Unverified Voracity Is Awake, For Now

Submitted by Brian on April 18th, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Me-date. If you're thinking about tearing your ACL, let me give you some advice: skip it and have some ice cream instead. I'm limping around vaguely now and gingerly moving my leg back and forth so that it doesn't get stuck in one position forever*, taking serious painkillers, and falling asleep all the damn time.

That's the main problem. Large parts of the past week that I thought I'd be working have been spent either asleep or doing this:

no srs I'm awake

I thought I was fine when I posted that UV a day after the surgery and then was somewhere between asleep and falling asleep for the next two days straight. Add in two to three hours of gingerly moving the leg around per day and despite things getting better productivity is still low. Bear with me. In my stead Ace and Seth and the Mathlete have been putting in yeoman work. 

I'm experimenting with a prescription-painkiller-free day as we speak and it hasn't been too bad. Productivity can only increase from here.

*[That thing your mom said about your face? Yeah, that's apparently true for knees.]

Something something bride before the mall /BOOM SINGIN' MATT MILLEN'D. The Great Dantonio's latest dig:

Up the road in East Lansing, however, Michigan State shrugs off talk about the Wolverines regaining their super power status under Brady Hoke. The Spartans are confident of their own standing and future prospects.

"We're laying in the weeds," Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio says with a half smile. "We've beat Michigan the last four years. So where's the threat?"

This proves Dantonio is either A) the boss of this town and isn't afraid to let people know it or B) has passed the denial phase of his Kubler-Ross acceptance that the new boss is the same as the old boss and is settling into anger, with bargaining to come in a year or two. Hopefully this works out as well as The Hecklinski Incident—good name for a sci-fi novel there—did for him. The days where Michigan and Michigan State have anywhere near the same talent level are in the process of ending. Might take another year or two, but if I was MSU I'd make hay now.

How the sausage is made. ESPN has released three videos detailing their rankings process. Given the Mathlete's post earlier today, the fourth one will be entitled "…and then we all ignore all that and pile everyone from the SEC footprint into the top 50" but I appreciate the transparency. ESPN is planning on releasing a 2014 150 in… August. Yeesh.

ESPN says they have no regional dudes at all and farms out a particular set of position groups to scouts who do rankings for everyone at that spot, which does sound good. The Mathlete's methodology is suggestive but could have a systematic issue: since it relies extensively on all-conference teams and there's always an all-conference team even if you suck, ESPN cramming all those players from one region who go to one conference into the top end of their rankings would make them look worse even if they were right. The recent SEC-SEC-SEC business makes it at least plausible that ESPN is right. Adding another level of detail with NFL draft results would help sanity check that.

Poking around 2013 kids. Basketball is, that is. But apparently not Bo Ziegler, who told Inside The Hall that Michigan had not been much of a factor:

On other schools recruiting him hard:

“Pretty much the same schools that you heard about. Providence, Iowa State, Michigan State. Michigan was coming for a minute but I guess they’ve backed off. I’ll probably get a few more looks once we hit the AAU circuit.”

That is probably not a momentary oversight; Michigan has had a lot of time to think about this stuff. John Beilien, Y NO LIKE ZIEGLERS?

Instead, meet two new prospects:

  • NJ combo guard Jaren Sina, a consensus four star who ranks in the bottom half of the top 100 everywhere. Sina committed to Alabama a while back before reconsidering. Beilein went out to watch him and the kid seems extremely interested. Pitt, Villanova, and Alabama are his biggest offers at the moment.
  • NJ PF/SF Reggie Cameron. You know a guy is a Beilein recruit when he's listed at 6'7" and starts his lists of strengths off with "my jump shot." Other evaluations list him at 6'5" so it's up for debate as to whether he can be a stretch four to give Michigan that Smotrycz option or if he's pretty much a wing and wing only. Dave Telep called him a "hybrid 4-man"($) who plays small forward on offense and guards bigs on D; his stroke was praised. I hope Michigan's done with 6'5" power forwards, but maybe he grows some. Cameron is usually in the 100-150 range on recruiting sites.

Michigan could take both these guys as long as someone goes to the NBA next year, which is a near-certainty. Sina could provide minutes at the one and two, Cameron the three and maybe the four or two.

Meanwhile in the class of 2013, Rivals revamped its basketball rankings for that year. Irvin slid a little to #63; Walton and Donnal rose a little to #72 and #116. Irvin's down six spots, Walton up 15, Donnal up 8.

Ahem. Just going to leave this here.

3852_218[1]

It's in the store. Consume!

Whoah, whoa-oh oh oh oh. We own Penn State. The halycon era:

Via WH.

You know this already but I was asleep so my tab is still open. ND's Aaron Lynch, who you may remember being terrifying last year, is leaving ND. Bwahaha. Unfortunately, Brian Kelly recruited his balls off on the DL in that class so there's plenty of talent left behind. None of them were quite Lynch, who I remember coming in to the ND-MSU game and running around MSU OL like they were not there. Not having to face him the next three years is a lot like seeing Michael Floyd transfer after his freshman year. Which would have been cool.

Also old: this. Mary Sue Coleman said Michigan wouldn't be putting the Fab Five banners up, causing a twitter hissy from Jalen Rose I can't be bothered to go find again. No school is ever going to put up a banner for a game the NCAA made them vacate. That is a banner that says "congratulations: you technically weren't at the Final Four!"

Surely no one can be surprised by this. The only topic more tired than Fab Five banners is the #1 jersey, and no one's—oh hell, we're talking about this again. For the love of cripes, just offer it to LaQuon Treadwell and let's be done with this. The only thing this Braylon scholarship thing has done is made it so no one wears the number.

Etc.: Freshman RB TJ Yeldon goes ham at Alabama spring game (against the second team D). Denardfluff. I'll probably write more about this at a later juncture, but here's a Smart Football post on the future of the NFL being more shotgun high-tempo stuff. I don't mind a pro-style offense if it's actually a pro-style offense and not what a pro-style offense used to be in 1970. More Smart Football: the monster defense of old and its resurgence.

McGary. McGary DROP. MCGARY MAD. MCGARY SMASH. MCGARY SAY THINGS ABOUT HATERZ THAT IGNORE THE USEFUL SOCIETAL EFFECTS THAT RESULT FROM DISAPPROVING THINGS THAT ARE WACK. BUT THAT OKAY IF MCGARY SMASH.

Comments

mschol17

April 18th, 2012 at 3:12 PM ^

My brain was noticeably slow for at least a week following anesthesia, and I quit the pain pills after a day.  Wierd feeling, but it will pass.

El Jeffe

April 18th, 2012 at 3:29 PM ^

Loved that McGary article. I do worry about plantar fasciitis, which can linger like the scent of vomit in a dive bar (and is about as pleasant). On the other hand, I am so looking forward to not tearing out my rapidly dwindling hair as yet another rebound eludes us. I have a feeling MM will just be an animal on the glass which, when combined with our usual turnover advantage, ought to give us 5-10 more possessions a game than the average team.

unWavering

April 18th, 2012 at 3:37 PM ^

" The days where Michigan and Michigan State have anywhere near the same talent level are in the process of ending. Might take another year or two, but if I was MSU I'd make hay now."

I feel like Brian is going to eat his words in a couple of years if Dantonio is still around.  Not that Michigan won't be very, very good, but I think MSU is going to be a good team as long as he's around.

aaamichfan

April 18th, 2012 at 3:45 PM ^

We're currently taking recruits in Michigan that would have gone to MSU when Rich Rod was coach. By taking them, we're both increasing our talent and decreasing theirs. It's kind of a double whammy to Dantonio. 

I agree they'lll be good for a couple more years, but this 2012 season will be the beginning of the end.

unWavering

April 18th, 2012 at 4:00 PM ^

Dantonio has proven that he can take less than stellar talent and compete for B1G titles.  He is putting together an okay recruiting class this year even though we are mopping up all the top talent in Michigan and Ohio.  I agree that our recent surge is nothing but bad for them, but I think Dantonio has earned the benefit of the doubt when it comes to developing less talented players.

I think it's a bit premature to be declaring ourselves king of the state again, especially since we haven't ya know, actually beat them on the field.

EDIT:  And let me point out that I hate Dantonio as much as the next guy, but you have to give credit where credit is due.  

bronxblue

April 18th, 2012 at 4:29 PM ^

Dantonio did a good job with mediocre talent, but really it's been a two-year stretch of good teams for him, and even then you have to discount those a bit because OSU and UM were down for at least part of that stretch.  He'll still pull in some good kids, just like JLS and Williams did, but overall the wells he went to are drying up because both of his natural recruiting rivals are back to their earlier dominance.  A great example of this shift is what happened with Norfleet - a couple of years ago, he very easily could have wound up at MSU because UM skipped over him.  And while I'm not sure he'll be a star, he's a good-looking player that works for them.  The mystique of Dantonio is that he turns lead into gold, when in fact most of his successes are turning, at best, silver into gold.  He develops some decent players into better players, but he's not pulling championships out of muck. 

 

And as others have noted, much of MSU's success the past couple of years has come from a pretty veteran offensive unit with Cousins, Dell, Martin, etc. all being upperclassmen.  Next year, he'll be going in with a revamped WR core and an unproven QB (who might be dinged up), and little depth behind them.  And while the RB situation is still strong, we saw last year that a mediocre MSU offensive line can really hamstring their backs. 

M-Dog

April 18th, 2012 at 9:16 PM ^

I really like your quote:  "The mystique of Dantonio is that he turns lead into gold, when in fact most of his successes are turning, at best, silver into gold."  

I think this is exactly right.  Dantonio has not been turning FCS players into All-Americans.  He has had some pretty good talent to work with.  And Michigan has helped him there the last few years.  MSU has simply had better teams and better players.  That clearly won't be the case anymore.  MSU won't go away, but they won't have better players.

Let's see how he does now turning bronze into gold.  (Sparty likes bronze anyway.)

 

Needs

April 19th, 2012 at 6:17 AM ^

The other thing that Dantonio's been able to do, since he's taken over, is to redshirt almost every player he recruits apart from a very few exceptions like Worthy and Gholston. As the case of Wisconsin shows, that year provides a distinct advantage in advancing middling recruits to become excellent players. MSU played one true freshman last year, the fewest in the league, and Marcus Rush, a redshirt freshman who was a middling 3 star recruit, was one of their breakout players last year. As long as they're able to continue redshirting almost the entirety of their recruiting classes, they'll remain competitive.

One of the disadvantages Michigan faces in the new Big Ten is that the historically second tier programs in our division (Iowa, MSU, and to a lesser degree Northwestern) are right now more stable and better developers of talent than their counterparts in the other division (Illinoisand Purdue with Wisconsin as the exception).

LittleGreenMan

April 19th, 2012 at 4:07 AM ^

 

Michigan clearly has the glitzier recruiting classes but that's been pretty much universally true forever.  Also, MSU's recruiting has improved incrementally every year under Dantonio (baby steps to be sure but still going in the right direction).  MSU may not get the 5*s or nearly as many 4*s as Michigan, but my Spartan brethren and I like the 3*s Dantonio gets just fine, thank you.  Any B1G team not named Michigan or OSU would be plenty happy to land most of  MSU's recruits if they could.

Also, I think coach Hoke would be equally dismissive if not more so if he were pressed with questions about MSU or any other team.  I'm sure when he holds press conferences he is only interested in talking about Michigan.

UMgradMSUdad

April 19th, 2012 at 6:56 AM ^

Hoke almost never takes the bait when asked about other teams.  In fact, the only exception I can think of, is when he was asked about Meyer's idiotic (and false) poster comparing OSU football players' majors to Michigan's. On football itself, I've never seen him reply with anything other than positive comments about other teams.

And yes, MSU does get a lot of good players. But, under Hoke, Michigan is also improving--not just in getting better players, but filling needs.  Rodriguez had some great recruiting classes too, but his classes were more unbalanced in the positions that were filled.

bronxblue

April 19th, 2012 at 10:40 AM ^

I never said Dantonio wasn't a decent recruiter.  And I went to MSU for graduate school and lived through the JLS years, so he is a major upgrade.  But what he's doing is probably the ceiling for MSU, and based on the players he is bringing in, my guess is that they take a step back.  He found some diamonds with Rush, Dell, Cousins, etc., but as we've seen with schools like Iowa, you really need to hit with those lower-rated kids to remain competitive, and when you don't you fall harder than places like OSU and UM.  

MSU should be competitive in the B1G going forward under Dantonio, but hearing fellow MSU faithful talk about multiple Rose Bowl and BCS bids in the near future seems silly given the talent on the field and the players coming into the program.  

WolvinLA2

April 18th, 2012 at 3:50 PM ^

Dantonio has benefitted from some down years at UM. He's built some solid teams, and had some lesser recruited guys turn into All-Big Ten talent (Cunningham, Worthy, Cousins, Bell). Will he be able to maintain this? I doubt it. I think he has built MSU into an Iowa level program, where they vary between 6-6 and 9-3 with the occasional 10-2 every 10 years or so. That's not bad, but they'll probably beat us 2-3 times a decade.

BDS

April 18th, 2012 at 4:50 PM ^

I see this argument a lot on here and I have two thoughts:

1) UM will outrecruit MSU for the forseeable future. Been that way for decades. Will the Hoke era produce more wins over MSU than the Rich Rod era did? Probably ... But I don't think this automatically means MSU recruiting goes into the shitter. They're doing pretty well in the 2013 class despite Michigan's hot start. Another solid season certainly won't hurt those efforts.

2) The State of Michigan could support two winning programs. People love to throw out the UM vs. MSU head-to-head recruiting battles like the end result (wins and losses) is some sort of zero-sum game. The head-to-head battles with UM are just one part of the equation. MSU has done pretty well for themselves despite also having to recruit against traditional heavyweights like OSU, ND and PSU -- all of which are within a very reasonable driving distance from their home turf. 

If MSU keeps winning, like it or not, their recruiting footprint will continue to expand and their talent level will be strong.

El Jeffe

April 18th, 2012 at 5:23 PM ^

I kind of agree with this. MSU didn't beat M the last 4 years because of superior recruiting. After all, only in 2011 did MSU beat M in at least the Scout rankings. Every other year since 2002, M has enjoyed a healthy advantage.

MSU beat M the last 4 years with a combination of the RR transition (2008 and possibly 2009) and with superior player development (and therefore execution) and coaching (all 4 years).

aaamichigan fan makes an interesting point above that the problem now for State will be that M is again taking the top in-state talent that would have gone to State during the RR era. I'm not sure how true this is, since although M recruited from Florida more, it's not like they totally ignored the state of Michigan (Demens, Martin, BWC, the Gordons, etc.). But it's still a plausible argument, I think.

The question, in kind of a VORP sense, is whether MSU can replace the kind of player that would have gone to MSU under RR but now is going to M under Hoke with a player from a different state who is more or less equally talented. Probably not in all cases, but probably so in others.

NateVolk

April 18th, 2012 at 7:09 PM ^

The dude has proven the last couple years he knows what he is doing. That's going to make it better when Michigan starts beating them.  

People can never overestimate how bad our recruiting profile was in the mid-west under Rodriguez. They also can never overestimate how small and poorly coached we were defensively during those years. Also, something people never talk about is having Tressel at Ohio helped Dantonio tremendously. If you don't think they were sharing notes on recruits and Tressel wasn't feeding his guy names of players he liked but couldn't offer, you aren't seeing the reality. 

That relationship is gone and in fact we have an Ohio coach who stole Pittman right out from under him.   So Dantonio goes from competing really against Notre Dame (occasionally) and no one else, to adding in Michigan and Ohio trolling for the best talent.

If they are still around winning 10 games and beating Michigan regularly in 5 years, count me as amazed.

 

El Jeffe

April 18th, 2012 at 11:21 PM ^

Well, I think Rodriguez would probably say that it's okay to have a low recruiting profile in the Midwest if you're getting good players from elsewhere. You know who else has a low recruiting profile in the Midwest? USC, Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Florida, LSU, etc. etc. etc. Sure there are exceptions (RoJo, Nick Perry, Danny O'Brien) but in general those teams don't recruit very heavily in the Midwest, do they?

I also don't really see how we were so small on defense. How did we get bigger last year with true freshman (that is, players Rodriguez didn't recruit)? Morgan and Countess made us bigger? Not to say that I won't mind if we do get bigger (TWSS), but the problem was clearly age and coaching. I guess to the extent that age --> size, then yeah.

Finally, a very interesting point about Tressel and Dantonio, though it would surprise me if Tressel's knowledge was so secret and encyclopedic that he could funnel info on diamonds in the rough to Dantonio that Dantonio wouldn't have known about otherwise. What would be really interesting is if Tressel was telling players "look, I can't take you, but head up the road, turn left at A2 and see my pal Mark over there in East Lansing."

WolvinLA2

April 18th, 2012 at 11:35 PM ^

We were still a little small last year, but we didn't get big because RRs recruits were big, we were big because three of our guys up front were leftover Lloyd recruits, one of which was a walk-on who played because RR didn't recruit enough big guys to play in his spot.  I'm not ripping Heininger, but if RR has recruited solid DTs, he wouldn't have played.  Roh wasn't undersized because when Mattison showed up he told Roh to eat everything he saw until fall practice. 

Let's not pretend Hoke and Mattison are left with a bunch of massive bodies that RR recruited.  There are some, but not as many as there should be.

M-Wolverine

April 19th, 2012 at 3:10 PM ^

If USC, Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Florida, LSU, etc. etc. etc. don't land a recruit from the midwest, they don't end up playing that guy later on.  If they don't land a recruit from the South or Soutwest, they do. The player has to go somewhere. We lose out on a recruit from California, there's a good chance we never see him again. We lose out on a guy from Ohio, there's a REAL good chance we'll be playing against him.

And we got a bit bigger on defense because we had a strength and conditioning program that emphasized it.  But we really weren't that big yet last year.  That's why we spent more time letting people run up and down the field and making stands in the redzone.  Rather than stoning teams. Even Mattison has said he thought we overachieved last year.  Coaches who have been able to attend Spring Practices have said we look like a big team for the first time in awhile. The strength program is taking effect. 

WolvinLA2

April 18th, 2012 at 7:13 PM ^

I don't disagree with your post, but it doesn't combat my post above.  I said I thought Dantonio's MSU will be akin to Ferentz's Iowa.  That's a compliment, considering JLS's MSU or Bobby Williams's MSU were well below that standard. 

It's certainly possible for both UM and MSU to have good programs at the same time, provided they both have good coaches.  This has happened before, and could very well happen now. 

I do think, however, that MSU will have to pick up their recruiting if they want to win more than 3 out of 10 against us. 

I'm also not one of the ones saying that MSU has won the last couple of years with mediocre talent.  MSU was pretty talented, especially on the defensive side of the ball, the last couple years.  Each of the last two years you probably had the best defensive player in the conference, and they weren't the same guy.  You've also had NFL talent at almost every position group. 

Almost none of those guys were big recruits.  So, does that mean that Dantonio is good at finding talented guys that the services and other coaches miss?  Does it mean he's better at developing guys who were initially less talented?  Or does it mean that you guys had a nice string of guys who out-performed what everyone thought they could do?  Chances are it's a little of each, but the real key is if it can continue.  My prediction is that the 2013 Spartans won't have as many future NFLers as the 2011 Spartans, and it will be vice versa for us.  Only time will tell though.

BDS

April 18th, 2012 at 8:36 PM ^

I agree with some of what you're saying, but I'd be disappointed if MSU's ceiling was the current Iowa program because I think MSU has a higher ceiling.

Don't get me wrong ... I think Ferentz does a nice job with what he has. MSU and its staff, however, have regional advantages that Iowa can only dream about. When's the last time Iowa beat MSU for an Ohio kid? Or a Michigan kid? It's happened maybe once or twice in the last few years. Iowa has a bigger advantage in Illinois, but which situation would you rather have?

I like MSU's 2013 class so far. They'll likely be halfway done by the end of April and will be able to focus on filling only a handful of spots the rest of the year.

WolvinLA2

April 18th, 2012 at 8:59 PM ^

MSU probably has some recruiting advantages over Iowa, but Iowa has it's own connections too.  Plus, Iowa has a long history of unearthing the kids the bigs pass on, and MSU has a very short history of that. 

You'd be disappointed with Iowa?  Iowa has been to multiple BCS bowls, and has won big bowl games against good teams.  They've been a bowl team or better for 12 years or so, and have pumped out NFL guys.  I wouldn't be disappointed with that.

BDS

April 18th, 2012 at 9:37 PM ^

Ferentz has been to two Orange bowls. He had a nice run from 2002-2004, but has been pretty mediocre with the exception of 2008-09. Now they're replacing their OC and DC after two disappointing seasons. I think MSU's ceiling is higher than that. 

WolvinLA2

April 18th, 2012 at 10:45 PM ^

So where do you think MSU's ceiling is?  Being a perpetual bowl team, usually top 4ish in the Big Ten and a couple BCS bowls is pretty damn good.  One of those season was a Big Ten championship.  I'm not trying to be negative at all - but where do you see MSU's ceiling?  And where do you rank MSU in terms of Big Ten teams over the next 5-7 years or so. 

BDS

April 18th, 2012 at 11:57 PM ^

You don't think a "ceiling" of Top 4-ish team in the B1G is a bit conservative? 

I don't think any B1G team has a ceiling like that save maybe NW or Indiana. Any team, given the right coach and a financial commitment, can compete for B1G titles annually. The problem with most schools is they're either a) not a final destination for good coaches, or b) geographically disadvantaged.

That said, I think MSU's ceiling is as high as any other B1G team's ceiling, including UM or OSU. Look at what Wisconsin has done over the past two decades. They were a joke until Alvarez showed up ... Now an 8-win season is a down year. All it takes is a good coach and an administration commited to winning. 

WolvinLA2

April 19th, 2012 at 12:29 AM ^

OK fine, when ceiling is "highest possible place under any circumstances" then I suppose you're right.  So maybe ceiling isn't the word I should have been using.  Sure, if MSU got a Jim Harbaugh/Andrew Luck type of combination to show up, they could win a Big Ten title and maybe more.  I'm not talking about lightning in a bottle, I'm talking about a realistic season to season outlook. 

So you've told me where you think MSU's ceiling is.  OK.  The top.  Fine.  Where do you think they'll actually end up?  In your prediction, in terms of aggregate record over the next 5-7 years let's say, how does MSU stack up against the rest of the Big Ten?

BDS

April 19th, 2012 at 12:27 PM ^

I had a nice long response to this typed up this a.m. but apparently it didn't save. Oops.

Short story: I expect a lot from the current crop in the next three seasons ... At least 9-10 wins a year through 2013-14 and at least one B1G title in those three seasons (barring catastrophic injuries and NFL defections).

Aggregrate record over five years? I honestly have no idea. I think you need to step back and re-evalutate the league every 2-3 years because so much changes. As of now, I think the teams in the best position to compete for titles in 5-7 years are MSU, UM, OSU, Wisconsin, and maybe Nebraska. PSU is a total wild card. Iowa seems happy with Ferentz, which is fine. The rest have a steep hill to climb.

M-Wolverine

April 19th, 2012 at 3:29 PM ^

Well, count OSU in there under Meyer.  Michigan recruiting over a 2 year span makes it look like they're a good bet to be in there. Wisconsin is your own point....so even if they were the next best team, over Nebraska, over Penn State, over Iowa....that would still just be top 4ish. In a new, added another national power, have to win a championship game to go to the Rose Bowl world, that's a pretty good.

It's possible, because Wisconsin does stand out....but you give credit for Iowa only having a couple of good seasons, but they made a lot of hay on tiebreaker rules that no longer exist.  In 1993 they tied with OSU. In 1998 they had a 3 way tie losing to Michigan and not playing OSU. 1999 they at least played the powers and lost less than the rest.  And they just 3-way tied in 2010, and won last year because their division imploded with OSU AND Penn State having program meltdowns, then beating MSU 1 of 2 times.  In between they've finished 3rd, 7th, 7th, 5th, 5th, 8th, 8th, 8th, 7th, 3rd, 3rd, 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 4th.  Maybe recently top 4ish, but not hardly historically over their "good program years."

The problem is your two historical disadvantages DOES describe Michigan State. A) less so, because now that OSU has a coach it doesn't seem that likely Dantonio's going anywhere...but if MSU has the seasons you expect, there no reason that some big time program might come after him....and he'd consider it because the USC's and Florida's of the world have a lot more money to throw around, and a lot more of B) because MSU is still in a football weak state, and is the 2nd program in the state. The fact that he gets questions about Michigan, and feels the need to react to it only illustrates that fact.  Because no one is asking Hoke about MSU. If Michigan goes back to bumbling around, who knows what can happen. 

But the conference is as tough as it's ever been. Back in the Bo days a Big Ten title every other year, on average, was expected. Throw in Penn State, and you're lucky to win 1 of 3. Now Nebraska is around, and a number of the traditionally second tier teams (or historically 4th tier teams like Wisconsin) are quite good now. The best teams in the Big Ten are going to have a hard time dominating, and it's going to be harder to luck into winning the title because it's going to be harder to dodge the best teams, because if they're not in your division, you're probably playing them in the title game. But it doesn't hurt to reach for the stars.

Zone Left

April 18th, 2012 at 8:11 PM ^

I disagree with the first sentence of your second point. Michigan never has supported two top teams over an appreciable amount of time. MSU has been up the last few years, Michigan has been down. Once Bo arrived in Ann Arbor, Michigan was up for basically 40 years while MSU was mostly meh. Before Bo, MSU was a national power while Michigan struggled.

Michigan can support several D-1 teams, but I don't know that the depth is there to support two top-10 teams. Heck, Michigan has always gotten a significant portion of its top talent from Ohio and elsewhere. I know you're not arguing that Michigan is equivalent to Texas or Florida, but I'd guess it's probably below North or South Carolina in terms of talent production.

That said, I buy the rest of your argument. Winning breeds interest and, regardless of interest, Dantonio has shown he can recruit winning teams.

BDS

April 18th, 2012 at 8:45 PM ^

MSU's wounds in the 70s, 80s and early 90s were mostly self-inflicted. It helps to have a an administration focused on winning instead of fighting with each other.

Also, the game is different now because recruiting is different. The reality is that coaches can scout nationally via e-mail and YouTube. In addition, brand recognition can be built much faster these days thanks to ESPN and recruiting websites.The barriers to recruiting that existed a few decades ago are no longer applicable.

M-Wolverine

April 18th, 2012 at 9:16 PM ^

I think you're all missing Brian's point. I don't think he's predicting Dantonio's going to morph into John L. Smith and they're going to have worse seasons than Bobby Williams. They're going to be a good program. I think he's saying that Michigan is recruiting at a level (along with Ohio State) that would make post National Championship Lloyd jealous, and if it keeps up, we're going to look more like a poor man's Alabama, and we all know how Good MSU fares against that level team. E Rey year won't be like this, but MSU is recruiting at Lloyd-lite levels, which could be a war with Michigan's talent level over the last half decade, but if we really start recruiting consistently would turn the series to one more like Iowa (with more wins than that for MSU just because of the rivalry).

DoubleB

April 18th, 2012 at 11:52 PM ^

And I think what Dantonio defenders are saying is that it doesn't really matter. Dantonio has developed MSU into a very good PROGRAM. Players are well coached and developed. He recruits to his plan and system and because of that he can find guys that aren't 4-stars that the program can make into better players than their recruiting rankings. He wasn't getting all world players when Michigan struggled to get them either.

It doesn't mean MSU will beat Michigan the next 5 years or that Michigan won't make it harder for MSU to win the B1G, but I don't think MSU is going away either.

M-Wolverine

April 19th, 2012 at 3:05 PM ^

Hasn't shown it can beat teams with really elite talent levels. Or frankly, even compete with them. They're not going to become a bad team because their talent levels aren't going to drop, and they're not going to start coaching badly there. But in their best years they haven't shown they can compete with Alabama or good Ohio State teams.  They've only had two years of being good, but the other evidence is worse.So if Meyer and Hoke are recruiting lights out, MSU has shown nothing that says they can compete on that level. If Michigan falls back to recruiting well, but not great, or MSU can make recruiting strides at the same time there are powerhouses cleaning up in their two primary states, then there will probably be similar results to the last couple of years.

DoubleB

April 19th, 2012 at 11:36 PM ^

They haven't played a "good" Ohio State team since 2008 in Dantonio's 2nd year. They've played 3 very competitive games with the Big Ten's Rose Bowl rep the last two years, winning 2 of them (and they may have been underdogs in all 3 games). They just beat the SEC East champion in a bowl game (and Georgia does recruit at a high level).

How many "high-level" recruiting teams have they played the last few years? 

"But in their best years they haven't shown they can compete with Alabama."

Who has? Bama and LSU were 10 points better than everyone else last year. Alabama runs the best program in the country and by a pretty good margin. There aren't many teams not getting torched by those guys.

Roachgoblue

April 18th, 2012 at 3:59 PM ^

Rich Rod was an idiot that won in a shitty conference with one athlete. He can't coach defense and isn't smart enough to fire a terrible DC. Our team out played themselves by miles last year. Spartans can't always win by playing dirty, and our team will be better. Their time ends this year. I am pessimistic, and a doubter usually. I am very confident that karma and a kick ass coach will kick their green asses. F U Mark!

Smash Lampjaw

April 18th, 2012 at 3:54 PM ^

My dog faces this procedure tomorrow morning. It will cost $4,000, and I am told to expect the other knee to need the procedure in the near future. He is family, no doubt, but does it violate the guidelines here to ask  for comments about the morality of this? This is not as bad as my cat's vet, who wanted to fly him to California for a transplant.

JeepinBen

April 18th, 2012 at 4:00 PM ^

I've met dogs without either ACL and they get along fine, I've heard the "take" rate on dog ACL repairs is only about 50% too. but this is mostly from an owner of a dog without ACLs (not my dog). She didn't run much, but she was a happy dog otherwise.

GoWings2008

April 18th, 2012 at 4:17 PM ^

This is true, I had the same thought.  But it does come down to, after owning several dogs in my life time, if the dog is happy without the surgery and has a good quality of life, forgo the procedure.  If its in pain and can't live without it...a difficult decision has to be made.  Either fork up the dough or not...all depends on, imo, if the surgery is "elective" or necessary.