One Major Design Flaw of Ohio Stadium

A few things irked me about the ambiance of Ohio Stadium last Saturday, but the one thing that really bothered me the most was this...


I get that home teams prefer to be on the home side of the field, and you can't exactly swap the locker rooms around, so it pretty much is what it is. Midfield scraps are going to be inevitable, especially when the Maize & Blue are in town. I doubt this is such an issue when say, Miami of Ohio, or whatever other Baby Seal U non-conference opponent is being well compensated to show up at the snake pit. But I can tell you that this layout, and the inevitability of young flaring tempers, is only inviting calamity.

And, sure enough, calamity did ensue before, and after the game on Saturday, but the post-game nonsense was brought on by the sudden influx of drunk students and middle-aged wannabes rushing the field. I didn't realize it before the game, but the student/fan section in the south endzone empties DIRECTLY ONTO THE FIELD.


Look closer...


Riiiight.

Related content:

Sayonara: Gareon Conley

Image via here
We have our second de-commitment of the 2013 recruiting class and it comes from non other than DB Gareon Conley.  Conley has been a part of this class for 8 or so months now, committing in early March:
To say this was a surprise would be very accurate.  I'm sure you're wondering why I say this since Conley has been on the fence about his commitment for some time now.  Hear me out.  We all heard about how Conley insisted he was going to take visits and therefore put his commitment status in jeopardy.  Then he actually did.

Conley was on hand for "The Game" Saturday afternoon, which according to Hoke's "no visit policy," would void his scholarship and Conley would no longer be a part of team 134.  But this case was different.  Conley's visit was considered non-recruiting related and he was very up-front with Coach Hoke about his plan, unlike previous de-commits OL David Dawson and DE Pharoah Brown from last year's class.  He even avoided the Ohio coaching staff to make sure he wouldn't go against Coach Hoke's policy.

Then this came out last night and all us Michigan faithful rejoiced:
But as the old and slightly senile Lee Corso would say, "Not so fast my friend."  Scout wasn't the only one to report this news either;  there were multiple sources reporting the news.  It was almost as of this morning, no one would even remember the controversy Conley had created over the past couple months.  Until this:
And this answers your question as to why I'm surprised by this move.  Conley ended up de-committing a day after he reportedly was "100% committed."  Nothing else to say except best of luck to ya kid.

Now what does this mean for the class the rest of the way.  Michigan still has 4 very talented DB's in the '13 class in Thomas, Lewis, Douglas, and Stribling.  Similar to Dawson's de-commitment, this was an area that could afford to lose a player and still not hurt from it.

This puts the class at 22 commits, which if no attrition happened from this years team, would put them at the max.  Attrition is likely.  Saying that, this allows this staff to close out the '13 class with a bang (hopefully).  We now have room for the likes of Treadwell, McQuay III, and Green should they choose to go blue.  And if they miss out on one of those, an OL is almost a guarantee to use a spot with others sitting on the back burner as back-up plans.  Looks like the days leading up to signing day could be a little more interesting then imagined; with the class filling up so soon.

Recruitaholics: Cheers to the Champions

This Week:  Action Time, A New Offer and Another on the Way, Highlights Galore, Decisions and Awards, and its most shocking version yet, Sayonara Suckas


Action Time

For a second year in a row, Detroit Cass Tech has brought home the 'ship.  Tech took on Catholic Central (home of RB Wyatt Shallman), also for the second year in a row, and didn't waste anytime getting ahead and never looking back.  DB Jourdan Lewis started the scoring with a TD reception from '15 QB Jayru Campbell (first play below)'15 RB Mike Weber added 186 yards on 20 carries, while DB Damon Webb had an INT and a fumble recovery. Check out the highlights yourself courtesy of Cityballers.com


I was able to have a little chat with DB Channing Stribling over the weekend.  His team won it's semi-final game on Friday and advances to the State finals.  Stribling played great and added another pick to his repertoire.

LB Mike McCray lived up to his Defensive POY (you'll see below) award by leading his team to its 3rd straight state title game.  Trotwood-Madison will take on Toledo Central Catholic in the finals.

OL Patrick Kugler can say he is a State Champion.  North Allegheny won it's third title in a row.  Congrats Patrick, you did work to help bring home the 'ship:
St. Clairsville, home of '14 commit LB Michael Ferns, was able to make it to the Ohio state finals with a 40-27 semi-final win over Norwayne.   Ferns did injure an ankle during the game, but it didn't stop him from making plays even though he had an apparent wobble the whole game. 


A New Offer and Another On the Way?

OL Kenny Lacy is the newest offeree for the '13 class.  Lacy is a current UCLA commit, but the staff feels they may have a shot at landing this kid.  He has already scheduled an official visit to see AA for himself, not quite sure as to when yet though.

A new name has surfaced in regards to a final OL spot in the '13 class.  OL Cameron Hunt is already committed to Cal and in the wake of Jeff Tedford's firing, Hunt may be interested in looking around.  And Michigan is going to get a shot at this one.  The Michigan staff will be giving Hunt's home a visit later on today to try and lure him away from the West Coast.  OL Kyle Bosch believes the Hunt is at least thinking about it:


Highlights Galore

S Dymonte Thomas and his senior year highlights.  He's fast!

DB Ross Douglas senior highlights



DL Henri Poggi senior highlights



S Leon McQuay second half senior season highlights

'14 DL Bryan Mone Jr. season highlights



Decisions and Awards

Current commit OT Denzel Ward helped me out a little bit this week (Thank You!!) when he got RB Derrick Green to respond to this question:
Soon is very broad, but hey at least we know it's in the near future right?  And sounds like Green will receive an in-home visit from the Michigan staff tonight:
This could be the Wolverines last pitch to Green before he makes his decision.  Get 'em Hoke and Co.

I put together a list of players (committed and uncommitted) who have received recognition for their outstanding season by making an all-state team or receiving an award.  So here goes:

-RB Deveon Smith won Trumball County player of the year
-LB Mike McCray named Southwest Division player of the year.
-DE Taco Charlton, DB Jourdan Lewis, TE Jake Butt, LB Mike McCray, DB Ross Douglas, RB Deveon Smith, DB Gareon Conley, WR C'sonte York, and LB Ben Gedeon all made the all-state team in the division.
-WR LaQuon Treadwell was named 2012 Sun Times Player of the Year and Pepsi Cola/SouthtownStar 2012 Player of the Year
-'14 RB Jalen Hurd won Mr. Football in his home state of TN.


Sayonara Suckas

Looks like DB Gareon Conley has de-committed and will pursure visits to Ohio and Oregon.  Been a crazy month or so with this kid and saw this coming.  For a more in-depth look, click here.

The Michigan - Ohio State Rivalry in One Chart

Presented without comment.

YearMichiganOhio State
01117137
02121140
0317054
0471205
0532118
06130187
0737229
08111232
0980251
10182258
11277137
12108207

Team 133 by the Numbers





What numbers stand out to me as the 2012 regular season comes to and end?

8-4
Of course, the record. Many pegged Michigan for, at minimum, 2 or 3 losses. I think 4 is certainly close enough to not make the entire season a disappointment. But those 4 losses came at the hands of teams that have achieved more (and in some cases, much more) success than Michigan has this year. To get to the level Hoke wants this program to be at, you need to beat the teams better than you. That never materialized for Team 133. The biggest win of the season, record-wise, was Northwestern.

-0.67
That's Michigan's turnover average. Unacceptable. A season ago it was 0.50, good enough for 26th overall nationally. This year, Michigan was tied for 100th. In the 4 losses mentioned above, Michigan handed the ball over 16 times (12 picks, 4 lost fumbles). In 8 wins, Michigan turned the ball over 9 times (6 picks, 3 lost fumbles). Turnovers are killers in big games on the road.

385.42
Going into the finale against OSU, Michigan's overall offensive yardage per-game average was on a nice upswing. After Denard went down against Nebraska and before Gardner took over against Minnesota, Michigan's offense was averaging 378.13 yds/gm. In the three starts Devin had prior to the OSU game, he rejuvenated the offense to the tune of 440.33 yds/gm in those three games. But an offensive output against the Buckeyes of only 279 total yards sunk Michigan's season average from 400 yds/gm to 385.42.

The disparity between home and away games was evident this season, offensively. A little fun with the numbers...

at Home (6): 465.3 ypg
on Road/Neutral (6): 305.5 ypg

in Wins (8): 448.8 ypg
in Losses (4): 258.8 ypg

vs AP Ranked (5): 290.8 ypg
vs AP Unranked (7): 453.0 ypg

vs BCS AQ (10): 361.8 ypg
vs BCS non-AQ (2): 503.5 ypg

92.68
The redzone was kind to Michigan offensively. They scored points almost every time they passed their  opponent's 20. 92.68 percent is good enough for 4th nationally among FBS schools. But the flipside to that is the redzone TD percentage. That was 63.41, only good enough to be tied with Memphis at 49th. Still, not bad either way. Brendan Gibbons and his brunettes had a good year.

1082
The "non-Denard running game" was a real thing that was discussed many times this year. At a certain point, you just accept the fact that your o-line is simply not working, and just embrace your inability to run the ball effectively with traditional backs. Denard accounted for 52% of the team's overall rushing yardage with 1,166. Fitz was a distant 2nd at 514. Rawls added 242. The rest was a smattering of guys with less than 100. Fitz's 3.95 yds/att is troubling.

54%
When it was all said and done, Denard accounted for 54% of Michigan's total offensive output...a percentage much lower once Devin Gardner stepped back under center. After the first two games, Shoelace was responsible for 95% of Michigan's total offense.

155.17
If OSU blogs can blast anyone they want for criticizing just how bad the B1G is, and why that invalidates the significance of their 12-0 record, then I suppose I can do the same for Michigan's much-improved pass defense average, no? Did Michigan play Peyton Manning or Aaron Rogers 12 times? Of course not. But you can't argue that it's not at least slightly impressive that Michigan went from a smoking crater of a secondary just a couple seasons ago (112th nationally), to having the #2 unit in FBS. Not to mention, of course, they did so without the help of their best cornerback, Blake Countess, who was injured early against Alabama.

1.58
While not really a gigantic weakness for Michigan, getting pressure on the quarterback and getting sacks seemed to be too few and far between for the front 7. Once in a while, Mattison would dial up a blitz that would work. Actually, the OSU game was one of the better games for this unit as they were able to get to Miller 4 times for a loss of 39 yards, by far their best performance of the season. But a sack average of 1.58 needs to improve. Michigan had no sacks against Air Force or Notre Dame, and only 1 per in 4 other games. In so many areas, Michigan's defense has improved so much the last couple of seasons, so I do realize that I'm nit picking a tad here.

A little sidebar stat here...Did you know that Michigan has only 1 total sack against Notre Dame in the last 5 meetings (2010)? I guess they really overdid it with 8 sacks back in 2007. Time to get those homeboys off the schedule!

0
The number of fake plays Michigan ran this year. You could call the half-back pass against Notre Dame a trick play, but not a fake play. I don't know why, but since my buddy Tim mentioned this to me, I think it's pretty interesting.

Words and Images from Ohio State

My hell.

In the moments after the game, when I snapped this photo, the air was rich with the smell of marijuana, wafting down from the student section were people, from seemingly every direction flooded the field in a frenzy of drunken euphoria.

Between the Buckeye fans posing for photos in front of the team leaving the field with their heads hanging, and the idiots stupid enough to try and mix it up with Michigan players, it was all I could do to keep my composure and just walk away. I had to remember that I'm a credentialed media member and it's not my place to get involved. Just walk away. Props to the Michigan players for doing the same.

What a mess.

The second half.

Man, it hurts. It hurts because when leading at halftime, it felt like it might actually happen. But in the back of every Michigan fan's mind, was the thought that the offense could hit the wall. We were clicking. We had kept Ohio State off balance and imposed our will offensively. Denard was doing Denard things, and Devin was looking sharp. He was going through progressions, fergodsakes. If we could just get a few stops, we might actually do this!

But we didn't. Al Borges has taken almost all of the criticism for this one, and it's tough for me to come on here and try to rationalize why he shouldn't. Michigan was having tons of success moving the ball by getting outside and utilizing Denard in fun and interesting ways. He was the key to Michigan's first half success. Why we got away from doing that in the second half is beyond me.

If he was hurt, then just say so. What good does it do to play head games at this point? By doing that you redirect all the blame to Borges. If Denard was hurt, which it didn't look like he was, then what about using him as a decoy? No one knew he was hurt. Those 3rd and 4th and short calls were shameful. I like Vincent Smith, but he's not going to make 3 to 4 yards going into the teeth of the OSU defense out of the I-formation. You have two pretty good running QBs. What are you doing running Smith up the gut?

Michigan needed to do more of what it did in the first half. No one should have messed with the recipe. Utilize your strength, it was working for you. Don't try to confuse OSU by doing something you're not good at. They weren't fooled. Hard to argue that this one's not on the coaches. Michigan never crossed the 50 in the second half.

Turnovers.
The nail.
Big games (loses) on the road this season have been defined by turnovers. OSU was no different. We got a couple to go our way early on, but when the game was in doubt, Michigan was giving the ball away left and right. BIG props to the defense for only giving up 6 second half points after being put in terrible situations the whole half. We shouldn't let that go unnoticed. But it wasn't enough.

Manball
It was snowing, it was windy, it was freezing. I was bundled up pretty good on the field for pregame and I was very cold. Hoke wasn't the only dude out there in short-sleeves, I saw one guy running around in shorts. But I can't image how cold he was. I really don't think he cares.

Coach, are you cold-blooded? "Well..."
Pregame was pretty intense. The energy was definitely palpable. I wasn't really that cold by the time I headed back to the McPressbox. No really, there's a real actual McDonald's up there!
  
Ohio Stadium.
Greg from MVictors nailed it.
Wow, what used to be a beautiful stadium is now the car Homer Simpson designed.   It’s an unorganized smattering of unsynchronized advertisements (FYI – Texas de Brazil is coming to Easton Town Center!), disjointed signs honoring former teams/players/coaches, and flashing lights featuring wild-eyed cartoon footballs saying OOOOOoooo:
Agreed. The place was a hodge-podge of advertisements, bright lights and signs meant to honor Buckeye legends. I never knew what to look at, every flat surface had something bolted to it. The pregame video board was essentially a 90-minute infomercial about how we're all Buckeyes and stuff and that's so awesome!!!

Then there was this...


THAT'S the Michigan difference.

Did every Buckeye fan just forget that this guy is the sole reason why you're "12-0 with nowhere to go" as the pressbox elevator operator put it after the game? Do you really need a refresher?

Urban.
After the game, up in the McPressbox, the media was treated to listening to Urban's post-game presser over the speakers. Since I was forced to listen to this, I challenge you to do the same right now.


They're going to put a statue up of this guy.

What now?

That look. I feel you Treezy.

Post-game was exactly how this photo looks. Just outside the windows of this room (on the 2nd floor of Ohio Stadium) you could hear Buckeye fans singing. Ohio State was the better team. We all felt it. They beat us. All that's left is the very unsettling feeling of "What if?". So many questions will be asked about how this one got away from Michigan. Was it all just play-calling? Probably not. There's never always just one reason why games are lost. This game had a very familiar feel to it.


We all knew coming into this season that the schedule was going to be tricky. Who knew that of Michigan's 4 big road games, those teams would be a combined 44-3 at the end of the season. It's entirely possible that Michigan's two biggest non-conference opponents will be playing for a national championship. The other two, a 12-0 Buckeye team is ineligible, and Nebraska will play in Indy this Saturday for the B1G title.

But it also speaks to the fact that Team 133 was never ready for primetime. Will this team end up being like 1996 or 2005? Can Michigan turn the page to set up a championship 2013 season?

Now it's just on to the bowl game, and hopefully a brighter ending for Team 133.

Related content:

Ohio State Photos

Happier times. The classic Lewan-Shoelace pregame lift.

Here's the gallery. Wish it could've ended better.

Tough Loss


Too many mistakes. Not enough offense. There will be plenty to talk about in the days ahead. No need to go into the details now.

Boom Denarded Dot Gif

Via here.

Stay Classy Urban

CBS Sports:
Meyer was speaking at the Earle Bruce Beat Michigan Tailgate to benefit Alzheimer's research on Friday morning, and he went out on a bit of a profane note.

"There's a reason why you do what you do," Meyer told the assembled group. "Let's beat the shit out of Michigan."
If that's not bulletin board material, I don't know what is. Hat tip to The MZone for the link.

UPDATE: Video!  [HT: UMTailgate]


Related content:

Ohio State Preview

#20/20/19 MICHIGAN @ #4/-/- OHIO STATE
Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012 • Noon ET • Columbus, Ohio. • Ohio Stadium (102,329)
ABC • Announcers: Sean McDonough, Chris Spielman, Quint Kessenich
Series: Michigan (58-44-6), Ohio State (43-58-6) • Last Meeting: Nov. 26, 2011: Michigan 40, Ohio State 34

Ohio State Vitals
(11-0 overall, 7-0 Big Ten)
Coach: Urban Meyer
     Career: 115-23 (11th year)
     At Ohio State: 11-0 (1st year)
Offense: Spread
     Rush: Braxton Miller (207-1,214 yards, 13 TDs)
     Pass: Braxton Miller (134-236, 1,850 yards, 14 TDs)
     Rec.: Corey Brown (52-574 yards, 2 TDs)
Defense: Multiple
     Tackles: Ryan Shazier (110 tackles)
     Sacks: John Simon (9.0-73 yards)
     Int.: Travis Howard (4-51 yards)

Man, how is it Ohio State week already? This season flew by, right? It's not just me?

Did you happen to catch my Michigan-Ohio State hype video?  You really should. It's quite something.

This.


****************

When Michigan has the ball
Like most rivalry games, especially Michigan and Ohio State, it typically comes down to which team can control the line of scrimmage and the running game. So in that case, I think the edge goes to Ohio State. There are certainly exceptions to those rules, so it's going to be important for Michigan to exploit their advantages.

What are those advantages?

The addition of Denard Robinson back into the Michigan offense at positions other than quarterback proved to be too much for a beleaguered Iowa defense to handle. I suspect we'll see more of this tomorrow, mixed in with some looks that we haven't seen yet. Hoke said that Borges came up with about 15 different looks with Denard lined up elsewhere than QB. We maybe saw 6 of them against Iowa. The prospect of Michigan being able to keep OSU's defense guessing simply by using different personnel and different formations is a big time advantage. But that's only going to get you so far.

The rest is going to come down to hustle. Can Michigan move the football through the air AND the ground? Can Devin control this offense in a very hostile environment? How much will Denard be involved in the passing game? Can he even throw? Does it even matter?

A lot of the pressure is going to be put on Michigan's ability to run the football. I think we'll continue to see a running back-by-committee. With Fitz out, more weight falls on to the shoulders of Rawls, Smith, Hayes, and of course Denard and even Devin. Denard and Devin will probably have the most success on the ground among the backs. Ohio State's defense is good...although they've been exposed a few times this season.

Ohio State has the 17th ranked rushing defense in the nation, so the Michigan run O vs OSU run D matchup is worrisome. It's going to be very important for Michigan to play controlled football...no turnovers, no dumb penalties...no beating ourselves, really. Michigan can and should be able to move the ball well if they can do more of what they did last week. Nothing can shut up a hostile crowd like long scoring drives. I really like guys like Roy Roundtree and Jeremy Gallon in this game. Drew Dileo and Devin Funchess also going to be a big targets for Devin. They're going to have to be.

When Ohio State has the ball
Is this matchup strength vs. strength? If it is, then Michigan is sitting in a good place. Ohio State is woefully one-dimensional on offense, and Michigan's pass D is ranked #1 in the country. Braxton Miller is the heart and soul of everything OSU can do. If he has an off-day, which I doubt, then things get much easier for Michigan.

OSU ranks 100th in the nation in passing offense. They're going to hit a few throws here and there, but they're not going to control the game with it, unless Posey is somehow reincarnated into this offense. They really are a run-first, run-second, pass maybe if they have to offense. But they do run the spread very well, so they're dangerous on almost any down. Is this the best offense Michigan has faced this season? No. But Miller ranks right up there with guys like Cain Coulter from Northwestern and Conner Dietz from Air Force in terms of elusiveness and play-making ability. And that's a scary prospect for Michigan fans.

I really do think Mattison will have Michigan's defense ready for this game. They've had plenty of opportunities to prepare for mobile quarterbacks this season. Miller could be the best overall spread QB we've seen. And playing in a hostile environment is going to be tough. I'm just glad it's not a night game, where Michigan is 0-3 on the road.

OSU's offense will be the toughest test Michigan has faced this season. Even being one-dimensional statistically, they're still averaging 245.45 yards rushing per game, ranking 9th overall in the country. And overall, they average 426.27 yards per game. Urban knows how to operate the run-first spread, and he's doing a fine job doing so in Columbus. If Michigan can force some 3rd and longs and possibly force some turnovers, that could prove to go a long way in this game.


****************

Relevant links from sites we trust
Know Your Foe via the MZone. Maize & Brew preview. MLive's Kyle Meinke's 5 Keys. Mgoblog's FFFF.

Wojo breaks down the game.
After a brief period in which Michigan stopped tackling and Ohio State refused to stop cheating, The Game is back, almost as big as ever. Michigan is 8-3 and can win its division if Nebraska commits 15-16 pass-interference penalties and somehow loses to Iowa. The Buckeyes are 11-0 and on probation, but could win a national championship if drunken AP voters somehow overlook they've been lyin' dogs.

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20121122/OPINION03/211220327#ixzz2D3wixovB
After a brief period in which Michigan stopped tackling and Ohio State refused to stop cheating, The Game is back, almost as big as ever. Michigan is 8-3 and can win its division if Nebraska commits 15-16 pass-interference penalties and somehow loses to Iowa. The Buckeyes are 11-0 and on probation, but could win a national championship if drunken AP voters somehow overlook they've been lyin' dogs.

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20121122/OPINION03/211220327#ixzz2D3wixovB
After a brief period in which Michigan stopped tackling and Ohio State refused to stop cheating, The Game is back, almost as big as ever. Michigan is 8-3 and can win its division if Nebraska commits 15-16 pass-interference penalties and somehow loses to Iowa. The Buckeyes are 11-0 and on probation, but could win a national championship if drunken AP voters somehow overlook they've been lyin' dogs.

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20121122/OPINION03/211220327#ixzz2D3wixovB
After a brief period in which Michigan stopped tackling and Ohio State refused to stop cheating, The Game is back, almost as big as ever. Michigan is 8-3 and can win its division if Nebraska commits 15-16 pass-interference penalties and somehow loses to Iowa. The Buckeyes are 11-0 and on probation, but could win a national championship if drunken AP voters somehow overlook they've been lyin' dogs.
ESPN's bloggers take a swing at the prediction thing.
Adam Rittenberg: The Game has become a lot more interesting for two reasons -- Devin Gardner's emergence at QB for Michigan, and Ohio State's progress on the defensive side. Gardner will make some plays and get Michigan out to an early lead on a scoring pass to Roy Roundtree, but Ohio State will respond behind RB Carlos Hyde, who will get the ball more (as Urban Meyer said he would) and finish with 120 rushing yards and two scores. The Game lives up to its billing and goes down to the wire. Braxton Miller scores the game-winning touchdown with 25 seconds left. ... Ohio State 24, Michigan 21

Brian Bennett: Meyer said Tuesday he would open up the offense after getting conservative at Wisconsin. Combine that with Gardner and Denard Robinson on the other side, and I think we're in for a shootout. I could see either side winning, but after 11 straight wins, how can you pick against the Buckeyes? Miller wills them to another victory, finishing with 375 total yards and four touchdowns. ... Ohio State 35, Michigan 31 
Not really relevant to the Ohio State game, but here's the Denard feature from BTN's The Journey which I thought was pretty darn amazing.


Make boisterous comments on Twitter if...
• Anything Michigan is doing on offense look's like last week.
• Denard is doing Denard things.
• The defense is not giving Miller the edge, or the middle.
• Jake Ryan is taking over the game.

Cancel recording on your DVR if...
• Miller is doing Denard things.
• Carlos Hyde is getting his name called a lot.
• Turnovers/penalties are stopping Michigan drives.
• Ohio State is moving the ball well through the air.

Prediction
Michigan 28 Ohio State 27

Michigan - Ohio State Hype Video? Not really.

I had this great idea a few weeks ago to come up with some sort of preview or hype video for the Ohio State game. What you see here is not really either of those. This started out as one thing and turned into something completely different, so I'm not exactly sure what it is. I've used pictures and videos from well known movies in the past to help preview an upcoming game, so this sort of follows along with that idea.



What's that up with that music, you ask? Here's the story via mgoblog.

Breaking B1G: Week 13 Preview


LegendsConf W-LPFPAOvr W-LPFPASTRK
1. Nebraska6-12181889-2412264W5
1. Michigan6-12251078-3339199W3
3. Northwestern4-32031858-3328259W1
4. Minnesota2-51271946-5246261L1
4. Iowa2-51431884-7225262L5
4. Michigan State2-51331395-6217186L2
LeadersConf W-LPFPAOvr W-LPFPASTRK
1. Ohio State7-026918411-0420253W11
2. Penn State5-22371477-4325208W1
3. Wisconsin4-32231227-4309193L1
4. Purdue2-51332305-6303313W2
4. Indiana2-51962724-7334367L2
6. Illinois0-7802312-9186335L8

My Week 12 picks: 5-1
Season total: 61-29 (.678)

Friday, November 23rd (My picks in bold.)
#17/14/14 NEBRASKA at IOWA
11 a.m. CT • Iowa City, Iowa • Kinnick Stadium (70,585) • ABC
Saturday, November 24th
#20/20/19 MICHIGAN at #4/-/- OHIO STATE
Noon ET • Columbus, Ohio. • Ohio Stadium (102,329) • ABC

ILLINOIS at NORTHWESTERN
11 a.m. CT • Evanston, Ill. • Ryan Field (47,130) • BTN

WISCONSIN at PENN STATE
3:30 p.m. ET • University Park, Pa. • Beaver Stadium (106,572) • ESPN2

INDIANA at PURDUE
3:30 p.m. ET • West Lafayette, Ind. • Ross-Ade Stadium (62,500) • BTN

MICHIGAN STATE at MINNESOTA
2:30 p.m. CT • Minneapolis, Minn. • TCF Bank Stadium (50,805) • BTN
Biggest must-watch:
Duh.

And of course, all eyes are on Nebraska @ Iowa. Other than one 14 play, 75-yard drive last week, we all witnessed that the Hawkeyes are pretty bad at football. All we can do is hope.

I always say every year that I wish I cared more about Indiana-Purdue. It seems like it's a pretty good conference rivalry. I actually really like the Old Oaken Bucket. As trophies go, it's right up there. But the game itself is always the same day as Michigan-Ohio State, so I suppose it'll always take a back seat for me.

Upset Alert!
I'll say this, Michigan State just may have some trouble in Minneapolis. They're fighting for bowl eligibility, so I suspect they'll have a bit of an edge. Minnesota is not as dangerous as Northwestern is...but Sparty has to be pretty deflated after dropping so many close games.

Snoozer of the week:
2 snoozers this week.

Illinois is riding a 9-game losing streak. Whatever game their playing in is a snoozer for me. I respect the ILL-NU rivalry though.

Wisconsin is already booked to go to Indy next week, so their game against Penn State is really not interesting at all.

Bold predictions!
I wish Iowa were just a little bit better this year. Because I think playing at Kinnick is tough for any team. But this year, Iowa's just doesn't have it in them.

Michigan really has no realistic path to a BCS bowl. They must beat Ohio State, which is certainly attainable, and if they do their coaches/harris poll ranking could end up somewhere around 15-ish. But they also need a lot of calamity to take place in the polls above them. It's possible, but not likely.

Rutgers to Join the Big Ten


Jim Delany: Rutgers...Rutgers! Jim Delany, how you doing?

Rutgers: Jim Delany! How am I doing? I'll tell you. I'm sweatin, dude! That's how I'm doin. I'm sweatin my conference. I'm sweatin' Boise State, BYU and San Diego State calling and telling me they're not coming over anymore. I'm sweatin'. You hear what I'm saying?

Jim Delany: I, I hear what you're saying...

Rutgers: No no no. I hear that you hear what I'm saying. But do you hear what I'm saying?

Jim Delany: Yes, I hear what your saying, and that's why I'm calling...[Pacing the room, looking at his watch]

Rutgers: Didn't you tell Maryland more personal attention?

Jim Delany: [Long pause]

Rutgers: Did you not tell Maryland more personal attention?!

Jim Delany: [Grumbling] I said more personal attention. [Puts arm around Gene Smith]

Rutgers: Alright, we're just getting started on my list of things you need to know. Take notes if you want to.

SEC: [On the phone with Florida State] I will kill for you. I will mame for you. I will rape and pillage for you.

Rutgers: Good, 'cause see, I am a valuable commodity. I have a valuable brand. I see other schools trying to use academics against us, wanting to out-recruit us, I tell my brain "get out-recruited, graduate these kids." Booya! Touchdown! I make miracles happen. I'm from the Big East, Jim. I broke Big East records. I'm Rutgers University! I'm a Scarlet Knight, man!

Jim Delany: ...and now you want Big Ten dollars!

Rutgers: Exactly.

Jim Delany: I understand what you're saying...

Rutgers: Jim, I'm standing here with an "Jersey Shore" problem. I got orange teenagers applying for admission. My state is flooded. Look at this! We got a flood in Atlantic City! Hang on...say hello to Jim Delany...

Atlantic City: Hello brother Delany.

Jim Delany: Uh...hello Atlantic City...

Rutgers: Jim, my conference is falling apart! Nobody's looking out for Rutgers University! We don't know where we gonna live in a year! And I'm supposed to be in a super-conference man!

Jim Delany: Rutgers, I need a decision from you. Are you in or are you out?

SEC: [On the phone with Texas] Pimpin' ain't easy but it's necessaraaaay!

Rutgers: I'm a role-model Jim, I got an endowment to support! Do you hear me? I wanna stay in New Jersey, I want my new conference. But I like you. Yes, I like you, Jim. Maryland likes you. You're good to Maryland. I will join you.

Jim Delany: [Slumped over at his desk] That's, that's great. I'm very... happy.

Rutgers: Are you listenin'?

Jim Delany: Yes.

Rutgers: That's what I'm gonna do for you. God bless you, Jim. But this is what you gonna do for me. You listenin', Jim?

Jim Delany: Yeah, what, what, what can I do for you, Rutgers? You just tell me what can I do for you?

Rutgers: It's a very personal, a very important thing. Hell, it's a family motto. Are you ready, Jim?

Jim Delany: I'm ready.

Rutgers: I wanna make sure you're ready, brother. Here it is: Show me the money. Oh-ho-ho! SHOW! ME! THE! MONEY! A-ha-ha! Jim, doesn't it make you feel good just to say that! Say it with me one time, Jim.

Jim Delany: Show you the money.

Rutgers: Oh, no, no. You can do better than that, Jim! I want you to say it with you, with meaning, brother! Hey, I got the SEC on the other line; I bet you he can say it!

Jim Delany: Yeah, yeah, no, no, no. Show you the money.

Rutgers: No! Not show you! Show ME the money!

Jim Delany: Show me the money.

Rutgers: Yeah! Louder!

Jim Delany: Show me the money!

Rutgers: Yes, but, brother, you got to yell that shit!

Jim Delany: Show me the money!

Rutgers: I need to feel you, Jim!

Jim Delany: Show me the money!

Rutgers: Jim, you got to yell!

Jim Delany: [screaming] SHOW ME THE MONEY! SHOW ME THE MONEY!

Rutgers: Do you love the east coast!

Jim Delany: I LOVE THE EAST COAST! SHOW ME THE MONEY!

Rutgers: I love New Jersey!

Jim Delany: I LOVE NEW JERSEY!

Rutgers: Who's your Scarlet Knight, Jim?

Jim Delany: YOU'RE MY SCARLET KNIGHT!

Rutgers: Whatcha gonna do, Jim?

Jim Delany: SHOW ME THE MONEY!

Rutgers: Unh! Congratulations, I will join your conference.

Recruitaholics: Buzzin' On Some Highlights

This Week:  Commits in Action, Prospects in Action, 2013 News, 2014 (2015, 2016) News, Iowa Visitor Reactions, and the always dreaded, Sayonara Suckas

I hope you guys don't have your beer goggles on and can see clearly...cuz I've got highlights for days for you guys to watch.  Enjoy!


http://distilleryimage5.instagram.com/bd2865a830d411e2974222000a1fbdac_7.jpg
From last week's Iowa game.  Our future looks bright with these two (Morris, Thomas) Image via here


Commits in Action

DB Jourdan Lewis and Cass Tech advanced to the state final for the 2nd year in a row beating Lake Orion.  They will take on FB Wyatt Shallman and Catholic Central for the second year in a row at Ford Field.  Pickerington North and TE Jake Butt (made All-District) have advanced to the state semi-finals.  LB Mike McCray, named AP Southwest District Defensive Player of the Year, helped clinch a semi-final birth over the weekend.  Trotwood-Madison will take on New Albany in the semis.  New Albany knocked out Marion Franklin, home of WR Jaron Dukes. 

DB Gareon Conley (Massillon HS) and DB Ross Douglas (Avon HS) were knocked out of the playoffs this past weekend.  We'll see ya in the winged helmet soon young fellas.


St. Clairsville (OH) and LB Michael Ferns have remained undefeated on the season with a 37-29 victory over Johnstown-Monroe.  They now face Creston Norwayne, the only team in the way of Ferns advancing to the state finals.



Prospects in Action

WR LaQuon Treadwell did what he does best in helping Crete-Monee HS (IL) advance to the state final: Dominate.  Treadwell ended his second-to-last game as a high school stand-out with a 10 reception, 138 yard, 1 TD performance on Saturday.  As a result, LaQuon won Rivals.com Recruit of the Week according to Josh Helmholdt, who breaks down his game and talks about Treadwell's list of top schools:

Treadwell also went to twitter and posted another very interesting quote:

Now, we all know that he hasn't been shy about saying what's on his mind, and here's another case.  Could this be a commitment?  It would make sense (I don't know what else he would have big news about) and if this were the case, not sure how Michigan isn't his choice.  Reasoning...Treadwell hasn't made an official visit to Oklahoma or Okla. St. yet like he intended to after his season is over.  And the only other school I see even being close to Michigan is Ole Miss where he has made a few visits.  So take it how you want, but if this is about a commitment, I see the Maize and Blue fan base being in awe come Turkey Day.
*UPDATE* Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports talked to the Crete-Monee coaching staff yesterday and they had this to say:
In talking to the coaching staff at Crete (Ill.) Monee, I'm told it's not recruiting related.
Ole Miss and Oklahoma currently at the top for Treadwell. Still a long way to go in his recruitment. He plans to take all five official visits before deciding. Plays in the state championship this coming weekend. Other schools in the mix includes Florida, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame and Oklahoma State.
Well that's a double debbie downer.  It's not recruiting related and Michigan is no longer at the top.  It may be time to start drinking...
S Leon McQuay was the ball hawk he has been all season recording an interception and blocked field goal to get Armwood HS (FL) into the next round of playoffs.  He and family then traveled to Nashville to visit Vandy on Saturday.  Not sure how the visit went, but another visit to Vandy doesn't help UM's chances.  But the biggest news came this past week when The University of Michigan decided to upgrade it's music program.  Now this WILL help UM's chances.


RB Derrick Green
Image via here
Green and his teammates were able to move on the next round of the playoffs over the weekend.  This comes to a surprise after looking at Green's stat-line: 51 yards and 2 TD's.  So let's just say this was a perfect ending to a big weekend.  As you can see above, he was presented with his Army All American jersey at his high school in Virginia.  Adam Friedman of Rivals.com caught up with Green after the presentation, who hit on what an honor it is to take part in this game and even called one visit "top notch":


'14 MI DE Malik McDowell provided a couple sacks in helping Loyola HS (MI) advance further into the playoffs.

'14 FL OL Mason Cole and WR Artavis Scott have began their journey to the Florida state championship with a first round win.  Remember, Cole has Michigan at the top of his list and Scott was offered by Hoke and company last week.  They have stated that a joint commitment could be in store, so keep your fingers crossed.


2013 News
  
S Dymonte Thomas was named Stark County Player of the Year on Thursday.  DT Maurice Hurst was awarded Defensive MVP of his conference.  Do Work boys!

DE commit Taco Charlton (who made All-District) has released a senior season highlight tape.  Kid is tall, fast, and disrupts offensive backfields in his sleep!:



TomVH put together a weekly update for all of us Michigan Recruitaholics and also caught up, via web chat, with DB Channing Stribling to discuss his season, his rising stock, and what he expected from his official visit to AA last weekend.

An interesting offer was sent out over the weekend and it's a name you may be familiar with.  LB Jon Reschke attends Brother Rice (MI) and has been committed to "Little Brother" for quite some time now.  So why the offer?  Not quite sure.  Don't get me wrong, Reschke is very talented (consensus 4-star) and if this '13 class hadn't taken so many LB commits early in the season, an offer would've come sooner.  Will anything happen here?  Doubt it, but this could make signing day interesting if Michigan still has an open spot.

So now there's this question...Is there a current LB or defensive commit that is wavering his commitment?  It doesn't seem so.  LB Mike McCray was rumored to be considering a de-committment, but that has been put to rest.  LB Ben Gedeon is still all blue and I haven't heard of anyone else even considering (minus DB Conley) looking else where.  So we will just chalk this up Hoke and company using some of RichRod's snake oil and trying to steal one from East Lansing. 


2014 (2015, 2016) News

OL commit Denzel Ward - you know the story here.  Kid hadn't played a down of football in his life before this past season and well...here's his highlight film, you be the judge (I was impressed by the way):


OL Tommy Doles is another '14 OL who has Michigan near the top of his list, if not at the top.  He's got a mean streak that can't be taught, as you'll see in his junior highlights:



ATH Dareian Watkins was on hand for Michigan's game against Northwestern (reaction here) and will be one of the more coveted prospects in the state of Ohio when all is said and done.  Watkins has released his junior year highlights where you will see his rare combination of size and speed:


WR Dominique Booth came onto the scene early in the season and he has caught Michigan's eye.  No offer has been extended his way yet, but after seeing his highlights (and offer list), one has to believe that one will come his way soon:



KY QB Drew Barker has some interest in Michigan.  Barker is an intriguing prospect due to his size and speed at the QB position.  His junior highlights are below:


MI LB Carl Fuller - is a new name to Recruitaholics.  Fuller attends Detroit King HS and is gaining some interest from the Michigan staff.  Here's some highlights to give you an idea of the type of player Fuller is:



'14 OL Orlando Brown can only be described with one word:  Massive.  Kid (if I can really call him a kid) stands 6'8" and weighs 360 lbs!!  And as you'll see in his junior season highlights below, his opponents have no shot:



A big high school event is going down in a few weeks at the Pontiac Silverdome.   The Maximum Exposure Adidas Showcase gives these young and talented athletes a chance to do just that, showcase.  With talent coming from all over the midwest, of course there will be plenty of kids from the state of Michigan or with interest in Michigan.  Names like QB Tyler Wiegers, RB Mike Weber, WR Dariean Watkins, DL Malik McDowell and DB Damon Webb are just a small sample of the talent (including from the class of '16) that will be in attendance.  Allen Trieu breakdowns the rest for ya.


Iowa Visitor Reactions

'13 DB Ron Dawson (teammate of Mike McCray; no offer) - Andre Barthwell
'14 QB Shelby SpenceTremendous, Chantel Jennings video interview, Season highlight video:

'14 LB Joe Henderson - Tremendous , also told TomVH of Wolverine Nation that the visit "definitely boosts Michigan."  Henderson came away with no offer.


Sayonara Suckas

'14 TX OL Demetrius Knox has narrowed his list down to Texas, Ohio, 'Bama, and TCU and will decide on Nov. 26th.  Michigan had offered, but no surprise here as Knox has been big on Texas and Ohio all along.   

Maryland to Join the Big Ten

That's a mean lookin' turtle.
 It's done.
The University of Maryland Board of Regents unanimously approved a move to the Big Ten on Monday, a source tells ESPN colleague Brett McMurphy.

An official announcement is expected at 4 p.m. ET at the school's campus in College Park, Md.

Maryland must officially apply for Big Ten membership, and needs a yes vote by at least nine of the 12 Big Ten presidents/chancellors (80 percent required) for admission. This is basically a formality.

After two decades of relative quiet, the Big Ten is poised to expand for the second time in two and a half years. Rutgers is expected to follow Maryland, giving the league 14 members. 
Michigan is 3-0 all-time against the Terrapins. The first meeting occurring in 1985 with Michigan winning 20-0, and most recently in 1990.

Here's some vitals on Maryland football via Wikipedia:
First season: 1892
Athletic director: Kevin Anderson
Head coach: Randy Edsall, 2nd year, 6–16 (.273)
Home stadium: Byrd Stadium
Stadium capacity: 54,000
Stadium surface: FieldTurf
Location: College Park, Maryland
Previous conference: Atlantic Coast Conference
All-time record: 611–535–43 (.532)
Bowl record: 11–11–2
Claimed national titles: 2 (1951, 1953)
Conference titles: 11
Consensus All-Americans: 11
Colors: Red, White, Black, and Gold
Fight song: Maryland Victory Song
Mascot: Testudo
Marching band: Mighty Sound of Maryland
Outfitter: Under Armour
Rivals: Virginia, West Virginia, Navy, Penn State
Website: UMTerps.com
Crazy jerseys. They haz them.


This is gonna be interesting.

Maryland and Rutgers to the Big Ten?

I swear this was the first thing that popped into my head when I heard the 'Maryland to the B1G' rumor on Saturday...

No idea :/

As we sit here on Sunday night, officially, that is still a rumor. The same holds true for Rutgers University, also said to be heading to the Big Ten as it's 14th member.

From a fan perspective, I'm pretty 'meh' on the whole thing. It's interesting, but is it a game changer for the league from a football competition perspective? No. The Big Ten has their horses already. This is simply a financial decision.

ESPN's Adam Rittenberg reports:
Maryland's regents will vote Monday morning whether to accept an invitation to join the Big Ten Conference as a new member, a source tells ESPN.com. Under Armour founder and top Maryland booster Kevin Plank is "100 percent" supportive of the school joining the Big Ten, a regent has told ESPN.com. 
I would be willing to bet the regents will be voting 'yes'.

Hey, I get it. We all watched 60 Minutes tonight. College football is the catalyst that drives everything for collegiate athletic departments. All that really matters is the bottom line. This move makes sense, financially, for the league. It gets the Big Ten Network more exposure ($), and opens up the east coast as a new untapped market for league revenue ($$). And it makes even more sense for Maryland and potentially Rutgers.

This story from the Washington Post from back in June illustrates the broken system of college athletics that Brandon spoke of on 60 Minutes, and uses Maryland as it's poster-child.
With its multimillion-dollar deficit mounting and no deep-pocketed donor to cover the shortfall, the University of Maryland’s athletic department will proceed with plans to cut at least seven of its 27 varsity teams this weekend. The downsizing is an attempt to correct an unsustainable pattern many households know well: Spending more than you earn.
It appears that the short-term solution to heal athletic department's dismal budgets, besides eliminating sports one by one, is to adopt the creation of super conferences. It's a path that we all probably saw coming just a couple years ago when Nebraska joined the league. Look around, this is a trend that is not slowing down.

Michigan on 60 Minutes [Video]



These photos I snapped during the Air Force pregame make much more sense to me now.




Update. Here's the bonus content from 60 Minutes Overtime...

Iowa Wrap-Up

#Team133 captains exit. Victorious.

Fitz. Pregame Fitz, healthy Fitz...
Man, I've seen a few bad one's before, but nothing like this (click with caution, not for the faint of heart). Not sure of his status as of today. I'm pretty sure his left leg is at least broken. Hopefully no ligament damage, but I wouldn't be surprised. At the post-game presser Hoke told us he was taken to the hospital and was in surgery. I can only assume he's out for an extended period of time, likely spring ball as well. Our thoughts are with you Fitz. Heal up quick.

Fire at will, commander.
Despite the loss of Toussaint on the opening drive, Michigan moved the ball down the field and scored on a 1-yard run by Devin Gardner. That drive featured a healthy mix of Devin and Denard both at QB, with only Devin throwing the ball, and multiple looks with Denard in the backfield.

I'm not exactly sure what the formation was called, reverse wishbone maybe? But the 3-back set with Devin under center was a new look from this offense. I suspect we'll hear more about it from these guys. In the presser, Hoke mentioned that Borges had been wanting to get this offense to this point for the last 18 months. For reasons he declined to delve into, it just hasn't happened until now. I guess the timing of injuries and opportunities made it work this time.

Whatever the reason, the Michigan offense hasn't performed quite like this in a while. On the first 6 possessions for Michigan, they scored 6 touchdowns. Granted, Iowa isn't very good, but that's still impressive efficiency. Adding Denard back into the lineup has given Michigan an actual rushing threat that defenses (Ohio State) will be forced to gameplan for. Before his season was taken away, Fitz was off to a great start, 3 rushes for 37 yards. Gardner, Hayes, Smith, Rawls and Denard carried 39 times for 199 yards on the ground. Not bad.

Of course that was all over-shadowed by Devin's performance. He was 18 of 23 for 314 yards and 3 touchdowns with 1 INT. That's good enough for a passer rating of 227.3. That's a big day.

How about Jeremy Gallon? All of the sudden...hands!

Defense.
Hoke did not like what he saw.
Yeah, you know but [grumble], we missed some sacks...we don't tackle...they're knocking us off the line of scrimmage earlier [long pause...grumble, grumble]. It was awful.
Yep. Pretty much gonna be a tough week of practice for those guys. They must play better in Columbus.

Highlights!


Relevant links from sites we trust.
MVictors had some nice shots of the pregame ceremony for the seniors. Warning: Bear Hugs. He also snapped some nice pagentry shots as well.
I call this one, simply, "Strutin".

Photos from UMGoblog. Mgoblog with some post-game thoughts. Big House Blog is an Al Borges fan this week.

Hoover Street Rag:
Don't say it.  Don't even say it.  You don't know, you will never know, and you will never have any way of knowing.  It was against Iowa, on Senior Day, designed in part to ruin Urban Meyer's Thanksgiving.  Stop telling yourself if only.  Stop it.  Don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy.  Unless Denard had agreed to it, it wasn't going to happen.  So stop it.
Even the coaches didn't realize Devin accounted for 6 touchdowns in this game. I'm not going to say it, but man, just think.

Postgame.
Postgame field-level was a mix of emotions. Some of the seniors didn't celebrate quite like the underclassmen, except for Treezy, but I think this shot of Elliott Mealer taking in the celebration from afar shows how much his time at Michigan has meant to him.


Eat your heart out Paul Bunyan!

ESPN's Jenn Brown interviewed Devin and then Denard after the game, and no one enjoyed Devin getting the chance to be in the spotlight more than #16.

One last time up the tunnel.

All eyes now turn to #BeatOhio.

Check out my entire Iowa gallery here.