Dear Diary Basks in Hellfires Comment Count

Seth July 19th, 2011 at 12:17 AM


Lots of good diaries this week. I'm breaking them up so we can comment, and you know, provide content and stuff.

Dear Diary,

So three guys from Detroit go to hell. The Devil's walking around doing his rounds to make sure everyone's getting the proper amount of torture and finds the Detroit guys sitting out in the open, drinking beers, grilling, and generally smiling at the hell fires.

The Devil is like "what are you guys doing?" and the three Detroit guys calmly explain that they're from Michigan, the land of snow and ice; when you get a warm day you gotta enjoy it.

So the Devil decides to turn the heat way, way up in that sector – enough to melt the rock – and moves on. Later he figures the Detroiters are good and cooked, and goes back to check on them, only to see them out in the middle of the lake of fire, having found a bunch of motor boats and tied them together, drinking and sunning themselves and fishing. The Devil's like WTF and the Detroiters explain again about the snow and ice and enjoying a nice day.Hoke-1

So the Devil's like I gotta screw these guys: He turns the temp way down, to absolute zero. And after enough time he comes back to check on the Detroit guys and there they are throwing a huge party, screamin', hollerin' whoopin', and just celebrating like crazy. The Devil's is apoplectic: "What the HERE guys?"

And they all look at him blankly like this should be obvious and are like "Dude: Hell froze over."

Devil: "Yeah?"

"The Lions must've won the Superbowl!"

Bask, man. Bask

I usually skip those ubiquitous Power Rankings articles that force e.g. Yahoo columnists to come up with (un-)clever one-liners about each team so they're not just posting a table, because without 19 words on Brian Wilson's beard etc. the thing just looks like an arbitrary table. The exception is when my teams are doing well, for the same reason Scrooge McDuck takes daily dives into his silo of gold and people in Michigan will never pass up a chance to put their face in the sun.

When your team is sweeping its region in recruits and steals a 5 star at its greatest position of need from an evil arch nemesis, no matter where everyone thinks you are, you bask. Never mind that part about the offense regressing from arguably sweet because of a scheme change, and a defense that needs to come up 10 levels just to get out of hell. Just follow where Brady Hoke points and get to the good stuff.

The recruiting binge that followed Hokeamania reached a new crescendo this week with our first committed 5-star (except not yet on Rivals), launching a new Diary genre: Let's Rank Our Class. Tim does it regularly for our conference (and teams that play half a Big Ten schedule but claim independence). TomVH took a shot at it last week, figuring how we'd finish. And now the diarists are having at it.

Looking at this list, I created a simple way to estimate where each teams class could end up if they recruited about 2/3 as well as they have so far and every team ended up with about 25 recruits.  We all know this will not be the case and especially for a team like USC but their recruiting class to date deserves to be on this list.

That's from Hill.FootballRecruits, who has Michigan finishing 5th behind Texas, Auburn, FSU and Florida. If you take his Top 12 (based on Rivals) and project onto a graph that is really hard to make on Excel you get:


(click gets you larger)

So that's pretty good, especially when you figure Kalis will be a 5-star in short order. While we're at it, Big Ten:


How much better is Michigan's recruiting than our rivals' this year? Soooo much! And consider a few weeks ago that block of reddish-orange used to be affixed to the end of Ohio State's not nearly as impressive 2x4; tatgate's the table saw, Hoke's the wood glue.

Just for the sake of torture, here's Michigan's 2012 class (in mid-July (!)) versus the hellfires of yesteryear:


Er, if that's hellfires either I've been caught dead at the Jobbie Nooner, or the Lions just won the Superbowl. Only it's mid-July 2011 right now, not mid-February 2012, and Michigan is more likely to add more orange and red to the left side of the axis before all's said. The other thing you can see is that the 3-stars are very yellow-green, contrasting sharply with the greenie-green and even bluish shades which broke that up in the late-Carr classes. This is what we mean when we say the 3-stars aren't like the 3-stars of yesteryear. If indeed Rivals has been recently underrating high 3-stars in the Midwest due to the lack of a scout, perhaps this class is a shade more yellow than we're giving it credit for.

Play us out, Six Zero's Overly Entitled Wolverine MascotYeah, I'm at the game, where you guys gonna be later?  Well, is she hot?



July 19th, 2011 at 1:29 AM ^

Even though we had reasonably good classes in 2008 and 2009 (almost), a lot of blue chip recruits didn't work out or transferred.

It is not the recruitment but the retention of the recruits that has brought us where we are.


July 19th, 2011 at 8:04 AM ^

Well, you're partially right. Attrition is a large part of the problem, but you've got to replace players too, and Rich Rod's 2009 class was way too small (only had 22 signees, should've signed the max 27, and he never got any use of Turner, LaLota, Emilien or Witty). In effect, Rich Rod signed only 2/3 of the guys that he should have in 2009, and ultimately, that lack of numbers across the roster was one of the many reasons for his exit.


July 19th, 2011 at 10:22 AM ^

Just imagine what that chart would look like if we add 7 or 8 more high quality guys! We are smoking the whole big ten recruiting-wise. Now let's get that to translate to wins this year, which in turn gives us another recruiting advantage, which...


I like where that path is leading.


July 19th, 2011 at 3:46 PM ^

created bar graphs in excel, then copied and pasted into Gimp and moved each one so they line up on a temp axis I drew. For data, I keep an updated Rivals database -- just shmear, copy, and paste into Excel, cut all that from excel, paste into Notepad to remove the formatting, and paste back into Excel. These were from PivotCharts.

There has to be a better way.