Stat distortion and other ranking sites aside, on a flyer I compared average Rivals star rankings for all Michigan impact players (recorded any one non-kicking stat) in the Bama game, against Bama’s impact players, tossing in the starting offensive linemen. Unranked walk-ons were given 2 stars. Results may vary but mine was:
UM average ranking: 3.40
UA average ranking: 4.02
Ranking gap of .62
Further, average Rivals stars across entire classes:
2009 – 3.81
2010 – 3.62
2011 – 3.91
2012 – 3.77
2013 – 3.68
Alabama has declined over the last three years.
2009 – 3.59
2010 - 3.19
2011 – 3.25
2012 - 3.56
2013 – 3.61
Michigan has rocketed upwards over the last four years.
Note also comparative gaps between the teams of .43 and .66 in 2010-11, shrinking down to .21 and .07 in 2012-13.
Stats to reinforce that Brady Hoke is moving our program in the right direction, and I for one remain extremely excited about Michigan’s imminent future.
A future with talent and depth at all positions.
A future with the right tools for the MANBAW system.
A future where battle tested juniors and seniors dominate the trenches.
And a future with Brady Hoke as my coach.
I recall that our expectations are neatly laid out before us:
This year and next - Michigan re-establishes itself as THE Big Ten program, wins it's first Big Ten championship since 2004, kindly places Sparty back in the side pocket where he belongs, and gets back to facing down Ohio in Nov/Dec for all the marbles.
2014 and beyond – We will do what no Big Ten team other than Ohio (this means you Sparty) is capable of doing, and that is we will raise our eyes and look nationally to measure ourselves with the Alabamas of the world. We may never achieve an NFL caliber level akin to Alabama’s current product, but I’m OK with that because Brady Hoke is going to get us close, I have no doubt. Very, very close, and it is going to be a blast to watch this program on the rise, and to watch us suit up and compete with the SEC.
In the meantime, I have the luxury to root for two of my most beloved Wolverines of all time – Denard and Kovacs. In a blink they will be gone, so I'm going to enjoy every last game these guys give us this year, win or lose.
Does anyone know enough about the Air Force offense to offer a few thoughts about what they run these days? I thought that they still ran an option, but when I looked it up one one site, they said that Air Force runs a pro style.
My best recollection (hazy on a good day) is that they still run an option for the most part, and when they pass, that it is usually the result of a gadget play of some variety. If I was to go fiurther out on a limb (rarely a good idea), I would have said that their option tends be a veer or an I, as opposed to a wishbone.
Can anyone offer any insight into what we might have to look forward to on Saturday?
(And if it seems like I am really trying hard to think about games that don't involve Alabama, I choose not to address that at this point . . . )
A little help here?
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.