Unverified Voracity Discovers The Axe Effect Comment Count

Brian February 20th, 2012 at 2:53 PM

The weekend. Via MGoVideo:

The Axe effect. Remember these guys?


Since they executed the above, Michigan is 18-7 in the Big Ten. Thanks Axe guys! Thanks, Tony Gerdeman! (Attention Tony: please don't do that again in the next couple weeks. Ace's blood will be on your hands.)

A brief digression into faulty math. By the way, Gerdeman, your numbers are horsecrap since they include a bunch of players who list offers from Michigan who Michigan had ceased recruiting. No one buys your head fake about Tommy Schutt when you include a guy (Pittman) who tried to commit to M and was rebuffed plus a bunch of OL Michigan had moved on from by the time Meyer was hired. 2012 head to head Meyer wins: Armani Reeves. End of list.

Of course, the head to head thing is beside the point. Ohio State is always going to win most of its recruting battles with Michigan because most of them will be for Ohio kids. This has not prevented Michigan from being good at football.

And this will be the future. Via WH, the future of the M-MSU rivalry if recruiting keeps going like this:

Look at the mauling on the line. Also cough cough infinite Desmond Howard bubble screens.

The bracket of storyline. Lunardi's latest has Michigan on the three line playing the Drexel Dragons in the first round. After that, the bracket is all storylines:

  • If high seeds win the second round opponent would be Notre Dame
  • Hypothetical Sweet 16 matchups would be against Duke (played earlier, semi-rival), San Diego State (Steve Fisher), or Alabama (footbaw matchup).

He's got us in Nashville right now; Marquette is the protected seed in the other Columbus pod. I'd hope we land either there or Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, Northwestern fans are pointing at tomorrow's game as perhaps their make-or-break moment for a first-ever NCAA bid. Bill Carmody is scoffing at the idea this is the biggest game in program history. Welsh-Ryan will be hyped.

Five star bump. Glenn Robinson is getting one. He's #1 on a recent Rivals list of the top ten players likely to move up when Rivals releases its final 2012 basketball rankings:

1. Glenn Robinson III
School: St. John (Ind.) Lake Central
The Buzz: The 6-foot-7 wing was knocking on the door of five-star status coming out of the summer. This winter, he appears to be well on his way to busting that door down. He has size, a complete game and high level athleticism that all translates at a high level. His impact at Michigan should be immediate and sizable.

Someone learned their lesson about John Beilein's talent evaluation skills after dropping Burke in their final rankings last year.

Brief position paper on "chink in the armor." ESPN fired the staffer who wrote the headline and suspended the anchor that spoke it aloud, causing some folks to question the inconsistency. I think it's the right call: a headline is something that is written down and considered. More importantly, it is also a place where double meanings and puns are crammed in as often as possible. A headline invites you to read it in all ways possible. If the staffer is too dumb to know this, he should be fired. If he's not, he should be fired.

The anchor probably should have gotten off with nothing other than a clarification that he was using the "chink in the armor" idiom in a way that is completely natural. They're talking about a big hole (turnovers) in Jeremy Lin's game. The idiom fits that conversation like a glove. These days a lot of folk use "unfortunate" to mean "awful" but in this case it is appropriate: the anchor's choice of words was unfortunate but not offensive.

How they do it. This Sporting News article on a mock bracket selection various members of the media went through is a fascinating insight into how the sausage gets made:

They stressed, time and time again, that there must be a way to organize the data — a true, valid point — and the RPI is just the way they chose. The relationship with the RPI dates back to 1981, when it was first used to provide “supplemental data” for the evaluation of potential at-large teams. As individuals, committee members have access to whatever ratings are available — including but not limited to the Pomeroy ratings, the Sagarin ratings and the LRMC results. But, the fact of the matter is everything dealing with ratings that was provided to the media members in the mock exercise was filtered through the RPI. The team sheets showed records vs. RPI top-50 teams, vs. teams ranked 51-100 in the RPI and so on. The RPI isn’t the gold standard and it might not even necessarily be the preferred ranking, but it’s the way the NCAA chooses to organize the information, so it’s definitely the most front-and-center data.

I think the committee generally does a good job at picking out serious RPI outliers; at points where they disagree with Kenpom seriously I tend to side with the committee. That Wisconsin bank shot last year was devastating because the committee mostly considers wins and losses. If it was just an infinitesimal hit to Michigan's defensive rating a lot of the drama gets sucked out of the season. Kenpom is designed to be predictive, which is not necessarily the best model for making a bracket that makes the sport entertaining.

Kovacs! Jordan Kovacs headlines Andy Staples's all-two-star (and under) team:

S Jordan Kovacs, Sr., Michigan (Zero stars in Class of 2008): Kovacs, another walk-on who came out of nowhere, joins Whaley as a co-captain. I first wrote about Kovacs in 2009 after he filled in admirably during the Wolverines' win against Notre Dame. Since then, Kovacs has developed into one of the Big Ten's best safeties. The kid who made the team from a student-body tryout has started 33 games, and he still has one more season to play.

Patrick Omameh and Nathan Brink also feature. Get your fill of this stuff now, because Michigan is about to be a rumor to this annual exercise.

Also let's keep the RR walk-on program going strong, yes? Even in a year where Michigan has a lot of guys on the line a Heininger would have ended up being a useful rotation piece. Kovacs starts on damn near every Michigan D in the past 20 years.

In your head. Michigan's weekend got not one but two coaching-type guys on the OSU staff to indirectly reference it. First someone who seems like their Singletary equivalent:

Slow and steady wins the race

And then:

Old coach told me one time... Don't trust false enthusiasm. Don't worry, I'm not. I trust @markpantoni

Again with the "these guys don't really mean to commit to Michigan." I'm sure it's an accident, yes. Don't forget "long way to signing day."

Program culture. Beilein on his seniors and the baseline they've established:

"I think in recruiting, people don’t understand the part about those four years, how much better they’ll get if they have really good work habits. Their work habits have not only made them better, it’s made the rest of our team better. Trey Burke comes into the gym and he sees Stu or Zack working extra before or working extra afterwards, he then realizes well, that’s what I’m supposed to do, and he’s always done that. But if he came in and saw two seniors that were late for practice or complaining about practice or didn’t work in the off-season, he may go more toward that way. They’ve helped us create a culture here that I hope is everlasting."

I cut the evaluators a break there because that's impossible to judge. Also it's not like a bunch of colleges were banging down Douglass's and Novak's doors. In any case, the point about the work ethic of the program is one that looms large in the aftermath of the Lee/Merritt departures blowing up the program. I think Burke will be a guy who helps keep that around this time. Morgan, too.

Etc.: SI declares the Big Ten the best conference in college basketball. DGDestroys has a miraculously-still-relevant recruiting post from before the weekend about the WR recruiting landscape. Surprise: Gordon Gee says something dumb.



February 20th, 2012 at 3:22 PM ^

"I'm disappointed in the fact that — what they did, I mean to coach Tressel, they took his job and put him five years out of football … for what should have been a hand slap and a retention of the job. I don't think it was all together done in the right way or was the right punishment.

Makes you start to wonder how dirty Ohio was during the Bruce years. If that's his attitude about what Tressel did, what type of ethical standards did he have as a coach?

San Diego Mick

February 21st, 2012 at 2:38 AM ^

After thinking about it for a minute, I do recall Tress worked for Bruce in the mid 80's, so it doesn't surprise me at all that he would say something like that.

It really has to make you wonder how corrupt that school in ohio has been for decades maybe. I don't know about Hayes but he did punch a guy in the face, I was watching that game and he had quite a few thuggish players go through his system like Tatem.

Then Bruce got there and now I question his integrity, then you had Cooper, who knows what that guy was up to then Tressel, nuff said and now Urban the jailer and lord knows what else that guy is.

Seems like ohio has been more corrupt over the years than any of us might have ever really thought. If I was an ohio fan I would be very concerned, however I'm a U-M fan so I guess I'm too sensible to be an ohio fan.

Darth Wolverine

February 20th, 2012 at 3:21 PM ^

I made the ill-advised mistake of perusing some of the comments on the Ozone site that Brian linked us to and my GOD those people are delusional. I also love how they think now. If a player wasn't offered by Ohio, that means he isn't good enough. I'm sure they would love to have all these four-star guys Michigan is reeling in.


February 20th, 2012 at 4:33 PM ^

The Ozone scares me.  I didn't read it.  Especially after I heard the 12-1 "stat".

It's hard these days to figure out what a real head to head battle is.  Both UM and OSU staffs give out offers like they're candy.  Nobody really knows what's real and what's not.  That's not how things were back the the Carr/Tressel days, making it easier to figure out actualy battles.

As others have said, the only "true" battle that I can think of has been Armani.  An out of state recruit who had offers from both, and visits to both schools.  I'm sure we'll see more of those later, but I don't consider any of these early commits (be it to Michigan, or Ohio State), to be real recruiting battles.

I'm actually more interested in the effect Meyer and Hoke are having on the second tier of Big Ten schools, like MSU and Illinois, than silly arguments between OSU and UM fans about who's class is better.

Where does MSU get recruits if the top 20 Ohio recruits all go to OSU and Michigan and Michigan dominates in state?

Can Illinois ever be good without any top Illinois recruits?  Does Beckman dip into the second tier of Ohio recruits?  Does that hurt MSU even more?

Will Penn State cede Western PA to Ohio State? 

Will Nebraska no longer get recruits from TX?  Can they make up for that with Ohio and Illinois recruits?


February 20th, 2012 at 3:47 PM ^

Maybe the past 10 years.  Shonte Peoples (prior to him going on a shooting spree in A2), Marcus Ray, Dwayne Patmon, and Tommy Hendricks (all multi-year starters as SS in the 1990s) would strongly argue otherwise.


February 20th, 2012 at 4:06 PM ^

Ray: 1x All-American, 2x All-Big Ten
Patmon: I believe he played FS, in addition he didn't start every game in any of his years on campus.
Hendricks: 1x All-Big Ten, similar starting record to Kovacs.

I was a little young, and too much of a hockey nerd, to even know what a SS was when any of these guys were on campus, but Kovacs has similar honors to two of the three you listed. That would potentially lead to him starting 16/17/18 out of the last twenty years, which is basically what Brian was saying.


February 20th, 2012 at 4:39 PM ^

Started 10 games at SS on the 1998 squad (Marcus Ray started the other 3 at SS).  He also started 8 games at FS on the 1999 squad (the other 4 were started by Cato June, another player that would, IMO, that Kovacs could not have supplanted at either position).

My point is only that Kovacs likley would not have played on most of Michigan's defenses in the 1990's.  Love the guy to death, but that's just my opinion.  From 1991 to 1999, Michigan simply didn't have the problems at safety that plauged the program in the 2000's.


February 20th, 2012 at 3:50 PM ^

Yeah, michigan cooled on the guys who didn't commit right?  I know for a fact Pittman wouldn't have gone there.  The whole "he tried to commit and we turned him down" is laughable beyond comprehension.  Yeah, you turned down Schutt and Pittman, but took some fat no name kid out of Glenville instead...haha.  Suuure ya did.


February 20th, 2012 at 4:01 PM ^

But I think I lost a couple dozen IQ points reading the comments on that OSU blog.

If we keep recruiting like we are, that won't be the future of M-MSU....there's no way they score 28 points the way we're recruiting on defense.

On the ESPN announcer, I haven't seen the clip, so I'll reserve judgment. I'd like to see his reaction shot. There's a big difference between using a common phrase, and having it slip out in an inappropriate context that would be fine in other situations (see - Golf-Tiger Woods-lynch). It's another to try and be cute and throw something out using a play on words, ignorantly.  The way it was said could change the context, for the better or worse.  (It also might be on point whether the headline online came out before or after...if they had already pulled it, ESPN on a whole should have been on high alert).

And has anyone on Hoke's staff ever commented about anyone else's recruiting without being asked? Telling.

Sione's Flow

February 20th, 2012 at 4:34 PM ^

Obviously Meyer is telling his staff, that they can get the kids to tsiO if they want to.  I think they might be surprised, when non of our commits flip.  I think everyone in Coslumbus is going to see a different side of Meyer, when he's getting outcoached by Hoke and Bielma consistently.    The excuses flying out of that place will nothing short of astonishing.  First it'll be loss of scholarships, then it'll be the refs are biased, because Meyer coached in the SEC, then it'll be some more idiotic shit, all because they don't want to admit that Gee and Smith hired Meyer thinking success would automatically follow.  The didn't take into account Dave Brandon hiring a man, who absolutely lives to beat Ohio.  I think Brady Hoke wouldn't mind going 3-9 every year as long as we beat ND, state, and ohio.


February 20th, 2012 at 5:06 PM ^

Gerdeman's become gradually unhinged as we've gotten better. It was pretty easy for him to be fairly equanimous on his Michigan Monday columns during the RichRod/Tressel years because we were not on Ohio's level and everyone knew it, so he could toss out platitudes like free tatts. You kinda saw that early on this season when we clearly hadn't gotten our sea legs under us, but midway through, he came up with the bit about how only 3 of our guys would start on an all-star team composed of Wolverines and Buckeyes, and then the bit about Meyer dominating Hoke head-to-head.

He's not completely deluded; I think he's just trying to pander to his base and throw them some red meat. Still glad that Brian fisked Gerdeman on his fatuous claims.

Zone Left

February 20th, 2012 at 8:56 PM ^

So basically the Brady Hoke plan is to recreate Gary Moeller's best teams, right? I'm totally okay with it, but I just want to be clear that's the plan.

The last 35ish recruits to commit to Michigan are basically half the 1991 team on paper minus Desmond Howard.

The FannMan

February 20th, 2012 at 10:59 PM ^

I was at that game.  It was one hell of drunked road trip.  I do remember the Desmond catch to go up 14-0.  The Spartys were in awe.  Someone in front of us turned to my buddy and I and asked " He caught that?  Are you kidding me?"  We told him that Desmond had made plenty of better catches and that was pretty average for him.  We were not joking.  

Edit - the Best Weekend Ever video is tremendous.  That's what it is.