Monday, February 11, 2013
Michigan rises in Schlabach's latest Top 25
By Adam Rittenberg
National signing day has come and gone, and it's time for another set of preseason rankings. No, not ours (not yet at least), but colleague Mark Schlabach has issued a second version of his way-too-early Top 25 for the 2013 season, taking into account the recent recruiting classes, NFL decisions by underclassmen and other factors.
If you're a Michigan Wolverines fan, you'll like what you see. If you're a Wisconsin Badgers fan, probably not.
Michigan rises from No. 23 in Schlabach's initial rankings to No. 12 in today's version. The Wolverines signed the nation's No. 6 recruiting class , according to ESPN Recruiting, led by ESPN 150 running back Derrick Green. They also received a huge boost when likely first-round draft pick Taylor Lewan opted to remain in Ann Arbor to anchor the Wolverines' offensive line in 2013. Schlabach writes, "With the way Michigan coach Brady Hoke and his staff have recruited the last two years, the Wolverines aren’t just going to concede a Big Ten championship to hated rival Ohio State."
Speaking of Ohio State, the Buckeyes move up one spot to No. 3 in Schlabach's Top 25, a fitting spot since they signed the nation's No. 3 recruiting class Wednesday, headlined by a group of elite defensive backs. Defending national champ Alabama holds steady at the No. 1 spot, while Stanford moves up to No. 2.
Two other Big Ten teams make the latest Top 25: No. 23 Nebraska and No. 24 Northwestern. Nebraska falls three spots from the previous ranking, while Northwestern falls two spots. Although Nebraska finished strong in recruiting and Northwestern signed a solid class, teams like Michigan, Kansas State and Oklahoma State made bigger moves following signing day.
Schlabach evidently isn't too impressed with Wisconsin's recruiting class, as the Badgers fell from No. 18 in the previous ranking to out of the Top 25 entirely. Wisconsin also lost center Travis Frederick to the NFL.
We'll have our own revised Big Ten rankings sometime in the near future, and like Schlabach's Top 25, there will be some changes.