...says Denzel Valentine of Big Ten Tourney favorite MSU, which is 5-7 in its last 12 games. Cumong, man.
Previously: Week 4 includes discussion of weighted efficiency metric.
Michigan still leads the nation in weighted red zone efficiency. This week I've updated the metric to be slightly more accurate; we now use:
(Total Red Zone Points) / (7 * Red Zone Opportunities)
This takes into account missed extra points and two-point conversions.
|Rank||Name||Red Zone||Points||TD||FG||Weighted Eff|
|74||North Carolina St.||26||122||15||6||0.670|
|76||San Jose St.||9||42||4||5||0.667|
|77||San Diego St.||19||88||10||6||0.662|
|96||New Mexico St.||8||34||4||2||0.607|
Official source data here. One thing bothers me when I look at these stats and I wonder if it's an error or if there's something that I'm missing. After week 4, Michigan was 18/19 in the red zone. After week 5, we're apparently 20/21. But what about the fumble at the 2-yard line against Indiana? How does that not show up as a failed red zone opportunity (thereby putting us at 20/22)? This has got to be a mistake in the NCAA stats, right? What am I missing?
Erroneous data point(s?) or not, Michigan is proving to be very efficient when sniffing the endzone, collecting nearly 92% of expected points once the team gets inside the 20.
Synopsis for Turnovers:
Wow, when I started tracking turnovers each week, I never thought TOs would be this important in so many games. Except for the BGSU laugher, the other 4 games have been significantly impacted by TOs (including when and where they happened).
My exact word was F*#K when DRob fumbled on the 1. It looked like we were ready to put the game away (was about to be 21-7) and momentum was definitely with the Wolverines. Indiana took that fumble and turned it into a fracking 99 yard TD drive, followed by a stop and an M punt. Double-F*#K. Now momentum had abandoned the Wolverines and Indiana was driving for a go-ahead TD. But the goddess of Turnover Margin (it must be a she because TOs are so fickle!) decided to put everything back to even with the Cam Gordon interception at the goal line (it was 14-14 at the time). The Wolverines turned that into an 81 yard, 9 play, 3:56 drive (most plays and time of any drive) for a TD to go ahead 21-14.
For the remainder of the game, neither team led by more than 7 points and, although M never trailed, the game was tied 3 times. Another TO by either team probably would have decided the game.
Overall, M remains about average for TOs gained and is still very good with TOs lost for a current TOM of 4.0 (which is what is was after the first 2 games). M again failed to force any fumbles but picked up another interception. Certainly, the interceptions by the M secondary are ameliorating the massive yards being given up (pass defense YPG is now #120 out of 120!). Historically, TOs tend to come in bunches rather than a consistent number from game to game. (BTW, TOM was +2.0 after 5 games last year.)
Synopsis for Special Teams:
Woooo, an excellent game for special teams! Hagerup seemed to get settled down and ended up with a 46.2 average yards per punt and a net of 40.2 yards per punt (that would be #15 nationally if it was the average for the year). Tandon Doss only averaged 22 yards per KO return, which was well below his average of 47 yards per KO return (although that was for just 3 KO returns). Starting field position for the opposition after our kickoff remains at the 29 yard line (slightly better than average). Broekhuizen came up with perhaps his best KO of the year at the end of the game – a 70 yarder from M's 15 yard line (thanks Lewan) that was only returned by Doss to the 35.
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.
Rolling into the sixth week already Michigan's recruiting has started to pick up steam. This week's and next week's games will both be big for visitors. We could (should?) see a few commitments along the way. Here's an update on a few prospects with a look at the visitors this weekend scheduled so far.
6'5", 320 lbs.
Ray has been on Michigan's radar for awhile now, and it had seemed as though Wisconsin was the school to beat. Michigan is still looking to add a few offensive linemen to this class and Ball is one of those targets.
I would say that Michigan and Wisconsin are tied at the top right now. Once I go up to both schools I will know who is where on my leader board. I'm visiting Wisconsin on October 16th, and I haven't set it up yet but I think the Illinois game will be the best for my official to Michigan.
Ray said that his decision will come down to who has more to offer and who comes out with a bang on his visit. Wisconsin's visit could vault them ahead of Michigan, but if he takes his visit to Wisconsin and doesn't commit then M should have a good shot. Ball may be competing with Chris Bryant for the final offensive line slot in the class.
6'4", 215 lbs.
Michigan is also looking for a few linebackers in this class, and Sean Duggan is a target. Duggan has somewhat pushed his recruitment to the back burner to focus on school and his team. He has started to set up his official visits though.
I'm going to Boston College on the weekend of the Clemson game, and Michigan either the first or second week of December. Depending on if I'm still playing or not, I'll go up to Duke and Virginia after my season.
Wisconsin was removed from his final list because they're full at his position. So Michigan is in the top four and will get a visit. I think they have some ground to make up on Boston College but it definitely helps that Wisconsin is no longer in the picture. You can tell by Duggan's list that he's a serious about academics.
5'8", 190 lbs.
Demetrius is making his final decision on Friday of this week. He'll be notifying the coaches of each school if he'll be playing for them next season. This is hard for me because I can't really share a lot of info this close to a decision.
I know that's not what any of you want to hear, but I don't want to ruin anything for Demetrius. I've been saying this for awhile now, and it's not speculation, Auburn is not as big of a threat as people are saying. I have a call scheduled with the family today, so I'll share what they allow me to, but don't expect a lot before the decision. I don't really like giving hints about where he's going, but I will let you know of any negatives to watch out for.
I will create a separate list in the diaries for this, but here are the visitors (that I have confirmed so far) coming in for the game this weekend. You'll notice that Kris Frost is not on this list. He's not sure if he's going to make it or not. He wants his parents there, and they're not sure if they can make the trip.:
- Devondrick Nealy (5'10", 175 lbs., Running Back/Slot) Jefferson County/Florida - Nealy said when he received his Michigan offer that it was "One of the biggest scholarships yet," and that he was very excited. Michigan is recruiting him more for a slot receiver and he has a top four of Arkansas, Auburn, Michigan, and Minnesota (yeah, Minnesota). He doesn't plan on making his decision until the end of the year.
- Marquise Williams (6'3", 218 lbs, Quarterback) Mallard Creek/North Carolina - Williams is a North Carolina commit and friend of Michigan target Kris Frost. I spoke with Williams about the NCAA allegations and how it effects North Carolina and he didn't seem too thrilled about what was happening. This is an odd situation because Michigan currently has QB Kevin Sousa committed.
- Kellen Jones - Michigan commit.
- Jack Miller - Michigan commit.
- Jake Fisher - Michigan commit.
- Kishon Wilcher - Cass Tech athlete and son of Cass Tech head coach Thomas Wilcher. He does not have an offer from Michigan, and thinks they want him to walk on. He's not sure if he would be willing to do that because he doesn't want his parents to have to pay for college. He does have a Toledo offer.
- Royce Jenkins-Stone - 2012 Cass Tech linebacker.
- Terry Richardson - 2012 Cass Tech DB.
- Brian Blackburn - 2012 Crockett quarterback.
My "little" brother is now several inches taller than me (and carries several more pounds of muscle) but when we were kids I owned him at nerf basketball, knee football, one-glove boxing, living room wiffle ball and any number of other outdoor sports that we adapted for indoor play during our scorching Arizona summers. The release of Nintendo games like 10 Yard Fight, Tecmo Bowl and Double Dribble gave us a new outlet for our never ending competitive battles, and here was another arena in which I was seldom defeated. Seldom. Mostly I experienced victory, but those of you who grew up with little brothers know how aggravating it was to be defeated by them. Losing to a little brother felt very different than losing to a peer, and on the rare occasions when I experienced back-to-back defeats it changed my amused, condescending attitude toward our "rivalry" into unquenchable competitive fire and I could not rest until I had regained my crown.
That's way more of an introduction than a wallpaper deserves, but replace me with Michigan and my brother with Michigan State and the story above is a pretty good description of how I feel right now about the Michigan/Michigan State football rivalry. Yes, we have more than twice the number of wins in the rivalry and there's the national championships and the Heismans and all of that, but after two consecutive losses it's not enough to have dominated them in the past.
Fast forward several decades and my brother is a strapping fire fighter and I am a pale and balding desk jockey. We rarely play video games anymore but when we do, the same competitive edge returns and suddenly we're 9 and 12 year olds again. I bet it's the same for many of you. I've couched (wait for it) this homage to brotherly competitive fire (yes, I see what I did there) in video game imagery as a memorial to the veterans of 8-bit battlefields and their modern-day counterparts.
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!.
All of the 2010 Schedule Wallpapers
The zone read "midline" is a great answer to 4-3 chalk teams, especially Iowa. Dantonio is a 4-3 guy, too, and I believe this would be a great series to run these next two weeks. I think it would be great against MSU if they play their safeties like they did last year. Their safeties keyed the slot receiver. If the slot ran a bubble screen route, the safety attacked it hard.
- Zone blocking to the playside
- Instead of reading the backside DE, the backside OT fan blocks him
- QB reads the backside B-gap defender. Sometimes this is a 3-technique, sometimes this is an ILB
- If B-gap defender chases RB, QB pulls and runs downhill in B gap.
- If B-gap defender stays home, QB gives ball to RB and the zone play has a numerical advantage.
Some 4-3 teams like to put their 3-technique away from the back. If they do this, then the Mike is the backside B-gap defender.
If the defense puts the 3-technique to the back, then the 3-tech is the backside B-gap defender.
If the offense wants to get advanced, the QB will first read the backside B-gap defender for give/pull. If he gets a pull read, he will then move on to key the Will backer. If the Will tries to come inside to the B-gap, the QB will throw. If not, the QB will run.
Yet another low-action week. Action since last rankings:
9-28-10 Notre Dame gains commitment from DaVaris Daniels.
If you see any errors in the individual tables, please let me know. I'm tempted to move Indiana down a bit, but their averages per commit are about even with (or only very slightly behind) the teams nipping at their heels, and they have more commits.
|Big Ten+ Recruiting Class Rankings|
|Rank||School||# Commits||Rivals Avg||Scout Avg||ESPN Avg|
Rivals rankings are on the "RR" scale, which is on a scale from about 5 to about 6.1. Unrated prospects are given a 5.1 rating, on par with the worst of any Big Ten commit last year. Scout is on the 5-star system (unranked players earn one star), and ESPN uses grades out of 100 (unranked is 40 or 45).
|#1 Ohio State - 17 Commits|
No change for the Buckeyes.
|#2 Notre Dame - 20 Commits|
|George Atkinson III||S||CA||5.8||4||79|
Irish pick up DaVaris Daniels, son of
former current NFLer Phillip Daniels.
|#3 Nebraska - 13 Commits|
No change for Nebraska.
|#4 Michigan State - 16 Commits|
Nothing new for MSU.
|#5 Michigan - 10 Commits|
Ready for something to happen here plz.
|#6 Indiana - 21 Commits|
IU is pretty much done.
|#7 Iowa - 14 Commits|
|#8 Northwestern - 13 Commits|
No change for Northwestern.
|#9 Minnesota - 15 Commits|
No changes for the LOLphers.
|#10 Wisconsin - 11 Commits|
No change for Wisconsin.
|#11 Penn State - 4 Commits|
They have to get some commits sooner or later, right?
|#12 Illinois - 16 Commits|
|#13 Purdue - 7 Commits|
No change for Purdue.