You're on. I'll take Valenti.
Unverified Voracity Uses Enormous Scissor Hands For Evil
Learn from the master. Not to be outdone by some twit in a hat, Nick Saban dropped the boom on two players on the eve of fall camp. One learned he'd "failed a physical" and is either going to be medially disqualified by Alabama's doctors and placed on a scammy hardship scholarship (someone should figure out how many kids have been placed on medical scholarships since Saban arrived; I'm willing to bet it's triple the rate of a sampling of representative schools) or transfer. The other was just straight up deferred because the wrong number of kids got eligible. The usual goes here.
Something unusual: it looks like we're at a turning point as far as media attention goes to this stuff. In the last week both SI's Andy Staples and CBS screedmaster Gregg Doyel have taken up the baton. If you've ever read a Doyel piece you can Mad Libs the nouns between the bombast but at least this time he's struck on something worthy of some portion of the usual outrage. The thrust of his piece is actually too kind since he focuses on exceeding the 25 player limit, which these days you can only do by three, instead of the disparity between some incoming recruiting classes and the number of scholarships available for them. Those can hit double-digits. In LSU's case, they had 27 signees and two early enrollees so they could have gotten everyone on campus if not for the 85 cap. I'll take any attention this issue gets but Doyel's got a lot of his facts wrong.
Meanwhile, Staples has been SI's main recruiting reporter for a few years now. He knows the field, and I'm not just saying that because he's on board with the idea that you shouldn't be able to sign a player unless you can show where the scholarship is coming from. A note on that—Staples says:
Yahoo!'s Matt Hinton and MGoBlog's Brian Cook, two people who have written thoughtfully on this subject in the past, had a brilliant suggestion so simple that even a heavy-handed bureaucracy should be able to bring it to fruition: Make a rule that requires schools to give an actual scholarship to every player they sign to a letter-of-intent.
Cook even suggested raising scholarship limits if necessary. I disagree. If a school has 22 slots on Feb. 2, 2011, it should sign 22 players. If three of those players don't qualify, that's the coach's fault for not recruiting more academically sound prospects. He can play the season with 82 players on scholarship and sign more next year.
I don't think I was clear enough when I suggested the same thing I always suggest. Two scenarios I think would be good for college football:
- LOIs are binding both ways for one year. If you sign a player and he does not qualify or you can't fulfill the promise made, you don't get to use that scholarship the next year.
- LOIs are actually binding for two years. If you lose a player like above, you can't use the scholarship for the next two recruiting classes. Since this one is more punitive I'd give schools the leeway of an extra scholarship or two.
Either one is fine by me; in scenario 1 I don't think you need more scholarships.
As this gets on the radar of more reporters, coaches across the country will have to start justifying departures from their program, and maybe in a year or two the noise will be enough to force the NCAA to take action. Coaches will caterwaul, but what are they going to do, quit?
(HT: Doc Sat.)
Captains. I forewent retweeting the RR tweet announcing your 2010 permanent captains because if I had it eight times in my feed chances are everyone else had it at least twice already. For those opposed to societal ADD, the guys are Steve Schilling and Mark Moundros. Moundros is representing the defense. The official site's much less horrible video page has reactions from Schilling and Moundros on the honor; Michigan will still pick two additional game captains throughout the season.
This is undoubtedly overreacting to a tiny slice of information, but it's the day after the first fall football practice. If there's a national day of Overreacting To Tiny Slices of Information, it's today. So: guuuuh linebackers. Michigan's got a couple of fifth-year multi-year starters and they get squeezed out of the official captaincy by a walk-on who was a fullback until spring practice. This is the most circumstantial of evidence but since we have three years of direct evidence that the linebackers aren't very good, it does not make me feel awesome.
Who wants to bet that someone at a newspaper or in sports radio declares this a repudiation of Rodriguez? We should start a pool. I've got Jeff DeFran.
Elsewhere in grunting. This is not so good:
“We have quite a few guys in very good shape, a handful who are in OK shape and a small handful not ready to play Division I football,” he said.
Rodriguez specifically omitted freshmen from his crap list, so Richard Ash—listed at a flabby 320 on the fall roster—is not one of those guys. I'm afraid he might be making a pointed statement directed at Will Campbell, who is the biggest guy on the team at 333 (mark of the half-beast!). This would crush my dream of having a Sagesse/Campbell rotation at the nose free Mike Martin to wreak havoc as a 3-tech DT/5-tech 3-3-5 DE.
Graham is destroying. A steady stream of articles declaring Brandon Graham the next Dwight Freeney, except better, have hit the sidebar, and now here's some main column action:
"I look at him as another (Dwight) Freeney deal," said Cole, referring to the Colts' five-time Pro Bowler. "He's a great player and just keep watching because he's going to be pretty good."
Also Andy Reid dropped a quote that may lend some credence to both EEEE Barwis and a hopefully burgeoning EEEE Bruce Tall contingent:
"He's done very well with that," said Reid. "He's very strong in the lower body; he's very strong in the upper body, too. His lower body, he's got a nice anchor there and good core strength and understands how to use his hands and arms and plays with separation on the linemen."
If we see Roh and Van Bergen do this consistently this year, Tall will enter the pantheon of assistant coaches Michigan fans can't bitch about currently inhabited by Greg Frey, Calvin Magee, and maybe Rod Smith.
Etc.: Ron English says he doesn't want to recruit kids without father figures. Detroit head coach says "that's insane" because "what he's asking for, we don't have." This makes me terribly sad for Detroit. Chad Henne has one vote for Tate. Tom Dienhart's extensive season preview has just two M players (Molk and Schilling) on his all Big Ten first- and second-teams (Stonum is the second-team kick returner), but manages to slot Michigan fifth despite this.
didn't this get voted my the players? it was out of RRs hands, i figured.
Yeah, in defense of our linebackers, captainship (at least from my sports experience) isn't always contingent on on-the-field performance. I'm not saying that performance has nothing to do with it, but someone who is more vocal and has more leadership abilities is going to be recognized by his teammates. I'd like to think that that's the case here: Moundros just has excellent leadership skills and the team recognized him for that; rather than a lack of skill from Ezeh/Mouton.
He has final word on the selection of captains wrt procedure and outcome. He's excercised this word and continues to tweak the process. I like this better than game to game selection only. Schilling and Moundros are worthy captains.
Who wants to bet that someone at a newspaper or in sports radio declares this a repudiation of Rodriguez? We should start a pool. I've got Jeff DeFran.
I've got Snyder. Who gets Rosenberg, Rothstein, and Birkett?
Birkett for sure
I'll go with Lynn Henning. He seems all up in our business lately.
Though I wonder if Fithian may leap over all of them.
If being a good captain has more to do with being a good player than being a good leader, then I agree that Moundros's ascension to captain is troubling. I don't think this is the case though. What we know about Moundros is that he's a former walk-on (?) who earned a scholarship and is now risking the loss of what little playing time he might see at FB in order to help the team as a Linebacker. So, he's a blue collar guy who's willing to put the team ahead of himself; sounds like a captain to me.
by someone writing my thoughts exactly. Maybe everyone just recognized what a team player Moundros is by taking the risk of switching.
- Moundros was one of the players that RR took to Chicago as well because he epitomizes the team player. Moundros himself has been open about the fact that he is not likely to play much, and he was not on the two deep in spring practice even with Mouton hurt for part of the time. This says nothing about our linebackers, which for other reasons are still an area of concern.
This is the recognition by the players that Moundros is a team guy who is willing to do anything for the team, an nothing else.
How can Drew Sharp fall to me at three?'
Another good candidate is Dennis Fithian. His knowledge of anything is about as deep as a Ruffles ridge.
Boo to the shot at Dennis. As much as we LOVE to complain about people supposedly having it in for UM, let's not get all over the lone UM slappy on 97.1.
Last year one of our captains was a punter. An awesome punter, but a punter.
I'm not going to complain about a FB/LB being the defense's representative in the captaincy role.
"awesome" is an insult to zoltan, his excellency.
any other school and people would love the "Ex-walk-on becomes Captain" story. At Michigan, we're waiting for an article about how RR never recruited a decent LB to A2 back in 2006.
I am going to look at this in a positive light.... like another poster said, with the captains maybe RR is looking more for vocal leaders than good players. Kinda like Eric Mayes in '97, wasn't he a walk-on (who unfortunately did not play because of an injury)? He turned out to be a great captain who motivated the team like no other, hopefully Moundros will do the same (even better, hopefully he is indeed a superstar and helps solve our LB problem).
Not that I'm predicting it.
And beyond all that...are are we completely refusing to accept the idea that maybe, just maybe, Moundros is doing a pretty good job at LB? In any regard, someone who gives up his position as a senior to help the team in any way possible sounds like Captain material to me.
I think that we've had a lot of non starter captains over the years. Wasn't Ricky Powers the offensive captain in 1993? I think that there have been others, but I don't remember who they are.
You are correct.
eric mays in 1997 i think was a walk on and ended up getting hurt in the first few games.
also Freddy Hunter on the first fab 5 team. he was the only senior.
(no googles, yo!)
Mayes was a starter the first 4 games of 97, sustaining a season ending injury in the fourth game against Indiana allowing the bowtied one to get on the field.
BTW, its Dr. Eric Mayes now.
It's pretty clear that T-Wolf was executing Moundros orders.
If he's their captain, then he's my captain.
Also, I wonder if DeFran will take enough time away from his certain, done deal sources who said Rodriguez would be fired before the season starts to even the notice the captaincy issue
are you insinuating that in some sort of Machiavellian twist, moundros is using T-Wolf as a strong man puppet? i like it.
I know it's a small thing, but I'm glad RR relented on the permanent captains thing, at least in part. That always rubbed me the wrong way, for reasons I can't really articulate.
Also, I'll take Rosenberg in the pool.
Let me take a stab at articulating: permanent captains are a team honor, and provide consistent leadership across the season.
Weekly game captains are a honor as well, and may provide weekly boosts in leadership, but the leadership fluctuates across the season and may start and stop often, versus being a constant pull. The permanent captains provide strategic leadership across the season, the weekly captains help provide tactical leadership week to week. (Military examples abound.)
I actully really like this embracing of the old and the new.
Exactly right. Permanent captains tend to take ownership of the team, or ought to.
He's a dark horse candidate because he's not in the media and therefore not really eligible, but I have faith in him anyhow.
Drew Sharp was taken by Callahan, I will go with Pat Caputo.
The elected captain would seem more orinated toward people that have showed their deidcation in the off-season since they were elected prior to fall camp really starting.
I'll take a captain based on work ethic and team mentality over a starter any day.
The obvious drawback is that their leadership only extends to the playing field inasmuch as their playing time permits, but I think it far more important that the leadership shape the attitude of the players in preparing to get on the field and in their mental preparation for each game than actually doing on the field stuff.
As a darkhorse for the pool, I'll saw Cowherd. He seems like the type of guy who would throw something in about UM if it was a slow news day.
More locally, um, everyone is taken except, I don't know, Jay Towers?
They're getting closer to getting it right but they're not quite there yet. Weekly captains are lame. It's not something you take turns handing out. It cheapens it. Captainship should be an honor that is earned throough respect of your teammates. Weekly capains are like how we give out trophies to kids for partisipation. Trophies are for champs.
The end of season captainship is also weak. Here's your captainship. Now go lead us to....um..well nothing...season's over.
Elect the captains in the final meeting of the previous year and be done with it. The departing senior captains can hand it off to the soon to be senior captains there.That way they can be in charge of the player only workouts in the summer as they enter their senior year and on until the final game.
You should really send a telegram or carrier pigeon to Rich Rod to let him know how shitty and meaningless and pointless his system is.
You can only send people carrier pigeons if they give you a carrier pigeon to send them, because carrier pigeons can only remember a single location. Whatever have they been teaching at Michigan since I've been gone...
(...this might be a test to see if off topic pedantry costs me points.)
I agree completly with jersyblue (who's that pic of?). I never understood the captain thing after the season. Thanks coach but the season is over. I know there are other duties, but to be the captain during the season is a huge deal for the kids, and their joining a great list of former captains.
He also mentioned in the freep that "he never really thought of that before" regarding the in season full-time captains. WTF? I know that this is probably not a huge deal, but it goes back to the tradition of UM football.
It's Kate Beckinsale.
Thanks. I wouldn't mind naming her captain after the season.
Those seniors who weren't voted captains in the preseason can still make the official list, if they show good enough leadership over the course of the season to earn that distinction.
As long as the end-of-season captains are elected before the bowl game then they are still in a position to lead for a very important game of the year. And if the season goes well, it could be the most important game of the year.
I like the captain setup.
It would also have been nice to see three of them so that the special teams could have an individual dedicated to providing leadership in that part of the team effort.
Mark of the half beast made my day. Superior form, Biff.
a future t-shirt, doesn't it?
I wouldn't necessarily view Moundros' election as captain as any indication that the 2 senior LBs are not WAY ahead of him in terms of playing time and ability. Looking back over last year, RR's "temporary" game captains were not always the best players - they were guys who RR felt worked hard all week or who showed leadership. RR has said a few times that he is impressed with Moundros' desire to win and willingness to do what it takes (like change positions) to help the team.
Chad Henne's twitter page... I find it's sometimes hard to distinguish between a fake and a real page. Any other Michigan peeps I should be following? I've got the right pages for RR, Braylon, Brandon Graham, Jim Harbaugh, Woodley, and Breaston. Sometimes it's best to take a genuine twitter account and just see who they follow for legit accounts...