In the past, Michigan Football has been a breeding ground for NFL talent. Countless QBs, RBs, and WRs have come to Ann Arbor and left with pro teams waiting in line to offer them contracts. These offensive superstars have come to Michigan to play in a "Pro" style offense.
With Rich Rodriguez implementing his Spread offense, will we be able to attract these types of players? And will the players designed to fit in the spread fit in with Michigan's academic standards?
Are GPAs standing in the way of great talent in the Big House?
In the past, Michigan could find four and five-star talent anywhere across the country and attract them to Ann Arbor with promises of learning and playing in a "Pro" environment. These players were not only promised a great athletic career but a great academic one as well.
Typically, I tend to believe that highly ranked prep stars are focused on their academics and/or have a stronger support system around them than three-star or lower talent. (coaches/community leaders tend to leech on to superstar athletes).
Any team with an overwhelming amount of five-star talent will be good (i.e. USC), but RR is known for taking three-star talent and building great teams. These three-star recruits are often not pursued by many, if any, elite programs. These young men usually have raw talent, but I've noticed that they usually have the same thing in common...2.5 or lower GPAs.
If GPAs are going to get in the way of RR bringing in "his" players, then Michigan may be rebuilding much longer than expected.
Global Warming May Warm Up the Big Ten
Florida is sunny and hot. California is home to Hollywood, and I think it rains only three days a year. Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, and Georgia are warm most of the year and offer small towns for players who enjoy the "slowness" of the South. Even the Pac-10 has not so good programs attracting talent because of weather (Arizona, ASU). The Big Ten has a BIG disadvantage—IT'S FREAKIN' COLD!
The college game is and has been changing. It's moving from hard-nosed run attacks to fast-paced, flashy, speed-dominated excitement. Many players whom offer this excitement reside in the South. In the South, it's warm 365 days a year. The South is home to the SEC, and that's usually where these players end up.
Bringing this talent to the North is hard to do. I can only imagine what RR and his staff have to promise these kids when they come visit in the middle of the winter. Multiple trips to Blimpy Burger or a tour of the state of the art facility can only really do so much.
Some players might enjoy the climate change, as most of them have never even seen snow in person, but most won't care about the tradition or climate shift and decide to play back where it's warm.
Many factors have always stood in the way of elite programs and elite recruits, but it is my opinion that many great players will never play in the Big Ten strictly because it's too cold in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan.