Ohio's 2013 Recruiting Class

Coach Urban Meyer knows how to put together a recruiting class. We take a look and see what he has so far.

2012 and 2013 Recruiting Rankings - Offense

Michigan's 2012 and 2013 offensive recruiting rankings.

2012 and 2013 Recruiting Rankings - Defense

Take an inside look at Michigan's promising defensive 2012 and 2013 recruiting classes.

A Look at ND's 2013 Commits

How does ND's recruiting class look so far?

"The State" of Michigan State's Recruiting in 2013

A closer look at MSU's verbal commitments in 2013...

How Early Could Lewan Go in the 2013 Draft?

Many think the first round.

Shane Morris Gets Elite 11 Invite

Future Michigan QB showed his potential at the Elite 11 Camp in Columbus.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Weekly Grab Bag is Not Good at Predicting Stuff

¡Viva 2014!

The football and basketball teams are undefeated in 2014! The football team has yet to play, but don't hold that against them. C'mon, seriously. Let it go. I need this. Anyway, the basketball team went 8-0 in January, which also means they're 8-0 in the B1G and sit atop the conference standings like Bo Ryan perched atop Mount Crumpit.
Then he slunk to the icebox...*SLUUUNK*
Amidst this year's inaugural month: Nik Stauskas has solidified himself as a top-3 player in the league, Derrick Walton has begun to expand his feet into the waffle-stompers Trey Burke left behind, and the team boasts the league's #1 Offense WITHOUT Mitch McGary.
Yeah, it was a good month. I'm posting this before the game at Indiana today, so here's hoping 2014's majesty upon the fruited plain continues.

However, Stauskas's improved play offers the distinct possibility that the the 2014-2015 MBB outfit will look fairly depleted at first glance.
Departures: F/C Jordan Morgan (RS SR), F Glenn Robinson III (SO), F/C Mitch McGary (SO), G/F Nik Stauskas (SO)
Additions: F Kameron Chatman, F/C Ricky Doyle, G/F Austin Hatch, F D.J. Wilson

I've been wrestling with myself over how to feel about this. Nik will only get better, and he's showing that he can ball with the best at a consistently high level. I'd say he's gone. I think Mitch could benefit from a full, solid year in college, especially since he'd most likely be the focal point on both ends of the floor next year. On the other hand, I can totally see him leaving and getting picked late in the first round, spending a couple years providing energy off the bench for a good team, then emerging as a dominant Large Puppy in 2017. GR3 is still a damn mystery to me, man. Landmark potential, Cedar Village results thus far, at least in terms of consistency and dominance. For every OMG dunk, there's a possession where he could TOTALLY put the ball on the floor, drive the lane, and elicit this reaction on like, an every-other-play-at-least basis. IDK, man.

For the sake of argument, let's say they're all gone next year. John Beilein still returns Caris Levert, Zak Irvin, Spike Albrecht, Jon Horford, Max Bielfeldt, and a sophomore point guard in Derrick Walton. Y'all might not remember, but sophomore point guards do pretty solid under ol' J-Bones. In addition, Redshirt Freshman Mark Donnal will presumably take his place as Big Man in a John Beilein Offense and, along with Horford, Bielfeldt, and possibly Ricky Doyle, make up for the loss of McGary Points. Wilson and Chatman should provide immediate impact as well.

So, that's the potential loss of 4 pretty monumental players in recent Michigan history, but Beilein has shown he can not only recruit talent, but develop it. I mean...we all DEFINITELY figured we'd lose Trey Burke + Timmy Hardaway and turn it around into the best Big Ten start since the bicentennial.
"AND ANOTHER THING: BANANAS ARE AN EXCELLENT SOURCE OF POTASSIUM, DADGUMMIT"
[Thanks MGoBlog for the .gif]

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Weekly Grab Bag Becomes a Thing, Bellows a Mighty Victory Screech

Firstest and Foremostest:

Like most other faux-important persons/liars in this world, I'm very busy during the week. Thus, "Weekly Grab Bag" is my concerted effort to put out at least one piece per week, every Sunday if this all goes according to plan (it won't).

TITLE BREAKDOWN: 'Weekly' derives from the Old English 'wice' [which is generally associated with a change or alteration of some antiquated time measurement, like lunar cycles] and the Old English suffix 'lic' [meaning "having qualities of]. 'Grab Bag' means grab bag. A hypothetical bag whence we might grab topics of discussion. Not sure why I have to explain this to you, you're an Internet-using adult, go figure it out.

WHAT'S THE POINT, VENTURA?

Pictured: me blogging, Internet-style.
Only this: I won't be able to cover things in-depth and with what some would consider "proper vocational training" like the pros at, say, mgoblog or Maize n Brew - both of whom provide excellent analysis, information, and reporting, as well as some stylistic influence for yours truly.
So, I'll do things like cover the general goings-on from the past week, or do a thinkpiece (read: stinkpiece) about some issue, or rant about a sports thing/stuff that concerns or entertains me, or something completely non-sports related because sports seriously aren't everything, you guys, or, y'know, anything encompassed by that all-encompassing Grab Bag phrase.

And away...we......GO

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Dr. Sportslove, Or How I Learned to Stop Being a Trixie Blarston on the Internet and Love Myself

Foreword:

A little about myself: I am 22 years old, soon to be 23. From roughly 6th grade to about halfway through 9th grade, I generally kept my hair in a style commonly known as 'afro.' It was glorious and hellacious and questionable and tasteful all at once, perfectly befitting the typhoon of prepubescent chagrin known as Middle School. I have been using the internet consistently since roughly the age of 9, which is a bizarre thing to consider. I'm good at reading, writing, and mowing lawns, and I'm as a rule bad at almost* all sports.

For this hindmost reason, I enjoy watching others be good at sports: football, basketball, World's Strongest Man, wrestling (AKA competitive Horsin' Around), Miss America, competitive eating (isn't all eating competitive, at a primal level?), and, of course, Rollerblading. You're lying and simultaneously spitting on your dead ancestors with gingivitis-y saliva if you don't miss rollerblading. I digress.

*-I say "almost" because my backhand in tennis will drive a 6.7cm diameter hole directly through your hopes and dreams, leaving you a crippled mass to question why you ever agreed to this tennis match, idiot


Prologue

My point, and the point of this particular piece, is this: there comes a separation between those performing an act of athletic/competitive prowess and those spectating said act. Once upon a pre-Internet dream, this separation was very pronounced and understood. "Those people can do a fantastic thing with their minds and bodies, and, though they might sometimes fail at it, I respect them for it nonetheless. Hey, let's go churn butter or whatever people used to do for fun," people used to say, probably.

Now, though, through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, et al, the Keyboard Kings have risen, immediate offspring of the Couch Coaches of yore, first of their name. People increasingly feel it is their duty - nay, their Gawrd-given right - to cut down, chew up, and spit on Warriors of Sport(s). "Hey, that man didn't do the thing I wanted him to do! The universe is centered on my own will and happiness, and for this person to fail at an arbitrary recreational event is inexcusable on a level comparable to genocide. I will let him know directly, post-haste!" they say, as flecks of chicken wing launch from their wobbly visages, coating the computer screens and keyboards upon which their fat fingers attempt to type hastily written nuggets of unwarranted vitriol and contempt.

Don't get me wrong. Insofar as interaction with professional athletes is concerned, I wouldn't presume to tell grown adults that they shouldn't/can't interact with other grown adults on the beautifully haunting Internet fairy monster. I disagree wholly with the idea, but hey, whatever loafs your meat, pal. This, by the way, does not apply to sports administrators, against whom I am personally guilty of rallying:
When the matter concerns high school and college athletes, however...well, friend, it appears that we have an issue. So, without further ado, I present to you

The FerGodSakes Fan Guide to Interacting with High School Recruits and College Athletes

Chapter 1

The less you do, the more you do.
Simple as that, you guys. I don't think I should have to explain why you shouldn't be mean online to a 17-year old kid who's trying to make monumental life decisions about both his academic and athletic future while simultaneously dealing with a cornucopia of possible issues - a social life, family turmoil, emotional instability, and everything else that is part of the basic package you get when you order 'Being a Teenager in America.'

After the jump, however, is Chapter 2

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

In Which I Argue Myself, Smeagol-Gollum Style, Into Believing We'll Win OR Lose to Fredo Corleone*

Cinematic history's most inept lil' bruh
-So, this week we have a bye week. We can't lose a bye week, right?
Stupid, fat millenialses. What's bye weeks, precious?

-You couldn't possibly respond as Gollum this whole time...right?
Oh yes we could!

-Over my dead body.
Give it to us rrrrrraw, and wrrrrrrigling.

-Alright, this is getting weird. Besides, this was supposed to be a "Godfather" comparison.
We must rid us of ourselves first, precious.
 
[I'm blasting this full volume at a coffee shop in hopes of scaring off the weaker-willed patrons]


*-Yes, I realize that Fredo is, technically and chronologically, Michael's older brother, which throws a bit of a cog into this allegory's potential if I intend to represent UM as Michael and MSU as Fredo, which I do. However, I don't think anyone would argue that Fredo was emotionally or psychologically older than Michael. Therefore, if you're seriously going to get that hung up on it, please coat yourself in seal blood and wade into the ocean**, because you're ruining everyone's good time.

**-That was kind of mean. Don't actually do that. But maybe definitely stop being ~that~ guy. Or ~that~ girl (FerGodSakes: harbinger of equality in the college football blogosphere)

Stop stalling.

-Sorry.

[After the jump, I eventually decide that we'll win. Or lose. No, win. NO, LOSE. NO WAIT-]

Monday, October 21, 2013

"Oh THERE you are, Offense!" [Indiana Game Reaction]

MICHIGAN [6-1 (2-1)] defeats INDIANA [3-4 (1-2)], 63-47

Young (Michigan Alum) David Alan Grier?
Pictured: Michigan Offense, rediscovered

First off, this reference to Spielberg's "Hook" (1991), a landmark achievement in Giant Crocodile cinema technology, was not at all random, and will be of use later in this piece. 

SECOND STAR TO THE RIGHT, THEN STRAIGHT ON 'TIL MORNING: