"The biggest thing (is) you can't be changing defenses every year," Carr said on the Sports Pen on ESPN 970-AM. "The players need to learn a system, and you can't learn a system if you're changing every year. (Defensive coordinator Greg Mattison's) brought in the 4-3 defense, and I think we've got to recruit some bigger players."
Rodriguez's offensive and defensive systems were predicated on smaller, quicker players. Many questioned the wisdom of using those players in the Big Ten, where tradition (and weather) generally dictates the use of bigger, stronger players.
"We've been a very, very small team for the last three years," Carr said. "In this conference, to play championship football, you need big people because you're gonna play against big people almost every single week. And when you're a much smaller team, you're gonna wear down, you're gonna get beat up, and you're not gonna be able to finish a season.
"In this conference, it's at the end of the season that you have to be strong if you're going to do the types of things and have the kind of seasons that we've always aspired to have here."
Click here to read the full article: http://www.mlive.com/wolverines/index.ssf/2011/05/lloyd_carr_on_espn_970...
[Ed (Misopogon): Bumped to diary for general diary-worthiness]
If, like me, you've heard "So and so is too small for the Big Ten" and wondered if that statement could be supported by data, you might find the following information interesting.
At the expense of some tedious data entry and time, I looked at the depth charts on the Rivals site for teams from several conferences. Shown here are the average weights for the O- and D-lines. (I thought those would be a reasonable proxy for overall team size.)
- Notice that our conference doesn't have the biggest offensive linemen. That would be the SEC.
- Our defensive linemen are noticeably bigger than those of other conferences (SEC excepted). I suppose that might be a reflection of the SMASHMOUTH football favored by Wisconsin, MSU, et al. Not sure, though...
- You have to go to the Sun Belt (!) conference to get relatively small offensive linemen. The Mountain West and WAC conferences are right there with the big boys.
Anyway, the numbers show that the Big Ten isn't anything special size-wise.
Another of my favorite myths or areas of silliness is this remark, which you often hear in pre-game shows: "X's offensive line outweighs Y's defensive line by Z pounds!!!" Of course it does. Any reasonable person understands that offensive linemen have a bigger average size. For the conferences, the average difference ranged from 21.9 to 35.6 pounds. Why state the obvious?
While we're on the subject of myths, one other thing:
The Badgers have just four offensive linemen in the NFL.
For all the glowing praise that Wisconsin's trained mastadons get, you'd think they'd have more players at those positions in the NFL. Four? Not overly impressive ...
The last few years it seems Rich Rod has this stigma attached that he gets the small ninja slot guys for his offense. I was just looking at Rivals team commitment page and we only have 4 guys under 6 foot and even they are all listed at 5' 10". Is this merely a coincidence or a sign of good things to come (as far as getting better athletes; people more suited for their position)?
Watching the M Dline getting pushed around by ND along with a modest pass rush and Rich's comment about "eating peanuts off our heads", was anyone surprised there was not a Will sighting? Anyone else concerned about future games with teams like Wisconsin? I'm guessing they may bring Will along but it looked like we were having problems with their size.