If you were negative recruiting against Michigan today....what would you say?

Submitted by mGrowOld on February 4th, 2012 at 9:05 AM

There has been much talk recently on the board and in the media in general about the whole negative recruiting issue.  Many of the kids we actively recruited said that Hoke did not engage in this tactic while many of those same players reported that other coaches they met with did.   Lets face it - recruiting at its core is simply sales.  The salesman (Head Coach) trying to "sell" the recruit on the virtues of signing on the line that is dotted (I'm looking at you Alec Baldwin) so they will attend your school and play in your program for the next 4-5 years.  And having spent the better part of the last 30 years of my career in sales and sales management I can definitely tell you there are two schools of thought regarding negative selling.

School #1 states you NEVER mention your competition during your sales pitch.  That the merits of your offering should be enough to sway the buyer and besides, why waste your valuable time with the client talking about the other guy.  This would seem to be the current Hoke approach.

School #2 believes if you can clearly identify your opponent you go for the throat and use whatever means necessary to discredit their value in the eyes of the buyer.  Turn on the TV or radio during an election and you'll see first hand this approach in all its negative glory.  Coaches negative recruiting against us in the past used Carr's health (allegedly) and RR's potential termination as means of negative recruiting against Michigan's potential players.

But what about today?  What could you say if your were head up against Michigan and were going negative?  About the only thing I could think you could use was our poor NFL draft showing recently.  Auburn, for example, if going negative in the battle for Diamond, could point to a very strong NFL presence in the last few drafts while we have no one since Brandon Graham drafted very high.  And the reasons don't really matter nor does the number of players we used to place high in the draft under Carr.  We have done poorly recently in grooming players for the NFL and I wonder if that isn't a big underlying reason why we are losing out on some of these last big name recruits.

What do you think?



February 4th, 2012 at 9:13 AM ^

For an SEC school against any B1G school:
<br>- girls
<br>- weather
<br>- Big Ten sucks
<br>- $$$$$
<br>- more girls
<br>- essssss eeeee seeeee
<br>- $$$$$


February 4th, 2012 at 9:14 AM ^

Michigan is in the Big Ten and the conferences recent bowl record leaves a lot to be desired. ESPN also has done a great job of making public opinion think that any conference other than the SEC and USC is inferior and not capable of winning anything. Until the Big Ten has a couple great bowl records along with a National Championship I think many coaches can use that to discredit Michigan and the other schools in the Big Ten.


February 4th, 2012 at 9:15 AM ^

The analogy between negative recruiting and negative campaign adds is wrong. Negative campaign adds tend to keep independent voters from voting and bolster the confidence of those that hold the same views as the campaign that puts out the ads.


February 4th, 2012 at 9:26 AM ^

I was using the election analogy to demonstrate the reasons why people "go negative" in any medium rather than the specifics of voting behavior.   Despite public backlash against the tactic we see it over and over in a variety of arenas for one simple reason - it's effective in achieving one's objective.


February 4th, 2012 at 10:12 AM ^

People think that the objective is to sway voters to a side. Thus, they liken negative recruiting to negative campaign ads. I'll agree that most people find negative ads/recruiting objectionable. I just don't think they're comparable with respect to intentions. Which, I thought was your point. I was just using my one post per 6 months( or whatever) to point out that they are not the same, as well as shed light on a common misconception about compaign ads.


February 4th, 2012 at 11:07 AM ^

After mostly lurking, I knew you would respond.
<br>Now, on to the purpose of your post:
<br>Our school is easier
<br>We aren't going to punish you
<br>More recent success
<br>All of the aforementioned
<br>Better competition (real or not)


February 4th, 2012 at 9:16 AM ^

Michigan won't give you anything under the table.  No hostesses, no golden handshakes, no free drugs, beer, or tats.  And they make you do your own school work, too.  They'll kick you out of school if you get arrested for anything worse than DUI, and they won't even let you do more than one of them.  

If you come here to blah blah U, you won't have to worry about the police, either.  We handle everything "in-house."  And even if you get caught, we have the DA in our back pocket.  You can come here and do whatever you want on your way to the NFL, or you can go there and have to follow rules.

the Glove

February 4th, 2012 at 9:22 AM ^

Michigan has not won the conferences since 2004, they have only won 1 bcs bowl game in over a decade, and they haven't competed for a national championship in 15 years.


February 4th, 2012 at 10:10 AM ^

Plus the Big Ten isn't as highly regarded as the SEC. Better teams, better competition, better chance to prepare for the pro game.

If that doesn't work you go for more national night games, better weather, better girls, and $$$.

Almost forgot to add that SEC players have "more chest" according to Les Miles....


February 4th, 2012 at 9:24 AM ^

I've always wondered if some coaches warn kids about how tough UM's academics are as a way to steer recruits away.  I'd imagine a degree from Auburn would be somewhat, ah, easier to attain than one from UM.  


February 4th, 2012 at 9:24 AM ^

Maybe-- "Why would you want to go to a school that has won 42 conference championships? Why not come here and try to build something?". Or "Do you really want to be blue your whole life?"

Right now it is difficult to put a whole lot of negative spin on playing with Denard or playing for the coaches we have.


February 4th, 2012 at 9:27 AM ^

One thing is the offensive style of play.  Our outside receivers haven't put up monster numbers in a few years, and I think other schools have been mentioning this to recruits.


February 4th, 2012 at 9:28 AM ^

If I were negative recruiting, I would use Michigan's performance in the Sugar Bowl. Any recruit interested in Michigan surely watched the game, and let's face it, while Michigan won, they didn't play all that well.  We know injuries played a big role, but recruits probably haven't analyzed it that carefully. With prospective TE's and WR's, I would push the idea that Michigan is a run-first program, doesn't pass that often, and can't pass all that well.  Again, we know the full story, but someone pushing a half truth can get a lot of mileage out of these tactics.

I would say the whole NFL approach you suggested probably plays a role, too.  They might even use Michigan's high academic standards against us, along the lines of, "Do you want to work your ass off in classes, or work on your football skills and get a higher draft rating."


February 4th, 2012 at 12:42 PM ^

players pulled it out.

The defensive game plan was clearly to stop the run (as it was against Ohio State) - betting on a Beamer game plan to keep the ball out of Denards hands rather than go hyper aerial.

Our offense struggled (and I'd love a UFR or some analysis to understand why), and didn't adjust well (like the MSU game). But the players stuck together and never gave up (and Molk risked his future career playing injured) and came out with a win.


February 4th, 2012 at 9:28 AM ^

Too many students with plus 100 IQ's. You know they'll kick you out if you flunk your classes? Come here. We got the diploma all filled out.


February 4th, 2012 at 9:37 AM ^

Not sure on the academic angle.  When I was in school way back from 78-81 there were a LOT of cake classes that existed seemingly for no other reason than lifting ones GPA.  I took a 300 level geology class that was only open to students with departmental approval and had NOTHING but football and basketball players in it other than me and a handful of other "normal" students in it.  We spent the year weighing things and reporting the weights on tests.  Not kidding here.  I think everybody got an A.

Things may have changed since then but I wonder.  The only player of note I can think of getting booted recently was Tate and he flat out just stopped going to classes.  We may be harder than SEC schools but I dont know that it's THAT much harder for the classes a lot of athletes chose to take if all they want to be is academically eligible.


February 4th, 2012 at 11:41 AM ^

I don't know if it's you or me, but in the last couple of months, most of your posts have started making sense...

Let's stop pretending academics plays much of a role in football recruiting.  Take a look at the majors of the football players.  A whole bunch of "general studies" and "kinesiology" majors.  

People also seem to think that somehow, going to an SEC school will somehow make it harder for a player to get a job after graduation.  This is complete nonsense.  A former football player in Alabama, even with an Auburn degree, will have no trouble finding a job assuming they're even mildly compentent.  Once you get your first job, nobody really cares where you went to school.  They only care if you can do the job.

I suspect academics is very low on a recruits priorities.

0. (for maybe 5% of recruits) Money

1. Distance

2. Opportunity to play

2. NFL prospects

4. Girls (this is probably too low)


huge gap

5. Academics 

6. Weather




February 4th, 2012 at 12:02 PM ^

Tate would not have gotten thrown out at Ohio State.  Someone would have covered for him while he was avoiding classes.

It's not that we have some easy classes recruits can take, it's that at some other schools they don't have to take classes at all - easy or hard. 


February 4th, 2012 at 9:33 AM ^

You would have to hit on several things, including perhaps:

 - the recent lack of high NFL draft picks (which is a developmental issue that would probably ring large in the minds of recruits dead set on going pro at some point). 

- relative lack of recent major titles (overall historic performance and bowl record notwithstanding, it's been 15 years since a national title, and almost ten since we won the B1G)

- the recent perception of the B1G as a middling conference (I imagine that the ones that are set on the pros might want to be tested against the perceived "best")

- climate (this might matter to some people - we are the 4th cloudiest state and fall can be bloody damp and winter can be bloody cold)

- the standards (which are high for obvious reasons, academically and otherwise, but you could probably spin that into "You won't be able to commit fully to you game", which again, might sway a few people)

This is not exhaustive, of course, but it is an intriguing introspection. 


February 4th, 2012 at 10:06 AM ^

Definitely agree with all of this....We haven't won a big ten title/national championship in awhile. Also, academics really aren't a concern in my opinion for some of the highly ranked players in the country because most think they will make the NFL someday so they would rather not have to worry about the burdens of having a tough academic career while playing football. I just think that could lead to a lot of stress for some 18-22 year old kids. I could be wrong but since I am 21 I couldn't imagine going to one of the top universities in the country while playing football. It would make life extremely difficult. Weather could be a big thing for recruits from southern states/states out west that people are recruiting, but since a lot of the Midwest kids are used to playing in a colder climate this may not be as big of an issue as dealing with kids from the south. Obviously, some Midwest kids would like to play in warmer climates but they would also have to be further away from home which may be tough for some of these kids to deal with.


February 4th, 2012 at 11:12 AM ^

You wrote: "... recent lack of high NFL draft picks (which is a developmental issue that would probably ring large in the minds of recruits dead set on going pro at some point) ..."

How do you explain Brandon Graham and Jonas Mouton?

Yes, I'm cherry picking there, but I'd say the lack of recent NFL draft picks (Mallet excepted) has more to do with a *lack* of talent rather than talent development. The '05 to '07 classes, in retrospect, look pretty weak. What's frightening is that they may end up looking great compared to the '09 to '11 range.


February 4th, 2012 at 12:11 PM ^

The University of Michigan has more active players in the NFL than any other school.

Let me repeat that:  The University of Michigan has more active players in the NFL than any other school.  That is amazing.  

You can recruit negatively against Michigan NFL-wise for the last couple years only.  Recruits are young and memories are short, but the last couple of years can be easily overcome. 


February 4th, 2012 at 12:38 PM ^

...per ESPN's listings - http://espn.go.com/nfl/college/_/letter/m

That is pretty awesome to basically have half a team in the NFL of just your former players. Listed right below them is MSU with 19. On the same listing, however, Ohio (that Ohio) has 46. 

To be honest, when I wrote my list, I was rather thinking of it in terms of what I would say if the conversation were taking place today. You're right, of course, in a few years, the slight decline might be all but forgotten and it wouldn't be an argument someone could use. 

NOTE: If anyone is interested, Shippensburg and Slippery Rock have made contributions to the NFL, with 2 and 1 listed resepctively.