Wallpaper by jonvalk
Saban did it! Mister Ron Utah, you have stolen my thunder. I had this excellent long "when will we be Bama?" article/thesis I'd been building for HTTV 2013 (coming soon to a Kickstarter near you) and you go ahead and make it a two-part diary. The second half will presumably come later, but I'm going to skip ahead to it anyway so as to make another graph that people on this site who know graphs can yell at me about:
That's all according to Rivals because it's a quickchart and demonstrates that as well as Hoke has been doing on the recruiting trail, he has yet to (and most likely won't) approach the scale or quality of the Saban hauls. The similarity of this trajectory is obvious, and ends there. Bama was built by taking on a lot of academic/personality risks—way more than he had scholarship space for—and then picking through all that talent for the few worthwhile pieces. If you were a Shula recruit and couldn't compete with the new faces you were medicaled if you were lucky, and ground up into Soylent Green if not.
But then of course you don't really need to be Bama to dominate a division or two of the Big Ten Going on Sixteen. If Michigan can settle into a pattern of always getting classes like the last two, and developing them well, and if the no-risky-kids strategy does in fact pay off with high retention, and if much of the rest of our conference stays low, then there's a lot of Rose Bowl potential in this program. Except Saban's old Floridian nemesis now runs the cheat factory in Columbus, so the upside is less total dominance and more like being the disadvantaged good guy in a second 10-year war. Gear up.
Also stop being mean to people who are mean to me about my charts in the comments, leastways not the people who know what they're talking about.
Maybe conference expansion is actually all about academics? This is the suggestion put forth by MosherJordan, based on the realpolitik of how AAU research dollars are allocated, which he says has a lot to do with who powerful your boosters are and how many Congressmen you influence. Which is to say maybe the Big Ten's motivation for adding Rutgers and Maryland (and possibly UNC?) is to give the CIC a bigger bloc. I never did think to look at the recent round of expansion as a grab for electoral votes but if you do things that way…
Lighter parts are the recent additions
The real realpolitik of college football is that adding Syracuse gets you way fewer than 29 electoral votes, just as taking Pitt doesn't give you half of Pennsylvania's delegation and I wish Michigan produced more talent than Alabama and Mississippi combined.
Maybe some of the presidents are thinking this but I think you're really just looking at a secondary effect of the B1G's stated goal of adding large TV markets, which like electoral votes are strongly correlated with population. For example you may look at Mosher-Jordan with its position on top of a hill overlooking a wide field, its wide moats, its arrow slits for windows, its possession of a bona fide dungeon, and its practice of housing princesses (i.e. the Women in Science & Engineering program) in its tallest towers, and conclude that our dorm is in fact a medieval castle. But was MoJo really designed to withstand an assault by the local Medieval Club, or was that just an accidental benefit to an edifice intended to protect its inhabitants' virginity?
Our keep hast ne'er fallen, despite the WISE girls' treachery
Etc. LSAClassof2000's weekly chartgrinder has shooting data broken up by games. GOLBOGM updates the remaining schedule. Blockams puts Denard on skates; I'm working on a theory as to what's wrong with hockey that involves new Yost and all the really bright lights shining right in your eyes from virtually every angle.
[Jump for the Board and stuff]