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An MSU football recruiting round-up in three parts: today, a reason to laugh; tomorrow, a reason to relax; and the day after that, a reason to panic.
WHAT! THAT IS A HORRIBLE ORDER TO GO IN. WE'RE GONNA BE ALL PANICKED AT THE END OF IT! WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?
Too late to change the sequence now, it's-
One Reason to Laugh
One could probably spend an even longer time fisking more of this cookie cutter recruiting fluff (that bit at the end about ESS-EEE-SEE SPEED, especially), but Stewart Mandel is basically the Seth Davis of college football, and if that analogy makes sense to you, you understand why that isn't worth the effort.
But let me highlight the handful of Spartan relevant sentences:
In 2007, Carr's final year at the helm, the Wolverines signed just one of Rivals' top 10 prospects in the state of Michigan. In 2009, rival Michigan State signed eight of the top 11. (Is it any wonder the Spartans won four straight games in the series?)
Ugh, no. No, no, no. Hold on, gotta find an infinitely looping clip that explains how this makes me FEEL INSIDE:
Hey remember Cheap Seats! J-just me, huh?
Part of me wouldn't blame Mandel for this, maybe he just tossing out a throwaway filler line, except you get the impression from the rest of the piece that he thinks this really was the key hinge in the swing back and forth between MSU and UM, and I just don't know mang.
So, yeah, is it any wonder MSU won four straight after winning that 2009 in-state recruiting battle? Well, one of those four wins came before any of those players even stepped foot on campus (in 2008), so that's a really bad start for his argument, but let's not be too hasty. Surely many of those eight (Baker, Caper, Gainer, Maxwell, Norman, Sims, Spencer, Treadwell) were huge in the other three games, right?
Baker: 48 carries in the 2010 and 2011 Michigan games, 314 yards (6.5 per carry), 2 TDs. The man punished Michigan, can't deny that.
Caper: So, overall a bit underwhelming in the rivalry (3 TDs is great, but only 74 yards on 21 carries and 4 catches for 20 yards makes a decidedly mixed bag), but YO THIS WAS PRETTY BIG THO:
So this part of his argument is off to a genuinely strong start. He's dumb? MORE LIKE, YOU'RE DUMB, HECK DORLAND.
But, then we have...
Norman: 18 tackles in the 3 wins, but none for loss, no QB hurries, fumbles forced, or PBUs
Treadwell: 2 tackles, none for loss, and then one offensive line start this year in a loss.
Maxwell: 0 production in any of the wins, 21/34, 192 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT this year in a loss
Gainer: 1 tackle in three years vs Michigan
Sims: 0 catches for 0 yards vs Michigan in three seasons (I believe he was injured this year though)
Spencer: LOL NOPE
Uh oh. Well, now those eight aren't really looking like turning point in the rivalry. But maybe Michigan's in-state reversal powered this year's UM win? Who could forget the Oct 20 contributions of Wolverine Michiganders like _____________. Welp, who's got the time when there's a narrative to push?
*****Infomercial Break. We interrupt your reading to bring you this important offer*****
Want recruiting success? Need recruiting success? Is your team too, too, low in the rankings to effectively talk smack to your rivals in the off-season? Well you, (yes! you!) can turn your team's ranking around for as low as three million dollars a year in three easy steps (I assume everyone reading this site is a multi-millionaire, yes?).
Step one: Put one million dollars into your team's recruiting budget.
As Sherman writes, recruiting budgets can account for travel to see prospects, on-campus visits and designing and distributing recruiting packets.
Is your team not Tennessee (proud owners of a yearly $1.5 million recruiting budget)? Then, why not become Tennessee? Is your team Tennessee? Then go ahead and kick that bad boy up to 2.5 mill, because when money talks, Jon Gruden listens, you hear?
Take advantage of new unlimited recruit contact rules to put your new wealth to good use. Robo-dialers. personal jet packs (when you make an entrance at the kid's high school make an entrance. Through the ceiling, if necessary), nothing is too good for your team.
Step two: Put one million dollars into your team's coaching salaries
Whoa, but not your head coach, he's almost certainly making too much already and is probably just the closer when it comes to recruiting. It's the assistants that are really grinding on the recruiting trail, so pay them their money.
Give all your assistants a 100,000 dollar raise, conditional on them making more recruiting calls and visits and God it just sucks so much, this wasn't supposed to be part of this job, bowing down to 16 year olds, what am doing with my life- . Or, give your best recruiter a 1 million dollar raise and hope the other coaches don't tear him to pieces in a jealousy-fueled riot. If you hate all your coaches, go hire Ron Zook and make him your team's recruiting coordinator, he's not doing anything right now anyways. If you're not a Zook fan, stick in the Ron category and consider what your team could do with the services... of a PRINCE.
Step three: Split your final one million dollars into three, $333,333 chunks. Use each chunk to buy as many one year subscriptions as you can at your team's member-sites on Scout, Rivals, and 24/7.
You should now be in control of about 10,000 dummy accounts. Be careful with your Recruitnonymous bot-ring, the FBI may already be monitoring you. If you really want to be seen as an active force on these sites go hook up the members of your RCMB-equivalent with usernames and passwords and let them talk up your team across these networks.
It is possible that as a result of this hefty yearly expenditure, you will see no change at all in your team's coverage or in the player evaluations of those your team is interested in or has gained commits from. No change at all. It is possible.
Note: This step isn't actually going to make your team any better, probably, but it will likely make you feel better. And can you really put a price on comfort? Well, according to this advice, yes, yes you can.
With your leftover dollar, I don't know, buy a pop or something.
And if all that doesn't work, you can just use the three million to pay players direct-
****Infomercial Break Over. We now return you to your regularly scheduled article****
Look, you could make a persuasive argument that the loss of MSU running backs coach Dan Enos after 2009, the primary recruiter on many of those eight players, to Central Michigan's head coaching position harmed Michigan State's in-state recruiting vs Michigan. And when Brad Salem, Enos' replacement hire, was deployed primarily out to his former stomping ground of Wisconsin, instead of the East side of Michigan, and Terry Samuels, another new hire, was given responsibilities in Texas that have yet to bear fruit, a talented, hard-working, well-funded, high-paid Michigan staff was able to re-entrench into their traditional recruiting grounds by spending a lot of (surprise!) time and money building relationships with kids and coaches.
But dang, man, that's a paragraph that like, tries to explain an in-state recruiting shift and who's got the time for that, when you can roll with this choice bit that only Count von Count could love:
But the script flipped last year, when -- in Hoke's first full class -- Michigan signed seven of the state's top 10 recruits. This year, the Wolverines have commitments from six, led by four-star quarterback Shane Morris (Warren, Mich.) and four-star cornerback Jourdan Lewis (Detroit).
Seven! Seven of the top ten. Ah... Ah... Ah! One, Two, Three, Four Stars! Zero! Zero seconds more of my time on this article!
YO SOMEBODY FIRE JOE MORGAN (that's how you end these type pieces, right???)