"(I) think about 'The Lion King,' Simba gets hit over the head and (he's told) 'the past can hurt,' " Harbaugh said Monday afternoon. "'You can either run from it or embrace it and learn from it.'
I find it amazing how the value of Threet is being overstated almost as a badge of wisdom amongst the Michigan writing elite (whoever that is...people like Rivals folks and established bloggers; I know Brian is composing something along these lines at this very moment). It is an obligatory, painful thing to watch. I think it's horseshit. If it's a sign of respect for Threet, then whatever. I am not inclined to go out of my way to be hushed and respectful to people who don't honor their commitments. I won't slam the kid, but I am not going to mute my opinion of his worth as he heads out.
He was not a good QB. Any potential he had was, like sandpaper on skin, painful and at the expense of how RR wanted to conduct football here at Michigan. He was a living, breathing, walking, snapping, throwing example of a square peg. The upside for the square peg fitting into the round hole is never high.
There are many, many, many, many, many reasons why the prospects of these incoming freshman are vastly higher than with Threet.
1. Threet = square peg; Forcier and DRob = roung peg
2. One more year for the other 100 players in RR's system
3. The OLine will be vastly improved. The read option handoff, which was usually into Molk's butt, will likely be viable
4. RB is more settled and the weapons are many
5. More electrons
6. Easier schedule
7. Better defense expected, although this puppy has yet to be fleshed out. One would assume that cohesion on the defensive system and the emergence of some LB talent would make the D better. Can they get worse?
All in all, I'd rather have Threet. Not starting, mind you, just around. I would have been much more concerned if Mouton transferred or Ryan Van Bergen.
Over the past four years, Alabama has recruited 107 players to Michigan's 85. That's 22 more players - an entire class - over a four year period (using raw, unadjusted numbers from Rivals). On the heels of national criticism for signing 32 recruits and relying on "attrition" to shoehorn those 32 players onto campus, he unabashedly racks up 27 more including an astounding six on signing day of the four and five star variety:
Kenny Bell WR 6-1 160 - 5.8 Rayville, LA
Kendall Kelly WR 6-4 210 4.45 5.9 Gadsden, AL
Dre Kirkpatrick DB 6-2 180 4.5 6.1 Gadsden, AL
Eddie Lacy RB 5-11 210 4.4 5.9 Geismar, LA
Brandon Moore OL 6-4 313 5.2 5.8 Montgomery, AL
Tana Patrick LB 6-3 215 4.5 6.0 Stevenson, AL
Clearly, Oily Nick has a way of assuring new recruits that the depth chart isn't working against THEM. Look at the two stud WR signing today (and four in this class), despite Alabama having TWELVE underclassman WR on the roster, including ELEVEN freshmen and sophomores:
82 Earl Alexander WR So. 1V 6-5/216
11 Brandon Gibson WR Fr. RS 6-1/192
15 Darius Hanks WR So. HS 6-0/190
19 Chris Jackson WR Fr. HS 6-1/190
8 Julio Jones WR Fr. HS 6-4/210
4 Marquis Maze WR Fr. RS 5-9/167
80 Mike McCoy WR Jr. 2V 6-3/199
39 Kyle Pennington WR Fr. RS 5-11/170
1 B.J. Scott WR Fr. HS 5-11/188 Prichard, AL
48 Travis Sikes WR So. 1V 6-2/194 Nashville, TN
45 Sam Snider WR Fr. HS 5-10/163
43 A.J. Walker WR Fr. RS 6-1/185
Or how about seven more OL to go with those 15 underclassmen OL on the roster? Nothing like 22 OL competing for spots on the two deep with those that fall short developing bizarre illnesses and family problems.
Setting aside the coaching transition, what would Michigan have been like with a whole extra class? Three or four more LB to help that weak spot, alternatives to Sheridan, no positions of need such as DL...
Or how about Ohio State, who signed 80 players over that same period of time? How much better would they have been with 27 more players passing through the system?
This is not a level playing field. As long as this loophole exists, southern country club destinations will have a massive advantage over schools that actually regard these players as human beings rather than meat.
The time for limiting the number of recruits to the actual number of available scholarships is way overdue.
After reading this in Rivals today...
"At this point, Michigan is going to take a pass on Cleveland (Ohio) Glenville cornerback Mike Edwards … and we don’t expect them to offer Youngstown (Ohio) Ursuline cornerback Dale Peterman, either..."
...I became confused. We have these cornerbacks available next year, as reported to my surprise by Wolverinekeith:
A junior, three sophs and a freshman. And that is if we pray the Turner doesn't get a growth spurt. If, for example, Warren and Cissoko were to get hurt, what in God's name would we have on the field?
Now, the confusion is not linked to these recruits specifically. I watch a lot of football and my eyes see other teams with recruits rated vastly lower than our typical CBs that look just fine to me, at least on par with our horribleness in recent months. Sometimes I hear of a stud CB on a middle-tier team and I run to the computer and discover he was a 2 star. Or a converted 2 star WR. WVU, for example, fielded a no star and a three star starters on that team that destroyed Oklahoma.
Maybe some of these guys were seniors, maybe they were outliers, but my point is that RR needs raw material here and we are being awful scary-choosy with our numbers so thin. Pacman Jones was a two star that he did good things with (skill-wise, not brain-wise). Many of our four stars have not been good. It would seem to me that we need about 5 more CBs on our roster in the day and age of the spread and we are working it like we have 10 upperclassman in hand. Perhaps this points to confidence that he can get some of these southern studs he is wooing, but this to me seems to be a numbers game and I am thinking someone like Peterman might look good in a couple weeks.
Disclaimer: I am not criticizing RR's recruiting. He has done stunningly well in his short time here with a difficult season working against him. I am just wondering what I am missing as it relates to the numbers here.
There are many Michigan fans who may believe that our Wolverines are at the bottom looking up. In fact, this bowl season gives evidence yet again that Michigan is now making the fundamental changes that leads back to national relevance for our team and our conference.
Living in Buckeye country as I do, I have observed that the hatred of RR is disproportionate to the apparent threat. In other words, if RR were as pathetic as this 3-9 season suggested (and as they argue), then why the frantic need to still tear him down at such a guttural level? Wouldn’t you think that, a la John Cooper, OSU fans would be placid about RR, encouraging all manner of good cheer for our new coach?
No, these Buckeye fans understand at a subconscious level that Michigan is in a better place than they are (and the rest of the Big 10). It is very much like Michigan is the first drunk on the wagon. Those first sober months are brutal. The other heavy drinking buddies are laughing and looking on our shaking hands and pallid complexion and telling each other that we are done, no longer functional. Then they stagger into their low-paying jobs and watch their sober competitors blow by them on the career path. Some, like OSU, are functional drunks who hold down a high-level management job, but to everyone in the know, the never really will be executive material.
Later, at the pub, all these lowlifes rationalize away why they are yet again passed over for promotions, for relevance. In their inner being, they know that their former barstool companion they passed looking haggard in his cubicle but working hard nonetheless is doing something they should be doing, but they can’t conceive of actually doing it.
High-level, nationally powerful football is what RR is working on: a blend of speed, aggression and power. Attacking offense, freak power/speed defense, relentless domination. Tressel will never get where RR is going. Paterno and his successor will never get there. Dantonio will never get there. Zook has potential, but Illinois is still Illinois. These guys are fossils that occasionally can scare the more fleet-footed and intelligent mammals, but only rarely. RR will one day be where USC is, where Florida and the SEC power are, where the Oklahoma is. OSU, PSU, MSU, even ND will not.
So take heart. This season’s bowls are the reason why 3-9 was necessary.
Every once in a while, usually during a slow holiday week, I go into the Rivals FORT and respond to a chimpanzee there. It is always a mistake and a reminder why mgoblog flourishes. The theme is universally the same there: someone posts a comment, usually chock full of primitive misspellings, and then he gets flamed for posting the comment.
For example, today someone had the temerity to question RR's management of recruiting. Now, on the surface, this seems unwise because RR has done quite well based upon most measures. But this poster pointed out some of the cracks in the recruiting facade such as the decommits, communication with Shavodrick, management of QB recruiting, the lack of Michigan blood, etc. All have rational explanations, but you would have thought that this poster suggested Tressel was a better coach than Bo.
The interesting thing is that if someone were to post the opposite thesis, the flaming would still happen, and I am not convinced that some of the flamers would not be the same people.
So, I am offering this PSA to those considering a Rivals membership for Christmas. Don't. It's not that it isn't useful, but I think you get 60% of the value from the free stuff and the other 40% can be found here. Send Brian the $$$.
There is a special reason to be optimistic about the future of Michigan basketball, and that is that Beilein is unlikely to ever, even after a run of success, routinely pull in NBA caliber recruits, like Oden and Conley, for example. This means, for most Michigan players, that three and four years in the program will be common. Michigan basketball promises to have far more of that continuity that is missing in college basketball since players began entering the NBA earlier and earlier. We will see four years of Novak and Vogrich and Sims and usually three of Harris and Morris, etc. Beilein is going to always have heady seniors on the squad and deep rotations.
I go to Ohio State every week (I know, you pity me) and while they are excited at Motta's sick level of recruiting, they are somewhat discombobulated by players using OSU as a one-year minor league NBA stop. Beilein's style of player is going to generally be a four-year guy. That is going to be a treat to see talented shooters and guys that hustle develop into unique senior talent. Those players, too, will be especially valuable during tournament runs.
This is going to be very fun.