at least it's not just us?
*This is a repost of a diary I put up after the Penn State game last year. I took out the part debating if we should change our head coach. After Brians gloom post about our defense improving to 99th, I thought this would be intereting to look over again. I'm cautiously optimistic about our defense for this season. Mattison bitches, Mattison.
Nebraska 2007 defensive statistics
|Nebraska 2008 defensive statistics|
|Points allowed 455||Points allowed 371|
|PPG 37.9||PPG 28.5|
|First Downs allowed 299||First Downs allowed 228|
|Rush yards allowed 2,786||Rush yards allowed 1514|
|Rush YPC 5.2||Rush YPC 3.6|
|Rushing TD’s allowed 38||Rushing TD’s allowed 24|
|OPP. ATT-COMP-INT 409-236-8||OPP. ATT-COMP-INT 385-222-12|
|Passing yards allowed 2.936||Passing yards allowed 3,034|
|Pass TD’s allowed 20||Pass TD’s allowed 19|
|Pos||2007 Defensive two deep||2008 Defensive two deep|
99 Barry Turner 6-3 250 Jr.
88 Clayton Sievers 6-4 245 Jr
99 Barry Turner 6-3 260 Sr.
Clayton Sievers 6-4 255 Sr
43 Ty Steinkuhler 6-3 285 Jr.
96 Brandon Johnson 6-3 315 Sr.
97 Kevin Dixon 6-3 285 Sr.
43 Ty Steinkuhler 6-3 280 Sr.
93 Ndamukong Suh 6-3 305 Soph.
96 Shurkee Barfield 6-4 310 Jr.
93 Ndamukong Suh 6-3 300 Jr.
56 Shurkee Barfield 6-4 300 Sr
98 Zach Potter 6-7 280 Jr.
95 Pierre Allen 6-5 265 RFr.
98 Zach Potter 6-7 280 Sr.
95 Pierre Allen 6-5 265 Soph.
51 Bo Ruud 6-3 235 Sr.
38 Kyle Moore 6-2 225 RFr.
53 Tyler Wortman 6-3 235 Sr
12 Blake Lawrence 6-2 225 Soph.
13 Corey McKeon 6-1 225 Sr.
40 Lance Brandenburgh 6-1 230 Sr.
52 Phillip Dillard 6-1 238 Jr.
54 Colton Koehler 6-1 230 Jr.
15 Steve Octavien 6-0 240 Sr.
40 Lance Brandenburgh 6-1 230 Sr.
34 Cody Glenn 6-0 230 Sr.
23 Latravis Washington 6-3 225 Soph.
2 Cortney Grixby 5-9 170 Sr.
5 Armando Murillo 6-0 195 Jr.
5 Armando Murillo 6-0 190 Sr.
28 Eric Hagg 6-1 200 Soph
30 Tierre Green 6-1 200 Sr.
9 Bryan Wilson 6-1 205 Sr.
3 Rickey Thenarse 6-0 195 Jr.
33 Matt O'Hanlon 5-11 195 Sr.
9 Bryan Wilson 6-1 205 Sr
4 Larry Asante 6-1 210 Soph.
4 Larry Asante 6-1 210 Jr.
6 Major Culbert 6-0 205 Jr.
|CB||25 Andre Jones 6-0 190 Sr.||21 Prince Amukamara 6-1 195 Soph.|
In 2007 the Nebraska two deep had 5 underclassmen; in 2008 there were 5 underclassmen. The roster was very similar in both seasons. In 2007 Nebraska had a pretty shitty defense composed of mostly upperclassmen, in 2008 with the same amount of upperclassmen there was significant defense improvements. The 2008 defense allowed 84 less points, despite playing an additional game. In 2008 the rush defense improved by 1,272 yards, with the YPC dropping by 1.6 yards.
So what is the cause for this massive one-season turn around? A coaching change. 2008 was Bo Pelini’s FIRST season as head coach. In 2007 Bill Callahan’s team went 5-7; in 2008 Bo Pelini went 9-4.
Yesterday on the Big Ten Blog, there was a mailbag question from a Nebraska fan wondering about his team playing in a trophy game in their new conference. He suggested taking the Land-Grant game away from MSU (which they probably wouldn't care about..), but it got me thinking.
Wouldn't it be cool / fun / rivalry-y for Michigan and Nebraska to play for some kind of "1997 National Championship" or something like that? Obviously worded a little better..
I'm not sure if that guy asking the question was just some outlier and Nebraska fans don't really care about trophy games (most are stupid), but that brings me to my question.
Who would decide to play for a trophy? The ADs, presidents, coaches, or the B1G? And do you think Nebraska will play in a trophy game?
I know there's the story of the Little Brown Jug, leaving it in Minnesota and having to beat them to get it back, but I'm completely clueless about other ones.
The Omaha World Herald's Nebraska football blog, Big Red Today, recently interviewed U-M legend Desmond Howard as part of their ongoing Big Ten Roundup. Never short of an opinion, Howard shares his thoughts on a wide range of topics including Jim Tressel, NCAA rules, Reggie Bush, and Michigan's coaching change.
On Michigan's transition with Brady Hoke:
I don't think Rich Rodriguez was a bad coach. I don't think he was a bad guy. He did the best he could. It just wasn't a good fit. I think Brady Hoke is a much better fit. He understands the culture. He's coached here before. I think it's his dream job. You want someone there that pretty much wants to die there. This is like their end game. I believe that's how Brady Hoke feels about the Michigan job. He was a guy who said he would've walked from San Diego State to Ann Arbor. That's kind of what you want in that position.
Click here to read the entire interview: http://omaha.com/article/20110620/BIGRED/706209847/-1#interview-with-an-icon-desmond-howard
Many of you are familiar with the 1997 season and the "shared championship" controversy. In the years since, especially the recent ones, I've often thought about how much talent Michigan had that year. This is partly because several guys from the roster are still high-profile NFL players.
When 1997 has come up in my conversations with college football fans outside the Midwest, I've noticed that the majority of them assume that Nebraska would have beaten Michigan if (say) the BCS had existed that year. I could speculate as to why that's the case, but that's not my main point here.
We'll obviously never know how that game might have turned out, but I've long believed that Michigan had more talent that year than Nebraska. How could that be measured?
I decided to look at the '97 rosters for both teams and the NFL database (http://www.databasefootball.com/). Here are my findings (specifically, lists of the future pros from each team):
Michigan wins easily.
* Michigan has more players, 33 to 24.
* Michigan has more "NFL" years, 200 to 152.
* Michigan's players appear to be distributed more evenly through the classes. Notice how many more 4th-/5th-year guys they have. So, more mature talent, right?
* NFL careers (and length thereof) are obviously not a perfect measure of talent at the college level, but I'll bet the correlation is significantly positive.
* On the other side (so to speak) plenty of college stars, including some Michigan Men over the years, have never played a game in the NFL. That doesn't mean they weren't significant contributors at the NCAA level.
* On the database site, classes were clearly assigned based on years in the program. Tom Brady was a junior to them but a redshirt sophomore to Michigan.
* Data goes to only 2009. You'll see that number next to players who were still active that year.
* The presence of a future pro in a given year might not be important. For example, Michigan gets all of Tom Brady's years, but he made a minimal contribution to the '97 team (on the field, at least). I would have looked at that more closely and filtered the non-contributors, but I didn't have enough information for the task.
* Compare '97 to '08. So far, there are only seven guys from that team (Trent, Jamison, Graham, Mesko, Brown, and probably Schilling and Mouton). Martin and possibly others (Hemingway, Molk, RVB, Woolfolk, Koger, Omameh, Roundtree, and Stonum ... too early to tell for the rest, I think) should join them eventually.
Between ESPN & CBS, there are 3 possibilities for the opponent (yes, this assumes nothing strange happens and Michigan goes to the Gator Bowl):
Not much hope for an easy opponent among those 3, but certainly 3 different styles.
Why rumors get unpublished.
Taylor Martinez's HS coach, Matt Logan, told me he just spoke w the QB, who said: "Everything is fine. I haven't quit the team."
While it's not a direct quote, it's the only true reporting from something other than Bleacher Report. Bleacher Report is horrible. You lose brain cells by reading it and spreading it's "rumors."
Same stupid stuff that happened with Forcier. Rumors don't get to stay up.