For those that don't know Brian Cole transferred from East Mississippi to Mississippi State this spring.
Cole is playing safety for MSST. Cole just returned an interception 54 yards for a touchdown in their spring. He has had a fantastic game so far. He is fighting for a starting job, one I expect him to get.
Another Michigan connection... Ron English is his position coach.
Former Michigan commit David Reese is entering his second season at Florida. He didn't play in the spring game due to a wrist injurt but he is expected to be the starting middle linebacker next season.
Just some notes I wanted to pass on.
EDIT: Sorry for the typo.
Mods, I intended for this to be a series of Diaries but I don't know how to create one. Could someone move it and educate me please?
During the course of the last season I started wondering if there was an objective way to measure the influence of good coaching beyond the all-encompassing “win/loss” record. Wins and losses are all that matter, but there is so much that goes into that. We’ve seen officiating, weather, a fluke play or a key injury cost us a game. Should that count against the coach? Perhaps, but I wanted something more concrete. This blog does an excellent job of analyzing Xs and Os and grading players, but I wanted a means to grade the coaches. Something to quantify if Coach X is really "better" than Coach Y.
So, is Jim Harbaugh really worth those millions of dollars? What does Don Brown give us that DJ Durkin didn’t? Do certain teams scheme against us better than others? These are questions I had during the 2016 season. That’s when I realized we have the RPS metric from the UFRs. This metric of course is subjective. It’s Brian’s take on when he feels one side is a schematic advantage over the other. It’s not perfect, but I wanted to explore it.
I went back and read every UFR since the 2010 season. I compiled the RPS numbers into a data set and looked at it a few ways. My hypotheses were:
1. There should be a strong positive correlation between RPS and win/loss record.
2. Harbaugh and staff should have a much higher RPS number than their predecessors, proving they are better schematic coaches.
Before I get to the results, one last caveat to the data set:
Several UFRs could not be located. Whether they were never published (ie Ohio State, Bowl games, etc), or simply lost on the interwebs, I have no clue. I wrote the mgoblog staff with a list of missing UFRs but so far no answer if they were able to locate any that I missed. For missing UFRs the RPS is left blank (which is different than receiving a 0 RPS score). A score of zero will factor into the average, a blank score does not. If anyone can find the missing UFRs, I will update the results.
Hypothesis 1: Strong correlation between RPS and Win/Loss
For instances where I am missing either an offensive or defensive UFR, the point is not plotted.
Here are the results of Offensive RPS (x axis) and Defensive RPS (y axis) plotted. Wins and losses are color coded. Results are about what you would expect.
Only 3 times did we win the RPS battle in both offense and defense and still find a way to lose the game. Those three games:
-2013 Iowa. Michigan, down 3 was near field goal range with 2 minutes left when Gardner scrambled left and inexplicably fumbled the ball before going out of bounds), icing the Iowa win.
-2015 Utah. New Coach, new QB against a tough road opponent. 3 INTs, one for a TD doomed this.
-2015 MSU. Michigan did everything they needed to do in order to win that game, except prevent the flukiest of fluke plays.
There were two losses in which the offense graded slightly positive, but the defense negative which resulted in losses:
-2014 Notre Dame
The rest of the results are as you would expect. Eight of our losses during this time period had both an offensive and defensive RPS value of zero or less. Clearly when it rains, it pours.
When we perform a post mortem after a loss it almost certainly comes down to RPS failures, and usually on both sides of the ball. Teams found something to exploit us, and we failed to adjust (MSU double A gap blitzes). Or, we failed to successfully exploit weaknesses against the opponent (Borges screen passes).
On the flip side our wins are all across the board. Our seven largest negative RPS scores on defense were actually wins. We even beat Penn State in 2014 despite an offensive RPS score of -11. We can see in the data that we are able to gain wins without the need for RPS. We can sometimes “out talent” the opponent without needing to get fancy. In fact, I did see this as a comment by Brian in several instances saying something to the effect “RPS was not needed against this opponent”. That particular day we were content just lining up and running vanilla offense/defense without showing our playbook.
To borrow from Brian, “Cackle with glee when”:
-Offensive RPS is +3 or better
-Defensive RPS is +3 or better
-We have simply overmatched our opponent and toss RPS out the window
In the next installment I will show RPS by coaching staff and who earned their $$ and who may be overhyped.
In the final installment I will show RPS trends against opponents. Which teams have our number, and whose milkshakes do we drink regularly?
This is kind of just a thought experiment, obviously it will not affect any change. I just think it's an interesting concept.
There is no incentive for a pro league to abide by a draft grade. Obviously, this is to the harm of the athlete that is given a high draft grade, then drafted low or not even drafted at all. So here is the solution I will pose:
The NCAA should allow student athletes to opt out of a draft if they are drafted below the round that they're provided in their draft entry evaluation. Obviously this harms the pro leagues, so I know the NCAA would be hesitant to enact this. However, if they want to pose themselves as an entity that helps student athletes, it seems like a no brainer. I think they want to use the specter of ineligibility as leverage against athletes leaving, but it really does harm more than good..
If ineligibility is not a threat, more kids would seek a draft grade. That would put an incentive on the pro league to honestly provide, or possibly lowball their draft grades, so that kids are required to go pro if they declare. It forces the leagues to put their money where their mouths are. Kids will get an honest barometer of the worst case scenario as the leagues protect their interests in assuring that kids that declare are drafted.
You could have two options - either make it so that if a kid is not drafted by the end of the round promised, they are off the board completely. Or, alternatively, you could allow a team to draft them and take the risk of having the kid opt out.
This makes a lot of sense, which to me means the NCAA will in no way entertain it. More of a 'king for the day' type idea.
I didn't see this posted yet, so here is the link.http://touch-the-banner.com/michigan-inexperienced-reloading-defense/
Some really good nuggets in there