a terrible blight on our fine country
Warning! I am not a coach and I haven't played football since eighth grade. However, I have taken an interest in offensive and defensive schemes lately. Most of what I have learned has come from reading Smart Football, Three and Out, Trojan Football Analysis, and of course Brian; especially his piece in HTTV 2009.
I think one of the biggest reasons why the hybrid positions are getting so confused is the fact that coaches all have different names for the same hybrid position. To Pete Carroll the “Spinner” is called the “Elephant” and others call it the “Quick.” All this position really is, is the WDE. Now in the 4-3 under (at least the one we are using) he is moved way outside the tackle. The reason I believe we do this is so that we can use a smaller player and that is able to speed rush the passer, hold weak side contain, and fall back into coverage for a zone blitz. With the player being so far outside they don't need to be as refined in their technique and can use their athleticism in space. This is the position that is being battled for by Evans, Herron, and Watson.
Brandon Graham is going to be the SDE this year. This of course could limit his effectiveness as a pass rusher. However, he has the most refined technique of all the defensive ends and will probably draw many double teams. These double teams will most likely lead to one-on-one battles for at least two defensive linemen (which I am considering the “Deathbacker/Spinner/Quick/Elephant” to be).
The other hybrid position in our defensive is the one occupied by Steve Brown. But just like the “Spinner” is just a WDE but with a fancy name, Mr. Brown's position is just the SLB but not the John Thompson version. Obviously, spread offenses are everywhere and to combat this defensive coordinators made the SLB more like a safety. But they also want someone who can handle a tight end in man coverage and in run situations so this may be why the coordinators just didn't use a normal nickel package. In the 4-3 under the SLB is in an inside-foot to outside-foot alignment on the tight end also called a 9-tech. If there isn't a tight end then I believe he will play nickelback to the strong side – however GERG determines which side is the strong side.
coaches use different conventions for which side is the strong side.
Some call the strong side the side with the tight end. Others call
the strong side the side to the quarterback's front (non-blind) side. I am not
sure but I think that we will be using the first convention.
Note that Steve Brown and Brandon Graham are going to be on the same side. And both will be lined up on the line of scrimmage.
According to Pete Carrol the WLB is protected in this scheme, so they don't have to be “thick necked jokers” either, they need to run sideline to sideline and make plays. This is Jonas Mouton's position.
It looks to me like a guard might have a free release on Obi in this formation, but I would like to defer this question to someone who knows more about football than I.
Earlier someone posed the question as to why we don't use Brandon at the WDE position (they called it the 'Shembackler' which I like but for clarity's sake I'm sticking with WDE). This was actually why I started writing this in the first place. It seems to me that what is most important for the WDE position in this scheme is the ability to rush the passer and the ability to play in space. Brandon can most certainly rush the passer and given that he played linebacker in HS he could probably play in space – not to mention his freakish athleticism! So why don't we move him there? I think the answer is because we don't have a DE as polished as Brandon to play the SDE, especially since Ryan Van Bergen could be starting at the 3-tech DT! We have athletes, and this is the number one criteria to playing the WDE spot in our 4-3 under; as far as I can tell anyway. Hopefully they can at least speed rush the passer; playing well in space would also be helpful.
On to other musings! If our starting D-line is going to look like BG, Martin, Van Bergen, someone at WDE then I would think we should be pretty good at penetrating the O-line (clean thoughts people!). Does this mean we will be susceptible to counters and traps? Can someone weigh in on what the advantages of having a small line like ours might be? Plus, I think we can all envision what the disadvantages are so I was wondering what the bright side could be.
If you are craving more info I would recommend reading this Trojan Analysis link keeping in mind that Steve Brown is the SLB in the diagrams and BG is the DE on his side. Then delve as much as you wish! Chris Brown and gsimmons85 have so much football knowledge packed into their sites you can read on for days and – like Brian – forget what the sun looks like!
I'm not one to get defensive so feel free to tear this apart! In fact I welcome any criticism since I will most likely learn something or get a laugh.
One last thing. If you frequent mgoblog and you don't buy HTTV 2009 then you are a fool! In fact you will be known as a fool all your life and when you die all people will say about you is: 'The fool is dead.' So don't be a fool and buy HTTV 2009 today!
I think that I might just be a "Slappy", but I don't agree with all of the experts about this upcoming season. Last season was so bad because the offense was horrible and couldn't keep the horrible defense off the field. This year will be better because; 1. We will have a pulse offensively. 2. We have competence at the D -coordinator position. As bad as we were, we still could have won four more games.(I use "WE" because, even though I didn't play football or attend, M football is all I know)
I truly think that even though Western is a good team, we should be able to beat them. The only thing that I believe about Weis is that he is one of Earth's downed satelites.(The other being Mangino) I think that without turnovers we will handle ND easier than Western. If we don't beat Eastern it would be a sign of the apocolypse. Beating IU should just be a formality befoe going to EL. I don't believe in those drinking the green and white kool-aid, mainly because without Ringer they would have been sub-par as usual. I think that going to Iowa will be a tough one for us to win. Hopefully we have a week off with Delaware State. All in all, I truly think that we are going to have an 8-4, 9-3, season as long as we don't turn the ball over 40% of the time like last year.(Of course an inflated stat) I'm new and not an English major, so go easy on me.
I know everyone calls it something different...from "Deathbacker" to "Spinner"..but I like Schembackler. Just gives the position some real definition.
Forgive me if this has been beaten to death, but I'm really, surprised that Graham doesn't appear to be the leading candidate for this spot. His H.S experience as a LB means he at least has a clue on how to drop into coverage, he's an edge rusher extraordinaire and can stand in there with TEs. He could be moved around in an attempt to keep offenses guessing, and to keep him out of double teams. I guarantee he's as fast as any LB on the team, with the possible exception of Mouton. In short, he's a beast, which is the whole point of the Schembackler spot.
The other three choices here are Herron, Evans and Watson. None of these guys has played much, so I'd think that Patterson and Banks would have a wealth of experience by comparison.
Seems to me, you let Banks, Patterson and LaLota play the RDE position and use the best playmaker you have on defense at the spot designed to create the most havoc. But that's just me.
While perusing the site I began to wonder if there was some sort of UFR database that could be queried in order to research different trends, etc. I'm a computer engineering major with a math minor and statistics are not exactly my cup of tea, but I would at least like to poke through that information if it was all in one place.
After emailing Brian and finding that there was no such database, I found myself pondering how one might go about making such a database. I started writing an application in C++ that would take the HTML table and convert it into XML that could be imported into Access. I was relatively close to getting that to work, but it was a bit of a hassle, so I decided to try something else.
I decided to write a Perl script that would parse the HTML, clean out all the tags (<table>, <tr>, <td>, etc), and put in their place more useful XML tags (<line>, <player>, <analysis>, etc). The result was a pretty nifty script that does almost all the work for me. After converting each UFR table into XML, I needed to add some extra information like drive IDs, play IDs, and things of that nature so that the database would be easily queryable. I did some of this by hand (lots of search and replace), and wrote another script to take care of a bunch of the nit-picky stuff that would have taken hours. I didn't really want to spend the rest of the day adding <PLAYID>some number</PLAYID> to over a thousand plays... I decided to be an engineer because I'm lazy and there's ALWAYS an easier way to do something.
If you're interested in seeing the Perl scripts, especially if you're proficient in Perl, let me know and I'll send them to you. This was my first useful Perl script (I taught myself, and hadn't ever done anything more significant than Hello World!) and a lot of my techniques came straight off a Google search and probably aren't following best practices. Suggestions/critiques would be greatly appreciated.
After some trial and error, I ended up with what I think is a pretty nifty database that includes information about every game, drive, and play that was charted over the course of last season. OSU is missing because Brian didn't do a UFR, along with halves of some games (a couple were only charted for offense or defense, but not both), and some drives (I believe a couple games were so painful that the final drives were non-UFR-able).
I've hosted the database file on FileFactory, along with the final XML file for the complete season. Hopefully that works...
If I get really bored in the future, I'd ideally like to find a way to parse the text to record all the +/- information for each player, but I haven't thought about that much... seems like it would be quite a bit of work, and I might not have time for it now that my boss and my manager are back from vacation.
So anyway, feel free to download and look through that. Do whatever you'd like with it. I didn't really do this for any reason other than I wanted something to do, and it seemed more useful than Facebooking all of our potential recruits for the next five years. Sorry about all the parentheses... no idea how they've become so prevalent in my writing over the years, but everything sounds choppy when I write without them.
EDIT: As was mentioned in the comments, the Miami game, the Northwestern game, and the other half of the PSU and Illinois games were actually available. These have been added to the database and the final file is located HERE. (The corresponding XML has been updated as well.)
Let's face it, Rich Rod doesn't come to Ann Arbor with the intellectual and character credentials normally associated with Michigan football coaches. He still has a ton to prove at the big time college level and successful results on the field will make up for his hick-ish, base behavior.
I can forgive our players for the occasional DUI or fight, they're young men after all. The coaches, however, get a much shorter leash. Unless I'm missing something, you never hear stories about Pete Carroll, Jim Tressel or Urban Meyer dropping F-bombs left and right in front of alumni and in-state coaches.
I'm not pining for the good ole days of Lloyd. He had a nice run but the momentum was fading after that Appy State debacle. But since Rich Rod was our third choice, we should afford him that level of respect and devotion until he proves himself.
UPDATE: Voting for this bracket is closed. Stay tuned for the Round 2 bracket.
So yesterday I posted the men's bracket of this Best Uniform Worn by a Michigan Team Tournament, and there was much rejoicing.
I also promised that soon would come the second half of the first round, with all the women's teams. And there was much rejoicing.
Herein follows that promised second half of aforementioned first round of said, much-rejoiced tournament of uniforms worn by Michigan athletic teams of MGoBlog topicality, i.e., here come the chicks.
This second half was MUCH harder to do than the fellas. For one, the girls' teams are not as well covered by the Internets, which has at least 15 links to a maize alternate Nike jersey never worn by the football team, but is kind of short on syncro swimming. As with previous M-image-centric posts of good memory, mgoblue.com became my home for a day.
The other problem, probably the bigger problem, was an overabundance of outfits.*
For example, in 2008-09 it seems the hoops team, like the rest of M Athletics, got new Addidas unis: a maize set, a white set, and a blue alternates set. According to mgoblue.com's Game Notes section, through the season they mostly stuck to the maize unis, but for a few in blue, and one weekend an alternate alternate pinkified version of the white, used to generate awareness for breast cancer. Personally, I think this is awesome (and the pinks made the list). It's just a pain in the ass for someone trying to make a bracket, is all. And since I'm the only one I know of who's done this, it shouldn't be held against them.
* If you read this and thought about how you expected 16 teams of women to generate much more than 32 outfits, just go in the comments and reply "First!"**
This is all a long way of making the readers -- especially those miffed about some of the great uniforms left out of the last bracket -- aware that there will be even more removed from consideration this time.
This includes, but is certainly not limited to, this jersey from the basketball team:
also this cool throwback uniform from field hockey:
Also also this one from the cheerleaders (by request):
Also also also this alt from the cheerleaders:
Also, also, also, also, mostly cause I didn't know what to even call it, I had to leave out this one from the cheerleaders:
And also x 5, much as it pains me, I had to skip the Braylon Edwards Fan Club alts (and an alto sax) for the cheerleaders:
Also (x6, etc.) missing: a cool volleyball throwback from the Nike days, Syncro Swimming warmups, blue longsleeves for the cheerleaders, about 300 cheerleader uniforms for babies, a pic of a rather uninspiring Notre Dame cheerleader for comparison, and a whole bunch of cheerleader uniforms I found on thesportsculture.com, which has since gone offline, meaning we had to forgo the white unis with the block Ms, cheerleaders in ponchos, and one image, which if it was loading properly, would depict seven geometrically pleasing females in Michigan bikinis.
Yes, the cheer team has a big wardrobe. They're also the only varsity team at Michigan that is truly co-ed, so that's understandable.
I think that's it for the caveats. Get ready, Wolverine fans, because here comes 32 amazing uniforms from 16 teams of women (and some men), all remaining true to the maize, white and blue.
Women's Bracket, True to Blue Region:
According to fashion blogger Suite 101.com, "Navy blue is an excellent alternative for those who don’t want to wear black. It is slimming and chic (especially with black or this fall's charcoal gray) and is a seasonless classic."
Not every women's team needs 15 different outfits, especially when one has already found the perfect look, which is, of course, navy and maize. Oh, some girls may have a maize alternate to spice things up, or a pleasant white for after Memorial Day (again, this is a myth), but for at least half of the ladies' teams, whether it's evening wear or beating the ever-living crap out of Ohio State, when the going gets tough, they reach for the tried-and-true navy blues.
Big note here: All the watersports make it hard to get the whole effect from a photo. For example, the Swimming&Diving team is shown for their swimsuit, but I also highly recommend perusing the mgoblue.com photo galleries to see the variety of swim caps and other accouterments employed by M's swimmers.
Game 1: Rowing (1) v. Water Polo (8)
Game 2: Swimming&Diving (2) v. Track&Field (7)
Game 3: Cross Country (3) v. Syncro Swimming (6)
Game 4: Gymnastics (4) v. Syncro Skating (5)
Women's Bracket, Something Fresh Region:
Sometimes a girl can't get by these days with just one outfit, especially when Adidas is willing to provide a second (or third, or thirtieth) for free. You don't have to be classic to be classy, and the following alternates have it all, from throwbacks, to global consciousness.
Herein are found a bunch of blues that compliment other items in the wardrobe, as well as basketball's pink take on the classic whites, and a cheerleading alternate inspired by those kooky cheer alums at the Homecoming game who are always more entertaining (if less nimble) than the current squad.
Game 1: Cheerleading - maize throwback (1) v. Cheerleading - blue alt (8)
Game 2: Basketball - pink (2) v. Tennis - blue (7)
Game 3: Soccer - blue (3) v. Lacrosse - blue (6)
Game 4: Softball - maize-piped blues (4) v. Softball - blue alts w/ white pants (5)
Women's Bracket, Daisy Looks Crazy in Maize-y Region:
Why wait for summer to let the sun shine? For an afternoon of making everyone around you smile (except your Big Ten opponents that is), maize is all the rage. Try a tasteful two-piece jersey and shorts combo like that favored by the Hoops team, or maybe mix it up with whites and blues to refine or bring out your shine. Comes in t-shirt, tank-top, jersey, or vest, sometimes all for the same squad.
The women's basketball team plays perhaps 80 percent of their games in the maize gear. The cheer team found their tank-top version of the maize alts even brought the football team a few wins (Wisconsin anybody?) before being retired by fall's chill. Field hockey has a short-sleeve and sleeveless version of their yellows, which might be indistinguishable except for the white slashes on the sleeveless (and the lack of sleeves). Anyway, this year in maize follows:
Game 1: Basketball - maize (1) v. Golf - maize (8)
Game 2: Cheerleading - maize tank (2) v. Tennis - maize (7)
Game 3: Rowing - maize (3) v. Basketball - maize Nike era (6)
Game 4: Field hockey - maize vest (4) v. Field hockey maize shirt (5)
Women's Bracket: I'm Wearing White Because Me and that Big Ten Trophy are About to be Wed Region
White has a lot of symbolism behind it. There's the purity thing, although many cultures have different ideas of that, and it's by far the least interesting. In literature, white is associated with horror, kind of like the face opposing batters make when a white blur is tossing a neon yellow blur at 100 mph. In Asian cultures, it is associated with death, kind of like how once you saw Diane Deitz step on the court in her whites, it was death to your season's hopes.
A lot of M's ladies use white as their primary uniform color, some doing a better job than others. Many of us still have a thing for the '80's hoops unis, which, if there was ever room for another hoops uni, should definitely be brought back. Some teams, of course, take the white further than others. Some whites are busy and exciting, while others are simple and elegant. So here goes, MGoBlogger, which white does it for ya?
Game 1: Volleyball - white (1) v. Golf - white (8)
Game 2: Basketball - '80s throwback (2) v. Soccer - white (7)
Game 3: Softball - white (3) v. Lacrosse - white (6)
Game 4: Cheerleading - white (4) v. Field Hockey - white vest (5)
Voting for the first round (both brackets) will end whenever I wake up next Saturday (July 18) and pause the voting.
**Misopogon takes no responsibility for any down-votes accrued by actually taking the above suggestion seriously.