this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
[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).
Not a whole lot going in the recruiting world over the past couple weeks, but there is a new addition to the big board: the "POINTS" column, which is simply the product of number of commits times star average. Hopefully this adds a little more clarity to the rankings; as you can see below, Michigan and Notre Dame are well ahead of the field and Ohio State has some separation from the pack at large. Then there's Minnesota. Never change, Gophers. Changes since the last rankings:
9-11-12: Indiana picks up Jordan Heiderman.
9-19-12: Penn State picks up Kasey Gaines.
9-20-12: Ohio State picks up Tyquan Lewis.
9-22-12: Indiana picks up Anthony Young.
9-23-12: Notre Dame picks up Torii Hunter Jr.
9-25-12: Penn State picks up Tanner Hartman.
|Big Ten+ Recruiting Class Rankings|
|Rank||School||# Commits||Rivals Avg||Scout Avg||24/7 Avg||ESPN Avg||Avg Avg^||POINTS|
^The average of the average rankings of the four recruiting services (the previous four columns). The figure is calculated based on the raw numbers and then rounded, so the numbers above may not average out exactly.
NOTE: Unranked recruits are counted as two-star players.
To eliminate any confusion about how the rankings are determined (to be honest, they used to be arbitrary), team order is determined by multiplying the number of commits by star average.
On to the full data after the jump.
Seeing that it is "Wife Day" around these parts, there's no boxscore to pore over this weekend. So instead, in the spirit of Wife Day, I'll take this opportunity to share with you my badminton story. You might ask, what does badminton have to do with Wife Day? Read on, and you'll find out.
Our story begins, as most of my stories do, with me in the 6th grade. My gym class would spend a week or two on a sport and then move on to the next sport. (The one exception was the week we learned how to square dance. Promenade, two-by-two, promenade, that's what you do.) One week we showed up for gym class and the volleyball nets were set up, but instead of volleyball, we were going to learn how to play badminton.
I have some sympathy for the average grade school gym teacher, because it must be difficult to learn the rules of so many different sports, and maintain order with 25 kids screaming and yelling. However, I'm still a little upset with my 6th grade gym coach. He passed out the rackets, divided the class in half, and put one half on one side of the net and the other half on the other side. He tossed someone a birdie and said, "hit it." You can imagine the chaos that ensued as a dozen 6th graders on one side of the net tried to hit a single birdie. No more than five minutes into the class, I was hit squarely in the mouth with a racket. Three teeth went flying. I felt for my teeth with my tongue and realized nothing was there. Another classmate said, "Dude, you're bleeding" or something to that effect. I took off towards the bathroom to get some paper towel to stop the bleeding and rinse out my mouth.
While I was gone, the gym coach had the rest of the class scour the floor for my teeth, and had someone call my mom. She came to pick me up, and the gym teacher handed her a baggy with my teeth. We rushed to the dentist and told him what happened. My mom gave him the bag of teeth. He looked at it and laughed. Then he said, "What am I supposed to do with these?"
Six months of almost weekly dental visits followed, full of drilling, root canals, temporary crowns, and finally permanent crowns. Except they weren't really permanent because your mouth keeps growing as you get older. When I turned 18, I had to go back and have the whole thing done all over again. The only benefit out of this whole ordeal was I got out of playing the clarinet, which I dreaded.
As a result of this, I swore off badminton forever. At least I thought so.
Twelve years ago, I married a lovely lady from Taiwan, whom I met while we were grad students at UofM. Badminton is kind of a big sport in Taiwan. You might remember a little Olympic controversy with the Chinese badminton team. Anyway, my wife played a little badminton when she was younger, and wanted to get back into it. I said no way and explained to her how I was scarred for life from my dental ordeal. I don't ride rollercoasters and I don't play badminton. So she went to the local badminton club without me. Shortly after that, a friend stepped on her foot while we were playing volleyball, broke it, and sidelined her for a few months. The foot healed, and she went back, without me. Then she tore a calf muscle. Six months in a boot sidelined her again. Then she got pregnant. No more badminton. I tried to tell her that the universe did not intend for us to play badminton, but she wouldn't listen.
Little did I know at the time, but it seems I married the Earl Woods of Badminton Tiger Moms. When the boy turned five, she signed him up for badminton lessons. I told her, you take him, I don't want anything to do with badminton. And for the most part, I stayed away from the club. I did take him to the occasional practice, but that was it.
Then, nearly two years ago, my wife said to me, "ST3, I signed you up for a private lesson with the coach." I said, "You did what?!? Well, you signed up for the lesson, you take it." But I could see how important it was to her, so after a few days of her encouraging me to go, I reluctantly agreed to give it a try. I later learned that the reason she signed me up is that she was worried I had become a permanent couch potato and was going to stroke out at 50 if I didn't get some sort of physical activity in my life.
I went to the lesson and I wasn't good, but I wasn't terrible either. I had played some tennis growing up, and there are some things that carry over. The main thing I realized was that it was a fantastic cardio workout. I find 45 minutes of jogging or running on a treadmill to be incredibly boring. 45 minutes of badminton drills is over before you know it. It's also really fun and leaves you wanting to play more.
I had to admit to the wife that I enjoyed it, so she signed me up for two lessons a week, because you get a discount that way, and wifey is always looking for a discount. Soon enough, two lessons a week wasn't enough. So I started going with my son to his "team training" lessons. This is a group lesson with 10-20 beginners, ranging in age from 6 to about 16. Before I knew it, the coach had me out there hitting with the kids. After 6 months of that, he told me to come practice with the high school team. So now I've got my two lessons, occasional practices with my son, and two more with the high school kids. I'm up to 7 hours a week. In fact, this morning while wifey was taking the boy to baseball practice, I was over at the club sweating through a three hour badminton practice. And I get to wake up at 7AM tomorrow morning for another lesson...
Future Blue Originals: Chris Fox
Apologies to Ace for stealing his title and not emailing him this directly but I thought this would be worthy of a diary. Last night I had a chance to watch OT/DT Chris Fox and his Ponderosa Mustangs travel to Vista Ridge High School.
Both teams came into the game undefeated at 4-0. According to MaxPreps Ponderosa is ranked 29th in the state while Vista Ridge is ranked 14th. Both teams are in the 2nd highest division, so this is probably the best competition Ponderosa will really face until the playoffs. Chris Fox is a beast he was easily the tallest person on the field, standing head and shoulders above everyone. He is listed at 6’6” and it wouldn’t surprise me if he were taller than that.
My only expertise in football is that I have watched it all 37 years of my life. The one play I had in Freshman ball was a false start. Offensive Line is very difficult to predict even for the professionals, much less a lay person like me. I will give you my observations. In addition since this isn’t the biggest school, the stands only went up 10-15 rows in the 1st and 4th quarters I had a lousy angle to watch him play on offense.
Skip ‘The Game’ and just look at ‘The Stats’ and ‘The Observations’
First Quarter: Vista Ridge’s fight song was the same as Notre Dame so I hated them immediately. The game started very defensively with neither side able to pick up a first down on their first 3 series. On offense, as I said I had a lousy angle but I didn’t see Fox getting much of a push. And if I am being harsh he was responsible for giving up a sack. It looked like they were trying to set up a screen to the other side of the field and the QB held the ball too long and ended up taking the sack. On Defense, Fox would just fling the lineman to the ground and fill the hole on running plays. On passing plays, he had absolutely no penetration to the point where I wondered if his responsibility was to sit on the line and watch for the draws. Fox played every non-special teams snap of the first quarter and he looked gassed at the end.
Second Quarter: Fox sat out the first series on defense, when he came back he looked like a new man. On offense he was got a free release to the second level and got his first pancake block on a LB leading to a big run. He got his second pancake when he pulled and absolutely leveled the DE, leading to another big run. That drive led to a TD and a 7-0 lead. At the end of the first half, Vista Ridge was trying to throw the ball and Fox came alive. He got quick penetration and forced a bad throw and an interception. On their next series, he again got in quickly and this time forced a sack, though he didn’t get the stat, he was the man that made the play.
Third Quarter: The second half started with fireworks both literally and figuratively. They set off a big fireworks display at the start of the second half which was distracting for me, and had to be for the players as well. Vista Ridge ran a reverse on the second half kickoff all the way back for a TD, but it was called back for holding. Instead Vista Ridge was forced to punt. One big run by Ponderosa got them deep in Vista Ridge Territory. On the next play Fox got a great seal block on the DE allowing the RB to get the edge and run down to the 1 yard line. They then moved Fox to the H-Back position and put him in motion, snapped the ball and right up his backside two plays in a row to take a 14-0 lead. Fox sat out the next defensive series, but his replacement had a TFL and a forced fumble. Ponderosa settled for a partially blocked FG that slipped over the cross bar. Fox back in for the next series made his best play of the game. He throws off the first defender, splits a second and third defender and gets immediate pressure on the QB who throws his 2nd INT of the game. Ponderosa did the opposite of take advantage of the turnover. A holding penalty, then a sack, followed by a false start, then culminating with a bad snap over the head of the QB leading to a turnover. Minus-30 yards on the drive. On the first play Vista Ridge triple teamed Fox and hit a deep post for a touchdown to make the game interesting at 17-7.
Fourth Quarter: On offense, Ponderosa and Fox really started to play well. For the first time all game I saw Fox really drive blocking with authority escorting his man 5-10 yards downfield. Ponderosa was also able to complete a pass or two (on the QB Waggle). However, they fumbled inside the Red Zone keeping Vista Ridge in the game. Vista went to a spread passing attack, and Ponderosa countered with a 3-man line moving Fox to NT. He was completely neutralized by that move, but Vista was unable to connect on a pass and was forced to punt. On offense once again, Ponderosa moved the ball well but stalled in the red zone and had a FG blocked. Vista Ridge was unable to capitalize once again and punted away. Ponderosa drove into Vista territory again, this time was able to seal the game on a 4th down pass play. The defender was able to tip the ball, but the receiver made a great adjustment and grabbed the ball before it hit the turf. Fox still struggled playing NT on the 3-man line, but they went to a 4 man line and almost immediately he split the double team and forced yet another INT. Ponderosa was able to punch it in to make the final score 30-7 to move to 5-0.
· Very unofficially Fox had about 6 pancakes, though a couple of those were on combo blocks
· On Defense, Fox had 1 solo TFL, 3 assists, and 4 QB pressures (resulting in 3 INT’s, 1 sack)
· The Overall Defense was very impressive, allowing maybe 4 first downs and forcing 4 turnovers.
· Ponderosa put up 30 points on a team that was only allowing 5 points/game coming into the game. They only allowed 7 points to a team that was scoring 31 points/game. Total Yards: Ponderosa 342 Vista Ridge 93; Rushing: Ponderosa 56/277 Vista Ridge 16/0
· Down blocks were good, his man couldn’t get any penetration, but I was a little disappointed in Fox’s drive blocking considering how much bigger than everyone he is, but he was definitely better in the 4th quarter.
· In short yardage situations he was submarined a lot, he kept his feet, but wasn’t able to get off and get to the next level.
· His pad level was pretty good considering he was 6 inches taller than everyone, but he did sometimes come up pretty high
· He was very strong. Yes he was bigger than everyone, but he never moved backward. Ever. Not even a little bit. I did see him block two guys at the same time once. On defense he pretty much threw his man around, and his splitting of the triple team was a thing of beauty.
· He blocked really well on the move and in space. When he got a free release to the second level or when he pulled he pretty much annihilated the defender. Sometimes he did have trouble finding someone to block on screens or clean releases to the second level, but it was rare.
· His lateral movement was pretty good. On pass protection he was able to slide out and handle the speed rushers pretty easily. Bull rushing him would have been futile. He did get beat wide once, but a) it was really really wide and b) it was a rollout to the opposite side so no harm at all. On defense, once he took on the double team and slid down the line square to the ball carrier on an outside run and allowed his teammates to swarm for a TFL.
· An oddity, he struggled with reach blocks to his left. A couple times he completely whiffed on the block. But on reach blocks to his right he was often able to seal the defender giving the RB the edge.
· Overall, I was more impressed with his defense than his offense. While he didn’t make a ton of plays himself, his disruption allowed his teammates to make a ton of plays. However, whenever Ponderosa needed yards on third down or close to the goal line they were certain to follow Fox.
If you have any questions about what I saw let me know and I will try to answer them to the best of my ability.
I celebrated my 10 year anniversary with my awesome wife this year, and we just had our second child 3 weeks ago. As a man who is up to his neck in family obligations every day - not just Wife Day - I feel the need to render some advice for tomorrow's bye to those who have yet to enter this chapter of their lives. You will find no "/s" tag here; I'm seriously...
First, sleep in. When you wake up to the glorious mid-day sun across your bed, go right back to sleep. Can't sleep any longer? Just lay there and do nothing until you're hungry.
Once hungry, go to the fridge and pull out something that no self-respecting human being would eat for breakfast/lunch. See that left over piece of chocolate cake? It needs a side of kettle chips.
Bring your meal to the couch and see how the noon games - which at this hour should now be in full swing - are going. "But Michigan is not playing today!" Stop right there and listen to yourself. There is football on. College football. The Saturdays where you actually have the time to watch a full slate of games that does not include your primary rooting interest are numbered, and this is one of them. It expires no matter how you choose to fill your day, so embrace it. Enjoy it.
Now it’s time for the 3:30 games. Hopefully by now you're realizing just how good you have it. Things are only about to get better as now you are guaranteed to watch either Sparty or Ohio lose. Any other week you probably take in at least part of their games in hopes to revel in some sweet schadenfreude. Well today's your lucky day because one way or another, it's happening.
Hungry again? Fight the urge to cook something. You have a device within arm's reach that you can speak into and people will bring you food. I suppose it doesn't really matter what you order, but again I would highly recommend anything that you will undoubtedly enjoy now, and likely regret later.
By the time your food arrives, you should be ensconced in session three of today's games. You may be thinking that this is an awful lot of football to watch, especially with Michigan absent from the schedule. If so, I ask that you think back two months to when you would have done anything to see a live football game...let alone a conference game with division race implications. Bonus: rumor has it that both 'Sconsin and the Huskers will be wearing awful unis. Laugh at their Wow Experience. Laze with peace of mind that it isn't our team playing dress-up this week.
As the games come to a close, start drinking (if you haven't already, which of course you have). Libation of choice should be something that makes you happy, or better yet occasionally leads to adventure and/or trouble. The night is young - go out, stay out, and don’t come back until the next morning after a sunrise breakfast at some greasy diner before sleeping through the NFL games and easing into next week.
If this advice strikes you as lazy, gluttonous, overindulgent, or all of the above, you're absolutely right. There are certain things in life that you are able to enjoy now, but will be superseded by other priorities in future years - be it quality time with the kids, a memorable afternoon with your loving wife, or simply avoiding "that look" from the mrs. any time you sleep more than her, eat too much of anything unhealthy, turn on your third game in the same day, etc.
Don't get me wrong - these priorities (the first two, anyway) are awesome in their own right and more than justifiably replace (most) football games when the time comes. But for you, single reader, Wife Day is still on the horizon. This is your time. As I said, it expires no matter how you choose to spend it. So embrace it. Enjoy it.
I have to go change a diaper.