Mailbag: Recruiting Fallout, Kill For Kill, Fancy Metrics, Anti-Mascot For Michigan

Mailbag: Recruiting Fallout, Kill For Kill, Fancy Metrics, Anti-Mascot For Michigan

Submitted by Brian on October 23rd, 2014 at 12:40 PM


Henry was not the same kind of risk Chris Barnett was [Bryan Fuller]

Fliers actually a good thing?

You mentioned in the last UV that "If Michigan hangs onto 8-10 guys
they could add a few fliers and be fine. The guys they hang onto are
actually touted recruits instead of the mess that was Rodriguez's last
It seems like a large percentage of the big names on the team today
were fliers in the Hoke/RichRod class and Hoke's first class. Names
that immediately came to mind as late offers that panned out better
than expected are Norfleet, Morgan, Taylor and Henry. I wonder if
taking a few more chances on last-minute fliers wouldn't pay off for
this recruiting class?


There's a difference between late fliers you take after scouting them in secret for a while and the kind of late fliers Michigan took after Brady Hoke was hired and they needed to cram ten guys into Rodriguez's battered final class. Morgan was a Rich Rodriguez add after extensive scouting; Henry was a Hoke add after the same; Norfleet was a highly touted spread guy Michigan had room for on Signing Day; he was well known.

Here are the guys Michigan added after The Process concluded in early 2011 (minus Chris Bryant, because Bryant was on the verge of committing to Michigan for months beforehand):

  • Chris Barnett (flamed out before fall camp)
  • Frank Clark (check)
  • Thomas Rawls (never played, now CMU feature back)
  • Russell Bellomy (third string QB)
  • Antonio Poole (pec injury forced retirement)
  • Matt Wile (kicker)
  • Keith Heitzman (backup to AJ Williams)
  • Raymon Taylor (check)
  • Tamani Carter (transferred after one year)

They got two players out of eight swings and they got one of those because Frank Clark went from 210 to 280 like guys who get drafted from MAC schools. That's not a great hit rate, and that hit rate was about as expected. Only Taylor, one of the two hits, had a recruiting profile even on the 3/4 star borderline. All others were fliers picked away from Vandy, Minnesota, Purdue, etc.

Now combine that with the rest of the class, which featured four more guys who didn't make it through year one (Greg Brown, Chris Rock, Kellen Jones, Tony Posada) and that's a 20 commitment class in a year you could have taken 25 that has way too many washouts. 

This year is different. A guy coming in at the same time Hoke did last year would only need to add four or five guys and the guys already in the class aren't particularly likely to flame out, because that's the thing Hoke has been terrific at. They would not desperately need the the late flier guys to work out, and that's a good thing because they would not be likely to.

It shouldn't matter in a class that looks like it'll top out at 15. So I'm just sayin' if it's January 1 and Michigan has just installed a new AD I wouldn't necessarily think Hoke is safe.

[After THE JUMP: anti-mascot concept art]

Unverified Voracity Has Words For One Word

Unverified Voracity Has Words For One Word

Submitted by Brian on August 22nd, 2014 at 12:24 PM

Scrimmage video. Fan-based, so wobbly.

Perverse incentives create perverse results. It is of course completely nuts for Michigan to play Florida in Dallas. The stadium is smaller, the fanbases are far away, and the pageantry of college football is largely replaced with sterile NFL lawyer spaceship accoutrements. But people do it because they get the money.

After Wisconsin scheduled LSU in a goofy neutral-and-neutral situation, Jim Delany issued a memo that the Cedar Times Gazette has unearthed:

Delany’s letter, which was obtained by The Gazette, highlighted the league’s support for neutral sites provided at least half of the series occur within the Big Ten footprint and under the league’s television agreements. Delany wrote an arrangement would be “disapproved” if a Big Ten game was not designated as the home squad in at least half the games or if it was a one-game event that took place outside the league’s television umbrella. …

“We applaud and very much appreciate your efforts in doing so, as this should create value for your teams and fans as well as for our television partners and, therefore, for all Conference members. But please keep in mind the above policies that are important to all of us as we share collectively in the revenue generated by our televised games."

I'm not sure what "disapproved" means here. Could be "we will not let you do this"; could be "we will raise our mighty eyebrow at you but take no other action."

In any case the memo indirectly indicates why neutral site games are popular: the two teams participating can split the TV money between themselves instead of between themselves and Indiana and Purdue and a bunch of other teams that are not in fact playing. When there's a Jerryworld game, ESPN and Jerryworld get the rights and then give home-team-sized slices to both participants. The Big Ten doesn't like that.

The Big Ten can pound sand. Scheduling real games would be so much easier if the teams in them actually saw the benefits without having to leave campus. There is zero reason that a Michigan-Florida home and home should be less lucrative than a neutral site game for the people involved.

Thankfully it sounds like Michigan's trip to Jerryworld in 2017 will be their last, by league decree. It's for the wrong reason, but these days that's all you can hope for.

Hatch things. Good Morning America had him on:

I am going to judge you on your word. Big Ten coaches given one word to describe their teams!

Illinois’ Tim Beckman: Family

"Can you help me find them? I'm not supposed to be out after 7 PM."

Indiana’s Kevin Wilson: Cusp

That's not an adjective. The Hoosiers are not seeming particularly cusp this morn.

Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz: Developmental

Neither is this unless it's followed by "-ly disabled," but I like that Ferentz managed to be even more boring than boring. He's probably in a band called White Toast and that's one of their songs.

Maryland’s Randy Edsall: Hungry

Boring, and not in a fun Ferentz way. Boring in a boring way. Randy Edsall is in a band and their one song is "this is not a band it is just a boring man telling you to eat your vegetables."

Michigan’s Brady Hoke: Together

…now that our first round left tackle is gone

Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio: Committed

…pass interference and still weren't found out

Minnesota’s Jerry Kill: Hungry

This would be boring except for this video of Jerry Kill eating a tiny burrito:


Nebraska’s Bo Pelini: Exciting

Accurate. Nebraska is not great but they are a cat explosion waiting to happen.

Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald: Focused

…until the fourth quarter.

Ohio State’s Urban Meyer: Fast

Accurate, in fact tells you something about desired composition of team, relatively un-boring.

Penn State’s James Franklin: Perseverance

Again with the non-adjectives.

Purdue’s Darrell Hazell: Hungry

Would be boring but in this case I think Darrell Hazell may be saying that his players are literally hungry because they can't figure out which hole to put the food in. "NOT THAT ONE," Darrell Hazell screams for the third time today, "THAT ONE ISN'T EVEN A PART OF YOUR BODY."

Rutgers’ Kyle Flood: Hungry

wait why is this guy even listed

Wisconsin’s Gary Andersen: Youthful

Well… yeah. Joe Namath ain't walking through that door.

Meanwhile, Spurrier said "decent" because hail Spurrier. Mark Richt said "wow" for some reason. I ain't saying that Dave Brandon goes around wearing Mark Richt's skin. But I ain't saying otherwise, neither.

Would you say that your decisions are film and evidence-based? Hoke:

"The evidence for making decisions is on the film," Hoke said Saturday night after the team's public scrimmage. "It's evidence-based. Based on film."

No word on the moisture status of his upper lip.

Another "students are gone" article. This one from USA Today is standard-issue. It never ceases to amaze that athletic directors can say this…

"I don't think it's a targeted demographic problem; I think it's more of a (high-definition) TV, living room, leather couch problem and we have to give the people a reason to come to our live product," Washington athletics director Scott Woodward said. "It is something we're going to have to address and deal with."

…and then marvel at the fact that it's tough to sell tickets that have spiraled upward relative to inflation, nearly tripling since 2000. Surely there is an athletic director out there who can figure out why they might be having attendance problems. Take 2, and then take this other 2, and somehow we have to reach 4.

The article has another pile of lukewarm solutions that aren't going to fix much of anything. One thing that could help: stop treating students like enemies. Michigan gets the vapors when a student says the word "sucks" and tries to drown it out; the ushers in the student section are constantly harassing anyone who does anything that looks even slightly like liability. You've got a choice here: loosen things up and accept the fact that you're going to have slightly higher insurance premiums, or continue to turn off your future customers with adversarial relationships between students and your main point of contact with them.

[Via Get The Picture.]

Italy stuff. The entire first game is available on the tubes. UMHoops has highlights of game #3.

Etc.: MSU WR MacGarrett Kings doesn't even get standard-issue one game DUI suspension. Notre Dame previewed by Paul Myerberg. An overview of where the various NCAA lawsuits stand. The Kessler suit is The Big One. I'm in a sidebar of this ESPN story on the state of Michigan. NOPE.

MVictors interviews Dan Dierdorf. Genuinely Sarcastic comes back for a post about Michigan football that naturally includes a section on Stalingrad. Notre Dame scandal is always a good opportunity to rip Notre Dame.