This wasn't an earthshaking bowl season, mostly because of things discussed here, but Wisconsin and the Michigan schools at least made it bearable to watch at the end. So did we learn anything?
Other OTE Articles of Note
Penn State's Hilarious Coach Hiring Process - The Way Ted Glover Saw It Go Down
Hilary's Simpson's Power Poll Wrap Up
We learned that Purdue has some nice talent; and seriously, if you had guessed Purdue would have ended the season being considered a better team than Ohio State, Northwestern, and Illinois, I would have called you crazy. Real crazy.
We learned that the Spartan and Wolverine coaches are pretty solid (although I guess we probably knew that). Both teams came back and won against worthy opponents...without playing their best ball. The players were put in position to succeed by the coaches and that's about all you can ask for.
We learned that the late season swoons of PSU, OSU, and Nebraska...were not just B1G induced. Nope, those teams were just not that good in 2011-2012. We also learned you don't want to live in a B1G world where OSU and PSU are rebuilding. Not during bowl season anyways.
2011: The Year Of The Insanity
2011: Where Ohio State forgot how to play football. And lost their coach, star player(s). And lost to Michigan for the first time since 2003. And let Joe Bauserman play quarterback. And lost 7 games. And got bowl banned and former wins wiped out. But got great free tattoos!
Sent to Jon during that OSU-MSU ugly-fest back in October. Ha.
2011: Penn State. smh.
2011: Where the only predictable thing was Indiana sucking and Northwestern suffering a tough bowl game loss to a more talented Southern school squad.
2011: Brady Hoke. GREAT HIRE. But you all saw that coming.
2011: The Year of Spartan Disrespect.
2011: Why doesn't anyone want to play halfback at Iowa?
Michigan State, The Rodney Dangerfield of the B1G
Michigan State fans and players need to start acting like they belong in 2012. They'll be the favorite in the B1G (along with Michigan, although I would give MSU the edge right now, unlike Bama Hawkeye). They just won 11 games, beat a Top 5 Wisconsin team, and defeated Michigan for the fourth year in a row. So please, Sparty, let's move on from the constant bitching of 2011 and the need to demean Michigan's success at any turn. To recap:
UM beats ND, Spartan Reaction: "Same old terrible UM defense, congrats on being Week Three National Champs."
UM wins 11 games, beats OSU, wins a bowl game: "8 home games? Enjoy the return to mediocrity next year." "It took NCAA violations to finally beat OSU." "Our bowl win was more impressive than yours."
Wisconsin Defeats MSU in B1G Championship Game, Michigan is chosen for a BCS Bowl: "The BCS is meaningless, but we got screwed by not being part of it." "You know if we played in the same set up as last year, we'd be going to the Rose Bowl. This new system screwed us."...and Kirk Cousins: "Michigan sat home on the couch and watched us. ... I don't see how you get punished for playing and someone else gets to sit on the couch and get what they want. If this is the way the system is, I guess it's a broken system."
Iowa Halfback Curse
We need to have a real discussion of why no one wants to play halfback at Iowa. Generational curse? Coaching problems? Recruiting problem kids? What the hell is going on?
Indiana Football Curse
Two quarterbacks left Indiana last week. If a tree falls in the woods and no one hears...etc etc.
Recruiting Rankings: UM, OSU cleaning up
His biggest problems in recruiting, to me, are:
1) Star chasing. He’s a big believer in momentum with recruiting, and he loves nothing more than an avalanche of 4/5* guys all rolling in at once. It creates a buzz that he can then sell the remaining spots on. It works, but at Florida he often ended up with guys that really (IMO, here) didn’t do their due diligence on UF. I think that’s one of the main reasons we’ve had problems with transfers and keeping up the scholarship numbers (Meyer did not oversign at UF).
2) Recruits of questionable character. Normally I’m the last person to care about what touble a kid got into in HS (within reason), but when you’ve got to kick out a handful of players every year, it becomes a serious problem with depth. Not to mention the consistent negative headlines and everything else.
3) Speed obsession. Meyer loves fast guys. "So do I!", you’re thinking. No, you don’t. Not like Meyer loves fast guys. There is nothing inherently wrong with a bunch of speed merchants on the roster, but when you end up with dozens of diminutive blazers, and basically no bruisers or anyone of physical significance…it can cause problems. Specifically, it causes problems with massive teams that want to pound you into submission. I’m basically talking about Alabama, here. This was such an issue, there are more than a few Gators who believe that one of, if not the main reason Meyer left UF was to escape the machine in Tuscaloosa. I don’t really buy that entirely, but there is some truth to it. His system broke down against Saban to a degree that no other defense could manage. Perhaps it’s silly to expect anything else against Saban, but it was extremely disconcerting to most Gators, and probably to Meyer himself.
The main reason UF struggled with Bama was our abject lack of size. All the speed in the world counts for nothing if you’re being physically manhandled for 60 minutes. Meyer’s reluctance to recruit playmakers other than the Percy Harvin mold was the main reason for this deficiency.
4) Lastly, his system requires a unique type of QB to truly work. Luckily for the Buckeyes, it appears that you have a QB already that more or less fills the Tebow/Cam Newton role. The problem is (as it was for Florida), what happens when he’s gone. Newton was supposed to take over for Tebow, but then…uhh…well, let’s just say it didn’t quite go according to plan. The biggest concern for the Buckeyes is that, although he was UF’s coach almost into the year 2011, the last blue chip QB Meyer recruited to UF was in 2007. That’s the reason why we were stuck throwing out a true freshman against LSU in Death Valley this season. There was the class with Brantley and Newton in 2007, and then nothing for the rest of his tenure.
I have no idea why or how that happened, but it should be something to watch out for in Columbus.
John Bacon, Offseason Reading Material for Wolverines/Others
If you want to see the Rodriguez dumpster fire from within, read Bacon's book. Good lord. Infighting and program attacks at its best. One of the pages below - love the Bear Bryant quote. It IS hard to rally around a math class.