and Donovan on the wings makes the opposing fullbacks conscious about their runs down the flanks which, in turn, opens up the middle of field for Altidore to check into and Findley to make through runs behind. This causes havoc for the defense and opens seems for players to run through unmarked. Dempsey is a better forward than Findley. Buddle is a better forward than Findley. Donovan is a better forward than Findley. Heck, Gomez may be a better forward than Findley. However, Findley is the only one of that group that has the speed to play the counterpart to Altidore. Even though he didn't capitalize, he showed how effective it is and should have easily had at least 2 goals because of it. On a different day with a nicer pitch, maybe he nets both of those.
Neither Australia or the US seemed to care much about this game so to get a 3-1 result is mildly encouraging with Buddle playing the Altidore role very well. It is very likely that we see significant changes in the lineup between the England and Slovenia games due to their difference in both skill and style of play. The most largely contested point here is going to be Findley and I firmly believe he will be on the field at kickoff Saturday and relieved around the 70 minute mark with the score determining who comes on.
In a reversal of roles for most sports, the United States is the underdog in this match and we will have the world on our side. I hate England. I think we pull this one off 2-1 and soccer takes over the country forever. Well, maybe not the last part.
If you're a smoker, plan to hold off for a few hours whenever you come to a Michigan Football game this year:
Michigan Stadium to go smoke-free in 2010 season
The University of Michigan Athletic Department will make Michigan Stadium a smoke-free zone when the 2010 season opens against Connecticut Sept. 4.
"We have allowed individuals to smoke on the concourse in the past but with the new renovations and the university's commitment to become a smoke-free campus in 2011, we decided it was in the best interest of everyone to institute the change now," said U-M Director of Athletics Dave Brandon. "The move will ensure a healthier environment for all fans attending Wolverine football games."
Smoking already was not permitted inside Michigan Stadium's seated-bowl area. Now the smoke-free environment will extend to everything inside the gates of the Big House.
In April of 2009, The University of Michigan announced its commitment to become a smoke-free environment in July 2011. The change aligns perfectly with the institution’s goal to improve the health of the U-M community. Since the change was announced, thousands of students, faculty and staff have provided feedback regarding the roll out of the plan to ensure it occurs in a thoughtful, inclusive and respectful manner.
Subcommittees which include smokers, former smokers and never-smokers are carefully considering the implications for student life, faculty and staff, grounds and facilities, and visitors to the University.
The idea to have the university go entirely smoke-free began with student complaints, and it is one more step along a path set in the 1980s, noted Robert Winfield, M.D., the university’s chief health officer and co-chair of the Smoke-free Initiative committee along with Kenneth Warner, dean of the School of Public Health. In 1987, the university adopted a ban on smoking in buildings, (with exceptions for some residence halls) and in university vehicles. In 1998, the U-M Health System prohibited smoking on its grounds and in public spaces, and in 2003, the student-led Residence Halls Association eliminated smoking from all resident halls.
The U-M will join the University of Iowa and Indiana University, both of which implemented their smoke-free campuses in 2008. In all, more than 260 campuses in the United States and elsewhere have gone smoke-free.
Not surprising, to say the least. Also, probably a welcome change for some (most?).
Action since last rankings:
6-1-10 Purdue gains commitment from Russell Bellomy.
6-3-10 Ohio State gains commitment from Braxton Miller.
6-4-10 Minnesota gains commitment from Jephete Matilus.
6-5-10 Ohio State gains commitment from Evan Spencer. Illinois gains commitment from Marquise Mosley.
|Big Ten+ Recruiting Class Rankings|
|Rank||School||# Commits||Rivals Avg||Scout Avg||ESPN Avg|
Rivals, Scout, and ESPN all have their Top-X (X is 250, 300, and 150, respectively) lists released now. In the tables, Rivals' and Scout's rankings are on the 5-star scale (unranked = 1-star), and ESPN's will now be shown as their numerical rating (unranked = 45).
|#1 Ohio State - 13 Commits|
Buckeyes pick up a huge (though expected) commitment in QB Braxton Miller, and also add legacy WR Evan Spencer.
|#2 Notre Dame - 9 Commits|
No change for ND. The Rivals250 was not nearly as kind to them as was the Watchlist.
|#3 Michigan - 5 Commits|
Nothing new for Michigan. Will their Elite camp net them a commit?
|#4 Michigan State - 5 Commits|
The Spartans could move up once ESPN ranks Jones and Miller.
|#5 Indiana - 8 Commits|
The Hoosiers already have a 4-star Rivals prospect in Zack Shaw.
|#6 Wisconsin - 4 Commits|
Wisconsin can look for a big move up once more complete rankings come out.
|#7 Iowa - 3 Commits|
The Hawkeyes are right on Wisconsin's heels.
|#8 Purdue - 2 Commits|
Signal-caller Russell Bellomy pledges to Purdue, bolting them up the rankings.
|#9 Northwestern - 2 Commits|
No change, though ESPN's rankings helped them pass Minnesota.
|#10 Minnesota - 3 Commits|
Gophers pick up improbably-named Jephete Matilus.
|#11 Illinois - 3 Commits|
Marquise Mosley picks the Illini.
|#12 Penn State - 1 Commit|
Still ho-hum for PSU.
Pat Flavin is a 6-foot-7, 260-pound offensive tackle prospect from Benet Academy in Illinois. He was at Michigan's one day camp today working out, and trying to earn an offer from the Wolverines. I caught up with him once he took off, here's what he had to say.
TOM: Tell me about the day, how did it go?
PAT: I was a little dehydrated in the beginning, I've been working out a lot lately, but haven't really done a lot of actual football stuff. The morning was kind of shaking the rust off for me, and getting myself situated. Once I get everything under control, I performed a lot better. There were two sessions; the morning was more agility and run blocking stuff. I've done most of that before, but Coach Frey gave us great perspective on everything, and taught us a lot. The second session was mostly pass set. The one thing I need to work on, and that they were helping me with, is my punch, so we worked on that a lot. I worked on the left tackle spot mostly, but also worked some in the guard position.
TOM: You mention Coach Frey helping out, what is your relationship with him like?
PAT: I really like Coach Frey. I first met him in December, and then he came to my school in May. He's a really good guy, he's kind of younger, so he relates really well to everyone. I like his attitude, and how he gets everyone to work.
TOM: Getting to know him as a person, is different than him as a coach. Did this give you a better perspective of how he'd coach you at Michigan?
PAT: Definitely. That was the one thing I was anxious to see, and the best part for me. I got to see how he coaches, and what kind of style he uses. I really like his approach, and the way he teaches. He doesn't yell too much, and gets you going positively.
TOM: Were there any other athletes out there that impressed you, or that you noticed?
PAT: I don't really remember names that well, but yeah there were a lot of good players out there. I've seen the guys from Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio because they're local, too. There was a guy from Chicago, Michael Rouse (EDIT:TOM: Keep an eye on him</edit>Homewood Flossmoor, 6'4, 315 lb. DT). Donte Phillips (DT, Wisconsin) did really well, too. He's quick off the edge. There were a ton of good defensive ends there. It was great to go up against some guys like that.
TOM: Where does Michigan stand with you right now, and what did the coaches say about what's next for you?
PAT: They videotaped everyone, so they said they're going to go back and watch the film, then they'll go from there with handing out offers. I guess I should know in a couple days. This was my third time up to Michigan, though. They have the best facilities of anywhere I've been, The indoor facilities, the weight room, the Big house, everything is just awesome. I don't have a list yet, but Michigan would definitely be right up there. I'm hoping they offer me, and I am very high on them. I know the coaches are going to do a great job, and they're going to start taking off soon.
TOM: When do you want to start narrowing a list down then?
PAT: I'll probably narrow it down at the end of June. I'm still waiting to hear from some schools, like I am with Michigan. I'm hoping I get offers from Notre Dame and Miami. I really like UCLA and Cal. It's a different culture out there in the Pac 10, so that would be pretty cool. Illinois is also a school, being in my home state, that grabs my attention. I have a lot of familiarity there, so they would be in there. Once the end of June comes around, I should know more.
There have been plenty of rumors and guesses about Big Ten expansion, ever since commissioner Jim Delaney announced that the conference was studying the issue. But this week offered the first concrete clues from school officials who are actually in the position to know.
First was the rumor first floated on the University of Texas rivals.com site, that the Pac 10 was prepared to offer invitations to Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Colorado. The Colorado athletic director later said that he believed the report was true.
Second was an email from Ohio State University president Gordon Gee, in which he encouraged Delaney to get in touch with Texas president Bill Powers, “who would welcome a call to say they have a ‘Tech’ problem.” The email was among several obtained by the Columbus Dispatch in a freedom-of-information request, and Gee acknowledged it was genuine.
Gee wouldn't say what he meant by a “‘Tech’ problem,” and several newspapers were at a loss to explain it, but it is not difficult to figure out. ‘Tech’ clearly refers to Texas Tech, the “little sister” of three Texas state schools in the Big XII—Texas and Texas A&M being the other two. Naturally, all three play each other in football every year.
It is likely that wherever Texas goes, A&M will go with it. The Longhorns have played A&M in football every year since 1915. They've also played Oklahoma nearly every year since 1902 (they skipped a few seasons in the early party of the 20th century). It is highly doubtful that Texas would want to give up either rivalry. But it is equally doubtful that the Longhorns would agree to play in another conference, while being locked into two annual rivalry games with BCS-level opponents. If the Longhorns and the Aggies move together, presumably that would leave the Sooners as their only annually contested non-conference rivalry.
The Texas–Texas Tech rivalry does not have the same pedigree as the others. The two schools have played annually only since 1960. It is also a lopsided rivalry, with the Longhorns winning nearly 75 percent of the time.
So, what is the “‘Tech’ problem”? If Texas and Texas A&M join the Big Ten, it would probably spell the end of the Bix XII as we have known it. The more prominent football schools in the conference would not have trouble finding homes elsewhere. Nebraska and Missouri, for instance, could very well join the Big Ten, as well; the Pac Ten would probably take Oklahoma and Colorado. But “little sister” Tech would likely find itself in a non-BCS league, like Conference USA. That wouldn't sit well with Texas politicians, especially if Tech had the double blow of losing its annual rivalry games with both the Longhorns and the Aggies.
Here, then, is the significance of the Pac Ten's allegedly forthcoming invitation to six schools, including Texas Tech and Oklahoma State, which has a similar “little sister” status in its home state. It's a scenario that would make Texas and Oklahoma politicians smile, as in any other plausible expansion scenario, both would be at risk of finding themselves in lesser conferences. But would the notoriously conservative Pac Ten, which treasures its academic reputation and requires unanimous agreement to add a new member, really welcome all six of these institutions? Several of them, particularly Texas Tech and Oklahoma State, are not in the same academic league as the rest of the Pac Ten.
But if the Big Ten is willing to at least entertain adding Texas and Texas A&M, both of which are in the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU), it would under no circumstances accept Texas Tech, which is not. That, in a nutshell, is Bill Powers’s “‘Tech’ problem.”
Most schools claim publicly they are loyal to the conference they are in—whatever they may be saying behind the scenes. But when the University of Texas says it is committed to the Big XII, they just might mean it. The Longhorns have been toying with the idea of creating their own cable television network. They are, perhaps, the only school in the nation that could do this. With their own network, plus the disproportionate share of Big XII television revenue that they already get, the Longhorns would be sitting pretty. But if the Big Ten nabs Nebraska and Missouri, and Colorado goes to the Pac Ten (with or without Oklahoma), Big XII membership might be a lot less attractive.
Among the three conferences the Longhorns could plausibly join, the Big Ten is the most attractive. The average Big Ten school is 1,022 miles from Austin, whereas the average Pac Ten school is 1,377 miles away. Six Pac ten schools are farther than any in the Big Ten. Except for Penn State, every Big Ten school is under 1,200 miles from Austin. Except for the two Arizona schools, every Pac Ten institution is over 1,200 miles and two time zones away. While the SEC might be closer geographically for the Longhorns, the SEC does not have the academic reputation of either the Big Ten or the Pac Ten.
I think there is very little doubt that Texas is the big fish that Jim Delaney and Gordon Gee would love to hook. Whether they can depends on how big a “problem” the “‘Tech’ problem” really is.