I checked in to twitter yesterday afternoon, and I can only compare it to walking into the middle of a conversation that, the more you piece together, the more confused you become.
Michigan did what? A longsnapper? With a scholarship? Like, a real scholarship?
I wasn't the only one. Had you asked me at the beginning of the day what was more possible: Michigan using a scholarship on a longsnapper, or Michigan getting a commitment from Su'a Cravens, I would have laughed, looked at you to make sure you were serious, then probably tried to talk myself into Cravens' genuine interest in Michigan despite not visiting.
So yeah, no one saw this coming. Frankly, there are quite a few questions surrounding this decision by the coaching staff. Tremendous sums them up the best:
Questions: Why don't schools employ long-snapping experts to train players instead of using scholarships on bringing kids in? Why don't schools like Virginia Tech, who preach special teams, use scholarships on long snappers? Why didn't more schools use scholarships on long snappers up until five or so years ago? Has the game really changed that much in such a short amount of time? Wouldn't giving a scholarship to a kicker, where Michigan has struggled for years and has MUCH more impact on the game than a long snapper, be a more desirable spot to recruit and use a scholarship on?
I'm not sure I can answer any of those satisfactorily, but there is one thing I can answer: a long snapper is like buying a good insurance policy. You hope you never have to think about it.
Now, I understand that Michigan is still in the running for some highly rated targets, and that whole "let's get the number one class" bug has bit most of the fan base. However, isn't it better to have the right class than the one that Rivals thinks is the best?
If Scott Sypniewsky pans out then I won't ever have to learn how to spell his name. You know why? Because the only time you talk about the long snapper is when he makes a bone-headed play (with the exception of deflected receptions on fake field goals, which aren't exactly commonplace). So let's all wish Scott a happy four years of anonymity that is draped over a productive career as a key cog in Michigan's special teams play.
If he works out it will be like he never existed at all. That won't make you appreciate the coaches using a scholarship on him, but that'll have more to do with him being out of sight and out of mind than anything else. And you'll appreciate four years of clean, crisp snaps on special teams plays. You just won't realize it.
Let's hit some links:
Brady Hoke: Michigan's top priority remains beating Ohio State, despite 4-game skid against MSU - Remember when comments like this used to piss off Michigan State fans? I'd like to get back to that with a Michigan win in October.
"The strategy is real clear, and that is we want to have more student involvement in all of our sports," Brandon said Monday after speaking at the Wolverine Caucus in Lansing. "It’s one thing to sell 21,000 football tickets, but it’s another thing to make sure our student body is aware of all these other talented student-athletes and showing up and cheering them on."
More fluff behind the vision that inspired the loyalty program for student athletic tickets.
But the bottom line is I don't think Michigan fans are getting off easy. In 2010 OSU's eight-game home schedule netted them a total of $42.1 million. Michigan's seven games that year brought in 33.1 million. In 2011 OSU's seven home games were projected to bring in $36.4 million; Michigan's eight were projected to bring in 41.3 million. Over those two years that's a deficit for Michigan of about 270k per game, or about $2.45 a ticket.
Meanwhile, prices keep going up. Mgoblog investigates the claim that Ohio State's prices put the school at a significant financial advantage. Hint: it doesn't, but in the end it is probably just an excuse to raise prices again.
Michigan aims for more academy games - Cool scheduling news -- as I would rather play a service academy than a FCS team or Akron -- but the biggest news is that we could hear shortly about Michigan's Pac-12 opponent in the upcoming B1G/Pac-12 scheduling agreement.
ESPN 300 for 2013 updated - Magnus recounts the moves of Michigan's representatives on the ESPN 300. Michigan has 16 players on the list and leads the country with that number. Ohio State is close by with 10.
Delany has advocated a system where conference champions would be eligible for the playoffs, a proposal that drew immediate ire from people like Nick Saban who want "the best four teams," whatever that is. Delany's point -- and it's valid, regardless of the source; just look at the absurd bubble debate on Selection Sunday in March -- is that at least conference champions earn the right on the field by winning enough games to take their division, then winning a conference championship game. That's more than can be said for the SEC's preferred system, which --stop when this sounds familiar -- would rely on polls and/or some sort of committee to determine who gets in. The Big Ten is advocating a playoff where on-field in-conference performance matters. The SEC is advocating for an extra BCS game and a shift in the eternal debate from who is #2 to who is #4.
BHGP continues to do great work on the movement near to the top of the sport.