Mailbag! Comment Count

Brian November 26th, 2008 at 3:39 PM

Remember that BCS thing we used to play a role in?  I’d be interested to hear your two pennies on ESPN’s new deal to take over coverage of its games in future years.  I really don’t care what channel the games or on – that’s not my concern.

Personally I can’t stand the current system and would like to see a 6-8 team playoff.  Funny thing is, I seem to remember a lot of people on ESPN expressing a similar sentiment.  Now, I know that sports analysts are likely not consulted for their opinion when the network puts out an offer of this size, but ultimately a new BCS contract only extends our misery without a playoff that much longer.  So by putting their money on the table is ESPN now part of the problem, or was an extension already inevitable making ESPN’s decision to bid an innocent business decision? 

Also, did the BCS contract have to be renegotiated right now or would it have been possible to hold off and (ideally) discuss a playoff alternative that the NCAA could also make money off of?  If the former applies, then I’m not sure how the BCS will ever go away when the TV contract is always renewed years before it is set to expire.  Asking for people to act on something (i.e. installing a playoff system) that wouldn’t actually be implemented for years might be too much to ask…the motivated parties start to lose said motivation.

Thanks,

JDF

If ESPN hadn't won the BCS rights, Fox would have and the BCS would continue to exist as-is until 2015. The TV networks don't have much control over the format of the thing, they just broadcast it as-is. Any change will have to come from within, from presidents and ADs and coaches.

The solution, as always, is to root for outrage, disaster, and embarrassment. Your best bet this year is for Texas Tech to make the Big 12 championship game by beating Oklahoma only to see Missouri upset the Red Raiders, opening the door for Texas, which TT beat and didn't even win their own division.

Brian,
I think that last number I saw for early enrollment was 7 recruits.  How soon should Coach Rodriguez know that these kids are enrolled and coming to Michigan? 
 
The reason I ask is that if 7 kids enroll in December, the coaching staff could essentially stop recruiting them and really put the push on other prospects to rope in some last minute guys on the edge of interest with Michigan.  Seems like this would be a huge advantage (and no bowl game either) for us with this class.
Also, another thing that came to mind is the fact that Terrance Robinson is going to be available next year.  I think this kid is going to have a huge impact on the team (assuming someone can get him the ball).  What other redshirt freshman do you think could make an impact next year?

Depending on how the class falls out that number could be as high as ten; both Will Campbell and Vlad Emilien plan on hitting campus early. You are correct that once the kids enroll, which will be in late December, they can't decommit and are essentially locked in, though Michigan fans will remember that you can transfer after that semester without penalty other than an enforced redshirt. That's how Michigan landed Steven Threet.

So, yes, Michigan will have a lot of free time and a lot of kids they don't have to babysit, which should allow them to focus their efforts on a limited number of kids and hopefully finish the class out strong. The flipside of that is they have a lot of free time because they're 3-9.

Re: Robinson, I was pretty high on him based on the high school highlights I saw (and, of course, the sick "dream shake" you can see on youtube) and expect him to get a hefty slice of playing time. I'm also a fan of Odoms, though, and don't think we'll see an enormous amount of increased production from the spot except what better quarterback play provides.

Re: other redshirt freshman to make an impact:

  • Ricky Barnum has been getting insider buzz like he is a serious candidate to start next year. With the emergence of Ferrara he's going to have a battle on his hands but if any of the freshmen OL break through it will probably be him.
  • Brandon Smith has been getting similar buzz at safety, but I'm a little more skeptical of that. In high school he was regarded a great athlete that needed a lot of work and he's missed a ton of practice after undergoing an appendectomy this fall. I think he'll work into the rotation. He will likely trail Brown and Williams.
  • This one might be a little bit of a surprise: Mike Cox should play next year, and could find himself the RAGE heir apparent. The rest of the backs on the roster are going to be little darters; Cox is the only underclass running back who can fill the Minor/Grady role as a pounder. He wasn't a huge recruit but he could have slipped through the cracks due to his location (Avon Old Farms, a prep school better known for hockey) and a senior-year injury. Michigan did pick him over ND freshman Jonas Gray, basically, as both showed up at summer camp and it was Cox who emerged with a running back offer. (Gray was offered as an "athlete.")

More on recruiting:

Brian

Read your thread about whether RR will actually be able to fill all the scholarships available.  Maybe I'm in the minority with this position, but I'd just assume he didn't fill them all, rather then fill them all with (for lack of a better word) 'borderline' recruits just to fill all the scholarships.  Obviously depth is an issue at a lot of positions, so bodies are needed.  At the same time, talented players are needed.  I'd kinda rather he didn't fill them all if he's going to fill them just to fill them, and wait until next year to try and get some stud recruits. 

Other then Brandon Graham (and maybe Minor) there's probably not a single starter on the UM team that would start for one of the Top 5 or so teams in the country.  At best most of Michigan's starters would be second stringers on these teams, if not 3rd or 4th stringers.

I don't think Michigan is going to fill the rest of their class with leftover sorts. Michigan's already at 20 commitments and should be looking at a finish like:

  • MI DT Will Campbell
  • FL CB Josh Robinson or FL CB Mywan Jackson or FL CB Jayron Hosley
  • Two of AZ OL Taylor Lewan, OH OL Mike Freeman, SC OL Quinton Washington, and NC OL Travis Bond
  • Some Other Guy
  • Maybe Another Two Guys

That's 24 prospects, all of whom have had Michigan offers for at least six months save Hosley, who's a four-star. None of these guys are borderline recruits Michigan is flinging offers to just to get the numbers up. Guys 25-27 might be high profile or low, but chances are if Michigan throws an offer at someone it's because they think he'll be useful.

The best case in point: five years ago, Michigan threw a signing day offer to two-star Kentucky commit Brandent Englemon. The second best: Michigan made a late offer to two-star Cincinnati commit Patrick Omameh. I'd like to see every open scholarship filled.

Another in a series of cool things from the past:

Brian,

I worked in the equipment room for Jon Falk from 1975-1979 (the Rick Leach era).

I’ll never forget Bo’s pre-game speech before the 1975 Ohio State game:

“Gentlemen, this is it.  Let’s go!”

Short, sweet and to the point.  We almost had them that game.  That darn Ray Griffin oskie killed us.

Mike

That's all; nothing to add.

I think the thing with requests is this: the weirder they are, the more compelling they seem. So here's one for the photoshop savants out there:

Would you mind featuring at some time in the next year some photos of Fremen or Paul Mu'adib in particular, the blue within blue eyes, perhaps with Ms in them?

I leave it in your hands, readers.

Comments

nuck

November 26th, 2008 at 3:42 PM ^

I hate the ESPN deal for one reason: I got FOX in HD for free.. Now I'll have to watch the bowl games not in HD ... unless they shift them over to ABC...

chitownblue (not verified)

November 26th, 2008 at 3:46 PM ^

What about that gargantuan *** OT from Trotwood - I think it was Chris Freeman? I remember Rivals running an article saying that he was a heavy Michigan lean, and is reporting an offer.

nuck

November 26th, 2008 at 3:53 PM ^

Off topic (slightly) but, how does early enrollment work?

I mean, if you leave half way through senior year in High School, how do the players end up getting their degree?

Are they taking classes during the Winter semester to make up for it?

CPS

November 26th, 2008 at 4:03 PM ^

If you are referring to the Fremen or Paul Mu'adib request, it's based the movie Dune, or more recently the two mini-series. The movie and mini-series are based on science fiction books written by Frank Herbert, of which he wrote a total of 6.

/end nerd alert/

caveman.lawyer

November 26th, 2008 at 5:16 PM ^

Is Barnum the most likely reshirt freshman to play on the OL because he is a guard rather than a tackle? That seems contrary to your take coming out of RR's presser:

"Your OL mentioned as potential contributors next year: Patrick Omameh was number one; he was on the travel team this year and was clearly the freshman they had the most faith in. Number two is Ricky Barnum; number three was Rocko Khoury. Other guys were not mentioned."

Ziff72

November 26th, 2008 at 8:58 PM ^

but I could listen to Bo stories all night especially after a year like this year. When he died I was riveted when one of the players recounted his Orange Bowl pregame speech it was awesome...anymore people with personal insights to pre or halftime speeches keep em coming.