1. Seth - most balanced offensive attack
2. Ace - Solid studs on both side of the ball
3. Brian - sorry I could never hang my season on Scheelhaase or Gray
4. Heiko - hopefully that beaver gives you better luck than it did GERG
PREVIOUSLY ON "MGOBLOG WRITERS DRAFT BIG TEN TEAMS SO YOU CAN NOW, FINALLY, VOTE FOR THE TEAM THAT HAS DENARD ON IT"…
Rounds 1-3: At Jim Leyland's lakeside mansion in Somerset, quarterbacks are divided.
Rounds 4-7: In the War Room of the Toledo Ramada Inn, Heiko is replaced by a mysterious stocky middle-aged man with a mustache.
Rounds 8-12: In the Presidential Suite of of the Ishpeming Red Roof Inn, a 1970 Fiat 500 assumes the commissioner's chair, rules all picks must get 30 mpg.
Rounds 13-17: In a Secret Submarine Headquarters Underneath the North Atlantic, iPhones apparently get zero bars.
Rounds 18-something whatever: Onboard the Voyager II Spacecraft at the Edge of the Solar System, quarterbacks are put through a series of zero-grav tests to determine if there is anything they can't do.
Weary and ignoring the complaints of abused livers, SETH, HEIKO, ACE, and something that looks like a lanky sheep dog emerge from a secret lair in the PHOSPHATE MINES of the PACIFIC ISLAND OF NAURU. They ask for your ballot…
Seth "Progress" Fisher/Heiko "Progress" Yang/Ace "Progress" Anbender/Brian "Progress" Cook
POLLS ARE NOW OPEN. Go vote!
BRIAN COOK AND THE FLYIN' ZOOKS:
OFFENSE: Nathan Scheelhaase (QB, ILL), Fitzgerald Toussaint (RB, M), LeVeon Bell (HB/FB, MSU), Jared Abbrederis (WR, UW), MarQuies Gray (QB/WR, Minn), Kevonte Martin-Manley (WR, Iowa), CJ Fieodorwicz (TE, Iowa), Taylor Lewan (LT, M), Ryan Groy (LG, UW), Matt Stankiewitch (C, PSU), Chris McDonald (RG, MSU), Jack Mewhort (RT, OSU).
DEFENSE: Ra'Shede Hageman (DE, Minnesota), John Simon (DE, OSU), Beau Allen (NT, UW), Akeem Spence (DT, ILL), Jake Ryan (LB, M), Desmond Morgan (LB, M), Denicos Allen (LB, MSU), Terry Hawthorne (CB, ILL), Bradley Roby (CB, OSU), Blake Countess (CB, M), Daimion Stafford (SS, UNL), Christian Bryant (FS, OSU)
I didn't mean to do this but I ended up with a Rodriguez spread'n'shred circa 2007 with a running quarterback, a damn fast outside back, and a fullback type who can rip off runaway beer truck touchdowns. The offensive line is a lot more POWER based but I figure that's fine since Auburn and others have made the inverted veer and related plays major spread drivers. Then you've got an array of excellent WRs with big catching radius: the deep threat (Abbrederis), the unstoppable guy on intermediate routes (Gray), and a promising TE.
The defense is Greg Mattison.
FINAL SNARKDOWN (by Heiko): Dear Brian: You know that red and gray plaid shirt you wear all the time? You should wear it less. Oh, something mean about his team? Ummmm... None of your QBs have a winning record. I've seen Desmond Morgan in person, and he's still really small and liable to get crushed by offensive linemen. And you drafted two LOLphers.
[The drafters still got some splainin' to do. For the rest of the roundtable, and which school had the most picks, and stuff, HIT THE JUMP.]
SETH AND THE SMURFIEST SMURFS TO EVER SMURF A SPREAD 'N SMURF
OFFENSE: Denard Robinson (QB, M), Rex Burkhead (RB, Neb), Jeremy Gallon (Slot, M), Kofi Hughes (WR, Ind), Kenny Bell (WR, Neb), Roy Roundtree (WR, Mich), Jacob Pedersen (TE, Wis), Michael Schofield (LT, M), Ricky Barnum (LG, M), James Ferentz (C, Iowa), Graham Pocic (RG, Ill), Jeremiah Sirles (RT, Neb)
DEFENSE: John Hankins (NT, OSU), Kawaan Short (3T, Pur), Marcus Rush (DE, MSU), Lawrence Thomas (WDE/LB, MSU), Jon Brown (MLB, Ill), Gerald Hodges (SLB, PSU), Will Compton (WLB, Neb), Jordan Kovacs (SS, M), Thomas Gordon (FS, M), Micah Hyde (BCB, Iowa), Josh Johnson (FCB, Pur), Troy Stoudermire (Nickel, Minn)
SPECIAL TEAMS: Drew Basil (K, OSU), Ben Buchanan (P, OSU), Jeremy Gallon (PR, M), Troy Stoudermire (KR, Minn)
On O, think Michigan 2010 but with seniors. Base play is Denard ISO, zone reads and handoffs to Burkhead keep Robinson's workload down. Stacking 8 in the box to stop this running game creates wide open passes in space for Bell and the slots, while Pedersen and Hughes are big targets for the red zone and the occasional Denard Dragon. In picking offensive linemen I stayed out of the battle for plodding beasts and focused on the quicker, smarter dudes who excel in zone blocking.
My defense is a 4-3 under that should remind you of 2006 Michigan's in that the front seven generate most of the defense. I'm trusting Hankins and Short to create all sorts of problems for blockers inside while Rush, LT, and my fast OLBs penetrate from the outside. Jonathan Brown is the dedicated tackler, and I will rotate him and Compton at WLB/MLB (like Nebraska did last year with Lavonte David) to make blocking assignments impossible. Anything that gets through gets mopped up quickly by Kovacs. Against spread teams I pull LT for Stoudermire. Hyde is good for shutting down any one best receiver, and Johnson will play field corner with Gordon giving help over the top or like '06 Englemon, reading Infinite Jest.
FINAL SNARKDOWN (by Brian): Seth, you disappoint me in all ways possible, but mostly in how you surrounded Denard with the worst imaginable offensive talent.
THE ACECONSIN CHEESEBENDERS
OFFENSE: James Vandenberg (QB, IA), Montee Ball (RB, UW), James White (RB, UW), Keenan Davis (WR, IA), Kain Colter (WR, NW), Devin Smith (WR, OSU), Jake Stoneburner (TE, OSU), Ricky Wagner (LT, UW), Spencer Long (LG, NEB), Travis Frederick (C, UW), Brian Mulroe (RG, NW), Rob Havenstein (RT, UW)
DEFENSE: William Gholston (SDE, MSU), Will Campbell (DT, MICH), Ondre Pipkins (NT, MICH), Cameron Meredith (WDE, NEB), Mike Taylor (WLB, UW), Chris Borland (MLB, UW), Michael Mauti (SLB, PSU), Johnny Adams (CB, MSU), Ricardo Allen (CB, PUR), Courtney Avery (NB, MICH), Ibraheim Campbell (SS, NW), Supo Sanni (FS, Iowa)
SPECIAL TEAMS: Dan Conroy (K, MSU), Cody Webster (P, PUR) James White (KR, UW), Devin Smith (PR, OSU)
My team will operate out of a one-back set with three receivers and Stoneburner at tight end, though I have some flexibility with Colter to switch to a spread-run attack if desired. My goal is to resemble Wisconsin, so I'll let Montee Ball do his thing and do it well, and of course I'll run POWER with regularity. Stoneburner is actually lining up at receiver this fall for Ohio State, so I can really spread teams out with my personnel if I need to move the ball in a hurry. While operating under the guise of creating a Wisconsin close, I've actually put together an offense that can throw out many different looks and run them effectively; call it the Boise State model if you will.
The defense will be a base 4-3 under—just like Michigan's defense—with the hope that Campbell and Pipkins can hold it down in the middle well enough to allow tackling machines Borland and Taylor to make most of the plays. I made sure to select players in my secondary who can come up and hit; stopping the run is the first priority in a league where I have the only true pocket passer.
FINAL SNARKDOWN (by Seth): Your draft strategy in a YouTube. The plump and plodding offense you chose should look very big and scary while standing around waiting for Vandenberg to be dug out from under the guy Havenstein was supposed to be blocking. Also like Wisconsin opponents are cordially invited to run 6 yards up the middle every play before the two licensed tacklers arrive. Toss in two linebackerish safeties who can't cover, plus tiny Ricardo Allen and you've got a defense Northwestern might be proud of.
DOCTOR HEIKO AND THE MAD FITZMILLENS
OFFENSE: Danny O'Brien (QB, UW), Braxton Miller (QB/RB, OSU), Taylor Martinez (QB/RB, UNL), James Morris (FB/LB, IOWA), Dion Sims (TE, Michigan State), Ben Cotton (TE, Nebraska), Patrick Ward (OT, Northwestern), Brandon Vitabile (C, Northwestern), Patrick Omameh (OG, UM), Fou Fonoti (OG/OT, Michigan State), Kyle Prater (WR, NW), Devin Gardner (QB/WR, UM), DeAnthony Arnett (WR, MSU)
DEFENSE: Michael Buchanan (DE, ILL), Jordan Hill (DT, PSU), Baker Steinkuhler (OT/DT, UNL), Craig Roh (DE, UM), Chris Norman (LB, MSU), Max Bullough (LB, MSU), Kenny Demens (LB, UM), Ryan Shazier (LB, OSU), J.T. Floyd (CB, UM), Darqueze Dennard (CB, MSU), Isaiah Lewis (FS, MSU), C.J. Barnett (SS, OSU)
SPECIAL TEAMS: Brett Maher (K/P, Nebraska), KRs: DeAnthony Arnett OR Taylor Martinez OR Darqueze Dennard OR Isaiah Lewis.
Offensively my team is about making it impossible for the defense to key in on any one player or any one play. My base formation will be the "Fritz" diamond formation with Danny O'Brien under center, Braxton Miller at HB, Taylor Martinez and Devin Gardner at FB, and DeAnthony Arnett and Kyle Prater at wideout. From this formation, four players will be a threat to throw the ball, three will be a threat to run the ball, and up to five can receive. I can run screens, double passes, flea flickers, jet sweeps, option runs -- you name it. My short yardage "heavy" formation will lift one or both receivers and replace them with my two tight ends -- Dion Sims and Ben Cotton. Admittedly, you'll probably never see me run a dive up the middle, but I have enough elusive playmakers to put on the edge to make your interior defensive lines a non-issue.
What team does my offense most resemble? Probably some unholy hybrid of Oregon under Chip Kelly, Ohio State under Urban Meyer, and maybe a little Michigan under Borges because of the whole Fritz thing. [ed-S: Also Radiohead meets Tool meets Sigur Ros…]
Defensively I'm all about stopping the run and taking away your number one wide receiver. You guys have some guys who can run the ball, but none of you have much in the way of scary wide receivers. That's why I'm running a 4-4 or 4-3 on most downs and a 3-4 on passing downs. I'm pretty sure I won't ever need a nickel package.
FINAL SNARKDOWN (by Ace):
Other than entertaining you (and ourselves—mostly the latter), this was supposed to be in lieu of a Big Ten season preview and being informative and such on where Michigan stands against the bulk of our competition. Here's some q's that put some of the things we noticed in perspective:
We took a lot of Wolverines, including Pipkins, Avery, Morgan, Demens, Campbell, Gordon, Roundtree, Barnum, Schofield, and Gardner who populate few, if any preseason All Big Ten teams. Are there any players we didn't draft who you'd have taken before any of the Michigan guys?
(Handy chart of players we drafted by school—1st and 2nd teams covered here.
|Rk||School||1st Team||2nd Team||Total (All B1G)|
|2||Michigan State||4||5||16 (9)|
|4||Ohio State||3||5||12 (8)|
|10||Penn State||2||4 (2)|
HEIKO: Well clearly Quinton Washington is a better nose tackle than Pipkins. Sucks to your Ace-mar.
BRIAN: Anthony Rashad White, DT, MSU. I mean, Ondre Pipkins?
ACE: I think Seth designed this questionnaire to give him every opportunity to rip the Pipkins pick. Great success, Seth.
SETH: Actually I designed the question to show how much of the team is in that "Honorable Mention" region. To Pipkins I'll add another Ace pick (OSU's Travis Howard or Wisconsin's Devin Smith > Avery) and one of mine (Purdue's Antavian Edison or OSU's Michael Thomas will probably look like smarter picks than 'tree in November), as our bias discount. The point: Michigan still sits atop the league with 9 defensive players and 8 guys on offense who qualify as legit Top 4 in the conference.
Are the best receivers in the conference all under center?
The water girl is 3rd in career receiving yards / Upchurch
BRIAN: Except for Gardner, yes.
HEIKO: I'd say Kyle Prater and DeAnthony Arnett both have the potential to be special. The Big Ten is certainly in a lull in terms of receivers, though, and there are lots of triple-threaty QBs available.
ACE: It's a serious down year for receivers, I don't think there's any doubt. Abbredaris is solid but in any good year would be the league's best second fiddle. The rest of the top receivers are either unproven, underwhelming, or quarterbacks. I'm not sure what to attribute this to other than random chance, and that's what I'm going to go with; I think it's just a weird year and we'll see the talent go back to normal next year.
SETH: Look for a future
Musdeay Hokepoints column that discusses this further.
Other than QB, which position were you most concerned about gettin' before the gettin' was gone?
BRIAN: DT. I had my sleeper and really needed to get Spence before the bottom dropped out.
HEIKO: Defensive tackle. There's only a small group of what you might call difference makers, and then there's just a bunch of fat dudes.
SETH: Offensive tackle. I reached for Schofield early in the draft because we had already exhausted the NFL types (Lewan and Wagner) and there were still six more spots to fill on our rosters. After Schofield the next three tackles taken were Mewhort, who I think is a complete joke, Fou Fonoti who's your standard eh MSU lineman, and Northwestern's Patrick Ward. I managed to sneak Sirles in as my sleeper but Heiko didn't even bother taking a second OT.
ACE: Obviously not DT, which was a mistake. I made sure to swoop in and grab Vandenberg, because the talent at QB drops off severely after him, Denard, and Braxton Miller, my crush on Colter notwithstanding.
What do you know now about a 2012 Michigan opponent?
You're invading my bubble.
SETH: Michigan State isn't just good because they jump snaps and snap important body parts when the refs' eyes are turned. They have players who are good at the football all over the place. (see addenda)
ACE: Northwestern's defense is terrible, but they have some very intriguing guys on offense, especially Kyle Prater at receiver. We mentioned this on the podcast, but the Widcats are absolutely going to ruin someone's season, 2000 Michigan-Northwestern shootout style (sorry for bringing that up, everyone).
HEIKO: There are teams where the whole is less than the sum of its parts. Illinois and Ohio State (at least, last year's versions) fit this description well. Then there are teams whose whole seems to be greater than the sum of its parts. We didn't think too highly of most of the individual Michigan players we drafted, but that sort of makes me feel better about the season because it means Michigan's success is predicated more on having B/B+ players play as an A-unit than on having a handful of A+ players carry the season. Obviously Denard is the exception, but I feel good about the team and the program moving forward, especially since Brady Hoke is slowly amassing his army of A/A+ players.
Other than that, I've learned that Nebraska seems to be a little depleted of talent, which is surprising for a team expected to challenge for the division title.
BRIAN: Goddammit, MSU.
Schofield 17th overall, Barnum before Omameh et al., Gallon and Roundtree, 7 Wolverines altogether…homer much there Sethipoo?
SETH: Surprise: the best spread players in the Big Ten are from when the guy who invented the spread was coaching at the winningest program in college football. Plus every Michigan lineman I took was one less random team's offensive lineman I had to speak intelligently about.
Why with the unproven Wolverines at interior DL?
ACE: Ah, yes, Campbell and Pipkins. The options were limited, both of those guys are huge and five-star talents, and as I explained in the original post, I'm not sold on Indiana's tackles as guys who would actually start at Michigan—their run defense was god-awful last year, as was Purdue's (Bruce Gaston was still out there). I almost certainly overlooked Anthony Rashad-White. I definitely made a homer pick for the heck of it, especially since I lacked Wolverines up to that point. There, I said it.
Okay weirdo, it's your turn: Give us an example of an offensive play that utilizes the threat of four QBs in the backfield.
No offense boss but your OLBs and safeties all have "coverage" listed as weak points. How is your defense going to compensate for that?
Bryant moves down to nickel for OSU [ed-S: because they think he can't cover!!!] so I don't think your policework is sound there. Anyway, I think we'll manage by flinging Jake Ryan, Denicos Allen, John Simon, Akeem Spence, and Ra'shede Hageman at opposing QB's skulls. Also, Blake Countess is my nickelback.
Pick a head coach who could get the most out of your personnel. OC? DC?
BRIAN: Goddammit, I really didn't mean to do this, but RR with Mattison at DC. Or Gus Mahlzahn!
SETH: Ditto. I guess I could say Chip Kelly.
ACE: Head coach: (homer alert!) Brady Hoke — let my coordinators do their thing, don't kick in enemy territory, and bask in the glory of MANBALL. OC: Paul Chryst. DC: Greg Mattison, natch.
HEIKO: HC/OC: Chip Kelly, Oregon. DC: Kirby Smart, Alabama
What was your best pick in the early rounds?
SETH: Taking Hankins and Short together. This not only set up my defense but triggered the mass freak-out for nose tackles below. Following those picks up with Jonathan Brown then gave me 3 out of the 4 best defensive players in the conference.
HEIKO: Taylor Martinez, which forced Ace to take Vandenberg, which left Brian with Scheelhaase. I am pretty proud of my strategic maneuvering, and phase 1 of my Evil Plan was a success.
ACE: I guess everyone assumed the board at offensive tackle was Taylor Lewan followed by a cliff and didn't bother to look it up, as that's the only explanation I have for being able to land Ricky Wagner at #15 when he should've gone in the top six.
Who was your biggest steal in the late rounds?
ACE: Kain Colter is a better quarterback than Nathan Scheelhaase. The latter went in round three when Brian was forced to take a QB. The former fell to me in a round so late we didn't bother to keep count. Oh, and Colter was one of the B1G's more productive receivers last year and, by advanced stats, a more effective runner than Fitzgerald Toussaint.
SETH: It's Nebraska OT Jeremiah Sirles, with several votes going to snatching Roundtree to reprise his 2010 production in the penultimate round. For my offense, Sirles is just about the same value as NFL lock Ricky Wagner would have been, except I got him right before the kickers round while Ace took Wagner one spot above where I got Jon Brown.
HEIKO: Danny O'Brien. Either Brian forgot about him, or he thinks Scheelhaase is better. Neither is something he should be proud of.
BRIAN: Fiedorowicz. Six seven Iowa tight ends are money.
Who's the crappiest player drafted on each team, including yours?
BRIAN: Heiko: Taylor Martinez; Seth: Jesus, just look at that WR corps; Ace: Will Gholston; Brian: Kevonte Martin-Manley.
SETH: Cook: Christian Bryant--Worst Waldos are gonna be FUNNNNNN when I play that guy. Heiko: Hard to decide between Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez as a running back with the 6th overall pick, or DeAnthony Arnett (who's now 6th on MSU's depth chart) at 22nd overall. Since the first was gamesmanship I'll go with the latter, especially since Iowa's Keenan Davis was still available. Ace: By now you know. Seth: LT2--once Gholston, Buchanan and Simon were gone I had missed my shot at a scary pass-rusher from WDE and had to make one up.
ACE: Seth: Troy Stoudermire (when in doubt, pick the Gopher). Heiko: Taylor Martinez, running back. Brian: Christian Bryant. Ace: Alright, alright, it's Ondre Pipkins. Sue me.
Obviously your team should win, but who should come in second? Best offense (not yours)? Best defense (not yours)?
BRIAN: Heiko should come in second. He has the best offense as measured by number of QBs playing on it. I probably have the top four defenses, so I guess I think you guys are all terrible.
HEIKO: Best offense: Ace. Best defense: I think all three of you have significant holes on your defenses: Seth has a weak secondary, Brian has a weak linebacking unit, and Ace's defensive tackles have about zero starts between the two of them. Good work. If I had to pick a "best" defense I'd say Brian's -- I predict his unit to be formidable on 2nd downs.
ACE: I'm picking Seth for best offense and defense, so... Heiko?
SETH: When Ace took Montee Ball the snark was "Call me when he's got Wisconsin's O-line." Then he went and got Wisconsin's O-line. I will take your call now, Ace. On defense I love Brian's front seven, which is three huge dudes (Allen, Spence and Hageman) three scary pass rushers (Simon, Ryan, and Allen), and Desmond Morgan, though if that pass rush doesn't hit home there's a lot of room for big plays. Except for Mewhort at OT, Brian has a respectable offense too, highlighted by the scary two-back combo of Bell and Toussaint. So that's my 2nd place pick.
Goddammit MSU. After Michigan it was Michigan State who had the most players drafted in the conference, with 16 Spartans, nine of them on defense. If you figure Ace should have taken Rashad-White and if Heiko had drafted Dan France instead of rolling with just four OL and a two-way DT you're looking at 18. Nobody mentioned Drummond (plausible free safety in a conference rather bereft of such) either.
Here's the Sparties we did want:
("By Pos" is the order they were drafted among others at their position, for example Chris McDonald was the 5th OL and 1st guard taken, Le'Veon Bell was the 3rd RB, etc.)
|Denicos Allen||13||2 (1)||BRIAN||LB-SAM||5'11||225||JR|
|William Gholston||18||3 (3)||ACE||DE-WDE||6'7||278||JR|
|DeAnthony Arnett||22||4 (4)||HEIKO||WR-WR||5'11||170||SO|
|Marcus Rush||24||4 (1)||SETH||DE-5T||6'2||250||SO|
|Isaiah Lewis||35||2 (1)||HEIKO||FS/SS||5'10||205||JR|
|Chris McDonald||44||5 (1)||BRIAN||OL-OG||6'5||298||SR|
|Max Bullough||51||8 (3)||HEIKO||LB-MLB||6'3||252||JR|
|Fou Fonoti||70||12 (6)||HEIKO||OL-OT||6'4||296||SR|
|Lawrence Thomas||81||8 (4)||SETH||DE-WDE||6'3||295||RS FR|
|Chris Norman||83||12 (3)||HEIKO||LB-WLB||6'1||233||SR|
|Dan Conroy||95||3 (3)||ACE||K-PK||5'10||186||SR|
|Dion Sims||99||19 (4)||HEIKO||WR-TE||6'5||285||JR|
|Andrew Maxwell||101||???||BRIAN||Backup QB||6'3||212||JR|
They went early, and they went often. Average draft position was 46 out of 104 draftees, and that's obscured by several special teamers (and a quarterback taken instead of a special teamer) taken late. We thought they had the best guard, the best OLB, the best 5-tech (counting John Simon at rush), and the best free safety even though he's a strong safety.
Their defense is almost assured to lead the conference again, and maybe the country. Re-assessing the picks the only reach seems to be Arnett. If the Spartans can discover a passing game in Maxwell and Bennie Fowler they're the best team in the conference. The worst news: practice reports universally say they have.
Wisconsin is the Other Half of Michigan State. Glad we don't play them (until Indianapolis(?)). The Badgers had 12 guys drafted, most of those on offense, and most of those quite high. Like Michigan they had four linemen selected, though two at the end are new starters taken because they're Wisconsin starters. But they also had the best RB, the best tight end, the best wide receiver, and the best linebacker duo. Their defensive backfield and defensive line other than Beau Allen didn't get any takers, but the Wisconsin offense apparently has no weakness.
The divisions ranked by # of guys drafted:
Most bewildering decision by Heiko: Having Steinkuhler, who is 6'6/290, play both ways in an age when leaving a guy just at DT for an entire game is considered insane. I don't get what Sims gives you instead of Dan France when your receivers are all tight end size anyways.
Things we liked:
Things we hated:
Actual makeup of Heiko's team, whatever he says:
Four quarterbacks; zero running backs; two wide receivers who didn't play in the Big Ten last year and have a combined 25 catches for 248 yards and 2 TDs over their careers; two eh tight ends; a mismatched man/zone o-line made up of two Wildcats, a nose tackle playing both ways, and a tackle playing guard; a nose tackle playing both ways; Jordan Hill and Michael Buchanan; Craig Roh standing up; five linebackers of whom two are clones of Obi Ezeh and Jonas Mouton; two strong safeties; two boundary corners who can't cover speed receivers; and a good punter who can also kick FGs, until he is injured when his OT passes out from exhaustion.
1. Seth - most balanced offensive attack
2. Ace - Solid studs on both side of the ball
3. Brian - sorry I could never hang my season on Scheelhaase or Gray
4. Heiko - hopefully that beaver gives you better luck than it did GERG
I think this was way better than a standard "B1G Preview". HTTV previewed all the opponents really well, plus with Heiko's season previews and opponent recaps we get a good sense of what's going on in a traditional-preview sense.
I was entertained, and I think that you guys have a lot of somewhat-relevant sections you can use for game previews in the future. A "playmakers" section that can quote from this whole mess and/or link to it, in terms of "who to watch for" when Michigan plays team X.
this exercise if over.
"If the Spartans can discover a passing game with Maxwell and Bennie Fowler they're the best team in the conference."
It's funny; this statement didn't make me hate MSU more, rather it made me hate Rodriguez, Tressel, and Paterno et al more for helping make this statement not hilariously off base. Normally such a claim about State would be met with the "lolwut" pear.
I really liked this format of previewing the conference as well. However, the way that you listed each writer's teams was hard to follow. Next year, I'd suggest using a table, especially when you compare the teams side-by-side.
|QB||James Vandenberg, IOWA||Nathan Scheelhaase, ILL/ Andrew Maxwell, MSU||Danny O'Brien, WIS||Denard Robinson, MICH|
|RB||Montee Ball, WIS||Fitzgerald Toussaint, MICH||Taylor Martinez, NEB||Rex Burkhead, NEB|
|"FB"||James White, WIS||Le'Veon Bell, MSU||Braxton Miller, OSU/ James Morris, IOWA||Jeremy Gallon, MICH|
|WR1||Keenan Davis, IOWA||Jared Abbrederis, WIS||Kyle Prater, NW||Kenny Bell, NEB|
|WR2||Kain Colter, NW||MarQueis Gray, MIN||Devin Gardner, MICH||Kofi Hughes, IND|
|WR3||Devin Smith (OSU), OSU||Kevonte Martin-Manley, IOWA||DeAnthony Arnett, MSU||Roy Roundtree, MICH|
|TE||Jake Stoneburner, OSU||C.J. Fiedorowicz, IOWA||Dion Sims, MSU/Ben Cotton, NEB||Jacob Pedersen, WIS|
|LT||Ricky Wagner, WIS||Taylor Lewan, MICH||(none)||Michael Schofield, MICH|
|LG||Spencer Long, NEB||Chris McDonald, MSU||Patrick Omameh, MICH||Ricky Barnum, MICH|
|C||Travis Frederick, WIS||Matt Stankiewitch, PSU||Brandon Vitabile, NW||James Ferentz, IOWA|
|RG||Brian Mulroe, NW||Ryan Groy, WIS||Patrick Ward, NW||Graham Pocic, ILL|
|RT||Rob Havenstein, WIS||Jack Mewhort, OSU||Fou Fonoti, MSU||Jeremiah Sirles, NEB|
|NT||Ondre Pipkins, MICH||Beau Allen, WIS||Jordan Hill, PSU||Johnathan Hankins, OSU|
|DT||William Campbell, MICH||Akeem Spence, ILL||Baker Steinkuhler, NEB||Kawann Short, PUR|
|5T||Cameron Meredith, NEB||Ra'shede Hageman, MIN||Craig Roh, MICH||Marcus Rush, MSU|
|WDE||William Gholston, MSU||John Simon, OSU||Michael Buchanan, ILL||Lawrence Thomas, MSU|
|SAM||Mike Taylor, WIS||Jake Ryan, MICH||Ryan Shazier, OSU||Gerald Hodges, PSU|
|MIKE||Chris Borland, WIS||Desmond Morgan, MICH||Max Bullough, MSU/ Kenny Demens, MICH||Will Compton, NEB|
|WILL||Michael Mauti, PSU||Denicos Allen, MSU||Chris Norman, MSU||Jonathan Brown, ILL|
|SS||Ibraheim Campbell, NW||Daimion Stafford, NEB||C.J. Barnett, OSU||Jordan Kovacs, MICH|
|FS||Supo Sanni, ILL||Christian Bryant, OSU||Isaiah Lewis, MSU||Thomas Gordon, MICH|
|BCB||Johnny Adams, MSU||Terry Hawthorne, ILL||J.T. Floyd, MICH||Micah Hyde, IOWA|
|FCB||Ricardo Allen, PUR||Bradley Roby, OSU||Darqueze Dennard||Josh Johnson, PUR|
|Nkl||Courtney Avery, MICH||Blake Countess, MICH||(none)||Troy Stoudermire, MIN|
|K||Dan Conroy, MSU||Mitch Ewald, IND||Brett Maher, NEB||Ben Buchanan, OSU|
|P||Cody Webster, PUR||(none)||↓||Drew Basil, OSU|
Awesome, thanks -- this makes it much easier to compare the picks! Also, LOL at Gallon being listed at FB.
i put that in quotes because nobody used that spot to take a fullback. I guess what you did with that last back defined your offense. I figured since I'm going to be in the gun all day, and Rex Burkhead never comes out, ever, I'd rather be able to go 4-wide or 5-wide than 2-back.
Heiko is the Les Miles to your John L. Smith.
+ a million.