alternate headline: man does job
In the comments of an earlier diary post Ohiowild asked if MIchigan rushers showed an upward trend in yards per carry as they gain experience. I used the same top 200 rushers history to plot yards per carry vs. games played and then ran a regression so see if there was any indication of an upward trend.
The verdict: not so much.
[EDIT] I made some changes to the chart based on the comments.
How do we define experience? The data I have provides average yards per carry for each game in which the rusher has at least one attempt, so I have to define experience within that constraint. The Maizer pointed out right away that there were some big outliers and Nogit suggested filtering out games with only a few carries. So I arbitrarily filtered out any game with 5 or fewer attempts. Therefore, for this analysis I've defined a significant-experience game as one in which the rusher has more than 5 attempts.
For each player the chart plots the series of average yards per carry for each significant-experience game. So if a player had 30 significant-experience games in their career there would be 30 dots plotted at tick mark 1 through 30 on the x-axis.
Click here or on the snapshot below to see the full graph.
First (maybe only) diary, but why not. I was curious.
*** Also, updated with the Eubanks news...***
So... I've been fiddling around with excel based on the available 247 composite data out there. We have a number of excellent targets and the 2016 class is far from closed. If attrition, gray-shirts, and expectations fall as expected, we could take up to 8 more recruits to get to the total of 30 expected in this class. To give credit, this info is all available on the class calculator at 247sports.com:
As I understand, the following are still viable targets to land in Michigan (with corresponding 247compositive score)*:
*We may be out for those in italics, really out of it is
I may have left off an option or two, but these should blanket the majority of our possibilities. I did leave off Elliott, I think he gone. Sad. He dominated at the All-Star game. I can't remember which, but I think I heard one of Metellus or Gil are a known (happy) gray-shirt ... so they were left off.
So, where does that leave us. Well, I made a cumulative chart using the information on the 247 class calculator. My goal was not to see our cumulative score. Others brighter than me have already noted we are unlikely to clear 300 points (even with Rashan Gary), so we aren't necessarily breaking any records here. However, what is our average recruit composite ranking? This isn't available on the calculator and is fun to mess around with.
I can't upload the excel sheet (or I would), but here is the chart with my best-case-scenario class inserted (bold = EE):
***Allen instead of Eubanks:***
|Adj (top 20)||93.2185|
|Adj (top 24)||92.1475|
|Adj (top 26)||91.63692|
***EUBANKS In, Allen out:***
|Adj (top 20)||93.2305|
|Adj (top 24)||92.22542|
|Adj (top 26)||91.70885|
First off... that is a lot of names.
Secondly, there are some interesting things in there. For instance, I adjusted the rankings to see how our average varies depending on the total class size (ie just keeping the top 20, 24 etc). This is a simple average feature on excel (cell = sum(b1:b20)*100)
Alabama (the pinnacle of mathematical recruiting prowess), had 24 total recruits in the 2015 class with an average of 93.64... so we'd be close, but no cigar. Ohio, on the other hand, finished with the #7 ranked composite class with 26 total recruits and an average rating of 90.19 ... so yeah, we'd be competitive.
Below is the trend (top = with Allen, bottom with Eubanks). Unfortunately, did not have time to chart this against past teams or opponents. I'll leave that to the professionals after all is said and done.
Aside from that, this is just speculation. Just fun with charts a la Ross Perot in election season. The class may not reach this apex, but should still be excellent. Go blue and best of luck to all the young men either way.
Despite being fun to always play the best-case-scenario, the below may be a more likely final class:
|Adj (top 20)||92.056|
|Adj (top 24)||90.99875|
|Adj (top 26)||90.55154|
Still beating 2015 Ohio in a National Championship year. I'll happily take that, plus a slight bump expected from the Eubanks addition. This doesn't mean we'll win actual football games, but it does mean we'll be competing from a talent standpoint. That's an advantage that Harbaugh didn't have at Stanford.
This is a good trend. Our top 20 is talented on an elite level and the next ten all have potential to be strong contributors at the next level. The comparison to Bama / OSU are more to say Michigan recruiting is strong like bull.
I'm aware this isn't anything earth shattering. But, it was informative and aided in my chronic procrastination.
Per informal policy we won't discuss specific names....
Please review handy MGoTable for scholarships by year:
With what is looking like 30 scholarships (and 31 players) in the 2016 class, UM will have a very young roster with 36% of players true freshman - up from 16% a year ago at this time. Harbaugh is basically trying to cram a 5 year time frame into 3 years with aggressive roster management.
With the departures of a few 5th year seniors, plus Green & Henry, UM has 62 non freshman scholarships devoted.* Adding 30 scholarships to that takes you to 92 scholarships.
*This does not include Ryan Glasgow who under most circumstances at most schools would certainly be given a scholarship his senior year, and Kenny Allen who at most places also would. Glasgow I guess you can make a case based on financial situation of family (well off parents, brother about to get NFL money) but based on merit certainly it's unusual to not get a scholarship as one of the top 8-10 best players on the team. In a world you give these 2 scholarships UM will be at 94 scholarships with only 85 allowed.
The path to 85:
1) No scholarships for 5th year seniors Glasgow/Allen as discussed above.
Keeps you at 92
2) Exit Brian Cole for off field troubles - I am only mentioning the specific name because Brian basically confirmed this in yesterday's Mgoboard post.
Drops you to 91.
3) Exit a QB from any class. Even if Gentry goes to TE down the road you have 5 scholarship QBs with none being a senior. I assume one is going to depart to look for playing time even if if means sitting out a year.
Drops you to 90.
4) Little used 5th year senior departures pre or post spring game. Call these Allen Gant types. These are the "easiest" to deal with as UM fulfilled its responsibility in giving a 4 year scholarship and player can easily move on to another FBS school without sitting out. There are 2 obvious candidates here who have played little to no meaningful time in their 4 years at UM. I am going to assume both "don't make the team" post spring game.
Drops you to 88.
That's the easy part - the last 3 spots are not as easy to triangulate:
5) Contributing 5th year seniors. Call these Keith Heitzman types. You have 1 or 2 guys here who have played meaningful time, including 1 guy who did well in the Citrus Bowl who the dark edges of the internet say was a candidate to leave if he didn't show well. There is also one OL many have whispered would leave if he was not a starter but with Raulerson not coming here it would seem strange to see that exit for depth purposes but who knows.
So in theory if these 3 fifth year seniors do depart you are 85 and you haven't done anything SEC-y. All these guys could find a landing spot immediately elsewhere although you lose some experienced depth on the roster.
6) Non 5th year seniors depart. This is the group where it gets squishy. You have multiple WRs and DBs (up to 4) who have played little to none in their career and are now upperclasmen. But not guys who could play immediately if they depart - unless like a Raulerson type they finished their degree in 3 years. If that is the case for any of the 4 it becomes less squishy. But you could also say they saw the writing on the wall, UM just didn't work out, etc etc.
7) A "surprise" out of the blue guy. This would be a Blake Countess type.
So that's the path to 85 from 92. Obviously if you want to give Glasgow and Allen a scholarship you need to find another 2 guys.
When the rumor mill was swirling around hiring Warde Manuel, I was thinking about the fact that he would be the
first edit: second (forgot about Tom Goss) minority athletic director Michigan has ever had leading the department. Then I started trying to think of any other schools with minority athletic directors, and aside from Gene Smith and Kevin Anderson from the Big10, I couldn't really think of any. I was curious just how unusual having a minority AD was, particularly considering the overall representation of minorities in college athletics.
So, I looked up the ADs for every P5 school - here's the results of this census. Just how unusual is it? Here's a chart:
|D1 Athletes||NCAA Coaches|
The numbers track similarly with coaches, but do not line up well with the participation rates by athletes, a well-known phenomenon. Michigan's undergraduate population also looks quite different than the general athlete population - the linked Harper, et al. report notes that black men represent 58.1% of the football and basketball teams at UM, for a closer comparison on this point.
Another question is if there are any differences by conference. How does that break down?
With Warde Manuel on board, the Big 10 now appears much better - much closer to the breakdown of the athletes they manage, as does the Pac 12. The Big 12 and SEC both have decidely more monochromatic palettes.
My takeaway from this was that while minorities are better represented among the managers of athletic departments than I had expected, many still look decidedly different from the people in their departments. But this is yet another reason to be happy about being in the Big 10 and to have pulled some awesome people into our department.
EDITED after McDoom's commitment.
Hello. MGoBoard Crazy Person LSA Superstar here. Because Alum96 is evidently a person who sleeps sometimes, I'm starting today's recruiting diary for obsessives.
24 25 commits. Based on the "dark web," one is unlikely to qualify. Two others, Elliott and N. Johnson, are admittedly shaky. That puts us at 21 22 firmly committed spots, leaving nine eight potentially vacant spots absent any surprise flip losses. We supposedly can go up to 30, but Lorenz seems to think the number is more likely 28 or 29.
Based on those spots, I think the board looks like so:
- RESERVED FOR GARY
- Non-Gary DT
Then you pool the players we remain in for. As you can see from the board above, it's worth designating five of these guys as "takes no matter what" - the four BPA slots plus Gary. I think, based on announcement timing, Michigan's evident interest, and a variety of other factors, that those guys are sorted as follows:
TAKES NO MATTER WHAT THAT COACHES WILL HOLD OUT FOR:
Then you have the other dudes we're in on, in no particular order:
And the players with whom our position is mysterious:
- J. Jones
- Price, I guess
And the players who might be left out in the cold because of recent commitments:
- N. Johnson
Next, you look at the announced order of committments. Although Lorenz walked it back to a degree (as is his right), he reported that the coaches may have tried to "time" some of these announcements. It's my theory that some commits have been told to announce sooner because they're takes right now, whereas others have been told to announce on signing day because they're still-coveted backup plans (Gary is an obvious exception). Once players get the pitch from the coaches to play this game, they're either doing what they want ("no thanks, I'll announce when I want, coach") or playing along
If I'm right (it happens occasionally), the following "rules" emerge:
1.) Hudson is announcing today. I think that means that Hudson one of the coaches' two BPAs because Hudson is widely expected to commit to Michigan. Hudson takes a spot.
McDoom is rumored to be announcing tomorrow. If McDoom commits as expected, he takes the slot spot and Johnson gets in only as a BPA. Lorenz has suggested that Johnson may be out of luck entirely if McDoom commits. Young's only chance becomes as a CB or BPA. McDoom's commitment may mean the end of Nate Johnson's recruitment/commitment (commuitment?) because I don't think he's rumored to be able to play any other position than slot. I think Pie Young is still in the mix as either a CB or a BPA. But McDoom's pledge isn't great news for Pie.
3.) Fuller announces next Monday. Fuller would fill a CB spot. If he commits elsewhere, we put the full court on Hill, who's probably a "must take" anyway. If Hill commits elsewhere as well, Young gets the spot as a CB. I think this is Young's best shot at being in the class.
4.) If Asiasi commits (I do think there's a chance), I think we may not take Allen or Eubanks's commitments. I could very well be wrong about Allen, and I hope I am because I love his tape.
5.) I think we'll take both non-Gary DTs if we have room, although neither seems very likely to commit. I think our only chance at Tagaloa is if Asiasi commits. I'm more optimistic on Elliott than some, but not very optimistic.
6.) I think we lead for Murphy, Young, Nordin, and Stewart, and I think all of them would commit today if they were given the green light. I personally think that we should have given the green light to Murphy months ago, but I don't think the coaches feel that way based on the progression of his recruitment.
DISCLAIMERS: This is all my opinion, synthesized from a bunch of stuff I've read that might be made up. I don't have any insider connections. I don't have any coaching connections, and I'm not a coach myself.
Trying to think through the past few weeks and the implications short term and long term, and avoiding the more "fire breathing" TRUST IN EVERYTHING OR YOU WANT HOKE 4EVER CROWD. I think aside from the "win at any cost crowd" there has to be a bit of apprehension of some of the tactics by everyone else. I do agree "win and none of this matters" but you have to win big (i.e. playoffs and NCs). I think we are at the point now we have enough situations in a small amount of time at UM, plus the history at Stanford to see this is not a "one off" situation but a pattern. I don't recall another school having a string of decommits like this in a short period of time -- so to do it annually IMO is going to be an issue.
So the question is will this be an annual event? Too soon to tell.
The 2 paths of Harbaugh recruiting at UM are:
- Path 1: Nothing changes. "Accept many and cull in mass quantity" is the new Michigan recruiting method. We'll be the only school who does this in such large quantity. This is Jim Harbaugh.
- Path 2: While there will still be some head scratching things in the future because #Harbaugh, Jim will act a bit more like uhhh.... everyone else in America in that you build relationships with plan B targets but you don't accept a ton of them until your plan As say no. So you build a draft board - offer all your As, Bs, and Cs to get your 200+ offers but make explicit who can actually accept them early - i.e. the As.
We won't know until the end of the 2017 cycle what path Jim will go but early returns point to path 1 - "Accept many and cull in mass quantities". To that end an early look at the 2017 class shows a lot of 3* that if 2016 is a reasonable measure, won't be around in Feb 2017.
The counterargument is Harbaugh did not expect such an uptick in recruiting so quickly. Frankly I find that a bit hard to believe because Hoke had multiple top 15 type classes including a 247 composite #4 and #6. To believe Harbaugh thought this year he'd have a #26 class and need to build back up to top 5 or 10 "later" - with the Harbaugh brand at his tailwind - seems a bit hard to believe. But some have proposed that is the reason for the "accept many and cull in mass quantity".
I'll propose a 2nd reason - Jim has an ego and he wanted the Summer Swarm to show immediate results. I actually believe that more than "we had no idea we could recruit at a top 10 level at UM" theory.
What I don't get - and why I propose the satellite camps will lose their effectiveness if Jim continues to "accept many and cull in mass quantity" - is why Jim didn't use the camps like most assumed they were created for:
- Build long lasting relationships in parts of the country UM is not local
- Build goodwill in areas UM is not usually seen.
- Have a chance to meet and evaluate under the radar guys who you can then "committable" offer late in the process as a plan B.
That would make these camps a big success - you have a ready pool of players you can bring onto campus in December or January that otherwise we would have never seen in person as we juggle our plan As and plan Bs. It builds goodwill - player and coach and parent gets excited they have a chance at a "committable" Michigan offer. You are in the position to give a plan B prospect something rather than take away something late in their cycle. You've built positive relationships in other parts of the country.
At this point it feels like only Flanagan fulfilled this promise and maybe Pratville but a lot of goodwill otherwise has been burnt.
If Jim stays on path 1, the satellite camps IMO become nearly useless.
- The top 250 type kids don't participate in these.
- The lower rated kids go for exposure.
- If lower rated kid gets an offer, he accepts and immediately knows it doesn't mean much in terms of being there in February.
- Lower rated kid who is now Michigan "commit" (wink wink) has little invested in the game as he is constantly thinking about parlaying offer into another offer at another school knowing his chance of remaining a UM commit the next Feb is nearly nil.
- Lower rated kid is useless in recruiting other kids to UM because he has again little to nothing invested in UM itself as he doesn't believe he will be here in the end.
- Camaraderie among fellow recruits in class is tarnished when 30-40% believe they won't be around in the end anyhow.
- More tarnishing of reputation, more upseting parents, more upseting local HS coaches by this idea of "offering and culling". Again you are taking something away from them (offer given, offer taken) rather than giving them something (offer given only) if you offer a satellite camp guy in June....
- For a month rather than positive press you will get "here we go again" and "remember Swenson and Weaver" stories in the media as future Summer Swarms happen.
I really don't get the strategy of staying with path 1 for Jim Harbaugh mostly because there is zero benefit to do it in his situation.
- This is not Stanford where the football players have a distinctly higher academic standard so you really do need to "commitable" offer 40 to get 25 into the class.
- This is Michigan, not San Diego - people are aware of the school. What benefit did offering recruits you didn't really want in the end generate - did high end recruits look at those lower rated guys and say "I want in because generic 800 ranked guy is in?"
- You have an NFL pedigree now as a HC - you didn't have that at Stanford. Everyone knows who you are now - not like at Stanford.
- There is no value add to attract high level recruits by this process of accept and reject of lower level recruits.
Summary - there is no reason to do this "accept and cull" in large quantities. I get doing it in 2-3 cases where a top 100 player suddenly shows interest at a position you may have a generic 650th ranked guy. But doing it with 1/3rd+ of the committed class makes no sense at Michigan, with a HC everyone knows.
As I've said in many posts I don't care about what the media or other fanbases or even other college coaches say. I do care what recruits say to each other, what parents say to each other, what HS coaches say to each other. And to believe a scorched earth tactic won't have an effect on the latter 3 groups if repeated annually is naive. Even with Meyer and Saban you here 2-3 "questionable" cases a year - and some years 0 or 1. Path 1 will lead to 8-10+ cases a year and IMO hurt the next coach here with a lot of broken relationships with HSs even if Harbaugh finds a way to succeed in spite of it.
- Be your normal zany self in how you recruit but utilize commitable offers like every other staff in America. Emphasize plan As while building relationships with plan Bs and Cs (camps would be excellent for the latter) - but only make the plan As committable early in the process in MOST cases. (Always an exception or two but it can't be half the class purged) So like any school you shoot out your 200 offers but of those only 15-20% are "acceptable" until say the December or January ahead of the Feb signing date.
- When offering plan Bs and Cs early make everything explicit. In writing works if you don't like the phone. "You are still being evaluated and will continue to be evaluated as with all other recruits. If we believe your ability to play meaningful time at the University of Michigan is lower immediately after your senior season you will be notified quickly and directly (i.e. not hinting but talking to a 17 year old like a 50 year old professional) so you can move onto a situation that offers you a better chance to fulfill your football goals. You will receive a FedEx'd letter from the football program followed up by a phone call by your immediate recruiter and/or the head coach to explain this change in condition by Dec 1st at the latest."