Dear Diary Gets Back Up

Dear Diary Gets Back Up

Submitted by Seth on June 1st, 2012 at 7:19 AM


I'm back. To all three of you who missed the weekly user content post thank you for your patience as we got HTTV shipped, and then I unplugged and spent five days in the Canadian wilderness. There were loons, a bear, a moose and a bazillion bitemes, then I spent the ride home with a Space Coyote. This diarist of the week issued Part the Third of his awesome series on DG's spring game performance. A sample:

Play 13 - 4:50

Slants with a play action fake to get the LBs to clear out from the underneath zones. Very simple play…

The backside is actually more open on this play, but DG can’t know that because he is accurately going through his progression, which reads that the first man is open (which he is for a TD, good read).  On the field side, the slot is more or less intended to clear out that underneath zone from the nickel back/ LBs/ safety by running an initial slant.  He doesn’t run a great route but it isn’t too important. The outside WR then runs behind that to a news vacated area, which is also wide open.

These seem to be developing a theme: defense has the 3rd read wide open and gets pressure but the play never goes to the open guy because something short with a small window but higher in the progression order opens up first. I wonder if this is an effect of the defense knowing the offense, or an effect of Gardner's progression being slow, or as the OP seems to suggest, just one of those things. Coyote goes easy on Devin for doing what he's coached to do but I wonder if a senior with a lot of game experience will be more apt to go off the page and punish the defense for catching tendencies. It's may be irrelevant since our senior QB is a sophomore in West Coast passing schemes, but as Space Coyote notes a sophomore Henne once threw to the 2nd read on a very similar play to cap a last-play comeback win against Penn State.

Oy Boy! Last time saveferris penned a roll back the clock I asked for more, and we received. This time the quantum accelerator put us in the pads of Bill Taylor, c. 1971, when Michigan conquered space and Ohio State but couldn't defeat Stanford in the Rose Bowl. As could only happen here, there's an argument in the comments between a historian armed with knowledge of the weather that week and a member of the band who was on the field that day about the grass conditions in Pasadena. Upon further review:

Looks pretty dry guys. How the hell did you remember that? My mom was a junior at Michigan that year and swears she can't remember anything except studying and getting good grades (and how cheap coffee was at Blimpy's). Also trying to imagine MMB choosing a selection with such strong political overtones today.

A second leap was made by Blazefire to 2007 so he could warn us to not get too confident over last year's leap, but Henne/Hart injuries didn't make the defense give up 36 points to an I-AA team man.

In other postseasons that Michigan can get screwed in/out of, Stephenrjking and oakapple are playoff wranglin'. The former is a worth-reading discussion on poll bias and how any system that leaves the least up to human pollsters is probably the best for determining a champion. The latter also discusses qualification models like polls, a selection committee, and autobids, and makes a good point about this being a very different animal from basketball's selection committee, which has never seen a champion from the lower 50% of seeds.

Getting crowded down there. Our resident UMgradMSUdad says Nebraska recruiting is starting to shift from Texas (17 players in Pelini's first two seasons, 7 in the last two full classes) to Ohio with the move to the B1G. Since it's mostly 3-stars they're going after, long-term this annieprobably affects Michigan State, which under Dantonio took a lot of the guys Ohio State passed on and fought Nebraska the most in this study, more than Michigan, which is competing more directly with the in-state juggernaut. It helps them that Pelini's from Cardinal-Mooney (Ray Vinopal) in Youngstown, which in my study last year came out very Penn State-ish. This was bound to happen to some degree by letting them in. Nebraska is a traditional powerhouse from a state that doesn't produce a lot of talent, so they're going to pull more from their conference footprint than contribute to it. If the net result is it hastens the Spartans' inevitable return to Spartiocrity I'm okay with it, but the Cornhuskers have traditionally built from the Big XII's footprint; if these players are more and more coming from the Midwest it's going to thin the ranks of the Big Ten. File under obvious.

Etc. The Blockhams is tackling the dog. Soon the dog will be killed by the baby tackler's perfect Kovacsian form and replaced with a shaggy dog named Brian who is working on his blog all the time (MAKE THIS HAPPEN!). Space wallpaper (of Space!).

Best of the Board


We had a few people attend the myriad traveling events football players and coaches do during offseason and come back reporting on the proceedings.

  • Hoke at Agonis. Correspondent hart20 recorded Hoke's comments to a group of people in Dayton, Ohio, mostly on things from in and around Dayton, Ohio, that people from Dayton, Ohio, care about, like Ball State, Kaleb Ringer, and Roy Roundtree, but also the Gentleman's agreement (something about golf) and conference realignment.
  • Woodson at Sunda. Reporting not-live from Chicago, we go to samsoccer7 and coverage of Charles Woodson's new wine. This was originally published on the boards on May 18 but I re-set the clock so it can get its time as a deserved diary. Some good stuff in there, my favorite being why he didn't do the Heisman after the punt return v. Ohio State. Sorry grapenuts, nothing about the wine.
  • Steve Everitt at Golf Tournament. Brady Hoke's Pet Viking (glad I contributed at least one MGoMeme around here) in an MGoShirt: Ja!

Whatever happened to all the 2009 (Class of 2010) Elite 11 QBs? Leaders And Best tracked them down and found way more washouts and transfers than projected starters. Devin Gardner is second only to Tennessee's Tyler Bray in guys on this list you'd want to have at this point.


This year's athletic department budgets as reported on their Title IX forms. I think the "subsidies" in there relate mostly to major stadium improvements. Anyway Michigan raked in over $122 million in revenue and spent about $112 million. Alms for the band indeed.


Join the following discussion points. My two cents added here as examples, and because I can get away with it!

  • What the hell is Devin Gardner's number now?
    Seriously, is it 12 or was that just a very mean joke to play on someone who has to pay per page edits to a printed preview book? I've heard Funchess is 19 too. People with information, please inform
  • What would you do if you were Brian for a day?
    Bring back negging so I could neg-bang everybody who complains about the lack of neg-banging.
  • Which Big Ten team are you really glad you're not a fan of today?
    MSU – Too good to not care, always knowing you weren't good
  • What was your most memorable Big House experience like?
    Imagine if you could wrap all that is Desmond Howard and being 11 years old into one afternoon.
  • (It's too late but…) Think of funny names for the sponsor levels
    Come for the humor. Leave for the lack of relevance to your life.
  • Six funny press conferences
    I approved this guy's concept for a daily board post even though the first was very Bleacher Report-y, figuring he had the drive to keep improving. Then it ended after two I guess. The first, eh, forget about it. The second: Tune in, if only for the chance to remember John L. Smith's pouty face. Every time I watch that I see my little brother, age 8, staring straight ahead, explaining how he's pressing the right buttons but the Nintendo's screwing it all up!



The season ended against Alabama in the NCAA Super Regional (i.e. Round 2). But this is a game where pitchers dominate and we had two dominant freshmen. Memories: Everybody dancing to Amanda Chidester's "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" coming-to-bat song, Caitlin Blanchard getting hit by a pitch to beat Louisville in the regional, going perfect on the season against OSU/ND/MSU, including a weekend shutout over Michigan State, and this:

Haylie Wagner 1.53 32-7 28 252 52/159 0.207 | 0.132 6 0.457 0.553 1.010
Sara Driesenga 2.53 9-10 7 124.1 45/63 0.253 | 0.340 4 0.305 0.303 0.608


(warning: may cause you to become trapped in amaranthine contemplation of Les Miles. HT: Orson)


Open Season In Ohio

Open Season In Ohio

Submitted by Brian on April 24th, 2012 at 11:52 AM



I'm stealing this from a guy who stole it from someone else on the internet with some refinements because… yeah. Brady Hoke is doing work in Ohio. Here's a list of Ohio recruits in Lloyd Carr's last six classes compared to Brady Hoke's first two:

Lloyd Carr, 2002-2007

Kickers. Zoltan Mesko, Bryan Wright.

[Separate category because teams generally have one scholarship max per slot; OSU did not compete for either guy because they weren't in the market those years.]

Three star types: Mark Bihl, Willis Barringer, Mister Simpson.

Three/four star borderline: Pat Massey, Brandon Harrison, Cobrani Mixon

Four star+ types: Shawn Crable, Prescott Burgess, Mario Manningham, Justin Boren.

That's 12 in six classes with four of them consensus four-star types. Only those four had OSU offers. If you want to add Carr's recruiting efforts in his final season that led to the hybrid class you can add two more borderline sorts in Brandon Moore and Elliott Mealer plus a consensus four-star w/ OSU offer in Kevin Koger. That doesn't change the math much.

Brady Hoke, 2012-2013

This is Hoke's first full class and the one Michigan is currently working on.

Three-star types: Willie Henry, Kaleb Ringer, Allen Gant

Three/four star borderline: Jaron Dukes, Deveon Smith, AJ Williams

Four-star types+: Gareon Conley (just needs Rivals to update to be consensus), Ben Gedeon, Mike McCray, Taco Charlton, Dymonte Thomas, Chris Wormley (minus Rivals), Kyle Kalis, Jarrod Wilson, Tom Strobel, Joe Bolden, Jake Butt.

Gedeon, Smith, Thomas, Wormley, Kalis, and Strobel had OSU offers, and Urban Meyer tried to get in on Joe Bolden after he was hired.

Open Season

Michigan's gone from a four-star-plus recruit from Ohio twice every three years to five per year. Tressel implosion and the scholarship restrictions that caused is obviously a major reason for the sea change. Hoke is just as important in that equation, however, and given Meyer's increased focus on "national" recruits that's a trend that should continue into the future. Ohio State's obviously doing well for themselves with this strategy, but in the process they're giving Michigan bonus recruits from Ohio in addition to their usual in-state, regional, and national recruiting.

Oh, right: now we can beat Notre Dame head to head, too.


[What about Rodriguez? RR added more borderline 3/4 sorts to the hybrid class in Mike Shaw, Taylor Hill, and Roy Roundtree plus sleeper Patrick Omameh.

The next year RR got the two kids out of Liberty (Isaiah Bell, a three star, and Fitzgerald Toussaint, a 4 four star) and Justin Turner, a four star sort with an OSU offer.

In 2010 Michigan recruited a  ton of dudes from Ohio, 11 in all, but all(!) were generic three stars except Jerald Robinson and Jibreel Black, who were borderline. None had OSU offers. Six haven't made it through two years in the program.

That pattern repeated in RR's final class. He picked up Jack Miller, Greg Brown, and Chris Rock, all three-stars. Hoke came in and added Antonio Poole, Frank Clark, Keith Heitzman, and Tamani Carter, also all three stars.

So while RR was a lot better at pulling players out of Ohio, he was a lot worse at getting the players big time programs want, and worse yet at keeping them. His total tally of H2H wins against OSU was one, and that kid never played. A lot of his success-type activity can be attributed to going after guys with crappy offer lists.

FWIW, the hybrid classes weren't included because a scrambling month to pick up the pieces at a new job is not representative of long term recruiting trends.]

Dear Diary Carves Up Ohio Again

Dear Diary Carves Up Ohio Again

Submitted by Seth on February 27th, 2011 at 6:50 PM


Dear Diary,

This is the conclusion to Carving Up Ohio Part I from last week.

As a refresher, I split up Ohio into 7 regions, then went over the 4- and 5-stars since 2002 (based on to see if there's a regional difference in how Michigan recruits, and also if there are any opportunities I can see where the Wolverines could do better. Ultimately, my hope is that this could serve as reference for future discussions of Michigan's Ohio recruiting. Last week was Toledo, Dayton, Cincy and the Columbus regions. This week I finish up with Cleveland, Eastern Ohio, and conclusions. Also remember by "2012 Prospects" I mean "mentioned on main page of MGoBlog this month." There have been a few more added from the offer cannon since then, thanks to umhero's Offer List, and Tim's just-released 2012 Recruiting Board. Also, I went back and found a lot more former Wolverines (going back to 1991 grads), which I have added to the Spreadsheet. That Spreadsheet lives here.

Notes before you start: Figures given are for 4- and 5-star recruits from 2002 through 2011, based on Rivals. "5-Star Recruits" are those given 6.1 on Rivals Scale, if available. Current and former Wolverines include all recruits I could remember or find because a good way to get the blue chips interested in your school is to have their old teammates come and have a good experience there. Conferences without a percentage in the Conf. Breakdown got one guy.

Notes so you don't complain about arbitrary regional divisions: Where the "Steel Corridor" is separated is up for debate: I put Cleveland and Akron together as I might include Ann Arbor as part of Detroit, and made a separate region for Wayne County, Canton, Warren and Youngstown. In the southwest, Cincy (with its own cultural image) is separated from Dayton.

Cleveland/NE Erie: 37 players, 70.3% Ohio State

Cleveland ClevelandSplit

And you wonder why they say God hates Cleveland? By far the largest football factory in the state, The Mistake by the Lake allows less than 30% of its high-profile recruits to take their talents somewhere other than the big black eye of the Big Ten.

That's mostly thanks to the Glenville Academic Campus, a powerhouse program run by Ted Ginn Sr. that pumps blue chips directly to Columbus on an annual basis. Of the 14 Glenville 5.8+ products since '02, 10 were Buckeyes, including standouts Ted Ginn, Donte Whitner, Jamario O'Neal, and Troy Smith. The last 4-star or higher to come out of Glenville and go blue was Pierre Woods in 2001. Cleveland's big Jesuit school St. Ignatius gave us the Massey brothers and Jake Ryan, and sent as many 4-stars to Pitt (Mark Myers) or Notre Dame (Dan Fox) as Ohio State (Tony Gonzalez). St. Ed's in Lakewood is a power program (2010 D-I State Champs), that takes in players from all over the state (e.g. DT prospect Greg Kuhar is from Concord Twp., between Akron and Columbus), and ships out at least one good Big Ten player a year. No past Wolverines – Alex Boone was the last big pursuit - but Hoke has offers to four of their 2011 seniors.

Ted Ginn Sr. You really can't separate Cleveland recruiting from Ginn, who has made a life's work out of taking in at-risk inner city youth, and bussing them around to Ohio campuses. Michigan fans tend to wonder if Ginn Sr. steps over the line from educator to active OSU recruiter (recruiting fans will remember the unpredictable, visit-canceling decision processes of safety prospect Latwan Anderson (Miami-YTM), and OL Aundrey Walker (USC)). On the other hand, Pierre Woods was sleeping in a car when Ginn found him, and even the most jaded among us would still rather have Troy Smith win a Heisman for Tressel than seen him continue on the path he was on: one more gangbanger on the Cleveland streets. Still, until Ann Arbor becomes a bus stop on the Tour de Ginn and the Wolverines burst the Glenville pipeline, the Cleveland pickins will remain slim and scattered.

Any positives? Well Desmond Howard was born and raised in Cleveland. And a guy named Glenn from the Akron suburb of Baberton became the most quintessential "Michigan Man" since Yost. The area was once a major pipeline for Bo and Mo. More recently, Brady Hoke secured a commitment this month from tight end Frank Clark, a Glenville product who has vowed to redirect that notorious Cleveland pipeline northward.

  • Current Wolverines: Christian Pace (Avon Lake), Frank Clark (Glenville), Jake Ryan (St. Ignatius)
  • 2012 Prospects: DEs Greg McMullen and LaTroy Lews (Hoban), DE Pharaoh Brown (Lyndhurst Brush), DE Tom Strobel (Mentor), DT Greg Kuhar, OLs Kyle Kalis and Tyler Orlosky, and TE Sam Grant (St. Edward-Lakewood), Kyle Dodson (Cleveland Heights)
  • Former Wolverines: Desmond Howard and Elvis Grbac (St. Joseph), Scott Loeffler and Joe Ries (Baberton), Ricky Powers and Eric Graves (Akron-Buchtel), Jason Foster (Medina), Dave Henkel (Cleveland Heights), Ray Edmonds (Hoban), Randy Stark (Mentor), Dave Petruziello (Lake Catholic in Mentor), Dennis Washington (Lorain), Brian Wallace (Padua Franciscan-Parma), Michael and Patrick Massey, John Jaeckin, Trent Zenkewicz, Jason Brooks and Pat Kratus (St. Ignatius), Caleb White (Akron-Washington), and Zoltan the Inconceivable (Romania, Space, Twinsburg)
  • Notable Recruiting Sites: Cleveland (Glenville, St. Ignatius, Cleveland Heights), Akron (Hoban), Twinsburg, Lakewood (Lakewood H.S., St. Ed's)
  • FBS Schools in Region: Kent State (MAC), Akron (MAC)
  • Other FBS Schools Nearby: Ohio State (Big Ten), Pittsburgh (Big East), Toledo (MAC), Bowling Green (MAC), Buffalo (MAC)
  • 5-Star Recruits: Latwan Anderson (Mimai-FL), Beanie Wells, Robert Rose, Ted Ginn Jr., Alex Boone and Mike D'Andrea (Ohio State)
  • Conference Breakdown: 86.5% Big Ten, 5.4% Big East, (ACC, Pac Ten, MAC)
  • School Breakdown: Ohio State 26, Michigan 1, Notre Dame 1

Eastern Ohio: 24 Players, 37.5% Ohio State

Eastern-PA NortheastSplit

If there's a football capital of the world, this region would have a strong claim to it; the predecessor to the NFL was established in a 1920 meeting at a Canton car dealership. Penn State has a lot of natural fans out here, as does Pitt. Notre Dame has recruited here for a century. Contrasting sharply with the nearby Cleveland area, Eastern Ohio sends more high-profile kids to other Big Ten schools than it does Ohio State. Tressel, who came up through the area's FCS power YSU, still has enough connections in the region that Ohio State fares well at the smaller programs. The big ones, on the other hand, have been relatively unkind to the Buckeyes, at least as compared to the rest of the state.

Here Michigan has had success, mostly from a connection to Warren G. Harding H.S. (Burgess, Manningham, D.J. Williamson, Davion Rogers) in Warren. That school has sent a fair amount of 3-stars to Michigan State, so some defense is necessary. Harding's responsible for two Buckeye RBs, Maurice Clarett (you remember him) and Dan Herron. In Youngstown, Cardinal Mooney is kind to Penn State, but Rodriguez recruited Taylor Hill out of there (to both West Virginia and Michigan), and more recently Ray Vinopal. Across town is confirmed Michigan pipeline Liberty; all three of its FBS commits since '02 (Isaiah Bell, Antonio Kinard, Fitz Toussaint) have chosen Michigan. Ursuline (Penn State's Daryll Clark) is a very successful Div V Catholic program called "The Irish," yet strangely sends few players to Notre Dame.

Wayne County is a football-mad region southwest of Akron. The Wooster-Orrville rivalry in Wayne is famous in the state, but doesn't produce as many top NCAA prospects as neighboring Stark County, i.e. Canton. The Canton area includes Washington HS in Massillon and their archrivals at Canton McKinley. The former has produced a few Wolverines (Crable, Turner), the latter a few Buckeyes (Mike Doss, Tyler Everett). GlenOak [sic] is a suburban school in Plains Twp. that is basically the north side of Canton. On the opposite side of the city is Canton South, a separate district that includes Pike Twp. and produces more than its fair share of FBS talent.

  • Current Wolverines: Fitzgerald Toussaint and Isaiah Bell (Youngstown Liberty), Jerald Robinson, (Canton South), D.J. Williamson (Warren Harding), Ray Vinopal (Cardinal Mooney)
  • 2012 Prospects: S Deshaun Hall (Canton-GlenOak), DE Se'Von Pittman (McKinley), LB Mason Monheim (Orrville), RB William Mahone (Austintown Finch)
  • Former Wolverines: Ben Mast, Shawn Crable, John Woodlock and Justin Turner (Massillon), Mario Manningham, Prescott Burgess, Davion Rogers and Carl Diggs (Warren Harding), Alfie Burch (Warren West Reserve), Bryan Wright (Salem), Taylor Hill (Cardinal Mooney), Antonio Kinard (Youngstown Liberty), Buster Stanley (Youngstown East), Deollo Anderson (Youngstown Ursuline), James Otis Williams (Canton-GlenOak), Shawn Lazarus (Canal Fulton)
  • Notable Recruiting Sites: Massillon, Youngstown (Ursuline, Cardinal Mooney, Liberty, Austintown), Canton (GlenOak, South, McKinley), Warren (Harding), Coshocton, Carrolltown
  • FBS Schools in Region: (none)
  • Other FBS Schools nearby: Ohio State (Big Ten), Penn State (Big Ten), Pitt (Big East), West Va. (Big East), Ohio (MAC), Akron (MAC), Kent St (MAC)
  • 5-Star Recruits: Prescott Burgess (Michigan), Maurice Clarett (Ohio State)
  • Conference Breakdown: 91.7% Big Ten, Big East, Big XII
  • School Breakdown: Ohio State 9, Michigan 6, Notre Dame 1

Southeastern Ohio: (0 Players rated 4-stars+)

The area has produced very little in the way of top talent. Driving through here you'll see a lot of Ohio State stickers on mailboxes sticking out from the (beyond knee-high by the Fourth of July) tasseled corn stalks. That which isn't farmland is forested. Much of the population lives in Appalachian-influenced rust belt towns like Portsmouth and Ironton (a big rivalry) along the Ohio River. West Virginia and Marshall are not that far away, and many Ohio-side towns from Rome to Bellaire are either tributary towns, or small Windsor-like reflections of larger West Virginian population centers.

Southeast Current Wolverines: (none)
2012 Prospects: (none)
Former Wolverines: (none)
Notable Recruiting Sites: Portsmouth, Ironton/South Point, Athens, Marietta
FBS Schools in Region: Ohio University
Other FBS Schools nearby: Ohio State (Big Ten), Penn State (Big Ten), Cincinnatti (Big East), Pitt (Big East), West Va. (Big East), Marshall (C-USA), Ohio (MAC), Akron (MAC)
5-Star Recruits: (none)
Conference Breakdown: N/A
School Breakdown: N/A


Totals & Conclusions

ohio-road-map Splitting Ohio

I was writing this before blublooded put together a shorter, similar thing on Michigan in-state recruiting. As he notes in that article, which used the same metrics, 76 4- and 5-stars were produced in Michigan. For comparison, in the same timeframe, Ohio produced 136.

This is why Ohio recruiting is important for the University of Michigan: our biggest rival has a state that produces almost twice as many top prospects as ours. An whereas we share the mitten with an in-conference rival, OSU is situated smack dab in the middle of this bucket of NCAA talent, with only a Big East commuter school and a bunch of MACrifices around its edges to compete with. Remaining a player for talent across the state keeps that talent away from the one rival who can make or break our season, and establishes pipelines within our region's biggest talent centers. When Michigan is a national title contender, we're winning with Ohians.

Conference Breakdown:

Region Big Ten SEC ACC Big East Big XII Pac Ten MAC
Cincinnati 57.7% 19.2% 11.5% 7.7% 3.8% 0.0% 0.0%
Cleveland 86.5% 0.0% 2.7% 5.4% 0.0% 2.7% 2.7%
Columbus 84.2% 5.3% 5.3% 0.0% 5.3% 0.0% 0.0%
Dayton/I-75 82.6% 4.3% 4.3% 8.7% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Eastern OH 91.7% 0.0% 0.0% 4.2% 4.2% 0.0% 0.0%
Toledo/I-90 71.4% 0.0% 14.3% 0.0% 0.0% 14.3% 0.0%
Grand 80.1% 5.1% 5.1% 5.1% 2.2% 1.5% 0.7%

You'll note not a lot of talent escapes the conference. Only Cincinnati, which has the state's only other BCS tie and is situated across the river from the SEC, had a significant amount of talent going elsewhere (Toledo's 28% departure rate is due to one USC guy and one player who went to Wake Forest).

Regional Breakdown:

Region Total OSU OSU% Michigan ND MSU
Cincinnati 26 7 26.9% 1 4 0
Cleveland 37 26 70.3% 1 1 1
Columbus 19 9 47.4% 1 2 1
Dayton/I-75 23 14 60.9% 4 0 1
Eastern OH 24 9 37.5% 6 1 1
Toledo/I-90 7 2 28.6% 2 0 0
Grand 136 67 49.3% 15 8 4

Consistent with what you'd expect from a big state with one major program in the middle of it, about half of the 4- and 5-stars from Ohio go to Ohio State, while a third go somewhere else in conference. Among other Big Ten schools who got more than 1 blue chip Ohioan since '02, Michigan State was the only one to leave the major highways in the north of the state. Notre Dame got half of its haul out of the Cincy Catholic schools, but like MSU got another four from various places. Penn State's three were all from near the Pennsylvania border.

Ohio State showed its strongest presence in Dayton and Cleveland, but the Canton-Youngstown region, Cincy, and Toledo were dramatically more open, even showing pipelines to other schools. It's a daunting task, but it seems the best thing Michigan could do would be to focus on competing with Ohio State for kids near the hometowns of Bo Schembechler and Brady Hoke. Goal 1 would be to crack Glenville in Cleveland, and hit Western Ohio hard, thus tapping two excellent recruiting pipelines while simultaneously cutting directly into Jim Tressel's most consistent resource.


Michigan's better years in recent memory coincided with strong success in Ohio recruiting, but this should be obvious if looking at any out-of-state recruiting: more wins = more national interest in the program. However I do think I've gotten to the bottom of how this whole "Must Own Ohio" meme got stuck in our brains in the first place:


The chart shows Michigan's roster for each year using stats from Bentley. That big blotch of yellow from 1969 to 1989 peaking in the middle of the Ten Year War was Bo Schembechler building his program by stealing tools out of Woody's garage then using them to beat his old sensei senseless. After four or five years of this, Bo actually had more Ohioans playing for Michigan than Michiganders. (Aside: the thing also shows Rich Rod inheriting the smallest roster since World War II).

Years Coach Ohio% OTHER%
1879-'90 (none) 6.67% 50.01%
1891 Murphy & Crawford 11.11% 63.89%
1982-'93 Frank Barbour 13.70% 59.01%
1894-'95 William McCauley 9.48% 56.27%
1896 William Ward 10.00% 57.50%
1897-'99 Gustave Ferbert 8.56% 49.06%
1900 Langdon Lee 8.82% 42.65%
1901-'26 Fielding Yost & George Little 7.41% 37.89%
1927-'28 Elton Wieman 10.81% 31.45%
1929-'37 Harry Kipke 12.71% 30.75%
1938-'47 Fritz Crisler 11.28% 35.10%
1948-'58 Bennie Oosterbaan 13.37% 31.19%
1959-'68 Bump Elliott 20.62% 24.86%
1969-'89 Bo Schembechler 26.90% 33.26%
1990-'94 Gary Moeller 14.34% 50.41%
1995-'07 Lloyd Carr 11.22% 44.94%
2008-'10 Rich Rodriguez 11.48% 40.89%
  M Average 13.64% 38.30%

Versus those who came before, Bo dramatically increased out-of-state recruiting, first in Ohio and then all over the country. Versus those who came after, Bo was doing more than twice the going rate. My point: Recruiting the shit out of Ohio is a diademed Schembechlerian value. 'Course once Hayes retired Bo noticeably shifted toward national recruiting, a direction which his heirs maintained. As for Hoke, it's really hard to glean much from an offer list since S.O.P. for out-of-state offers is to give 'em out like candy, but of the 100 on umhero's list, here's a statewise Top 5:

1 Ohio 18
2 California 10
3(t) Florida & Michigan 9
5(t) Maryland & Texas 6

Hoke uber Bo alleles!



Since football's hibernating and playoff season is near for the other two revenue sports, the diarists have been mostly focusing on these other things, as we try to figure out what various postseasons will resemble.

Hockeywise, mfan_in_ohio has been keeping up with pairwise. As of last week, Hagelin et al. were about as high in the PW as we could go (emphasis mine):

"It’s almost impossible to flip two of these comparisons. The best we are likely to do, if we win out, is a tie for fourth and winning the RPI tiebreaker to get the top seed in a regional. Of course, none of the regionals are particularly close (the closest are St. Louis and Green Bay), but the top seed means not having get by an east coast team on the east coast to get to the Frozen Four. This, however, is about as likely as the basketball team making the NCAAs. The most likely scenario now is a 2-seed."

Then something magic happened:

Meanwhile, around college hockey, Merrimack got swept (crushed, really) by Maine, allowing Michigan to flip its comparison with Merrimack and move up to a solo fourth in the Pairwise rankings … Michigan is in the driver’s seat for the fourth spot in the Pairwise and the #1 seed hat goes along with it.

Precarious things including Ohio State winning (they're back below the Maginot line but if they can climb back into the Top 50 our 5-1 record counts). But they no longer seem as far fetched as M basketball in the NCAA Tournament.

Speaking of hoops hopes, Michigan was seconds away from finally getting that signature win that makes the difference between feasible and pipe dream, when…

blowawaygun goal-sporting-goods-aluminum-fan-basketball-backboard_0_0

I wasn't there to see it. But one man in Row 42 poetically captured the feel of it:

Backs to the wall, battled the Maize and Blue.

Though they may fall, they fought to find their way through.

They'll stand, and fight those who stand in their way.

They'll stand, and with all their hearts they will play.

Blazefire's point is that this team is the kind that's really easy to root for. Like remember the first time Hart got the ball instead of Underwood or Jackson or ol' what's his name who was the same year as Hart and higher rated out of high school, and you weren't expecting much but then the little fella was still going forward long after three Big Ten linebackers did the thing that would normally bring down even a Perry or Thomas, and you were like…this basketball team is kind of like that.

Not all hopes died that day. For one, there's still the possibility of a Big Ten Tourney run. As we try to puzzle out what such a run might look like, AC1997 started with the edges and then worked in:

Right now we know who the top three teams are (OSU, Purdue, Wisconsin). We also know who the bottom four teams are (Minnesota, Northwestern, Iowa, Indiana). At this point those seven spots aren’t really likely to change barring some upsets in the final week. But the middle four spots are totally up for grabs among Michigan, MSU, Illinois, and Penn State.

He then breaks down those four and concludes a scenario where we beat State in the finale then Illinois in the first game of the playoffs could be enough to beat the bubble field.

Speaking of the bubble, mfan_in_ohio (apparently buried under the snow this week with only an internet connection and NCAA comparison charts) has been making the M case against the field this week. Part I compares us to Butler. Then in an epic Part II is Gonzaga, Alabama, and UAB. These, plus the pairwises above – apropos given the header topic – make this Maize and Blue Ohioan the Diarist of the Week.

Elsewhere, Michigan Wrestling finished the season last week by pinning Little Brother and giving him a noogie (no word yet on whether we did that thing where you let your spit hang over his face before you suck it back up again). The Big Ten tournament is up next.

And finally a Magic Muppet Mazel Tov to the Michigan Men's Swimming team, i.e. your BIG TEN CHAMPION Men's Swimming Team.

Also women's basketball ended the regular season at No. 3 in the Big Ten. And softball, now 15-0, can't lose.

Dear Diary Carves Up Ohio

Dear Diary Carves Up Ohio

Submitted by Seth on February 20th, 2011 at 6:56 PM


UPDATE: Part II lives here.

Dear Diary,

California, Texas, Florida: these are the Big Three states for college football recruiting. No. 4: Ohio. Yet unlike other talent-rich states, the Cradle of (generally bad) Presidents lets little of it escape, despite having just one major college program within those borders. Virtually alone among schools that can penetrate those borders, Michigan has long made Ohio not just its natural enemy but also its favorite resource for out-of-state talent.

Ohio blood ran through the veins of Woodson, of Desmond, and of course Bo, as well as hundreds of other legends associated with the University of Michigan. Furthermore, every highly rated recruit stolen from the State of Ohio's borders has been less guy in the pool for Ohio State.

Toledo-are natives Elliot and Brock Mealer are proof there's heart in the hearlandI realized the other day that when I heard a recruit was from a program in Ohio, I couldn't visualize what that meant. Is that school near Toledo, where kids are as liable to grow up Maize and Blue as Scarlet and Gray? Or did we pull them directly away from the Columbus area? What about Cleveland? Do players from Cincinnati tend to head south to the SEC more than other Ohioans? Some of our readers and staff are certifiable Ohio prep experts, but I'm not.

So I split up the state into 7 regions, then went over the 4- and 5-stars since 2002 (based on to see if there's a regional difference in how Michigan recruits, and also if there are any opportunities I can see where the Wolverines could do better. Ultimately, my hope is that this could serve as reference for future discussions of Michigan's Ohio recruiting. If you're really interested in this stuff, is a recruiting site devoted to it.

For our purposes, I did like Tim and counted Notre Dame as a Big Ten school. For those of you who know more about this stuff than I do, I very much welcome your criticism and suggestions – I'm sure I've missed something, and plan to edit it as omissions or mistakes become apparent. By "2012 Prospects" I mean "mentioned on main page of MGoBlog this month." Spreadsheet lives here.

UPDATE: Right, so immediately after I posted this, Rescue_Dawn put out his latest recruiting map. Use together.

Note: I think he's got Ifeadi Odenigbo in the wrong Centerville. Also: lol at states that have three towns called Centerville.

Notes before you start: Figures given are for 4- and 5-star recruits from 2002 through 2011, based on Rivals. "5-Star Recruits" are those given 6.1 on Rivals Scale, if available. Current and former Wolverines include all recruits I could remember or find because a good way to get the blue chips interested in your school is to have their old teammates come and have a good experience there. Conferences without a percentage in the Conf. Breakdown got one guy.

Notes so you don't complain about arbitrary regional divisions: Where the "Steel Corridor" is separated is up for debate: I put Cleveland and Akron together as I might include Ann Arbor as part of Detroit, and made a separate region for Wayne County, Canton, Warren and Youngstown. I made the cutoffs based on regional dialect, which I felt reflected cultural differences between Cleveland/Akron/Elyria, which are Lake Erie oriented, and Canton/ Warren/ Youngstown, etc., where you start getting a Pennsylvanian orientation. The OHSAA Div. 1 map is of no help since it puts Youngstown and the Cleveland schools in one division so the Massillon and Canton schools can be together. In the southwest, Cincy (with its own cultural image) is separated from Dayton, which though an hour's drive away is more aligned with the areas you pass when heading down I-75 after Findlay (the US-23 towns counted for Columbus).

Northwest Ohio: 7 Players, 28.6% Ohio State

Northwest Northwest-split

The region closest to Michigan is naturally split between those two programs, with a third going elsewhere. In this part of Ohio, it's almost expected that grade school classes, families, and towns would be bitterly divided between Michigan and Ohio State. Being Ground Zero for the biggest rivalry in American sports, unsurprisingly a lot of highly rated recruits end up at a Big Ten school, and almost two thirds at M or OSU. The Toledo (e.g. Whitmer) area mostly dominates the region, with Maumee, Perrysburg, and Bowling Green all nearby. Wauseon is a middle-of-nowhere program that's easy to get to from Ann Arbor and just about nowhere else. Once past Findlay, the further down I-75 you get, the more Buckeye the territory becomes. Farm towns near Lima like Delphos (St. Johns) and Kenton have successful programs that pump out 2- and 3-stars but few blue chips. The Sandusky-Fremont rivalry lives here. There isn't much more the Wolverines can do here that we aren't doing already. However this year the region seems to be stronger than previous years, with at least three prospects expected to be 4-stars or higher.

  • Current Wolverines: Kevin Koger, Elliott Mealer, Greg Brown, Jack Miller
  • 2012 Prospects: DE Chris Wormley (Toledo-Whitmer), QB Maty Mauk (Kenton), QB Tyler O'Connor (Lima)
  • Former Wolverines: Willis Barringer
  • Notable Recruiting Sites: Toledo (Whitmer), Wauseon, Delphos, Kenton
  • FBS Schools in Region: Toledo (MAC), Bowling Green (MAC)
  • Other FBS Schools nearby: Michigan (Big Ten), Ohio State (Big Ten), Notre Dame (Ind.), Miami-OH (MAC), Eastern Michigan (MAC), Kent State (MAC)
  • 5-Star Recruits: Fred Davis (USC)
  • Conference Breakdown: 71.4% Big Ten (Pac Ten, ACC)
  • School Breakdown: Ohio State 2, Michigan 2, Notre Dame 0

Dayton/Western Ohio: 23 Players, 60.9% Ohio State
WEst-Dayton Dayton-Westsplit

The Dayton region and areas north of it are much like Indiana which borders it. More basketball than football stars have come out of the area. The Trotwood-Madison pipeline (Shaw, 'Tree, Moore) has helped Michigan, but Ohio State dominates the area with strong ties to Northmont in Clayton, and Wayne HS in Huber Heights. That last is a football factory which has sent a few kids to Michigan State recently, and most recently supplied Michigan with the Talbotts. Wayne fed Braxton Miller, Donnie Evege and Marcus Freeman to Ohio State, so establishing a strong connection there could be an opportunity to make some headway against the Buckeyes.

It should help that our new head coach is himself from Dayton. Mid-power programs from Middletown, Centerville, and SmackdabintheCenteroftheMedialofMiddlecity (We're from Middle!) would be a good place to start.

  • Current Wolverines: Michael Shaw, Brandon Moore, Roy Roundtree, Terrence Talbott, Terry Talbott
  • 2012 Prospects: S Bam Bradley (Trotwood-Madison), OL Benny McGowan and DE Ifeadi Odenigbo (Centerville), CB Cody Quinn (Middletown)
  • Former Wolverines: Brandon Harrison
  • Notable Recruiting Sites: Trotwood-Madison, Centerville, Kettering (Archbishop Alter), Middletown, Springfield, Dayton, Clayton, Huber Heights (Wayne)
  • FBS Schools in Region: Miami-Ohio (MAC)
  • Other FBS Schools nearby: Ohio State (Big Ten), Cincinnati (Big East), Ball State (MAC), Bowling Green (MAC), Toledo (MAC)
  • 5-Star Recruits: (none)
  • Conference Breakdown: 82.6% Big Ten, 8.7% Big East (SEC, ACC)
  • School Breakdown: Ohio State 14, Michigan 4, Notre Dame 0

Cincinnati/Southwest: 26 Players, 26.9% Ohio State

Cincy CincySouthSPlit
Cincinnati is located on the river across from Kentucky. Other than the stopover for Midwest head coaches in town, the closest BCS school is actually Louisville. Tressel made a point of trying to improve OSU's notoriously mediocre recruiting in the region, but it's still the least Buckeye-ical part of the state. Notre Dame and Boston College have longtime pipelines out of the Cincy-area Catholic schools Elder and St. Xavier. Colerain (Mister Simpson, Cobrani Mixon) popped out a lot of talent in the middle of the last decade. A lot of Cincy blue chips have headed to SEC schools like Tennessee, LSU, and Kentucky. Those that haven't (e.g. Greg Jones of MSU) have a tendency to outperform their ratings. Very few 4- and 5-stars end up playing for the hometown Bearcats. There's room to improve, particularly by following Dantonio into his old stomping grounds and offering the same guys.

  • Current Wolverines: Antonio Poole, Jibreel Black
  • 2012 Prospects: WR Dwayne Stanford (Taft), WR Monty Madaris (Moeller), OL Caleb Stacey (Oak Hills), DE Ryan Leahy (La Salle)
  • Former Wolverines: Cobrani Mixon, Mister Simpson
  • Notable Recruiting Sites: Cincinnati (La Salle, Taft, Princeton, Colerain, St. Xavier, Moeller, Winton Woods, Oak Hills), Lakota West, and Hamilton
  • FBS Schools in Region: Cincinnati (Big East)
  • Other FBS Schools nearby: Ohio State (Big Ten), Miami-OH (MAC), Louisville (Big East), Ball State (MAC)
  • 5-Star Recruits: Kyle Rudolph (Notre Dame), DeVier Posey (Ohio State), Jordan Hicks (Texas), Spencer Ware (LSU), Ben Martin (Tennessee)
  • Conference Breakdown: 57.7% Big Ten, 19.2% SEC, 11.5% ACC, 7.7% Big East (Big XII)
  • School Breakdown: Ohio State 6, Notre Dame 4, Michigan 1

Central Ohio: 20 Players, 45% Ohio State

Central CentralSplit

You would think that the region closest to Ohio Stadium would send the most players to Ohio State. Yet for many who grow up in Columbus and the surrounding environs (Ohioans call these "corps" for some reason), when it comes to signing their L.O.I.s, they choose to follow Marcus Ray the hell out of Dodge. This is called the "Buckeye Proximity Effect," where by growing up in constant contact with the worst fan-base on the planet (that doesn't have self-proclaimed "hooligans") half of Columbians will give in and join them, and the other half will leave the moment the opportunity presents itself. The Buckeye Proximity Effect accounts for half of the 4- and 5-stars produced in Central Ohio not signing with Ohio State. Of course, since few in Columbus ever learn there's something else other than Buckeye football out there until college, a whopping 87.5% stay in the Big Ten, giving them an opportunity once a year to come back and try to convince friends and loved ones to leave the cult. Notre Dame pulled 2006 Heisman candidate Brady Quinn out of enemy territory, for example.

Michigan has had success, mostly in turning up diamonds among the "Corps" off the beaten path (most recently: Omameh, Avery). A full-scale invasion into the heart of enemy territory is certainly doable, as myriad 4-star signings with MSU, Illinois, Wisconsin and Notre Dame attest. Michigan has traditionally done well stealing away some 3-stars spurned by the Buckeyes (Mike Boren was one such back in the day), but beating Ohio State head-to-head for the blue chips is a rare feat.

  • Current Wolverines: Chris Rock, Patrick Omameh, Keith Heitzman, Courtney Avery, Tamani Carter
  • 2012 Prospects: (none?)
  • Former Wolverines: Justin Boren, Mark Bihl
  • Notable Recruiting Sites: Pickerington (Central HS), Lancaster, Columbus (Bishop Hartley, Watterson), Hilliard-Davidson, Dublin (Coffman)
  • FBS Schools in Region: Ohio State (Big Ten)
  • Other FBS Schools nearby: Cincinnati (Big East), Miami-OH (MAC), Bowling Green (MAC), Toledo (MAC), Kent State (MAC), Akron (MAC), Ohio (MAC)
  • 5-Star Recruits: Mike Adams (Ohio State)
  • Conference Breakdown: 85% Big Ten (SEC, ACC, Big XII)
  • School Breakdown: Ohio State 9, Michigan 1, Notre Dame 2

Next Week: This thing was getting long, and I'm one week into a four-weekend stretch of Grand Rapids-Bachelor Party-Europe-Europe, so next week you get Part II, with Cleveland/Akron, Eastern Ohio (Massillon/Canton to Youngstown), a reminder that Southeast Ohio exists, and analysis. Onto diaries:

When You Should Fire That Guy?

Greg-Robinson charlie-weiss

In most cases, the answer isn't "before his squad plays one down."

Undefeated dream season of 1992 went back and revisited his Canning Your Coordinator piece from last December, this time by implementing FEI rankings:

For the same reasons discussed in the previous section, we'll evaluate the hypotheses based on the change in a unit's FEI rank from the previous season to the current season. And looking at our three years of data across 120 FBS teams get this:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

It is far and away the Diary of the Week. It's long, and not so relevant to Michigan now that we have a new staff (e.g. ninja recruiter Mattison) but well, well, well worth the read.

The Same Thing As Mine, But Not:

I was writing this before blublooded put together a shorter, similar thing on Michigan in-state recruiting:

There has been some variation from year to year in U-M’s success in securing top in-state talent. Some attribute this variation to the head coach’s recruiting prowess, our on-field success, or the historical relationship between recruits’ high schools and U-M. The table below shows the college destination of top in-state talent by year from 2002 to 2011.

Also, airvipermb quickly profiled three Michigan Pipelines.

Catching Up on Other Sports

basketball pic 2: MaizeAndBlueWahoo runs down PORPAG ratings for Big Ten players, plus our guys.

UniversityofMichiganWrestlingCamp AceUMer gives a preview of the matchup with Michigan State.

white-female-tennis-women-s-t-shirts_design UMDrumline does the same for Women's Tennis versus Stanford.

UM-hockey-logo mfan_in_ohio does a good job of updating us on Michigan's current Pairwise situation, and includes an explanation of what that is for those perpetually confused as to how NCAA selects teams and seeds for the tournament.

spaceballs (Moychendising): MGoShoe dissects the press releases on Michigan's new guru of press releases to try to figure out what the new marketing guy is going to do. Maybe a Dominos-like program of "Hey, we found out we suck; let us show you how we're going to not suck from now on?" Or maybe they'll pull the walls down at the Spring Alumni Game to reveal an actual rematch of 2006 Michigan and 2006 Ohio State? Or maybe Lochman will increase multimedia M brand advertising. Sounds like the latter, dammit.

Drive safe, MGofans. If you're bored and snowed in, why not write a diary?