this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
I keep hearing a lot of things said about our dearly departed QBs of the last couple years, and some of the assumptions don't make sense to me. This is the way I hear the story told, without dates but in chronological order:
1. Threet chooses Georgia Tech and Mallett chooses Michigan
2. Threet chooses to transfer to Michigan
3. Mallett doesn't like Michigan and decides to transfer to Arkansas
4. Threet chooses to transfer away from Michigan
Tell me if this doesn't make more sense. Bear with me as this is intricate:
1. Mallett grew up a Razorback fan but he wouldn't start over Mustain (or he assumed as much), so he goes to the next-best statue-QB school available: Lloyd Carr's Michigan Wolverines
2. Threet grew up a Michigan fan, but knowing that Mallett would be there, he shied away
3. Mallett doesn't like Michigan and Michigan doesn't like Mallett. Even the football seems to hate Mallett, as it finds ways to slip out of his hands time and time again.
4. Mitch Mustain transfers to USC. Mallet transferring to Arkansas becomes a question of when, not if. Carr knows this.
5. Carr looks furiously for the best available option. He knows Threet would transfer if he knew that Mallett was leaving, so he tells him that. Threet can't tell anyone that he knows Mallett is transferring, though.
6. Michigan has a bad season, Carr is gone, Rodriguez is hired.
7. Threet sees he's not in our long term plans anymore. His transfer is a question of when, not if. The wide open starting job of last season kept him at bay for a year.
8. Rodriguez knows the situation and looks furiously for two QB recruits. He is telling them that Threet is as good as gone. (How do you get two comparably talented QBs to be part of the same class, with last year's starter returning? Perhaps the reason we kept losing commits was because they kept being assured Threet was transferring, but it wasn't happening.)
9. Threet transfers; hello starting freshman QB! (edit:
Notice that we had no more QB decommits as soon as the transfer was made public.)
The big difference in timeline 2 is that everyone's actions are reactions to something external rather than unprovoked. What do you think? Is there evidence that Threet really opted to transfer to a volatile coaching situation, knowing he would sit behind a 5-star QB for four years? That makes no sense to me, especially since he transferred again this offseason because he doesn't want to be a benchwarmer.
In response to occasional "gasps" I read in various places about UMs recruiting falling off under RichRod, I've looked over UM's recruiting classes for the last 7 years (that's as far back as Rivals and Scout go) and compared those classes with this 2009 class (as it is so far). The results show that this class is going to be a "typical" UM class in terms of quality. In fact, this year's class will likely end up above average when the final pieces fall into place (Do you hear me Big Will??).
I've used average star ratings from Rivals and Scout. I use the average star rating rather than the rankings of the classes for some obvious reasons. First, the ranking of the class depends somewhat on its size and I am interested in quality, not quantity. Second, the rankings of classes year to year does not allow good comparisons across years for the same school. For example, UMs class in 2005 was ranked second in the nation but had a lower average star rating than the 2007 class which ended up ranked 10th in the nation:
This year's class, as it currently stands, is average for Rivals and a little below average for Scout. There are 5 spots left to fill in the class (+ or - one depending on who you listen to). If Will Campbell is one of those spots, the number will shift into above average territory on both Rivals and Scout. If another 4-star or two are added to the class in addition, the class will move firmly into above average territory. In fact, if Big Will and a few additional 4-stars are added, the class will be the second best since 2002 on Rivals (with 2003 being the best) and firmly above average on Scout.
The perception that recruiting has fallen off comes from something OTHER than the actual quality of our recruits. My opinion (and only an opinion) if that it comes from a shift in the emphasis of the recruiting. Recruiting attention has shifted to the slot-dots and fans' attention and discussion is disproportionately about those players. I think this is because they are the new type of player UM is after and people tend to focus on changes. Anyway, there are quiet a few of them and many are 3-star guys. I think this means the perception becomes that "most" of out recruits are 3-star guys when, in fact, there hasn't been much of a change from the traditional quality of UM recruiting classes.
I was listening to Detroit Sports radio for the first time on iTunes
today (I live in San Diego), and between talking about the Lions trade
they were putting Rich Rod on blast like nothing I have ever seen. They
were ruthlessly roasting his ass for his poor performance this season.
Of all the callers calling in there was only one guy who attempted to
stick up for RRod, and honestly this guy's argument was poorly
presented, appeared weak, and made him look ignorant.
disheartening. I am a fan of RRod and I believe he can do it, but it
looks like he is under serious fire in Michigan. I don't make
judgements anymore or open my mouth on the issue because I have learned
the hard way how idiotic Sunday morning quarterback fans are. In 2003 I
expected, as a Michigan fan, that UM would have a legitimate shot at a
NC. I stomached the loss to Oregon believing they still had a shot, but
when they lost to Iowa it was a backbreaker for me. In my drunken
stupor following the game, I did the stupidest thing I have ever done
as a fan, let alone one of the stupidest things I have ever done
period. I hastily looked up the UM Board of Regents online and sent
them an email. I COPIED EVERY ONE OF THEM. The subject of this email
was "Fire Coach John Carr." I. shit. you. not. In my haste and stupor,
I messed up the name of our head coach. One of the regents actually
responded, copying every one of the other regents, basically correcting
me, sticking up for Lloyd, and justifying their actions in the most
eloquent and cordial way possible. It was mortifying when I realized
what I had done. The Internet, both a blessing and a curse...
There is a lesson to be learned here. That lesson is that at least 80 -
95 percent of fans just need to shut the hell up because they have no
clue what they are talking about. They do not attend practices. They do
not personally know, or even talk to, the players. Most don't even do
anything more than watch a game on Saturday, and even that is done with
little understanding of the fundamentals of what is going on in those
games. It is one of the easiest things in the world to criticize
others, especially after the fact. As fans, we need to remember this.
There should be standards and expectations for any coach at Michigan,
but in the same respect, excercising diligence and restraint before
criticizing these coaches is absolutely necessary. That is all.
Given the below link, don't be surprised if RichRod is creatively charged with a crime soon.
After watching three big ten games really from start to finish, with the exception of the start of the Wisconsin game I came to a realization. The big ten and Michigan in particular need to get tough with the scheduling. A couple reasons why:
With the scholarship limits, teams are going to even out in terms of talent and consequently teams like Miami (not that Miami) will only schedule home and homes with BCS teams.
What adds to that equation is the clear drop off in officiating from the Big Ten, SEC, Big 12 and Pac 10. Not that it would have changed the outcome of the game, but the officiating yesterday was awful by any stretch of the imagination. I know it was Big East officials, but then again is the Big East really a BCS conference? FWIW, the Big East officiating of last years BCS game was atrocious as well.
So in summation, I think schools like Michigan and Ohio State should have a couple demands any time they are going to play on the road. Officials will be from one of the big 4 conferences, no exceptions!
By the way this post was in part fueled by the job done on Michigan and reinforced by the job done on Wisconsin, that was a complete joke and reminded me of our game against Nebraska in 2005.
I posted this over on my blog Ann Arbor Machinations but I don't think anyone actually reads it so I figured I'd put it up here too.
Coach Rodriguez certainly has brought an openness that certainly did not exist in the Wolverine football program under Coach Carr. There has been media access to practices. We held a televised practice on BTN. The problem with all of this access is that it only has brought us more questions and concerns. The Wolverine fan community (at least the blaggers and readers of blags) have never been so uneasy and divided over a season. We have no real clue as to who are starting quarterback will be against Utah, let alone what our offense is going to look like. I’m scared as hell, yet… DAMN I’M PUMPED. We’re down to 8 days left. Mysteries will be solved.
Or so we think.
The glasnost of Comrade Rodriguez’s regime may not be all it seems. I don’t think we will truly see what we are in for this year until conference ball starts. I wish I knew what we were going to be running this fall. I wish I knew who the quarterback was. It is kind of like a kid at Christmas, wishing he could open his gifts early.
Woah! Just what I always wanted!
Threet is starting quarterback and should have been given a fifth star as a recruit!
Then comes the time when the toy breaks and it’s not really what you expected anyway.
That is ok though, that’s what birthdays are for.
I would rather not know what I’m getting for Christmas. The excitement is worth the wait.