consultants are sandburs

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Gopher mouth and coach, Fleck, and the word "elite."

Strib here, noting that in talking of a midling recruiting class Fleck talked for about an hour and "used the word 'elite' 27 times".

I would not use the word "elite" for Fleck, but rather the word "cosmic," as in "cosmic a______le."

UPDATE: Modest wording, such as capable would suffice. It would suffice well, as in "capable Rose Bowl victor."

Fleck should learn that calling a horse chestnut a chestnut horse fails to make it so.

FURTHER: Fleck might be the bastard son of Lamar Alexander, judging by what each speaks. Strib, here:

Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, the Republican chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, praised DeVos as an "excellent" pick for the job.

"Mrs. DeVos believes in our children, their teachers and parents — she believes in the local school board instead of the national school board," Alexander said in a statement. "She's committed to public education, and there's no better example of that than her work on the most important reform of public schools in the last 30 years — public charter schools."

DeVos is a billionaire who never had to take out a student loan and who home-schooled her own children, the poor little dumb smug things, if anything like mom. Alexander and Fleck have a common love of overstatement to the point of engendering disbelief and dislike. Betsy DeVos, as Sanders' questioning focused to a pin dot, is a pin dot. But one whose family gave about $200 million to Republican politics, to get her to testify to the Senate, where she made an ass of herself. Trump and his cadre of Mercer clones could generate more traction if they left such dreck as DeVos where they found her. Not that Trump has super amounts of personal credibility at stake, but really, he insults an entire nation with the DeVos nomination. He should know better, and likely does, thus making the insult that much greater.

Vouchers suck. No two ways about it. Consider how Paul Ryan's voucher background "helped" the Romney-Ryan ticket in 2012. Vouchers are deceit, and DeVos is a champion of vouchers. Work out the "therefore" on that one.

____________FURTHER UPDATE____________
Back to the Fleckster. The Mouth that Roared. The con man.

Strib headline,"P.J. Fleck says his recruiting class marks 'a monumental day for Gophers football -- Fleck, staff fill needs with flurry of phone calls, recruiting visits -- By Joe Christensen Star Tribune - February 2, 2017 — 7:09am"

Reusse, with somewhat more of an unbiased perspective of Fleck Greatness - Row that Greatness - writes:

For all the bravado, the Gophers wound up 12th in the Big Ten, beating out only Purdue and Indiana.

Purdue has become a Big Ten bottom feeder in recent times and had a new coach in Jeff Brohm from Western Kentucky. Indiana has been a traditional bottom feeder, and went spiraling downward again when it fired Kevin Wilson, a strong recruiter, and replaced him with defensive coordinator Tom Allen in December.

The Gophers wound up rated 57th nationally, one spot above Memphis, the first non-Power 5 team to appear in the rankings.

They also failed the traditional Reusse test for recruiting rankings:

The Gophers finished four places behind Iowa State. For me, Iowa State has long stood as the Mendoza Line for football recruiting. If Minnesota or any other major conference team finishes below Iowa State, it officially has a lousy recruiting class.

For those into percentiles, Phillip John’s first class finished in the bottom 12.3 per cent of Power 5 programs in the rankings. That’s what happens when you steal 36 percent of your players from the MAC, where a three-star recruit is considered elite rather than routine.

The true amazing work in Big Ten recruiting was done by D.J. Durkin in his second season at Maryland. The Terps finished 18th overall and fourth in the Big Ten, behind Ohio State, Michigan and reinvigorated Penn State.

The entire Gophers recruiting class consisted of three-star players -- which is good enough to compete in the Big Ten West, if you can coach, as could Jerry Kill, Tracy Claeys and their staffs.

For a perspective, this UW coverage by the home press in Seattle:

Huskies’ lackluster recruiting ranking, No. 23 in nation, is nothing to worry about

[...] During his eight-year tenure at Boise State, Petersen never landed a recruiting class ranked in the top 50, and yet the Broncos finished in the top 20 of the final AP poll six times during that stretch. Come to think of it, the Broncos finished in the top 10 four times under Petersen, so maybe the “divide by four” thing is selling him short.

His three years at Washington haven’t done much to reverse that line of thinking.

Sure, the Huskies struggled during the 2014 season and were just north of mediocre in 2015, but last year they surprised most of the country by winning the Pac-12 and stepping assertively into the College Football Playoff. As for UW’s recruiting-class rankings along the way? Well, according to, the Huskies were 35th in 2014, 23rd in 2015 and 29th last year.

That arguably serves to place Kaler's bullshit man in perspective. If Fleck makes much of his recruits, bless that chance and a bit of the bluster can be tolerated, but it sure appears to be Tim Brewster redux. Kaler should know better, even if Fleck does not.

If you were a skilled high school football player, would you sign with a mouth like Fleck? If he proves likelihood wrong, that would be good.

But again, modest wording with proof on the field would ring so very, very much better. Again,

"Capable Rose Bowl Winner" should be the watchword. Not row the boat. Which is not to say such a slogan has no place in Gopher sports. In one place, natural; in another, artificial.

_____________FURTHER UPDATE_______________
Putting the Fleck recruiting job into another light, the team Claeys team defeated in its bowl game recruited better.

That WAS after Kaler and Hewitt handicapped Claeys chances by, on the eve of the bowl, taking away ten players, including two starting defensive backs with the bowl opponent having been the leading passing team in the Pac 12. Reusse seems to have written true, also, later in the same item already noted:

This isn’t Lou Holtz taking over for Joe Salem for the 1984 season. This isn’t Glen Mason taking over Jim Wacker for the 1997 season. This isn’t Jerry Kill taking over for Tim Brewster for the 2011 season.

This isn’t a rebuild. There’s a base of talent here. Even without 10 suspended players, it’s a team that impressively won a bowl game, much to the dismay of a university president and athletic director who knew that night in San Diego they were going to fire Claeys and bring in Fleck after Western Michigan played in the Cotton Bowl.

Fleck needs to learn. What floated in Kalamazoo will sink here, unless the Gophers improve on the nine-win season delivered by Claeys, minus ten scholarship athletes in getting the ninth win. Fleck needs to be held to the standard I am told Bud Grant held players to. If they preform he could put up with stuff where, if performance dropped, he cleaned house. Not that Fleck should coach that way, these are not paid professional players at Gopher level; but his tenure should be judged by that measure used for the players under Grant. Performance counts, and makes up for personality flaws that are less attractive with too few wins.

Kaler needs to learn.

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