Also #1 in rush and pass defense, of course. ALL THE DEFENSE.
Here is a very good article about Kwity Paye and his life journey.
“My mother told me we were in a refugee camp and we moved around a lot,” said Paye. “There wasn’t a place for us to stay so we moved to Guinea where I was born. “I believe she would have still tried to come to American as the (civil) war was going on. I don’t think they would have let us stay in Liberia. I don’t think we would be alive.
Michigan homecoming is the traditional game of the season where old people return to their alma mater, break out the old "Block M" sweater, and reminisce about the good old days. The good old days for Michigan football include the National Championship winning team from 1997. I saw one comment comparing the 1997 team to this year's edition. The MGoUser stated that the defense this year was as good as the '97 defense, but the '97 offense was better. My recollection is that the '97 defense carried the offense who did just enough with bootleg passes to Tuman and the occassional pass to Woodson to "squeak" out 12 wins during the regular season.
So I decided to compare this year's offense to the '97 offense. It's hard to do apples-to-apples comparisons because the season is not over yet, but we can still learn some things by comparing per game stats.
|Points per game||26.8||48.7|
|Yards per game||356||483|
|#1 Receiving yards||Tuman 404 (12 games)||Darboh 499 (7 games)|
The '97 offense is an interesting comparison because both teams utilize four running backs. '97 clearly had a #1 guy in Chris Howard, but 4 guys ended up with over 250 yards on the season. The '16 team splits carries among 4 guys. All four are already above 300 yards.
The '16 team has advantages in the receiving corps. Chesson and Darboh >>> Streets and Shaw. Tuman was great, but Jake Butt may be the best TE in Michigan history. The '97 offensive line had Steve Hutchinson, Jeff Backus and Jon Jansen, but center and right guard were merely good. If the '16 line is not as good as the '97 line, how are we averaging more than a yard per carry than the '97 team? If you claim '16 Offensive Coordinator(s) >>> '97 Offensive Coordinator, you'll get no argument from me.
Granted, we have some difficult defenses on the schedule that could suppress the offensive numbers, but a cursory glance at the stats suggest that the '16 offense is quite a bit better than the '97 offense. Remaining defenses:
|Team||Total defense rank|
Yes, the worst defense remaining on our schedule is MSU's. Of note, we've already played total defenses ranked 9 (Wis,) 12 (Colorado,) and 36 (UCF?!?) So maybe our offensive numbers won't drop that much.
One last stat for homecoming, there's been some discussion about QB being the big question mark for us relative to the other top teams. Let's look at the numbers:
|Hurts, 'Bama||51, 140.1|
|Speight, UofM||22, 150.8|
|Watson, Clemson||37, 146.4|
|Browning, UofW||2, 199.6|
|Jackson, UofL||12, 159.5|
|Barrett, OSU||21, 150.8|
I'll take our defense-QB combo over any of the other top 6 teams.
Let us assume the current AP 1 through 4 are the CFP 1 through 4. Assume also that all four teams win out and win their respective conference title games.
- 'Bama. - Michigan. - Clemson. - Washington.
From a quick examination of the possibly suspect Wikipedia article on CFP selection, it seems that the top two teams go to the CFP semi-final sites that they are respectively closest to; this is to give them "home" advantage, or at least minimize "away".
Ignoring the strong bias toward the southern schools -- since the majority of all major bowls are in the warm weather winter south -- am I correct in thinking Michigan goes to the Fiesta?
Clemson is very close to Atlanta - Peach, Michigan and Clemson are both about 1960 miles from Phoenix - Fiesta. Tuscaloosa is obviously closer to Atlanta - Peach than Washington.
Am I thinking this through correctly? I understand that at least one of those four won't be there at the end, I'm just trying to grasp the "who goes to which site" logistics.
NSIAP. Fluff article from SBNation with stuff we already know, but I still love me some Harbaugh competitiveness. Show no mercy again this weekend, coach.
But this is Harbaugh’s brand. He is a cold killer of other programs’ dreams. He doesn’t care about making other teams’ players feel good, or his own. He cares about winning for all 60 minutes. Isn’t that what he’s supposed to care about?