How do you define talent?

Earlier this week, I posted an outlook on Michigan for Football Preview Month-ish, in which I said something that at the time I felt was rather innoccuous: 

"The bottom line is that UConn is the more talented team [than Michigan]."

That seemed to make sense to me. UConn, though not ranked, received a fair amount of votes in the preseason coaches' poll while Michigan received none. Most of the national rankings that have been published have UConn above Michigan. Finally UConn is chock full of upperclassmen and is returning 16 starters from an 8-5 squad that A) was better than its record and B) looked very impressive down the stretch. Meanwhile Michigan has a young squad that is bringing back 15 players from a team that lost seven of its last eight. 

However, my comments did not go unnoticed. Over a MGoBlog, commenters immediately latched onto the talent remark. SBNation's Michigan blog, Maize N Brew picked up on it as well. Their argument is that talent is not necessarily an indicator of performance, and they offer each school's recruiting profile (Michigan's is clearly superior) as evidence. 

Personally, I tend to take the opposite view in what amounts to a chicken vs. egg argument, because I think that performance is an indicator of talent. At its core, this is basically just a semantic argument based around wether you want to define talent as capacity for success or pure natural ability (in this case what rivals said your ability was when you were a senior in high school). However, I think its an interesting argument, especially since UConn has to fight hard for every ounce of national respect it can get. 

Both Meacham and I jumped in the discussion in Maize N Brew's comments, and I think both sides make some good points, and it is definitely worth a read. I'm interested to hear the take of some of you though, so feel free to chime in in the comments here as well.

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