to play football, not to play trumpet
Saturday Down South has come out with its "Way too early Top 25 for 2016". There are some interesting observations, and some that are headscratching.
- The top 4 looks like the current CFP, with the exception of Ohio substituted for Sparty.
- Alabama is back again at #3, but they lose Derrick Henry and don't really have an heir apparent at QB.
- Regarding Ohio #4, " This is J.T, Barrett's team. Outside of Alabama, no team will lose more talent to the NFL." Yet they always manage to be in the hunt with Urbie. I just don't think one player can carry an entire team.
- Oregon is at #7. They have the same problem next year as they did this year...a new starting QB, whether it be Dakota Prukop or Taylor Alie.
- Sparty is #8, which is the biggest surprise. They lose Cook, Burbridge, Calhoun, Heath, Allen, Clark, and possibly Conklin, although the article claims "Michigan State returns what should be one of the best offensive lines in college football."
- Tennessee is a Top 10 team. Butch Jones apparently has turned things around.
Michigan is #12, which is almost where we are right now. One would think that with mostly everyone returning, and O'Korn likely to take over the reins at QB, that we would be higher ranked than 12. Thinking we should be where Sparty is, but perhaps our future LB play has us in the right place.
The best part of the article was: "There shouldn't be much separation between Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State by next season."
BTW, this is my first Forum entry on the Board.
There are some interesting numbers therein, including those demonstrating Sparty's continued ridiculous turnover luck relative to ours:
Field position stems from a combination of offensive and defensive efficiency, turnovers, and special teams. Michigan has actually been a bit unlucky in the turnovers department, recovering only four of 13 fumbles so far. That's a pretty scary thought and a hint at how much the Wolverines have won (mostly) in efficiency and (a little) in special teams. State has been much more reliant on turnovers.
The Spartans have been a little bit lucky in terms of interceptions. They're holding onto their chances (24 percent of their 25 passes defensed have been interceptions, which is a bit high), and opponents are dropping theirs (8 percent of 26 passes defensed have been interceptions).
Some regression in this game in these categories could mean a big swing in our favor. Recommend reading the whole thing; it's not very long.
MSU now has the #1 class in 2016. Good thing the game is on!
Miles Bridges gives the Spartans the uncontested No. 1 recruiting class in the nation for 2016 pic.twitter.com/HDHrQQFghQ— Sean Merriman (@BTNSean) October 3, 2015
Miles Bridges on MSU commit Cassius Winston: “When he committed, then I basically switched over to Michigan State from Kentucky,”— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) October 3, 2015
The rest of the teams on State's schedule aren't ranked (and probably won't be). That's why I'm asking for your thoughts after this game in particular.
Not Good for Michigan
- State's DL is, lordy, as advertised. Oregon's OL started one senior and a bunch of sophomores, so maybe some wiggle room in there. In general, however, scary stuff. Unless Michigan's OL can improve enough to look solid against BYU, my guess is that Michigan's running game is going to be a ton of passes.
- From what Brian said, the Michigan DL might not match up well against their guys, especially with Mone out. Note that Oregon started a bunch of seniors on their line.
- Kings, State's slot guy, was really effective. I hope Peppers and others can rapidly improve enough to blanket him and other slotty dudes.
- I'm not sure Michigan can improve their special teams enough get the boost that Oregon got in their game.
Not too Bad for Michigan
- Rudock does better under duress than Adams; he gets positive/no yards where Adams lost yards in some cases. Relatedly, overall, I think Rudock makes better decisions, and he's already showing improvement.
- Michigan's corners, especially if Lewis is back, match up well with Burbridge
- So far, the Michigan OL has been better about QB protection. Brian's UFR shows it's not that awesome, but it feels better than last year, at least.
What do you folks think?
There has been ongoing discussion regarding MSU's defensive strategy with regards to both football and basketball on this site. Whether on the gridiron or the hard court, their aggressive grabbing, pulling, hand checking, using the coach as an extra defender, jamming, neck twisting, throat punching, etc. has been well noted right down to their self proclaimed thuggery of "X minutes of unnecessary roughness". As frustrating as it has proven to be for opposing teams, it has been mostly effective for them. So when these antics occasionally backfire (see repeated floor slapping, Valentine's woofing, unleashing Russell Byrd in any capacity), it's nice to savor the moment.
My contribution to said meme is highlighting one of the strategies deployed in attempt to disrupt Stauskas's shot on Sunday. There were clearly a lot of extra curriculars targeted at Stauskas, as the numerous scrapes on his body throughout the course of the game would suggest, but the focus of this post is the Rick James approach.
As Stauskas was elevating and finishing over every defender Sparty put on him, I began to notice that MSU's players had more or less given up on trying to get a hand on the ball to block his shot. Nor were they satisfied with simply getting a hand straight up to impede his sight line or the trajectory of the ball. Instead they resorted to literal face slapping (also not a foul)...
Appling: "What did the five fingers say to the face?"
TL;DR summary - Sparty's defensive strategy:
Perhaps people with wrist boo boos should consider fewer slaps of the court, opponents faces, and what not.