WolverineNation had a discussion on who they felt was the biggest surprise through the first 5 games. Their picks were : Elliott Mealer, Quinton Washington, and Devin Funchess. I'm curious to hear who you guys feel is the biggest surprise so far this year? My pick is Funchess, I think he has the makings to be Michigans best receiving TE ever. My second pick is Devin Gardner. We all knew he had the size to be a great WR, but he has definitely surpassed my expectations.
Until sometime Saturday evening, Michigan’s season was somewhat of an enigma. Entering Big Ten play the anecdotal evidence for the season was a mixed bag. Good performances against bad teams, weak performances against good (Air Force offense and Notre Dame) and great (Alabama) teams. Purdue entered Big Ten play with a similar resume. Big wins against three bad teams and a close loss against Notre Dame. Vegas installed Michigan as a slight road favorite more on preseason expectations than what has happened thus far.
Michigan responded with an old school MANBALL beat down and the picture is starting to become clearer. This is not a juggernaut Michigan team that can contend with the top teams in the country, but it is also a team that hasn’t faced a major let down the likes Michigan St, Iowa, Nebraska and the rest of the Legends division have seen already this year. Michigan’s remaining schedule shows only one team rated higher than them on offense and defense (Ohio St) and three teams that eclipse them on offense (Nebraska) or defense (Michigan St and Iowa).
Projected Michigan Wins
[After THE JUMP, where does Denard rank among 2012 NCAA QBs?]
Ok, so after a week that saw me put up a wallpaper in the eleventh hour before the game, I decided to make sure I got this out earlier. Poor Illinois, they're so bad this year it's like men versus boys this coming Saturday - hence, this wallpaper idea. I know it's not totally original, but the Illini are just that uninspiring an opponent. I also didn't necessarily want to wander down the path of the non-politically correct Native American references. Anyway, as usual, I appreciate your comments and insights. Also, should you have any ideas for other designs for this week or the coming weeks, let me know. I am somewhat happy with the little Michigan field logo I created to house the team logos. Enjoy!
[bump: we got guys yo]
This might be one of those things that's cool only to me, but the chart below depicts the current rankings of prospects in the class of 2013. I used 247's composite rankings, which combine those from 247, Rivals, Scout, and ESPN. Each colored sliver represents a committed recruit. The total number of commitments for each program is provided next to the school's name.
I've binned these by 50s, so there's some rounding going on. Basically, if you look under the "1" on top, you'll see a sliver for every player ranked 1-50 in the national composite rankings. OSU has four of those, Penn State has two, and we have one (Morris). The last group ("1001+") represents recruits ranked 1000 or lower or, in almost all cases, unranked recruits.
I had to be creative with the rankings for a few recruits (e.g., JC guys), but I just figured out where their ratings would place them on the regular high school recruit scale.
A few of my observations:
Big two, little ten. For real. Those two programs are drawing from an entirely part of the distribution from the rest of the Big Ten programs.
These group together pretty nicely. It looks like there are basically three tiers. The top tier is Michigan and OSU. The second tier is Nebraska, Wisconsin, Penn State (for now at least), MSU, and Iowa. Then there's everyone else.
- Someone should make sure that Minnesota's planning to continue its football program. One key ingredient for a football program: football players. Minnesota, you might want to get a few of those.
Last week in the St. Clairsville HS football game, No. 10 Michael Ferns took off on a 52 yard run and intentionally ran out of bounds at the 1 yard line. He did this so another player on his team could score the touchdown.
Logan Thompson just lost his father during the week. So he was brought on to take the one yard plunge through a huge hole to the end zone to score in his father's memory.
This has to be one of the most unselfish acts I can ever recall in high school sports.
Kudos to Ferns for being a good teammate. Kudos to Hoke and company for recruiting true future Michigan Men.