Niko Porikos grew up in an NTDP billet home. Cool story.
So, this summer, the local paper (Cincinnati Enquirer) will be following the recruitment of several local high school football players including 2010 DE Jibreel Black who, as Brian noted this week, has M in his current top 5.
Anyway, the writer kicks things off by writing an article touching on the impact of the hour to hour and sometimes minute to minute changes in a recruit's ranking by internet recruiting sites.
Interestingly, the article quotes a variety of sources including O$U/PSU patsy Bill Kurelic, the HS coach of 2010 QB Andrew Hendrix who just committed to ND over O$U this week, and Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly. I thought Kelly's comments at the end of the article were particularly interesting as I would guess they would mirror RR's sentiments on recruiting, at least to a certain degree, since a) Kelly also runs a run-heavy spread option and b) probably looks to fill roles rather than recruiting only 4 stars and higher.
I realize that, being Michigan, we are a little more used to getting our fair share of high profile, 4* or greater recruits, but maybe sometimes the staff sees something these "gurus" don't. Andy Staples at CNN/SI published an article a few months ago looking at the correlation of HS Rivals rankings and the 32 picks in Don Banks' mock NFL draft and found that the average Rivals ranking for those 32 players was 3.59 stars.
Well anyway, let's hope that all of this is crap, RR finds the right mix of role players and superstars so that in a couple of years the Wolverine Angel of Deathbacker descends upon a small cowtown in central Ohio and takes all of Columbus' firstborn leaving only plague and pestilence. Oh wait, they already have those. Have a good weekend.
Terrible time of year for sports so I felt like making some predictions about the big ten programs for the next five years.
Ohio State- Pryor never develops as a true passer; overall talent will make them average 9-10 wins a year. They will also lose two more bcs games. Come 2013 they will have become stale, just as we did towards the end of Lloyds career.
Penn State- they will remain Penn State, a big ten title 2 disappointing season, 2 good seasons.
Michigan state- I think they finally got someone who wants to stay in EL and can make them legit in dantonio. He’s really surprised me with recruiting, but until they can land players from across the country they are between 7-6 and 9-4 every year.
Illinois- Ron Zook will keep them loaded with talent and disappointment on the field. Great recruiter, not a great coach.
Wisconsin- Bielema is gone after this season when they go 5-7. If he’s able to make it to next season they’ll go 3-9. Hopefully they get it right with the next coach and can rebound.
Iowa- Ferentz is the best coach in the country. Nobody develops talent like he can, if he was at a major program it would be scary. They’ll make it to a bcs game in the next 5 years.
Northwestern – they should be pretty good under Fitzgerald. Averaging 8 wins a year.
Minnesota- why did they ever fire glen mason, he had them ranked regularly. Won’t be the case under Brewster, I don’t like him changing his offense after they had success with it last year. 2 bowls over the next 5 years
Purdue- they’ll really miss Joe tiller, could be a long time till they play in another bowl game.
Indiana- kicked their best player since randel el off the team. Should be a mid-tear MAC school for the foreseeable future.
Notre Dame- I don’t care what anyone thinks about how good they should be this year. Shamu will be gone after this season and Urban Meyer will take his “dream job”. Having the two pioneers of the spread offense coaching will make this a game that will affect the national title race every year.
Michigan- had to save the best for last; we shock the world and finish 11-2 this year. A national title, two rose bowls and two Jan. 1st bowl games over the next 5 years.
There is a pretty in depth breakdown of the UM team by position by Pete Fiutak on CFN. http://cfn.scout.com/2/872378.html
For whatever reason he seems to have tremendous confidence in our safeties, as he deems them the strength of our defense. he speaks of vlad emilien like hes already an all-american and brandon smith like he is about 27 minutes from becoming one. he also completely forgets about justin turner, and claims that there is zero depth behind booboo and warren.
other than those huge errors, the remainder of his analysis is relatively decent, and overall pretty positive. A lot of it is stuff we already know (Tate Forcier is the "player to watch" in 2009.) But he also makes an interesting point that Mark Ortmann is the key to Michigans success in 2009. and while that is a bit of an exageration, it is somewhat true. ortmann, or dorrestein depending on who wins the position at LT, could be either the achilles heal or the finishing piece to an otherwise solid o-line.
in case you dont actually feel like going through the article (it is somewhat long), here is the rating (1-10) that he assigns each position group:
qb - 6.5
rb - 8
wr - 7
OL - 7.5
DL - 6.5
LB - 7
DB - 7
Special Teams - 7
I personally think he was a bit generous with the QBs. I want to say that hes underrating our LBs and DBs, but... our DBs did really underperform last yr (Warren in particular) and there are a lot of question marks, in my mind, at safety. and as for our LBs, i think stevie brown will be pretty solid, but who knows for sure. and ezeh could revert back to his freshman yr glory, or he could continue down his road to bust. i think everyone is expecting good things from mouton though
Every conference home contest to be televised for third straight season
Park Ridge, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference office today released the game times and television plans for every home non-conference contest during the first three weeks of the 2009 football season along with some additional games later in the year. The 2009 pre-conference schedule will feature 25 home matchups televised by ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 or the Big Ten Network.
The 2009 Big Ten home football schedule begins with Indiana hosting a Thursday night contest against Eastern Kentucky on Sept. 3 on the Big Ten Network. The other 10 conference teams will begin their seasons on Saturday, Sept. 5.
In addition to the television schedule for the first three weeks, the conference also announced that the Miami (Ohio) at Northwestern game Oct. 10 will be played at 11 a.m. CT on ESPN, ESPN2 or the Big Ten Network. In addition, a pair of Illinois games were finalized as the Illini will host Michigan on Oct. 31 at 2:30 p.m. CT on ABC and conclude the regular season at home against Fresno State with an 11:30 a.m. CT kickoff on the Big Ten Network.
Remaining television selections beginning Sept. 26 and continuing through the end of the season will be made six or 12 days in advance of the game.
The Big Ten will hold the 2009 Football Media Days and 38th annual Kickoff Luncheon on Monday and Tuesday, July 27-28, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, featuring all 11 head coaches and some of the conference’s top returning players. The 114th season of Big Ten football kicks off beginning with every team in action on Sept. 3 or 5.
The complete list of television games already announced appears below.
Thursday, Sept. 3
Eastern Kentucky at Indiana, Big Ten Network, 8:00 p.m. ET
Saturday, Sept. 5
Missouri vs. ILLINOIS, ESPN, 2:40 p.m. CT
Northern Iowa at Iowa, Big Ten Network, 11:00 a.m. CT
Western Michigan at MICHIGAN, ABC, 3:30 p.m. ET
Montana State at MICHIGAN STATE, Big Ten Network, Noon ET
Towson at Northwestern, Big Ten Network, 11:00 a.m. CT
Navy at Ohio State, ESPN, Noon ET
Akron at Penn State, Big Ten Network, Noon ET
Toledo at Purdue, Big Ten Network, Noon ET
Northern Illinois at Wisconsin, Big Ten Network, 6:00 p.m. CT
Saturday, Sept. 12
Illinois State at Illinois, Big Ten Network, 6:00 p.m. CT
Western Michigan at INDIANA, Big Ten Network, Noon ET
Notre Dame at Michigan, ABC, 3:30 p.m. ET
Central Michigan at Michigan State, ESPN/ESPN2, Noon ET
Air Force at MINNESOTA, Big Ten Network, 6:00 p.m. CT
Eastern Michigan at NORTHWESTERN, Big Ten Network, 11:00 a.m. CT
Southern California at Ohio State, ESPN, 8:00 p.m. ET
Syracuse at Penn State, Big Ten Network, Noon ET
Fresno State at Wisconsin, ESPN/ESPN2, 11:00 a.m. CT
Saturday, Sept. 19
Arizona at Iowa, ABC, 2:30 p.m. CDT
Eastern Michigan at MICHIGAN, Big Ten Network, Noon ET
California at Minnesota, ESPN/ESPN2, 11:00 a.m. CT
Temple at PENN STATE, Big Ten Network, Noon ET
Northern Illinois at Purdue, Big Ten Network, Noon ET
Wofford at WISCONSIN, Big Ten Network, 11:00 a.m. CT
Saturday, Oct. 10
Miami (Ohio) at NORTHWESTERN, ESPN/ESPN2/Big Ten Network, 11 a.m. CT
Saturday, Oct. 31
MICHIGAN at ILLINOIS, ABC, 2:30 p.m. CT
Saturday, Dec. 5
Fresno State at ILLINOIS, Big Ten Network, 11:30 a.m. CT
I have seen a lot of things written about what to call the new hybrid defensive position that is being implemented this year. I have heard the term spinner used but this one just doesn't sound correct and reminds me of a small Filipino woman so it will never do. I have heard the term Deathbacker used which sounds kind of cool but it made me think of Darth Backer who was the probably the first apprentice of the Sith Lord but didn't work out so well and never made it into the movies. I wasn't sure what to call it but sitting down the other day to watch the '69 Michigan-OSU game I heard them using a term that I remembered. They had a similar type postion that was a "Rover" player that could pretty much line up where he chose to in order to gain an edge on pass coverage or what not. At Michigan they called him the Wolve-back or Wolve-man. I thought to myself that sounds much better to me and it also makes it more specific to Michigan. It brings a historical element back into play and makes sure it is unique to Michigan so I think this sounds cool.
Ok now what do the rest of you think, here is where I get mocked and my idea gets shot down., but have at it.
So I saw this article: http://collegefootball.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=957359&PT=4&PR=2, on yahoo sports the other day. I noticed a nice picture of Charlie the Hutt there, and Mr. Buchanan was praising the domers for not scheduling a 1-AA (yeah I'm old-fashioned) team. So at once I thought, Notre Dame might not play a 1-AA team, but with the exception of a few games, their schedule is pretty soft. So I did some research, and typed the following response to Mr. Buchanan:
"Ah yes, stalwart Notre Dame, never scheduling a 1-AA team. They only play such powerhouses as Purdue, San Diego State, Washington, Syracuse, and Stanford. Those teams were a combined 14-46. And true, they did play a couple of decent teams and regular power programs, the overall W-L of their opponents was 79-86. Number of wins against teams with a +.500 record: 1, at Navy. Had it not been for the patsies on their schedule, Notre Dame wouldn't have come close to making a bowl game. Just remember that the domers don't need to schedule 1-AA opponents because their schedule is already chock full of cupcakes."
On the submission form, it has one list their name, city, email, and, most importantly, favorite college football team. Even though I had a gut feeling that it might look bad and corrupt the message, I decided to be honest and type in Michigan.
I checked my email today, and this is what I saw:
"Didn’t Michigan play Miami, Ohio (2-10), Toledo (3-9), Purdue (4-8) and Illinois (5-7)? Those teams were a combined 14-34. And by the way, didn’t Notre Dame destroy Michigan? Just because the cupcakes are in conference play doesn’t mean they’re not cupcakes."
Strange! Not a word about Notre Dame's weak schedule! Nothing but him trying to distract me from my original argument. Never once did I say that Michigan played a strong schedule last year (though they did - SOS was top 30 by most metrics I believe, definitely all greater than ND). Yet all he talks about is Michigan. Yes, Michigan had a tough year last year, yes we lost to ND, and yes we played those teams. But how come he didn't list the rest of Michigan's schedule (like I did with ND). Let's see, there's Utah (13-0), ND (7-6), Wisconsin (7-6), Penn State (11-2), MSU (9-4), Minnesota(7-6), Northwestern (9-4), and OSU (10-3). That's 8 bowl teams combining for 73-31. Including the weaker third of Michigan's schedule, you have a total of 87-65 (ND's opponents played more games because ND played Hawaii in their bowl game). All in all, it's a cowardly and bitter response from someone who's original argument has had a hole poked in it.
I sent him back an email stating such:
"While you've stated true facts in your email, it doesnt change the fact that you've been lauding Notre Dame for scheduling "tough, non 1-AA" opponents. All you've done is point out weaknesses of my team over the past year, not address the faultiness of your own arguments. Instead of trying to come with clever ways to protect your own arguments, how about you address the facts?"
At this point in time, I'm not sure what to expect from him. Maybe he'll send a gracious apology back, realizing that he got caught in the act. Maybe he'll send more diversionary emails. Maybe he'll resort to ad hominem attacks. He probably won't respond at all (it's the easiest way to duck out of a difficult situation).
I'll be honest, I'm a Michigan homer. Previous diary posts will show that. However, I also present facts to back up what I say. And while I may have a conflict of interest when I criticize schools like ND and USC (see my last diary post), it doesn't mean that I am wrong.
What do you all think? Thoughts? Comments? Rebuttals?
Update! As of 12:40 PM (CST). A new email for Buchanan
New email is as follows:
"I did not just laud ND. I applaud any team – Tennessee, USC, UCLA, etc. that did not schedule schedule FCS opponents.
I just thought it was ironic that you were ripping ND for its weak schedule, while your team’s schedule wasn’t much different. And I think pointing that out is rather clever."
Notice in my original emails, I didn't say anything about the other teams. There's a reason for that - because for the most part he was right about those other teams. While I really dislike USC, I respect them for playing a tough non-conference schedule. Also notice that he still hasn't addressed the original point about Notre Dame.
Thus, my response:
It might be ironic, but it doesn't change the fact that your original argument was wrong. It was a clever distraction, but it was nothing more than that - a distraction. I never mentioned the other teams, because there was no need to criticize you on them - you were right about them. However, Notre Dame doesn't deserve the same veneration. You still have not addressed the original point that I brought up, and at this point. The only reason I can think of for that behavior is that you know that your original point (about ND) was weak, and you're trying to throw up a smokescreen to distract me. It won't work.
I wonder how differently that email would have been received if I'd said that I was a Utah or a Tennessee fan. While I am a Michigan fan, I am making these observations as a college football enthusiast. I wonder if he realizes this.
Also, for reference, link to comment on the article linked above: http://collegefootball.rivals.com/drawform.asp?form=943
Olin Buchanan's email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also (way OT), what the heck are mgopoints for?