The nutty Michigan coverage isn't so much about Harbaugh as it is a signal to the Big Ten that Fox wants to party.
NOTE: People couldn't view the images when hotlinked from Helmet Project (Nationalchamps.net), so I copied them all over to imageshack. Let me know if you're still having issues.
Saw a piece on Pat Devlin's draft prospects (remember him? Former 4* QB who originally committed to PSU, but transferred to Delaware after 2 seasons, following the Joe Flacco model) and saw his Blue Hen winged helmet. Made me wonder which college teams are currently sporting these helmets. So, thanks to wikipedia and the Helmet Project, I've put together a summary (with images!) of all winged helmets currently used in college today, as well as some historical helmets (ie, no longer used or from defunct teams). Don't know if I've missed anything while scanning through Helmet Project, but should be as comprehensive a list back to the 1950's as you'll find.
For additional reference, you can always check out the excellent write-up on the history of Michigan's winged helmet at the UM Bentley Historical Library website. And because I know some Sparty-sympathizer will bring it up, there is also an unofficial "Official" history of the winged helmet courtesy of Spartan Jerseys (and unlike UM teaching notre dame to play football or our marching band teaching ohio state's how to spell, msu just used it before UM; UM drew no inspiration from them. If anything, Michigan "inspired" msu to STOP using it after a 50-0 beatdown.).
Fyi, there are 3 teams in the list called the Wolverines (UM, Grove City, and San Bernadino Valley).
Div 1 FBS:
University of Michigan
Div 1 FCS:
Delaware Blue Hens
Grove City College (PA) Wolverines
Gustavus Adolphus (MN) Golden Gusties
Middlebury College (VT) Panthers
Nichols College (MA) Bison
San Bernadino Valley (CA) Wolverines
No longer used:
Graceland College (IA) Yellowjackets (NAIA )
Alfred State (NY) Pioneers (JuCo, ?-2009)
Carleton College (MN) Knights (DIII, ?-2000)
Averett College (VA) Cougars (DIII, 2002)
Olivet (MI) Comets (DIII, 2002-2004)
Franklin (IN) Grizzlies (DIII, 1991-1999)
William Paterson (NJ) Pioneers (DIII, 2003-2004)
Southwest Baptist (MO) Bearcats (DII, 2005-2007)
Pace (NY) Setters (DII, ?-2005)
Maine Black Bears (DI-AA, 1951-1975)
British Columbia Lions (CFL, 1950s-1961)
Philadelphia Eagles (NFL, 2007, special throwback helmet)
Connecticut Coyotes (Arena, 1996)
Blackburn College (IL) (?-1999)
St Peter's (NJ) (1999-2002, 2005-2006)
Not sure what exact time and it hasn't been announced by Colin yet. The show runs 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. EST. Anyone finds out, update/edit my post with the info. I gotta leave.
The questions about whether the Michigan position was an elite job for a coach presumably sparked the same question about recruiting. Whether high school athletes were still viewing Michigan as an elite program, and what the reason was that the Wolverines were getting passed up for other schools.
Magnus at Touch the Banner recently diagnosed where Michigan's offerees signed, and I wanted to expand on that. In his article he shows where kids ended up signing that had a Michigan offer. I wanted to look at how many total prospects Michigan was extending offers to, how many of those offered prospects ended up committed, and how those numbers compared to other top programs in the country.
There will definitely be some faults with these numbers, because I'm assuming that Rivals offer lists are 100% accurate, which they're not. To be fair though I will just go off the numbers that Rivals reports to give a consistent analysis. The chart below shows the numbers for the 2011 recruiting season, how many total offers were extended by each school, the total commitments they received, and the percentage of commits they received to the number of offers extended.
|School||Total Offers||Total Commitments||Percentage|
Again, this is all dependent on the fact that this information is either accurate, or consistently inaccurate. Either way, I don't think the numbers are that far off for each school to make a dramatic difference in the numbers. Magnus reported in his article that Michigan actually handed out 190 offers, which would drop their percentage even lower to 10.5%.
Florida State and Florida's higher offer numbers can most likely be attributed to the amount of talent and competition they have in close proximity. Rivals says there were 508 recruits in the 2011 class reporting offers from the state of Florida. That's a lot, and it explains some of their numbers. Auburn likely extended a lot of their offers before their season started, and there were still question marks about how it would turn out. I would expect their number of offers extended to somewhat decrease, although they are in heavy competition with Alabama and the southern schools.
Probably the best comparison to show where Michigan has gone is with Ohio State. Both schools recruit locally as a foundation, but have a large national presence. Ohio State has done an outstanding job, from what these numbers look to tell us, evaluating the talent that they want and getting those prospects to commit. Ohio State landed almost 36% of the prospects that they offered in 2011, which is a huge difference between the 11% from Michigan. These numbers say a few things about what has happened to Michigan's recruiting efforts. Either the Michigan coaches didn't land the prospects that they initially wanted, or that their game plan was to cast a wide net and hope to reel in some of the kids that they gave offers to.
To be fair, the argument can and should be made that there is historically more talent within Ohio, which might make it easier for Ohio State to land the kids they want. The same argument can be made that there's enough talent within the midwest that Ohio State and Michigan could each get some of the kids they offer. Let's then compare where Michigan used to be compared to Ohio State.
*I'm assuming that the numbers from 2005 are probably not very accurate because of the information that was available then. However, I'm still assuming we're comparing consistently inaccurate info for that year.
You'll notice that the numbers are much more similar, and this even given during 2007 when there was a lot of noise about Lloyd Carr retiring. That was somewhat of a tough year for Michigan recruiting wise because of the negative recruiting, yet the gap still wasn't more than 4% from what Ohio State was landing. You see the highest number of total offers given out by Michigan was in 2007 with 102, which is nowhere near the 175 RIvals reports for 2011.
Ohio State has consistently stayed below the 100 total offer mark, and has been able to land a good percentage of prospects offered. The numbers displayed by 2011, and even 2010 show us that Michigan's recruiting efforts have not only changed, but the way recruits are perceiving Michigan has as well. The data is too vague to determine if the blame lies within the people selling the program, the pitch made for the program, the overall recruiting plan, or if prospects see a better opportunity elsewhere at this time.
If Brady Hoke wants to get Michigan back to where they were, he needs to have an exact recruiting plan in place. Not only do they need to identify the needs position wise, but they need to fully evaluate each prospect before an offer is given out. That can be done through academic evaluation, athletic evaluation, junior days, unofficial visits, and what questions are asked by the coaches while talking to prospects. The recruiting game has become harder than it ever was, and the coaches need to find the battles that they can win. They need to find the prospects that fit what they're looking for athletically and academically, and focus on that specific group. Casting a wide net and spreading out your time amongst a large group often leads to recruits that haven't fully bought into the idea of your program, or are left wanting more from the relationship that is being built. Recruits want to know that they're wanted, and they also want to know that they're headed into a winning program, which leads us to the other way that Hoke can bring back the recruiting perception. On Saturdays.
I just got off the phone with super 2012 OL Jordan Diamond. Jordan was recently offered by Ohio State, and as you know is starting to collect a lot of offers.
He'll be visiting Wisconsin this weekend (2/11), Michigan next weekend (2/18), and Ohio State the weekend after that.
Jordan sounds like he wants to stay in the midwest, and he got the chance to meet Coach Hoke a few weeks ago. He really likes him too. When I asked him about Ohio State he didn't sound really excited either. This is a long way to go but Michigan can make a big impression on him this weekend.
I just got off the phone with Cass Tech DB Terry Richardson and he told me he's supposed to be meeting with Greg Mattison tomorrow. "My coach told me that we're going to meet with the defensive coordinator tomorrow around five. I don't really know what it's about, my coach didn't say anything about an offer or anything, so we'll find out tomorrow," he said.
I also talked to his teammate LB Royce Jenkins-Stone to see if he was supposed to be a part of the meeting, but he hadn't heard anything about it. They both sounded like they weren't sure what to expect, and Royce said he'll probably get some information about it tomorrow from Coach Wilcher.
You'd have to think that this could potentially be an offer coming their way. I don't know if it is, obviously, but we'll find out soon. To reiterate, I don't know if they're being offered, it just seems like it would be the natural progression.
Mike Slive sounds like a real tool.
Excised the oversigny parts:
On the heels of national signing day, one of the hot topics right now is oversigning, and those in the Big Ten are screaming that the SEC has a huge advantage because many of the SEC teams oversign so many players. Where do you stand on the matter?
MS: It was two years ago that we took the initiative and put in an SEC rule that 28 was the most you could sign [in one class] and understanding that the rest of the country might not do that. The rest of the country followed suit and copied the SEC rule nationally and made it 28. Now, we’ve had a couple of years with the 28, and there are issues that relate to signing day. We’ve actually had an athletic director committee that’s been looking at all this for several months before all of the articles. We expect a recommendation from the committee that will come to our athletic directors this spring, and I fully expect legislation to be considered in Destin [at the SEC meetings] that will address some of the issues that have been raised.
Do you think we’ll essentially see the end to oversigning in the SEC with some of this new legislation, and will there be some real teeth in this new legislation?
MS: It’s a much more complex question than meets the eye. That’s not to say it isn’t one that needs to be addressed and resolved. Just like we did with the 28 limit, I’m pretty confident that we will take some initiative in Destin to try and deal with some of the issues that have been discussed. It’s complicated when you talk about the 25 you can get in in August and then counting some back and then counting some forward and then the issue of “grayshirting.” You also have more and more prospects enrolling for the spring instead of waiting for the fall. Our athletic directors are trying to take all of those pieces to the puzzle and see if there’s a way in which to address them that’s really fair to the student-athlete and fair to the institution.
Do you agree with Florida president Bernie Machen that “grayshirting” is a morally reprehensible practice?
MS: I think it’s a practice that on its face is one we’re going to address head-on. There’s a question that relates to notice and making sure that everybody knows exactly what’s going on. I think you will find that our ADs and our league will address the issue of “grayshirting.” Bernie has raised it. It’s definitely something that will be a part of whatever recommendations come from our athletic directors.