Thirsty for Knowledge? We'll learn you good with what's:
- Michigan Debates Traveling to Columbus, Mailing It In.
- More Recruiting Madness. It's a Dirty Business.
- Is Zook Really Building a Winner in Crystal?
- Rojo, I'll Do Anything. Just Call Me Back.
- A Look Back at Michigan's 2002 Recruiting Class.
- Injury To Key Michigan Hoops Target May Strangely Help The Wolverines.
Ohio State comes into the school's first match up of the year ranked #4 in the country and 1st in the Big Ten in Scoring Offense and second or third in every major statistical category in-conference. They're also coming off a 9 point win over MSU in East Lansing. Michigan, in contrast, has lost 3 straight and hasn't won a big ten road game against a top five team since 1746. Yeah. It's bad.
News out of the Michigan camp hasn't been the usual we're doing fine, we'll make the tournament, why is everyone on our ass, BS we've become accustomed to. No. This time it appears the criticism has finally hit home. Dion Harris put it rather succinctly:
Maybe it's a wait 'till next year attitude that's cost this team. Maybe it's Amaker's insistence that Michigan is just another school among 326 trying to make the NCAA tournament. Further proof that he 1) doesn't get it, 2) doesn't have the stones to admit that Michigan's failure to be in the "can't miss the tournament lock" portion of the discussion is a problem, and 3) needs to be fired. Maybe it's the lack of toughness that Dion Harris is man enough to admit.
At this point all Amaker can do is praise the opponents he plays, often littered with players he failed to recruit, and try to stay positive despite the growing movement to oust him from his position.
Does Michigan have a chance against OSU? Yes. Actually they do. Brent Petway is likely to sit this game out which will allow Epke Udoh to start his first game in Big Ten Play. Udoh will like draw Greg Oden on defense, but Udoh's athleticism should allow him to stand with OSU's big man. Don't expect Oden to be shut down. That's asking too much. But expect Udoh's length to give Oden some troubles. Courtney Sims coming out party was ruined by Michigan's poor guard play against Iowa. For Michigan to have any chance to win in Columbus it has to have two things: 1) The same Courtney Sims that dominated the Iowa game and 2) better guard play. The latter shouldn't be hard to muster, I mean Harris was 0-11. At this point Michigan has nothing to lose. That makes them dangerous.
Dangerous or not, do I expect them to win? No. I'm just hoping they make it respectable.
Boise State, Louisville, Wisconsin and West Virginia were all members of the not-top-25-recruiting-class club and they finished in the top 10 in the final BCS standings. Just food for thought before you start panicking over where some 18 year-old decides to go to college. Seriously. Relax.
Another thing to realize is what a game of dirty pool recruiting truly is. With all the defections, recruit stealing, and double talk from recruits people tend to forget that the schools and coaches claiming foul play are often doing the same thing without the publicity. A great example of this is what happened to Prep lineman Brad Durham who had his scholarship unceremoniously yanked by Louisville. Durham landed on his feet at Kentucky, but his story is a glimpse into the dirty side of recruiting from the coaching perspective that gets little attention.
With all that said, national signing day is right around the corner. Tomorrow to be exact. It promises to be a big day for Michigan, regardless of whether last-fish-in-the-pond Jerimy Finch decides to come to Ann Arbor.
What helps to make it such a good day was the recent commit of Detroit Cass Tech Junior DB Boubacar Cissoko. A DB of his caliber is good news for the foreseeable backfield future.
Along Those Lines, Carr Can't Stop Calling Rojo - When love fails there's always one person who moves on and one who can't. Lloyd just can't quit. Sunday Morning Quarterback got a hold of Rojo's voicemail. Try not to laugh too hard.
You're Kidding Right? - According to ESPN Zook, much like Weis with Brady, should receive credit for Meyer's success this past year. To some extent that's probably true. Zook has put together a top 10 class, snatching recruits from major powerhouses like Florida, Ohio State and other SEC members.
They're getting better all the time. Really.
A Look Back At The 2002 Football Recruiting Class - Well worth the read. Excellent work by the Ann Arbor News.
Finally, 5* 2008 Target Center Kenny Frease Injured, Could Miss Remainder Of Season - According to GBW, Kenny Frease, one of Michigan's top basketball recruiting targets for 2008, was injured over the weekend and could miss the rest of his high school basketball season. Details at this point are sketchy without paying for them, so if you know what happened let me know.
Frease is the #4 Center in the 2008 class and a surprisingly polished big man for his age. Michigan was on him from day one and likely will step up their recruitment of him following injury. This tactic worked in the past, luring Epke Udoh to Michigan despite the prospect of playing for other high major teams. Here's hoping Kenny heals quickly and the Michigan staff make him feel like he's important enough to the program that they don't care about the injury.