Category Archives: B1G Ten

Where Are The “Fire” Harbaugh Clowns Now?

I’ve taken plenty of heat for my continued belief that Jim Harbaugh would turn around Michigan, but those who called me names and questioned my sanity and knowledge of football are now nowhere to be found.  Why?  Where my spartan dawgs at?

For one, I’ve never turned on Harbaugh, I’ve always believed he was Michigan’s best hope for a resurgence and haven’t wavered, but boy did my enemies have a field day with my belief that Harbaugh was the man for the job in Ann Arbor.  Check out this thread from some Sparties.

I’ve long said 2018 (ask Jim and Drew) was the year Harbaugh would turn it around.  I had high hopes for them to do it a year early in 2017, but that didn’t materialize because Michigan didn’t have a competent QB and the offensive line wasn’t ready.

We are now seeing the fruits of Harbaugh’s labor.  Face it, the program was in awful shape and needed a massive infusion of talent before even a phenomenal coach like Jim Harbaugh could turn it around and compete.  The program was so off the rails before Harbaugh arrived in Ann Arbor that it was obvious he would need some time to massage the roster and return Michigan to prominence.

Michigan’s dominant wins over Wisky and Sparty are a sure fire sign that Harbaugh has Michigan rolling, they aren’t ready to win a National Title yet, but they are certainly ready to be in the conversation and as of last weeks destruction of Sparty, they are right in the middle of the national conversation.

However, I’m perplexed that many national experts are leaving Ohio State for dead, I’m confident they will win out until they play Michigan, but I think Michigan is in the drivers seat heading toward the showdown with the buckeyes.  This game will be great if both teams are 11-1.  I expect Michigan will win, but this is still Ohio State and they are still a great program.  As we all know, anything can and will happen in Columbus.

As of today, Michigan is back, the rivalry with MSU is secure as Harbaugh has now won two of the last three.  Michigan State will no longer be an issue, the worm has turned, Sparty is dead.  Michigan State simply cannot recruit with Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State.  It was fun while is lasted for sparty, but now it is over.

Harbaugh has created and remained steadfast in his belief that outstanding defense and solid offense would win titles, he is being proven correct. He will be at Michigan for years and he will compete and win titles at Michigan.

The Harbaugh critics have fallen silent; most of it was wishful thinking.  Harbaugh was never going to fail at Michigan and everybody is FINALLY figuring that out.

 

What’s Wrong With Michigan’s Football Recruiting?

What is wrong with Michigan’s football recruiting?  That is the familiar refrain from Wolverine fans following two “under the radar” commitments to Michigan in the last week.  I’m not sure why Michigan fans are losing their minds over the commitments of MI/ATH Ben Vansumeren and MO/WR Ronnie Bell, but clearly some are not thrilled.

Vansumeren is a three star athlete who was off the radar except for his commitment to Iowa, his offer list included a bunch of MAC type schools and the Hawkeyes until he recently flipped from Iowa to Michigan.  Vansumeren is a typical Harbaugh recruit, he’s versatile and loves to hit people which is why he could project as a TE, FB or LB.  The guy has the athleticism to be very good, flexible player for the Wolverines, but some nutty Michigan fans are not having any of it.  The star gazers are not thrilled that this guy is a three star recruit who literally “nobody” wanted and was on the way to Western Michigan before verbally committing to Iowa and finally flipping to Michigan.  My guess is none of them have ever seen the kid play are are simply upset that he didn’t have enough “start” next to his name.

If Vansumeren sent Michigan recruiting stargazers over the edge, imagine the meltdown when former Missouri State basketball (yes, I said Missouri State) commitment Ronnie Bell decided he didn’t want to play basketball for the Bears and instead announced he was heading to Michigan to play football.  Bell has zero….zero football offers as most schools expected him to play basketball.  Bell is a rangy but thin receiver who was one of the best players in Missouri, even though the in-state schools didn’t recruit him or offer a scholarship to play football.  Further freaking out some Michigan fans is the fact that Bell is Michigan’s only third two star recruit (outside of kickers) to commit to the Wolverines under Harbaugh.  The other two stars are offensive lineman Nolan Ulizio in Harbaugh’s first class in 2015 and RB Kurt Taylor in 2017.  I’m not counting kickers as they are considered top prospects as two star prospects.

Critics say Harbaugh can’t keep the momentum up because the Wolverines lost four games this season and that Harbaugh has lost his touch, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.  There are many reasons we could be seeing some lower level recruits and none of them are a reflection of where the Wolverines recruiting efforts are trending.  A quick glance at the 2018 recruiting cycle will show you there is zero loss of momentum with three players in the top 100 already verbally committed to the Wolverines.

The recruitment of Vansumeren and Bell could be as simple as Harbaugh taking flyers on very athletic players, it isn’t unprecedented. If you look at his previous classes, Harbaugh has tried to uncover guys nobody else is recruiting, every teams needs organizational depth and unless you are Alabama you can’t expect every four or five star player to commit to your program.  That comes after you win and win big.

The trouble with recruiting at a high level and not yet getting into the playoffs is that recruits aren’t flocking to your school but you can get enough great players to fill out your two deep.  The downside is Michigan can’t sell playing time anymore, so they will take a certain number of developmental guys who will hopefully be contributors when they are upperclassmen.  If these guys don’t pan out, you will see them leave as seniors or before to free up scholarships for higher prospects.  They are akin to placeholders and if they develop, all the better.  Most people don’t understand that scholarships are a series of one year contracts and turning over the roster is the new way of doing business in college football.

Rest easy Michigan recruiting geeks, the recruiting effort under Harbaugh has lost no momentum under Harbaugh, the 2018 class is a smallish, filler class that affords the Wolverines to take a flyer or two on a couple guys with tremendous upside.  Harbaugh clearly knows talent when he sees it and at this point, after watching the player development under this staff, I think we know where this is heading.  In the end, this class will still likely end up in the top 10 nationally.

 



 

Sparty, There Is A Reason You Didn’t Get The Outback Bowl!

Sparty, there are multiple reasons you didn’t get picked to play in The Outback Bowl.  The biggest is right here, face it, you just don’t support your team and you ain’t that sexy.

The Outback Bowl took the more attractive option, they took a TV ratings magnet and a huge ticket sale over a regional program that many outside of the Midwest don’t pay attention too at all, even when you are making the playoff.

What is even more delicious was your total meltdown when somebody told you the truth.  The complete meltdown by the fan base and players over a meaningless bowl game only only reinforces the “little brother” tag and makes you look small.  You’ll never get out of Michigan’s shadow by calling for a boycott of every bowl that didn’t select you to play in it.  I’d hate to see what would happen if you got snubbed by the Dollar General Bowl or the Camping World Bowl.

Outback Bowl president/CEO Jim McVay:

“We’re tied in with the Big Ten and we’re tied in with the Southeastern Conference and both teams are loaded with excellent inventory. On the Big Ten side we looked at a couple of teams. The way the process with the Outback Bowl (works) is: We get our selection committee, our board. And once it’s clear who is available, we make presentations about each team and then (the board) votes. Whatever the decision is from the board and the selection committee (is) that’s who we take. We feel very fortunate to have South Carolina and coach (Will) Muschamp and the University of Michigan and Jim Harbaugh in our game. We’re excited about it.” 

Yep, they picked Michigan, why, TV ratings and butts in season, so simple even a Sparty can figure it out.