Mailbag: Berkley Edwards, Alabama Math, Burke's Bees

Mailbag: Berkley Edwards, Alabama Math, Burke's Bees

Submitted by Brian on April 26th, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Berkley Edwards.


Berkley Edwards: already on the roster, but named "Dennis Norfleet"

Guys, are the Michigan coaches really not offering Berkley Edwards?  I understand he is small, but as fast as he is and the fact he is a legacy makes me question the thought here.  I’ve noticed this hasn’t been mentioned at all since the ever mature Braylon went on Twitter to complain.  At the very least, I hope the coaches reach out the Edwards family and keep any discussion out of the social media.

What I don’t get though is if he is someone Nebraska considers, can Michigan afford to overlook him?  I know I really think that the Buckeyes not recruiting Mike McCray is going to come back to haunt them.  I don’t want Berkley to come back and haunt us.

Berkley Edward's chances went from okay to slim when Michigan flipped Dennis Norfleet the day before Signing Day and from slim to life support when Brady Hoke went Donkey Kong on 2013 recruiting. At this point Michigan can afford to overlook someone Nebraska offers two scholarships and an earldom, let alone considers.

Michigan has 17 kids in the class and is going to somewhere between 22 and 24. Even if we take the most Edwards-friendly number, six of those seven scholarships are earmarked for:

  • Ty Isaac
  • Two wide receivers
  • Three defensive linemen

So then you're talking about adding Edwards over another corner, safety, TE, or WR. Is a pint-sized tailback most likely to make an impact on special teams really a priority over one of those spots, especially when you already have three running backs in the class and recruited a seemingly-superior quarkback prospect in Norfleet the year previous? No.

Add in the likelihood that whoever Michigan is pursuing for spot 24 at one of those other positions is going to be a four-star type and it's a blowout. Offering Edwards makes no sense. McCray, a consensus four-star ranked in the top 100 by Rivals and ESPN with two dozen BCS offers including Oklahoma, is not even a comparison.

Edwards might have a shot if Isaac ends up at USC and Michigan can't latch on to another touted guy at tailback. Even in that situation it seems unlikely since Michigan is loaded with tiny darty return guys who are the only tailbacks Fred Jackson doesn't think are the second coming of Earl Campbell. He just does not make sense on the roster.

Wouldn't you rather have another safety? Safeties are important, yo.

Alabama math.

Hey Brian,
I am not sure I followed your latest post. There might be something I am missing. I am not a fan of Brandon or this game, but I don't see how a home-and-home makes us better of financially. Let's say a bad opponent home game nets us 5 million. Playing Bama at home nets us 7 million. And for arguments sake lets say the return of a home-and-home with Bama would be in 2013.

The way it is

2012 Jerry Game: 4.7 million + 2013 crap team: 5 million = 9.7 million


2012 Bama: 7 million + 2013 at Bama: 0 = 7 million

No Bama

2012 crap: 5 million + 2013 crap: 5 million = 10 million (but you don't get to play Bama; but the band is happy)

I would choose home and home if it was me because it is not my money and that is more fun, but I don't think that is the best choice financially. I would choose both over more UMass games.

Mike Yates

The thing you and the OUTRAGED at OUTRAGE gang in the comments are missing is the ticket price. Apparently a game like Michigan-Alabama can support a ticket price range from $125 to $285. This is at a minimum 66% higher than Michigan is currently charging for bodybag games, not the 17% suggested in your email (remember that Michigan has to shell out about $2 million to get the one-off games in the No Bama scenario).

When the ticket prices came in 30 bucks or more—potentially much more—above what Michigan is charging for their "premium" game this year that changed the math drastically. Maybe that pricing is not sustainable over 110,000 tickets like it was for the 25,000 Michigan was given for Jerryworld, but… yeah, it totally is. Find me a Michigan fan who'd be less likely to buy a season ticket package this year that had 'Bama on it but was $50 more expensive. That person does not exist.

A correctly priced monster home-and-home is financially comparable to the dual punching bag scenario even without considering the ancillary benefits that will come from increased interest in season tickets, suites, goodwill from the fanbase, donations, etc. It would have made more sense for both Alabama and Michigan to schedule a game in Ann Arbor for 2013, then figure out where the return game goes later.

In the long term this is largely moot. After the Pac-12 agreement kicks in Michigan will have a road nonconference game every year except when the ND series takes its brief breaks. It's hard to imagine them adding a third opponent who would require Michigan to travel.

I just hate getting sold a bill of goods, is all.

Keep Crisler ArenaCenter weird.

Hey Brian. My buddy works with the guy that buys the costumes (and tickets) for the students wearing the lobster suits. With Smotrycz transferring, the lobsters are going to become bees through a glorious transformation. I hope this insider tidbit helps you get through the slow period and maybe even leads to some cool visions on your current meds.
Go Blue!

KJ, '04

I will miss the lobstryczs, but good on the Maize Rage for keeping the weird quotient high. I suggest someone purchase an enormous buffalo head mask so they can be Bielfeldt's Buffalo. Someone should wear a fez for no discernible reason. He should have one of those huge faces of himself wearing the fez, as well, cocking an eyebrow and looking suave.

Also also we're going to need a giant Canadian flag for Stauskas. And some guys dressed up like beetles who click their mandibles alarmingly during free throws. And there should be a moose. A live moose. With moose teeth. Wearing a toque. His name is Graham the Brown Moose, and he sets huge screens. In the event a live moose is not permitted in Crisler we will innovate.

In addition, on certain defensive possessions Crisler should adopt the disconcerting Yost penalty-kill hooting. Whenever Stauskas hits a three the entire student section should shout "You're my buddy, pal!" There will be a Mark Twain impersonator as well.

Addendum: we need a prominently located fat shirtless guy. On his chest we will paint an image of Glen Rice raising up for a three-pointer. He will not be allowed to shower. We should think about putting a hat on him as well. Hats are crucial for the entire operation. People should also dress like the future people in Bill and Ted.

These are reasonable suggestions. /jedi hand wave

Unverified Voracity Is Local Craig James

Unverified Voracity Is Local Craig James

Submitted by Brian on March 7th, 2012 at 4:31 PM

Adult Swim does not like OSU. This is not the first shot they've taken in Columbus's direction in the past year:


See also here and here, though that second was more optimistic on OSU's 2012 postseason destination—projected to be the "Goat Trauma Awareness Bowl"—than reality.

Now you can experience the Hoke yourself.  Here's 54 minutes of Hoke talking to the Ohio High School Football Coaches' Association:

Haven't had the opportunity to check it out yet but it was recommended to me by one of the guys in the room as a great example of why Michigan's having the success they are on the recruiting trail. If it's anything like the Glazier clinic I was at, I agree.

Senior night festivities. If you missed them:

Defending Aaron Craft's defense. I'm a big stats guy and everything but man, Aaron Craft is coming in for a beating after picking up the Big Ten's defensive player of the year award and when people try to justify this they are reaching for any blunt object in the vicinity. Here's Big Ten Geeks:

Aaron Craft is a very good defensive player. Let’s get that out of the way. Whatever you think of the next few paragraphs, remember that we all agree that Craft’s defense would improve just about any collegiate basketball team.

But the sophomore guard just earned some hardware that bestowed loftier praise than just being “very good.” Indeed, it is the opinion of Big Ten coaches that Craft is the conference’s best defensive player. At the risk of dismissing the opinions of 12 men who know a lot about basketball, I think they got this one wrong.

Measuring defense is not easy. Dean Oliver came up with the Stops metric which has some appeal in that it shows correlation with defensive efficiency year-over-year. The more Stops a team keeps, the better the defense holds up. If a bunch of Stops are lost to graduation or early-entry, the defense slides. That doesn’t make it the be-all, but it’s something.

And according to Stops, Aaron Craft isn’t in the conversation of the Big Ten’s best defensive player.

Stops == defensive rebounds plus blocked shots plus steals. Stops is a very, very rough metric, like all defensive stats. Defensive stats are useless on an individual level.

So you can argue with Craft, but most arguments boil down to "he's short." I don't think that should disqualify him. Ohio State finished #1 in overall defense at Kenpom and was top 30 in forcing turnovers. Craft's steal percentage was 15th nationally. It's not like giving him the award is crazy out there, especially since they weren't going to give both the POY and DPOY to the same guy.

The real complaint here is about the guy who won the conference without any all-conference players, with one top 100 recruit, and after being picked to finish outside the top three at the start of the year. That would be John Beilein, who is not your B10 coach of the year.

Braylon kerfuffle. Braylon being Braylon (tweets have been mildly de-tweeted for readability):

"I don't understand how my brother has the 8th (fastest) time in the country in the 60m, ran for 1800 yards last year and 20 and U of M won't call," Edwards tweeted around 8 p.m.

"Love my school and I played for coach (Hoke) but call my brother before its too late and you guys miss out like Lloyd would have if not for Soup."

At least… uh… Braylon Edwards always doesn't get how media works instead of only not getting it because he doesn't like the head coach? That's the ticket.

Obviously this would have been better suggested directly to Hoke, or not at all. For one, it is March. I know we have a slightly accelerated timetable these days, but it's March. Braylon didn't get his offer until midway through his high school season, IIRC. For two, it's still March. Camp, play your senior season, see what happens, don't throw a hissy because you expect better.

I'm guessing the Edwards clan is going to have to stew most of the year, if not all of it. Michigan's not going to have a lot of wildcard spots; those that exist look like they'll be ticketed for big time players.. They've already recruited Wyatt Shallman as a tailback, and are hot after Ty Isaac and DeVeon Smith. They've taken two third-down scatback types (Justice Hayes and Dennis Norfleet) the past two years. There is not a spot on the roster for a 5'8" tailback that does not knock out a four star player at a position of greater need.

If it was looking grim before, now Hoke has to consider the possibility that Braylon is going to go Craig James on him if he does end up offering Berkeley. Not a good move.

Building relationships, one coach at a time. Sounds like Trotwood's coach is a little peeved at OSU:

Trotwood-Madison High School football coach Maurice Douglass didn’t exactly say Ohio State fumbled the ball, but he didn’t have to.

“One man’s lump of coal is another man’s diamond,” Douglass said. “And Michigan got a diamond.” …

“They sent him a letter last Thursday telling him to hold on, that they were still evaluating linebackers,” Douglass said.

May this work out like Anthony Gonzalez did. Except backwards, obviously. Also, that last bit should assuage any concerns McCray would flip when the Great Meyer comes down from the mountain with a temporary, conditional, non-committable offer-ish non-offer (unless you want to take it). He was asked to cool his heels and flipped the bird instead.

As a result, it is time to RELEASE THE MCCRAYKEN


Someone photoshop some wings on to that thing.

Asshats. Roy Roundtree commits a meaningless secondary violation by mentioning the twitter handle of the McCrayken; Chatsports points this out because they are clickwhores who don't care if they're damaging people or programs. If you ever see James T Yoder in a public place please let him know that he's a bad person. 

Etc.: ESPN the Magazine chronicles Rumeal Robinson's descent into madness. Does pointing at stuff make you seem smarter? Obviously. Going in depth on Michigan's offensive line present and future. Five Key Plays from PSU.