TO THE HOT TAKE CANNON
When Erik Bakich made an appearance on WTKA a couple of weeks ago, he mentioned having a total of 12 commits for 2013. Here's a link to the podcast and an embed:
These 12 include several who have been noted here with Hello posts, including Jackson Lamb, Johnny Slater, Nick Kowalczuk, Keith Lehmann, Hector Gutierrez, and Trey Miller, as well as some earlier committed prospects such as Brett Adcock, T.J. Shook, and Harrison Wenson (listed in Michigan Baseball Prospects' 2013 rankings). (Adcock was the subject of this recent Prep Baseball Report interview.) Another 2013 Michigan commit is Carmen Benedetti, although he's not listed as such in his Perfect Game profile.
Here's one of the other 2013 verbals, who committed in mid-September:
Hello: Ramsey Romano
Romano is a 6-3, 185-lb shortstop out of Valhalla H.S. (El Cajon, CA). Here's his Perfect Game profile. Romano is also the QB on his school's football team, and there's now some speculation about him possibly switching to football at the college level:
Today, the 6-foot-3, 185-pound senior is the section’s leading passer, having thrown for 1,571 yards in five games, nearly 400 yards more than the No. 2 quarterback.....
He has already committed to play shortstop for the University of Michigan’s baseball team. That may change, though, as colleges study tape of his breakout football season.
“If something for football were to come up, I would obviously have to consider it, talk to my parents and make the best decision,” he said.
In addion to the long-committed Brandon Hughes (PG profile; Hughes is ranked #5 in the state of Michigan by both PBR and MBP), two more 2014 commitments have since come to light:
Hello: Drew Lugbauer
Lugbauer, according to his PG profile, is a 6-3, 190-lb. catcher from Arlington H.S. in Pleasant Valley, New York. Couldn't find much else about him.
Hello: Jake Bivens
Bivens, who just committed yesterday, is a 6-0, 175-lb. middle infielder from Battle Creek Lakeview H.S. He's ranked #7 in the state by PBR and #9 by MBP. Here's his PG profile and his PBR profile. PBR has this scouting report:
Battle Creek Lakeview HS, SS/2B, Class of 2014: Bivens is one of the top players in the Class of 2014 who has the ability to pick it in the middle infield. The 6-foot, 175-pound agile athlete displays smooth hands, superior glove actions and demonstrates the ability to turn two on either side of the bag. Bivens lateral ability is a plus which assists to define him as one of the top middle infielders in his class. At the plate, Bivens swings it from the left side. He has a balanced neutral stance and takes quality approaches allowing him to spray the field. Running home to first on a bunt Bivens is a speedy 3.8 and averages 4.1.
This PBR item also indicated the other schools he considered:
Bivens was a Midwest Futures Games participant and has seen his stock continue to rise. After taking visits to Michigan, Michigan State, and Wake Forrest, Bivens decided to stay close to home and attend Michigan.
Bivens is another strong middle infielder in the state of Michigan. He has flown under the radar but Bivens has good upside. Bivens is one of the premier middle infielders in his class. He runs well (6.73 60-yard dash) and uses his athleticism at short to display some smooth footwork. He was 78 MPH across the diamond but that is sure to improve over time. At the plate, Bivens has excellent balance with gap to gap power. He consistently displayed pop to the opposite field and showed a "get-on-base" approach.
Just a final note: Bakich is also off to a good start on the 2015 class with the previously noted commitment of Charlie Donovan, ranked #2 in Illinois according to PBR.
Update on Donovan: PBR released new rankings for the Illinois class of 2015 and have bumped Donovan up to the #1 position.
here is this week's miniprogram. let me know if there are any necessary changes to be made. Brink was removed due to his injury, others moved up.
THE KNOWLEDGE has been conspicuous by his absence on these very pages after the ND game
the reasons are rather obvious
for the first time since 2010, THE KNOWLEDGE failed to soar and bask in glory. this is a most unusual event - as unusual as the highly irregular discontinuity that occurred in the space time fabric when Vincent Smith threw the interception
originally, Michigan was slated to win this game rather easily. Vincent Smith's pass was to be tipped by the charging Teo and the tipped ball directly landing in Dileo's hands for a touchdown
from that point, Michigan would grind out an easy 24-10 win
but the irregularity made Teo not react so well, and thus not get his hand on the ball - resulting in an abhorrent sequence of events that led to an underserved win for ND
medium to long time readers of these very pages know that a similar event occurred when Denard Robinson threw a pass against MSU in 2010
that was the last time THE KNOWLEDGE failed to soar
the current irregularity has also resulted in other changes, such as Nebraska beating Wisconsin (originally Nebraska was to be blown out of that game)
the original future had Michigan going 12-2 as THE KNOWLEDGE had previously stated. the only loss was to come against Nebraska in an interception-filled day for Denard
the current future is rather ominous for Michigan
as of now, Michigan is slated to finish the regular season 7-5 (without an appearance in the B1G championship game)
but what most people do not know is that when an irregularity in the space-time continuum occurs, it is always followed by another - within 10-15 Earth days of the first
thus, the second event is about to happen soon
THE KNOWLEDGE shall then reveal the final future of the Michigan season, which can be anywhere between 3-9 and 12-2
obviously, Michigan will beat Purdue this Saturday regardless of what the second event will bring
and that leads to THE KNOWLEDGE CHALLENGE 2012.3
predict the score of the Michigan-Purdue game to be the POTW
THE KNOWLEDGE also hereby congratulates all the winners of this prestigious award from 2012.1 and 2012.2
(Click the image to view full size)
So this thing called Wife Day... been there.
On Thursday the boys will get ready for more gameday action. And we'll probably explore the phenomenon known as the Purduestache.
THE BLOCKHAMS™ runs (typically) every Tuesday here at MGoBlog,
and at least every Thursday on its official home page. Also, don't forget to
check out Friday Roughs, a spontaneous low-end comic based on trending
Michigan events, available on Twitter and Facebook every Friday.
[Ed-S: Bumped to Diary. FWIW here's Michigan's OL versus those guys last year:
|Lewan||7||1||6||Would like to see him more involved somehow.|
|Barnum||3||2||1||Also picked up a –2 on the last play he was in on but I didn't hit him for it since he was obviously injured.|
|Molk||15||2||13||Even got a killer reach block for old times' sake.|
|Omameh||13||7||6||Had some issues with Short.|
|Huyge||7.5||2.5||5||Easy time on the edge.|
|Schofield||5.5||10||-4.5||Big step back from two weeks ago. Did get a thumper late.|
|Mealer||0.5||-||0.5||On last drive charted.|
|Watson||3||-||3||Got in on some of the edge bashing.|
|Koger||14.5||2||12.5||Completely clobbered his DE whenever asked to.|
|TOTAL||69||27.5||72%||Moore put up a –1, FWIW. Strong day almost hitting 3:1.|
|Protection||22||6||79%||Team 3, Toussaint 1, Schofield 2. Big bounce-back.|
|RPS||20||9||11||Throwback screens always work.|
So Short caused some problems for the guards and will again; the rest of the guys did okay]
So last year Michigan had 339 yards on the ground versus Purdue. Fitz had a career day in which he ran for 170 yards on 20 carries. Denard passed the ball 14 times and completed 9. Never did he seem pressured very hard. Now this year some of my friends are nervous about Purdue and their front 7, so it made me curious enough to look into it a little farther.
So let's look at their personnel first. Of course any discussion about Purdue's defense begins with their potential first round draft pick - Kawann Short. The 6'3" 315lb senior tackle leads the team in sacks at 4, has recorded a respectable 9 tackles (7 of those for a loss (!)), and has one pass deflection. Also worth noting is his 3 (!) blocked kicks already this year - Short is disruptive, to say the least. Ryan Russell is a 6'5" 275lb sophomore, and has been disruptive as well. He has recorded 13 tackles (4.5 of those for a loss) and 2 sacks so far this year. Bruce Gaston is a 6'2" 303lb junior tackle who has chipped in 8 tackles, half of those were for for a loss. So they have the ability to put pressure on you from the middle and the end.
At linebacker, the Boilermakers lost Dwayne Beckford just before the season started. Beckford was the team's second leading tackler last year but was told to pack his bags after his 4th (!) arrest since 2011. Will Lucas, a 5' 11" junior, is the team's leading tackler with 25 and has also recorded one sack. Joe Gilliam is a 6' 1" 227lb sophomore that has chipped in 15 tackles (of which zero were for a loss). Not the most disruptive linebackers you will find, but serviceable nonetheless.
So there are some good to playmakers in their lineup, but even their own fans are worried about whether or not they can maintain tough defensive play for a full 60 minutes. Here's a quote from Boiled Sports after the Marshall game -
Tim Tibesar's defense has been good when it's needed to be, but consistency is still tough to come by
Read the whole article here - http://www.boiledsports.com/2012/10/distant-replay-purdue-marshall.html
Something else I found interesting was comparing how Purdue's run defense ranked versus their opponent's opponents defense (?). I'm pretty sure I said that wrong, but here's are the charts of Purdue's opponents and how they performed against their other scheduled opponents (better way to say it?) Anyways....rankings are determined by yards per carry.
Although Purdue's numbers look good, Tennessee-Martin held Eastern Kentucky to less yards per carry than Purdue. I'll repeat that because it is worth repeating. Tennessee-Martin held Eastern Kentucky to less yards per carry than Purdue. Tennessee-Martin also did not give up a rushing touchdown to Eastern Kentucky. Next up for Purdue was Notre Dame.
This is the game that is driving the hype. While this game is a stellar performance by the Boilermakers, I would probably apply a jet lag/Ireland factor here on Notre Dame's flat performance. Even then FWIW, Notre Dame hasn't done well rushing the ball at all this year either (unless you count Navy), so there is that. The following week we can see why there is concern about consistency in the front seven.
Purdue gave up slightly less yards than Ball State and just as many rushing touchdowns. Giving up more yards and more yards per carry than Illinois State and just as many touchdowns. Looking at their last game, you could say that Purdue did well by keeping Marshall under 100 yards, but a further look at Marshall's rushing performance tells a different story.
This shows that Marshall doesn't run the ball well, unless they're playing Rice. Purdue also gave up 70% of the yards that West Virginia did in half the amount of carries.
So while I was hoping to debunk Purdue's front seven, it looks like they are pretty legit. Well...sometimes. So which version will show up on Saturday? If we get the Notre Dame version we will be in for a long day on the ground. If we get the Eastern Michigan version, Denard and Fitz should have an easy day. I'm hoping for the latter, obviously.
What The What?: The FEI computers were apparently very impressed with Ms bye week as we improved to a ranking of #23 (from #42 last week) and FBS mean wins jumped to 7.5 (it was just 5.8 last week)!? This appears to be the result of adjustments being made due to strength of schedule (SoS). Michigan's SoS is now #4.
Prediction for Purdue: The FEI Forecast for this Saturday is Purdue 24 – Michigan 16 with a 71% Probable Win Expectation for Purdue. FEI is wrong this week and Michigan lets Denard be Denard: Michigan 35 – Purdue 17.
Purdue is ranked #15 in the FEI and has a strength of schedule (SoS) of #43. As you can see from the detailed FEI chart below, M is ranked 39 positions better for SoS, 21 positions better for offense, and 4 positions better for defense versus Purdue. Purdue has beaten an FCS team (Eastern Kentucky), Eastern Michigan (#92 FEI), and Marshall (#87 FEI). M's tougher schedule is what makes the difference in this game.
Fremeau Efficiency Index: The FEI is a drive based analysis considering each of the nearly 20,000 drives each year in FBS college football. The data is filtered to eliminate garbage time (at the half or end of game) and is adjusted for opponent. A team is rewarded for playing well against good teams (win or lose) and is punished more severely for playing poorly against bad teams than it is rewarded for playing well against bad teams.
National Rankings: The rankings for offense and defense are based on scoring (yardage statistics are inherently flawed). These are simply raw numbers without any adjustments for opponent, garbage time, or anything else. The data is from TeamRankings and includes only games between two FBS teams.
FEI Details: Here are the FEI numbers for Michigan ( Football Outsiders FEI ). Points Per Possession: The 2 charts show the raw data for offense and defense with the number of possessions adjusted for "kneel downs" at the half or end-of-game (maximum deduction = 2). The charts both indicate significant improvement in each subsequent game. Of course, this may be due in great measure to the fact that the opponent has been weaker in each subsequent game.
Using Scoring Offense and Scoring Defense National Rankings for the past 5 years (FBS AQ teams only), this table shows the percentage of teams that finish the season with a +WLM and a +5 WLM. For example, teams that finished in the Top 40 in both offense and defense had a 100% chance to be +WLM and an 82% chance to be +5 WLM (9-4 or better).