For almost all other teams in the Big Ten, yes, stats decreased. Michigan however: 8 - 4 non-conference, or .667, 12 - 3 Big 10, or .800. Apart from being a Michigan fan, I have always thought that it makes sense to schedule difficult teams as part of the non-conference schedule. Playing Duke and Arizona in the non-conference month of December led to losses, but pays dividends in the long run. Izzo at MSU has long been a proponent of scheduling highly ranked opponents. This is also true for football, and OSU has benefited when it plays a more difficult schedule.
I am a Michigan fan, and I want as full of an investigation as possible. If Gibbons (or for that matter, anyone else involved in this affair,) is found guilty, I want to see them held accountable for their actions. Conversely, if they have been falsely accused, I'd like to see their names cleared and the different parties cleared of any charges.
The center of the whole thing is Gibbons and the woman at the party. My own suspicion is that Gibbons was at the very least guilty of bad judgement and inappropriate behavior. Potentially, his actions were worse -- but none of us know the details. The problem is that this kind of event typically reverts to "he said, she said," and a question of "who are you going to believe?" Without witnesses, and with judgement and recollection likely clouded by alcohol, the situation becomes murky. I suspect that Gibbon's expulsion is basically a statement by the University that "we believe you were guilty, but we can't prove it unequivocally in a court of law, so the most we can do is expel you from the University." Having a government investigation, with teeth, seems the best possible thing that can happen to clear things up, if they can be cleared up.
It would be helpful to be able to account for three factors in recruiting rankings:
- Class size.
- Number of top 100 rated recruits.
- How recruits fill needs.
I think most would agree that a class of 12 or 13 stacked with 2 or 3 five star recruits at the top might be more desirable than a class of 26 recruits made up mostly of 2 or 3 stars, with a few 4 stars. Unless you over-recruit (i.e., SEC & Alabama,) you are limited by the number of scholarships available.
I also think that some of the athletes at the very top of a class can have a disproportionate affect on wins & losses. Someone like Clowney is just in a different class. Even among 5 stars, he is a man among boys. As a Michigan fan, the hope is that Peppers is like that. Both the Buckeyes and Wolverines covet Damien Harris for the same reason: a talent like that can make or break a class.
Lastly, you have to really recruit to fill needs across the board. When you do that regularly, and have depth at every position, you can afford to recruit "the best players available." When you lack depth, it is more important to recruit so that you have all positions adequately covered. Because of the learning curve, and the difficulty of predicting the play of future linemen, it is particularly important to maintain depth on both the offensive and defensive lines. What I'm trying to say is a solid 3 or 4 star is more important to a school at a position of need than a 5 star at a position where you have lots of depth. Of course, you always make room for monster players, but the secondary can't cover a substandard DL, nor can an excellent DL compensate for a crummy LB corps.
Ohio has a ton of talented players for Matta to choose from. Michigan was glad to get a few of them in Burke and LeVert, as they both were great fits for the Wolverines.
I'd camp out for good seats . . . if I was an undergrad, with no tests the next day, a good group of friends, and the right camping equipment. Those are the things great memories are made of. Hope they all get great seats.
Very sad to hear this news. Will definitely be praying for the family, especially for his father's health. I hope there is opportunity for recovery. It would be great for the buckeyes if he could take off a year or two and then come back.