For anyone who didnt listened to recruiting roundup this morning, Sam Webb stated that he believes that Michigan currently leads for Frost and Flowers and if they picked today, both would pick Michigan. He also stated that it is his opinion that it is down between us and UNC for Tabb's services. Just a little more good news for the holidays.
I'm one of a tiny percent of people in the Gerg undecided camp, but while I was reading about the Temple job I was surprised to see my favorite ESPN analyst Bob Davie listed as one of the finalists. Some of you young bucks may not remember him as anything than a mediocre Notre Dame coach or as the analyst on a second tier SEC game on Sat nights, but back in the day he lead one of the best defenses in the country at Tex A&M before moving on to ND.
Just another fun name to throw around as we come down the home stretch.
Is it just me, or has the quality of what Ritt is writing gone down over the past month or so. He is usually pretty decent for an ESPN guy, but this latest piece has the look of "I have absolutely nothing to write about so I am just going to write words on a page to see what happens."
Basically, he says that he "hopes" that DB is not delaying his decision on RR just to avoid $1.5 million. No opinion as to whether that is what DB is doing. No info. Hell, he doesn't even say why he hopes that this is not the case.
I usually like this guy, but this is the second or third CC piece that he has written that has been completely terrible.
Cowherd interviewed Herbstreit on the OSU thing and Herbie just kind of went on a 5 minute rant on Pryor being a complete tool. It's nothing earth shattering, but it's fun to see some other alumni base bickering.
I am not a stat geek, but it doesn't matter in special teams. An idiot can see that our special teams are a huge liability. Looking at ESPN's rudimentary stats, we have the following rankings for Michigan in 2010:
- Field goals: #120. This is out of 120 teams. What a travesty.
- Kick Returns: #22.
- Punting: #105.
- Extra Points: #17.
- Punt Returns: #107.
These statistics average out to 74. Frankly, I don't think we are #74 in the country in terms of special teams play. In an un-related ESPN article, it mentions the following rubrics for ranking NFL teams:
Football Outsiders evaluates special teams based on five categories -- field goals/extra points, kickoffs, kick returns, punts and punt returns -- and then compares them to the league average to develop leaguewide rankings.
I'm wondering first, if one of you who is statistically minded can do the same thing with Michigan to figure out our ranking in terms of special teams. I'd guess that we are in the bottom quartile. This is a huge detriment, and has somewhat been neglected in our focus on the defense and the defensive secondary.
Second, what are we doing to improve our special teams for next year? As a Chicagoan, the Bears, while not a great team, rank #1 in the NFL in special teams. This allows them to win some games they wouldn't otherwise. And as teams avoid kicking to Hester, the Bears begin many series with great field position.
If our special teams play was much improved, it would help the team out tremendously. The morale of the team must be shot with bad special teams play. Getting the ball to the red zone and scoring nothing is a huge downer. Scoring a TD, and then having your opponent score a TD on the ensuing kickoff (See: tOSU game) takes the wind out of your sails.
I, for one, would rather have an extra kicker than another QB at this point in time. And I don't know how you coach it, but for all areas of both punt/kickoff coverage AND returns to improve is critical.