this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
Perhaps, like me, many of you have gotten some hullabaloo about Michigan not recruiting any offensive linemen under Coach RR. Since I was bored today, I did some half-assed research on Rivals.com.
West Virginia OL recruiting since 2002:
I haven't cross-referenced WVU's roster to see what, if any, impact these recruits had, but it's certainly not a plethora of fatties (11 over 6 years). That doesn't sound like a lot to me.
Over that same time period, Coach Carr recruited 24 lineman. 24 seems like a reasonable number over 6 years, considering injuries, graduation, etc.
But does recruiting O-linemen really translate to success? Here's something I found extraordinary while doing this research: Ohio State only recruited 13 linemen in the same time frame. On two "occasion" (03 and 07), The Vest had ONE OL recruit in each of those classes.
Some other comparisons:
USC - 20 OL recruits from 02-07
Texas - 19
Florida - 22
Michigan had the highest number of OL recruits of the 6 schools mentioned but it did not translate into more success. Hart and Henne did set school records but that didn't translate into "big game" victories or NT game appearances.
I'm pretty sure all of us would accept the same success WVU, Ohio State, USC and the rest had on the field with their limited number of OL recruits.
It's not the most in-depth research data, but it should certainly calm everyone's fear that a lack of o-line recruits is something we should be concerned with. RR has 5 OL in the current freshmen class and 1 committed in 09 (and I anticipate at least one or two more). That's an average of 3 - 4 linemen per class which is what these other schools averaged.
O-linemen are a different breed. They take time grow and gel, more so than any other group on the team. Unlike a TB or WR who may have developed the majority of his speed and quickness before he even steps foot on campus. OL need to grow, learn, and mature as freshmen and sophomores.
Tell anyone whose worried about the lack of OL in the recruiting class to step off the ledge. RR has got it under control.
The following is my proposal for a 16 team college football playoff. It is kind of long (5 page Word document)
16 Team Playoff: 4x4 team regions (East, West, Midwest, South)
-11 auto bids given to champion of each conference
-up to each conference how to determine champ, title game or otherwise
-5 at large bids determined by tournament selection committee of active college football participants (Athletic Directors, Conference Commissioners, Analysts, etc)
- committee members recused from discussion of teams in their league
Committee Criteria: -based on this season’s performance only
-who did you play/beat, who lost to, BCS, polls, computers, strength of schedule, other information relevant to determination of quality of teams this season (ex. Conference performance against other conferences and other quality opponents)
-Committee seeds teams 1-16 based on above criteria
#1 overall seed will be placed in its geographic region
-then, as best as possible, seeds 2-4 will be put in their geographic region
-teams 5-16 will then be placed in regions as follows:
-preference to keeping teams within their geographical region
-preference to avoid intra-conference match ups until Final Four
-otherwise, no requirements other than:
-teams 5-8 = 2 seeds, teams 9-12 = 3 seeds, teams 13-16 = 4 seeds
First Round – Week following end of season/title games
-Dec. 13th this year
-1 seeds host 4 seeds on campus
-2 seeds host 3 seeds on campus
Second Round – Next week, Dec. 20th this year
-Games played at regional site, these will change each year
-just like regional hosts in college basketball tournament
-regional hosts cannot be same as BCS bowl game hosts
-BCS bowls will hold Final Four, can’t double as regional hosts
-Ex- Midwest regional final at Ford Field, West at Qualcomm (Chargers stadium), East at FedEx Field (Redksins' Stadium), South at Georgia Dome
Final Four – next two weeks, Dec. 27th (semifinals) and Jan. 3rd (final and 3rd place game)
-BCS bowls (Sugar, Rose, Fiesta, Orange) host on rotating basis
-Ex- -year one- Rose hosts semi #1, Fiesta hosts semi #2 -Sugar hosts 3rd place, Orange hosts title game
-year two- Sugar hosts semi #1, Rose hosts semi #2
-Orange hosts title game, Fiesta hosts title game
-Format - Region with #1 overall seed to face Region with #4 overall seed
-Region with #2 overall seed to face Region with #3 overall seed
-Ex- If South region #1 seed is #1 overall seed and East region #1 seed is #4 overall seed, those regional champions will play in one semi
final regardless of actual regional champion
2008 NCAA Football Tournament (How I think it would look)
3. Texas (at large)
6. Penn State
7. Alabama (at large)
8. Texas Tech (at large)
9. Boise State
10. Ohio State (at large)
12. Virginia Tech
13. Georgia Tech (at large)
-1- USC vs. -4- Georgia Tech Dec. 13th at USC
-2- Utah vs. -3- Boise State Dec. 13th at Utah
Regional Final, Dec. 20th at San Diego
-1- Texas vs. -4- ECU Dec. 13th at Texas
-2- Penn State vs. -3- Cincinnati Dec. 13th at Penn State
Regional Final, Dec. 20th at FedEx Field (Redskins home stadium)
-1- Florida vs. -4- Buffalo Dec. 13th at Florida
-2- Texas Tech vs. -3- Virginia Tech Dec. 13th at Texas Tech
Regional Final, Dec. 20th at Georgia Dome
-1- Oklahoma vs. -4- Troy Dec. 13th at Oklahoma
-2- Alabama vs. -3- Ohio State Dec. 13th at Alabama
Regional Final, Dec. 20th at Ford Field
-Midwest Champ vs. West Champ at Fiesta Bowl Dec. 27th
-South Champ vs. East Champ at Sugar Bowl Dec. 27th
-3rd Place Game at Rose Bowl Jan. 3rd
-Championship Game at Orange Bowl Jan. 3rd
Auto Bids (computer numbers from BCS, strength of schedule from usatoday, all losses listed, only notable wins included)
ACC – Va. Tech 9-4
-computers- 20, 25, 19, 16, 16, 13
-strength of schedule 11
-L- at ECU, at FSU, at Miami, at BC
-W- GT, BC (neutral site), at UNC, at Neb, Maryland
Big East – Cincy 11-2
-computers- 16, 13, 12, 12, 11, 14
-strength of schedule 60
-L- at OU, at UConn
-W- Rutgers, USF, Pitt
Big 12 – OU 12-1
-computers- 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1
-strength of schedule 8
-L- Texas (neutral site)
-W- Cincy, TCU, Tech, OkSU, Misso
SEC – UF 12-1
-computers- 4, 4, 4, 2, 3, 5
-strength of schedule 18
-W- Miami, LSU, Uga, FSU, Bama
-L- Ole Miss
Big 10 – PSU 11-1
-computers- 9, 9, 8, 10, 10, 10
-strength of schedule 61
-W- OrSU, UW, OhSU, MSU
-L- at Iowa
Pac 10 – USC 11-1
-computers- 7, 7, 7, 8, 9, 3
-strength of schedule 40
-L- at Oregon State
-W- OhSU, OrU, ASU, Cal, ND
MWC – Utah 12-0
-computers- 2, 4, 4, 5, 5, 7
-strength of schedule 71
-W- AF, OrSU, TCU, BYU
WAC – BSU 12-0
-computers- 6, 7, 8, 8, 8, 8
-strength of schedule 114
-W- Oregon, Nev, Fres
MAC – Buffalo 8-5
-computers- not in BCS 25
-strength of schedule 82
-W- Ohio, BallSU
-L- KtSU, WMU, CMU, Pitt, Missouri
Sun Belt – Troy 8-4
-computers- not in BCS 25
-strength of schedule 125
-L- OhSU, OkSU, LouMon, LSU
C-USA – ECU 9-4
-computers- not in BCS 25
-strength of schedule 75
-W- VaTech, WVU, Tulsa
-L- NCSt, Houston, Uva, SoMiss
At Large Pool - Based on next ten highest ranked teams in BCS with Pitt jumping Oregon and Sparty, personal choice as I felt Pitt had a better resume, which is what would be great about this system as the argument would be about the "bubble" teams in the 16-20 range, not the 2-5 range.
(computer numbers from BCS, strength of schedule from usatoday)
-computers- 2, 2, 2, 3, 3, 4
-strength of schedule 12
-W- Colo, OkU, Misso, OkSU
-L- at Texas Tech
-computers- 5, 5, 6, 6, 6, 7
-strength of schedule 56
-W- Clem, Uga, OleMiss, LSU
-L- UF neutral site
Texas Tech 11-1
-computers- 2, 3, 3, 5, 6, 6
-strength of schedule 27
-W- Neb, Kan, UT, OkSU
-L- at OU
Ohio State 10-2
-computers- 10, 10, 9, 11, 14, 15
-strength of schedule 45
-W- UW, MSU, NW, Minn
-L- at USC, PSU
-computers- 9, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14
-strength of schedule 76
-W- BYU, AF
-L- OkU, Utah
Oklahoma State 9-3
-computers- 11, 12, 13, 13, 17, 18
-strength of schedule 39
-W- Misso, Colo
-L- UT, Tech, OU
-computers- 11, 14, 18, 19, 19, 20
-strength of schedule 84
-L- TCU, Utah
-computers- 13, 13, 15, 17, 17, 18
-strength of schedule 13
-W- USC, Vandy, LSU, UK
-L- Bama, UF, GT
Georgia Tech 9-3
-11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 16
-strength of schedule 31
-W- BC, Clem, FSU, Miami, Uga
-L- VaTech, Uva, UNC
-computers- 12, 14, 23, 23, 21, 18
-strength of schedule 22
-W- Buff, Iowa, USF, Navy, ND, WVU, Uconn
-L- BG, Rutgers, Cincy
The Pro BCS Arguments
-Protects integrity of the bowl system
This is absurd. The BCS makes all but one bowl game completely irrelevant. The BCS incorporates 4 bowls and 10 teams. Under this proposed playoff all 4 of the BCS bowls are still included plus 6 more teams get a chance. Either the 3 worst bowl games die out, not a real loss, or they suck up the handful of still available 6-6 teams and continue to put on 6-6 v. 6-6 bowl games that about 37 people care about.
-BCS helps protect the student athletes
Whatever. Every other level of college football has a playoff. Nobody at the NCAA or BCS is crying out about the atrocity that those playoffs bring upon those student athletes. College football is about making money now a days, whether we like it or not. Why else would they add a 12th regular season game or conference championship games? College football players, when they play on Saturdays, miss zero class time as opposed to college basketball and other sports that regularly play and travel mid-week.
-BCS makes the regular season the most valuable, best regular season in sports
BS. The post season in college football is completely meaningless because it is an entirely subjective choice to pick two out of 120ish teams to play for the title, thus, in my opinion, the regular season is completely meaningless as well. A playoff format such as this still makes the regular season great as only conference champions and the next 5 best teams get in.
Under this best guess of a tournament field, the at large teams include three 1 loss teams, one 2 loss team, and one 3 loss team with two 2 loss teams left out. There is still great value in the regular season because of the value of a conference championship and the automatic bid and the fact that 1 or 2 losses could mean elimination from the at large pool. This way, the regular season could actually be more valuable as there would be more relevant games as the season progresses because of greater opportunity for making the tournament field. Seriously, who the hell cared about the MAC, ACC, and C-USA title games last week? The value of those games and other late season games would be much greater for teams as they would still have a chance to make the tournament.
Why the BCS stinks
The system is totally subjective and full of conflicts of interest (the coaches’ poll) and uninformed, clueless voters (harris poll and coaches’ poll to a certain extent). The BCS claims the regular season is a playoff but when Texas beats Oklahoma, Oklahoma still gets the advantage in the end by running up the score the last month of the season. The BCS claims that there is some reasonable, rational method of determining a championship match-up of 2 out of 120ish teams. And worst of all, the BCS title game is anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks from the end of the regular season as opposed to a playoff that would be a continuation of the just completed season instead of one game after a month off.
Seems to be a lot of questions about LLP, so I thought I would throw this out there.
First Game: December 20th versus Oakland at the Palace.
I attended the open practice/scrimmage after the northwestern game this fall (I think I get a double black belt or something...anywho) and this kid is legit. The practice and scrimmage were intense. Obviously, things can change 'when the lights come on' but nothing suggests he won't be able to perform at the same level or better in games.
Notes on the scrimmage - He absolutely drained a three from the top of the key. nice stroke and very confident. He also jumped into a passing lane, stealing the ball, taking about three dribbles and jamming it home on the other end before anyone really had time to react. My friend turned to me eyebrows raised and said 'shot out of a cannon'. Notably - he 'ran with the ones' as they say the whole time as well, which was a little surprising to me, but obviously speaks to what Beilein thinks he will contribute.
On to the impact for the team:
To address some points from previous threads, first is chemistry. He has been with the team for about a year. He gets along with everyone and has been practicing and lifting and working with them that whole time. If anything, I think the team will be really happy that he finally gets to play because they all realize he is going to make them a better team.
Second - Offensive Impact - he is a 'combo guard' meaning he will play both the 1 and 2. He is a very good shooter and a scorer. He can drive and is a good passer. He will be the best guard on the team. (this excludes Manny as he is playing wing this year). Will he score 20 a game? no. Can he in a single game? yes. He will take a significant amount of pressure off Manny and Sims and will be that third consistent scorer contributing probably 8 to 12 points a night.
Third - Defensive Impact - this has been the most talked about aspect of his game is his voracity on the defensive side of the ball. He will immediately give the team the ability to play significantly more effective man-to-man defense if he is in at the two guard and Grady is at the one. If he is at the point, he also gives the baseline man in the 1-3-1 significantly better height/more of a presence running out to challenge the corner three pointer.
Fourth - Minutes - He will take minutes from Merrit, Lee, Novak and probably a lot of Douglass' minutes. I don't think any one person will be affected to the point where they become disgruntled, except for maybe Douglas if he takes that starting spot.
To sum up - LLP will have a tremendous impact in upgrading the team's performance in games and being able to consistently score within games and also on a game to game basis. He has ALREADY had an impact by making practices more challenging and has positively affected the other guards games' by pressuring them in practice and providing competition for their minutes.
Update: Link to highlights from open gym while LLP was at AZ below. This is roughly 1.5 years old and he is presumably improved from that time, especially under Beilein's tutelage.
(link ganked from comments on another thread. Thanks to baorao for finding it. as he noted, music on the highlihgt movie might not be safe for work.)
Ok, to start out, maybe ruin is too strong of a word, but college football would not be the same if we had playoffs. I know most of you will probably disagree with me, and that’s fine.
I’ll skip the obvious arguments that have been rehashed over and over (the regular season is a de facto playoff, the money from bowls, etc.) The real reason I don’t want to see a playoff is that it would take away what makes college football unique: chaos, controversy, endless debate.
Let me say that college football is, by far, my favorite sport. Especially Michigan football. Nothing else comes close. NFL? I don’t care. Outside the Super Bowl (is the NFL going to sue me for using its proper name?), there are no “must see” games, especially in the regular season. Pats-Colts? (of recent years, not necessarily this year) They’ll meet again in the playoffs, so I can miss the game. Basketball? Never been a huge fan. When Michigan was good, I watched, but never had the passion for it that I had for football. Hockey? Getting close, wish more Michigan hockey games were televised. NHL doesn’t matter at all until the playoffs, then it’s a crap shoot of whoever is hot.
I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in believing that college football has the most passionate fans of any sport. And that’s why we shouldn’t have playoffs. Sure, the BCS causes controversy, but it’s that controversy that fans the flames of fans passion:
It’s the endless debate of which team deserves it more.
It’s that the stakes are so high, and the system is so subjective.
It’s that everything matters: It’s not just your record; it’s who you lost to and when you lost.
It’s that upsets matter. USC losing to Oregon State wouldn’t have mattered if there were a playoff, USC would have still made the playoff. But they lost, so it changes everything.
It’s the insanity of last year when top ranked team after top ranked team lost.
It’s the debate between co-champions. Michigan-Nebraska in 97-98? Yeah, it would have been great for them to play each other and decide it all, but if they did, we wouldn’t still be talking about and passionate about it now. Auburn in 04-05? They can still complain about being screwed. If there was a playoff, who would still be talking about that year?
It’s that columnists would be out of jobs (not that that would necessarily be a bad thing). If there was a playoff, what would they write about? What do they write about now? When in doubt, write about how the BCS sucks.
Yeah, even with a playoff there would still be some controversy about teams that missed the playoffs, but there’s much less passion when arguing about who’s #8 (or 4 or 16 or whatever depending on the playoff format).
It’s the analysis to the nth degree. Strength of schedule, style points, who’s playing the hottest right now, and on and on.
It’s the “what ifs?” What if Michigan had played Nebraska in 97-98? What if it had been Auburn-USC in 04-05? What if it had been Auburn-Oklahoma in 04-05? What if Texas had been in the Big 12 championship game this year?
Controversy, debates, arguments, unanswered (and un-answerable) questions, upsets that truly affect the big picture. These are the things that make college football the greatest sport out there. All that goes away (or is seriously diminished) with playoffs. All the mystique, all the debate – gone. There would be no questions left. There would be no debating events from 3, 5, even 10 years ago. Everybody wants a playoff so that everything ends up settled, nice and neat. And a good playoff system would do just that. But then college football is just NFL jr.
Let’s not fix the “flaw” that sets college football apart. Otherwise it’ll just blend in to the sports background.
I agree with the WLA post on money keeping the BCS in place, but don't think a viable alternative would really be that hard to figure out. In an 8 team playoff, there would be 7 games, 4 quarterfinals, 2 semi's, and a championship game. with 6 major conferences and a whole bunch of schools we can group as "other" it gives us a total of 7 different groups we must appease.
Now, when you start the playoff, you start a rotation of games. You have games 1-7 numbered and drawn out of a hat, with 1 being the title, 2-3 being the sems, and 4-7 being the quarters. Each conference, including other, gets to choose a site among its schools to host their game at this year. The tv rights for that game would be sold to that conference and they would then sell them to a network. By doing this the conference can rake in ad revenue and ticket sales from each game. Obviously games would try to be matched regionally in the quarters so as to increase draw.
Each year the conferences rotate, going up one number, or, if they are number 7, going down to 1. This is necessary because obviously some games will make more money than others. You also would keep the current non bcs bowl structure for teams that do not make it into the playoff system, yet still get 6 wins, as sort of a huge nit.
I believe the offense will be sooooo much better next yr. Why? Were on the second year of the offense. Maybe threet did bad because he wasnt comfortable, so things kept running in his head, and it made him do bad? He has his 2nd year playing in the offense next season. As does EVERYone else. Last offseason was a learning the system type. This offseason its going to be mastering the system. Plus, all those freshmen u seen play, only had 2 months before game 1. Now they got a whole offseason to get ready. When they fix a couple things they will be golden. Less fumbles, and we'll be unstoppable(really). When our offense this yr was on, it was hard to stop.. then bam theres a fumble and everything went down hill.
We had 18 turnovers this season, or 18 fumbles? I dont remember. But RR had the same thing on his first year at WVU, he had a +19 turnover margin, the next yr i think he went -8 or somehting.
Michigan will fix everything, they will be back, NEXT YEAR.
Oh.. and we also got two good dual threat qbs coming in. Maybe one will win the job. Let the best qb play.
Less fumbles, more experience, one more offseason to learn/master the offense, shitload of young talent. I cant wait.. Pray for no injuries(that hurt us at RB this yr)