In addition to Friday's tilt with Michigan playing Kansas, we'll all be keeping an eye on the MSU vs. Duke game. For many of us it's a classic meteor game, with the upside being that one of them has to lose, but I thought the board might like to sound off on who to pull for.
I've pretty quickly concluded that I'll pinch my nose and pull for MSU. Partially for Big Ten pride, partially because I have a modicum of respect for the job Izzo's done (even if much of it was done via low-hanging fruit from the Ed Martin bushwa), and part of it because I know some pretty decent MSU fans. But mostly because I have an almost pathological dislike for Duke and the bulk of their fans.
I first came to dislike Duke because of Christian Laettner. I read a story in SI way back when where Cherokee Parks came to Laettner's dorm room on a visit, and Laettner cold-cocked him - and followed it up with screaming at Parks about how tough you need to be to play for Duke. At the time I thought "this guy Laettner sounds like a total jackass" and nothing I've seen since changes that view. A talented jackass to be sure, but a jackass.
And then there's Krzyzewski. When I was a kid, I bought into the "he's a class act and does things the 'right way'" image that's hard to get away from even these days. As I got older, I learned to dislike the cult built around him - it's an almost pre-Sandusky Paterno cult of personality. He's been successful, but seems like a weasel most times I see him. From his whinging about fans rushing the court after losing to VA, to his talking about recruiting kids with "character" but somehow overlooking recruiting areas like Detroit (Shane Battier doesn't count - Detroit Country Day sure isn't Detroit!), to defending thuggish moves from the likes of Gerald Henderson, to the American Express ad, and on and on.
And the Duke fans are generally wretched. Anyone who jaws about "Michigan Arrogance" or "Domer Arrogance" likely has not seen the pinnacle of douchebaggery. Whether they chanted about NC State's player's grandmother's death or not - the fact that it was believable to many spoke volumes.
(I have some respect for a few Duke alumns - Grant Hill, Tommy Amaker, and several on the academic side of the equation. But if Coach K. and Laettner are going to be your poster children, well - that's your poster.)
So yeah - MSU fans may have a large juggalo contingent, wear a bunch of Axe, burn upholstered furniture at bad times, and paint numbers on their chest representing days since U-M won in basketball right before they lose on national TV. But I'll be grudgingly pulling for them on Friday.
Who are you pulling for, and why?
Here's an interesting Rivals article (link). Highlights!
- Obviously: OSU and Michigan have the best recruiters. You probably know all about Michigan's body of work, but OSU was admittedly impressive in Texas and Georgia. They secured the #1 Texan and took a 4 star running back wanted by Texas/Oregon. They also beat out 'Bama and Georgia for a 5 star Georgian linebacker.
- Also expected: Fred Jackson's recruiting prowess in Detroit is like Nick Saban and Lane Kiffin, but cleaner (This is almost not an exaggeration.)
- Greg Mattison's work all over the country gets mentioned. He's credited for securing Poggi from the Crimson Temptress, but you probably knew that already.
- I think Indiana's continued recruiting successes are the most noteworthy. They pulled a couple 4 star prospects from the Hoosier State--but also a 4 star out of Georgia. Indy raiding the SEC is pretty wild.
- Jerry Montgomery didn't make the list. These things probably vary by year, and I don't think it's a strong indication of anything in particular, but it's a relevant omission for Michigan fans.
- Frosting should come in two varieties: Chuck E. Cheese-style and the kind made with cream cheese. Also, all pie crusts should be made of graham crackers.
Title pretty much says it all, but apparently WIlton will not be participating in the Rivals Camp Series. He was invited, but turned it down per Rivals message board - Tim Sullivan
I've never seen a kid invited to show his talents/compete and turn it down, but he has his reasons.
I am not sure if that means he won't be doing the All-Star games too or what.
Tim says it may be because he learned a little something about getting burned out (sick) from Shane.
Shane Morris is now a 5-star on Rivals. Let us rejoice and rain praise upon him. But let it be known, Mike Farrell still hates Michigan.
You can see the number of stars on his profile: http://rivals.yahoo.com/michigan/football/recruiting/player-Shane-Morris...
Other commits in the Rivals 100 should have their rankings update as well, if someone at a computer would like to list them below, I'd be happy to paste them up here.
Shane Morris: Was 22, now 17
Henry Poggi: Was 52, now 58
Mike McCray: Was 55, now 81
Patrick Kugler: Was 73, now 88
Kyle Bosch: Was 77, now 92
Chris Fox, Dymonte Thomas no longer in top 100.
Thanks to DCAlum and AAB for putting the updates together.
Treadwell performed great at pretty much all the camps he attended. Rivals is even speculating that he could be in the running for #1 when the new ratings come out. While I don't see that happening I could definitely see him moving up. Come on LaQuon turn blue already!
Bailey also getting some attention.
Michigan has made the top 3 for Kendall Fuller. Most consider it to be a two way race between Va Tech and Clemson, with Michigan in 3rd. Most analysts are betting that he goes to Va Tech, and I'm inclined to agree. But if we get him on campus again, who knows what could happen?
Anyways, the information is publicly available in the title of the article on the Michigan Rivals' site. Just click on the link: http://michigan.rivals.com/