"Coach Mattison told me what the Ravens were about, what he thought," Beyer said. "He definitely encouraged me. I hold his opinion in high regard."
<Sunday: The calm before the finals>
MORE DAYS UNTIL MICHAEL SHAW SHANKS ANOTHER DEFENSE!
I was leaving Detroit on I-75 Northbound yesterday and I saw a billboard with the score of the MSU-Wisky game and a rose underneath. I assume that MSU or an alum paid for it, but it didn't make sense.
Is this supposed to be a way of awarding MSU a rose even though they were shut out of the Rose Bowl? Or was it part of their advertising campaign back before the bowl selection process? I'm just confused. Has anyone else seen these billboards around the state?
From 1991 to 1994 I did some unofficial recruiting for Michigan here in Northern Ohio. Bob Chimel was the recruiting director and was a close friend and neighbor of my sister. She told him about me and where I lived and he asked me if I would check out some players Michigan had targeted on an informal basis. Because of NCAA rules I was restricted to watching games and talking to the friends of the players we were watching (back channel communication) but I knew the players we wanted here locally and I had a pretty good idea which way they were leaning on any given day. And that lean seemed to change, day to day in some cases, right up to signing day in February. So I learned to not get too excited over what the kids told us they were going to do until they actually had to sign something and make it official.
Because of that experience I have often wondered why there is such a high level of excitement over early recruiting commitments, especially given the uncertainty surrounding the coaching staff right now. Early commits really didn't exist in the early 90's so I had no first hand experience in dealing with them but even in a completely stable coaching environment recruits say one thing and then do another because....well...their 17 year old kids and that's what 17 year old kids do. At best commitments made before the February signing period seem to be directional - "I'll PROBABLY go to school <fill in name on hat> next year but don't rush out and buy a jersey or anything because I still might change my mind".
Look at Hart for example or better yet Justice Hays as good examples. The board went nuts when Hart said he was going blue before the MSU game, had a meltdown when the rumor he was decommiting was floated and then sort of relaxed when it was proven to be false. Except Hart himself has said if RR goes, he goes - so what does his early commit really mean? Hays, on the other hand, goes Irish and they are overjoyed but then he changes his 17 year old mind, decommits and we party. And there's still 2.5 months left for him to change his mind again.
Tom V does an absolutely unbelievably good job of identifying the kids who are most likely going to sign with us and those that most likely aren't. I am VERY impressed with his ability to gain the confidence of the recruits and be one step ahead of seemingly every other official service in knowing what is probably going to happen. But I would ask that everyone take a deep breath and remember that with CC in discussion it is very likely that recruits we think we are getting will go elsewhere if there is a change made and recruits we think we aren't getting might go blue if a new HC is brought in.
Florida defensive coordinator Teryl Austin may become available because of the head coaching change there. He was an assistant here for three years under Carr and has solid NFL experience as well. A name to keep in mind once the major CC is decided.
Congrats to Denard! He is also only one of two sophomores in the top 10.
1. Cam Newton (2,263)
2. Andrew Luck (1,079)
3. LaMichael James (916)
4. Kellen Moore (635)
5. Justin Blackmon (105)
6. Denard Robinson (84)
7. Ryan Mallet (41)
8. Colin Kaepernick (31)
9. Andy Dalton (30)
10. Owen Marecic (16)
After the Heisman presentation, I thought I'd check out Pony Excess, because I remember the announcement by the NCAA placing SMU under the Repeat Violations punishment, otherwise known as the Death Penalty. I remember when the SWC was a good football conference. And I remember when Houston rolled up 95 points against a hapless SMU squad in their first year back.
Despite ESPN's best efforts to make some of the people look like innocent victims, I had very little sympathy for anyone involved, perhaps maybe the kids at SMU who stuck with the program during the suspended seasons (those who didn't get paid) and those joined after the program restarted. (Still think it was absolutely classless what Houston did to them in 89 - but hey, they got there sanctions a few years later).
What surprised me was SMU's decision to recently begin to welcome back all their former players, particularly those from the era of widespread paying of players. Despite the NCAA exposing the reality that the school knew what was going on, the show did it's best to try and make it seem like the only villains were the boosters. Yet a large number of players took money, and continued to take money after the first and second sanctions!
Eric Dickerson wouldn't go on record as to what SMU had to do that got him to sign (though an assistant coach claimed they paid off the gold trans am), and yet here was the university openly contacting him and inviting him back years later! It seemed as if the past was just forgotten, and athletes, many of whom admitted they were getting paid were now suddenly back as a part of the family. Worse yet, many of them seemed upset that they'd been kept a way from the program for so long. There seemed to be no remorse for what they'd done. In some cases only frustration that other schools weren't penalized the same way.
I don't feel sorry for the student athletes who KNEW the rules (and they know the rules) and took money, went to SMU and continued to take money even as the school was put on probation.
As it applies to Michigan, it reminded me that those implicated with Ed Martin should remain away from the progam. I'm glad that Webber, Taylor, Traylor and Bullock are not part of the program. They knew what they were doing, they did it anyway, and in Webber's case, he's never admitted he broke the rules and what he did was wrong (at least in the eyes of the NCAA). There are consequences and I'm glad Michigan continues to exhibit some consistency here.
Curious to see what others thought who watched Pony Excess.