days until this dynamic duo remind this guy:
where's The Threat when they take on CMU.
Was a bit bored and was looking at some stats for the ND and MSU defenses of 2012 on ncaa.com as we always hear how superior they were and now hear how superior they will be in 2013, and I came upon a realization. I think most of us (myself being guilty) underestimate statistically how nice of a defense we had. I think most of us are in awe of the 2011 v 2010 transformation with essentially the same crew, but without a ton of highly rated players (for various) reasons including the loss of the best corner Michigan had some very impressive stats, inclusive of a beatdown by Alabama.
Scoring defense: 19.85 ppg, 20th in the nation. Take out the non BCS teams and its 18th. (ND 2, MSU 9). Fun fact: Rutgers was 4th.
320 ypg, 13th in the nation. One non BCS ahead. (ND 7, MSU 4). Rutgers again impressive at #10, albeit its Big East football.
Passing defense 5th in the country, but rushing defense was the one negative at 51st in the country.
Maybe it also was the lack of splash plays - 78th in the country in sacks, 51st in fumbles recovered, so we did not see the "sexy" plays week to week or the scoring plays by the defense. But this team played a very solid brand of fundamental defense (which we all knew) that created perhaps a greater sum of parts than individual pieces - esp. considering some of the talent gaps versus a vintage Michigan team. Also keep in mind this team faced the #1, #2, and #3 teams of 2012.
I know stats are not everything and it needs to pass a sight test but the stats were generally better than I assumed and not very far from those "elite defenses". Maybe people need to ask "how are we going to score on this Michigan defense" more often... This makes me even more excited for what we will see in the next half decade with the talent influx coming in. But let me be the first to say while I was so very impressed with Mattison, I did not realize just how well the defense was doing last year, helping to offset some of the hijinks we had from time to time on offense.
So I got sucked into fantasy football yet again, and I am too much of a stats geek to just pick my team blindly, so I am scanning the ESPN free advice columns. Then I see this:
Michael Cox, RB, New York Giants: An unheralded kid from UMass goes to the Giants. How can it not work, eh, Victor Cruz fans? Listen, Cox still has time to get himself cut from New York's roster. He's a rookie compensatory seventh-rounder on a squad with two clear starters, David Wilson and Andre Brown. Plus Cox's collegiate numbers frankly stunk; he transferred from Michigan and played at UMass only in his senior year, averaging 3.6 yards per carry. But realize that UMass was severely overmatched in its first season in FBS. Cox was a terrific schoolboy runner in Massachusetts and runs a 4.5 40 at 220 pounds. I put Andre Brown on this list three years ago, and I see a lot of Brown in Cox. Even if Da'Rel Scott beats out Cox, I think the kid has an NFL future.
At least this guy put Cox first in the list of rediculous bullshit "sleeper" picks so I could move on to more worthy columns. I wish Michael all the best, but wow.
Edit: Sorry, meant to insert this link earlier - http://espn.go.com/fantasy/football/story/_/page/nfldk2k13_superdeepsleepers/super-deep-sleepers-watch-include-kenjon-barner-patrick-edwards-jermaine-kearse
How long should we wait for this guy?
There is constant chatter on this board and in the media about how freshmen RBs should be able to contribute right away. The basic tenet of this belief is that if a RB is athletic and is any good, he'll be able to produce right away. Sure, he might not have the nuances of pass protection and route running down, but he should at least be able to pick-up some yards on running downs as a true freshman. Guys like T.J. Yeldon make this easy to believe.
So, I decided to find out how true this is. If you suck as a freshman RB, are you likely to be any good at any point in your career? If Derrick Green doesn't contribute significantly this season, should we ? Going even further, is Rawls a lost cause at this point? Hayes?
Having a little less time than I'd like to do a thorough examination of the data, I used a somewhat limited sample: the top 40 RBs in terms of yards/game from 2012. I broke seasons into three categories: Primary starter (PS), significant back-up (SB), and insignificant season (IS).
These categories are actually surprisingly simple to define: Primary starters are obvious, and guys that are significant contributors at the position are equally easy to separate from the dudes that get trash-time and spot carries. Insignificant seasons also include redshirts, but not medical redshirts. I also took out JUCOs.
Here are the top 40 RBs from 2012 (NOT in order of production):
|2||1||0||Le'Veon Bell||Mich St||JR|
|2||1||0||Joseph Randle||Okla St||JR|
|2||0||0||Jahwan Edwards||Ball State||SO|
|1||0||0||Kenneth Dixon||La Tech||FR|
|2||0||1||Giovani Bernard||N Carolina||SO|
|1||2||1||Kerwynn Williams||Utah State||SR|
|3||0||1||Robbie Rouse||Fresno St||SR|
|1||1||1||Dri Archer||Kent State||JR|
|1||1||1||Carlos Hyde||Ohio State||JR|
|1||0||2||Antonio Andrews||Western Ky||JR|
|1||1||2||Kasey Carrier||New Mexico||JR|
|1||1||2||D.J. Harper||Boise St||SR|
|1||0||3||Zurlon Tipton||C Mich||JR|
|1||0||3||Cody Getz||Air Force||SR|
I have to admit, I was pretty surprised. Only 15 (37.5%) avoided having insignificant or redshirt seasons their first year on campus. And only six (15%) were the primary starters as true freshman, leaving nine (22.5%) as back-ups. That means the vast majority, 25 players (62.5%) spent at least one year doing nothing or next-to-nothing. Of those 25, only four (10%) went from insignificance to starting in one season. The rest (21, 52.5%) spent at least two years developing before becoming starters. And nearly as many (14, 35%) spent multiple years doing almost nothing as jumped right in as contributors (PS or SB) in their true freshmen campaigns. Heck, even Eddie Lacy redshirted.
This is admittedly a small sample size, but it's enough to draw some basic conclusisons:
- Plenty of talented RBs have insignificant seasons; many have more than one
- RARELY does a freshman RB burst onto the scene as a primary starter
- About half of these guys spend at least two years developing before they start
- The experts are idiots (of course, I must admit that I believed the "if they're any good they'll contribute as true freshmen stuff before I looked at it)
And some Michigan-specific conclusions:
- If Green and/or Smith doesn't contribute significantly this year, he's unlikely to start next year
- We shouldn't worry if Green and/or Smith doesn't contribute significantly this year
- Hope is not lost for Hayes, Johnson, or even Rawls.
It's worth noting that a few of the guys that spent multiple seasons developing turned out to be pretty darn good players. Guys like Eddie Lacy, Venric Mark, Carlos Hyde, Kenjon Barner, and Stefphon Jefferson all spent at least a couple seasons as insignificant contributors. On the flipside of that coin, lots of the best talent contributed early: Ka'Deem Carey, Le'Veon Bell, Montee Ball, Johnathan Franklin, and Todd Gurley.
Basically, we don't need to worry if Green and Smith don't contribute this year. It's definitely a good sign if they do, but there are much better things to be concerned about (S, OG, OC, and now WR) in 2013.
Since I can't embed, below you'll find Denard Every Carry/Catch vs. the Jets. Someone was asking about Craig Roh's sack last week, someone on the interwebs (who, looking at the username, is probably related to Craig), took a video of it happening on their TV.
Those will be the only two videos for this week. Demens didn't have any tackles in his game, I wasn't going to cut BWC up again, since he likely didn't do anything that different from last week. Roh didn't have any tackles/sacks in this past game vs. the Eagles. Roundtree had 1 catch for 18 yards, and supposedly a funny segment in Hard Knocks making fun of former USC S Taylor Mays. If I find it, I'll add it to the thread.
EDIT: Cut up Roundtree as Mays. Pretty funny stuff.
USC is disputing the section of John U Bacon's Fourth and Long book which deals with the USC "recruitment" of Silas Redd when he decided to leave Penn State. The story in the book mentioned that Redd flew to LA on a private jet and Snoop Dog/Lion (whatever he was named at that point) picked him up at the airport and drove him to campus.
USC claims that Lane Kiffen picked up Redd at the airport after he flew commercial.
Someone's got some splainin' to do and I'm guessing it isn't Bacon (ummm. Bacon).