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, September 28, 2014

The Walking Dead

I used to like that show.

The Walking Dead was a pretty solid show there for a while; compelling characters, motivations, and personality clashes, not to mention a healthy amount of cable TV gore. All the while, though, a durable consistency in strategy and dichotomy: different location each season, viable team members coming and going, and plenty of attention paid to the psychological condition brought on by a Biblical apocalypse.

One might argue that Michigan football was once the same - great coach(es), talented players, fiery toughness (which came via the trickle-down effect, if I knew what that meant), and all the while a consistent, cohesive through-line in regards to the mentality and competitiveness inherent to being part of something greater than oneself.

I don't like that show anymore. 

While we're breaking down this TV-sports metaphor, let me address that there are a myriad of other programs to which I could compare my alma mater's current excuse for a football program: How I Met Your Mother, The Office, the currently socially reprehensible organization that parades itself as the NFL. Nonetheless, The Walking Dead fits in this example mostly because of the massively figurative qualities of its main 'villains': their dead-ness.

Much like the show's titular zombies, Michigan Football is dead, yet moving. And hungry. Michigan football will never truly die, because even when it is no longer living, its minions will still wander the wasteland, desperate for anything; content, merchandise, appearances from members of the Glorious Past, the Great Before, and the Neverending Once Upon a Time.

But this is not life.

The Walking Dead got annoying when its formula became too easily dissected. This season, there will be a NEW place that we basically treat as "home base." There will be a NEW bad guy character, probably! There will be a NEW romantic conflict! There will be a NEW set of OLD characters who DIE from ZOMBIES or WHATEVER fuck you!

Such is Michigan football right now. Every year cannot get worse than the one before. Yet it is paraded as having NEW personnel or NEW confidence gains with a NEW sense of collective self-worth and a NEW offensive and/or defensive scheme that will make the team NEW and feel NEW whatever fuck you!

And every year gets worse than the one before. Every year is a new worst thing. Save for the ever-increasingly enigmatic 2011 season, every year since 2007 has some horrific awfulness: a historically bad defense (2010), a historically bad special teams (pick a year), horrifically mis-handled offense (...pick a year). This year's model easily feels the worst. 135 years of American football without a third loss before October. Imagine literally ANYTHING happening for 135 straight years. Then imagine the HORRENDOUSNESS that comes with breaking the streak of something that was otherwise nonexistent for BOTH OF YOUR GRANDMA'S LIFESPANS COMBINED. HOLY SHIT THE WALKING DEAD IS SO BAD AND STUPID.

I've probably let this comparison get away from me, but the chaos theory reigns supreme and if the subjects about which I write can't be bothered to care, then neither shall I.

The point is this: for all the lame bush league that The Walking Dead became, at least it kept true to how you can take down the bad guys.

Michigan football needs to be eliminated so it can truly cease to be such a sucking, all-consuming, never-resting drag on an otherwise enjoyable life. This zombie of a program will only truly cease (and thus be a candidate for rebirth, if you subscribe to that kind of dogma; whatever, I don't care) if the head is in some way compromised.

The metaphor here is that Brady Hoke and Dave Brandon are the zombie brain that keeps this suppurating black hole alive. Remove the head, and the rest can return to the soil and rise again.

Dave Brandon has consistently stolen the spotlight, like so many ZERO successful Athletic Directors before him, while alienating fans, alumni, and former players alike. Brady Hoke, for all his early "aw, shucks!" likeability, has proven himself overwhelmed, out-coached, and, just recently, wholly ignorant of his players' on-field well-being.

I've spent the past couple years fighting anyone who says Michigan needs to fire Brady Hoke. Fighting them with the swords and brass knuckles of hope. I've been frightened of another godforsaken transition period; I hated it when RichRod transitioned from Lloyd, and I hated it when Brady transitioned from RichRod.

But this next overturning will not be a transition. It will (or at least should) be a house-cleaning. A house cleaning that begins with cleaning the highest of houses, who have for so long dodged housekeeping.

Michigan football will probably suck for at least another several years. I'm fine with that, so long as we don't do it so embarrassingly, with such blind pride and stupidity. It's one thing to become a losing program - it's a whole other beast to become a losing program that goes about such business with wanton disregard for its players, its fans, their respective well-beings.


Oh, right. Yeah. Um...Kill the zombie in the face and end this farcical, fart-sicle excuse for a football program. Dave Brandon and Brady Hoke are not smart enough to realize this and do the right thing, but maybe if enough of us write angry half-baked allegories and post them online, they'll take the hint and remove themselves from our lives.

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.
[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.


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


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


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.


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