this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
What a dump…
Michigan took it on the chin this weekend, dropping two games to open the series at Minnesota, but they battled back to win a close game three and keep pace with the Big Ten Joneses. Recaps, thoughts, and the opening stanza to a MICHIGAN STATE HATE mid-week series after the jump. And no, no pretty pictures as baseball can't be pretty in the Metrodome.
Just a little bit of change since last week, but ESPN did tweak their ratings a bit. Action since last rankings:
5-3-10 Iowa gains commitment from Austin Blythe.
Now that Iowa has jumped into the fray, Penn State and Purdue are the only Big Ten (plus Notre Dame) programs that don't have any commitments.
|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 - 10 Commits|
ESPN now deems DE Chase Farris worthy of being on the ESPN150 watch list.
|#2 Notre Dame - 9 Commits|
Nothing new for the Irish.
|#3 Michigan - 4 Commits|
Brennen Beyer goes back on the ESPN150 watchlist.
|#4 Michigan State - 5 Commits|
|#5 Indiana - 8 Commits|
Teams are going to start passing the Hoosiers once they get more commits.
|#6 Minnesota - 2 Commits|
ESPN finally acknowledges that Calvin Phillips isn't committed to the Gophers (which he hasn't been for at least a couple months now).
|#7 Wisconsin - 2 Commits|
No change for Wisconsin.
|#8 Iowa - 3 Commits|
Iowa picks up a decent offensive lineman. They're right on the heels of Minnesota and Wisconsin, passing Northwestern and Illinois.
|#9 Northwestern - 2 Commits|
Both of NU's commits are unranked to the services.
|#10 Illinois - 2 Commits|
Still just two for the Illini.
This is a great time to stop for a moment and think about the legacy we are passing on to our children. Those of us that grew up listening to Tiger's baseball games late into summer evenings with our fathers and grandfathers are feeling a little like graduating seniors right now. In part celebrating the memories of a cherished part of our lives, and in part mourning the end of an era. I was never on the field for a single pitch of major league baseball. I have never felt the crack of the bat nor the grass in the outfield as I dove for a catch. Instead, my experience was that of a spectator in the bleachers at Tiger's stadium with my dad and uncles and brother. I remember hot dogs and wondering why everyone was booing Lou Whitaker. I remember keeping score in a program and how green the grass looked in comparison to the blue steel of the stadium. I also remember sitting in the yard by the lake and listening to Erie as the chicken cooked on the grill.
This year I took my two boys (5 and 3) to the Michigan spring game. It was their first trip to the big house and I was way more excited than they were. I thought of my first trip to a spring game and how Jim Harbaugh high fived us on the field after the game and gave his wristbands to my cousin. I remember crisp saturday mornings that fall playing football un the leaves in our yard and pretending I was Harbaugh. I cheered for him not because I remembered following him through recruiting or because I thought that he was a better pro style QB than his predecessor. I cheered for him because he wore a Michigan helmet and that was who my dad rooted for.
However this season goes, winning record or not, I hope that I will cheer proudly for my alma mater and my children will be able to look back when they are adults with their own children and not have their memories tarnished by complaining about coaches and yelling at 18 year old quarterbacks. I hope they remember loving football saturdays, maybe a little more when we won, but loving them even when we lost. I am quickly realizing that the time I get to spend with my kids and my grandfather and dad are fleeting and I would rather spend them cheering our team than complaining about it.
Michigan (28-15, 9-6)
Minnesota (20-26, 8-7)
Friday 6:35pm CDT, Metrodome, Minneapolis, MN
|Eric Katzman (4-1, 4.03 ERA)||vs||Seth Rosin (4-4, 4.43 ERA)|
|Stats (Minn)||Audio (Minn, $)|
|Notes: Michigan is 84-84 all time, Last year: 1-2 series loss.|
Saturday 2:05 CDT, Metrodome, Minneapolis, MN
|TBA||vs||TJ Oakes (3-3, 4.19 ERA)|
|Notes: Audio available through Friday's link ($9/month).|
Sunday 1:05pm CDT, Metrodome, Minneapolis, MN
|TBA||vs||Phil Isaksson (4-0, 3.16 ERA)|
|Notes: Isaksson is a LHP|
Michigan takes its first Big Ten road trip in three weeks, traveling to Minnesota for what is going to be yet another huge series in terms of the conference standings. The Gophers had a truly rough start to the year, but they currently sit tied for third place, only a game behind Michigan. They also lead the Big Ten in ERA and third in batting during conference games. They're getting hot when it counts, and Michigan looks to cool them off.
Q&A with the Daily Gopher, weather, thoughts, and predictions after the jump:
Curtric "Spiffy" Evans is a wide receiver prospect out of Chaminade Madonna High School in Florida. Spiffy, one of the best WR/DB prospects in the state, recently picked up an offer from Michigan. He sounds pretty excited about it. First highlight video, then what he had to say about Michigan.
TOM: I have to start by asking how you got your nickname. Where does that come from?
SPIFFY: My granddad gave it to me when I was about four years old. I grew up in Alabama, and we used to play in the dirt and everything. He said that I would play in it, but I would always want to come inside and take a bath, I always wanted to be clean. So he just started saying I was spiffy, and it stuck.
TOM: You grew up in Alabama, are you a fan of the university?
SPIFFY: Yeah, I’m a big fan of Alabama. That’s who I watched growing up. If they offer, it’s not like they’ll be in the lead, though. For me, being a fan of somewhere, and spending the next four years of my life is two different things. So, that’s not something I’m thinking.
TOM: When did Michigan offer you?
SPIFFY: They offered me last week, Tuesday I think. I went to our football office, and the letter was there for me with the offer. I tried to call the coaches at Michigan, but I think they’re all traveling right now. One of them is supposed to come by our school soon. They’re coming to see Jonathan Aiken, Jerrard Randall, and me.
TOM: Since all of you have Michigan offers, have you talked about going to school together?
SPIFFY: Yeah, we’ve talked about it. If it happens, it would be nice, but it’s not something we’re really trying to do. All three of us are going to take an official to Michigan, though. We already decided that. We actually might try to drive up to Michigan for a summer camp, too. We’re going to Ohio State’s summer camp, so we might try to make it to Michigan’s too.
TOM: Your coach played for Jim Tressel at YSU, right? Does that have any bearing on your decision?
SPIFFY: No, Ohio State might have an edge for Jerrard, but not me. I was never really an Ohio State fan. Coach Tressel came to our school a couple weeks ago, but I don’t really see them in my future.
TOM: How many offers do you have right now, and who sticks out to you so far?
SPIFFY: I have around 14 or 15 offers so far. The ones that stand out are Vanderbilt, Florida, and USF because I’ve talked to them the most. Everyone’s even right now, since I’m still getting offers and everything. The Michigan one is one of the biggest offers, though. Their tradition they have, and them being one of the most notable schools in the NCAA is big.
TOM: Yeah, it sounds like Michigan might have a good chance then?
SPIFFY: Michigan has a real good chance. I need to get to know the coaches, and see how that progresses, and see the campus. But, yeah, they have a good chance. I actually talked to Denard Robinson a little while ago. I know him, I’m not really good friends with him, but he was telling me how great it is up there, and that was cool to hear from a Florida kid. I’m just going to see how everything progresses with them.
How do you follow Michigan sports? Or even pro-sports, not to be excepted. National broadcasts, no doubt, from national sportscasters. That's to be expected.
ESPN! The Big Ten Network! CBS and ABC! Where folks from New York and California give us the game's keys.
"The home team is very good," they say. "But of course, so is away." "We'll cheer for both, and neither too, because that's the professional way."
I pine for Ernie. I pine for Bob, with General Patton's horn. I want a homer broadcast, sure as I was born.
"Touchdown Meechigan!" and "It's LOOONG gone!" 'Truck drivers in Columbus', these phrases must live on.
Nearly vanished from history are the days of fire; vocal, coarse. Leading the battle chant, as a corps drummer leads the force.
No more into the pitch, to put down hated enemy. It's even handedness and sportsmanship, down with enmity.
Upon the field of battle dwells adversity. The voice of those in support can set emotion free. But from the tower overlooking, where once the cheers rang out, now come the latest west coast numbers, and the game gets nary a shout.
My blood runs blue, my fever maize; or blue and orange, on Tiger days. I crave my compatriots of days gone by, men who would gladly stab the enemy in the eye. Now national casters, appeasing national viewers, wouldn't even touch the skewer.
A lament for the local. A requiem for home support. It seems never again will the voices of the faithful ring out, broadcast, from the fort.