Mailbag!

Submitted by Brian on October 2nd, 2008 at 11:56 AM

Brian, it is very frustrating that here we are 3 games into the 2008 season and we have no idea what our future non-conference schedules look like.  Do you have sources that will give you and indication what they are thinking, at least for next season.  It frustrates me to no end that we signed to play ND for another 20 plus years when teams like OSU and Georgia are playing great intersectional matchups.

No, I don't have any sources, but that article that indicated Michigan was reaching out to bizarro Michigan—AKA Delaware—for a game should give you an indication of their overall thrust. It seems that whenever a blog fan talks to Bill Martin they bring up the lame-o scheduling and Martin tells them to expect the status quo: Notre Dame and the three guarantees.

You don't have to tell me: lame.

FWIW, National Champs.net fills in a few blanks, showing Michigan against Western in 2009 and 2011 and Eastern in 2010.

Why was Marcus Witherspoon cleared by the NCAA to play at Rutgers but not at UM?

There's some question as to whether or not he actually qualified. Multiple articles have indicated he's not eligible to play—not that he'd be playing much anyway as a guy who showed up on campus midway through the season—and I'm not sure if practicing is an option.

The easiest thing to believe is that Witherspoon didn't qualify and Rutgers just got him on campus to lock him in as a Scarlet Knight, which is a reasonable thing to do since the guy was apparently one class away. The proprietor of Bleed Scarlet posts in the comments from time to time, maybe he'll know more.

Hi Brain, [lulz –ed]

I've always known that recruiting exists, but until very recently didn't pay too much attention to it.  I just kind of assumed that top-tier schools got pretty much whoever they wanted within reason, and we moved on.  To a certain extent, I still believe that to be true, but it's clear that there is a whole other side of things that is quite simply lost on me.  I've been reading recently about some "class of 2010" recruits that Michigan has "gotten."

How much stock to you put in a kid who is making some sort of commitment this far in advance?  How often do these uber-early commits actually end up coming to their institution of early choice?

I'm reading all over the place about how Rich has gotten commits from the best WR and S from Florida in the 2010 class, and I'm not sure how much I buy it.  Also - where does the buck stop?  Are we looking at 2011 now as well?

My nephew (LB, IN - Carmel) looks really instinctual out there in pee-wee, swarming to the ball. 

Thanks for any insight.
B2

I put about as much stock into early commitments as I do any other commitment, which is a considerable amount until given reason to think otherwise. I actually think they're stronger than some others. The only reason you commit to a school that early is because you really want to go there, not to reserve a spot for yourself or because you were pressured or whatever.

In these particular cases, I can provide a 99% guarantee Ricardo Miller, Jeremy Jackson, and Marvin Robinson end up at Michigan based on their personal stories and various quotes they've given, like "if I don't go to Michigan Fred Jackson will stop giving me the antidote to the two-part poison they slipped in my food at camp."

As far as how good they are and how reliable recruiting evaluations can be of these guys, keep in mind that all three of these kids have attended Michigan's camp at some point, providing the staff an extended look at their capabilities. They've also collected offers from a who's who of college football programs—Texas, Florida, Ohio State, USC—at this early juncture. And some kids you just know about early. I mean, the first time you saw Darren McFadden or Adrian Peterson you just knew they were top five NFL draft picks, right? There are certain kids in high school like that.

And, yes, Michigan is looking at 2011 kids at camp and in film and etc etc. I suggest getting someone in the athletic department your nephew's film.

Oh, and if you think 2010 commits are weird you should try following hockey recruiting. Jack Johnson committed when he was 14.

!!!

Brian,

I've heard talk of a new 'Big M' statue/object/giant letter on campus?  Does anyone have a picture of it for those of us unable to drop by and check it out?

Um… does anyone know what this guy is talking about? I don't.

Brian,

"The offense has to stay on the field to give the defense a rest".

I have heard this a lot in our games this year and also a LOT in NFL games. In my opinion this is a retarded statement. The defense is not out on the field by itself, the opposing offense is there too. Unless there is some weird reason playing defense is harder than offense, I call BS on this. Eventually the opposing offense is going to get tired too and things will even out in terms of TOP.

I am asking this question now because a lot of people seem to be giving undue credit to the conditioning aspect for our victory. I agree in principle that eeeee barwis! helped, but it does NOT apply only to the defense in my opinion.I think wiscy playing lloyd ball had more to do with our comeback.

Vijay [Not the one of IBFC –ed]

I do think there's something to the idea that a defense can get worn out faster than an offense. You can see it in the defensive line rotation virtually all teams now employ. They're trying to keep guys fresh. Offensive linemen, on the other hand, never rotate.

As to why this might be: the offense knows what it's going to do and the various members of that offense can dose their effort accordingly. Take a screen pass for example. Usually you'll get a couple offensive linemen sent out to block for it; The other guys let their guys through and maybe cut them and then they're done.

Defenders have to swarm to the ball. On that screen pass every defensive linemen runs upfield at the quarterback, then turns back downfield and runs full-bore at the guy with the ball. At some point on every running play the entire defense is running at the guy with the ball, and on passing plays the offensive linemen are basically taking a few steps while the defensive linemen are stunting and running around the corner and doing all sorts of high-intensity activities.

So, yeah, it was impressive that the defense managed to hold it together through the disastrous first 40 minutes of the game, and they did it with limited rotation. Only 15 players saw the field. I think there's some justified eeee-ing going on in the aftermath.

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