This is my first time to do the diary thing because I figure I never have enough content that anyone would want or that deserved it's own space. Not gonna lie - little nervous. If this does not really fit into the diary parameters then I would not be offended by it's deletion. I'm also grown up enough to take the criticism often found on the MGoBoard.
Now to the point. Many of you are familiar with monuMental and his amazing artwork that can be found over at theartthearttheartdotcom. Most of you also know he will not be able to provide wallpaper this season because he has too much on his plate.
I'd like to say that I am by no means as creative as many others on this board and not anywhere near worthy enough to even touch monuMental's magnetic lasso tool. However, I was asked by a couple friends if I had any UofM wallpaper so I decided to give it an amateurish try.
This is what I came up with for the Under The Lights game. I wanted to keep it slick and simple so I imediately considered stadium lights. I recall the day Addidas previewed the throwback uniforms and went searching for those. Once I found them I thought of combining them and the lights idea. After many different attempts and changes I simply came back to the clean look I landed on and added the UTL official logo. Thoughts?
The latest week in recruiting sees Notre Dame pick up their highest-ranked recruit in DT Jarron Jones while Purdue and Northwestern each add some lower-ranked players to their classes. Other than that, nothing really happened. Action since last rankings:
8-28-11 Northwestern gains commitment from Jaylen Prater.
8-29-11 Notre Dame gains commitment from Jarron Jones. Purdue gains commitment from Carlos Carvajal.
8-30-11 Northwestern gains commitment from Terrance Brown.
9-3-11 Purdue gains commitment from Aloyis Gray.
9-4-11 Purdue gains commitment from Devin Smith.
|Big Ten+ Recruiting Class Rankings|
|Rank||School||# Commits||Rivals Avg||Scout Avg||ESPN Avg||24/7 Avg|
*ESPN doesn't rate JUCOs, so Isaac Fruechte (Minnesota), Darius Stroud (Indiana), Steffon Martin and Devin Smith (Purdue) are exluded from their respective team averages.
On to the full data, after the jump.
|#1 Michigan - 22 Commits|
Michigan maintains their stranglehold at the top of the rankings. Sione Houma moves from two to three stars on Rivals, and he's now ranked as their #5 fullback in the country.
|#2 Notre Dame - 14 Commits|
The Irish land Jarron Jones, their highest-rated recruit across the board to date. They still have some ground to cover to catch Michigan, going by pure numbers, but in terms of quality of commits this class is right up there.
|#3 Penn State - 17 Commits|
J.P. Holtz earns a three-star ranking from Rivals.
|#4 Ohio State - 12 Commits|
No change for the Buckeyes.
|#5 Michigan State - 14 Commits|
Kodi Keiler is upgraded from unranked to three stars on Rivals. Interesting, but completely irrelevant, sidenote: Rivals and Scout are in complete lockstep when it comes to ranking the Spartan commits (requisite dig: because they're almost all three-stars—but, you know, national three-stars).
|#6 Wisconsin - 10 Commits|
No change for the Badgers.
|#7 Indiana - 17 Commits|
Shawn Heffern gets a three-star ranking from Rivals, while Alex Todd picks up three stars from 24/7. I'm still keeping them just a hair below Wisconsin, but if the average rankings get any closer or the Hoosiers pick up another commit that'll probably change.
|#8 Northwestern - 16 Commits|
The Wildcats pick up a pair of unheralded recruits in LB Jaylen Prater and S Terrance Brown. This drags down their averages considerably, but I won't punish a team for picking up commits. Iowa is hot on their heels, though.
|#9 Iowa - 10 Commits|
No change for the Hawkeyes.
|#10 Minnesota - 18 Commits|
Nick Rallis, Maxx Williams, and Rodrick Williams each pick up three stars from Rivals after being unrated. 24/7 does the same for Scott Ekpe and R. Williams.
|#11 Purdue - 15 Commits|
The Boilermakers land ATH Aloyis Gray, OL Devin Smith, and TE Carlos Carvajal. Jimmy Herman picks up three stars from Rivals. By the power of sheer volume, Purdue moves ahead of Nebraska. File that under: 'Things I Never Thought I'd Write About Football and/or Recruiting'.
|#12 Nebraska - 6 Commits|
No change for the Huskers. Still. Bo Pelini isn't expecting some sort of Big Ten Expansion Draft, is he?
|#13 Illinois - 8 Commits|
No new commits for the Illini. Joseph Spencer picks up three stars and Joey Warburg two from Rivals.
While I wasn't watching the Michigan game yesterday, I spent my time watching the ND game. I talked a ND friend who watched the whole ND game, and I thought I'd post some observations from USF-ND.
1. Notre Dame Offense
a. Crist was horrible. He was late on throws and he just wasn’t accurate. His interception was completely on him, the ball was thrown way behind the receiver. He was pulled at halftime. He was 7/15 for 95 yards with 1 pick.
b. Rees was better than Crist, but not that much better. He was 24/34 for 296 yards, with 2 TDs and 2 picks. His 2nd TD came on when the game was pretty much in hand. I’d expect Rees to start next weekend.
c. Cierre Wood (RB) was good. 21 carries for 104 yards, his first time going over 100 yards in 14 games. 3 receptions for 44 yards too.
d. According to my ND friend, Wood’s back up, Jonas Gray, was horrible. Gray’s stats: 4 carries for 17 yards. He also had a fumble on the goal line that went back for 6.
e. ND’s O-line let everything through. ND was only sacked 2 times, but it felt like USF was getting pressure at will. My ND friend said that the left side was good but the right side sucked. Look for blitzes to the right side next week.
f. Michael Floyd was amazing. 12 receptions, 154 yards, 2 TDs. Although the second TD came with the game pretty much in hand. Still that stat line is amazing. He was double covered most of the night too. He’s definitely going to give us trouble next week. Although last year we held him to only 51 yards receiving.
g. TJ Jones (WR) comes in on rotation, TE goes out he comes in. He’s average. Not going to kill us, but you still have to watch out for him.
h. Theo Riddick (WR, PR) sucked at everything. He dropped passes, he muffed punts. I think we’ll see someone else returning punts for ND next week.
i. Eifert (TE) was above average. He dropped some passes, but he had some good catches too. 6 receptions, 93 yards. He’s definitely not Rudolph, but he’s still a threat. I’d say he’s definitely the #2 receiving threat on ND.
2. Notre Dame Defense
a. They had some trouble with BJ Daniels, a mobile QB. There were some times he scrambled 5, 6 yards to pick up the first. If it was Denard scrambling on those plays, he could have easily gone for 20.
b. The zone defense was exploited. There were some holes in the zone. ND friend said it was on the DC, not the players.
c. ND’s run D was nothing special. They only allowed 3.0 yards a carry, and 126 yards rushing but I think if you looked at rushing outside of the red zone, YPC would jump up. It felt like USF was running the ball for 4, 5 yards outside the red zone but once they got in the red zone, they were stopped.
d. The Pass D couldn’t stop the out routes. USF had their way with ND on out routes.
e. The Pass D also gave up no long balls, the longest USF reception was 18 yards.
f. My ND friend said that Te’o was the best defensive player, but that he didn’t play very well.
g. My ND friend said the D line was not good enough to stop the run until they got to the goal line, and on passing downs they didn’t get much penetration.
3. Notre Dame Special Teams
a. Missed a 30 yard field goal. Their kicker was 18 of 19 last year, so I expect that it was the weather. I’m betting he’ll be better next week.
b. The punting was terrible. The kicker average 34 yards on the night, but he had a couple of punts around 23 yards each.
c. The punt returning was not good. 2 punt returns, 2 muffed punts. One was lost, the other recovered for negative yards. Like I said, I expect them to have a different PR next week.
d. KRs nothing special. Return of about 25 yards each time.
e. KR and PR coverage was decent. No big plays, but no bad plays either.
4. Notre Dame Problems
a. ND friend said offense moved well with Cierre Wood in, and when passes weren’t dropped. The turnovers, 5 of them, killed the offense and lost the game.
b. The defense was not as good as last year. Out routes killed them. Holes in zone exploited.
c. The biggest problem was the turnovers. They gave the USF offense great field position. ND had almost double the yardage of USF, but that was because USF probably started close to the 50 yard line most of the time.
d. Penalties. 8 penalties for 73 yards. And they were bad, really stupid penalties too. Pass interference and late hits.
5. Brian Kelly is a major douche bag.
a. I know this was already covered earlier, but damn! Before I hated Brian Kelly because he was ND’s coach, now I hate Brian Kelly because he’s Brian Kelly.
b. My ND friend refuses to see it though, I tried everything to show him the light, but to no avail.
c. Him being an asshole like that is going to come back and bite him in the ass.
d. I really like this line from MGoBlog user Yeoman, ”…but I think the fundamental difference is that when Bo yelled at you it was because you'd let down your teammates. When Kelly yells it's because you've let down Brian Kelly.”
6. My ND friend on Damefan’s blog: “This shit is weird.”
I think that covers most of it. The players on ND's offense to watch for next week are definitely Michael Floyd and Cierre Wood. On ND' s defense, Manti Te'o. If you disagree with something, if I'm wrong about something, or if I missed something let me know so I can fix it or add it.
I think UTL will be a close game, but I think that we'll win. We'll see a lot of blitzes to the right of ND's line, and most of their yards will come from the air. I think we'll be able to run it fairly well and that Denard will be able to get some long scrambles on both broken plays and designed plays. A significant amount of our yards will come from the air, if I had to guess.
I called USF to beat ND, and I'm calling their final record to be 8-4. I'm predicting us to go 10-2, for what it's worth.
Edit: Sorry for the crappy indentation. When I go to fix it, everything is still properly indented.
I promised that if I saw a deal for ESPN the magazine, that I would let people know. I don't know how long this deal will last. ESPN The Magazine $4 a year, for up to 3 years. Good for new subscriptions or renewal.
In order to get Insider, you will have to sign up with a valid credit card. Very important... this will auto-renewl every year, even if you have signed up for more then 1 year. You will be charged for the full price of insider. You will have to call ESPN, and have them cancel auto renewl.
Apply coupon code 3623 at checkout.
I did a search but didn't see any content on it besides the UM agreement with stub hub. I'm looking at buying tickets via Stub Hub for the ND game. The cheapest (with most games) seems to be the instant download. I have never seen anyone use a home printed ticket at Michigan Stadium before. Is this legit or should I stay away from those?
Thanks for your help in advance.