Monday, August 16, 2010

[19 Days to Go] Name That BabyStache

The first Guest Post of the 2nd Annual Mustaches for Michigan Movement is proudly presented here and written by Misopogon -- yes, that Misopogon of the Decimated Defense fame.

Enter Misopogon:

It takes more than a nice system, the best uniform in sports, and the biggest stadium in America to win championships, Big Ten or otherwise. There has always been one key ingredient for winning at football: talent for playing football.

This mystical "talent" comes from scouting 18-year-olds across the nation, then wooing them to enroll in your school with promises of free tuition and room and board* (and maybe the keys to any car in a Columbus dealership).

* Some schools not associated with the SEC may even honor these promises.

But recruiting is a bit of a crap-shoot. I mean, you're looking at 18-year-olds here. There are far too many instances of high school standouts becoming college flops, so much breeding-stock man-meat, so many specimens worthy of panting from grown men, who (the recruits) end up with school profiles reading "working hard to earn playing time." So how, really, can a program separate the men from the boys?

Well, sometimes there are early signs of greatness, metrics if you will. Like how fast he runs the 40-yard-dash in Faerie Dream World, or by measuring the total volume of salivation from camp attendees, or...I dunno guys, is there something about these kids that might hint there is potential for greatness beyond?

Maybe the signs are already there. Let's look at some Michigan men from before they were Michigan Men (TM), and see if we can spot anything that might suggest there's more to these guys than what excites Tom Lemming...

Of course, not every mustached high schooler ends up summarily awesome in college. From 2002 to 2009 I found five or six guys out of 40 with high school mustaches who weren't All-Americans, NFL players, All-Big Ten, or extremely valuable, or did not generally meet or exceed expectations.

Five or six....out of FORTY!

People: Imagine two recruiting classes (or one if you're Houston Nutt), in which you bring in 40 athletes, of whom all but five or six "pan out." Now imagine two entire recruiting classes with mustaches! That would be, like, a million Rose Bowls or something!

The recruiting sites can talk speed and statistics and prison abs till all of their five-stars 'go blue'**. But if you're looking for a features that will guarantee wins, take a cue from the winning-est school in college football history -- you know, the one that has painted a big maize mustache on its forehead for over 70 years: the secret to scouting is right under your nose.


** Lord willing

/ Misopogon

Check back tomorrow morning for the BabyStache answer sheet...

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