And it's never been easier to do so than right now.
- The UM Football team finished the season unranked, and the early pre-season rankings for next year don't include the wolverines.
- The UM Men's Basketball team started the season ranked #7 nationally, but are now relegated to the "others-receiving-votes" category of the national polls. They even dropped a notch this week after winning two games last week.
- The UM Women's Basketball team is also unranked, and looking to salvage their dead-end season with a game this weekend against MSU. The Spartans have defeated the women wolverines in 12 of the last 13 games.
- Okay, the Michigan Hockey team IS ranked, but Michigan State beat them last month in Detroit. So there.
When can you remember such a moment of irrelevancy for Michigan Athletics? Perhaps the 1950s? This is a key time period in the history of the rivalry between MSU and UM:
- The UM Football team is holding a higher-ranked 2014 recruiting class than MSU, but signing-day is still several weeks away, and that bowl-game loss and unranked team status may affect the actual decisions by players who have verbally committed to Michigan.
- The MSU Football Program is looking to close strong with 2014 recruiting on the wings of a 10-game win-streak and #3 national ranking to finish the season. Their preseason Top Ten ranking won't hurt, either.
- Both Men's basketball programs have mediocre classes signed for next year, but Tom Izzo can recruit for the next round on the back of his Top Five team this season, with more wins and perhaps a trophy or two still on the way. John Beilein can apparently use playing time as bait, since he will lose three or four more players from his main group after this season.
- The Spartan Women's basketball program just got a verbal commitment from a highly-ranked player whose father played in the NBA and whose mother played on a national championship team in college. She is a "Top-50" player, and she joins three other highly-ranked players who signed in November to play for MSU.
None of this guarantees anything. Its just an observation of what 2014 has brought us already, and the situation we are sitting in right now. Despite the arctic blizzard, it is still a HAPPY NEW YEAR!
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