Beaver already answered these questions.
well that's just, like, your opinion, man
I have read recent posts that you believe on some level 3-9 has contributed to not getting more *4* stars, etc. I don't want to get into the star debate but I do want to ask you a straightforward question.
If your argument is correct..give me an example of higher ranked guy(s) that bypassed UM because of last year.
Who basically dropped us or would have inevitably committed to UM but decided not to because of record? Gholston..MSU guy. I know your argument is going be that UM had to offer 'lesser' prospects..I disagree.
I think these prospects commit depending on the depth chart and playing time. Why would a guy commit to UM when he sees Stonum and Stokes? Why would a top rb commit when he sees Toussaint and White on the horizon or for that matter..Shaw and Hopkins. This is before we take into account the offensive scheme.
Remember, a lot of these RBs are downgraded because they aren't every down backs or NFL prospects. The star thing can be deceiving for certain positions.
Why would a top DL come to UM... so they can back up Campbell, RVB and Martin? You see a lack of DBs..hence a guy like Christian and Avery are willing to commit.
I see absolutely NO evidence that the record has had any impact. Now, if UM has another dismal record this year… I could definitely see a downturn. But I don't see mediocre recruits coming to UM.
Cordially and Respectfully, John Weiss
Well, the thing is: I don't think I can give you your example of a guy who said he wasn't considering Michigan because of their terrible record a year ago. It doesn't work like that. Usually what happens is a player talks about teams he's interested in for whatever reason and does not mention why the rest of college football isn't on his list. So the evidence is more circumstantial: fewer players listing Michigan, Michigan pursuing prospects further down the line, and so forth and so on.
I get your point about offensive fit and three stars and whatnot. I don't care that Christian Pace is (right now) a three-star on Rivals. From what I've read and heard—there will be more on Pace in the week's recruiting roundup—I'm convinced he's a perfect fit for Michigan's offense and will be very successful here, barring injury. But it's not like Rodriguez didn't immediately start racking up four stars upon arrival at Michigan. Seven of the nine recruits he finished Lloyd Carr's last class with were four stars on one site or the other, and the bulk of Rodriguez's first full class sported four stars. There seems to be a clear correlation between players the recruiting gurus are high on and ones Rodriguez likes to acquire.
It's also hard to argue that the real problem with Michigan's recruiting is the vast depth when 1) the depth on defense is actually terrifying, which is where the recruiting is most concerning and 2) Michigan was 3-9 last year.
There will be a dip in Michigan's final recruiting rank this year, and that will be meaningful. But it's not fate or anything, and strong classes on either side of it coupled with good retention will see Michigan through just fine.
I'm a longtime Wolverine fan who's lived near West Virginia for much of my life, so I'm familar with Rodriguez and his offense.
My question is this, without a Pat White (at least now, Devin Gardner/Robinson are similar) do you see the Michigan offense becoming more passing oriented in a few years? Obviously Tate can scramble but he's more elusive than speedy. And Rodriguez isn't filling his entire offense with 5"7, 170 lb Jock Sanders types (but a few), rather, a lot of different athletes (Je'Ron Stokes, Jeremy Gallon, Ricardo Miller)
Well, no, not in a few years. Retroactively, even. Last year when Michigan was flailing at 2-4 and the sharks* in the media were asserting that Rodriguez should have kept Lloyd Carr's offense despite not knowing how to run it and having vanishingly few players who knew how to run it, I noted Michigan's run/pass breakdown in response to a particularly ignorant assertion that Rodriguez hadn't changed his offense from his West Virginia days:
Yes, exactly like the West Virginia spread:
- WVU, 2007: 26% pass, 74% run.
- Michigan, 2008: 46% pass, 54% run.
This only looks "exactly like the West Virginia" spread if you have literally no memory for play proportions and sequencing.
This was at the absolute nadir for the offense. As discussed here and at Varsity Blue earlier this offseason, this was the point at which the run game became functional. As you might expect when the alternative was Threetsheridammit, the play distribution shifted to the things less likely to end with a punch to the face. Michigan ended the year with a 42-58 pass-run split. I didn't get the exact play counts here but it's a reasonable assumption that about half of the plays came before MINOR RAGE was instituted and half after: the pass-run split in the second half of the season was 38-62, which is veering towards Pat White territory.
That's run-heavy, but not run-insane. The play breakdown demonstrates two things:
When nothing worked, the run-pass breakdown was about even. When running worked and passing remained Russian roulette, Michigan ran about twice as often as it passed.
So, yes, the Michigan offense is going to be more passing-oriented. That doesn't say much, though, when you're comparing it to an offense on the order of Navy or Georgia Tech when it comes to bombing away. But what you're probably asking is something closer to "will this offense approach balance?"
I submit that the answer is yes, because you don't recruit a guy like Tate Forcier as determinedly as Michigan did—remember that Forcier was already coming in for an official on the opening weekend of the season when Newsome decommitted—without intending to take advantage of his unique skills.
Your point about the diverse and sundry skill position athletes is also well-taken: when Rodriguez had the one NFL receiver he'd ever acquired on his roster, he bombed it to Chris Henry whenever he was out of jail/trouble. He will take advantage of talented players, and given that the possibly-unwarranted offseason hype is focused squarely on tight ends Kevin Koger and Martell Webb, you're definitely going to see a wide array of formations and plays Rodriguez never dreamed of deploying at West Virginia.
*(whale sharks, specifically: bloated, toothless, and only capable of skimming the surface for the easiest prey imaginable.**)
Given the number of commitments at this juncture, are you starting to worry that RichRod will oversign and then engage in the dubious practices for which you have blasted other programs? I think he may prove to be closer to Saban than Carr in this respect. Hope I'm wrong.
No. I got similar questions last year about the… er… colorful characters that dotted Rodriguez's rosters and recruiting classes—mostly the latter, as you could be sure that any four-or-five star who ended up at WVU had emotional problems that most certainly did not include pacifism—at West Virginia arriving in Ann Arbor with scimitars between their teeth, asking about the wenches.
I answered those in a similar fashion to what I'll say now: even if Rodriguez brought those guys in by choice instead of necessity at West Virginia—doubtful—the institution's standards override Rodriguez's and they get the final say as to what is an acceptable practice. Outside of the standard "fifth years are optional" policy, Michigan would not find that acceptable practice.
SNARKY ALTERNATE ANSWER FOR STATE/OSU/ND FANS: Rodriguez would have to not have 20 guys leave the team every year to even get in that situation, so no.
Good point on teams maybe being a bit more versed in how to defend the UM offense/running game this year. At the same time though, if Forcier is decent that should at least keep the defenses honest and have to respect the mid to long range passing game.
In addition, considering how inept the UM passing offense was last year, how much of the playbook did we even get to see? Now granted Forcier is a true freshmen, but if he can show that he's comfortable with some of the basic offense (particular the passing game), we might see the playbook expanded a bit more then we saw last year. Considering that Sheridan wasn't much of a passer at all, and Threet had problems completing even the simplest of passes, I can't believe that we saw very much of the passing game that RR hopefully has in his playbook.
Keep up the good work!
This was spurred by an earlier mailbag in which I expressed concern that teams would not be caught quite as off guard as they were last year in the Penn State game when Michigan flashed capabilities opponents did not realize were options.
I basically agree on all points: the mere threat of a competent downfield passer should force defenses to lay off the running game more, the incompetence of the quarterbacking limited Michigan's options last year to wheel routes, screens, and the occasional ineffective go, and there's reason to believe Michigan's offense hasn't shown all that much of its true capabilities.
All those positive factors plus the return of everyone on offense save the nominal, ineffective starting quarterback from last year's train wreck should easily overwhelm the familiarity factor. The main reason I brought it up was the extreme dip in the running game from 2006 to 2007.
In 2006, Mike Debord returned to his post as offensive coordinator/mgo-bete noire. He brought a radical shift in Michigan's ground game by installing the zone-stretch-heavy (in fact, near-exclusive) ground game that propelled Mike Hart to an excellent junior year. Michigan finished 21st in rushing yardage and averaged 4.9 YPC once you remove Chad Henne rushes that were either sacks, scrambles or sneaks.
In 2007, the same ground game with similar personnel fell to 47th nationally and saw their non-QB YPC dip to 4.7… which, actually… you know what? I think I just disproved this theory in my own head. Mike Hart missed significant chunks of the season, the offensive line got considerably worse if you look at the sack numbers and this mournful, muddled lineup of right guard starts…
Jeremy Ciulla (5)
Alex Mitchell (5)
Stephen Schilling (1)
Tim McAvoy (1)
Mark Ortmann (1)
…and multiple opponents got the opportunity to tee off on Ryan Mallett as directed by Carr and Debord instead of a healthy Chad Henne. In the Ohio State game the Buckeyes quickly figured out that Chad Henne's arm was hardly attached to his body, too. Despite all that the YPC of actual rushing plays only dipped 0.2 yards.
Nevermind, then. Viva the run game.
Beaver already answered these questions.
THAT was comedic gold. Nice work.
Right in the kisser.
So are you saying that BRIAN IS TOM BEAVER!
Wow he's like a superhero!
You're the next contestant on... who writes a dumb note to Brian! With all due respect, "give me an example of guys that bypassed UM" is a ridiculous assertion as an attempt to prove your point. Did you think Brian was going to say "why yes, Brennan Clay mentioned to Tom that he would have been interested but decided against us because 3-9." When a kid isn't interested in us, he doesn't list us as an option, and we never hear about it, and never will.
I've tried this on girls, doesn't work. Find random girl, ask her why she's not interested in me. "Get away from me you creep" isn't exactly very telling in how Michigan going 3-9 last year affected my chances at a date.
we're 8-4 this year. I will transform from Bluto to Eric Stratton instantly.
I am exicted to see how the run/pass split will be this year now that we have a qb that can run a spread. Maybe we should place bets for the percentages for the first game.
That 2007 running attack featured some big contributions from Brown and Minor. At the risk of my emotional peril this fall, I am getting extremely excited for this year's run-game to dominate people. Brown, Minor, Shaw, should have a ton of big plays if Tate can be a threat, and we know d-rob will be a threat. No to mention Fitz and Smith probably getting some carries. Moundros should be destroying linebackers after another Barwis offseason.
That actually made me think of a couple good questions...who's the beast fullback from the modern era? Aaron Shea? Can Moundros get to that level?
B.J. Askew was a valuable fullback, but I'd probably have to say Leroy Hoard. He was unstoppable on the goal line.
Jarrod Bunch. Did he ever lose yards on a carry? Was there ever a single play where he did not knock a defender the F out?
Bunch was good, too. He always fell forward, and usually on top of someone.
I just remember Hoard having wiggle like a tailback in the backfield (to pick the right straight-ahead gap, let's be honest), and then bashing people at the end of the play like he was a linebacker and they were the ones with the ball.
How is the Hollywood production company doing???
not me. I was a student at UM from 1990 to 1994 and I was a Bunch fan back then. I was always remarked by the fact that he never lost yards. Tough runner...Bunch was.
If we're talking the post-Bo era, it's got to be Floyd. Aaron Shea is a close second (better receiver than Floyd, but not a runner). Askew was a good runner/receiver, but not as good of a blocker. His natural position was TB.
I think Griese called him the MVP in 1997.
(But of course you always compliment the guy who keeps your jersey clean)
Nevermind, then. Viva the run game.
Don't talk yourself out of everything, there, Cook. Don't forget, that '07 team was outgained by the wacky cast of characters of your '08 offense.
Don't forget comments from multiple opponents along the lines of "we knew what they were going to do, they knew we knew it, and we taunted them about it, and they still went anyway."
Don't forget fewer plays, "controlling the clock," etc.
Don't forget 2007 stood out for several long rushes, which were becoming a rarity around these parts since the early '00s.
Don't forget how utterly soul-crushing this was:
M20 - 10:36 - Punt - M26 - 10:02 - Punt - 3-6 - 0:34
M36 - 05:59 - Punt - O15 - 01:37 - *FIELD - GOAL - 12-49 - 4:22#
M18 - 14:51 - Punt - M11 - 13:19 - Punt - 3--7 - 1:32
M20 - 10:08 - Kickoff - M24 - 07:06 - Punt - 6-4 - 3:02
M21 - 04:39 - Punt - M28 - 03:05 - Punt - 3-7 - 1:34
M50 - 02:17 - Punt - O45 - 01:56 - Punt - 3-5 - 0:21
O34 - 00:21 - Interception - O31 - 00:00 - Missed FG - 4-3 - 0:21
M14 - 15:00 - Kickoff - M13 - 13:51 - Punt - 3--1 - 1:09
M19 - 13:40 - Kickoff - M26 - 12:08 - Punt - 3-7 - 1:32
M18 - 07:56 - Punt - M20 - 06:32 - Punt - 3-2 - 1:24
M20 - 03:52 - Punt - M35 - 00:45 - Punt - 7-15 - 3:07
O46 - 14:05 - Punt - O49 - 13:32 - Punt - 3--3 - 0:33
M30 - 11:10 - Punt - M44 - 10:05 - Punt - 3-14 - 1:05
M32 - 07:42 - Punt - M32 - 06:28 - Punt - 3-0 - 1:14
M43 - 04:04 - Punt - M43 - 03:44 - Downs - 4-0 - 0:20
Don't forget rock. Good ol' rock.
And all its 'Horrors'
I might be dense here but I'm not sure what this post is trying to say. I think you are using the drive charts from the 07 OSU game to convince Brian not to give up on his theory that defensive familiarity breeds reduced YPC, which he was wavering on b/c of the lack of assumed dropoff from 06 to 07, which really wasn't that big of a dropoff after all.
So are you saying that these data suggest that we should be worried about the running game? But I think we all remember that the 07 OSU was such an unmitigated disaster b/c of Henne's thread-dangling shoulder, allowing OSU to load up on the run.
Ergo, if MINOR RAGE was successful with a healthy-ish Minor and a semi-gelling OL, even in the context of DEATH at QB, then with an even more healthy Minor/Brown/Shaw/Grady, and an even more gelled OL, and NOT DEATH at QB, we should be all right.
Man that OSU game sucked.
his point was that we shouldn't worry about the '09 running game. Maybe? It's a riddle wrapped inside of an enigma.
If Michigan wins this game, it's LSU vs USC for the national title right? Or is it LSU vs WVU? If they win, do we still land RichRod?
I think a better example would be App State. Hart went down and poof! No running game (even with a healthy Henne to keep the D honest).
I have a huge problem with the John Weiss e-mail because of this:
Since when is Ryan Van Bergen a huge blockade for a potential prospect? Are his 13 tackles and one start scary for top recruits out there?
Why would Marcus Lattimore, Lache Seastrunk, or Mack Brown commit when there's a 3-star commit like Hopkins in his way? Or what about the 4-star Toussaint who barely even qualified for UM? Or what about White...who hasn't even committed to Michigan yet (and might not)? Yup, that's a good argument. I'm sure Marcus Lattimore was shaking in his boots about the potential commitment of Austin White.
He says good cornerbacks will commit when there's a vacuum at the position...and his examples are a) a guy who hasn't committed yet in Cullen Christian and b) Courtney Avery, who isn't even ranked by Rivals and chose Michigan over Stanford...and Indiana...and BGSU...and EMU.
I'm not too worried about Michigan's recruiting this year. I think a good year will lead to better recruiting, if not in 2010, then in 2011. But that e-mail probably shouldn't even have been sent, let alone addressed.
O.K. Lets deal with a couple of posts.
First, a poster says 'duh'..why would a recruit say he won't consider UM because of last years record. Recruits won't tell the truth regarding the reasons for not considering UM.
Hmmm. If the recruit is not going to tell you they won't consider UM because of the record how does one come to the conclusion that the 3-9 record is minimizing high ranked recruits coming to UM?
Is the logic that look how many 4 and 5 star recruits are considering UM or committing to UM this year? Has the 3-9 record in 2008 deterred Gardner?
What about Henderson and Wilson..why are they considering UM or Prater for that matter? Are you saying there aren't as many high ranked guys considering UM this year?
Is the argument that UM had more high ranked guys the past 2 classes? What guys specifically do you think would have considered UM if not for the record? Can't name any? What is it going to be..if you are going to make an assertion that UM is hindered this year because of the record then the burden is on you to give an example.
If you can't give an example..then you are just 'whistling dixie'.
Onto the 2nd point which has some validity that why would a recruit be scared off by existing guys on the roster. Well, is Martin and RVB young and talented and maybe hard to break past on the depth chart. Maybe..maybe not. Maybe that is why the two guys decommitted on signing day..who knows.
I am assuming some guys..maybe a couple would be deterred by seeing Campbell, Martin and RVB and it has nothing to do with the record but talent. Again..I can't prove one way or another just as you can't.
Another example was why would Lattimore and Seastrunk commit to UM when there wasn't that much talent. Well, it seems these guys are considering UM even though the record was poor last year and aren't both of these guys located in the South?
When UM was having winning seasons..when was the last big time rb to come to UM? Wheatley? There are alot of factors that go into a player committing to a school. I would think players would be attracted at playing time or prestige.
Do you think some of these potential rb recruits have looked at the depth chart with guys like Shaw, Touissant (would have to assume he will qualify). Not to mention V. Smith.
Again, what can you give me specifically that indicates the record is determing how many high ranked guys are coming to UM. I would think this is just a preference on the coaching staff to recruit less desirable NFL protype players to play in this system.
If you can't prove that the record is a factor then you can't criticize my post for pointing out this point.
P.S. By the way, did the 1st year record at Alabama under Saban deter his recruiting efforts? If anything, I think players love playing time and opportunity to make an impact hence all the new qb's. It sure didn't deter Marvin Robinson and others and I don't see alot of top notch guys bailing out of the program..they smell opportunity.
Nobody's saying that ALL good recruits are ignoring Michigan. Your examples of Torrian Wilson and Seantrel Henderson are just two guys out of a couple hundred (although, obviously, Marvin Robinson and Devin Gardner and a couple others could be added to that list).
You're asking for specifics on things that can't necessarily be specified. If, let's say, Jeff Luc would normally be interested but he saw the 3-9 so he just immediately wrote us off, there's virtually no way for us to know that. But yes, a large part of the argument is that we're getting lower ranked players this year than in the past. With Rodriguez's historical prowess in running the football, you would think almost every top RB in the nation would be heavily interested in Michigan. The guys I mentioned - Seastrunk, Lattimore, and Mack Brown - are NOT interested in Michigan at this point. That could be geography (all are from the south) or other factors, but we have three senior RBs and those guys sure aren't being scared off by the likes of a potential commitment from Austin White or a big bruiser like Hopkins.
I didn't say people would be concerned about passing Martin on the depth chart; perhaps they would. The two guys who decommitted on signing day were probably more scared off by Campbell, but whatever. I said DEs probably aren't scared off by Van Bergen, a former 3-star recruit from the football hotbed of Whitehall, MI, who has 13 tackles and 0 sacks. Whether he's young or not, if I'm a top recruit, I'm not scared.
Yes, Wheatley was the last big-time recruit to come to Michigan during our winning years. Carlos Brown wasn't a top 50 player, Sam McGuffie's only offer came from Michigan, Michael Shaw only had offers from MAC schools, Anthony Thomas had never even played football before, Chris Perry was a converted rugby player... (I hope your sarcasm detector is on.)
NOBODY is scared of Vincent Smith. Nobody. Not one top recruit has looked down Michigan's potential 2010 depth chart, got to Vincent Smith, and said, "Oh, shit...they got a 5'6" kid from Florida who hasn't even played a down of college football yet. I better go somewhere else."
I can, in fact, criticize your post. I just did. My point is no more presumptuous than yours. Kids choose schools for a lot of different reasons. For some (Robinson, Miller, Gardner) perhaps the depth chart isn't very important or the tradition overrides everything, etc. But if you don't think that the team's ability to actually, you know, win games affects recruiting, then you're vastly mistaken.
"If you can't give an example..then you are just 'whistling dixie'."
No, it is called an inference.
We're talking about the choices made by 17 year olds here - IF we could survey them, and IF they could/would completely reveal their information, we might not like what we'd see:
We'd probably see some nuggets like:
"I want to go to Clemson for their academics"
"Auburn bought my old man a Rolls Royce"
"Coach Rod doesn't run in this offense"
"Coach Rod is never going to throw in this offense"
Recruiting is a noisy process, made more noisy by the coaches themselves.
I really feel that our running game is going to be awesome this year. The offensive line has jelled together more and we are loaded at running back with Minor, Brown, Shaw, Smith, and Toussaint.
With the players that have givin verbles to U of M this year.
How many of you are concerned about your D?
A credible source tells me JT Turner is on campus and will sport the prestigious #2. He didn't say anything about whether he qualified but if he's here and he's got a number, things look good. If he's half as good as C Wood was we're in for a great 4 years.
Year Rank School Total 5* 4* 3* Avg. Total Points
2007 8 Notre Dame 18 1 12 4 3.72 1,932
2008 2 Notre Dame 23 3 16 4 3.96 2,744
2009 21 Notre Dame 18 1 9 5 3.44 1,564
ND went 3-9 in 2007. Also, that 2009 class was a totally insane Mantei Teo signing day pickup from being like 28th. He'll probably never even play a down for ND as he has a Mormon mission to go on.
It's not that a recruit is saying to himself, "Self, I'd like to consider Michigan, but they went 3-9 last year. I find that unacceptable and shall now head to Lane Kiffin's house for a sleep over with his wife. Her O face won't be booing me." It's much more the recruit doesn't have any reason to consider Michigan. To top recruits (most of these are in the south/west, not the midwest/northeast) Michigan is just another school, and one they didn't see winning much, heard nothing positive about them if they do hear anything, and the media(and rival coaches) says the Big 10 sucks and is slow. There's an extensive study about recruiting factors, and the number 1 factor is distance from home.
So riddle me this Batman, what (to a non super Michigan fan) does Michigan offer to a recruit that LSU, Florida, Alabama, USC, Texas, Oklaholma don't offer while being 1,000 - 2,000+ miles to home closer?