it's a major award
Well I tried to make this short enough for a forum entry but people prefer brevity there which I fail at in these type of analysis, so I decided to write a long form and will place in diary.
With the erasure of David Brandon from UM athletics and the scuttlebutt about a potential re-marriage with Jim Harbaugh (the guy who wears a crown says Harbaugh's reps will be in AA next week to meet with Schlissel, but MGo policy is not to link to the crowned one's site) I thought I'd present some data on Harbaugh's Stanford years. I've done a litany of reviews of most of the major coaching candidates (Mullen, Patterson, Graham, Jones, Mark Stoops) over the past month in a somewhat similar format but I am going to make this post more narrow, focusing mostly on statistics. (I also looked at how Strong & Franklin compared to this year's candidates)
I did break out Jim's data a lot more in detail - rather than simply looking at total offense/defense each year at Stanford, I went into rush & pass offense/defense and then went another step and looked at the advanced metrics of FEI and S&P+ utilizing Football Outsiders. Harbaugh coached from 07 to 10, so I've also listed the data for Stanford in the year before and year after he coached for comparison (please note there was no FEI data in 2006)
Here is Harbaugh's data - please note Andrew Luck was QB in 09/10/11:
|W/L||Tot Off||oFEI||oS&P+||Tot Def||dFEI||dS&P+|
Here is a deep dig into the data broken down by run / pass
|Rush O||Pass O||Rush D||Pass D|
TL;DR version - cool story bro, I dont care, statistics are for losers...give me Harbaugh. Stop reading here.
Not TL;DR version
The perception of Stanford football today is tough a$$ defense. But that was not Harbaugh's defense, or it sure wasn't until his last year there. What struck me on looking at the data is how sucky the defense was in Harbaugh's first 3 years. I mean it was really bad, and yes let's allow for 1-11 Stanford but there should have been more tangible improvement by year 2-3. Jim doesn't seem to be a defensive coach. And yet we saw a massive improvement in his last year. So I looked closer and we can get an explanation from 2 words -> Vic Fangio.
Here are his D-coordinators by year
- 2007 - Scott Schafer (YTSS)
- 2008 - Andy Buh/Ron Lynn
- 2009 - ditto
- 2010 - Vic Fangio
So who is Vic Fangio and where is he now? Fangio is a long time NFL coach, who unfortunately was stuck coaching for 2 expansion teams, but had been a D Coordinator from 95 to 05. Colts management wanted him fired one year but Jim Mora (YTJM) famously refused to fire him since he didnt think he was a problem, and instead Mora got canned. Between 06-10, Fangio was a "special assistant" to first Billick and then John Harbaugh at the Ravens. (Ironically on the same staff as Gregg Mattison from 08-10... small world)
So obviously he got shuttled from 1 Harbaugh to another and his 1 year in college was his only year. He has been the DC of San Fran's excellent defense since 2011. At age 57 - and never being a HC - he does not seem like one to take over for Jim if he was to leave San Fran (hoping UM fans in San Fran could shed more light on this, I am speculating) but he seems like a NFL guy more than a college guy. I also could not find his salary with the google fergodsakes, but he did get an extension thru 2015 this past March.
If we are lucky enough to land Harbaugh, it will be interesting to see if Mr. Fangio comes along. (Nice article here on Fangio for those inclined; paints him as a cerebral, detail oriented coaching lifer)
If not, I would say it is imperitive Harbaugh finds an excellent D-coordinator (maybe Will Muschamp?) Just being blunt but his first 3 years (again allowing that Stanford sucked in 2006) on defense were pretty awful, like Kevin Sumlin's defense at Houston awful. Well like Kevin Sumlin everywhere he coaches awful on defense.
Unlike the defense, Jim's offense improved at a steady pace through his years at Stanford. Now again, and this is why I like diving into the data - the perception was this was mostly Andrew Luck. But as we slice the data we can see it was the rushing offense that carried the day. By the 2nd year Harbaugh had engineered a Mattison in 2011 turnaround of the rush offense from >100 to top 20. Now that is f***** manball sir. Somewhere Bo is shedding a tear. Luck did come around in 2009-2010 (and 2011 after Harbaugh left) and while the passing offense was very good in 2010, the rushing offense was the better unit even that year. So in terms of fit of style to current player personnel - I mean the shoe fits. Assuming Rivals was not wrong on every damn UM offensive recruit from 2012-2014. Harbaugh did what Hoke promised to do. And did it quickly. Interestingly the advanced stats (S&P+ and FEI) were kinder to Stanford then the NCAA's "Total Offense" all 4 years, which is probably a nod to the tough conference.
Looking at this data better helped me not only look deeper at Jim Harbaugh but better helped me couch all the other candidates I ran analysis on over the past month. It makes me appreciate the defensive prowess of Charlie Strong at Louisville and Patterson at TCU, and Graham / Sumlin offensively (and Graham defensively at ASU). Coming in and quickly turning around programs and getting "top 20" rankings at these schools without top 10-15 recruiting talent is NOT easy. Many people are critical of many other candidates I (or others) present for not winning big by year 2 at other programs (what?! 5 losses in any year? DO NOT WANT!) or having one side of the ball with sucky stats. Well Harbaugh evaluated after 2-3 years would have some of those same flags as well. Again - adjusted for taking over a 1-11 tire fire.
Which is why judging a guy like Mark Stoops in year 2 is so difficult - in many ways he is well ahead of where Jim was in year 2 both in W/L and offensive and defensive statistics - taking over a similar 2-10 tire fire. Of course we'd prefer to see year 3 for him as well!
Looking at this data, if I removed the name Harbaugh and changed it to Smith and he had played at Nebraska rather than Michigan, "Coach Smith" would not be such a slam dunk based on comments I've seen in many of the CC threads for guys with - frankly - some better data in year 1-3 of their respective stops.
All that said, of course I am not suggessting Jim Harbaugh should not be UM's coach - I would be sent to Bolivia for even the suggestion. The history, the Michigan roots, the hate for Ohio, the intensity, the intangibles - very few coaches in the country have those. And he has proven himself even more so at the NFL level than the NCAA. But he is an offensive minded person who built a manball team and found and tutored a great QB. Things I am sure he could do here. But his defensive coordinator hire may be his biggest decision if he does make his way to Ann Arbor.
Yeesh! Bundle up if you'll be out early! Low 30s throughout the morning, edging into the mid 30s around lunch. Winds are out of the north at 15mph, gusting to the mid 20s (small trees sway) - it doesn't sound like much compared to Friday, but it's enough to put our wind chills into the 20s! We begin the day with a lot of cloud cover, but see more sunshine heading into the later morning and afternoon. Anyone bringing chili to the tailgate?
It's a 3:30 start, so we'll hit the high here - just don't expect the actual temperature reading to be high! 39 degrees for the beginning of the game. A mix of sun and clouds, so it'll help for those of you that get to be in the sun a bit. Winds remain out of the north at a steady 15mph, and we may see a few gusts here and there around 20mph, but they'll start to die out during the first half. Wind chill will keep it feeling more like 30.
Temperature at 38 degrees, and it'll continue to fall during the second half of the game. We get rid of the gusts, but winds will stay at 15mph out of the north - dropping that wind chill back into the upper 20s. We'll continue to see less and less clouds, so especially as the sun sets, expect it to really get chilly.
High pressure finally starting to take over the mitten - giving us partly cloudy skies and a north wind at 10mph ending the game. It's still enough to give us a wind chill, so that temp of 35 will feel more like the mid 20s. Staying out late (because yes-this is that night where it's closing time and then you get another hour to celebrate a win!) - bundle up! Temps fall to the upper 20s in the late night and 25 degrees by last call. Winds will start to shift NNE at become light with mostly clear skies. You got this, blue!
Christina Burkhart is a meteorologist for ABC in Flint, MI. She grew up in Ann Arbor and associates Saturdays with Michigan football. Go Blue!!
On October 14, 2014 m1jjb00 presented a statistical analysis examining the relative incidence of football injuries: "Comparing injuries across the Big Ten". According to his calculations, Michigan had the second highest rate of injuries among fourteen teams. Since I have 24 years of professional experience in the health and fitness field (also worked as an addiction counselor), I thought it was time to speak up. I put together a diary titled, "Reason for so many injuries".
In summary it said: When a human being trains to get bigger and stronger, in the process their neuro-muscular system, the kinetic chain, becomes tighter and less flexible. For optimum athletic performance, training must include various compensating modalities to regain and increase freedom of movement, such as stretching, yoga, myofascial release, massage, etc. The various types of resistance training (i.e. weights, cables, elastic bands, body weight, etc.) must be taken into consideration.
Multi-planar activity incorporating twisting movements (Transverse Plane) develop coordination and support joint stabilization. Flexibility, mobility, agility are central components of a complete, integrative training program. These areas are often undervalued or neglected, not only in gyms around the world, but even in the most sophisticated professional environments.
Some people's comments noted that I did not make an airtight case to support the conclusion which I reached. I agree that's a legitimate question. However, athletic training is a complex, evolving field. When you study practices such as Olympic training, body building, power lifting, martial arts and yoga, just to name a few, you find tremendous diversity in methods people use to improve physical performance. There's a lot of disagreement, even among top professionals in the upper echelon of sports science. This is far from a mature, exact science. So then, was "Reason for so many injuries" an overstatement?
No, it is not.
The time is way overdue for someone to speak up for the well being of these young athletes, who put their health on the line for our football team. The University of Michigan is a world leader in many areas; I expect nothing less from our strength and conditioning program. John Bacon recently reported that NFL scouts find U of M football players lacking in key parameters of physical conditioning. When you take a look at the work of people like Paul Chek, Kelly Starrett, Gray Cook, Naudi Aguilar and Shannon Turley, you see we lag behind.
Making a convincing case that details the deficiencies of our current training regimen, and mapping out a comprehensive program that would help prevent injuries and improve athletic performance is not really practical in the parameters of a football blog. In this context, I can only summarize and indicate directions where we can move forward.
So moving forward, I propose we begin a conversation which will consider some of the methods our football team can use to improve their athletic performance. Of course, this applies to all sports in general, and your own personal health and fitness as well. Please note: I'm not a statistician. I study this field intensively, including human performance in general, work with amateurs and professionals, and speak from personal experience. I would like to invite you to contribute any information you think is relevant, or personal experience you feel is interesting. I'm not expecting to avoid controversy, but prefer to engage it in a respectful, courteous way.
Let's begin by considering a comment from Blueinsconsin. He noted there's "incompetence at the top of the program", and made a really good, if somewhat unlikely suggestion, that we "steal Shannon Turley from Stanford". Bluesnu provided this informative link to an article about Turley: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/31/sports/ncaafootball/stanfords-distinct...
Shannon Turley at Stanford is one of the tops in his field. Some of his innovations are now being practiced at all levels, even well received by the NFL. He employs dynamic, multi-planar methods of training, and utilizes a functional movement metric (that is, he monitors and tests for flexibility and range of motion) to gauge the progress of his players.
I've seen many indications that such progressive training methods are lacking with our football S&C training. They may well be being employed for other sports at the University of Michigan. I'm curious about that, and welcome any information on this subject.
In a conversation with Bluesnu, we discussed the relative merits of Hypertrophy training (getting bigger) versus training for Power (generating force with speed). I presented this analogy: "Would you rather have a 300 lb lineman who is carrying all sorts of dysfunctional, neuro-muscular internal restrictions, lumbering around like a water buffalo? Or would it be better to have a 285 lb lineman who has been trained to move and "deliver a blow" (quote from Greg Mattison) with the speed and agility of Chuck Norris?"
Now of course bigger and stronger is necessary. But take a look at this video which demonstrates combined functional and martial arts training. Then you decide if these methods would make our football players more athletically powerful, efficient, and less susceptible to injury.
If the topic of health, fitness, and S&C training generates an interesting dialogue without too much kneejerk negativity, we might continue this conversation further.
OUR (ESTIMATED) PROSPECTS IN A HANDY GRAPHIC FORMAT
Just a brief diary this week about what the statistical crystal ball might hold for the remainder of the season.
For those of you who regularly check Massey and Sagarin and other sites which calculate ratings and/or projected win probabilities, you may have already figured this out, but for those of you that aren’t in the habit or have not yet dared to dream (a terrible dream, of course) at looking through these stats, here’s the current estimate.
In all seriousness, of course, we’re not quite doomed yet, although it would be fair to say that our chances at redemption grow fainter by the game, and by redemption, I mean at least gaining a berth in a certain bowl which, if you live in Metro Detroit, is within rather convenient driving distance. Actually, that’s probably not a conventional definition of the term “redemption”, so we’ll just keep it at “bowl eligible” and leave it for now.
Here’s the matrix – blue indicates a hypothetical win, with each number being the Massey estimate of this occurring (numbers current as of yesterday mid-morning). The estimated probability of each of the remaining possible combinations of wins and losses is in the final column:
So, yeah, the most likely single combinations of events is beating Indiana and then cruising to a cool 4-8 mark on the year, followed by losing out and going 3-9. After that, the next most likely combination would put us at 5-7 with wins against Indiana and Maryland. You can see where this is going, of course. Our collective chances of winning X number of games are below:
Bowl eligibility – 3 or 4 wins – currently sits at 12.18%. Hypothetically, if we beat Indiana, the chances at becoming bowl eligible rise to 20.06% if no other numbers change. If we lose on Saturday, the estimate on bowl eligibility would fall to a very manageable (if you want to call it that) 1.73% - if we don’t change any of the other probabilities in the matrix.
I decided to move this to diaries since I put a little bit of work into it and it was already buried on the sidebar by the time I updated with results.. This is based on a survey a number of board members filled out earlier today.
I’d like to preface this with a warning: this is not intended to divide the fan base or claim that alums have more of a right to cheer for the team than anyone else. I simply had a hypothesis and decided to test it. I did not perform statistical analysis to determine validity. Obvious caveats of sample size, measurement technique, sampling procedures, etc. apply, but here it is:
My hypothesis was that those officially connected to the University (alums, employees, etc) would be more concerned with long-term damage to the program (and greater University as a whole) more than win/loss record, and thus would consider ousting Brandon the more pressing issue.
Caveats: (1) For people who indicated both Hoke and Brandon in their responses, I counted one towards each. Obviously this isn’t the best way to do it, but it was easier on me, so deal with it. (2)Also, I collapsed alums and employees together. For the sake of testing my hypothesis, they are effectively the same.
First, some demographics: 62% of respondents were associated with the University (student/alumnus, employee, etc.). 38% had no association to the University.
Of those associated with the University, 24% placed the majority of blame on Hoke. 86% placed the majority of the blame on Brandon (see caveat (1)). 3% said Hoke should be fired first, while almost 100% (see caveat (1)) said Brandon should be dealt with first.
Now for the fans: 43% said Hoke is to blame, and 56% said Brandon is primarily at fault. 18% said Hoke should be fired first, while 82% said Brandon should be fired first.
All caveats applying, it seems like my hypothesis was, to some extent, supported. It seems like those associated with the University harbor more ill-will towards the AD than the fanbase as a whole, while the fanbase is more willing to consider Hoke the problem, placing less blame on Brandon.
Take from it what you will, but I thought it was an interesting idea to look at. Just take it with a grain of salt.
Let me know what I missed, or if you have any more insight that I can add.
Week 8 Notes: Jake Long and LaMarr Woodley placed on season-ending IR.
Tom Brady (1997-99) | Patriots, Starting QB (W 51-23 vs. CHI)
- Huge game: 30/35 for 354 yards, with 5 passing TDs and no turnovers.
- In October, Brady is 100/144, 1268 yards, with 14 TDs and no interceptions.
- Brady hasn’t thrown an interception in the past 5 games. For the year, Brady is 181/281 for 2,059 yards. 18 TDs with 2 interceptions.
Denard Robinson (2009-12) | @denardx | Jaguars, RB (L 27-13 vs. MIA)
- Second game as feature back, huge game. 108 yards rushing on 18 attempts for 6.0 yard average, and a long of 41 yards. He also caught a pass for 10 yards.
- Video of the 41-yard run.
- Has started 4 games this year, has rushed for 329 yards on 68 carries, and has 12 receptions for 47 yards. Robinson has zero fumbles, compared to 3 fumbles on 20 rushing attempts last year.
Jason Avant (2002-05) | Panthers, WR (L 13-9 vs. SEA)
- No catches, rushed once for 1 yard.
- In his first year with the Panthers, Avant has made 19 catches on 28 targets for 185 yards, and 1 TD.
Taylor Lewan (2009-13) | @taylorlewan77 | Titans, Starting T (L 30-16 vs. HOU)
- QB was sacked 2 times.
- Started third consecutive game.
- Chose settlement over trial for assault case from 2013. http://t.co/etQdy3asfD
Jake Long (2004-07) | Rams, Starting T (L 34-17 vs. KC)
- HUGE loss: Tore his ACL for the second time. Out for the year. QB was sacked 9 times this game.
- Has been a starter since he entered the league 7 years ago.
David Molk (2007-11) | Eagles, Starting C (L 24-20 vs. ARI)
- QB was not sacked this game.
- Has started past 4 games, due to starter injury.
Patrick Omameh (2009-12) | @patrickomameh | Buccaneers, Starting G (L 19-13 vs. MIN)
- QB sacked 5 times this game.
- Has started all 7 games this year.
Steve Schilling (2007-10) | Seahawks, Backup G (W 13-9 vs. CAR)
- Started his third consecutive game. Had a bad snap turn into a turnover. QB sacked 3 times.
- In his first year with Seattle.
Tim Jamison (2005-08) | Texans, Backup DE (W 30-16 vs. TEN)
- 1 tackle and recovered a fumble.
- Has started 1 of 8 games this year. Jamison has recorded 11 tackles, 1 recovered fumble, and half of a sack.
Mike Martin (2008-11) | @gomikemartin | Titans, Backup DE (30-16 vs. HOU)
- 1 tackle.
- Started two games this year, with 10 tackles.
Brandon Graham (2006-09) | @brandongraham55 | Eagles, Backup LB (L 24-20 vs. ARI)
- 1 tackle, but had 5 QB hurries in 15 attempts. There are calls for him to play more.
- Has not started yet this year, but has 18 tackles, 2 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles in 7 games.
Kenny Demens (2009-12) | @kdemens25 | Cardinals, Backup ILB (W 24-20 vs. PHI)
- Did not record a statistic.
- In 7 games played, Demens has recorded 5 tackles and 2 forced fumble.
Larry Foote (1998-2001) | @larryfoote313 | Cardinals, Starting MLB (W 24-20 vs. PHI)
- 1 tackle and 1 pass deflection.
- Has started all 7 games in his first year with Arizona, recording 36 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 INT so far.
David Harris (2004-06) | Jets, Starting ILB (L 43-23 vs. BUF)
- Game-high 10 tackles. Rumored to be on the trade block for the 1-7 Jets.
- In 8 starts, Harris has recorded 64 tackles and 1 forced fumble.
Leon Hall (2003-06) | Bengals, Starting CB (W 27-24 vs. BAL)
- Team-high 7 tackles. Battling a back strain.
- Has 34 tackles and 1 interception in 7 starts.
Ryan Mundy (2003-06) | @rmundy29 | Bears, Starting SS (L 27-14 vs. NE)
- Team-high 9 tackles. Also embarrassed by Gronk.
- Has recorded 43 tackles and 1 pick-six interception in his first 8 games with the bears.
Charles Woodson (1995-97) | Raiders, Starting FS (L 23-13 vs. CLE)
- 6 tackles, 1 pass breakup.
- Has 45 tackles and 2 interceptions in 7 games.
Stevie Brown (2006-09) | @steviebrown27 | Giants, Backup FS (Bye Week)
- Brown tore his ACL and missed the 2013 season, and has started 3 games this year. He has amassed 13 tackles in 6 games.
Michael Cox (2008-11) | @mikecox1mill | Giants, KR (Bye Week)
- Has played 2 games, exclusively in kick returning duties.
Did Not Play
Junior Hemingway (2007-11) | @younghemi21 | Chiefs, Backup WR
- Did not play. Was questionable with a hamstring injury.
- In 7 games, Hemingway has 8 receptions for 89 yards.
Chad Henne (2004-07) | @chad_henne | Jaguars. Backup QB (L 27-13 vs. MIA)
- Did not play. There are calls for him to get playing time due to Bortles’ turnover issues.
- Started 3 games to begin the year. 42/78 for 492 with 3 TDs and 1 interception and 1 fumble. Has apparently lost starting job to rookie Blake Bortles.
Michael Schofield (2009-13) | @schoblue75 | Broncos, Backup T
- Has yet to play. Is marked as inactive.
Jonathan Goodwin (1999-2001) | Saints, Injured C
- Missed his first game since 11/24/2008.
Cameron Gordon (2009-13) | Patriots, Injured LB
- On injured reserve.
LaMarr Woodley (2003-06) | @lamarrwoodley | Raiders, Injured DE
- Placed on season-ending IR with torn bicep.
- 4 tackles in 5 games.
Will Campbell (2009-12) | @idonttweet73 | Bills, Practice G
Jordan Kovacs (2009-13) | @jkovacs32 | Eagles, SS
- Was cut from Miami during fall camp. Played in 9 games last year for the Dolphins.