TO THE HOT TAKE CANNON
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The Rules: "You must have chaos within you, but mitigate it in your liveblogs, to give birth to a dancing star." –Friedrich Nietzsche
This Week in the Twitterverse takes a look at the social media happenings of the previous week, or whatever else I feel like talking about. Mostly I make fun of people who are better at things than I am. No purchase necessary, void where prohibited. Consult your doctor if this column lasts more than four hours. If you come across anything you think should be in next week's column, send it to @Bry_Mac.
As of today, I have been married to my lovely wife, Mrs. BiSB (also known as WiSB or J_Mac, but not really), for exactly four years. In that spirit, I thought I would share some of the lessons I have learned in those years, in hopes that my wisdom may save you from some of my missteps.
Your stupidity is noticed, stupid.
When you screw up (and you WILL screw up), you may not always get called on it. You ignored a request to
refrain from peeing in the sink put some pants on, dammit, we have company do the dishes, or you come home from your "quick drink after work" at 2:00 a.m. with a concussion, wearing a loin cloth and reeking of ouzo, and your significant other lets it slide. "I'm a wizard," you think to yourself. "I should rob banks. Or the Louvre." You see, you confused a patient and tolerant person with someone who didn't mind. Turns out, humans tend to notice and respond to stimuli. You are unknowingly making withdrawals from the First National Bank of Spousal Patience, and you never know when your balance will hit zero and crap will hit the fan. To wit:
As we have discussed many times, people send stupid tweets to recruits all the time. The recruits usually don't respond, so the morons tweeting them probably assume either (a) no one notices or cares, or (b) they need to up their trolling game to break through the noise. Turns out, they are just making their respective schools look bad. Shai Mckenzie had a since-deleted back-and-forth with one such Pitt fan, and as a result he’s not feeling the love. I don’t know if he decided to cancel the visit (it was scheduled for today), but needless to say that if you were the fan who cost your team a 4-star running back, your day will not be good.
Sometimes a little space is a good thing
If you've been in a relationship for a long time, you probably enjoy spending time together. Regardless, a little "me time" is a healthy thing for both of you. This is a marathon, not a sprint, and you don't need to share your every thought and every waking moment with your paramour. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Omnipresence makes you this dude:
Kentucky has jumped to the front of the Inappropriate Twitter Stalkers parade, and this guy is out front waving a Big Blue baton. As you can probably guess, those are all recruits (including Jamarco Jones, who is most decidedly not considering Kentucky anymore). It isn't even that he contacts recruits. It's how OFTEN he's contacting recruits. And what he's saying to them. And how it seems to be the SOLE REASON he has a Twitter account. And... Jeebus, read that feed. He’s mentioned TJ Harrell nearly 50 times in the last two weeks alone. So, based on quantity, quality, use of exclamation points, and overall lack of self-awareness, I declare you, John Turner, to be the TWITTER CREEPER OF THE YEAR OF THE WEEK. This is only the second time I have given this award, so cherish it, BBN hero.
[After the jump, your friends may be on your side, but that doesn't mean they're "helping"]
Does it concern you that Michigan takes verbals from kids who have never even been on the campus in Ann Arbor? I noticed on your blog that a recent comment mentioned that he's been to EMU, but never U-M. This doesn't appear to be normal to me and may be cause for some kids to decommit at a later date.
I wasn't sure if this was due to RR pressuring kids into committing or if it's just due to young, inexperienced kids making sudden reactive decisions. Whatever the RR method is, I would like to see him go after some better players. The Big Ten isn't going to improve much with one of their benchmark schools continually fighting over most of their recruits with powerhouses such as Tulsa, Duke, and Rutgers instead of Texas, USC, and Florida.
FTR: the player you're talking about is TX DE Holmes Onwukaife, who is apparently not committed after all. But the point stands.
I don't have any hard numbers on this, but just as a guy who follows recruiting pretty closely I can tell you my impression is this is a nationwide phenomenon as players get more used to the idea of a verbal commitment being more of a reservation than a, you know, commitment. Michigan is more exposed to this than most under Rodriguez because they recruit a lot from distant areas of the country.
As far as concern goes: it doesn't register. I think you have to take such a verbal commitment lightly and recruit as if the player in question is uncommitted but has a declared leader, but taking the commit certainly doesn't reduce your chances of landing him. I guess it might reduce the chances of landing another player at the same position, but everyone has to deal with this in a new era of early verbals and frequent decommits.
I would also like to see Rodriguez nail down a wide variety of the country's best players, and I don't think this year is representative of his recruiting: in RR's previous 1.5 classes at Michigan he's brought in a large number of four stars with good offers. This year's parade of middling sorts is a natural consequence of going 3-9.
That was an interesting stat about UM beating the other teams rushing defense per average in all of their last 6 games other then MSU.
Initially, I wondered if that was due to the high volume of carries but I looked it up and in 4 of the last 6 games, UM's yds/rushing attempt was actually higher then the opponents average too. The two that weren't were MSU and OSU. OSU gave up an average of 3.5 yds/rush attempt and UM averaged 2.7 yds/rush attempt.
What makes these stats even more impressive was that you know the defenses were focused on shutting down the running game and the short passing game until Threet/Sheridan proved they were viable threats in the downfield passing game.
It does bode well for 2009, especially if UM/Forcier can improve in the passing game (could it be worse?).
Keep up the good work.
This isn't so much a question as an addendum, I guess, but some commentary: Michigan's rushing game went from a train wreck to silently competent by the end of last season despite the quarterback fiasco, which is an impressive accomplishment. With literally everyone who had a significant hand in that back for a second year in the system, the arrow points resolutely up here.
HOWEVA, I am a bit concerned that part of the success was due to novelty and that next season won't be quite as fruitful as the numbers above and the returning starters imply. In the second half of the Penn State game Michigan got shut down when PSU adjusted to the MINOR RAGE, and the efficiency of the offense dipped. Michigan won't get that advantage of surprise this year.
Also, FWIW, it does sound like that round of cuts Calipari executed at Kentucky weren't quite as bad as it sounded:
I agree with you that Calipari's over-signing and the inevitable cuts associated with it will be ugly. I don't find the first three to go to be upsetting or nearly as despicable as being Sabanized, though. I know that you pride yourself in being a very informed person, so if you have a minute to read over the following and take it into consideration the next time you write something about Kentucky basketball, I'd appreciate it.
Jared Carter didn't apply for a 5th year medical redshirt. He'd already participated in Senior Night, because it was already known that he would not be back next year. I see no difference in that and the handful of football players that don't come back for a 5th year at any given school in the country.
Donald Williams was in a weird situation. I think Gillispie picked him up at a bar somewhere at the 11th hour. (He commited on 8/27/08.) UK had an extra scholarship available, so they took a shot on a guy with offers from UAB, New Orleans, St. John's and the like. He showed up and ended up redshirting, and Gillispie told him that his scholarship would likely just be a one year deal, because he had an extra available for that year only. Again, it's no surprise that he would not be on scholarship at UK next year, regardless of who the coach was.
The third person to be "cut" was A.J. Stewart. If any of these three were politely given the boot, it was he. A.J. had been suspended for falling asleep in team meetings, missing class, and he even quit the team at one point last season. He was reinstated after a player vote to give him yet another chance. He was going to have to miss the first semester of next season because of academic issues. This guy will be better off transferring somewhere and getting his stuff together.
The next round of cuts is where things will probably get interesting, and I'll probably email you again with all sorts of justifications and ridiculousness, but I honestly feel pretty good about these first three.
Thanks for your time,
Jeremy Herrmann (Yes, that Herrmann)
So what sounded like three guys getting axed was more like one with a Reed Baker and an Amadou Ba thrown in. With Jodie Meeks is in the draft for good, Kentucky is now waiting on its recruits to qualify; if they do there will be one more outright cut.
Is this good? No. It is still worse than Alabama by a long shot, and if there's any justice in the APR Kentucky will find themselves looking at scholarship penalties in the near future—losing a guy who's ineligible is a double hit. But it's not as bad as it looked earlier.