Monday Morning Kickoff: Yes to Michigan, No to Clemson, and LOL Tide
By Tony Gerdeman
* On Saturday, the University of Michigan got a verbal commit from four-star offensive lineman Dan Samuelson. Samuelson was previously committed to Nebraska, but he committed to the Wolverines after his official visit to Ann Arbor.
Samuelson is Michigan's sixth offensive line commit in the 2013 class, which is a pretty large number considering they also took four offensive linemen in last year's class.
After seeing the way Alabama's offensive line dominated Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship Game, it's no surprise to see a team loading up on the big uglies.
However, you don't have to look that deep to see why Michigan is loading up on the offensive line. Turns out, the Wolverines only have four offensive linemen from the 2009, 2010 and 2011 classes who will be playing next season.
But don't worry, it's not quite as bad as it sounds. Three talented Wolverine walk-ons saw time on the offensive line this past season, and will be back next year as well, but Brady Hoke is obviously looking to upgrade their overall depth, as he should.
However, I do have a question. Is it just coincidence that the number of offensive linemen that Michigan is looking to sign matches the exact number of defensive linemen that Ohio State is looking to sign?
Probably, but that doesn't mean it's lost on the Michigan coaching staff.
* There were rumors last week that Ohio State and Clemson were looking to schedule a season-opening football game in 2017. However, after checking with Ohio State, a spokesman told me that there are "no scheduling activities presently taking place".
In fact, it's not just Ohio State who is currently in a holding pattern when it comes to future scheduling. I was told that the entire Big Ten is waiting as well. Why? The conference has to take care of the Rutgers and Maryland additions first before schedules can begin advancing forward.
The Big Ten also needs to figure out if they are going to play eight conference games or nine. If they play nine (which is Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany's preference), there will only be room for three non-conference games. Before teams can schedule too far out, they have to first know how many slots they'll need to fill.
There may be schools talking to other schools, but as far as Ohio State is concerned, they are not engaging in any such talks at the moment. According to the spokesman, athletic director Gene Smith's answer regarding Clemson being on the schedule was simply "No".
* Watching Alabama win their third BCS National Championship in four years last Monday night, I couldn't help but chuckle a little bit.
The Crimson Tide are as close to a dynasty as we've had in college football since Nebraska in the mid-to-late 90s, but if I wanted to, I could diminish their accomplishments just a bit.
For one, their first championship against Texas was due to the Longhorns losing Colt McCoy. Had he been healthy, I think most people would agree that Texas would have won that game. I know Alabama fans wouldn't agree, but I'm okay with that.
After all, even with McCoy, the Longhorns and their very average quarterback Garrett Gilbert had the ball with 3:14 to play in the fourth quarter, down by just three points. Two immediate turnovers by Gilbert later and the Tide are walking away with a comfortable 37-21 win. Colt McCoy would have been the difference.
Fast forward to 2011. Alabama loses at home to LSU in the regular season, finishes second in their own division, which means that they were technically no better than third in their own conference. However, they were somehow still granted a spot in the BCS National Championship with a do-over against a conference opponent. How convenient. Way to render the regular season impotent.
And then we have last week's game, which was the biggest sham of them all. Why? Because all Alabama had to do was beat Notre Dame. Who wouldn't win a national championship in that situation?
So yes, Alabama, enjoy your dynasty, but remember, your championships came against Mack Brown, Les Miles and Notre Dame. Have you no shame?
* It shouldn't come as too much of a surprise to see the Buckeyes miss out on coveted out of state receivers like James Quick, Robert Foster and Laquon Treadwell. There simply isn't a track record for receivers in this offense yet.
I don't think 2011 helped the perception either. But it's not like this is a recent problem. The last time Ohio State had a 1,000-yard receiver, Quick, Foster and Treadwell were in the second grade.
Granted, 1,000 yards isn't the be-all and end-all, but it's a significant target and it's a target that hasn't been hit since Michael Jenkins was a junior. Santonio Holmes, Brian Robiskie and Dane Sanzenbacher all had over 900 yards receiving in a season, but that's still not 1,000.
And what does it say about a program that can have first-round receivers like Holmes, Anthony Gonzalez and Ted Ginn, and none of the three ever had 1,000 yards receiving?
Urban Meyer is going to draw highly-skilled players simply because of who he is, where he is, and what he's done, but just imagine what he's going to be able to do when recruits have tangible and recent results to look at. No position may be impacted more than receiver in this regard.
* How slick is Ohio State's recruiting going right now? The Buckeyes had a pretty big recruiting weekend this past week and instead of it being cold and miserable like it normally is in Ohio in January, it was in the 60s all weekend in Columbus.
For once the random player or two from 14 hours south of campus won't leave Columbus thinking there's no way they can handle the cold. Was it deceptive on Mother Nature's part? Of course. Was it beneficial to Ohio State? Absolutely.
Once the recruits were all finally out of Columbus and back on their way home, the temperature began its familiar descent back below freezing, proving once again that Urban Meyer is the most powerful man in Ohio.
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