This past weekend's thriller had a few visitors, including instate prospects DeAnthony Arnett and Desmond Morgan. The game wasn't just exciting for the fans but the recruits as well. Reactions and other recruiting news:
6'1", 225 lbs.
This was Morgan's second time attending a Michigan game this season. This one was a little bit different for him since he now has a scholarship offer from Michigan.
I enjoyed every part of the game, it was really exciting. Last time I was there I thought how cool it would be to be noticed by them, or get a chance to play for them. This time I thought that could be me next year, and I have a chance to play on that field. I appreciated that feeling.
Desmond was escorted to the game by his dad, who is also a big Michigan fan. They got to experience some firsts together, and started thinking more seriously about the recruiting scene.
We met Coach Rodriguez and Frey, and that was the first time we've met both of them in person. We got a chance to walk around the locker room, and anytime you get a chance to walk through that tunnel it's pretty special. My dad liked it a lot.
As I reported previously, Morgan wants to take his time with his recruitment. He is a Michigan fan, but doesn't want to rush into anything, but this visit was a step in the right direction for Michigan.
I talked to the coaches about making an official visit. We're going to try to get that set up this week. They mentioned the Big Chill hockey game (Dec. 10th), so that's a possible date. I really had a lot of my questions answered already. The main thing was spending time with the coaches and getting to know them better. I wanted to feel welcomed there, and I really did feel that.
Desmond should have his official set up by this week. He also plans on visiting Northwestern this weekend for the Iowa game. Things are looking good for Michigan, though.
5'10", 185 lbs.
Fort Myers, Florida
Dallas Crawford has been high on Michigan for some time now. I wanted to get some perspective on him from his current head coach on where Michigan stands with both Dallas and his teammate Sammy. Coach Redhead:
Dallas has Michigan as his number one school because of his two visits there and the atmosphere. Sammy still has Michigan in close second to Clemson. It's a little harder for me to get a read on him, but Michigan is close. They're in the hunt for both of them. I don't think it should matter, but I think it might matter how both teams finish for Sammy. [ed: ie, coach doesn't think it should be relevant but it could be anyway.]
Redhead has had some good prospects come through the schools he has coached at, but he has some strong feelings about both Crawford and Watkins.
Dallas is a solid character kid, and one that I never have to worry about. He has some of the best instincts I've ever coached, and that includes the big name kids. Dallas has that football IQ. He knows where to be and when to be there, and he's always in the right spot. Same thing with Sammy. They both just do what they're asked of them.
For any head coach, it's important to be able to trust the coaches recruiting their athletes, and it seems as if Michigan has earned that trust from Coach Redhead.
Greg Frey recruits down here, and I've known him since he was at Florida State. I know he's going to take care of our kids. When we know they're good people and they care about the kids, and not just wins and losses, it makes it easier on us. That's the good thing about the Michigan coaches, they all care about these kids.
Both Dallas and Sammy are focused taking their team deep into the playoffs. They will be scheduling an official visit to Michigan in the near future. Sammy will most likely take an official to Clemson as well.
6'0", 170 lbs.
DeAnthony Arnett was at the Michigan game this past weekend and has put Michigan back on his list. I caught up with his brother Ralph, who let me know about the visit a little while ago, about Arnett's plans for this week.
The visit was nice. We picked the perfect game to come to. We talked with all the coaches, and Coach Singletary. They never stopped recruiting DeAnthony, and he told them that he wanted to see them play before he came for a visit. They had their receivers go off, and it was a great atmosphere.
The visit on the field was great, but what they were shown off the field was possibly just as important.
As far as the visit, it was outstanding. DeAnthony got one on one time with the academic advisors. They stress time management on the kids, and a lot of schools don't talk about that. It can get overwhelming, and they said they don't let the freshman fall behind, and they pay close attention to them. That was great.
Arnett has already been out to USC, Cal, and Tennessee. He obviously has had plenty of exposure to both Michigan and Michigan State. His brother let me know what the plans are from here.
DeAnthony will be announcing his decision this Wednesday at 9 AM at Saginaw High. He will be calling the coaches on Tuesday to tell them what he's decided to do. We'll go over his notes and see what he wants to do from there.
The family has kept everything close to the vest, but Michigan does have a chance. We'll all know Wednesday.
Also, here's film from four of DeAnthony's games this year.
- Four star Maryland defensive back Blake Countess was offered this past week. Look for Michigan to shoot up his list, potentially as his favorite. This could be a big pickup for Michigan if it works out.
- DC running back Malcolm Crockett is still on his official visit. I will hopefully have an update with him once he's back home.
- The Demetrius Hart scare has been resolved, and ended up just having to do with his high school, and early enrollment problems.
- Rich Rodriguez said at his press conference today that Craig Roh will most likely stay on the defensive line. Probably mostly due to this.
Synopsis for Turnovers: Apparently, after figuring out every possible way to lose football games over the past 3 years, Meeechigan figured out how to win a game that there was absolutely no way we should have won with this many TOs. M turned in a –4TOM (!!) leaving us at –7 TOM for the year and ranked #Gawd Awful (uh, #108). And yet, we won. As Les Berman says, "That's Why They Play the Games!"
Illinois had 17 possessions in regulation! The defense forced 6 punts, 1 missed FG, and 3 made FG. Michigan only punted the ball twice, failed on one 4th down attempt, made 1 of 2 FG, but gave the ball away 5 times (ILL gave it back to us once). Other than that, both teams pretty much scored TDs at will
You know how the ladies love to say that men can never admit we are wrong? Well, I was absolutely, positively, 1 Bazillion % Fracking WRONG!! I said there was no way for us to win this game without +2 TOM. I was totally Wrong!
To finish out the year, M needs to get some takeaways. Turnovers lost is about average (nothing to get excited about but not horrible either). Michigan is just not forcing any TOs and the Ints are now few and far between. There is nothing more to say. Enjoy the stats.
BTW, blocked punts, blocked field goals, on-side kick recovered by the opposing team, roughing the kicker penalties, etc. are not considered to be "official" turnovers but have the same effect. I will continue to track these also.
Synopsis for Special Teams: We punted twice and made one FG in 2 attempts. Net punting was hurt by the rugby punt that bounced right to the Illini and was returned 21 yards.
Details for Turnovers: Here is the Summary by Game. According to the folks at Football Outsiders a first down TO is worth 5 points, second down TO is worth 4.5 points, and a third down TO is worth 4.0 points (regardless of field position!).
The extrapolation is a straight line [Totals] X [13 Total Games / Games Played]. AQ Best and AQ average is over the past 10 years. AQ Best is kind of funky because the team with the "best" in each category is different so the numbers don't add. But, it does provide a point of reference.
Here is the detail of each fumble/interception and a comment providing insight if the turnover (or lack thereof) was significant. Note, blocked punts are not considered a turnover and an interception of an extra point is not considered a turnover (player does not get credit for a interception).
Here is the overall summary by player (data in yellow was affected by this week's game).
Details for Special Teams: Here are the Punting and Kickoff statistics. (Touchbacks are included as –20 yards when determining net yards.)
Remember here are the correlations of TOM to WLM at season's end.
What a first game at Michigan Stadium! A big thanks to Jamie Mac for the invitation to tailgate, it was great to meet up with a few MGoBloggers before the game. For your generosity I won’t gloat about being right about the PSU/NW game.
Michigan Rush: +12
Michigan Pass: +21
Illinois Rush: +13
Illinois Pass: +6
Illinois had a huge field position advantage on the day. Not counting the OT drives, Illinois’ field position would have yielded an average team against an average defense 40 points. Michigan allowed 45. Considering the low bar set by this unit, it was a heck of a job giving the offense a chance to win. The offense was only “expected” to score 28 based on field position. The turnovers and special teams put Michigan at a distinct disadvantage but the defense held enough in regulation to give the offense a chance and then came through with the one stop they needed at the end.
Denard had his worst rushing game of the season going –1 on the ground (with Illinois’s good rush d it will be positive after the opponent adjustment)
Vincent Smith +2
Michael Shaw +6, that’s what happens when a third of your carries are touchdowns
For Illinois, Scheelhaasse, Leshoure and Ford were all +5
A lot of big numbers all around. Michigan’s total offensive game was the second best opponent adjusted offensive performance for the entire season.
Seven is still the most likely outcome but with the win on Saturday the prospects have improved from 6-7 to 7-8.
@ Purdue: 65%
@ Ohio St: 15%
Continuing with last week’s method of ranking by losses first, then season PAN, then any adjustment for head to head games.
Oregon continues to be rated lower by my numbers due mostly to the cat and mouse nature of a lot of their games. I don’t count plays after the spread is larger than 2 TD’s in the second half and Oregon has played several games, like last weekend vs Washington, where the game has stayed closer than it should into the second half and the blows the door off to close out the game.
Other teams that seem out of place are Nevada which is only ranked highly because of my methodology. They are 50th in the country in PAN behind Michigan at #46.
Update: User philbuster asked me if the title of this week's wallpaper was a reference to Greg Robinson's last press conference as head coach at Syracuse. The reference was purely accidental. I had completely forgotten about that press conference, but take a look at the video clip starting at about the 0:50 mark; funny coincidence. Or is it? (It is.)
According to the official Purdue Athletics web site, "Over the years, Purdue teams had been called grangers, pumpkin-shuckers, railsplitters, cornfield sailors, blacksmiths, foundry hands and, finally, boilermakers. That last one stuck." I'm more than just a little broken up that history stole from me the opportunity to design a "pumpkin-shuckers" wallpaper. Sigh. Instead, a replica of a Victorian-era locomotive became the official mascot of the Boilermakers in 1930 "to exemplify the engineering and agrarian heritage of Purdue." Because nothing says "intimidation" like agrarian symbolism.
For the last two seasons Michigan fans have seen "easy wins" against Purdue devolve into soul-crushing defeats. As I anticipate next weekend's contest, I see in my mind's eye a damsel draped in maize, tied to train tracks, terror in her eyes. A whistle echoes from the depths of a tunnel. The tracks rumble. A small light flashes in the darkness. The damsel turns away and closes her eyes. Where is her hero? Has she no defender? No, like our 2010 team, she is defenseless. What will emerge from the tunnel? Will it be a full-size freight train that rips her into a thousand pieces, or a miniature model train that bounces harmlessly off her rope-bound body?
The image below is a preview only. You can get this week's widescreen, 4:3, iPad and mobile wallpapers at The Art. The Art. The Art!.
How it was Made
I used screen capture software to record the creation of this week's wallpaper artwork and sped up the footage to condense 4 hours of design time into just over 4 minutes of video. If you like watching paint dry, or if you want to see the Photoshop equivalent of Bob Ross ruining a perfectly good painting with a giant foreground tree, then this video is for you.
All of the 2010 Schedule Wallpapers
New BCS standings are in. First the standings, the BCS slots, and the auto-qualifiers (AQ)
4 Boise State
9 Ohio State
10 Oklahoma State
The BCS Slots (as of wk 11, standings in conference used for AQ):
BCS Champ #1: Oregon
BCS Champ #2: Auburn
ACC: Va Tech
Big East: Pitt
Big Ten: Mich St
Big 12: Nebraska
Pac 10: vacant due to Ore
SEC: vacant due to Aub
At-large 1: TCU (non AQ in Top 12, BCS rule 3.A)
- Now we start the sorting process for the at-large and replacement slots:
- First the BCS Championship game is set up:
Oregon v Auburn
- Then the AQ's get slotted in their games per contracts:
Rose Bowl (Big 10 v Pac 10): Mich St (from tiebreakers w other Big Ten 1 loss teams) v. VACANT
Orange Bowl (ACC v at-large): Va Tech v. VACANT
Fiesta Bowl (Big 12 v at-large): Nebraska v. VACANT
Sugar Bowl (SEC v. at-large): VACANT v VACANT
- Now the fun begins. With Oregon and Auburn going to the BCS championship, the Rose and Sugar have to select replacement teams.
- Because of an adjustment to the BCS process, the Rose is contracturally obligated to take the non-AQ conference auto qualifer, so Michigan St, have fun getting your teeth kicked in by TCU.
- Sugar gets to pick a replacement for Auburn, and you know damn well they'll take an SEC team. At this point, it's LSU, a no-brainer.
- This now gives us:
BCS Champ: Oregon v Auburn
Rose Bowl: Mich St v. TCU
Sugar Bowl: LSU vs. VACANT
Fiesta Bowl: Neb vs. VACANT
Orange Bowl: Va Tech vs. VACANT
- Now the rest of the bowls fill out their games. this year, the order is Sugar, Orange, Fiesta
The rest of the teams remaining for consideration (in order of AQ, then BCS at-large standing): Pitt, Boise St (#4), Stanford (#6), Wiscy (#7), tOSU (#9), Ok St (#10)
Sugar gets first pick. They already have LSU and the Sugar likes a big name with a big travel base, so WISCONSIN come on down. This eliminates tOSU since the Big Ten can't have more than 2 teams.
Orange is next and needs a little pop to a potential Va Tech matchup. Pitt's not going here since a Va Tech v Pitt matchup would be ratings disaster. Their choice is essentially an undefeated Boise St, a Pac-10 runner up Stanford, maybe with only 1-loss, and an OkSt who is always helped by the T-Boone Pickens Effect. This is probably the biggest toss-up. Stanford while having a decent "name" program, is not known for traveling well, and Boise St is, well Boise St. They'll travel well for their small fan base, and may attract some TV numbers. I say the BCS goes to protect its own and the Orange chooses STANFORD here.
Finally, the Fiesta's job is easy. They have to take Pitt as the Big East AQ.
- So the games are set:
BCS Champ: Oregon v Auburn
Rose Bowl: Mich St v TCU
Orange Bowl: Va Tech v Stanford
Sugar Bowl: LSU v Wisconsin
Fiesta Bowl: Nebraska v Pitt
Now the analysis:
- Wow does Boise get screwed. After I looked at the matchups and BCS rules more stringently this week, I find it hard for Boise to get in a BCS game since they'll be compared most likely against tOSU, Wisconsin, and Stanford for an at-large slot. And sorry, I think from a number of standpoints, they lose comparisons to all those three in terms of bowl selection criteria
- Next up in the screwed department would be tOSU if the Sugar takes Wiscy over them. I coud definately see the Sugar taking tOSU over Wiscy as well, but Sparty makes the whole thing suck for those two unless Sparty drops a game the last three weeks. Then both Wiscy and tOSU get BCS slots.
- TCU is locked into the Rose Bowl against a Big Ten team. And really, the only place to go for them is up. If Auburn or Oregon slip, and LSU not going to play in the SEC championship game, TCU retroactively becomes The Hat's biggest fan by knocking off Bama and their potential jumper scenario. TCU will be in the national championship game if Oregon loses and maybe if Auburn loses but Oregon stays undefeated. That win against Utah was no joke, son.
- Auburn is probably in the best spot. If they lose to Alabama, they still have the SEC championship to impress and get the #2 BCS rating in front of TCU. If they lose in the SEC championship game, they still might have enough to hold onto the #2 slot.
- Armageddon scenario: If Oregon and Auburn lose (preferably Oregon to Oregon St and Auburn in the SEC championship game), God help us, but the voters will probably leapfrog TCU into the #1 slot and Boise St into the #2 slot. At that point, it will be up to the computers. I don't think LSU's going to have enough juice especially by not playing in the SEC championship, Auburn's been skating on sketchy computer numbers up to this point (although an Alabama win will help, a 3-loss Alabama will not look as good to the CPU's as a 2-loss Alabama), and I don't think enough people are impressed wwith Nebraska or Wisconsin to vote them ahead enough to make up the difference in the computer part of the BCS rankings. Now if Tom Osborne managed to cry a few tears onto the BCS computer......
After next week, I'll add a Big Ten Bowl Outlook diary as well as the conference standings come into more focus....
UPDATE (11/08): Two points. (1) Mich St is in there now b/c they have an extra Big Ten win. At the end if Wiscy, Mich St, and tOSU all end up with one conference loss, then Wiscy and tOSU will likely both be the Big Ten reps in the BCS games since they'll both be higher BCS ranked than Mich St. If tOSU or Wiscy loses and Mich St wins out, they'll benefit from being higher in the polls due to the other B10 team losing, will probably improve their BCS standing from the current #11, but may not be as sexy for the Sugar Bowl against LSU as an undefeated Boise St (Mich St wins the one-on-one comparison with Wiscy meaning Sparty'd get the auto Rose Bowl slot and Wiscy would be an at-large BCS team; Mich St loses the one-on-one to tOSU since tOSU will be the higher BCS team, leaving Mich St to compete as a BCS at-large possibility). So the Big Ten might actually lose a BCS slot if Wiscy loses. (2) As a poster in the comments pointed out, Boise St did already play Va Tech this year, likely ruling them out from the Orange Bowl, leaving Boise's only BCS hopes at: Rose if TCU gets in the national championship (if Auburn loses), Fiesta as an at-large vs Nebraska, or Sugar as an at-large against a likely SEC team.
Well, that was fun. Hopefully this victory means that Michigan football has turned a corner, that communist football is here to stay, and that the counter-revolutionaries have been assimilated (or, if not, then deported to our luxurious gulag in Palo Alto).
Even though Denard didn't have his best game statistically, he helped the team win. And that win made us bowl eligible, allowing me to project his season totals over 13 games instead of 12, increasing the likely number of records he will break this year. Let's hope his concussion was mild, and that he is able to go out and play against Purdue.
(And when I say he didn't have his "best game", he still gained 367 yards of total offense: one yard short of the old Navarre record that Denard has already broken four times.)
A special shout-out today for Roy Roundtree, who, impressively, destroyed a 44-year-old Michigan single-game receiving record, by gaining 246 yards (on 9 catches with 2 TDs). The old record was set in 1966, when Jack Clancy gained 197 yards against Oregon State. (Roundtree's mark wouldn't even make the top ten all-time in the Big Ten: the Big Ten record is 301 by Chris Daniels of Purdue against MSU in 1999; the NCAA record is 405 by Troy Edwards of Louisiana Tech against Nebraska in 1998.)
As to the scoring explosion against Illinois: Overtime points are idiotic. Each team starts from the other's 25. There is simply no way that people should count overtime points towards scoring records, and I refuse to do so. It is simply not appropriate to compare college football records of the overtime era to pre-1996 ones (when overtime was brought to college football). For the purposes of single-game scoring records, I look at that Illinois game as a tennis match with a fifth-set tiebreaker: 46-45 (22-20).
I hope that official keepers of college football records change their minds and take that approach, in which separate records are kept for regulation and overtime. As of today, overtime points and other statistics are counted fully toward all NCAA records. This isn't fair to the great accomplishments of previous generations of college football athletes.
Prefatory Verbiage • New This Week • Week in Review • Record of the Week • QBs as Rushing Champions • QB Rushing, Game • QB Rushing, Season • QB Rushing, Career • Rushing (Any Position) • 200/200 Club • 1000/1000 Club • Total Offense • Total Offense Per Play • Passing Efficiency • Other M Passing • Other M Rushing • Team Offense • Standard Disclaimers • Acknowledgments • Comments
- Previous editions. Here are the links to the post-PSU, bye week, post-Iowa, post-MSU, and post-Indiana editions of this Almanack.
- Suggestions are welcome. If you have found an interesting statistic or record that you think I should add to this list, please put it in the comments section and I'll add it to the original post (and give you credit).
- Review the disclaimers. Football has evolved considerably over its 141-year history, much more so than other major sports, and that is important to keep in mind when talking about all-time records. The existence of this diary is not meant to imply that individual achievement is more important than the achievement of the team.
New This Week
New to this week's Almanack is a discussion of team offense records. Also, as noted above, I have now projected Denard's rushing and passing yards over 13 games instead of 12. I've also projected Cam Newton's stats over 14 games instead of 12; thanks to LSU's victory over Alabama, Auburn only has to win one of its two remaining games in order to play in the SEC championship game.
Week in Review: Denard Breaks a Jim Harbaugh Record
From a completion-percentage standpoint, Denard had another relatively poor day: only 50% (10 of 20). This is his second-lowest total; only last week's 47.8% was lower. Accuracy was an issue for him again, with several passes thrown behind receivers and two INTs. I'm assuming his shoulder continues to bother him.
The only thing is: those ten completions went for 305 yards and 3 TDs. That is an average of 30.5 yards per completion, a new Michigan record for a minimum of 10 completions. (The old record was held by Jim Harbaugh, who averaged 30.0 yards per completion against Indiana in 1986.)
The Illini rush defense did well against Denard, limiting him to only 62 yards rushing on 19 attempts: a career-worst 3.26 yards per carry (his previous low was 4.10 against MSU).
Of the other prominant dual-threat QBs, Cam Newton ran for 24 yards and threw for 317 against I-AA Chattanooga; Colin Kaepernick ran for 22 and threw for 320 against Idaho; and Taylor Martinez didn't play in Nebraska's OT thriller against Iowa State due to an ankle sprain. LaMichael James, Denard's challenger for the NCAA rushing title, gained 121 yards on 26 carries in a rout against Washington.
Records of the Week: NCAA Single-Season QB Rushing; 1500/1500 Club; Michigan Total Offense, Single-Season
With the Big Ten single-season QB rushing mark in his rear-view mirror, Denard is only 145 yards shy of Beau Morgan's NCAA mark of 1,494, set in 1996. If he is healthy for Purdue, it certainly wouldn't be surprising to see him break that record on Saturday. If he gains 151 yards, he will become the first major-college player in history to both rush and pass for 1,500 yards in a single season.
Also, suddenly, after the offensive explosion against Illinois, Denard finds himself just 77 yards short of Michigan's all time single-season record for total offense: 3,240 yards, set by John Navarre in 2003. While there's always the off chance that Denard doesn't run for 145 yards against Purdue, if he plays, he's going to break 77 yards of total offense.
Despite his relatively poor numbers against Illinois, Denard maintained possession of the Michigan career yards-per-carry record with a minimum of 200 attempts, with 6.8 YPC on 252 carries. The previous record had been held by 6.3 YPC by Jon Vaughn (from 1989-1990). Denard also owns Michigan's single-season YPC record at 7.4; the previous mark had been Tyrone Wheatley's at 7.3 (in 1992). In addition, having crossed the threshold of 200 career pass attempts against Illinois, Denard now owns the Michigan career pass-efficiency record with a minimum of 200 attempts, with 151.0 on 217 attempts. The previous record was 148.1 by Elvis Grbac (from 1989-1992), and Elvis had the benefit of a Heisman Trophy-winning receiver. Denard could theoretically fall below these thresholds in the future.
Quarterbacks as NCAA Rushing Champions
A quarterback has never led the NCAA FBS in rushing yards over a single season. In 1937, the first year in which the NCAA kept official football statistics, Colorado halfback Byron "Whizzer" White led the nation in rushing with 1,121 yards, along with 475 passing yards. (If that wasn't enough, White also went to Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship, played in the NFL for Pittsburgh and Detroit, served in World War II during which he was awarded two Bronze Stars, came back and graduated from Yale Law School, and was appointed by John F. Kennedy to the Supreme Court of the United States.)
This year, Denard could become the first quarterback in history to finish the season as the NCAA rushing champion (by yards gained). He currently has gained 1,349 yards on the ground. LaMichael James of Oregon is 18 yards behind having played one less game.
On a yards-per-game basis, James is in first place with 166.4 (Denard is second with 149.9). Personally, I find the YPG statistic to be arbitrary: should Denard be punished because the Bowling Green game was a rout, and LaMichael James be rewarded because he was suspended for one game for pleading guilty to harrassing his ex-girlfriend? FWIW, on a yards-per-carry basis, Denard is ahead of James.
Note that Cam Newton will likely play in the SEC championship game, and thereby have an extra game to pad his stats. Newton, however, is 203 yards behind Denard, despite the extra tilt. Here are the top 5 rushers in the country, sorted by yards gained:
|Kendall Hunter||Oklahoma St.||203||1,240||6.11||9||137.8||14|
|Daniel Thomas||Kansas St.||214||1,102||5.15||9||122.4||12|
* - LaMichael James was suspended for Oregon's first game against New Mexico for pleading guilty to a misdemeanor.
Rushing Yards by a QB, Single-Game
Denard currently holds the Michigan and Big Ten records for rushing yards by a quarterback in a single game: 258 vs. Notre Dame. The NCAA FBS record is 308, on 22 attempts, by Stacey Robinson of Northern Illinois, against Fresno State, on Oct. 6, 1990.
Rushing Yards by a QB, Single-Season
Denard currently has 1,349 rushing yards in 8 games. This projects to 1,949 over a 13-game schedule. He owns the Big Ten record, as described above, and has destroyed the previous Michigan record for QB rushing yards in a season: 674 by Steve Smith in 1981.
Before you get too overwhelmed by all the numbers in this diary, just stop and think about that for a minute. Denard Robinson, your starting Michigan quarterback, playing before your very eyes, has more than doubled a Michigan football record, with four games to go. And not just any record, but one that has stood for three decades. Even if you account for the fact that we're playing a very different style of football now—it's just incredible.
The NCAA FBS record is 1,494 by Beau Morgan of Air Force in 1996. This record is easily within reach. Denard only has to average 37 rushing yards a game over the rest of the regular season to break the NCAA FBS record.
Rushing Yards by a QB, Career
There's no point in projecting Denard's career rushing totals, since we don't even know how he'll do this year (or if his knee will hold up), nor if he will stay for his senior season. But here are the records:
Michigan's career record is held by Rick Leach (1975-1978) at 2,176 yards: a record Denard will break this year, at his current pace. Denard needs to average 119 rushing yards a game to take this title. (Guys like Leach and Steve Smith must salivate at what they could have done in the offense of Comrade Rodriguez.) The Big Ten record is Antwaan Randel El's (1998-2001) at 3,895 yards. The NCAA FBS record is held by Pat White (2005-2008) at 4,480 yards.
The NCAA FBS per-game career record is 109.1 yards by Stacey Robinson of Northern Illinois, achieved from 1988-1990 over 25 games.
Rushing Records (At Any Position)
For a single game, the Michigan record is 347 by Ron Johnson in 1968 against Wisconsin; the Big Ten record is 377 by Anthony Thompson of Indiana in 1989 against Wisconsin; the NCAA FBS record is 406 by LaDainian Tomlinson of TCU in 1999 against UTEP.
For a single season, the Michigan record is 1,818 yards (Tshimanga Biakabutuka, 1995); the Big Ten record is 2,087 yards (Larry Johnson, Penn St., 2002); the NCAA FBS record is 2,628 yards (Barry Sanders, Oklahoma State, 1988). Denard can break Touchdown Tim's Michigan record by averaging 117 yards per game over the rest of the season.
That Barry Sanders record will be around for a while, but remember that Denard is on pace for 1,949 with a 13-game schedule; if he is able to maintain his current pace, and gets to play in a bowl game, Larry Johnson's Big Ten record would not be out of reach.
For a career, the Michigan record is held by Mike Hart (5,040 yards, 2004-2007); the Big Ten record is held by Ron Dayne (7,125 yards, 1996-1999); the NCAA FBS record is also held by Ron Dayne, but they list it as 6,397 yards. (Herschel Walker of Georgia holds the record for a 3-year career at 5,259 yards, set from 1980-1982.)
The 200/200 Club
Much has been made of the fact that Denard is the only player in FBS history to gain 200 yards rushing and 200 yards passing twice in regular-season games. To me this is a silly distinction—who cares if it was done in the regular season or a bowl game? If anything, Vince Young's performance in the 2005 Rose Bowl against USC is even more remarkable, given that that USC team is considered one of the most dominant teams of the modern era. Wake me up when Denard gets his third 200/200 game. (He did go for 191/190 against Penn State.)
Anyway, here are the 200/200 games listed in the NCAA record book, sorted by total offense. You'll note that Denard is the only member of the 240/240 club, and Marques Tuiasosopo is the only member of the 200/300 club.
|Player||Team (Opponent)||Year||Rushing||Passing||Total Off.|
|Marques Tuiasosopo||Washington (Stanford)||1999||207||302||509|
|Vince Young||Texas (Oklahoma St.)||2005||267||239||506|
|Denard Robinson||MICH (Notre Dame)||2010||258||244||502|
|Denard Robinson||MICH (Indiana)||2010||217||277||494|
|Reds Bagnell||Penn (Dartmouth)||1950||214||276||490|
|Brad Smith||Missouri (Nebraska)||2005||246||234||480|
|Brian Mitchell||La.-Lafayette (Colo. St.)||1987||271||205||476|
|Antwaan Randle-El||Indiana (Minnesota)||2000||210||263||473|
|Vince Young||Texas (USC Rose Bowl)||2005||200||267||467|
|Patrick White||W. Va. (Pittsburgh)||2006||220||204||424|
|Steve Gage||Tulsa (New Mexico)||1986||212||209||421|
The 1000/1000 Club
There are 30 quarterbacks (and one halfback, Johnny Bright of Drake) in FBS who have run and thrown for 1000 yards in the same season. Of these, none have both run and passed for 1500 yards (the rushing record for QBs is 1,223).
Seven quarterbacks have achieved this milestone multiple times: Brad Smith (thrice), Colin Kaepernick (twice and counting), Vince Young (twice), Pat White (twice), Beau Morgan (twice), Joe Webb (twice), and Joshua Cribbs (twice). Only two people have joined the 1000/1000 club as freshmen: Brad Smith of Missouri, and Joshua Cribbs of Kent State. Air Force leads the overall list with five different QBs, in six different seasons, in the 1000/1000 club. (It is interesting that an instrument of American capitalist imperialism, the U.S. Air Force Academy, is the premier exponent of communist football.)
As noted above, Denard joined the 1000/1000 club on his first drive against Iowa. If he stays healthy, he should easily become the first member of the 1500/1500 club. The list below of 1000/1000 members is sorted this list by rushing yards.
I've also added 2010 season totals for Cam Newton, Taylor Martinez, and Colin Kaepernick, three dual-threat quarterbacks who are likely to surpass 1000/1000 this year (Kaepernick already did so in 2008 and 2009).
|Dilithium (on pace for)||MICH||2010||1,949||2,620||4,569|
|Newton (on pace for)||Auburn||2010||1,604||2,646||4,250|
|Beau Morgan||Air Force||1996||1,494||1,210||2,704|
|Patrick White||W. Virginia||2007||1,335||1,724||3,059|
|Dee Dowis||Air Force||1989||1,286||1,285||2,571|
|Beau Morgan||Air Force||1995||1,285||1,165||2,450|
|Antwaan Randle El*||Indiana||2000||1,270||1,783||3,053|
|Johnny Bright (HB)||Drake||1950||1,232||1,168||2,400|
|Chance Herridge||Air Force||2002||1,229||1,062||2,291|
|Patrick White||W. Virginia||2006||1,219||1,655||2,874|
|Keith Boyea||Air Force||2001||1,216||1,253||2,469|
|Dwight Dasher||Middle Tenn.||2009||1,154||2,789||3,943|
|Dan LeFevour||Central Mich.||2007||1,122||3,652||4,774|
|Joshua Cribbs||Kent State||2002||1,057||1,014||2,071|
|Josh Nesbitt||Ga. Tech||2009||1,037||1,701||2,738|
|Bart Weiss||Air Force||1985||1,032||1,449||2,481|
|Ell Roberson||Kansas St.||2002||1,032||1,580||2,612|
|Brad Smith (Fr.)||Missouri||2002||1,029||2,333||3,362|
|Joshua Cribbs (Fr.)||Kent State||2001||1,019||1,516||2,535|
|Reggie Collier||So. Miss.||1981||1,005||1,004||2,009|
* Previous Big Ten record for rushing yards by a quarterback
Denard already owns the Michigan single-game total offense record (502 yards against Notre Dame). In fact, Denard has broken the old Michigan single-game total offense record four times this year, with games of 502, 494, 383, and 381 yards. (The previous record was 368 by John Navarre against Iowa in 2003.) Against Illinois, Denard almost broke this record again, gaining 367: giving him five of the six highest totals in Michigan history.
|Denard Robinson||Notre Dame||2010||258||244||502|
|Denard Robinson||Penn State||2010||191||190||381|
Denard is also on pace to annihilate John Navarre's single-season total offense record of 3,240 in 2003 (Denard projects to an astounding 4,569 yards over 13 games).
The Big Ten single-game total offense record is 585 yards by Dave Wilson of Illinois, vs. Ohio State in 1980. The Big Ten single-season total offense record is 4,189 yards by Drew Brees of Purdue in 2000, which is well within Denard's reach. Denard has to average 257 yards of total offense in his next four games to pass Brees; he is currently averaging 351.
The NCAA total offense records are dominated by prolific passers. Those records appear to be unattainable by Denard: 732 yards for a single game (David Klingler, Houston vs. Arizona State, 1990); 5,976 for a season (B.J. Symons, Texas Tech, 2003); 16,910 for a career (Timmy Chang, Hawaii, 2000-2004).
Total Offense Per Play
As with total offense records, these will be tough for Denard to keep pace with, but he is right up there at the moment. Through Saturday, Denard has 3,163 yards of total offense in 369 plays, for an average of 8.6.
Here are the NCAA FBS records for a single game: 14.3 by Jason Martin (La. Tech vs. Toledo, 1996) in 37 plays and 9.9 by David Klingler (Houston vs. TCU, 1990) in 63 plays. Denard came pretty close to Martin in the Indiana game, where in 35 plays he averaged 14.1 yards per play (which is almost certainly a Michigan and quite likely a Big Ten record):
|Denard Robinson||Attempts + Carries||Total Offense||Yards per Play|
|NCAA Records||Attempts + Carries||Total Offense||Yards per Play|
|Jason Martin (La. Tech vs. Toledo, 1996)||37||529||14.30|
|David Klingler (Houston vs. TCU, 1990)||63||625||9.92|
|Colt Brennan (Hawaii, 2006 season)||645||5,915||9.17|
|Sam Bradford (Oklahoma, 2007-09 career)||970||8,439||8.70|
As you can see in the table, for a single season (minimum 3,000 yards), the record is 9.2 by Colt Brennan (Hawaii, 2006). For a career (minimum 7,500 yards) it's 8.7 by Sam Bradford (Oklahoma, 2007-2009).
Passing efficiency is a statistic that rewards quarterbacks for yards, touchdowns, and completions per attempt, and punishes them for interceptions per attempt. The NCAA formula, which differs from the NFL one, is:
(8.4 * yards) + (330 * TDs) - (200 * INTs) + (100 * completions) ________________________________________________________________ attempts
Denard's 2010 passing efficiency is currently 160.9; his career efficiency (including last year) is 151.0, which would be a Michigan record if he keeps that pace. Here are Michigan's pass efficiency records:
- Highest efficiency rating, season (min. 100 attempts): 173.3 (Bob Chappuis, 1947) (Denard is at 160.9 after 186 attempts, good for 5th all-time)
- Highest efficiency rating, career (min. 200 attempts): 148.1 (Elvis Grbac, 1989-1992) (Denard is at 151.0 for his career after 217 attempts, on pace for 1st all-time)
Bob Chappuis' Michigan single-season mark is also the Big Ten single-season record. The NCAA FBS pass efficiency record belongs to Colt Brennan of Hawaii, who reached 186.0 in 2006: likely out of reach.
Other Michigan Passing Records
At the end of 2009, here were some of the other Michigan passing records. Denard could break some of the completion percentage records (Tate broke one as well):
- Highest completion percentage, game (min. 10 attempts): 92.3% (Jim Harbaugh, vs. Purdue, 1985, 13 attempts) (Broken by Tate Forcier, 100% in 12 attempts, vs. Bowling Green)
- Highest completion percentage, game (min. 20 attempts): 90.9% (Elvis Grbac, vs. Notre Dame, 1991, 22 attempts) (Denard is 2nd with 86.3% on 22 attempts vs. Connecticut)
- HIghest completion percentage, season (min. 100 attempts): 65.3% (Todd Collins, 1992) (Denard is at 63.4% with 186 attempts, 8th all-time)
- Highest completion percentage, career (min. 200 attempts): 64.3% (Todd Collins, 1991-1994) (Denard is at 60.8% with 217 attempts, on pace for 5th all-time)
- Yards per completion, game (min. 5 completions): Rick Leach, 36.3 vs. Purdue, 1975 (Denard's best is 30.5 with 10 completions vs. Illinois, good for 3rd all-time)
- Yards per completion, game (min. 10 completions): Jim Harbaugh, 30.0 vs. Indiana, 1986 (Broken by Denard Robinson, 30.5 YPC vs. Illinois with 10 completions)
- Yards per completion, season (min. 60 completions): Bob Chappuis, 18.8, 1947 (Denard is at 15.4 with 118 completions, on pace for 6th all-time)
- Yards per completion, career (min. 120 completions): Rick Leach, 17.1, 1975-1978 (Denard is at 15.2 with 132 completions, tied for 5th all-time)
Other Michigan Rushing Records
At the end of 2009, here were the other relevant Michigan rushing records. On average yards per carry, he owns one of the single-game records Michigan tracks, but is surprisingly far from the other ones (not that that couldn't change in a hurry). The single-season and career records are within reach:
- Average gain per rush, single-game (min. 5 carries): 25.80, Denard Robinson vs. Bowling Green (previous record was Leroy Hoard, 18.28 ypc vs. Indiana, 1988)
- Average gain per rush, single-game (min. 10 carries): 18.00, Rob Lytle vs. MSU, 1976 (Denard: 11.42 vs. Indiana on 19 carries)
- Average gain per rush, single-game (min. 15 carries): 15.70, Tyrone Wheatley vs. Washington, 1993 Rose Bowl (Denard: 11.42 vs. Indiana on 19 carries)
- Average gain per rush, single-game (min. 20 carries): 11.19, Ron Johnson vs. Wisconsin, 1968 (Denard: 9.21 vs. Notre Dame on 28 carries)
- Average gain per rush, single-season (min. 75 carries): 7.34, Tyrone Wheatley, 1992 (Denard 2010: 7.85 on 164 carries)
- Average gain per rush, career (min. 200 carries): 6.29, Jon Vaughn, 1989-1990 (Denard: 7.03 on 233 carries)
- 100-yard rushing games, season: 10, Jamie Morris, 1987 (Denard has 7)
- 150-yard rushing games, season: 6, Anthony Thomas, 2000 (Denard has 4)
- 200-yard rushing games, season: 3, Mike Hart, 2004 (Denard has 2)
Also, Denard is one of 5 players in NCAA history to record 5 consecutive 100-yard rushing games. No one has done it 6 times in a row.
Did you know that Michigan is averaging 535.9 yards per game in total offense, higher than any other team in Big Ten history? (Second place belongs to Penn State's 1994 team, which averaged 512.7 yards per game.) Even if you take out the 72 extra yards Michigan gained in the three overtimes against Illinois, Michigan is averaging 528.0 yards per game.
This year's team is on pace to demolish the old Michigan total offense record of 466.9, set in 1992, when Gary Moeller roamed the sidelines, barking orders to Elvis Grbac, Desmond Howard, and Tyrone Wheatley.
|Big Ten All-Time Leaders||Year||YPG (Total Offense)|
|1. MICH (including overtime)||2010||535.9|
|1. MICH (regulation only)||2010||528.0|
|2. Penn State||1994||512.7|
|4. Ohio State||1998||497.6|
|5. Michigan State||2005||497.3|
|8. Ohio State||1974||493.2|
|9. Ohio State||1996||490.4|
|10. Michigan State||1978||481.3|
|11. Ohio State||1995||478.6|
|Michigan All-Time Leaders (QB/WR/RB)||Year||YPG (Total Offense)|
|1. Robinson / Roundtree / Smith||2010||528.0|
|2. Grbac / Howard / Wheatley||1992||466.9|
|3. Navarre / Edwards / Perry||2003||446.7|
|4. Henson / Terrell / Thomas||2000||446.1|
|5. Grbac / Howard / Vaughn||1990||432.5|
In terms of scoring offense, Michigan is averaging 36.2 points per game in regulation (38.7 points per game including the overtime scoring), good for 7th all-time in Michigan history (6th including OT), and the highest Michigan total in 63 years. This is all the more remarkable given that our terrible placekicking and team defense give the offense poor field position and missed field goals.
* - Excludes points scored in overtime
The Fielding Yost "point-a-minute" teams averaged 50.5, 58.5, 47.1, 56.7, and 38.1 points per game from 1901 to 1905. Fritz Crisler's 1947 national championship team of Bob Chappuis and Bump Elliott, nicknamed the "Mad Magicians," averaged 39.4. (The official Michigan record book erroneously lists the 1947 average as second-highest in school history; it is missing the performances of 1901, 1903, 1904, and 1905.)
Dynamic offenses have been few and far between in the postwar era. The 1976 Bo Schembechler team, led by Rick Leach and Rob Lytle, scored 36.0 points per game, and owns the rushing season record with 345.3 yards per game. The aforementioned 1992 team averaged 35.9 points; and the 2003 team averaged 35.4.
Here are some other impressive stats:
- Michigan is averaging 7.4 yards per play, which is most all-time in Michigan history (the existing record is 6.4 yards, in 1992 and 1947).
- Michigan is averaging 273.4 rushing yards per game (inclusive of OT; 270.22 regulation-only), 7th all-time (9th regulation-only) in Big Ten history and 3rd all-time in Michigan history. (The Big Ten record is 349.9 in 1974 by Ohio State; the Michigan record is 345.3 in 1976.)
- Michigan is averaging 6.2 yards per carry, higher than any other Michigan team in history (the current record is 5.9 per carry in 1976).
- Michigan is averaging 266.3 passing yards per game (inclusive; 261.7 regulation-only), 2nd all-time in Michigan history. (The record is 270.8 in 2003.)
- Michigan is averaging 24.2 first downs per game (inclusive; 23.9 regulation-only), highest in Michigan history. (The current record is 23.9 in 2003.) Over 13 games, this would be the third-highest total in Big Ten history (6th using regulation numbers).
- Wins are more important than stats. The existence of this diary is not meant to imply that individual achievement is more important than the achievement of the team. It is, instead, to pay tribute to Denard's exceptional individual achievement within the context of a (hopefully) successful team. With a few minor exceptions, Denard's stats don't come at the expense of the team: when he rushes for 250 yards or has a QB rating of 270, the team is usually doing well. If you object to this point of view, you don't have to read further.
- Past performance is not a predictor of future results. To the degree I describe end-of-season projections for Denard, I do so simply, rather than Mathletically: (current total) * (12-game season) / (games played to date). Denard's numbers may come down against stronger defenses, but he played quite well against Iowa and Illinois, two statistically strong defenses, so we'll see.
- Projections are for a 13-game season. Beginning in 2002, the NCAA revised its single-season and career records to include postseason games. Michigan, with its defeat of the Illini, is set to go to a bowl game this year.
- The quarterback position has evolved significantly. The forward pass was only formally legalized in 1906. From the 1910s until the 1950s, the most common college football formation was Pop Warner's single-wing, in which the quarterback's role was primarily as a blocker, and most passes were thrown by a tailback or halfback. The idea of a quarterback as the primary passer began to take hold after World War II, when coaches such as Clark Shaughnessy at Chicago and Stanford and Paul Brown at Ohio State took advantage of a recently redesigned football that was easier to throw, and married the ancient T formation to the threat of longer passes downfield.
- The record books are murky from 1869 to 1937. Something to keep in mind is that the record books don't actually go back that far in time. At the national level, official statistics have only been recorded since 1937: a mere 52 percent of college football's history. It's not clear how rigorously school, conference, and national collegiate records were kept before then. (College football has been around since 1869.) One has to assume that Fielding Yost's point-a-minute teams would have harbored some record-producing players, though the game was quite different then, as noted above. So, to be as precise as possible, we should describe all of these records as modern-era, postwar records.
- Post-1978 records are for Division I-A only. Let me note that all the records here are for Division I-A (FBS), but do include all Division I records prior to the I-A / I-AA split in 1978. I don't really care about who did what in the other divisions, given the inferior level of competition. Personally, I would prefer to eliminate the non-automatically qualifying BCS conferences, but since the NCAA doesn't do that, I won't.
- Post-1996 overtime and pre-1912 scoring rules skew historical comparisons. The NCAA introduced overtime to I-A football in 1996, and soon after determined that points and yards gained in overtime would count toward NCAA records. Given that teams and players did not have the benefit of overtime prior to 1996, I try wherever possible to exclude overtime stats (or at least give both sets of numbers). The modern convention of TDs worth 6 points (+1 PAT) and FGs worth 3 began in 1912. From 1869 to 1882, touchdowns, extra points, and field goals were all worth one point each. From 1882-1883, TDs were worth 2, PATs 4, and FGs 5; from 1884-1897, TDs 4, PATs 2, FGs 5; from 1898-1903, TDs 5, PATs 1, FGs 5; from 1904-1908, TDs 5, PATs 1, FGs 4; from 1901-1911, TDs 5, PATs 1, FGs 3. The two-point conversion was introduced in 1958. I currently don't have the breakdown of TDs, PATs, and FGs for the Yost teams; if anyone else does, I would be pleased to adjust those numbers accordingly so as to make apples-to-apples comparisons with modern teams. The rules of college football evolved rapidly from 1879 to 1930, making strict comparisons difficult. For example, the goal posts were moved from the goal line to the end line (10 yards back of the goal line) only in 1927, which has a huge impact on field goal kicking, and the width of the uprights has varied significantly over time.
Thanks to tf (Michigan rushing single-game record) and danieljpaul (Denard's season totals) for corrections. H/T to tubauberalles and enlightenedbum for tracking down the FBS single-game QB rushing record. Raoul and UM in VA persuaded me to post the total offense numbers, and pointed out Denard's ridiculous per-play stats, which I also added to the diary. Trebor pointed out that we should keep an eye on the impressive seasons of Taylor Martinez and Cam Newton. U of M in TX helped identify a few updating errors. Raoul also suggested putting in the team offense stats. Hillhaus pointed out that I should discuss the pre-1912 scoring conventions.