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Member since 04 February 2012 | Blog

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Comment 34 minutes ago
Did you notice that 90% of Giddens offensive highlights were dunks? There's a reason for that. He'll be here a minimum of 2 and most likely 3 years in order to develop an offensive game to complement his defensive prowess. It's rare for dominant defensive players to get drafted early and unheard of for them to be one-and-dones.
Comment 10 hours ago
I'm guessing AJ Harris is never going to have to yell at Daniel Giddens to "Dunk that M'Fer!" Giddens reminds me of Lawrence Funderburke with less offensive range and more defensive intensity.
Comment 23 hours ago
No question. It's always been well recognized that Michigan needs to recruit Ohio reasonably well to be successful. What's less well recognized is that they depend on getting the cream of the crop in state, small as it is, even more than the Ohio players. Urban's strategy is clearly to sign the cream of the crop in both states, leaving the 2nd tier to MSU and the scraps to Michigan. Seems to be working so far.
Comment 21 May 2015
What I remember most about him was the wobbly passes he tended to throw that were none the less usually on target. I wasn't knocking his talent, because he clearly had it. Throwing him out there against Penn State, though, was a bit of a head scratcher. Makes you think either Woody and staff didn't really understand the passing game or Woody looked at the roster and figured they couldn't make a run in 78 but probably could in 79 with a decent QB. So might as well put Schlichter out there to take his lumps and learn. Of course we know the history. Woody was gone and the 79 team came within 2 points of winning a national title. (Damn you, coke addict Charles White.)
Comment 20 May 2015
Counting Crows got it right. Come to our shows. Bring a tape recorder. Do whatever you want with the recording. But come.
Comment 20 May 2015
I once saw a Mad magazine satire piece in the late 70s that was future projecting popular culture for the next 50 or so years going in 7 year increments, or something like that. At the end of each period summary, it would say something like the Stones were on tour again playing in such and such cities. It said that in every single segment, including the last. I'll be damned if that wasn't satire after all. :) (But I do wish their manager would hire Hollywood makeup artists to start working on them as soon as they wake up in the morning. Probably need one for each member, because I can't imagine it'd be a quick and easy job. )
Comment 18 May 2015
The point is Big Ten Coach of the Year Awards don't say otherwise. They are annually given to the mediocre coach of a mediocre program that somehow manages to do a mediocre rise above the mediocre expectations for a single season, even if it's that mediocre coach who was a key part in maintaining the mediocrity over the years. Winning that mediocre award means, chances are, that you are ... wait for it ... MEDIOCRE. Winning it several times means you are really excelling at that mediocre thing. Hence, "...the greatest of the mediocre." I'll just end this mediocre post right now, before some mediocre smartass calls me "...the greatest of the mediocre posters." :)
Comment 18 May 2015
Unless you're bat-shit crazy (Jim?) or really don't know what you're doing (Harbaugh's college experience says otherwise), you don't hire someone for an important position on your team just to get a single player who may or may not ever contribute to winning games. You're a fool if you even do that for a 5 star player. (Paramus, a school with a history of producing 5 stars, might be worth the risk, though.) There was a famous coach who said "You win with people." It's pretty obvious but you need to know and have a good relationship with those people, in order to get to the winning part. Being around someone enough to have an intuitive feel for their abilities is worth a hundred pages of "credentials". That's why most hires are made of people you know or people that your trusted network knows. I'd like to think that Harbaugh truly did just make that hire to get the player and completely undervalued the position. Because it would mean he doesn't really understand how important team culture is to winning and how vulnerable it is. I really doubt that's the case, unfortunately. Just imagine you put someone in that position that starts playing favorites and holding grudges and pretty soon has teammates wasting energy fighting each other, draining team spirit and destroying cohesiveness. That's not the sort of team capable of pulling everything together and going out and destroying a good Wisconsin team 59-0 because they have to to be sure of making the playoffs. Viewed from that perspective, does that still seem like a throw-away position you'd use just to get one player?
Comment 18 May 2015
Another one of the obligatory upvote plays, until the end of time.
Comment 18 May 2015
Hopefully Landon didn't hold it against her too much after he signed that NFL contract. :)
Comment 18 May 2015
Yeah it was that point, I think, when I first thought "game over... NATIONAL CHAMPS!!!" and the joy began to swell up, tempered now and then by thoughts of bizarre scenarios that could give Oregon a chance. But those thoughts quickly vanished. You could tell by body language (and the way the offensive line and Zeke had gashed them up the middle) that they were a defeated team, and would be getting thoroughly blown out if we hadn't given them four easy turnovers (3 of them completely unforced).
Comment 18 May 2015

There are apparently 105 players that would be taken ahead of Kareem Walker if colleges drafted players like the NFL.  ROTFLMAO!!!

Just slam the door closed on any faith you had in the recruiting service rankings beyond some general notion that a top 50 player has slightly better than even odds of being better than a top 150 player.  Same with top 150 and top 300.  And that's likely only because recruiting service evaluators are sometimes smart enough and lazy enough to elevate players based on their offer list, recognizing that actual college coaches are far better talent scouts than they are.

"...he didn't show the kind of elite ability that we've seen from comparable backs that have been ranked in that Top100 or Top50 range."

Let me interpret that for everyone: "...he didn't take our camp all that seriously", "...he didn't realize how important WE are to his future success", "...he didn't play our recruiting game to help us sell subscriptions and page hits, therefore his actual game performances mean next to nothing", "...he didn't bow down and kiss the ring".

Another thing to realize is that being a solidly committed Top 50 player, especially a Top 10 player, is in no way good for the recruiting services.  It doesn't appear to be as bad as it used to be, thanks to things like Youtube and the large number of sources of recruiting information on the internet keeping the services more honest, but there was a time not so long ago when you'd be just about guaranteed to fall out of the Top 50 by committing early. (Tom Lemming used to be good for that, unless the early commit was to Notre Dame, and also good for elevating anyone that ND was recruiting and had a decent chance to sign - which was pretty awkward for the ND coaches in the 80s and 90s when media would ask them how they managed to have such a mediocre team after signing the BEST class in the nation 3 years running.)

I think that still goes on to a degree, but perhaps that monetary pressure is now showing up the most in the recruiting services pushing initial player evaluations earlier and earlier.  This gives them a lot more players to talk about and for a longer period of time.

It might be really telling to start a database tracking initial ranking, camp invites, camp attendance, post camp ranking and final ranking by recruiting service.  I've long suspected most 3-star rankings simply mean the player made the initial cut of the Top 500 or so based on some arbitrary criteria like youth-camp coach surveys, HS coach surveys, local accolades, word of mouth, etc., but then stopped playing the recruiting game, i.e. didn't go to recruiting service camps, didn't give the recruiting services the chance to hype them up, talk about them and make money off of them. Doesn't matter if they look as good on tape as a Top 10 player, they'll be one of the "fell through the crack", "late bloomer", "diamond in the rough" Darron Lee/Bradley Roby type players that frequently emerge as stars out of nowhere every college football season.

I would bet such a database would also reveal quite a bit of regional bias, with rural regions being neglected significantly out of proportion to population density.  So, for instance, the Top 247 players list may be more about finding the top players in the 60% of High Schools across the nation that the recruiting services' past experience has led them to expect the "good enough" players will come from. So they streamline their process to efficiently find a set of players they can pass off as the "Top 247" (or Rivals 100, Scout 300 or whatever - doesn't really matter, as they all seem to participate in a self-reinforcing circle jerk that arrives at a "consensus", with any given player's ranking fluctuating 10-20 places from one list to another, but still mostly the same overall "Top" players).  The services realize that discriminating between any two players on that "Top" list, asserting one is definitely better than another based on one being, say, ranked 21 and another ranked 22, is purely the act of marketing a fictional ability concocted solely for us Rubes who like to believe it.

You know something of that sort is going on when you look at how many players get drafted by the NFL from small schools, players that were on nobody's radar coming out of High School, in addition to the number of 3 star players signed by great talent evaluators like Jim Tressel and Mark Dantonio that wind up being truly elite talents.

Comment 17 May 2015
Thirded. And yet I continue to look...
Comment 16 May 2015

When I see Tajh chuck the football close to 80 yards, I'll be a believer.  Until then, I think Cardale is about at the human limit for arm strength in a college/pro QB. (Yes, I know there are freaks out there that can probably throw 100 yards, but they're also probably not on anybody's roster.)

Comment 16 May 2015
I think you mean 2006. No way we were ranked preseason number one in 2007 after losing Troy Smith and Ted Ginn and getting killed by Florida 42-14.
Comment 15 May 2015

The worse thing about this is that he wasn't that bad.  In the same way that Cardale Jones benefited greatly by the team around him, Bauserman didn't benefit AT ALL from the team he was playing with.  With a decent team around him (most importantly Devier Posey), he might have been service-able.

The problem is people remember the worst performance, especially when it comes on the road against a good Nebraska team that the team managed to build a big lead on in the first 2.5 quarters with Braxton Miller.  And you seemingly can't hit the broad side of a barn during a time that the defense simultaneously collapses.

But the thing is, that was soon after the coaches decided to go all in with Braxton, and game-planned accordingly.  Once Braxton went out, they were left with Bauserman who could probably only run about a third of the plays that they practiced for.  And Nebraska knew it and sold out accordingly.

Still, I'm not going to argue in any way that Bauserman was a good quarterback.  I think his ceiling was probably about 3rd team on most Ohio State squads.  I just think he gets a bit of a bum rap due to the terrible team he was on.

Comment 15 May 2015

Wow, just read the Detroit Free Press article and it seems like everyone is seriously going over-board with the blaming.  It just sounds like Norfleet hit a low-point in his life that caused him to question what he was doing and also caused him to have a bad semester.  But otherwise seems like a really good guy.

The coach also doesn't come off as being all that unreasonable, just typical for a person getting a mic shoved in their face after hearing the bare minimum of details of a negative situation affecting someone they care about.

It sounds like it'll be good for Norfleet to transfer somewhere and sit out a year to get his academic house in order.  I think he could excel at a place like UC during his senior season.  He'd be a good H-back for just about any mid-major running a spread offense.  I think he'd also be a pretty good straight up tailback.  And everyone knows he's a dangerous kick returner.

Comment 15 May 2015

It doesn't follow that not having a declared major means none of his credit hours would apply towards a major.  Most of his freshman and a good part of his sophomore classes would most likely be good in any major.

Obviously there is a concern with letting him seemingly drift by with the bare minimum for so long with no major, but maybe UM graduates quite a few General Studies majors.  That's not necessarily a bad thing for the general UM student population, as many may choose not to specialize until graduate school.  But for a football player that likely only got admitted because of football, it's really dumb not to be very focused on getting your degree, even if it's something like the equivalent of liberal arts in underwater basket weaving.