I wonder if the results would translate the same if you looked at aggregate number of starts. Many of the guys on this list may be RS Seniors, but only one year of starting games under their belts. That's a potentially valuable indicator.
Let's Try This Again!!! - Is Our O-Line Really That Young?
I try to do something nice...
Let's face it. The biggest whine around here outside of Fire Borges! Fire Funk! is moaning about how young our offensive line is. But is our o-line really exceptionally young compare to others? In order to figure out exactly how young our offensive line is against other top programs, I went and created a list of all starting offensive line and their class designation.
Trusting fellow that I am, I went to the most prominent depth chart list online - Rivals. I took the info from their nicely formatted charts and posted it here.
Little did I know, Rivals does not have the journalistic integrity of New York Times. Their depth charts were of varying quality, fact-wise.
So, here I am again, starting from scratch and wasting 3 hours of my free time for all you ingrates. I hope you find it educational and somewhat useful.
This time, I went to every OFFICIAL school websites and got the class and high school graduation information from them. If I still have wrong info, well, thems the breaks.
One more thing, some of you on the other diary pointed out how no one else had as young players as we did between the tackles. I think this is a specious argument. Schofield is going to be a guard in NFL, it would be to his benefit to play guard during his senior year. However, the coaches have determined that it is in our best interest to have him outside. If having experience in the middle is more important, Schofield would be playing guard, not tackle.
One more one more thing. I am not implying that having one Frosh and One Junior is the same as having two Sophs. The average (median is useless with such small samples) is used because it gives the best indication of the overall experience level that you can use to compare. The actual class info is posted so you can determine whether or not ours is young in comparison to others in your own criteria.
I went and looked up bios of all 125 starting offensive linemen for AP top 25 teams. As I was browsing through, I noticed that quite a few of the headshots in the bios featured mad flow. Let me share a few of my favorites.
#3. Best Dreads - Cyril Richardson, Baylor
#2. Most Unlikely Flow - Rob Havenstein, Wisconsin
#1. No Explanation Necessary - Max Copeland, Missouri
As before, Freshman = 1, Redshirt Freshman = 1.5, Sophmore = 2, and so on
The average experience for all top 25 teams combined: 3.3
The average experience for the top 10 teams combined: 3.46
The top three teams with OL experience: Ohio (3.9), Oklahoma State (3.9), Oklahoma (3.8)
The teams with average experience of 3.0 or less: Auburn (2.5), South Carolina (2.9), LSU (2.5), Texas A&M (2.8), UCLA (2.2), Notre Dame (3.0), Texas Tech (2.9)
Is Our O-Line Really That Young?
Not really. Yes, they are younger than average at 2.8, but would be 3.3 (exact average of Top 25) if you replace Bosch and Kalis with Bryant and Miller. Even as is, there are about 1/3 of the teams in Top 25 who have equivalent or younger (in a few cases, SIGNIFICANTLY younger) offensive lines. I really don't think lack of experience explains away how Akron and UConn DT's pushed our OL around.
Complete List of Offensive Line Starters in AP Top 25
|Michigan||LT||Taylor Lewan||2009||RS SR||4.5||2.8|
|Michigan||C||Graham Glasgow||2012||RS SO||2.5|
|Michigan||RG||Kyle Kalis||2012||RS FR||1.5|
|Michigan||RT||Michael Schofield||2009||RS SR||4.5|
|Alabama||LG||Arie Kouandjio||2010||RS JR||3.5|
|Alabama||C||Ryan Kelly||2011||RS SO||2.5|
|Alabama||RG||Anthony Steen||2009||RS SR||4.5|
|Alabama||RT||Austin Shepherd||2010||RS JR||3.5|
|FSU||LT||Cameron Erving||2010||RS JR||3.5||3.4|
|FSU||C||Bryan Stork||2009||RS SR||4.5|
|Oregon||LT||Tyler Johnstone||2011||RS SO||2.5||3.4|
|Oregon||LG||Mana Greig||2009||RS SR||4.5|
|Oregon||C||Hroniss Grasu||2010||RS JR||3.5|
|Oregon||RG||Hamani Stevens||2008||RS JR||3.5|
|Ohio||LT||Jack Mewhort||2009||RS SR||4.5||3.9|
|Ohio||C||Corey Linsley||2009||RS SR||4.5|
|Ohio||RG||Marcus Hall||2009||RS SR||4.5|
|Stanford||LG||David Yankey||2010||RS JR||3.5|
|Stanford||C||Khalil wilkes||2009||RS SR||4.5|
|Stanford||RG||Kevin Danser||2009||RS SR||4.5|
|Stanford||RT||Cameron Fleming||2010||RS JR||3.5|
|Baylor||LT||Spencer Drango||2011||RS SO||2.5||3.7|
|Baylor||LG||Cyril Richardson||2009||RS SR||4.5|
|Baylor||C||Stefan Huber||2009||RS SR||4.5|
|Baylor||RG||Desmine Hilliard||2011||RS SO||2.5|
|Baylor||RT||Kelvin Palmer||2009||RS SR||4.5|
|Clemson||LT||Brandon Thomas||2009||RS SR||4.5||3.5|
|Clemson||LG||Kalon Davis||2010||RS JR||3.5|
|Clemson||C||Ryan Norton||2011||RS SO||2.5|
|Clemson||RG||Tyler Shatley||2009||RS SR||4.5|
|Clemson||RT||Shaq Anthony||2011||RS SO||2.5|
|Missouri||LT||Justin Britt||2009||RS SR||4.5||3.4|
|Missouri||LG||Mitch Hall||2011||RS SO||2.5|
|Missouri||RG||Max Copeland||2009||RS SR||4.5|
|Missouri||RT||Mitch Morse||2010||RS JR||3.5|
|Auburn||LT||Greg Robinson||2011||RS SO||2.5||2.5|
|Auburn||LG||Alex Kozan||2012||RS FR||1.5|
|Auburn||RG||Chad Slade||2010||RS JR||3.5|
|Oklahoma||LT||Tyrus Thompson||2010||RS JR||3.5||3.8|
|Oklahoma||LG||Adam Shead||2010||RS JR||3.5|
|Oklahoma||C||Gabe Ikard||2009||RS SR||4.5|
|Oklahoma||RT||Daryl Williams||2010||RS JR||3.5|
|Miami||LG||Jon Feliciano||2010||RS JR||3.5|
|Miami||C||Shane McDermott||2010||RS JR||3.5|
|South Carolina||LT||Corey Robinson||2010||RS JR||3.5||2.9|
|South Carolina||LG||AJ Cann||2010||RS JR||3.5|
|South Carolina||C||Cody Waldrop||2012||RS FR||1.5|
|South Carolina||RG||Ronald Patrick||2010||RS JR||3.5|
|South Carolina||RT||Brandon Shell||2011||RS SO||2.5|
|LSU||C||Elliott Porter||2010||RS JR||3.5|
|LSU||RG||Trai Turner||2011||RS SO||2.5|
|LSU||RT||Jerald Hawkins||2012||RS FR||1.5|
|Oklahoma State||LT||Parker Graham||2009||RS SR||4.5||3.9|
|Oklahoma State||LG||Brandon Webb||2009||RS SR||4.5|
|Oklahoma State||C||Jake Jenkins||2010||RS JR||3.5|
|Oklahoma State||RG||Chris Grisbhy||2010||RS JR||3.5|
|Oklahoma State||RT||Daniel Koenig||2010||RS JR||3.5|
|Texas A&M||LT||Jake Matthews||2010||RS JR||3.5||2.8|
|Texas A&M||LG||Jarvis Harrison||2010||RS JR||3.5|
|Texas A&M||C||Mike Matthews||2012||SO||2|
|Texas A&M||RG||Germain Ifedi||2012||RS FR||1.5|
|Texas A&M||RT||Cedric Ogbuehi||2010||RS JR||3.5|
|Fresno State||LT||Austin Wentworth||2009||RS SR||4.5||3.4|
|Fresno State||LG||Alex Fifita||2012||SO||2|
|Fresno State||C||Lars Bramer||2009||RS SR||4.5|
|Fresno State||RG||Cody Wichmann||2010||RS JR||3.5|
|Fresno State||RT||Justin Northern||2011||RS SO||2.5|
|Michigan State||LT||Donovan Clark||2011||RS SO||2.5||3.3|
|Michigan State||LG||Blake Treadwell||2009||RS SR||4.5|
|Michigan State||C||Travis Jackson||2010||RS JR||3.5|
|Michigan State||RG||Dan France||2009||RS SR||4.5|
|Michigan State||RT||Jack Conklin||2012||RS FR||1.5|
|Northern Illinois||LT||Tyler Loos||2010||RS JR||3.5||3.5|
|Northern Illinois||LG||Aidan Conlon||2011||RS SO||2.5|
|Northern Illinois||C||Andrew Ness||2011||RS SO||2.5|
|Northern Illinois||RG||Jeared Volk||2009||RS SR||4.5|
|Northern Illinois||RT||Matt Krempel||2009||RS SR||4.5|
|UCLA||C||Jake Brendel||2011||RS SO||2.5|
|UCLA||RT||Torian White||2011||RS SO||2.5|
|Louisville||C||Jake Smith||2010||RS JR||3.5|
|Louisville||RG||Kmran Joyer||2009||RS SR||4.5|
|Louisville||RT||Ryan Mack||2011||RS SO||2.5|
|UCF||LT||Torrian Wilson||2010||RS JR||3.5||3.7|
|UCF||C||Joey Grant||2011||RS SO||2.5|
|UCF||RT||Chris Martin||2009||RS SR||4.5|
|Arizona State||LT||Evan Finkenberg||2009||RS SR||4.5||3.7|
|Arizona State||LG||Jamil Douglas||2010||RS JR||3.5|
|Arizona State||C||Kody Koebensky||2009||RS SR||4.5|
|Arizona State||RG||Vi Teofilo||2011||RS SO||2.5|
|Arizona State||RT||Tyler Sulka||2010||RS JR||3.5|
|Notre Dame||LT||Zack Martin||2009||RS SR||4.5||3|
|Notre Dame||LG||Chris Watt||2009||RS SR||4.5|
|Notre Dame||C||Nick Martin||2011||JR||3|
|Notre Dame||RG||Steve Elmer||2013||FR||1|
|Notre Dame||RT||Ronnie Stanley||2012||SO||2|
|Wisconsin||LT||Tyler Marz||2011||RS SO||2.5||3.5|
|Wisconsin||LG||Ryan Groy||2009||RS SR||4.5|
|Wisconsin||C||Dallas Lewallen||2010||RS JR||3.5|
|Wisconsin||RG||Kyle Costigan||2010||RS JR||3.5|
|Wisconsin||RT||Rob Havenstein||2010||RS JR||3.5|
|Texas Tech||LT||Le'Raven Clark||2011||RS SO||2.5||2.9|
|Texas Tech||LG||Alfredo Morales||2011||RS SO||2.5|
|Texas Tech||C||Jared Kaster||2012||SO||2|
|Texas Tech||RG||Beau Carpenter||2010||RS JR||3.5|
|Texas Tech||RT||Rashad Fortenberry||2009||SR||4|
Many of the team websites had that info, but not all. If I get really motivated somehow, I may look into it.
Unfortunately, Hoke apologist will find fault because they rather bury their heads in the sand and not see the obvious.
My question to those apologist is this;
If Saban, Meyer, Miles, Harbaugh, Fisher, Shaw or any other top twenty coach including Dantanio coached this team would they be better? If you're honest, you will answer yes.
So given the rich Michigan tradition in academics and football why should we settle for less by making excuses for not being competitive against good teams? When do we say enough? If DB is happy with this product he really should join the MAC conference where he can be more competitive and not have to face the likes of OSU, Wisconsin, PSU, Iowa and MSU.
Listen up! This will not get better next year. As long as Hoke is coaching Michigan we will finish 4th or 5th in the B1G and say wait until next year.
This will get better next year.
We will have to check back to this post next season. Bookmark it or something. Our line I'll be better, as we'll have at least 4 starters with at least some experience, rather than 2 with a bunch and 3 with none.
I like this. You have succeeded at doing something nice.
And what this tells me is next year there are no excuses because, other than UCLA, many of these teams have lines comprised of all 1.5s - 2.5s and they are competing in the SEC, etc. It would be interesting to throw in yards per carry, tfls and sacks allowed against each teams toughest defensive competition. Also, there are several non-redshirts in the mix, implying freshman playing time...
"many of these teams have lines comprised of all 1.5s - 2.5s"
Many? There's not even one. There probably isn't a single such line in the country, top 25 or otherwise.
I would say if experience is the dominant factor in oline performance we are in bigger trouble than this year as we will be a bigger outlier next year...
kind of right yea. Everyone is a year older and a lot of linemen got playing time this year. Some of these guys that have played should be taking steps forward.
So you went through all that trouble but didn't bother adjusting your methods even after how many times it was explained to you that the average is meaningless?
The average person has half a penis. That's not useful information. An offensive line consisting of 2 5th-year seniors and 3 high school kids grabbed from the McDonalds down the street would show up as being of average experience using your chosen methods.
But all that having been said, I'll agree that you've established that on average, M's OL isn't terribly young. I will now point out that the problem with M's OL was never claimed to be it's average inexperience. The problem is the number of individual players on the OL and in the 2 deep who are inexperienced.
I agree that coaching plays a big role here, but this whole thing seems like a bit of a straw man. I don't think anyone is unaware that M's tackles are seniors. They aren't generally considered to be the problem.
It's easy to manipulate data to get the result you want. What you've done here is kind of like this: Say an offense is struggling due to the play of its freshman QB. You, seeking to debunk the notion that inexperience is the issue, make a big table demonstrating that if you average the QBs experience with that of the senior RB and FB, you get a backfield that's not at all inexperienced relative to other teams. Therefore, the issue isn't inexperience. We refer to the OL as a unit, but it really is 5 different positions. 3 of those positions lack experience. That's what some are claiming to be a big problem for Michigan.
First, two RS SR's with three FR would be 2.4, nowhere near average.
Second, there are (more than one) schools in Top 25 with three positions as young as ours.
The complete data is included. You can apply whatever method you want...
I didn't find a single school in the table with any 3 starting OL as young as M's starting interior. Help me out?
Again, "starting interior" is a bogus argument. We hve a fifth year senior who will be playing guard in NFL. If having an experienced guy in the interior is so important, why are we leaving him at tackle?
Do you seriously believe that we can have a competent line just by swapping Schofield to interior?
OL is a weakest link unit. Lewan owning his guy doesn't do squat at preventing a LB from ripping through Bosch like he's not there.
To answer your question about Schofield... no, but because that woudl leave the edge more vulnerable, not because it doesn't make the interior better.
Again, "starting interior" is a bogus argument. We hve a fifth year senior who will be playing guard in NFL. If having an experienced guy in the interior is so important, why are we leaving him at tackle?
Uh . . . you do realize that tackle and guard/center are very different, right? They have very different responsibilities. That Lewan is an excellent tackle does not at all mean that he would make a great guard.
There are more than one tackle on the line...
Pretty sure he's talking about Schofield, who after all has started at guard in the past. I don't know why he's so sure he'll be moved back to guard in the pros, but he would have been a plausible option there if a replacement could have been found at RT.
But that wouldn't have been any of the five apparently thought best at the start of the season. Kalis, Glasgow and Miller aren't tackles. It would have had to be Magnuson. Would we have been happy to see Lewan-Glasgow-Miller-Schofield-Magnuson? (Or, worse, no Glasgow, which maybe people would have been happier about at the time but no one would have ever found out he can actually play.)
I LOVE what you've done here. LOVE.
But Schofield will not be a guard in the NFL unless he can't cut it at tackle. Guys with his frame are not drafted/signed to be guards. I'd argue that the main reason he is playing tackle is as a reward for his services. He is given this year as a showcase for NFL scouts. This happens a lot.
I think this exercise was just a quick and dirty answer to everone asking "Are there other o-lines with inexeperience?", so there are obvious holes. Looking at your question though, I did yet another very quick and dirty analysis - I averaged the 3 youngest players on each o-line. I know this is just reducing sample size even more, but just for a little high level perspective, Michigan then became dead last with 1.66. UCLA was the only other place under 2 at 1.83. So Michigan may not have the youngest average o-line, but no one (at least in the top 25) is starting 3 guys as young as we are, which be just as if not more important that the "average" experience.
Yep. That's the point I was getting at.
But it is also of our own choosing. You put Miller and Bryant in there and we are 2.3. Looking at all the rosters, starting a younger oline player over a more experienced player (not a walk-on) is very rare. What is it about our player development that we are going this route?
Bryant is hurt; Miller isn't strong enough.
That's a small sample size that doesn't really allow much in the way of conclusions regarding player development. But that brings up the most important point: we did not recruit offensive linemen in sufficient numbers to be able to compensate for the inevitable attrition.
We fired the guys responsible for that. I'm not sure what else we can do about it.
BLAHBLAHBLAHBLAH - I CAN'T HEAR YOU - OUR OFFENSIVE LINE IS TOO YOUNG AND THAT IS THE PROBLEM AND THINGS WILL ALL BE BETTER NEXT YEAR YES THEY WILL - BLAHBLAHBLAHBLAH
Can't say it any better.
You're trying to make an intellectual exercise out of something that's straightforward. Young OLs have always existed, and its not normal for them to give up -50 yards rushing.
has been, prove it. Show me the data where a top team has an offensive line as young and inexperienced as our and is more sucessful against real competition.
And now they parse and obfuscate ...
If you just compare RB rushing yards, I bet you almost everyone above have better numbers...
Yes, but those inexperienced o-lines beat out more available experienced players. There's a big difference between having an redshirt freshman because he beat out juniors and seniors, versus having one because there arent any juniors and seniors.
The other issue with this plot is it should be using a harmonic mean, not an arithmetic one. If you insulate one part of your house really well, but not the other, your house is still going to be cold.
The more unsettling part for me is we have juniors, two of them, they played this year, and we benched them for sophomores, they played this year and we benched them for walk ons, one walk on got hurt and we're playing a freshman. It's too early in most of those guys careers too say that the benched kids are a bust, but it seems that the coaches can't get serviceable performance from nearly half our depth chart.
And our staff deserves some blame for that. But to say that inexperience isn't a huge factor is to ignore both reality and the data presented in this very piece.
I don't think anyone is saying that we should be satisfied with our line's performance, but pretending inexperience isn't a big part of the problem is pretty specious reasoning.
No one is saying inexperience isn't a significant factor in our O-line struggles.
What some of us are saying is that inexperience alone doesn't account for how bad they are. It's a mix of inexperience, bad game planning, and poor development on the part of our coaches.
If it was just inexperience, shouldn't they be getting at least slightly better? They've seen 8 games worth of snaps, although not entirely because of the confusing decision to shuffle them around constantly...
Look at Alabama, their line played terrible to open the season...but they got better
Or last year's OSU team, they started a freaking converted TE at left tackle! He was hot garbage at the beginning of the season and he got drafted by the end of the season!
Why have none of the interior lineman shown even the slightest improvement? 8 games in and they still have no idea what they're doing. I don't expect them to be all americans, but it's an important season for the team to grow, and they aren't doing any growing.
People like to complain about the 2012 Michigan OL, because they weren't very good at getting push, mostly because they weren't built for that, they were built to move and seal in a zone blocking scheme. But they, fo rthe most part, were very consistent in doing their assignments and getting to their targets. They were smart, they knew what they were supposed to do and got in position to do it, they just weren't good enough (for whatever reason) to do a whole lot more than that.
Now you take OSU's converted TE (who had been a blocking TE and had worked at OT for quite a bit if I'm not mistaken), who has the physical gifts and knows the blocking system and how to block, but just needs to get his feet wet at the position in real time. I'm sure early in the season things were moving a bit quick for him, but he was able to quickly adapt because he had been playing at this level for some time and already knew quite well what his assignments and techniques were.
Same can be said for Alabama's line. Experienced players as far as years. They likely know what their assignments are and how their techniques are supposed to be. But they needed some game time experience to get their feet wet to get up to speed. So both of those examples are examples of players that have, for the most part, their position figured out, they are just getting up to speed. Michigan's youth is in a bit different position, where they are still learning to consistently utilize their technique, where they are still learning hwo to react to different looks and fronts and stunts, and now they're also trying to do it at game speed. It can be a bit overwelming, no doubt.
I think that is what you are saying. You shouldn't fault this for being what it isn't.
Wow, thanks. I pulled the same Rivals depth chart info to answer someone's taunt about SHOWMEYOUNGERTEAMS the other day and was accused of making information up by M-Wolverine and some other head-in-sand denier. You've gone a step further.
The reality is that there is no excuse other than coaching for the ridiculously bad play of our OL. Other teams start underclass men all over the field all the time, including U-M at various points in time. That shouldn't equal the historical absurdity of what we're seeing this year.
It's hard for some of the people who were most ardent that RR be removed and that Hoke was the answer, like M-Wolverine and like myself. We really wanted to believe that this regime was bulletproof, but they're proving to be just a mediocre-to-good staff. Hard to swallow, but better to have your eyes open.
I am NOT saying that this is the fault of the coaching. I am not not saying that either.
All I am saying is that our offensive line experience is not some outlier. It is below average, but that is about it.
Whether our poor performance is due to bad coaching or due to just bad players or something else, I don't proclaim to know. I just know saying "they are young" doesn't do it.
I understand you're not making that next inference about coaching. I'm comfortable making it, though. We have good players. Nine or ten have been tried on the OL this year. Too much of a coincidence that all of our young guys are historically bad.
I disagree, yes we have a young OL - but we also have young WALK-ON OL playing. Do you agree that OL take time to develop? These guys aren't getting the benefit of watching tape their FR, SO years and getting all of those reps in practice. They're doing it in game and we're seeing the result.
You can't coach every possible in game scenario. This year is absolutely a "growing pains" year. Next year will definitely be the telling year if this coaching staff can develop these young OL.
I think the point here is other teams in the top 25 have the same youth with the same lack of "watching tape", and appear to be having more success.
So my question to you is: since age and experience are not the only factor, what are the other variables that are causing us more pain? Conditioning, coaching, scheme, highly touted recruits being busts, what?
To answer your question, the more pain would be we're younger than the others and include a walk-on. We have a true freshman, a RS Freshman and a RS SO Walk-on.
Let's use Auburn for example, since they're technically less-experienced than us, according to the average.
LT - Greg Robinson - RS SO - 4 star to Rivals
LG - Alex Kozan - RS FR - 4 star to Rivals
C - Reese Dismukes - JR - 4 star to Rivals
RG - Chad Slade - RS JR - 3 star to Rivals
RT - Patrick Miller - SO - 4 star to Rivals
With Auburn, there are 0 walk-ons, all highly rated recruits and the one three star is a RS JR. Also, the interior is where most experience is, which is opposite of Michigan.
There are so many factors that go into it... The coaches are probably trying to save as many redshirts as possible while still trying to get the best oline out there but the experience just isn't there.
Saving redshirts is good of course but I doubt the calculation even goes that far. Linemen able to play as true freshmen are very, very rare. Except for the two tire-fire lines, the only one on the list above is Steve Elmer.
It's great if you get that one guy, but you can't expect him.
Why is Alex Kozan better than Magnuson and Kalis?
This makes me think that Auburn has a superior line coach, as they are able to start a 3-star RS JR (Similar to Miller) and 4-star RS FR (similar to Kalis and Magnuson).
Because in all the world there was likely to be somebody somewhere that was?
This isn't intended to be a serious argument, is it?
Is Alex Kozan really that much better than Kyle Kalis? Literally no expert thought so coming out of high school. Magnuson? Braden?
Why is Auburn able to translate a RSFR into a capable starter? Look at the list: There are 7 players who are RSFR or Freshmen starting in the top 25 outside of Kalis. Michigan pulled some of the best offensive line recruits in the country two years ago and none of them are capable of playing well.
So that's 8 out of what?... 125?
A clue perhaps?
How many are playing well? How many are playing out of necessity? Not that it matters too much. Pretty sure the first line says it all.
How do we know that he's not the culprit much of the time when Auburn has unsuccessful run plays, or mistakes in pass protection? We've seen that to be the case the vast majority of the time with Michigan. Perhaps we should see if Kozan is making a similar amount of mistakes in his own right. The fact that it's only him instead of multiple players of his experience playing maybe has something to do with things.
Hard to tell why no one has pointed out a big difference between 2012 Auburn and 2013 Auburn, and the significant improvement they have made: they brought in excellent offensive coaches (Malzahn and his OL coach) in 2013. Unfortunately, it looks like we will be saddled with Borges at a minimum for next year, and probably Funk and Wellman as well. Anyone who is familiar with Borges' history, frankly, cannot be optimistic about that fact. (E.g., his best year at Auburn was his first, when he inherited senior, first round NFL talents that others had developed for years. As time progressed, his offenses regressed.) In fact, the trajectory of his Auburn offenses over time and his Michigan offenses over time is more similar than we would like to admit.
Youth is not the only factor, but to say that it isn't a factor is pretty ignorant.
Thanks for the accurate data. We are definitely younger, and we are SUPER-ULTRA-MEGA-HYPER-TETRA-UBER young in the middle, where our problems lie.
I'm not sure this does anything other than reinforce how youth can negatively impact performance.
Additionally, youth is our only option. The other teams on here (with the notable exception of UCLA) that have youth on their line are teams that had good upperclassmen as options, but the youth was so good they passed them.
At U-M, we have a grand total of FIVE scholarship OL with more experience than RS Frosh: Lewan, Schofield, Miller, Bryant, and Glasgow. Miller was beaten-out by Glasgow, a former walk-on. Bryant has never been healthy.
Facts are stubborn things, and the RR era badly hurt our O-Line stock--the position that uses redshirts most frequently and values experience the most in college football.
I'm not excusing our coaching; we need to be better and that always falls to the coaches. But we are, undoubtedly, an extremely young and thin group up front still, and that does not bode well for us.
You forgot Burzynski.
Of our 16 offensive linemen, there are six with non-freshmen eligibility. Of those, only 3 are juniors/seniors.
Unfortunately there will only be 4 juniors + seniors next year. Worse than saying "better luck next year" is saying "baseless optimism next year; better luck in 2015."
If looking at the data gives you that conclusion, I don't think you are reading it right.