I'VE HAD JUST ABOUT ENOUGH OF YOU SONNY
Games:359 ND Wins:231 ND Losses:124 Ties:4 Pct:0.649
Games:367 UM Wins:267 UM Losses:95 Ties:5 Pct:0.734 (UMs overall winning percentage went down a full .016 or 1.6% bc of last year)
Games:349 MSU Wins:171 MSU Losses:175 Ties:3 Pct: 0.494
This was not intended as some sort of claim or message but, instead, simply making the numbers available should it be helpful or useful for others. It is interesting to see how dominant the Michigan team has been over 30 years in which there were some tough 7-5 seasons. I had also forgotten MSU had a 2-9 and 0-11 season in their record, as recently as 1994.
"There run's through the core of all Michigan activities both on and off this campus, a certain intangible thing. We call it "The Michigan Spirit". Maybe you can relate to it. It's the atmosphere that permeates that stadium every Saturday afternoon in the fall where over a hundred thousand fans patiently wait to see whether Bo Schembechler is going to continue his winning ways. You know what I mean! You can feel the tension, the excitement, the charisma that surrounds that stadium every Saturday afternoon. Especially ten to fourteen minutes before kickoff. When a hush settles over that stadium and we all anxiously wait for that simple 4 word command to eminate out of the P.A. system. I can hear it now! "Band take the field!" and out of that eastern tunnel pour 215 well drilled, well disciplined Michigan bandsmen. They pour over the Eastern sideline and they form the big block M and they play the greatest college fight song ever written! The Michigan Victors!! That's when the chills go up and down your spine! You get goose pimples all over, your blood turns maize and blue and everyone out there becomes part of the winningest tradition in the history of Big Ten football as well as the winningest tradition in the history of Big Ten athletics. Folks lets join in and sing the song that the late and great John Phillip Sousa claimed was the greatest college fight song ever written. The Michigan Victors!!!"
This is in response to Meeechigan Dan's post from yesterday re: Alabama's over-recruiting...
I read the OP last night, but I came back to read it again today because it was so well written and thought provoking (Great job, btw!). I am wondering why doesn't M do this? I know the OP said over-recruiting is cheating, but I beg to differ. The NCAA rules do not forbid over-recruiting, they actually encourage it with their own rules. If the NCAA has imposed limits of 28 recruits per year, and you want to win, why not give yourself the best opportunity to maximize your recruiting class each and every year? In other words, why would you only recruit 25 players to fill 25 roster spots, when you are allowed to recruit 28 players to fill 25 spots?
We all know that usually 6 - 7 recruits from each class (and sometimes more) don't "make it" (i.e. don't qualify academically, transfer, injury, etc), not to mention how many recruits just are not good enough to play on a consistent basis. Why shouldn't we over-recruit to allow for these "expected" circumstances? If we took the NCAA allowed maximum 28 recruits each year in each class, we would have 112 players over a 4 year period. This would allow us 27 extra players that could be used as replacements when guys get career ending injuries (Bass or Zirbel), decide to transfer (O'Neill or Mallett), when guys are just "busts" or for whatever reason necessary.
I've heard it said many times on this board (and I happen to agree) that when a marginally talented recruit (i.e. Wermers, Feagins) decides to leave the program, it's not that bad of a thing. After all, it does open up a scholarship slot. The same situation occurs when a player that has worked his butt off for 3 or 4 years and is not offered a 5th year with the program, mainly to open up a scholarship slot.
Why don't we just start doing this on a larger scale and let each and every player know that their scholarship is not necessarily "guaranteed" for all 4 or 5 years, especially if they are not meeting the expectations of the program. The influx of additional recruits would not only cause more competition at each and every position each and every year, but it would also ensure that we have only the best 85 players on the roster at all times. This would give us the best possible opportunity at success.
IME, the only downside to this would be the affect it would have on graduation rates and APR, and I know this is a BIG one. I am just not sure how the Alabama's and other big-time programs are doing this, but we cannot. (Brian or someone with a much better knowledge of APR would have to comment on the ramifications of this.)
The Alabama recruiting abuses have always deeply troubled me, and I very much enjoy when Brian takes them to task. Despite those efforts, I still think the issue is under-exposed.
Alabama cheats*. Alabama’s cheating is more effective and has far greater impact than any conventional cheating one might consider, such as paying recruits or bribing officials. Alabama is playing with a significantly expanded roster. It would be akin to a 30 man roster for the Red Wings with no salary restrictions on the top end. Or John Beilein being able to work with 17 scholarships for an extended period of time. Those who point out that teams that oversign still have to trim down to the 85 scholarship limit apparently refuse to acknowledge it is the marginal players who will be “trimmed”; the best players will remain. For those who reject the expanded roster analogy, then perhaps it is similar to having a developmental squad from which budding stars can be promoted and to which disappointments can be demoted and eventually “let go.”
I have developed nothing new here, just restated a problem we’ve all discussed before. What is missing is the full impact of oversigning.
As a refresher, here are the last four classes for Alabama and Michigan.
Alabama oversigned by 22 players and Michigan undersigned by 1. I don’t care about any individual stories – players who didn’t make the grade, players who changed their minds, players abducted by Andromedans. Doesn’t matter. The reality is that those stories, those excuses have to be there because of the oversigning. The stories do not create oversigning, oversigning creates the stories.
That is a twenty-three player advantage over the last four years. A whole class, consisting of four 5 star players, ten 4 star players and nine 3 star players.
What would Michigan be like today if they had at their disposal the cream of an additional crop? Let’s put faces and names on such a class. Given that Michigan has only had five 5 star players over the last four years, we’ll need four of those. I drew lots and William Campbell was the odd man out. Next, we need ten 4 star players, or 2.5 per year (to spread the tenure of the players out over the four classes). Since I can’t cut a player in half, I went 3, 2, 3, 2, taking the best and worst 4 star from each class and the middle-ranked 4 star for the classes where an extra player was needed (if an even number, I flipped a coin). I needed nine 3 stars or two per class with one extra coming from the class with the most three stars, again top, bottom and middle when needed.
Here’s your class:
These would be additional players in the system over the last four years. The names are a reference point – envision an identical player of equal skill that would be part of the team. Sort of like the mgoblog YMRMFSPA.
Now, what would having that additional talent do to our two deep?
By my crude analysis, that would be an additional five starters for the 2009 team with three more breaking into the two deep. Feel free to disagree here and suggest other combinations.
I admit I have Mallet-clone starting over Tate. That may produce some debate; however, a highly-rated, five star veteran, even if not a prototype spread QB, surely would get the nod to start this season. Look at the center of the OLine! Schilling, Molk and Boren-clone with Schilling-clone backing up both guard positions. Very nice. I give the Matthews-clone the nod over Hemmingway, but the wisdom of two possession receiver types is open for debate.
On defense, we are a good sight better. If we keep the 3 traditional linemen the same, we now have Graham-clone as the Deathbacker. Is he too big for that role? Then we can move him to DT and have Van Bergen backup, which might bring another clone into service with the LB corps. A DLine of Graham, Martin, Graham-clone is frightening. We have Ezeh-clone backing himself up in the middle, which supplies nice depth. At the corners, we have the two Warrens starting with the two Cissokos backing them up, which, in my opinion, makes for the deepest set of corners in the conference, and one of the top CB groups in the nation. Our nickel and dime packages would be lethal.
No real help at the Safety position because we are drawing on our own history here!
From a distance, on offense I see a powerful, very deep interior OLine to clear the way for Minor Rage, and a veteran QB with an intriguing backup. On defense, I likely see a front four of Graham, Van Bergen, Martin, with Graham-clone at Deathbacker, which is downright fearsome; two players rated as preseason All Big 10 selections in the front four. And I see an all world CB group with four guys who would probably start on any team in the Big 10.
Maybe Alabama is on to something after all.
* As does any team that egregiously oversigns.
A lot has been made about Gardner's recent camp outings, and the number of three stars we've taken ("Where are all the four stars WTF!!!11??"
Anyways, it was a mailbag topic over at rivals, right on the main page.