I did not make this headline up
Is this an excuse to post a picture of the bowl's mascot? Yes.
Toledo vs Air Force at 4:30 in The Military Bowl presented by Northrup Grumman. Hey, it can't be as poorly played as the Belk Bowl, right?
We all know that Hoke has tried to emphasize time of possession (TOP) this season, as evidenced by his comments along the lines of "the defense plays best when they're on the sideline." So, I thought I'd take a look at the TOP numbers from this year and compare them to last year, to see if Hoke has achieved what he wanted to.
Before I get into it though, a few clarifications:
- This isn't meant to spark a debate about whether or not you think TOP is an important statistic. While that is an interesting debate, the level of importance of TOP as a stat is irrelevant right now, since I'm just trying to see how well Hoke has achieved his goal.
- This isn't meant to be a back-handed jab against RR, either. I am only comparing this year's TOP numbers to last year's to see the progression from one year to the next. Again, Hoke has made it a point of emphasis to try to control the ball on offense, and I'm just trying to see if he's achieved that goal.
- I am certainly not a math wiz, so I may be off by a few seconds in some of my calculations. I converted the "minutes:seconds" format listed in the box scores into seconds, so that I could more easily figure out totals and averages, and then converted the seconds back into minutes:seconds format to make the numbers more readable; things may have gotten jumbled in the process. If you would like to see a table with all of the numbers, I can provide that.
- My sources were ESPN's boxscores for this year, and the boxscores on MGoBlue.com for last year.
Without further ado, here's the overview:
In 13 games (I included the Gator Bowl and UMass), there were a total of 780 minutes played. Of those 780 minutes, Michigan's offense possessed the ball for 353 minutes and 14 seconds, or roughly 45% of the time. The most our offense possessed the ball in a single game was 36:52, in our opener against UConn. The least we possessed the ball in a single game was 18:13, in our win over Indiana.
As an aside, our second-lowest single game TOP came against UMass at 22:22, which is why I didn't throw out that game. Games against FCS teams typically get thrown out because they would schew things in our favor; this actually does the opposite.
Our average TOP per game was 27 minutes and 20 seconds.
In 12 games played so far, there have been a total of 703 minutes and 33 seconds played (keep in mind the WMU game didn't go the full 60 minutes. They only played for 43 minutes and 33 seconds). Of that time, Michigan's offense has possessed the ball for 384 minutes and 47 seconds, or roughly 55% of the time. The most our offense possessed the ball in a single game was 41:13, against Nebraska. The least we possessed the ball in a single game (not counting WMU) was 22:59, against Notre Dame. Our average TOP per game, not including WMU, is 33:35. If you include the WMU game, our average per game comes out to 31:10.
What does this mean?
Well, basically that Brady Hoke came out and accomplished one of the things he wanted to accomplish. Our offense increased their total TOP by 10%, which can't be a bad thing. Other than that, I don't think it really means much at all. Just another reason for Hoke and his staff to slap each other on the back and say "Good job."
What say the rest of ye?
Mods feel free to fold this into the other thread, but I think this has potentially huge implications for ND that deserve its own discussion.
Every year going back to 2007, Notre Dame has played five or six regular season games against B1G and Pac 12 teams. With B1G moving to a 9 game conference schedule (the Pac 12 already has one) and the apparent new scheduling agreement between the two conferences there appears to be little room left for scheduling Notre Dame. How can a revenue conscious AD justify locking themselves into an 11th home and home agreement even for the short term?
Without the B1G and Pac 12 as scheduling partners, Notre Dame will be forced to try and replace up to half of its schedule. Given the strictures of other conferences schedules it may be impossible for Notre Dame to fill out a BCS caliber slate. The end game may very well be that Notre Dame is forced to finally join a conference. A Machiavellian move by Delaney indeed.
Can schools host recruits or official visits at neutral location games?
Recently Texas A&M and Missouri announced they'd forgo their scheduled meetings at Cowboy Stadium and play a home-home series instead once they enter the SEC next season. One of the reasons they gave was the inability to bring recruits to the games. Since Michigan will be playing Alabama at Cowboy Stadium next year I wondered if this was true for us and we couldn't invite recruits to such a big venue too. Also frequently mentioned in the new B1G-Pac12 agreement was the idea of games being played at area Pro stadiums instead of at either teams home stadium. While teams might be reluctant to schedule a 1 for 1 series it would seem to be a huge drawback to not be able to recruit at those marquee events. Can recruits attend the Red River Rivalry? What's the rule?
As UM fans we have grown up under the mantra of toughness and hard work as taught to us by Bo Schembechler. It has been very good to us, but I thought it interesting when I heard about Oklahoma St only using half of their alloted practice time during the year. It made no sense to me and I thought it must have been a mistake but this latest article seems to indicate the same thing and it also says they never tackle to the ground. Obviously Oklahoma St is out performing their talent so it has worked for them, but it just seems so crazy.
I give him credit for out of the box thinking, but I won't say he's built a better mouse trap until he fixes that defense. Maybe offense works with minimal hitting, but defense doesn't? I don't know and we won't be finding out at Michigan anytime soon. I think Heiko should ask Hoke if he thinks tackling is a waste of time.
What do you make of this?