"Jim's a tough guy and you can see his personality is all over this football team," Fitzgerald said.
I want to repost this, just to see if I can generate discussion. If anybody has any thoughts about the wrestling program, I'd love to find people to talk with about it!!:
So last night, after Michigan's big 31-6 blow out of Penn State, me and another poster were having an IM conversation about Michigan Wrestling in the future. It got me to thinking about how awesome this team could be in 2 years. Here's a breakdown of a potential lineup for next year. Note the lack of seniors. This is why I think 2 years from now could be SPECIAL:
125: Sean Boyle (Blair Academy, NJ): Boyle is currently ranked 4th in the nation at 119 pounds in all classes. Blair is the premier wrestling program in American and is the same school that produced Michigan's current 141 pounder, Kellen Russell. With Michael Watts graduating and no immediate high profile pickups waiting in the wings, Boyle could start as a true freshman.
133: Eric Grajales (Brandon, FL): Grajales is also currently a highly rated HS recruit. He's #1 in the nation across all classes at 135 pounds. He will almost certainly start as a true freshman. Other options here include moving him up to 149 and keeping Zac Stevens in at 133 for another year, or moving him to 141 and bumping Russell to 149. For now, let's just say he goes 133.
141: Kellen Russell (Blair Academy, NJ): Russell is currently a sophomore and one of Michigan's most talented wrestlers. He finished with a 32-7 record and was Big Ten Champion at 141 pounds as a true freshman last year. He's currently ranked 5th in the country according to InterMat.com. He most certainly will start again, either here, or as previously stated, at 149 pounds.
149: Assuming my prediction is correct and Grajales and Russell cover 133/141, there are two options here. Mark Beaudry (Pueblo South, CO) is the current starter. However, Mark Weber (Goodrich, MI) was a 4x MHSAA champion and was 2nd in the nation at 135 as a senior last year. Weber is currently in his true freshman year and is not using his redshirt. He could use his redshirt next year, or become the starter.
157: Aaron Hynes (Flint Kearsley, MI): Before becoming a starter this year, Hynes had a 45-13 record in open tournaments. The sophomore is beginning to adjust nicely to the starting lineup. The 2x state champion should start the next two years beyond this one.
165: Justin Zeerip (Hesperia, MI): Just a redshirt freshman, Zeerip has struggled for much of this season. However, in his redshirt year, Zeerip went 23-6 in opens last season. He was a 4x undefeated state champ (260-0) in HS and took 3rd in the nation as a senior. He was a high profile recruit and should have a bright future. Perhaps a glimpse of that future was seen just last night when he defeated a Penn State wrestler who took 3rd at the NCAA's last year.
174: With Steve Luke graduating and nobody listed as a 174 pounder, Michigan might have to scratch to fill this spot next year. If anybody has an idea for 174, I'd love to hear it.
184: Hunter Collins (Gilroy, CA): Collins was one of the top recruits in last years class. He's currently taking his redshirt, but likely has a bright future as a 4 year starter. This year, he's lost in the numbers game amongst the veteran upper weights. He was a 4x California all-state wrestler. (California HS's compete in only ONE division, so this is a big deal). He was a Reno Champ in high school, and took 2nd in the nation at 171 pounds as a senior, losing to 3x Michigan champ and current CMU wrestler Ben Bennett in the finals.
197: Anthony Biondo (Chippewa Valley, MI): Currently ranked 13th in the nation at 184 pounds, Biondo will be entering his junior year next year. He was a 3x Michigan champ and an all-american as a senior. He could also remain at 184 with Collins coming up next year. However, this might be the better option with Biondo, the older wrestler, taking the higher weight. Keep in mind, Biondo was Michgian's starter here before switching weights with current senior Ty Todd this year.
285: Eddie Phillips (Lakewood, MI): Phillips is a sophomore and is a very athletic heavy. He was Michigan's 189 champ as a senior at Lakewood. He struggles at times, but has become a serviceable starter. Maybe he breaks out as a junior next year? He'll be pushed by Romeo's Chad Bleske for this spot.
Incoming recruits: Currently, I know of 4 recruits coming in next year. Dan Boyle and Eric Grajales were both mentioned as possible starters in the light weights. Michigan is also bring in Brandon Zeerip. Zeerip is the younger brother of current starter Justin. The younger Zeerip is the 10th ranked 152 pound wrestler in the country. Michigan also brings in a more unheralded national level recruit in Dundee's Pete Rendina. It is unclear at this time what type of future Rendina would have at Michigan, but he is a top senior in Michigan this year. His pull could also help with current HS sophomore Joey Rendina. Joey may be a top 5 in-state recruit as a senior.
Any more thoughts, I'd love to hear them.
I was curious about what a "player map" of the home states of
Michigan's athletes would look like. I used the rosters of the various teams on MGoBlue to make a tally and wished I had the talent to make a map with the states in proporation to their number of athletes better than a second grader.
Sweet Wife laughed at the drawing and wanted to know the number of scholarships for each sport. They are available in the NCAA Division 1 Manual. at:
Maximum scholarship: Tuition and required fees, room and board, books and required supplies for an academic year--fall and winter. Summer is a separate deal. At Michigan, this full-ride is worth at least $21,000 in-state, $44,000 out of state--much more if summer is included.
It is not a requirement that full-rides be given in any sport. However, there is usually a positive relationship between cost and quality.
Men's and Women's Basketball, Football, Women's Gymnastics, Women's Tennis, and Women's Vollyball are limited by the number of scholarship recipients they can have. While the value of the scholarships can range from a token to a full-ride, the number of scholarship athletes is limited.
Most of the other sports are limited by the number of scholarships but not by the number of recipients. They may spread the jam as thinly as they believe is effective. The NCAA terms them "counter" and "equivalency" sports. And, of course, there are two exceptions--"counter equivalency" sports.
Bill Martin has often stated that Michigan fully funds all
scholarships and recruits without concerns about the difference between in-state and out of state tuition. Few athletic departments can do this across the board.
Now, the question of the hour is how in the hell do coachs allocate the fractional scholarships among their players?
So, keeping in mind that not everyone on a roster has a scholarship and starting with an exception:
Baseball 11.7 Scholarships. 27 or fewer recipients, no
scholarship less than one-fourth of a full boat.
Michigan 19; AZ 1; CA 2; GA 1; IL 1; IN 2; MA 2; MN 1; NJ 1; OH 2; TX 1; VA 1; Ontario 1.
Basketball Men 13 scholarship recipients.
Michigan 8; IN 2; NY 2; VA 1; Ontario 1.
Basketball Women 15 recipients.
Michigan 5; IL 2; MN 2; OH 2; Ontario 1; Saskatchewan 1.
Cross Country/Track/Field Men 12.6 Scholarships, unlimited recipients.
Michigan 8; IL 2; NJ 1; NY 1; OH 1; WA 1; Ireland 1.
Michigan 24; AZ 1; CA 3; IL 5; IN 1; MD 1; NJ 2; NY 1; OH 1; RI 1; TX 1; WA 1; WI 1; Ireland 1; Jamaica 1.
Cross Country/Track/Field Women 18 Scholarships, unlimited
Michigan 11; KS 1; KY 1; MN 1; NJ 1; OH 3; Manitoba 1;
Michigan 32; CA 1; IL 1; IN 1; IA 1; KS 1; KY 1; MD 1; MN 1; NV 1; NJ 1; OH 4; PA 1; Ontario 1.
Field Hockey 12 Scholarships, unlimited recipients.
CA 4; CO 1; IL 1; ME 2; NJ 3; OH 2; PA 5; TX 1; British Columbia 1.
Football, Spring Roster 85 recipients.
Michigan 43; CA 5; CO 2; FL 8; GA 2; IL 5; IN 2; LA 1; MA 1; NJ 3; NY 2; MO 1; NV 1; OH 8; SC 3; TX 5; VA 2; WA 1; Quebec 1.
Golf Men 4.5 Scholarships
Michigan 4; FL 1; GA 1; IL 1; MO 1; NY 1; Indonesia 1.
Golf Women 6 Scholarships
Michigan 5; Az 1; IL 1; IN 1; Malaysia 1; Puerto Rico 1.
Gymnastics Men 6.2 Scholarships
Michigan 2; CA 1; CT 1; FL 3; GA 3; IL 2; IN 1; KS 1; MA 1; NH 1; NJ 5; NC 1; OR 1; Singapore 1.
Gymnastics Women 12 Scholarship recipients
Michigan 3; FL 1; IL 3; IA 1; NV 1; NY 1; NC 1; OH 1.
Ice Hockey 18 Scholarships with a maximum of 30 recipients
Michigan 17; CA 1; MO 1; NY 1; WA 1; British Columbia 2; Ontario 2; Sweden 1.
Rowing 20 Scholarships
Michigan 8; CA 3; CT 1; FL 2; IL 2; MA 2; NH 1; NJ 1; NY 2; OH 1; OR 1; PA 2; VA 1; WA 4; Ontario 2; Western Australia 1.
Soccer Men 9.9 Scholarships
Michigan 12; CA 2; CO 1; DC 1; GA 1; IL 3; NY 1; TX 1; WA 2; Sweden 1.
Soccer Women 14 Scholarships
Michigan 11; CA 2; CO 1; IL 2; MA 1; NY 1; OH 5; OR 1; PA 1; TX 1.
Softball 12 Scholarships
Michigan 8; CA 2; IL 3; KS 1; MO 1; NV 1; NJ 1; VA 1.
Swimming/Diving Men 9.9 Scholarships
Michigan 8; AZ 1; CA 1; CT 1; DE 1; FL 1; IL 4; MD 1; MA 1; MN 2 NC 2; NH 1; NJ 2; OH 2; TX 1; WA 1; Brazil 1; Isreal 1.
Swimming/Diving Women 14 Scholarships
Michigan 19; CA 2; CT 1; DE 1; FL 1; IL 4; ID 2; IA 1; KY 1; MO 1; NC 1; PA 2; VA 1.
Tennis Men 4.5 Scholarships
Michigan 2; CA 2; FL 2; KS 1; NJ 1; NY 1.
Tennis Women 8 Scholarship recipients
CA 3; IL 1; MN 1; NJ 1; VA 1; Alberta 1.
Volleyball 12 Scholarship recipients
Michigan 3; CA 1; GA 1; KY 1; IL 3; IN 3; OH 2; Brazil 1.
Waterpolo 8 Scholarships
Michigan 5; CA 15; FL 3; IL 1; TX 1.
Wrestling 9.9 Scholarships
Michigan 18; CA 1; CO 1; IL 1; MT 1; NJ 1; OH 2; UT 1.
And, as an added bonus:
Men's Lacrosse 12.6 Scholarships
Women's Lacrosse 12 Scholarships
Men's Rowing (Crew) is not an NCAA Division 1 sport. The sky's the limit.
The following statements are dangerously biased, and they come from a result of a lifetime of trips to AA, games with my closest 110,000 friends, and too many brats soaked in beer.
You should all stop worrying so much. I know that last year had moments that made us furious, throw objects, and swear up and down for hours. This was all a necessary evil to start this new era of Michigan football. Metamorphosis is a painful process that yields amazing results. Now all the new schemes are in place. The offensive linemen know what to do and how to do it. The backs and recievers have bought in. Those who didn't buy in are gone. We have a dual threat QB to run a system that looks really awkward with a pro-style guy back there. I know Tate is a true freshman, but he fits this system like a glove. When RR unleashes this team this fall, they will start to dominate like many of his teams have in his second year. Year two is when the players stop thinking too much, and start making plays.
The wins will come in bunches this year. Michigan will have two 1,000 yard rushers (Tate, Minor). The defense will not be put in so many bad situations throughout games. They will start off beating WMU, then ND. Notre Dame beats Hawaii last year after going .500 and the whole fan base thinks they will contend for a title. Until they fire Charlie, this team isn't going much of anywhere. We gave them the ball on turnovers 9 times last year and still could have won in the 4th quarter. I almost want to type that sentence twice, but please just read it again. The "immaculate front butt" will be run out of town by January. After embarassing the golden domers, Michigan beats EMU & IU and they are sitting at 4-0.
From there, who knows. What I do know is that UM will go to a bowl game, set records on offense this year, and show everyone that the giant just took a little cat nap, and now he's ready to break some skulls. When the nation knows Michigan is back, and on it's way to global domination - the recruits will pour in faster than we can sign 'em. So my message is simple. Unwrinkle your panties, get ready for a great season, buy tickets, and join me this year in the best stadium in the world. Go Blue!!!
This post was spurred by the mention of the new Rose Bowl rule incorporating non-BCS teams covered by Brian yesterday and today. I post it mainly because it's June, but also because I'm interested in the blogs' overall verdict on this proposition:
Resolved, in a perfect (non-lawsuit) world, non-BCS schools should not be involved in BCS Bowls or the BCS championship game. Rationale: because they are not as good**. Agree or disagree?
My sentiments are betrayed in the subject line, but I'll attempt to briefly elaborate. The three main arguments in favor of non-BCS inclusion are: 1- it's fair, 2- the BCS is an illegal monopoly, and 3- superior non-BCS teams deserve to be in, and recent bowls have proven they belong.
For brevity's sake I won't address #2 as it's economic in nature. And regarding #1, I'll say this: so? The existence of the BCS, polls, life, and any number of things that won't change shows that life is not fair. And adding one team doesn't change that. Did you know that "According to Jim" is still on the air?
On to #3. While it's perfectly legitimate to say that Boise and Utah proved their worth by winning, I say "not so fast my friend." I have an explanation that may or may not be persuasive: the BCS itself. This unfortunate creation has not only warped the system, making it's presence felt in scheduling (cupcakes for non-conference games), but it has also devalued every bowl except the Championship game When Alabama and Oklahoma played in those prestigious Bowls, they were actually DISAPPOINTED to be there. Teams in that situation are always in potential trouble of not playing to their usual level. If Bama has to play, say, LSU or USC, some of that is mitigated by the glamour of the matchup and the challenge of playing a top program. If they have to play Utah, who they believe, in their non-media interview hearts they should easily beat, then watch out. And when a decent team like Utah has everything to play for and the team they face does not, upsets are thus created. Which then perpetuate the (IMO false) notion that those teams belong in the first place.
I don't know anyone who believes the quality of the football played in the Mountain West/MAC/WAC equals the B10 the Big East or even the ACC. And from players sent to the NFL, recruiting rankings of the current players, strength of schedule, and records against outside ranked teams, most data supports what we intuitively know. IMO Utah would have finished no better than 4th in the B10, so for Brian to say that it would be a wash between a non-BCS team and the 2nd place P10 team, I revolt.
The Bowl system is an oligarchy, but one of (mostly) merit, based upon getting though the best conferences with the highest level of talent with the best records. Why make a flawed system even more flawed by including teams that never would get there if they were playing in the top conferences in the first place?
Agree or not?
* Kind of a dumb statement in itself but meant to drive readership so I can get a general sense of the blog while still conveying my innermost, slightly sheepish feelings.
** See above
Disclaimer: This may have been talked about before. And this may be such an old and tired subject, that just seeing the title causes many of you to groan. Then seeing Meeechigan Dan causes even more of you to groan. I will keep it brief; just killing time.
RR appears in our eyes to be Hugh Jackman getting excited about dates with fat girls when he should be holding out for dates with Adriana Lima or Marisa Miller.
I would suggest that Hugh's plan is to never be without a date ever again.
Now that this bad analogy is over, I will translate. I think RR is shooting for a 25 man class, perhaps as high as 28. He wants raw material. Last year, he learned that the danger of only asking Marisa and Adriana out is that if both say no, you are sad and alone. At this stage, I think he is falling back on his tried and true WVU recruiting strategy: finding system guys that are diamonds in the rough and lots of 'em. He knows that, with Michigan gravitas behind these offers, he can stockpile as many as 15 three star system guys while he waits for the supermodels to call him back. He knows there will be attrition and that he can easily accommodate a class of that size without even sniffing Saban territory. He is not going to wait ever again (until success brings 'em a running, like with Texas recruiting, if that ever happens) to fill holes in his roster. Every hole will be filled with guys he feels can contribute before Sentreal or Corey or Gholston pull the trigger.
In other words, last year while basking in the glow that the Michigan name opens all doors, he perhaps said, "Jay, don't offer that guy yet, we're waiting on Pearlie" or "Bruce, let's see if we can get so and so in the fold before you make that trip to Maryland for that one kid."
The danger, of course, if that a position looks filled, maybe someone is scared away. But his advantage is that with the lower-rated guys in the fold first, what stud is going to be scared away?
Finally, I would say that this is not a permanent strategy, but a two-year strategy. To get the roster loaded with bodies while success on the field comes. Once gridiron success is combined with the Michigan name and the recruiting effort of this staff, RR can ease back a little on the system guys.
Am I making lemonade out of lemons?
Yes, USC-Illinois turned out to be a terrible game but probably any team that was picked to face USC in the Rose Bowl was going to get blown out. That year, USC lost to Dennis Dixon and had their seemingly-annual loss of focus when they lost to Stanford. However as Michigan knows from experience, USC is always focused in the bowl games.
The first question we can ask is whether Illinois was deserving of one of the BCS at-large spots. The answer to this is actually a fairly strong yes. Here's how it broke down (according to BCS rankings):
#1 OSU and #2 LSU were in the championship game
#3 Va Tech was slotted for the Orange Bowl
#4 Oklahoma for the Fiesta
#7 USC obviously for the Rose Bowl
#9 West Virginia was the Big East champion (but not tied to a bowl)
#10 Hawaii was automatically an at-large team.
So, there were 3 at-large spots to be filled with the following eligible teams:
#11 Arizona State
#14 Boston College
Only one of Georgia/Florida and one of Missouri/Kansas could get picked. So that left Arizona State, Illinois and Boston College fighting for one spot. As Black Shoe Diaries talked about, http://www.blackshoediaries.com/2009/5/30/893422/prepare-yourself-for-po... it is completely reasonable to pick Illinois over those other teams.
Now the Rose Bowl could have taken another team, but it wouldn't have been Georgia since the Sugar Bowl was certainly going to be lobbying to keep an SEC team. That means they were deciding between Kansas, West Virginia, Hawaii and Illinois. Any bowl game is going to avoid Hawaii at all costs so the Rose Bowl is down to Kansas, West Virginia and Illinois. Here are their results against AP-ranked and other notable opponents and what their OOC schedule was:
|Team||Wins vs Ranked||Losses vs Ranked||Other Notable Opponents||Non-Conference Schedule|
|Kansas||none||#7 Missouri 36-28||None. They didn't play Texas, Texas Tech and Oklahoma||Central Michigan, SE Louisiana, Toledo, FIU|
|West Virginia||#20 Cincy 28-23||#23 USF 21-13||Lost the last week of the season to Pitt 13-9||Western Michigan, Marshall, Maryland, East Carolina, Mississippi St,|
|Illinois||#1 OSU 28-21, #18 Wisconsin 31-26||#7 Missouri 40-34||Beat Penn St (receiving votes team) 27-20||Missouri, Western Illinois, Syracuse, Ball St|
So Illinois had the best and second best wins of the three teams. They also had the best loss (or at least tied with Kansas for the best loss). Kansas only had one loss, but they literally did not play any good teams except for losing to Missouri. None whatsoever.
Also, Kansas and West Virginia lost their last games of the regular season while Illinois beat Ohio State and then creamed their rival Northwestern 41-22.
So, although we know in hindsight that the Rose Bowl should not have picked Illinois ("we should have had hindsight"), it actually was a reasonable pick at the time.