October 31, 2007

Bizarro BCS Standings

As I state before, I want nothing more than the worst possible BCS match-up. Last week I called for Kansas vs. Hawaii, but this week I'm having a change of heart. Here is my BCS top 5.

1. Hawaii (8-0) - if they are the last undefeated team (and everybody else has 3 losses)...whatever, it will never happen. But NOBODY would care to watch the Rainbow Warriors, and that is the goal.

2. Michigan (7-2) - They had 2 ugly losses to start the year, including 1 to a 1AA school. I now want the Wolverines to win the BCS Championships and then I want Appalachian State to win the 1AA title (an actual championship by the way). Then the entire 1AA system can hang their hat on having the best team in college football. Wins over Wisconsin and Ohio State, coupled with a few key losses could see Michigan jump up the polls.

3. Kansas (8-0) - Now we are into the realm of nobody would care. I don't think the Jayhawks have massive football following (I could be wrong) and I KNOW the national audience would greet Kansas with a collective yawn. I'm hesitant to move them up simply because they would still have to beat Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship game and that would count for something in their favor.

4. Connecticut (7-1) - Who? Another basketball school and currently on top of this basketball conference. The Big East is overrated this year but maybe the Huskies can finish with only the 1 point road loss to Virginia and earn a BCS Championship birth.

5. Arizona State (8-0) - Another school that wouldn't exactly excite the world of college football. But an undefeated Sun Devil team could actually be BCS worthy. They beat Cal last week and now have to run through Oregon, UCLA and USC.

October 30, 2007

Your Dallas Skyline update...

As most of you know the Gophers are heavily recruiting 4 high school seniors from Dallas Skyline High School.

Keanon Cooper - 3-star - S
Spencer Reeves (pictured right) - 3-star - OLB
Troy Stoudermire - 2-star - ATH
DaJone McKnight - 2-star - S

Gopher Nation is very excited about the prospect of these prospects coming to Minnesota next year. Cooper and Reeves would likely play immediately and McKnight/Stoudermire would add depth and athleticism to the team as well.

I have been paying close attention to the Skyline Raiders this season and here are the results of Friday's game...

Dallas Skyline - 49
W.T. White - 0

  • Allowed 69 total yards (8 rushing, 61 passing)
  • Troy Stoudermire (pictured Right) had a monster game. He now has 9 TDs on the season and nearly 500 yards rushing. He is looking more and more like an impact player.
    • 110 yds rushing
    • 29 yds receiving
    • 24 yds passing
    • 3 touchdowns
The Skyline defense has been dominant as of late...
  • Has not allowed a TD in 14 quarters
  • Averaged 105 yards allowed in last 5 games
  • Averaged 3.4 turnovers forced in last 5 games
The Raiders are 7-1 with 2 games remaining.
  • Carter at 4-4
  • Bryan Adams at 1-7
Assuming they win these games Skyline should make the Texas 5A playoffs. I appreciated that Brewster and staff are working hard to not only bring in talented players but players from winning programs. Good luck to the Skyline 4 and we look forward to seeing you in Maroon and Gold next year!

Big Ten Bloggers Pick'em - Week 9

Well we had 4 perfect bloggers this week (Gopher Nation, Paging Jim Shikenjanski, Michigan Sports Center and Buckeye Battle Cry). And the race has tightened. last week there was exactly 1 blogger within 6 points of the leader. We now have 8 who are within the 6 point striking distance. Can Run Up the Score get back to his early dominance or is he going to succumb to the pressure and fold like his favorite team in white helmets?

Run Up the Score 99
Lake the Post 98
Hoosier Report 96
Gopher Nation 95
The Nittany Line 95
Buckeye Battle Cry 94
Michigan Sports Center 94
Off the Tracks 93
PajingJimShikenjanski 88
MGO 87
Hawkeye State 86
Buckeye Lane 85
BuckeyeBlog 82
Black Shoes Diaries 79

Blog Poll Week 9

1 Ohio State --
2 Boston College --
3 Oklahoma --
4 LSU --
5 Oregon 1
6 West Virginia 1
7 Arizona State 1
8 Missouri 1
9 Kansas 1
10 Georgia 8
11 Texas 5
12 Virginia Tech 7
13 Alabama 7
14 Connecticut 10
15 Tennessee 11
16 South Carolina 4
17 Michigan 5
18 Auburn 1
19 Southern Cal 4
20 Florida 7
21 Wake Forest 5
22 Purdue 4
23 South Florida 12
24 Hawaii 1
25 Wisconsin 1

Dropped Out: Kentucky (#14), Penn State (#19), Virginia (#21), California (#23).

October 25, 2007

We Got Him!

Ralph Sampson III has committed to Minnesota.

Rumors had been surfacing all day that he'd make his decision within 48 hours, tonight, this afternoon!

Rivals is reporting that he will sign with Tubby Smith and the golden gophers! This is a big deal.

More analysis later, but I'm heading home.

Recruits, Recruits, Recruits

Since the actual gopher football team is not much fun to write about right now (although it is Jug Week), and since the high school season is at or near playoffs I thought it would be fun to see what our recruits (both incoming and yet to commit) are doing at their respective high schools...


WR - Brandon Green (Chicago-Robeson) - Green's high school team finished the regular season at 8-1. They are the #1 seed in the upper bracket (consists of 16 of the 32 teams) in class 5A (there are 8 classes in Illinois). Although they are the #1 seed, it appears that the team to beat in class 5A is #2 seed Lombard-Montini. Green's team, Chicago-Robeson is a public league team which traditionally struggles in the playoffs (much like Mpls and StP city schools in Minnesota).

Statistically Green has been dominating his senior season. After scoring 21 TDs as a junior, Brandon has already surpassed that a senior.

  • 47 receptions for 1,100 yards
  • 17 receiving TDs
  • 3 rushing TDs
  • 3 punt return TDs
  • 3 passing TDs
  • 3 INTs and 4 fumble recoveries
WR - Vincent Hill - attending Milford Academy Prep School, Hill (#3 on the right) has had a good (though not dominant) season. Through 7 games Hill has 22 receptions, 354 yards and 2 TD. Milford Academy is undefeated and has 4 games remaining. Interesting note about Milford? Mike Tice from Edina, MN is a LB for the Falcons.

Ath - Johnny Johnson - Green's teammate at Robeson is also racking up impressive stats. The 2-star recruit is the Raider's starting QB, CB and KR. 30 passing TDs and 1,700 yards to just 3 interceptions thrown. Also rushed for 5 TDs and defensively has 24 tackles and 3 INTs.

DB - Jonathan Dandridge - The Highland Park Polar Bear's season appears to be over, finishing with a 5-4 record. Dandridge had a solid season leading the team in receiving and finding the endzone 5 times. He is a defensive recruit for the gophers and finished the season with 38 tackles and 1 interception.

DB - Simoni Lawrence - attends Valley Forge Military Academy, which has produced NFL players such as Larry Fitzgerald, Chris Doleman and Julian Peterson. Lawrence's team is currently 6-2 and has won their last 2 games by a combined 124-0. I am unable to find stats for Simoni this season. As a high school senior he started at RB and SS and had over 2,100 yards rushing and 26 TDs. Last season at the JUCO level he had 600 yards rushing, 8 TDs, 107 tackles and 10 interceptions.

LB - Sam Maresh - Champlin Park won their 1st round playoff game last night 41-0. As the #4 seed, they not face #1 seed Osseo. Through the first 8 games, Maresh has been a beast on the field leading the team with 81 tackles (next highest is 47), 1 sack, 1 fumble recovery and 1 interception.

TE - Eric Lair - Houston Lamar, team is currently 6-1. Best stats I could find show 5 receptions, 92 yards and 4 TDs.


Dallas - Skyline 4 - the team is 6-1 losing only to Arlington Bowie (7-17) who is currently ranked #8 in Texas 5A (highest class). The Raiders will likely win out and finish 9-1 heading into the playoffs. The overall defense has been VERY good.
  • Held 5-2 Molina to just 5 first downs and 97 total yards on their way to a 48-0 shutout.
  • Has not allowed double digit points in their last 4 games.
  • Has allowed 1 touchdown in their last 13 quarters.
  • Leads the Dallas area allowing just 174.6 yards per game.
  • Most recent game held team to 50 yards of total offense en route to a 62-0 win.
  • Only 3 teams in Texas class 5A have allowed fewer points than Skyline.
Ath - Troy Stoudermire (RB/WR/DB) - this 2-star athlete has...
  • 375 rushing yards
  • 3 rushing TDs
  • 2 punt return TDs
  • 1 receiving TD
  • 1 INT
Ath - DaJon KcKnight - 7 receptions, 101 yards and 2 TDs

LB - Spencer Reeves - defensive stats are hard to come by, but 1 INT returned for a touchdown is certain.

S - Keanon Cooper -unable to find any stats.

DT - Jewhan Edwards (#68 pictured right)- Philadelphia Roman
Catholic is sitting at 7-1. Edwards visited Minnesota in late September but has strong interest in big time schools out east. Unable to find any significant stats on Edwards.

QB - MarQueis Gray - this Indianapolis native (Ben Davis High School) has had a disappointing season. Not statistically, but because he broke his hand early is just now getting back onto the field. You can find his cumulative stats HERE. The team is currently 7-3, which
includes winning their first playoff game. This week they play the #1 team in state, Pike so it should be a very good game for Gray and his teammates. Gray has played in only 4 games this season but here are his numbers through 4...
  • 240 yds rushing and 4 TDs
  • 294 yds passing, 2 TDs, 0 INTs
  • 5 receptions, 86 yards and 1 TD
Gray has been down to Minnesota and Oregon, but the Pioneer Press is reporting that we may be close to landing Gray since Oregon recently signed another QB from the state of Texas. Personally, I'm a little skeptical of Gray. As I read HERE, Gray has the tools and ability to be a dominant QB at the D1 level (in the Vince Young mold), but people also question how badly he wants to be good. "Those high school coaches who have seen him play know that he has all the tools to be a great one. But, not sure he wants it bad enough." So I am skeptical but I also appreciate that we are recruiting a very talented, 4-star QB from a program that traditionally wins (17 sectional championships). The gophers need talent and they need winners. We'll find out where Gray falls on that spectrum.

CB - Traye Simmons - College of the Sequoias is sitting at 3-4 with 3 games remaining. We like to call him Big Play Traye, but will BPT be a golden gopher? That remains to be seen. Stats were a little sketchy for Coll of Sequoias. BPT had 7 tackles in 2 games, but I was unable to garner any further stats.

That is the
best I can do for now (and I apologize for the messy layout of this post). I hope these are valuable updates on incoming or potential future gophers. I am encouraged that we are targeting kids from winning program. Dallas Skyline, Indianapolis Ben Davis, Chicago Robeson and Philadelphia Roman Catholic are all having great seasons. The gophers need to add winners to change the culture of mediocrity.

October 23, 2007

Get to Know your Gopher Recruit - Colton Iverson

Currently the only incoming freshman for Coach Tubby Smith is PF Colton Iverson. Tubby does have more coming for the 2008 recruiting class, but Iverson is the lone player currently playing high school basketball.

Colton Iverson
Pos - PF
Rivals Ranks - 4-Star, 140th overall, 37th among PFs
Home - Yankton, SD
Size - 6'9", 240

Status - solid verbal commitment
Top schools - Nebraska, Iowa and had an offer from Florida

The current gopher seniors will leave a massive hole in the frontcourt and the Iverson is expected to come in an be a major contributor. After some invasive minor google-stalking and a little patience I was able to procure a brief e-mail interview with the incoming golden gopher.

Tell me a little bit about your current high school team. I know you went to state last year, are you expecting a return trip? Did you graduate key players?

My high school team went to state last year and we finished 5th after a double overtime loss in the first round.I am the only returning starter from last year, I think my classmates and the juniors will step up this year though so we are hoping for a return to state this year and are excited.

Your recruitment basically came down to Nebraska and Minnesota, what were the deciding factors that put Minnesota in the lead and eventually led to a commitment?

I visited 6 or 7 universitys and took time to listen to about 20 different schools before narrowing it down and I just know that the coaches at Minnesota are going to do a great job. I visited campus and liked everything about it.

The whole recruitment process is rather unique and something that most people do not get to experience. Walk me through the process. What parts did you most enjoy, which parts did you hate, what was your process for eliminating schools?

Well my recruitment really started after I went to the Bob Gibbons tournament in North Carolina with Mike Millers M33M Ballas. There was a lot of scouts there that saw a few of my games and after that tournament the calls were coming. It was all really exciting and great for me. Some of the recruitment process was not so fun though like when I would be back home for a few days between tournaments and the whole time I would be getting calls from scouts and coaches all day.

How excited are you to play for Tubby and his staff? In what ways do you think he will help you to grow as a basketball player?

I am really excited to play for Coach Smith and staff, I know they are all great guys and are going to do a great job. I know that they have produced players of my size and I believe they can do that with me.

When you aren't working out so you can lead Gopher Nation to the Final Four, what kinds of things do you do for fun?

I like to hang out with buddies and we go to bonfires and go to the lake and hang out all day, every once and a while we'll go golfing but we just like to have fun.

Besides preparing for a long professional career in basketball, what are you thinking about majoring at the U?

I am considering something in Business or Sports Managment but still far from deciding.

What can Gopher fans expect to see when the watch you play?

I think they can expect to see a hustle guy going for loose balls and rebounds and blocking shots.

Now that you are a gopher (or soon will be) tell us one reason why Wisconsin sucks!

Haha I don't know if I can comment on that....

EDITORIAL INTERJECTION - I think what he meant to say was, How do you get a Wisconsin grad off your front porch? Pay him for the pizza!

Anyway, thank you to Mr. Iverson for taking the time to respond to my questions. I am excited to see him in maroon and gold next year. By all accounts this current recruiting class is shaping up to be one of the better groups in the Big Ten so hopefully the return to a competitive and winning basketball program isn't as far off as some fear.

FINAL NOTE: for the record, I am in no way affiliated with the University of Minnesota, the basketball program, alumni groups, nor am I an alum myself and I have not contributed any money to the university. I don't believe any NCAA rules were violated with this interview.

October 22, 2007

Blog Poll Week 8

I move that we make this a top 15. I cringed at putting certain teams in the poll this week. Not my proudest poll but it is what it is...

1 Ohio State --
2 Boston College --
3 Oklahoma 1
4 LSU 1
5 Virginia Tech 2
6 Oregon 6
7 West Virginia 2
8 Arizona State 2
9 Missouri 2
10 Kansas 6
11 South Florida 8
12 South Carolina 6
13 Florida 2
14 Kentucky 6
15 Southern Cal 2
16 Texas 4
17 Auburn 3
18 Georgia 5
19 Penn State 5
20 Alabama 6
21 Virginia --
22 Michigan 4
23 California 10
24 Connecticut 2
25 Hawaii 1

Dropped Out: Texas Tech (#18), Cincinnati (#19), Tennessee (#22), Kansas State (#25).