This Week in the Twitterverse takes a look at the social media happenings of the previous week, or whatever else I feel like talking about. Mostly I make fun of people who are better at things than I am. No purchase necessary, void where prohibited. Consult your doctor if this column lasts more than four hours. If you come across anything you think should be in next week's column, send it to @Bry_Mac.
The (fourth of like eleven steps toward the) Handpocalypse is nigh, and Michigan fans are joyous. The Victors Valiant are among Da'Shawn Hand's top three, and presumed co-frontrunner Virginia Tech was, shockingly, not. There has been much red wine sipping and golf-clapping. The finest cheese plates have been prepared, and nary a glee club sits silent.
But lo, while this son of Virginia has brought sunshine to our glorious summer, fresh snows have fallen unto the winter of Blacksburg's discontent. And if there is one thing we know about recruiting, it's that fans can't help themselves when this kind of thing happens. They flock like the swallows of Capistrano to the intertubes and share their angst with the wind. So, let's check in on these poor Hokies as they rage against the dying of the light:
Like always, these grown men have no perspective, and are berating an innocent...wait, wut?
Seriously, THIS is the worst thing I found:
Bravo, Hokies. Other than the whole “tweeting at recruits” thing we talk about every week (to summarize: DON’T), this is pretty good behavior. I don't know if this is because you guys actually have some perspective, or because Da'Shawn Hand lives near you and he could consume your soul and shed a double-team at the same time. Either way, I applaud your reasonable and measured response, especially given how big a gut-punch this must have been.
Maybe we've turned a corner on the Internet, and from now on we oh, never mind, here's a bunch of people being racist about a Mexican-American kid singing the national anthem before NBA Finals Game 3.
Didn't we almost have it all, Twitter...
[ed-S: After the break: APR scores released, Michigan rivals hail attendance-based metric, fail at algebra and reading comprehension]
The Annual How-Good-Is-Your-School-at-Being-Good-at-School (or "APR") scores came out this week, and once again, Ohio State trounced Michigan.
The people at Gold Bond would be proud
It wasn't even close. Out of 1000 possible points, Ohio State scored a 984, and Michigan carded a paltry 951. Ohio State, therefore, is 33 points better at school than Michigan. Michigan was DEAD LAST in the Big Ten. 12th out of 12 at doing learning. And whooooo boy, they couldn't wait to tell everyone about it:
There are just two teeny tiny technical caveats on which Michigan fans can hang their dunce caps. The first is that APR is in no way intended to rate academic goodness. Like, at all. It's a measurement of how well schools are keeping their athletes enrolled and academically eligible. Keep your kid in school and keep ‘em from failing, and you're golden. Doesn't matter if your school is universally regarded as being world-class, or if your athletes take classes like Golf or AIDS Awareness or Golf Awareness to stay eligible, or if you just change players’ grades to make them look good. An honor roll nuclear engineer with a minor in world domination is worth exactly as much as a guy scraping out a C- average in the easiest courses. Attrition is a bigger risk than failure, so schools with a lot of turnover will end up with lower scores. But retention and eligibility are good, so whatever.
The second and more salient point is that the numbers these Buckeyes are citing are four-year rolling averages. If you look at the most recent scores, you'll see a slightly different story [warning: Freep link]: Michigan football finished with a very respectable 981. OSU's 970 was third to last in the Big Ten. Michigan's single year basketball APR was 980, while Ohio State's 957 was second to last in the B1G. In other words, Michigan beat OSU this year. But because OSU had a better score in previous years, they won this year, too.
Bad news, Michigan fans. Apparently we live in a world where we judge all things by four-year rolling averages. You may have thought Michigan beat Michigan State last year, but in reality they lost a hard-fought game 24.5 to 15.75. They also barely avoided an embarrassing loss to Iowa, squeaking through with a 28.5 - 27.25 win (I mean seriously, can you imagine losing to THAT team? At HOME?). On the bright side, though, they beat national runner-up Notre Dame 26.75 - 25.5, and the basketball team won two NCAA tournament games. So, all in all, about an average year.
[ED: I can't believe I forgot the ultimate authority on the subject:
In doubly-related news…
Michigan continues to recruit kids who cross at the crosswalk, take all tests with an approved #2 pencil, and refer to everyone over the age of 23 as “sir” or “ma’am.” But as much as kids talk about academics, it’s easy to smirk a little bit when you hear Da’Shawn Hand’s claims about the importance of academics. After all, this guy probably isn’t going professional in something other than sports. There’s a really, really, really good chance that he is going professional in something that is very much sports. But then again:
Those are some pretty damn good grades, but look at those classes. Dude is a junior taking Calc, not to mention Civil Engineering and Chem. It is also worth noting that he got an A in advanced weight training, which, yeah. I feel really bad for the other people in that class if it was graded on any sort of curve. Oh, you just benched 180? Da’Shawn just made an origami frog out of 1/8” sheet metal. It jumps and everything. But good for you.
This does bring me to my one concern about Michigan’s recruiting, and that is the complete lack of character concerns. Brian has touched on it recently, but in case you haven’t noticed, all the kids MIchigan is bringing in are earning rave reviews for their off-the-field character. They all have good grades and gold stars for good behavior. They don’t get in trouble. And while during the season that seems like a blessing, it is also extremely boring. As long as the walls of Fort Schembechler remain high and impenetrable, if no one is going to be getting into trouble, what the hell are we supposed to talk about during the offseason?
Recruiting has been largely completed by early summer these days. We can only speculate about depth charts so many times. The MGoBoard will be inundated with inane chatter and/or obsession about the remaining few elite recruiting targets. Would chatter about a potential academically ineligible player be the worst thing? If a player gets caught peeing on a frat house or something, that would give us at least a week of speculation and conversation. I fear for the big picture, ya know?
The guy that Sam Webb called the “Robin to Greg Mattison’s Batman” when it comes to recruiting, Roy Manning, is settling nicely into his new role. He is also among the only coaches who do this whole “technology” thing. Jeff Hecklinski (@JeffHecklinski), Darrell Funk (@DarrellFunk), and Dan “Why don’t you go by Lou” Ferrigno (@CoachFerrigno) all have Twitter accounts, but none of them are exactly active in the social media scene. Manning, though, seems to be hitting his stride
Not to nitpick, but very few of those M's look regulation. PROTECT THE BRAND, MAN.
At some point, we may need to do an MGoVine competition, because again, long boring drama-free offseasons.
Crootin ain’t easy
The risk of a coach being embarrassed on the recruiting trail has always existed. A recruit can conduct a traditional interview in which he accuses a coach of almost crying like a little baby, and it can gain some traction. But with social media, you get a written record that makes it really hard for coaches to deny their shaming. For example, if you’re a Louisville coach (like, for example, Ron Dugan) making a run at a Kentucky commitment (like, for example, 4-star DE Denzel Ware), this kind of conversation might be made public for all to see:
Or if you are a coach at Florida (like, for example, Joker Phillips), and you do one too many stupid things (like, for example, posting one too many ridiculous photoshops), you might be very publicly rebuked:
Okay, so that’s probably not about photoshops. But those things are still awful.