somehow we're only 124th
Bennie Oosterbaan is the definition of a Michigan Football Legend. He was the first , and one of only two 3-time all-americans in Michigan Football history. Would have been a 4-timer if freshmen were allowed to play back then.
Bennie was part of the famed, Benny to Bennie combination. The tandem of QB Benny Friedman to Bennie Oosterbaan gave defenses nightmares. Oosterbaan played in the first game in Michigan Stadium in 1927 against ohio wesleyan. He was the star of the Dedication Game against ohio in 1927 as well. Bennie was also a star on the hardwood and the baseball diamond, earning 2x all-american honors in basketball and all-big ten in baseball.
Oosterbaan would have went into the NFL, but his religion did not allow him to play on Sundays. Oosterbaan elected to remain at Michigan and be an assistant football coach, serving under 3 head coaches (Tad Wieman 1928, Harry Kipke 1929-1937 and Fritz Crisler 1938-1947) and winning three national championships as an assistant coach. Bennie also was a basketball assistant coach from 1928-1938, the baseball freshman team coach and the eventually the head coach of the Michigan basketball program from 1938-1946.
When Fritz Crisler stepped away from coaching, Bennie was named his successor. In his first year, Bennie Oosterbaan's Michigan team went a perfect 9-0-0 winning Michigan's second straight and 10th overall National Championship. Bennie retired in 1958 with 63-33-4 coaching record, with a National Championship, 3 Western Conference Championships and a Rose Bowl victory.
When Bennie Oosterbaan passed away in 1990 at age 84, Ron Kramer spread Bennie's ashes around the field at Michigan Stadium.
Thank you, Bennie Oosterbaan. Michigan Football Legend.
Hopefully by now everyone has come back from their existential crisis over Alabama turning us into a nice pulpy drink.
It is also time to stop whining about referees, play-calling (Hoke said it best: we couldn't establish the line of scrimmage), and individual performances (Denard can't bathe in magical dilithium dust before every game he plays).
It is time to look at a few of the bright spots: bubble screens did occur, Denard connected on the long ball to wide-open receivers (instead of double-covered Hemingways), Will Campbell will be a solid-to-good player this year, and Vincent Smith kept us calm.
Yes, you heard me right, Vincent Smith. I know he only gained 33 yards. But when it came down to it, Fitz got in trouble, Rawls was either hurt or not ready for the big-time yet, and the rest of the options were true or redshirt freshmen the coaches weren't ready to throw into the fire. So who stepped up to play running back against the most physical defense we'll face all year? 5'5" Vincent Smith. Vincent Smith who was recruited to play jitter-bug back in the wide-open Rich Rodriguez offense. Vincent Smith who tore his ACL playing when he was already injured against Ohio State. Vincent Smith who has been Denard's lead blocker on so many quarterback ISOs. Vincent Smith who has chopped down blitzing 240 lb linebackers play after play and year after year. Vincent Smith who has to know his odds of making the NFL are slim and still puts his body on the line as a senior in every play of every practice and game. Vincent Smith who, when Brady Hoke was looking more lost than I've ever seen him, was too busy to notice because he was putting up fingerguns to let the Alabama future NFL LBs know that they'd be chopped down on their blitz just like so many before them.
Vincent Smith will never work his way into our collective conscious the same way as Anthony Thomas, Tim Biakabatuka, or Mike Hart. He's not the same type of make you remember where you were when you saw him make the catch like Desmond Howard or Charles Woodson. But if they had a way to measure "heart", he'd end up in consideration for a Legend's patch. I don't know if it's just something in the Pahokee mud, but Martavious Odoms had the same fire, flying past Denard on the missed end around of his first collegiate snap to crack a 300 lb. defensive tackle at full speed without allowing his brain to realize the physical reprecussions of what he was doing. I've never heard Vincent Smith complain. I've never heard him talk about himself. All he does is what he's asked to do, with no fear, and no ego. If anyone ever asks me what a Michigan Man is, I'll start talking about Vincent Smith.
Starting at 12:30 (like, now)
Other bits in the article:
Courtney Avery will replace Blake Countess
Fitz will be allowed to talk this week
Gardner is now the #3 QB behind Bellomy
Seeing as though their are currently seven threads on the board devoted to expressing just how butt-hurt everyone is over the game on Saturday I thought it might be helpful to consolidate them all into one butt-hurt post. Here is the place to express your every thought on:
1. The poor officiating
2. The injustice of scheduling the game in the first place
3. Bama cheating!
4. Bama not making players go to class
5. Mean old Sparty players saying mean things about us
6. The SEC and how they all cheat
7. Poor play calling
8. Lousy tackling & defensive schemes
9. Any other butt-hurt items not covered above
Lord knows we cant just suck it up and deal with the fact we just got curb-stomped by a team WAY better than us and move on to game #2 without letting the world know just how injured our feelings are about the game.
Edit: You can also use this thread to make up ridiculous positives that no one believes we can take out of the game in a silly attempt to try and block out the fact we got dominated in each and every phase of the game.
Tackling Technique: A tale of two coaching staffs.
I have spent the last two seasons looking at tackling technique. You can find my review of 2010 here.
What I found was that as a team, we sucked at it; We tackled poorly as LB's, we tackled poorly in space, we tackled poorly as a team.
The idea is simple enough; no tackling = no defense = Lots of points./yards and anguished Brian screams.
A change in coaching staff brought a breath of fresh air, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
As we all know, our defense was astoundingly better this year, the question I found myself asking was 'exactly what is the difference?".
A quick review of good tackles vs. missed tackles vs. missed bad form tackles:
(Made Tackles - Missed Tackles) / (1 + Bad Form Tackles)
- Calculating this way makes the bad form tackles have an extremely large effect on your number. Essentially, miss and it will decrease. Miss badly and it will decrease a lot.
- The idea here is that any number greater than 1 is a solid indicator that this player brought down more than they missed, and if they missed it more than likely is due to being beat athletically not technically.
- This also has an indirect correlation to who made the most tackles.
(Made Tackles) / (Made Tackles + Missed Tackles)
- This score is a true representative of how likely it is a player will bring the ball carrier down when presented with a tackling opportunity.
To the data.
2011 Tackling Efficiency:
2011 Season: Blue,
2011 B10 Season: Maize
2010 Season: Grey
2011 Tackling Percentage
What to draw from this is that we tackled a LOT better in space. . You will notice that we no longer essentially depended on Martin, Demens or Kovacs to bring down the ball carrier. This is a good thing.
Also, our dependence on our front 7 to make tackles has decreased, which is due to our secondary bringing down ball carriers in the open field.
This might seem like a baseless claim:
Percentage by Position:
Efficiency by Position:
Our CB's and DB's all had significant increases in both percentage and efficiency.
The breakdown by year.
As you can see, our freshman turned the corner early and our upperclassmen came to play.
Take home points and observations.
- Kovacs is the lynchpin of this defense. He has progressed steadily since 2010, and having a second year in system I would not be surprised to see him win All B10 honors.
- Tackling wise, Morgan improved a lot over the season. He should be a very good linebacker in the future, especially adding muscle in the off season. When he got beat, he invariably got beat athletically.
- Thomas Gordon is a good one. Extremely solid in run support. My only concern here is that both Gordon and Kovacs are solid run stoppers but lack elite speed to be a true FS. Would like to see Kovacs roll up to nickel back and test Marvin Robinson at the FS on 3rd and 6+. This would allow Kovacs to blitz closer to the line as well.
- I really like Courtney Avery. Dude just plays with a nose for the football.. he is the defensive backfield equivalent of Jake Ryan.
- Jake Ryan plays like his hair is on fire. Love this dude. (Blasphemous to insinuate the flow is flamable.) He needs to learn to turn his ballistic missle technique into a heat seaking missle technique.
- Demens will be a solid B10 linebacker. While I think that Bolden and Co. have a higher ceiling, I think that Demens will be the solid Mike we have been looking for for a solid 4 years.
- JT Floyd. Hot damn. While it seems that he still shies a little bit away from contact, he also is tackling a lot better.
- All our first year players played above their heads. It would stand to reason that they might regress a bit in year two. However, our Freshman were (with the exception of Ryan ) true freshman. This leaves me hope that they can also potentially take a large step as their bodies catch up to their abilities.
- I am not as worried as most about our defensive line. While they will be missed, if the front 4 can just occupy the front 5 of whoever, we will be in great shape.
Breakout Defenders for 2012:
- Clark (I know)
- Totally baseless speculation: Richard Ash will have an impact this year.