this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
Guys, I just had an awesome evening! My wife and I both graduated from UM and my wife is an auditor for UM. She has a yearly bowling outing, and guess who walks in?? Denard Robinson! I will tell you guys that I have been around a fair amount of Michigan football players, and this kid is a class act and will make us proud one day. I was trying not to be too excited and didn't approach him, but he actually came over and introduced himself to me. Since he broke the ice, I asked if he would take a picture with my son, and he did! By the way, he is a great bowler.. Great kid, and will go very far in life.
First off, I'd like to touch upon the Ty Isaac snafu. That absolutely positively blew my mind, and it also shocked people that are close to him. I've learned that in recruiting, gorgeous women in Los Angeles and California weather (and snoop dog apparently) can make even the safest bets unsure. I haven't been truly surprised in recruiting in a long time, and that really surprised me.
What can I say guys? In recruiting, you trust the guys who know the area and the coaches, but in the end, even they can be surprised. But hey, on to bigger and better things, eh? I've returned to you at the turn of the tide (no pun intended), to help you escape the boredom of no recruiting news. I've decided to do a weekly post, touching on football issues and recruiting. It will start on Monday, but I'll talk about a few things tonight.
- Henry Poggi- There is a sense around campus that he's leaning towards Bama. It confuses me however, to be completely honest. It sounds like the kid wants to play defensive tackle, and the likely commitment of Maurice Hurst damages Michigan's chances. That being said, the confusing part is that Saban&company are recruiting Henry as a Tight End. So a reasonable assumption, is that If he goes to Bama, then the commitment of Hurst to Michigan had little to nothing to do with it. I think Michigan would still hold a spot for Poggi regardless of this weekends activities. People who I talk to say Saban's professional mentality and toughness, have really impacted Henry's dad. This seems to have overcome potential clashes of personality and culture at Alabama that he is digesting.
- Derrick Green- I do believe Michigan has a legit shot here. Had they concentrated on Green harder from the get go, you guys would probably be his outright leader. For what it's worth, I don't believe he'll stay on the eastern seaboard, giving Michigan a real shot. I think he's every bit as talented as Ty Isaac, with perhaps better open field running ability, and better vision. Urban wants this kid BAD, but Green's parents aren't enthused with "the worst state ever" not we're they impressed by the recent "transgressions".
- Laquon Treadwell- I really wish I had some info on him, but with his school not being a traditional power, his HS coaches haven't developed relationships with a lot of other coaches, so it's hard to hear things. For what it's worth, if Michigan isn't the favorite for him after all this, I don't know who the hell it would be.
Come back Monday, and I'll delve into the prep for the game in September, local reaction, and humorous things that only happen in Alabama.
January 4th was at the peak apex and swift crescendo of a roller coaster of weirdness that permeated Ann Arbor, Michigan for the last four years. We all know that when things get weird, the weird turn pro, but what happens when things return to normalcy?
Michigan began a warpath of rampage wider than Genghis Khan. Michigan had no wall. The first victims of the conquering heroes were the clueless and tailback led offense. Nebraska has always had an interesting and sometimes intimidating offense. The TB actually plays in the QB position for Nebraska. This offense has seen days of complete domination and recently, days of high Drama between their prima donna TB/QB and their 12 time anger management/spittle distance champion coach. Their latest season proved to be as bi-polar as Pelini. The 2011 Cornhuskers team defeated foes the like of Michigan Staee Penitentiary, Iowa, and an emotionally charged cult team from State College, PA.
Michigan came in unsure about the future after many déjà vu experiences of late season collapses and self loathing tongue lashings. Watching the game in the quiet hamlet of Livonia with my necessary equipment and required medication, I quickly realized my mind did need prodding for altered consciousness. The serious beating of the Cornhuskers by the Wolverines was like watching an unruly Kodiak taking on a clubbed foot mink. This was a Michigan effort I haven’t seen in a long time.
Nebraska served as a launching pad for GoBo’s offense and Hoke’s voodoo pointing to the next week death match against the Terrell Pryor’s School of Selective Contributions located in a shitcan town dead center of a cesspool state north of where the Hatfields and McCoys spilled blood over swine. The game went back and forth and Michigan tried dearly to hand the evil empire an undeserving victory. As best as the philanthropic Wolverines tried, they ended a long agonizing stretch of losing to a team that needs four people to figure out how to spell their state’s name.
The Wolverines found themselves in an unusual place, playing football in January in New Orleans (Thank you to all the MGoGeographers out there for setting me straight). Unfortunately, I missed half the game studying an accordion type device that promised to send you to a planet of unicorns, badass grizzly care bears, and a bottomless plate of fat free/vitamin rich BBQ spare ribs. I did return from the outer reaches of the universe to see an anemic offense get in a position to win the game with a field goal. At first I thought I ended up on an episode of Sliders, reaching a parallel universe. Michigan winning a big game on special teams? Staunch defense not allowing massive deflation compared to the previous three years of eleventy billion ppg, to a high powered and traditional powerhouse from the ACC? I realized then that the ESPN3.com screen in front of me in a valley separating NY and PA that Todd Blackledge and Brad Nessler would never be in a place that resembles a personal utopia. This was real. The year ended and Michigan was Sugar Bowl champs. What now? What panic and angst would I write of? Is this the end of the modern day Greek tragedy known as Michigan football? As a fan I sure as hell hoped so, but as a periodic panic purveyor, I feared the worst.
As spring football ushers in absolutely nothing in substance and the recruiting trail of coming years are hot, the feared doldrums of normalcy and confidence have not yet fully entrenched the Michigan faithful for the upcoming year’s slate of games. The ulcer creating anticipation and fear are starting to creep back into the hearts of Mittenanders everywhere. The Michigan team will no longer be such a severe underdog for teams the like of Nebraska and they will also have to play the most difficult challenges in the belly of several beasts. The schedule is grim from start to finish with the exception of little brother at home. Dave Brandon sold his grandson’s first born male to play the incorruptible Tide of Alabama in the home of the vilest man in the NFL. Along with Alabama away, Michigan must also battle filth in Columbus, Nebraska, and South Bend. Also adding to the drama this year is the new coach for our last opponent of the regular season, Urban Meyer, or as I enjoy calling him, Pope Urban II. Will he tilt the edge back into the favor or mouth breathing truck drivers or will he wilt and receive mysterious personal and family issues pulling this great coach of Tim Tebow back to the commentator’s desk of Brent Musburger and Matt Millen?
Those issues above combined with the usual tragic injuries of gladiator sports, unexpected moments of disappointed, disgust, and the usual hijinks of college football are a sure bet to create the writing fuel many of the bloggers here eat up. With expectations up, and challenges large, we shall have another year in which there may be little actual turmoil, but we can be sure that turmoil, panic, and The Fear will have a safe place on this blog of myriad personalities and clinically psychotic bloggers in this invisible village of rabid fanatics. Have a great, safe, and twisted summer. See you in August.
PSU announced today that McGloin will be the starter, Jones the #2, and Bolden slides to #3. Let the QB carousel roll at PSU.
With only three weeks until the June 20 deadline when conference leaders hoped to have a final playoff model to sell to television executives, the time for compromise draws near. Which is why it's so interesting that the chair of the SEC's presidents and chancellors group would draw a line in the sand on one of the most controversial issues. Florida president Bernie Machen said the SEC would not compromise on having the four highest ranked teams in the playoff rather than a group of conference champions.
"We won't compromise on that," Machen said at the SEC spring meetings. "I think the public wants the top four. I think almost everybody wants the top four."
Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/andy_staples/05/31/sec.meetings/index.html#ixzz1wYPIRzPy
If Big 10 caves on this, I'll be pretty unhappy as it totally devalues the conference structure. Delany's had, in my mind, the best proposals since the beginning of this process. Home games with a preference for high ranked conference champs but still a space for at least one wild card seems the best way to introduce a playoff without destroying the meaning of the conference schedules and the regular season.
It's also interesting to see the different negotiating styles of the Big 10 vs. SEC in this process. Big 10 announces a proposal for home games and later abandons it publicly. SEC from beginning states preference for Top 4 ranked teams with no relation to conference champions, now they double down and say that it's an unconditional term for their participation. Unclear how they back off this without either losing face or saying that Machin didn't speak for the conference. This is also why the Big 10 shouldn't have abandoned the home game proposal without extracting some kind of concession.
If the SEC sticks to this plan as a condition of participation, I'd favor abandoning the playoff concept entirely and advocating a Plus 1, which would work well now that the Pac 12, Big 10, SEC, and Big 12 champs are all locked into "champion's bowls."
Hey MGoBloggers, just got back from a really fun event at Sunda in Chicago, the Illinois launch of TwentyFour wines from Charles Woodson. He took pictures with everyone, chatted with people, and we all had 4 glasses of different wines from their label. A few notes follow:
He's just a really nice guy. He holds C.S. Mott as a special place (which we already know) but he truly seems touched by his experiences there when he was a player and afterward. The proceeds from dinner and from the silent auction are going to his foundation which is tied to C.S. Mott. I picked up a signed authetic helmet. Pretty sweet swag I must say.
During question and answer session (about 50 people there), he talked about his time as Michigan. He felt his greatest football moment was his punt return against Ohio. He was asked if he was going to do the Heisman pose in the endzone, and his honest answer was yes, he wanted to do it, but he got mobbed by his teammates before he could. He said it turned out to be better that way b/c he feels the pose really was Desmond's moment, and the rose in the teeth is his. I agree with him 100%, I'm glad he didn't give the pose, although had he done it I'm sure we'd all look back at it and call it some sort of tradition.
Questions asked about his eventual HOF induction for the NFL and his Green Bay jersey retirement (good # of Packers fans at the event), and he was extremely humble saying he would hopes it will happen and would relish the events. He said he'd be speechless if the Packers retired his #.
Questions about winning a National Championship vs. a Super Bowl; he said at the time, since he's in college, there's nothing better than a NC, but once you get to the NFL, at that level, winning the Super Bowl is the best reward. Obviously a PC answer with a bipartisan crowd (almost tripartisan with a couple Raiders fans), but it was clear to me he has a lot of pride in winning that Super Bowl, but Michigan obviously has a special place in his heart.
Obvious questions about current team and coach. He said that, bottom line, Coach Hoke just cares about people and cares about his players. He's a no nonsense guy when it comes to that. He loves the kids and it's completely clear to every family he recruits that he loves the kids. That's part of what makes him so special. He said the turnaround in the team, even without "Hoke's" recruits, speaks for itself, and the excuses for the previous coaches (re: Rodriguez) not winning with Carr's recruits is, well, a swear word that I won't write out for Charles' sake. He said the biggest difference between now and the previous coach is, simply, flat-out coaching. It's better now than it was the previous 3 years. As with many former players, it's clear he loves where the program is and where it's going. Jarrett Irons also showed up and seemed to agree with what Charles said.
Question about being the "last" defensive player to win the Heisman. He laughingly corrected the guy and said he's the first and last defensive player to win it. Then he said he's sure another defensive player will win it eventually, but he's honored that he's been the only one so far.
As far as concussions and stuff, he talked at length about how he played flag-football from age 7, then started tackle at 11 or 12, and that's all he's really known in life. He feels like maybe he didn't take his education seriously b/c he knew he had the talent to get to the NFL. He laughed when he said he just recently found out how much more work he has to do to get his degree. He said a lot of guys just don't have the planning WHILE they're playing football for life AFTER football, and he's fortunate to have the wine stuff, the foundation stuff, and some other things to let him easily transition when he's done. Irons chimed in again and said the lack of association in the football fraternity is what causes so many guys to become depressed afterwards, not necessarily the hardship from lack of income and money and things like that. Charles seemed upset about Junior Seau's demise and doesn't think he'll end up that way. He said all those hits he's given and taken, he can't get them back, so he absolutely advocates what the NFL is doing to limit concussions and protect players.
I asked him directly when we were talking about the infamous fire. He said mostly stuff we already knew, but Rick (his wine partner who was also at the function) was the guy sleeping. Charles was up til at least 4 am, then saw the smoke. He woke Rick up, woke up his friend sleeping in a bedroom, and got them out. Others had already ran out as well. Someone there knew exactly how many people were staying at this 17,000 sqft house (Charles and Rick didn't know as they were out and came back late), so as Charles and Rick were running back into the house to get more people out, they were told the count was correct and nobody else was left inside. They watched the entire thing burn to the ground.
I asked him to play for our flag football team playoffs and he laughingly said he can't. We talked about a couple NFL guys who've injured themselves in the off-season and are probably going to lose some money. He's got 2 years left on his deal, so if he makes it 2 more seasons he should get a pretty decent contract afterwards (I think he'll be fine).
When asked about his Michigan jersey "retirement," he basically said, while smiling, "I'm not supposed to be talking about that." This leads me to believe he's gonna follow in Desmond's footsteps, yet again. Nothing we probably couldn't have guessed, but I'm assuming it means something this season. Maybe MSU? Illinois for homecoming? Nothing else seems worthy this year.
tl;dr, I know. Diary if it's deemed worthy. Thanks. Also, pardon mistakes, I've had too much wine. Goodnight.