I did not make this headline up
A heads up: Don't ask what depths of my mind made this connection, because I don't know. But something did. Also, if you've never seen the movie Cube, SPOILERS!
September, 2008 -
Michigan fan nation awakens in an unfamiliar place. The last they remember, Lloyd Carr was being carried off the field by Jake Long, Chad Henne, Mike Hart and co as victors of the 2008 Capital One Bowl vs. Florida. Suddenly, nothing is the same.
Michigan fan nation stumbles around, looking in every room for some sign of famliarity. All the coaches are different. All the players are different. Wait... what's this? A red room? That's Utah! The start of the 2008 season! I think I know what's going on!
MIchigan fan nation was totally unprepared for what was presented. Fortunately, a few in the group soon get their bearings, and realize that if you're careful and simply look at what's in front of you, you might just survive this ... place. This Coaching change.
"Listen, we can't just go wandering around here. I looked in on the Miami-OH game down there and nearly got my head cut off."
But it turns out, even the experienced among the fanbase can't predict all the traps that will befall them.
"I wasn't expecting that face melting experience at the Toledo game."
Then, when all seems lost, a breakthrough! Perhaps we've discovered the way out of here! Perhaps we can be safe! Prime numbers, I can't believe I didn't see it before!
But... no. Hopes are dashed utterly.
Nothing makes any sense at all! The numbers on the field don't add up to any sensible answers! Somebody must be sabotaging the team. The coaches! Fire them! Get them! Kill them!
"That's right. We know this coach's type. No respect for the kids. No wins to boost you. Not a Michigan man. So we'll put a hit piece on you, stick our nose in your business."
But all is not lost! Michigan fans are still Michigan fans!
"How dare you say that about him? You don't know anything about him! Fielding Yost couldn't have led us out of here with these numbers!"
And so, we rested through a horrible, infitnite, terrifying offseason as we awaited what 2010 was to bring.
And when the season drew near, still... we had no answers. We could see what the solution was, but our players simply weren't up to it.
"It's not primes, it's factors of primes. Maybe if I had 2006's defense. I can't do it. Nobody can do it! It's astronomical!"
Yes, our savior had arrived just in time for the 2010 season. The afterthought. The one that was nothing. The third wheel in the quarterback race... he could do the impossible. He could do the astronomical. And he can lead us from the deadly maze.
Unfortunately, that means that, as Wisconsin proved, we still have to get stabbed through the chest with a bar by Quentin, but... he has led us to the light at the end of the tunnel.
The greatest rivalry in college football? It certainly hasn't felt like it for the last decade as Ohio State has dominated Michigan, winning 8 of 10 games since 2000.
This week's wallpaper is an artistic expression of the questions I'm asking as a Michigan fan. Will the darkness cast by the dominance of our bitter rival continue to spread, lending credibility to the sentiment that the program is eroding, or is the growth we've seen this year a genuine indicator of a future return to glory? I'm a defensive optimist at heart, so this season I've maintained realistic expectations while believing that better days are ahead.
I wanted the artwork for 'The Game' to capture the epic feel of the rivalry. My initial concept called for colliding planets, but I like the simplicity of one planet where the battle is fought over the same land. I also wanted the artwork to have an otherworldly feel, like how the rivalry would look if it was interpreted as a photo-real animated film where the good guys are represented by light and life and growth, and the bad guys are all shadow and concrete and harsh technology. I'm not sure if the message is any stronger here than it is with some of my simpler artwork (i.e. Maize is Blue) but I enjoyed the challenge of creating something with a high level of depth and detail.
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've captured the creation of this week's wallpaper artwork and sped up the footage to condense a whole bunch of hours (more than I care to admit) into a little under 5 minutes of video. If you like edge-of-your-seat action and nonstop excitement, then you probably shouldn't bother to watch this video.
All of the 2010 Schedule Wallpapers
[please tell me if you think that these stats need to be manipulated better. I’m still working on the ideas behind these concepts, and any ideas are welcome. This is meant to be a look to his likely stats next year through stats and deduction. I will continue to try and do this with other players and units as the off-season starts. Any ideas for further analysis helps.]
He’s already set the record for most rushing yards in a season, on a 6.8 yards/attempt average. Let’s admit that he’s most likely not going to do that again, although I’d bet his average will stay around the same. Because he’s a more athletic version of Pat White, I’ll use those stats to try and show what I think Denard will do on the ground.
Pat White had 197 attempts for 1335 yards at 6.8 YPC his junior year. I would imagine that Denard would have about the same stats. So, we’ll get a drop in yardage by about 100 yards, but this will be made up by his throwing stats I’d assume.
Other things to note:
- Denard still does not scramble very often. Vince Young, Pat White, and others did this much more and were able to get a lot of yards of scrambles. As Denard gets another year under his belt, I’d expect much more scrambling and bigger gains. This will, of course, help open the passing lanes.
- Denard runs the iso and zone read a lot. I don’t know how many times White ran it, or V. Young, but I think Denard has many more designed runs than any other QB has had. This will most likely get cut down because of his injuries this year, Dee Hart coming in, and his passing game getting better. With that being said, on to the…
(I wanted to take passing stats from players who are like Denard. I believe these are the closest guys to him.)
THE LONG BALL:
As most of us know, Denard doesn't throw the long ball as well as we'd like him to. He does not use much touch yet, and this is something that we can expect growth on in the off-season. He throws the short passes decently, but without the deep ball threat he's still not 100% effective. There have been great throws, but they are too few. The long ball will be one development, but along with throwing the ball deep, we get a much higher chance of INTs. Based on this, I wanted to try and predict Denard's INT totals for next year from other prolific running QBs. Below are the stats and their significance.
Int thrown/100 passes by year in the league:
Denard is at 4.3 INT/100 attempts
If you look at the stats you’ll see that Denard’s average is about where V. Young was in his sophomore year. Young then made an impressive downswing of one less interception thrown every 100 passes. However, when you look at the total averages there isn’t much of a jump from sophomore to junior year.
Dixon’s stats are the ones which screw this up, so if you throw out that outlier you do get a decent jump in INT/100 passes.
WHAT THIS MEANS:
Assuming Dixon’s stats are a outlier, we can expect Denard to throw about 1 less interception per 100 attempts. He’s going to have about 250 attempts this season so that’s 2.5 less interceptions next year. Assuming he throws 300 passes, that’s 9 interceptions next year. (Vince Young had 10 the season he won his Heisman.)
Denard should have around 1400 rushing yards at about 7 YPC. I believe he will have less designed runs, but more sneaks. He will also throw about 9 INTs next year, when I believe he'll have just shy of 300 attempts.
Well, it finally happened. Denard broke the NCAA record that inspired this diary: the single-season mark for rushing yards by a quarterback. So, congratulations to Denard Robinson, and to his teammates and coaches, without whom this record would never have been achieved.
Once again, however this season turns out in the end, I urge all of you to not forget to enjoy the remarkable athletic performance that you are witnessing before your very eyes. You may never see a player like Denard again.
Also, Rob Lytle, R.I.P. Lytle was the featured back in the great 1976 ground attack, which at 4,144 yards and 345.3 per game, remains the most prolific rushing offense in recorded Michigan history. Lytle held the Michigan single-season rushing record for 11 years, with 1,469 yards, and the career record for five years, with 3,317, before those marks were topped by Jamie Morris and Butch Woolfolk, respectively.
Before we move on to the show, I want to say one thing: Bret Bielema is a coward. Trashing Denard as a "pretty" player who they "would never recruit." I seriously doubt you would talk smack about Comrade Denard if you were playing him in 2011 and 2012. Here's hoping that Michigan and Wisconsin meet in the Big Ten championship game in one of those years. Your plodding style may be working well for you this year: but get back to us when you win a mythical national championship with it. The inevitablitiy of the Hegelian dialectic means that we will get there before you do.
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 • 1500/1500 Club • 1000/1000 Club • Total Offense • Total Offense Per Play • Passing Efficiency • Other M Passing • Other M Rushing • Team Offense • Miscellaneous Records • Standard Disclaimers • Acknowledgments • Comments
- Previous editions. Previous editions of this Almanack can be found at the MGoBlog Communist Football page.
- 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 section on the 1500/1500 club, which did not exist until Saturday afternoon.
Week in Review: Denard Sets the NCAA QB Rushing Record and Joins the 1500/1500 and 1500/2000 Clubs
By dilithium standards, Denard had a decent, but not extraordinary game. He complete 16 of 25 passes with 2 TDs and one interception for a rating of 162.7, above his season average. He also ran for 121 yards on 22 carries for a YPC of 5.5: not bad.
Denard set his first NCAA record: rushing yards by an FBS (I-A) quarterback for a single season, with two games left. (FWIW, the all-division record is 1,844 yards by Jayson Foster of I-AA powerhouse Georgia Southern in 2007.)
Denard also became the first player in major college history to run and throw for 1,500 yards in the same season, and the first in college football history (all divisons) to run for 1,500 yards and throw for 2,000 yards in a single year.
Of the other prominant dual-threat QBs, Cam Newton was off this week; Colin Kaepernick ran for 35 and threw for 251 in a rout over New Mexico State; and Taylor Martinez ran for 17 and threw for 107 in an injury-interrupted loss to Texas A&M. LaMichael James, Denard's leading rival for the FBS rushing title, was also off this week.
Record of the Week: 1500/2500 Club
Denard is 271 yards short of 2,500 passing for the season, which would make him the first person in major college history to throw for 2,500 and run for 1,500 in the same season. A big day throwing against O-State could get him there.
Though his average keeps trickling down, Denard maintained possession of the Michigan career yards-per-carry record with a minimum of 200 attempts, with 6.4 YPC. The previous record had been held by 6.3 YPC by Jon Vaughn (from 1989-1990).
Denard extended his hold on to the Michigan career pass-efficiency record with a minimum of 200 attempts, at 150.4. The previous record was 148.1 by Elvis Grbac (from 1989-1992), and Elvis had the benefit of a Heisman Trophy-winning receiver. Denard's 150.4 mark is also on pace for third all-time in the Big Ten, though he needs 300 completions to qualify for that record (he currently has 161).
Denard remains on pace to break the Michigan single-season total offense per play record, with 8.2 yards per play as of this week. The current record is held by Drew Henson, who recorded 7.9 YPP in 2000.
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 1,538 yards on the ground. However, LaMichael James of Oregon is 116 yards behind with one extra game to play.
On a yards-per-game basis, James is in first place with 158.0 (Denard has fallen to third with 139.8, behind James and Connecticut's Jordan Todman). 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 still ahead of James.
Here are the top 5 rushers in the country, sorted by yards gained:
|Bobby Rainey||W. Kentucky||313||1,492||4.77||11||135.6||13|
|Kendall Hunter||Oklahoma St.||248||1,461||5.89||11||132.8||16|
* - 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 1,538 rushing yards in 11 games. This projects to 1,818 over a 13-game schedule. He owns the NCAA FBS (I-A) record, previously set by Beau Morgan of Air Force in 1996 with 1,494 yards. The Big Ten record was previously in the hands of Antwaan Randle-El in 2000 with 1,270 yards. Denard 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, is on pace to almost triple a Michigan rushing record. 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.
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 144 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 140 yards per game over the rest of the season.
That Barry Sanders record will be around for a long time. At one point, Denard was on pace to break Larry Johnson's Big Ten rushing record, but he has slowed down as the schedule has gotten tougher, and that record now looks out of reach for this year.
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 1500/1500 Club
There is one quarterback in major college football history who has both rushed and passed for 1,500 yards in the same season.
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.)
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, and Newton already has for 2010). Newton is also likely to join Denard as a 1500-yard rusher.
|Dilithium (on pace for)||MICH||2010||1,818||2,634||4,452|
|Newton (on pace for)||Auburn||2010||1,651||2,594||4,245|
|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 ** Previous NCAA FBS (I-AA) record for rushing yards by a QB
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 and Wisconsin, Denard almost broke this record again, gaining 367 and 360 yards respectively: giving him six of the seven highest totals in Michigan history.
|Denard Robinson||Notre Dame||2010||258||244||502|
|Denard Robinson||Penn State||2010||191||190||381|
As noted above, Denard is also on pace to annihilate John Navarre's single-season total offense record of 3,240 in 2003 (Denard has 3,767 as of today, and projects to an astounding 4,452 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 211 yards of total offense in his remaining games to pass Brees; he is currently averaging 343.
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, and his performances against Big Ten opponents have left him further behind the pace. Through Saturday, Denard has 3,767 yards of total offense in 459 plays, for an average of 8.2. This would be a Michigan single-season record: the current record is held by Drew Henson, who in 2000 gained 2,140 yards on 270 plays for an average of 7.9.
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|
|Game: Jason Martin (La. Tech vs. Toledo, 1996)||37||529||14.30|
|Game: David Klingler (Houston vs. TCU, 1990)||63||625||9.92|
|Season: Colt Brennan (Hawaii, 2006)||645||5,915||9.17|
|Career: Sam Bradford (Oklahoma, 2007-09)||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 158.2; his career efficiency (including last year) is 150.4, 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 158.2, good for 6th all-time)
- Highest efficiency rating, career (min. 200 attempts): 148.1 (Elvis Grbac, 1989-1992) (Denard is at 150.4 for his career, good for 1st all-time and on pace for 3rd all-time in the Big Ten)
Bob Chappuis' Michigan single-season mark is also the Big Ten single-season record. Ricky Stanzi and Terrelle Pryor are challenging that record this year, with ratings of 163.2 and 158.6, respectively, good for 3rd and 5th all-time. The NCAA FBS pass efficiency record belongs to Colt Brennan of Hawaii, who reached 186.0 in 2006: out of Denard's 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%, 8th all-time)
- Highest completion percentage, career (min. 200 attempts): 64.3% (Todd Collins, 1991-1994) (Denard is at 61.2% with 232 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 15.2, on pace for 6th all-time)
- Yards per completion, career (min. 120 completions): Rick Leach, 17.1, 1975-1978 (Denard is at 15.0, tied for 6th 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: 6.00, outside of the top ten)
- Average gain per rush, career (min. 200 carries): 6.29, Jon Vaughn, 1989-1990 (Denard: 6.38 on 296 carries)
- 100-yard rushing games, season: 10, Jamie Morris, 1987 (Denard has 8)
- 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 quarterbacks in NCAA history to record 5 consecutive 100-yard rushing games (the others are Ricky Dobbs of Navy in 2009, Joe Webb of Alabama-Birmingham in 2009, Brian Madden of Navy in 1999, and Beau Morgan of Air Force in 1995). No one has done it 6 times in a row.
Did you know that Michigan is averaging 514.6 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.) If you take out the 72 extra yards Michigan gained in the three overtimes against Illinois, Michigan is averaging 508.1 yards per game, which would be second all-time.
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||514.6|
|1. Penn State||1994||512.7|
|2. MICH (regulation only)||2010||508.1|
|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 (regulation)||2010||508.1|
|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 34.8 points per game in regulation (36.8 points per game including the overtime scoring), good for 10th all-time in Michigan history (9th if you count OT points). 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 7.1 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 257.4 rushing yards per game (inclusive of OT; 254.7 regulation-only). (The Big Ten record is 349.9 in 1974 by Ohio State; the Michigan record is 345.3 in 1976.)
- Michigan is averaging 5.8 yards per carry, second-highest in Michigan history (the current record is 5.9 per carry in 1976).
- Michigan is averaging 257.2 passing yards per game (inclusive; 253.4 regulation-only), 3rd all-time in Michigan history. (The record is 270.8 in 2003.)
- Michigan is averaging 23.9 first downs per game (inclusive; 23.6 regulation-only), tied for highest in Michigan history. (The current record is 23.9 in 2003.) Over 13 games, this would be the fifth-highest total in Big Ten history (6th using regulation numbers).
As most of you know, against Illinois, Roy Roundtree 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.)
- 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) * (13-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. Indeed, the first rules for compiling football statistics were formulated prior to the 1941 season by an NCAA committee headed by Fielding Yost. (College football has been around since 1869.) One has to assume that 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.
Michigan's loss this weekend was tough for fans, but it didn't seem to affect how the visiting recruits perceived Michigan's program. Here's their reaction with a few extras as usual.
6'4", 230 lbs.
Red Bank, New Jersey
Michigan has been trying to land a tight end in this class for some time now. They missed on a few, and have now targeted Tabb as their guy. This was Jack's second time to Michigan, but first for an actual game.
It was a great visit. The game was as good as you could dream of. 110,000 people, it was absolutely wild. It was a real cool environment, besides the loss, but I felt really comfortable with everyone there.
Tabb's mom was with him on his visit, and she seemed to have the same feelings as her son about the overall experience at Michigan.
Mom really liked it. She liked everything, how it was the total package. I talked to the coaches, and Rich Rodriguez told us how he really me, needs me at tight end, and that there's an opportunity to play early.
Tabb will visit North Carolina on December 3rd and may go to Arkansas after that. He's already been to Iowa. He is going to make his decision before Christmas, so this visit was big for Michigan. If I had to guess, I would say that this visit may have put Michigan in the lead.
6'3", 210 lbs.
Matthews, North Carolina
Kris Frost has been open about his love for Michigan. I've been in close contact with Frost, and have a good picture of his recruitment, and how it will play out. This visit was instrumental for Michigan. Since Auburn is closer, he's been able to take more visits, and has allowed them to gain quit a bit of ground on Michigan lately. He said this before the visit this weekend.
I'm excited for the visit to Michigan, because I want to see what it's like up there for the game. Auburn is making it really hard for me. Every time I go down there they show me a great time, and they showed me how I would fit in. So this visit to Michigan is going to be big for me.
I didn't get to talk to Kris in depth last night after his visit since he was traveling. We have a phone call scheduled for later today, and I can get you the full details after that. He did have this to say so far, though.
The visit was great, it was basically what I was hoping for. I'm still planning on going to LSU and Cal, then making my decision at the Army game.
I'll have more quotes and better detail later today. He obviously didn't commit, but this visit was a big help for Michigan. He has told me that he is watching the NCAA situation at Auburn very closely.
6'3", 210 lbs.
Winter Springs, Florida
Petro was recently added to Michigan's radar but hasn't been offered yet. He took an unofficial trip up to Ann Arbor this weekend and was blown away by the experience.
It was my first trip to any college game. It was crazy going to the biggest stadium in the country. Even if I go anywhere else, I don't think anywhere can compare to that. It was a lot more than I expected. The noise from everyone, people cheering, it was amazing.
Ryan plans to come back to Michigan for an official visit in December. The visit isn't set in stone yet, but will most likely be December 10th, for the Big Chill.
I loved the visit. The coaches were great, Mike Barwis was amazing. Everyone was really laid back and easy to talk to. The facilities were amazing, too. If they were to offer me, I would probably commit after what I saw this weekend.
Petro may have to wait to receiver his offer depending on how other recruits Michigan is targeting make their decisions. Either way, the coaches do like his athleticism, and have told him he has the potential to play the hybrid linebacker/safety role.
6'1", 189 lbs.
Devin recently received an offer from Michigan, and was excited to receive the news. The four star receiver said that Michigan was one of his favorite programs, and was glad the offer came through.
I will be visiting Michigan for sure, it just depends on when my season ends. We're still in the playoffs, so I'm not too sure. Michigan is in my top five though. I'm not ready to say who's in the top five besides them, but they're in it.
Sammy Watkins committed to Clemson today, which was a surprise to me. I knew he was announcing soon, but didn't think it would be for Clemson. This offer to Lucien makes sense in that light, although I still think something happened with Watkins. Nonetheless the coaches are very high on Lucien and told him how they felt:
The coaches just told me that I was a great receiver, and they like the way I play the game. They think that Michigan is a great fit for me, and I do too.
Lucien isn't going to make his decision until signing day, so there's no hurry to get him on campus. I'm sure the staff would like to get him in for the Big Chill on December 10th.
- Michigan running back Justice Hayes has opened up his recruitment, and decommitted from Notre Dame. He says Michigan, Tennessee, and Notre Dame are in it, but I believe that Tennessee is the main school he's looking at. He and Demetrius Hart are similar runners.
- Glenville teammates QB Cardale Jones and WR Shane Wynn are planning on visiting Michigan. Wynn said, "I'm definitely taking a visit there."
- Wide receiver Sammy Watkins committed to Clemson. I still think something happened to change his mind or that it was so close and ultimately decided for Clemson. I'm going to find out if this is over or if he still plans on visiting with Dallas after the playoffs.
BCS standings for Wk 13 as of 8:15p EDT (bcsfootball.org):
Pretty much there are still limited permuations of the BCS if the favorites continue to win... I'm going to start with the pretty much locks:
ACC, Big East, and Big 12 will likely only get one team in the BCS game. ACC and Big East due to the general ineptness of the conferences. These will likely be:
- ACC: winner of Va Tech v Florida St/NC St championship game. This winner will go to the Orange Bowl.
- Big East: Who the hell knows... could be Pitt, West Va, even UConn(!!! who would have thought that the most impressive win on our schedule at the end of the year could be a BCS conference champion NOT named Ohio St). Bottom line is this team will likely be the last team picked by BCS bowls when picking opponents for the mandatory games.
Big 12: With last night's
chokeloss by Nebraska, all this did was make it more difficult for a Big 12 team to get an at large bid. It likely will be the winner of Oklahoma v Oklahoma St against Nebraska in the Big 12 title game, with the either a 1-loss conference champ and a 3-loss runner up, or a pair of two loss teams. Anybody hoping Nebraska wins and goes all Chris Benoit on the last night of Monday Nite Nitro by accepting the conference title trophy and then dumping it in the trash bin on the way out the door?
- SEC: They're still probably going to get 2 teams in the BCS no matter what. If Auburn gets in the BCS champ game, then a 1-loss LSU or a 2-loss Arkansas is your likely 2nd team in the Sugar Bowl. If Auburn loses to Alabama, it'll be the winner of the SEC champ game as the Sugar Bowl rep and a 1-loss LSU/2-loss Arkansas/2-loss Alabama as an at-large. If Auburn beats Alabama but loses in the SEC championship to So Car, it'll be So Car in the Sugar Bowl and either LSU or Auburn as an at-large. Even if Cam Newton is arrested tomorrow for money laundering and fraud at Fannie Mae, bottom line: SEC's getting 2 teams. Damn.
- Non-AQ's: One of them is getting in for sure. Two is wholly dependent on if Boise or TCU qualifies for the Natl Champ game. B/c of a contractural quirk for this year, if a non-AQ makes it as an at-large and a Pac-10 team is in the MyNCG, then the non-AQ must go to the Rose Bowl. Still a shot for an at-large in the Orange Bowl, but that may be dictated by who wins the ACC (see below).
So assuming the season holds in terms of chalk teams winning, we'll be looking at:
- BCS Champ: Oregon v Auburn
- Rose Bowl: Wisconsin v. TCU/Boise (whoever ends up higher in BCS if they're both undefeated, autobid as per BCS selection rule 3A/B)
- Sugar Bowl: LSU/Arkansas/Alabama vs. at-large
- Orange Bowl: Va Tech/FlaSt/NC St v. at-large
- Fiesta Bowl: Neb/OkSt/OU v. at-large
So let's analyze the competition for the at-large slots. It is impertive to understand that the order of selection will play HUGE in this decision. I'll analyze them in the order of the at-large selections:
- Sugar Bowl: already made LSU the replacement pick for Auburn in the MyNCG (but it could just as easy by Arkansas if they beat LSU or Alabama if Auburn loses the Iron Bowl but wins the SEC). So looking for 1 at-large team to match-up against LSU. The choices are either a 1-loss Big Ten team (tOSU, Mich St), a 1-loss Stanford, or an undefeated Boise St/TCU (whichever left out of the Rose Bowl- at this point it's still Boise St as TCU is higher in BCS and gets the non-AQ autobid). My thinking is that from a bowl organizers point of view, a Big Ten team, especially tOSU probably gets more butts in seats and generates a better TV viewership than Stanford. So now the choise is really between tOSU and an undefeated non-AQ. Since a non-AQ is already in the BCS, I say tOSU gets the at-large slot
- Orange Bowl: Already have the ACC champ... if it's Va tech, then a Boise at-large here is unlikely as common thought is to avoid rematches (especially since it wasn't that good of a game in the first case). Va Tech vs Stanford might be attractive here, or the Orange might bite the bullet if convinced by the rest of the BCS hierarchy and take the Big East champ. If it's not Va Tech, then Boise might be a good selection to prop up a not as attractive FlaSt / NC St ACC champ.
- Fiesta Bowl: already have the Big 12 winner, so looking for someone to matchup with Neb / Ok St / OU. Here its a crap shoot and dependent on who the Orange takes. Orange takes Boise, then the Big East champ has to go here. Orange doesn't take Boise and takes the Big East champ, then I could see either Stanford or Boise St, and frankly a Big 12 v Boise St rematch may be more viewer friendly than Stanford (especially if Boise St has a Heisman finalist Kellan Moore at QB, sorry Andrew Luck). Stanford though is still a national name (albeit with a weak in-person following), and I'm torn. I'd say you could flip a coin and land with either Stanford or Boise St.
The wrenches in the plan
There are a couple big wrenches that could be thrown in the gears here:
- the Big Ten doesn't end up with both Ohio St and Wisconsin with 1-loss: in real terms, a 1-loss Mich St doesn't matchup as well in a at-large comparison with undefeated Boise St or a 1-loss Stanford if they don't get the Rose Bowl bid. They way it's working right now, if Sparty ties with Wiscy only, then they''ll get the Rose Bowl as a result of a head to head win against the Badgers. Wisconsin then would still be a pretty strong at-large bid for either the Sugar or Orange Bowl. If its Mich St and tOSU, then tOSU will get the Rose Bowl and Sparty will be left to fend for the at-large against Boise & Stanford, and frankly I don't think they win that comparison.
- tOSU jumps Wiscy in BCS standings: this one just popped up this week when I actually looked at the numbers... tOSU is not that far behind, maybe there's a voter backlash against Bielema in the last two weeks??? Who knows. What I know is that if tOSU jumps Wiscy in BCS standing, then the three way tie formula in the Big Ten sends Ohio St to the Rose Bowl, and leave Wiscy and Mich St battling Stanford and Boise St for an at-large. At this point, I think its a real possibility that Boise AND Stanford are looked more favorably than Wiscy and Mich St. Especially if Stanford keeps rolling out body bags and some body gets sentimental at the Sugar Bowl for a Bo Schembechler reunion tour game between Harbaugh and Miles.
- Oregon loses: that vaults either TCU or Boise into the MyNCG, Oregon to the Rose Bowl and then by my reading, as long as the other TCU / Boise team is still in the rule 3A/B auto-bid position, they'll get in as an auto-bid, probably in the Sugar or Fiesta and knock out Stanford or a 2nd Big Ten team from the BCS
- Auburn loses: here it matters when Auburn loses. they lose to Alabama in the Iron Bowl but beat So Car, they still have a shot at the MyNCG bid as the #2 team. They lose to So Car in the SEC champ, they'll be in a fight with LSU for an at-large in the Orange Bowl, since So Car will be in the Sugar Bowl, and the Sugar won't have SEC v SEC (Orange Bowl will almost certainly pick a 2nd SEC team over the Big East champ or anybody else)
Your weekly sign of the apolcalypse:
- Still looks like only way Boise and TCU meet in the MyNCG is if Auburn and Oregon lose, most likely Auburn losing in the SEC championship game. But if that happens, both non-AQ's are well positioned with human pollsters to jump into the #1 / #2 slot needed to overcome computer softness. There's some open politic-ing going on with Les Miles trying to say LSU w/ 1-loss should be ahead of the non-AQ undefeateds, but I don't think that's going to sway voters.... UNLESS
- If the Cam Newton thing goes REALLY BAD and he's found to have been ineligible for this season, preferably after the Iron Bowl, then Auburn will have to forfeit all games he played in (all of them), become ineligible as a team for the BCS, and THEN you might see southern voters backlash against the ruling and cast all their Auburn muscle that was in the polls behind the next likliest SEC-brotherhood team.... LSU. I would think there'd be enough of a majority of voters who finally throw up their hands if this happened and just say, "all right TCU/Boise St, with all this shit going this year, here's your ONE TIME golden ticket", but keep your eyes peeled about this if the Cam Newton things breaks toward ineligibility in teh next week or so.
See you next week as the picture becomes much clearer after the Big Ten season wraps up and the Iron Bowl is played.