Mason NEEDS this, Pistons, after all you've put him through
Longtime play-by-play broadcaster for Michigan Football, Frank Beckmann, announced his retirement last August. To date, no replacement has been named and I have heard virtually no speculation.
Any rumors or speculation out there as to who will be the new voice of Michigan Football?
Is there anyone who you would or would not like to hear in the booth?
In March, I posted Part 1, looking at the recruiting make-up of the last ten BCS Champion football teams. For those of you lost in the three week basketball coma, the key takeaways were:
- Defensive line is the position with the highest average rating (5th) of any position
- Offense (7th) and Defense (5th) are both important but defenses feature more highly rated recruits for national champions.
- No national champion has been crowned with a roster profile (Ratings + Age) outside of the top ten, a group Michigan will likely sit on the fringes of next year.
For Part 2, we’ll move to the on field performance. Looking at conversion rates and big play potential on both offense and defense as well as field position.
Some quick notes on methodology.
Conversion rate = [1st Downs gained]/[1st Down plays (including first play of drive)]. A three and out is 0/1. A one play touchdown is 1/1. Two first downs and then a stop is 2/3, etc.
Bonus Yards = [Yards gained beyond the first down line]/[Total plays from scrimmage]
This is an adjustment to how I have previously calculated, to account for the plays a team runs.
Field Position = The expected point difference per game for where a team’s offense starts and where a team’s defense starts. Each drive is given an expected value based on the start of scrimmage, all of the drives for the offense and defense are totaled and compared. This accounts for all elements of field position: turnovers, special teams, drive penetration etc.
I am only looking at teams from the BCS conferences since those are the only reasonably eligible team for the championship. To account for yearly rule changes and variations, I will use annual ranks for each season.
Median Rank: 5.5th, 76.0% conversion
Average Rank: 11th
Top 3: Texas 2005 (2), Auburn 2010 (3), Florida St 2013 (3)
Bottom 3: Florida 2006 (26), Alabama 2009 (23), Alabama 2011 (23)
2013 Michigan: 36th, 69.9%
Best Michigan Team: 2003, 3rd, 75.2%
Median Rank: 8th, 2.95 Bonus Yards per play
Average Rank: 11th
Top 3: Texas 2005 (1), Auburn 2010 (1), USC 2004 (3)
Bottom 3: LSU 2007 (26), Alabama 2011 (26), Florida 2006 (17)
2013 Michigan: 33rd, 2.35
Best Michigan Team: 2010, 3rd, 3.20
On the offensive side, there is a strong correlation between conversion rate and bonus yards among national champions. 6 of the 10 champions were in the top 8 in both categories while the other four champions where 13th or higher in both.
Median Rank: 10th, 59.9% conversion allowed
Average Rank: 12th
Top 3: Alabama 2009, Alabama 2011, Alabama 2012, Florida St 2013 (1)
Bottom 3: Auburn 2010 (52), Florida 2006 (18), LSU 2007 (13)
2013 Michigan: 24th, 68.9%
Best Michigan Team: 2006, 7th, 58.7%
Median Rank: 7.5, 1.75 Bonus Yards per play allowed
Average Rank: 11th
Top 3: Alabama 2011, Florida St 2013 (1), Alabama 2012 (3)
Bottom 3: Auburn 2010 (39), LSU 2007 (20), Alabama 2009 (12)
2013 Michigan: 12th, 1.98
Best Michigan Team: 2013
The last three champions have all been dominant on defense. Only 2012 Alabama wasn’t ranked first in both categories and they were first in conversion rate and third in bonus yards. Prior to that, the last seven champions have been ranked 10th or worse in at least one of the two categories.
Median Rank: 6th, +3.9 points per game
Average Rank: 8th
Runner-Up Average Rank: 11th
Top 3: Florida St 2013 (1), USC 2004, Texas 2005, Florida 2008 (2)
Bottom 3: Florida 2006 (21), Auburn 2010 (20), LSU 2007 (12)
2013 Michigan: 43rd, –0.9
Best Michigan Team: 2006, 4th, +4.5
Six of the top ten finished in the top 7 of field position. Field position is a pretty good approximation for offense, defense and special teams, with turnovers factored in. Other than a surprising 2006 Florida team and the 2010 offense-heavy Auburn teams haven’t been at the top end in overall field position.
While the last five Alabama driven years have pushed the needle toward the defensive side, the ten years as a whole are fairly balanced between offense and defense. One thing is clear, you have to be really good at least one side. Eight of the ten champions ranked in the top 2 in at least one of the five categories.
Five teams won the national championship with a higher rated defense than offense, three with a better offense than defense and two with units evenly matched. Overall the averages are roughly the same, largely thanks to the mediocre to bad Auburn defense from 2010 dragging down the averages.
Half of the teams that went on to win national championships were good at everything. 2004 USC, 2005 Texas, 2008 Florida, 2012 Alabama and 2013 Florida St all ranked in the top 10 in all five categories. 2009-2011 saw champions that were very strong on one side of the ball and 2006-2007 just saw a strange collection of champions. Since 2004 the only team to rank in the top 10 across the board and not win the championship was 2008 USC.
For Michigan, the roster look from Part 1 is a much more compelling case for Michigan’s readiness for the national elites than the on-field one. Only in defensive big play prevention was Michigan remotely at a national elite level last year. The other four categories are all several tiers away from the top teams. This is year probably won’t be a make or break year for the staff, that’s probably two years away barring a major disaster this season, but big strides will have to be made this season. The roster is there on the fringes of elite, 2014 will be the year the results should be ready to come into line, as well.
Here is a radio interview between the 2 men that I found interesting, specifically as Whitlock dominated the conversation and has ties to Hoke. The interview re: Hoke starts around 30:45.
For TL;DTR - Chait is of the view this is a make or break year for Hoke. He believes Hoke runs an antiquated system and is stuck in the early 90s. Big Gardner supporter, thought he was stuck on an island behind awful OL and no running game.
Whitlock has too many views to be concise but he has been confused by the lack of development of UM players that he saw from Hoke at Ball State and SDSU. He also said last year's MSU game was a punch to the face to Brady Hoke, and that perhaps Hoke got comfortable once he got to UM and thought with the talent he got other things would be easier. He disagrees with Chait on Hoke's viewpoints of stuck in old school football. Raises questions of leadership re: Gardner.
- Whitlock - Hoke's strength at Ball State/SDSU was player development - physically and mentally. Would take 2 stars and make them 2.5-3s, would take 3s, make them 4s. Lauds strength coach/program he had at those schools.
- Whitlock - I have not seen any of that Brady Hoke at UM.
- Whitlock - Fears Brady subconsciously lost focus on development due to talent he has been able to get to Michigan.
- Whitlock - Not a big Devin Gardner fan - doesn't handle adversity well. Small throw of Shane under the bus in throwaway comment.
- Chait - Disagree on Gardner.
- Whitlock - Due to QB situation / schedule not sure if work off the field this offseason will be reflected in increased wins but they are now doing the work necessary.
- Whitlock - After ND game last year, I texted Wojo and said they'd be lucky to win 3-4 more games next year due to both the OL and DL being horrible.
- Chait - Hoke has antiquated ideas i.e. spread vs non spread; spread makes you soft, etc. Says OSU game proved otherwise. Hoke wants to go back to early 90s.
- Whitlock - Disagree on those points, but can understand the view.
- Whitlock - Mentioned last year Lewan was not a leader. Did not get that from inside information, just from watching the team. I was proven right despite the hate at the time I received.
- Whitlock - I've surrendered my relationship with Brady Hoke to give him distance so I can do my job.
- Whitlock - Green came in very soft last year. Someone should have seen that and rectified it. I saw this kid dive at a LBs feet rather than block.
- Chait - makes negative comment on Fred Jackson as RB coach in terms of development of RBs.
- Whitlock - doesn't disagree on Jackson without explicitly saying it.
- Chait - defends Gardner more due to summer camps where gurus say he would be a star.
- Whitlock - some truth in that but cites a play vs MSU where Gardner fell 1 yard short vs MSU as a signal of things you can't do. Leaders don't do that.
- Chait - disagrees, and cites Gardner sacrificing body all year.
- Whitlock - agrees to a degree but still thinks Gardner is lacking in key areas. Whitlock compares Devin to Denard, and says he loved Denard's heart ... but had decision making issues.
- Rest of call is fluff and worshiping Beilein.
Here is a nice video on the Early Enrolees. Looks like Canteen has a nice first step and Bryan Mone is going to be a beast in the middle!
Edit: video wont embed. here is the link: http://vimeo.com/90811217
"How much do we actually reinvest in quality of support staff to help develop players that may have a chance to go on and play at the next level, have great college careers, have a chance to win a championship,” Saban said. “Pretty significant budget around here, that if you look at it, it really is invested back in the players."I suppose that sounds pretty altruistic to me.
Because it is a well known fact that the MGoBoard cannot get enough of OMG Uniformz, I present to you Chris Petersen pulling off a spectacular April Fools joke on his players.
YouTube link? LINK
I must say, those uniforms are a special kind of awful.
If someone would embed the video below, I would appreciate it. I don't trust myself to do it correctly.