this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
Forgive me if for some this topic is either premature, or already worn out. For me, I like thinking about how we'll put the chess pieces on the board. Here is my expectation, formatted in terms of "fixed" positions that are likely to remain constant and "flex" positions that may or may not be on the field play-to-play based on formation or scheme.
7 fixed positions:
QB: 1. Forcier/Robinson (70/30), 2. Sheridan, 3. Feagin, Apocalypse
RB: 1. Minor, 2a. Brown/Shaw/V. Smith, 2b. Grady/Cox
Remaining 4 some combination of:
WR1: 1. Matthews/Hemingway, 2. Savoy/Rogers
WR2: 1. Stonum, 2. Stokes, 3. Rogers/Roundtree
Slot (1 to 2): 1a. Odoms, 1b. T. Robinson, 3. Gallon/Stokes
FB: 1. Moundros
TE: 1. Koger, 2. Webb
DE2: Van Bergen
SS: B. Smith
FS: M. Williams
Remaining 2 some combination of:
LB/S: S. Brown
Nickel: Woolfolk/J. Turner
**Another way of looking at D; likely front seven combinations:
3-4 -- [Graham, Martin, Van Bergen] + [Mouton, Ezeh, Fitzgerald/Demens, S. Brown]
4-3 -- [Graham, Martin, Campbell/Patterson/Segasse, Ven Bergen] + [Mouton, Ezeh, Fitz/Demens/Brown]
Just for kicks, if we took the field tomorrow--
First play offense:
LT - RT: Ortmann, Schilling, Molk, Moosman, Dorrestein
First play defense:
DE: Van Bergen
S/LB: S. Brown
SS: B. Smith
FS: M. Williams
First off, this story is really more of an admission that I have an unhealthy relationship with Michigan football. I should not be spending the mental cycles I do or even taking the time to post about it (not sure which is worse).
This panic attack occurred in the morning hours, shaving in front of the mirror. Of course you are tired, of course you are on autopilot; you have does this so many times before. Having watched spring practice video late last night, thoughts of our young quarterback comes drifting top of mind.
“You know, he did look pretty accurate… and that quick release… has to be much better than last year, just has to…” I fade back to reality to inspect a spot I missed before restarting my musings.
“… he also looked comfortable making a pitch as well, smooth operator… might be as good as his hype…”
The humming of my electric razor only briefly interrupts my thoughts as I shift to my neck, God I hate shaving my neck with an electric, always having to go back over areas to clean it up.
“…Ohio State is replacing 31 players… how in the hell will they be so favored at the end of the year?... Pryor didn’t even start every game last year… Freshman are not Freshman by that time of the season… Tressel is such a weasel… the fact that he spawned Douchetonio makes me hate him even more… jackass…”
Then, like cold water being splashed in my face, the realization of the strange QB recruiting path taken last year and the events that transpired this spring joined forces to jolt me from my quaint musings. It felt like that part of the movie where a bunch of scenes start to rapidly flash as some realization sets in for the main character. My head was spinning with my thoughts pinging around.
“Jesus, we almost had Newsome and Beaver. They seemed good on paper, but there were questions of mechanics with Newsome, another year of missed receivers. Beaver was pretty slight, had a shoulder problem. Newsome and Sheridan running the offense? Passing would be an afterthought, defenses would stack the line again. If we are projected 6-6 with Forcier, what would it be with those two? Jesus, could we have gone with a four win season after winning three games? Talk about the empire collapsing. How damn miserable would that be? I can’t have another imploded fall. If they were calling for RR’s head last year, we would be a media punching bag, what a disaster…”
As fast as it came, it all went as I returned back to earth to finish what I was doing in the first place.
“Do I have ADD? Why in the hell do I even consider this crap? Maybe I need a therapist, better put it on mgoblog…”
So I was busy last night and missed checking this board. When I checked in this morning, I read through maybe the 16th thread about whether Tate or Denard is going to be a better Quarterback. Followed by the 20th thread or so debating the burning issue of who is fastest between the two. And another positing the simply ludicrous notion that "Tate isn't getting his props," when a main feature of this board is unbridled enthusiasm for Tate and his prospects. Oh, and the lack of "props" is apparently based upon the notion that we underestimate how fucking fast Tate is. Out of approx. 85 replies I saw only a couple debating the relevance of the entire premise.
Several of the above were started by the same posters, one of whom is apparently A-obsessed with the importance of speed at QB, B- a stone loon, or C- a troll, or of course D- all of these.
My faith in our community has been shaken. This board, alone among the boards I frequent regarding sports and M sports, has been a beacon of wit, intelligence and informed commentary. Of course there are exceptions. Certainly a sporadic debate about minor things is ok. But WTF? This board is the only board I actually enjoy reading. MLive and the Freep are full to the brim of fools and uninformed, raucous name calling. Et tu, mgoblog?
We don't give a fuck about whether Tate or Denard is fastest because for a QB it simply does not matter.
Anyone who says they know which of these two freshman will be better does not know what they are talking about.
While not entirely predictive of success, there is more than enough evidence to validate that, on balance, recruiting ratings matter.
New posters should be required to audit the board for 2 months before posting (emotional response based on the above)
Or perhaps I'm wrong, in which case you will say so.
EDIT: I Love Brian, Tom VH and guests. I also enjoy reading many of the regular posters. My post was concerned with the quality of posts, and maintaining what I think are the differences between mgoblog and mlive etc. that make this site so enjoyable, FWIW.
Dear Young Man,
You were the means to my first UM football game. Though the Event was very important to me, some friends and I were a little behind schedule. I distinctly remember marveling at how the stadium could hold my entire hometown. And my, the freedom of being around so many unattractive women. How carefree and joyful it was!
In our exchange, there was no need for names. I approached you somewhere on the way to the stadium. My friends had tread this path before and did not feel my apprehension. The remotely illicit nature of our transaction made Michigan's ovular stadium seem an ill-fit for this square peg, but things began anyway. Both your baseball cap and your introduction to puberty appeared new. You found humor in my mammoth beard and ridiculous glasses, but were polite enough to try and conceal it. Thank you for that, by the way.
I do not recall the agreed price for the tickets. I don't remember how much money I brought with me to see the game. But I do remember, after we were swept in a crowd of women who worried their purses were too big to comply with stadium rules, that I recounted my money.
"Jeff Smoker smokes crack!" said the black guy selling t-shirts just outside the stadium.
I had an extra twenty and was missing a George Washington. I shorted you 19 bucks, kid. I turned and looked for you. When I told my friends, they did the same. You were nowhere to be seen and the Brown Jug beckoned.
Yes, it is many years after the fact. And, to be honest, I don't wake up in cold sweats thinking about it. But during long drives, or when I get together with friends who rib and remind me about it, I feel bad. You were not had, child. I am just a clumsy idiot. Please forgive me for the mistake.
When it is all said and done, there will be some public apologies handed out to Rich Rodriguez and his staff. Woe to the man who brings change! This has been the saying echoing through the eons of human existence. And last year, the University of Michigan Football program literally began a cycle of change that created a great upheaval. Perhaps one of the greatest the school has ever known, at least for many of its fans that is. To the Michigan fan, they know about the stadium renovations and the new offense. To the non Michigan fan they love to stoke the coals of a miserable season. Or to put it another more simple way, they just love to see Michigan fail. And for some people the emotional investment begins and ends with bragging rights, and not the process it took to earn those bragging rights. From the transferring of players, coaching changes, injuries, weight room time, bad officiating and so on the list of things facing a new coach is endless. And then when you silent the angry seething madness of fans they just want and expect more. Where does it end? Give Rich Rodriguez credit for taking the job because I am sure some coaches turned it down. Because to be the new guy at a storied school like Michigan, should it go bad, could mean the end of your head coaching career.
Building a community is a tough thing to do. You have to get people to build it and want to keep giving back to it while embracing the larger community at the same time. And this is tough to accomplish from a sales perspective if your community is not going so well. When you bring about change into an established community it is even more difficult. And at the University of Michigan last year the football fans showed a big time reason why this is. They were angry at the losses and confused as to what happened. The community was crumbling; opposing teams heckled and threw verbal elbows. The Michigan fan was surrounded it seemed and its old Big House was no place to hide.
Not to fear though Michigan fan, your coach did not exactly do too shabby in recruiting. He landed a 4 star QB in Tate Forcier and really accomplished something herculean. He kept a 5 star recruit in state in big time William Campbell. All in all a class of nine 4 and 5 star recruits after a season of low output. And it was also a season where kids committed, decommited and recommitted at record paces. The rocky waters navigated, the Michigan hater must now look on and wonder if Michigan Football is Bullet Tooth Tony from the movie Snatch. Through the rough transition Michigan found new legs and new life.
I for one know the struggles this team must embrace this coming year. And I hope that they do. It will be another year of forging an identity in the face of not being the great Michigan of old. But in the struggle to get there boys, you are becoming. I hope we as fans remember that as well.
See yah at the Spring Game,
So here I am watching Pittsburgh play Xavier last night, and I am wondering about the talent I am seeing on the floor. Each position looks very skilled, and I am comparing them in my mind to Novak and Douglass and Lee and Merritt. It seems like no comparison, but Michigan came very close to playing in the Sweet Sixteen, so I ask myself: "Self, is Beilein great, am I underestimating our guys or what?" Don't get me wrong. I LOVE Novak and Douglass and Lee - love those guys who play their hearts out and play smart. I had no skills but played hard and therefore didn't suck at times.
So, what am I looking at (pulled only guys with double digit MINS per game)?
NOTE: Sorry about the readability issue. It looked much better as I laid it out.
NAME PTS RBD AST TO BLK STL MINS
S. Young 18.9 6.2 1.1 2.4 0.8 1.0 31.7
D. Blair 15.6 12.4 1.2 1.2 1.0 1.5 27.1
L. Fields 10.7 2.5 7.5 2.0 0.1 0.8 32.2
J. Dixon 8.5 2.6 2.0 1.0 0.7 1.4 24.7
T. Biggs 6.6 4.3 0.7 1.0 0.5 0.4 24.0
B. Wanamaker 5.8 3.3 2.1 1.7 0.2 0.8 18.7
G. Brown 5.3 3.2 1.3 1.1 0.3 0.5 19.4
NAME PTS RBD AST TO BLK STL MINS
B. Raymond 14.1 4.1 1.4 1.6 0.3 0.5 30.3
D. Brown 13.7 6.1 1.9 1.7 0.9 0.7 29.5
C. Anderson 9.9 5.5 2.5 2.3 0.5 0.7 27.2
J. Love 6.7 5.9 0.5 1.3 1.2 0.4 21.7
D. Jackson 6.6 3.5 2.7 2.0 0.1 1.3 27.1
T. Holloway 5.5 2.0 2.2 1.9 0.1 0.7 21.5
K. Frease 5.4 3.7 0.8 1.7 1.3 0.3 14.6
B. Redford 5.1 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.1 0.3 12.8
J. McLean 4.4 4.4 0.7 1.1 0.7 0.4 14.6
Who are these guys that make up two very good teams and what does it say about Michigan basketball (if anything)?
Their star rankings and year...
NAME STAR YEAR
S. Young **** SR
D. Blair **** SO
L. Fields **** SR
J. Dixon JR
T. Biggs **** SR
B. Wanamaker **** SO
G. Brown **** SO
NAME STAR YEAR
B. Raymond *** SR (2005 commit)
D. Brown *** SR (2005 commit)
C. Anderson JR
J. Love *** JR
D. Jackson **** SO
T. Holloway **** FR
K. Frease **** FR
B. Redford *** FR
J. McLean *** SO
I put the "2005 commit" next to Raymond and Brown because they are showing more eligibility, so I assume redshirts, but something ain't right in the database.
Anyway, there is a lack of five stars - although Pitt is loaded with four stars - and clearly leadership from the 2005 guys. As a formula, it would suggest that Beilein can make serious hay with a steady stream of seniors and maybe a four star guy in every class. Both those things are very likely to happen, as Michigan will clearly go in a different direction than Ohio State...
"The 7-foot freshman [Mullens] announced Thursday he would declare himself available for the NBA draft, the fifth Buckeye's player in the last three seasons to leave after playing one year."
I think the upside for Beilein is scary.