no, YOU'RE off topic
....Juice Williams ?!?!
26 of 41 attempts with five TDs and a pick on the first game of the season.
The Mizzou game was seriously impressive. Chad Henne never threw for as many yards as Williams did Saturday night, 451. He's grown up...the Mizzou secondary kind of sucks, but still, he gave a performance worth of Troy Smith.
Who else in the Big 10 is even close? Maybe the Indiana QB, and whoever is under center for Northwestern these days...
This list is just terrible:
1. James Laurinaitis - This guy is not the best player in the big ten, he is the most overrated player though. This guy is a paper tiger, his championship game preformance is so indicative of his career (big numbers but not a big impact).
2. Beanie Wells - Now this I agree with (I would have probably ranked him number one, guy is a beast and he seems to be a Michigan killer, not looking forward to seeing him in Novemeber.
3. Juice Williams - You're kidding me right? Juice Williams? I'm not even going to discuss this.
4. Derrick Williams - This to me is even worse than the Juice pick.
5. Travis Beckum - Ok this I can buy, he is an awesome impact player.
I'm not sure who I'd have in my top 5 (outside of Beanie) - but there is no way in hell Juice, D-Will and Overrated-itis would be on it.
What do you guys think?
From my observations and what
has been written on this blog and in the MSM, I believe that we have changed our
recruiting focus from one that was more heavily focused on retaining all of the
talent within the State of Michigan and capturing what we can get in the
surrounding states (Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Illinois) as well as a few athletes
from certain talent hotbeds (Florida, Texas and California) to a greater
emphasis being placed on recruiting from the talent hot beds. What are the ramifications of this philosophical
shift? And how have coaching changes
resulted in shifts in intra-region power?
- It is likely that MSU is going to recruit
better within Michigan
than they have in the past. My reasoning
is that as RR draws greater numbers of recruits from outside of Michigan and the Midwest
than the prior regime, more quality players will be available to the Spartans. In addition, Brian had a post some time back
describing how the change in the type of players we recruit will lead to
certain players that would have been a lock for Michigan, now being a better fit at State. I am not implying that we will not get the
guys we are interested in recruiting. That
will be dependent upon our continued success on the field and fostering relationships
between the program and the high schools within the state.
- MSU will likely become more competitive in
the Big Ten and nationally. The
increased talent level will have the potential to move them up into the second
tier of the Big Ten currently being fought over by Wisconsin,
Penn State, Illinois
- Assuming that RR is able to land better talent
from outside of Michigan than is available
inside of Michigan,
our overall talent level will rise, making us more competitive nationally. Hopefully, the relative talent level between
us and MSU will remain constant. This
should raise the absolute level of talent in the Big Ten at the expense of the
SEC and ACC (assuming our recruiting focus has moved towards Florida and the south east).
The risk is that we chase
windmills and fail to land equal or better talent in the southeast and cede talent
within the State of Michigan
talent to MSU. The Spartans then gain an
ability to win the recruits we want and there is a possible shift in power. As I stated before, the mitigant to this is our
continued success on the field and fostering relationships between the program and
the high schools within the state.
Observations and Parallels:
Is RR’s focus on talent
outside of the home state due to his time at WVU where there was far less
instate talent than in Michigan? I’m not implying that Michigan is OH, PA, FL, TX or CA, but it is
clearly better than WV. One thing that
seems clear, is that the tenures of Bobby Williams and John L. Smith (and the
Spartans refer to us as slappies??) decimated the in-state recruiting at
MSU. While there were not great numbers
of Plaxico’s and Duckett’s at MSU there were some clear examples of players we
wanted but State got. BW and JLS seemed
to have killed this very nicely.
There have been some
interesting changes in balance of power within different regions during the
last 10-15 years that may provide interesting insight.
- The fall of Washington
and the rise of Oregon. How much of the rise of Oregon as a national
power have to do with the influx of Phil Knight / Nike money versus the
missteps and poor coaching hires at UW? Has there been a re-routing of talent from Seattle to Eugene? Did the re-emergence of USC shut down UW’s
access to southern California
- The fall of Notre Dame, Illinois
and Michigan State
and the rise of Iowa and Wisconsin (and Northwestern and Purdue to a
lesser extent?). Did the inconsistency
of ND and Illinois cede some degree of control
over greater Chicago
recruiting to other Big Ten School? A
close analysis of the recruiting records (in particular recruit hometowns) for
each school over the last 15 years would yield some interesting insight. Did the Spartans losing Nick Saban to LSU and
the ensuing coaching chaos provide an opening to NU and Purdue?
- The fall of Nebraska
and the rise of Oklahoma.
- The fall of Alabama
and Tennessee (to a lesser extent) and the rise
of LSU and Auburn.
This post is to generate
discussion, as many of the ideas I have included have not been researched,
rather are observations of mine that seem to fit together with some degree of
Three games down, eight to go to get to the Horseshoe unbeaten. Here's the first game that really is going to take some convincing.
Wisconsin -- Sept. 27, TBA
With a young offense and a new system, Michigan would benefit from three or four bye weeks during the season. Unfortunately, they only get one. The week before playing Wisconsin isn't a bad time to have it though. A week off will give the defense some time to rest and the offense a chance to fix up some early season problems and implement some new quirks. The bad news? Wisconsin also has a week off before traveling to Ann Arbor. So what gives Michigan a fighting chance against a team most will have in the top 15-20 coming into the season?
- History- UM is 48-12-1 against UW, and is 16-1 in the last 17 contests at Michigan Stadium.
- No passing game for Wisconsin- It's the same question every season for the Badgers: who will play quarterback? Tyler Donovan stepped up last season, but he is gone, leaving two inexperienced signal callers to battle it out. The Badgers also are without a big-name receiver.
- No pass defense either- Jack Ikegwuonu left for the NFL after last season. Two newcomers fill the corner positions, and both missed spring ball.
- Special teams- Lopata and Space Emperor Mesko give Michigan an edge against most teams in the kicking department.
- Rich Rodriguez- This is the game where we some major innovation in the offense.
This all sounds pretty good, but at the same time, it's a very rosy preview. The history of the series is essentially out the window with a new coach for Michigan and a new-ish coach for Wisconsin, both of whom have installed different offenses (Bielema has moved Wisconsin to a more balanced attack, integrating the passing game more).
Wisconsin's lack of a prominent quarterback is nothing new for them and the wide receivers may not need to be great with one of the best tight ends in the country, Travis Beckum, picking up the slack. Plus, the lack of a passing attack is compensated with a killer running game. PJ Hill is back for what seems like his 100th season (only a junior!) and the reserves are no slouches either. The offensive line should be very Gittleson-y, averaging around 315 lbs., with most starters returning.
The cornerback position is a concern, but the safeties are coming back, including Big Ten INT leader from last season Shane Carter. They also return six of the front seven.
In the special teams department, the Badgers return David Gilreath, a sophomore that led the conference in yards per punt return last season.
While Rodriguez should benefit from the week off, Bielema will have his defense more ready than any of the first three teams on Michigan's schedule, with extra time to break down some film.
So what wins out? Will the straight off the farm 'Sconnies overpower the trimmer, quicker Wolverines? Will Michigan be able to get to the edge and use their speed? Well, both answers are probably "yes," but this is about telling you why Michigan will win, not making predictions.
This one will be a battle, a close one, a burner of barns. The crowd can really make the difference here; if UM can ride some momentum coming out of South Bend, Michigan fans will be frenzied after the week off and ready to push Rich Rod to his first Big Ten win.
Wisconsin is a team to be feared on the schedule, but an inexperienced quarterback playing his first Big Ten game in the Big House bodes well for Michigan. It will be big plays that win the day as Michigan goes 4-0, all but ensuring the bowl streak stays alive!
The rich history of Michigan stealing traditions may go even deeper than previously known. Michigan, of course, stole Cornell's hockey cheers and Princeton's winged helmets and West Virginia's coaches and, on three separate occasions, Notre Dame's dignity. And this is the first page of the 12th chapter of a 1960 book by Bear Bryant:
Insert Dave Letterman going "eeeeeh" and pulling on his collar here.
Not even I believe this. Ex-sign-gobblin' linebacker and current Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald pulls out the Playbook of Ultimate Boredom when quizzed by ESPN's Adam Rittenberg re: Rodriguez:
I see you have a magazine on your desk with Rich Rodriguez on the cover. How will his arrival at Michigan impact the league?
PF: It will be a huge change for Michigan football. I've gotten to be around Rich a couple times and I'm very impressed with him as a person. I'm very impressed with his demeanor and his humility. A coach that who's been a head coach since a young age, has been very successful in his time as a head coach. The success that he had at West Virginia is incredible. To bring that mind-set and what they do to Michigan, it's going to be a great challenge for all of us. I'm not looking forward to competing against him. He's had great success. It's just going to take him a little bit of time, like it takes everybody when you go to a new university, to get all his pieces into place. But I'm sure he's got an acceleration plan to get that ready this fall.
Emphasis mine. Product Rodriguez's humility does not appear in my list of TOP 500 RICH RODRIGUEZ ASSETS. (All assets omitted are "Mike Barwis.")
1. Approx. 15 years experience as collegiate head coach
2. Modern, ass-kicking offensive system
3. "Coal spoon" mentality
4. Tendency to hire people based on qualifications, not friendship
5. Mike Barwis
11. Brandon Graham
23. Donovan Warren
56. "Lion King" joke he tells during press conferences.
110. Access to lifetime supply of hairspray.
124. Tight buns, according to my grandmother.*
234. $2 million dollar West Virginia home he will never ever sell
298. General lack of proximity to Mike Debord
343. Still-beating heart of West Virginia cheerleader
412. Pact with devil
499. Crack team of a lawyers who say things like "OMG he's a slave"
500. Agent Mike Brown.
*(Sadly, not really.)
Wisconsin 1999. Via the prolific Wolverine Historian:
"Rivalry" of a sort. Fanblogs compiled the top 15 most lopsided series (minimum: 50 games) and Michigan is on the good side of four:
15) Michigan-Purdue, 53 games, .770
14) Michigan-Iowa, 54 games, .778
11) Michigan-Wisconsin, 61 games, .795
4) Michigan-Indiana, 59 games, .847
#1 is Oklahoma-Iowa State, which Oklahoma is winning at a 92% clip; the only other Big Ten matchup in the list is #9 Ohio State-Northwestern.
Another 3:30 start. I hate 3:30 starts. You can't see the end of the noon games or (obviously) any of the 3:30 games or the start of the later games and in general I feel like I've missed a whole day of football whenever that goes down. So, like, bleah to Stadium & Main's clever breakdown of the possibilities for the Michigan-Michigan State game that leads inevitably to this:
Maybe there's an super-small chance that if both Michigan and MSU absolutely stink, the game will be given a Noon start on BTN, ESPN, or ESPN2, but that would mean no Big Ten 3:30 game on ABC - and I don't think that's ever happened, or is even allowed to happen since it probably violates the Big Ten's contract with ABC/ESPN.
And thus the conclusion that M-MSU will be 3:30 on ABC.
I think we can swing a few grand for edumahcation. If anyone ever tells you your plan to funnel more money to kids playing college football by extending their scholarships by a year or two is "too expensive" or something like that, please do me a favor and laugh in their face:
In just the last three years, assistant coaching salaries in the Big 12 have risen by almost 37 percent.
At OSU, that figure is a Big 12-high 65 percent, and would've been even higher had former Cowboy offensive coordinator Larry Fedora - who was making $393,000 - not left to be head coach at Southern Mississippi.
Once a bottom dweller in assistant coaches' pay, OSU, at $2.13 million, is now second in the Big 12, trailing only Texas' $2.38 million payroll.
The money goes somewhere, and increasingly it goes into palatial facilities and rich coaches.
That's what she said. A guy on MGoBoard points out that walk-on defensive back Jermaine Jackson is from Alaska, and he's not someone you want to mess with in the Eskimo stick pull:
University of Michigan defensive back Jermaine Jackson, a Bartlett High School graduate, won the Eskimo stick pull in an intense battle of leverage and strength against Matthew Evans.
In the event, two athletes sit facing each other with their feet together and knees bent and try to pull a short stick away from each other. Evans had a longer reach and a weight advantage, but he needed to defeat Jackson twice in best-of-three rounds. He took the first round, but Jackson won the second.
"What I was thinking was grip, all grip," Jackson said. "I was losing my grip in the first round."
Good news for Jackson: "Hold the rope" is one of Rodriguez's mysterious catchphrases ("spot the ball" is the other).
Odd demographics. This is probably not the exact right place to mention this, but if you live around MIS there's a charity raffle going on with this sweet hog as a prize:
Correction. I misattributed the source of the coaching clinic notes posted last week. Their origin is Go Blue Michigan Wolverine (the blog, not the Scout site). Apologies to ERoc & co.
Fixes. Your blog fixes/all-natural-enhancements for the week:
- Added "Hot" tab for message board.
- Fixed IE6 bug where content would end up pushed down the page.
- leaderboard ad centered.
- Killed the "ad takeover bug" by removing the code that delayed ad loading until end of page.
- Added "MGoElsewhere" block with useful links to the Fanhouse, Facebook, and MGo.licio.us, as some had requested their return.
- Deleted all accounts that had never been logged in and disabled email validation temporarily.
If you had problems registering and never logged in, you can take another shot at it, as I've cleared out all the old usernames and temporarily shut down the email registration that didn't tell you it was coming and sometimes never showed up. You should be able to pick a password.
Another note: the "popular" and "hot" tabs for both diaries and message board only display posts from the last week.
My next task is figuring out why anonymous comments aren't displaying. As always, check the "crude bug tracking" page if you've got an issue, and comment there or email.
I got a lot of suggestions for the "Diaries" rename but none of them seemed very usable. Still looking.
Where will I get $5 shirts that say "Michigen" now? If thought selling six t-shirts for ten dollars was not a particularly good business model, congratulations! You're now the proud owner of a Notre Dame MBA. Also, Steve and Barry's is about to die:
The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Steve & Barry's is considering closing more than 100 stores across the country and has fallen behind in payments to builders, suppliers and advertisers. The chain is seeking $40 million in private financing to avoid filing for bankruptcy. ...
Aside from its bankruptcy troubles, the retailer took a hit when the University chose not to renew its licensing contract with 4004 Inc., the apparel company that supplies Steve & Barry's. Kristen Ablauf, the University's director of licensing, said the decision was made because of "concerns with their ability to fulfill their requirements of their license agreements."
IE: they ain't gonna pay us. Or, apparently, the Daily, which is owed over twenty grand by Steve & Barry's.
This story reads like this to me: blah blah blah. blah. World's most ridiculous liquidation sale! What are they going to offer? Ten shirts for ten dollars? All "leather" jackets come with a free barrel of oil? Buy a hat and get Steve or Barry's first-born free?
Over Wisconsin. WolverineHistorian has compiled the 1998 Wisconsin game:
You write about sports for a living. You've obviously made some serious mistakes in life. Varsity Blue is prompted to reflect on what Kevin Grady's punishment will be for blowing Ken-yon Rambo's GPA (oh ten-year-old irrelevant-diss snap!) by yet another cranky sports guy calling for a beheading:
The proposals range from doing nothing (as Ohio State fans think will happen, for some reason), to kicking Grady off the team. Jeff Chaney, a columnist for the Grand Rapids Press, said today on the radio that he thinks the latter is the most appropriate and likely outcome. Naturally, I disagree.
The logic Chaney followed was this: Grady is a third-teamer, and therefore must serve as an example to the rest of the team.
Attention, sports columnists of Michigan: there are options between doing nothing and kicking a guy off the team. If you were judged so harshly for the times in your life you did something incredibly stupid, parts of your anatomy would be speeding past Mars at a significant fraction of the speed of light.
There will no doubt be similar caterwauling from men of Chaney's ilk when Grady is not booted, but wouldn't Michigan be better off with an open scholarship than a disappointing running back who'll probably be third-string at best this fall? Michigan has five other running backs, all of whom have either shown better on the field or fit better in the offense. Grady is unlikely to contribute at all; keeping on the team is an act of mercy.
Shades of gray exist, people!
Look, see? Chengelis provides some shades of gray in her piece.
Etc.: Got $5 million burning a hole in your pocket? Want a tower? In the diaries, GSimmons says Michigan will be impervious to weather and Dex explores the wonders of Kevin Grady's Big Adventure. Worth it just for the special guest star's fake name. Also: do you have a widescreen monitor? Embiggen your MGoExperience here.