This year's recruiting class to date has drawn near unanimous praise, and some M fans are damn near ecstatic over the results so far. In particular, the last month's or so results have been undeniably strong. The dominance of Michigan based talent, in-roads into Ohio, and the list of top ranked recruits still listing us highly are all seen (rightly so) as a terrific start for the coaching staff. But is the overall quality of the recruits as top notch as the consensus estimates of the fan base?
To examine that, I looked at Rivals data for every year since 2002, when they first started rating. I looked at the total number of 4 and 5 star recruits each year, and then calculated that as a percentage of the overall class. As we know, 4 and 5 star recruits are what fans think of as "elite" recruits, and if you look at elite recruits as a percentage of the overall class, you can get a rough idea of the "quality" of that year's class.
There are major caveats with this approach, starting with a huge one; this year's class isn't finished being rated, since none of have even played a game as a senior in H.S. Also, the class isn't, like, complete. Finally, the usual caveats of recruiting ratings apply as well. But since fans are typically using ratings to proclaim their happiness with recruiting, it seems fair to at least look at the early ones, just as we do around here in Tim's "Hello' posts. So here goes:
YEAR- #4/5* of # in class (%)
2002- 11 of 21 (52%)
2003- 13 of 17 (77%!)
2004- 13 of 22 (59%)
2005- 10 of 23 (44%)
2006- 11 of 19 (58%)
2007- 7 of 20 (35%)
2008- 17 of 24 (71%)
2009- 14 of 22 (64%)
2010- 6 of 27 (23%)
2011- 6 of 20 (30%)
2012 to date- 7 of 16 (45%)
So of the 11 years that Rivals has recruiting rated, there have been 4 of those years that, by looking at 4 and 5 star percentage of class, this year's class so far has beaten. And of course 6 that had a higher percentage of the class rated as elite by Rivals. Again, I don't draw any conclusions here because of the above caveats, but I do find it interesting. What do you think?
EDIT: some asked about how this would compare to Scout's ratings. Here goes:
2002- 8 of 21 (39%) 2003-11 of 17 (65%) 2004- 10 of 22 (44%) 2005- 14 of 23 (65%) 2006- 10 of 19 (53%) 2007- 14 of 20 (70%, major outlier vs. Rivals) 2008- 15 of 24 (62%) 2009- 9 of 22 (40%) 2010- 9 of 27 (33%) 2011- 5 of 20 (25%) 2012 (56%)
So M this year so far, has a quality rating that has beaten 6 of it's past year's ratings, and trails 4 years.
EDIT: sorry for the lack of paragraph breaks, I'm using a Mac with Safari, and somehow screwed it up. Also, in response to Sgt. Wolverine, who wrote that censorship is an overused term, I agree.
Now, onto the title. As far as I can tell, every person on this blog (including me) expects that Denard will play this year, with most assuming a Percy Harvin type role except that he would also pass from time to time. Some brave souls ("Denard is fast!") project him as giving Tate full competition as the starter (for the record, I don't think that will happen).
But is there a chance he would redshirt? I think there is a chance, based on the following:
1- Denard = raw
2- Remember that many schools did not recruit him as a QB, including spread offense schools-see #1 above.
3- Tate by all accounts and based upon limited video, is far more polished a QB and has far more command currently of the offense. That is a serious head start on PT.
4- We have one year of Jason Forcier to utilize. While there is no future for Jason, and I don't claim he will challenge to start, there is every reason to believe that he can be at minimum, competent in a backup role if needed.
5- Is it possible that Sherideath can be competent (nothing more) this year? I think that is quite possible.
So, putting these assumptions together, what we have is one promising Freshman QB (Tate) that is likely to start, two veteran QB's that can be competent, and one raw freshman (Denard) that needs much work on throwing motion and other fundamentals.
What this spells to me is a QB situation that is FAR above where we were last year. If we have three QB's that can be competent, that beats the zero we had last year by approximately 3-0. So following this logic, would Rodriguez then conclude that a Denard Robinson, with a redshirt year of practice under his belt, is A-far more likely to be a factor next year and in future, and B- not needed at QB due to the assumptions above? Oh, and a reminder: Pat White redshirted.
This is not necessarily the future I am predicting, but I think it is a future that is possible. What do you think?
This post was spurred by the mention of the new Rose Bowl rule incorporating non-BCS teams covered by Brian yesterday and today. I post it mainly because it's June, but also because I'm interested in the blogs' overall verdict on this proposition:
Resolved, in a perfect (non-lawsuit) world, non-BCS schools should not be involved in BCS Bowls or the BCS championship game. Rationale: because they are not as good**. Agree or disagree?
My sentiments are betrayed in the subject line, but I'll attempt to briefly elaborate. The three main arguments in favor of non-BCS inclusion are: 1- it's fair, 2- the BCS is an illegal monopoly, and 3- superior non-BCS teams deserve to be in, and recent bowls have proven they belong.
For brevity's sake I won't address #2 as it's economic in nature. And regarding #1, I'll say this: so? The existence of the BCS, polls, life, and any number of things that won't change shows that life is not fair. And adding one team doesn't change that. Did you know that "According to Jim" is still on the air?
On to #3. While it's perfectly legitimate to say that Boise and Utah proved their worth by winning, I say "not so fast my friend." I have an explanation that may or may not be persuasive: the BCS itself. This unfortunate creation has not only warped the system, making it's presence felt in scheduling (cupcakes for non-conference games), but it has also devalued every bowl except the Championship game When Alabama and Oklahoma played in those prestigious Bowls, they were actually DISAPPOINTED to be there. Teams in that situation are always in potential trouble of not playing to their usual level. If Bama has to play, say, LSU or USC, some of that is mitigated by the glamour of the matchup and the challenge of playing a top program. If they have to play Utah, who they believe, in their non-media interview hearts they should easily beat, then watch out. And when a decent team like Utah has everything to play for and the team they face does not, upsets are thus created. Which then perpetuate the (IMO false) notion that those teams belong in the first place.
I don't know anyone who believes the quality of the football played in the Mountain West/MAC/WAC equals the B10 the Big East or even the ACC. And from players sent to the NFL, recruiting rankings of the current players, strength of schedule, and records against outside ranked teams, most data supports what we intuitively know. IMO Utah would have finished no better than 4th in the B10, so for Brian to say that it would be a wash between a non-BCS team and the 2nd place P10 team, I revolt.
The Bowl system is an oligarchy, but one of (mostly) merit, based upon getting though the best conferences with the highest level of talent with the best records. Why make a flawed system even more flawed by including teams that never would get there if they were playing in the top conferences in the first place?
Agree or not?
* Kind of a dumb statement in itself but meant to drive readership so I can get a general sense of the blog while still conveying my innermost, slightly sheepish feelings.
** See above
As we are past one of the worst experiences ever for the Michigan football team, and looking forward to a renewed season of hope, albeit warily (freshman QB, lack of experience on Defense, etc.), I thought it would be interesting to get people's takes on an issue that periodically comes up between my friends and I, namely: is there a standard of excellence or achievement that our football program should consistently meet?
Speaking for myself, this has come up in the recent past, not with the new coaching staff (changing the program fairly radically requires patience) but very often in the last few years of the Carr administration, most often after a disappointing loss to a team we "should" have beaten IMO. We used to have debates over what constituted a consistent standard of excellence. Some would say that maintaining a clean program, adhering to our standards, graduating players, and maintaining a winning program (e.g. 8 wins and above) meets that standard. Others would say that with our resources, recruiting, facilities, and tradition, that only a consistent BCS presence---not necessarily national title games, but being consistently in the BCS mix, which typically identifies the top 8-10 teams on the country, is the true standard. Lastly, others might say that with the changing landscape of college football, the diffusion of talent more evenly distributed throughout the country, etc., that expectations are a fool's game, and that we should be grateful to compete for Big Ten titles periodically, and accept that things are so different from the Bo era, and that that time will not return again.
You know the drill: Michigan should "never" lose to Toledo, App. State, blah blah. "We are Michigan" and so on. For me, that sentiment is mistaken given the changes in the landscape mentioned above. My greatest frustrations in the past were not necessarily those losses, but rather the one game seemingly every/most years of Carr that we had in the bag but blew (you can all name the particular game). The year's of Capital One or Outback Bowls, where we thought we had the talent to go to the BCS, but didn't.
So, what do you think? Is there a standard that the program should meet? For purposes of the argument I'll define "meeting" as 4 out of every 5 years--there will always be an outlier year, where injuries and other things contribute to not meeting the standard--if there is one.
I will start by saying where I come out on the issue. I am in the camp that says we have advantages that should add up to consistent excellence on the field. My definition of excellence is simple: consistent Top Ten finishes in end of year polls. No looking for the title game, or even necessarily the BCS --though I think we should be in that mix consistently-- but rather after all the games are played, M is considered a top ten team that season.
So, your thoughts: unrealistic? About right? Don't even have the conversation because it appeals to yahoo sentiments that say we should never lose a game?
Remember that this definition allows for a weird year that does not meet this. I'm also, for the purposes of the argument, exempting last year and this one due to RR and the great amount of change the program is in.
I'm very interested in the discussion if you have time. Let's hear it..
So I was busy last night and missed checking this board. When I checked in this morning, I read through maybe the 16th thread about whether Tate or Denard is going to be a better Quarterback. Followed by the 20th thread or so debating the burning issue of who is fastest between the two. And another positing the simply ludicrous notion that "Tate isn't getting his props," when a main feature of this board is unbridled enthusiasm for Tate and his prospects. Oh, and the lack of "props" is apparently based upon the notion that we underestimate how fucking fast Tate is. Out of approx. 85 replies I saw only a couple debating the relevance of the entire premise.
Several of the above were started by the same posters, one of whom is apparently A-obsessed with the importance of speed at QB, B- a stone loon, or C- a troll, or of course D- all of these.
My faith in our community has been shaken. This board, alone among the boards I frequent regarding sports and M sports, has been a beacon of wit, intelligence and informed commentary. Of course there are exceptions. Certainly a sporadic debate about minor things is ok. But WTF? This board is the only board I actually enjoy reading. MLive and the Freep are full to the brim of fools and uninformed, raucous name calling. Et tu, mgoblog?
We don't give a fuck about whether Tate or Denard is fastest because for a QB it simply does not matter.
Anyone who says they know which of these two freshman will be better does not know what they are talking about.
While not entirely predictive of success, there is more than enough evidence to validate that, on balance, recruiting ratings matter.
New posters should be required to audit the board for 2 months before posting (emotional response based on the above)
Or perhaps I'm wrong, in which case you will say so.
EDIT: I Love Brian, Tom VH and guests. I also enjoy reading many of the regular posters. My post was concerned with the quality of posts, and maintaining what I think are the differences between mgoblog and mlive etc. that make this site so enjoyable, FWIW.