I noticed this too and seriously disliked it.
One little thing
What a win! No question and exciting game and a great victory for our Wolverines. I saw one thing that really bothered me. In fact I've seen this consistently in the college game the past few years but it was the first time I've seen Michigan do it this year.
Just after recovering a Wisconsin fumble with slightly less than 11 minutes to go in the 1st half, Michigan ran an option play to their left. Threet fumbled the ball, Wisco recovered, but it was overturned as the guy was out of bounds. That's not what bothered me. If you look pre-snap, you'll notice that Michigan has twins right, but both WR's are on the LOS. That means that the "slot" guy is basically a tackle as he's not allowed to go out for a pass.
It seems like a simple thing. If you're running left, it doesn't really matter who's eligible right. Except, IT DOES. Some teams consistently align themselves like this to give the receivers a slightly better angle on the block. But, an asute and alert defender will recognize this and disregard the covered slot man as a receiving threat. This is can be especially damaging when a team is consistenly covering "slot" guys with LBs. The extra step or two they can cheat to the inside can make a huge difference in run support. In the past three years, I've seen this type of alignment maybe 20 times from college teams and on 19 or the 20 plays, they've run the ball. Most offenses, especially the spread option, work when the defense isn't sure what's coming. This was one time when a defender paying attention would know what's coming. I really hope we don't see this alignment again. Maybe it was just a careless mistake.
This would allow the defense to ignore the receiving threat of the slot guy. If this is a legal formation, there must be one player off the LOS who would ordinarily be on the LOS. I am having trouble picturing who this is. If both receivers are off the LOS on the other side, we have a tackle eligible situation. Is it possible to post a photo of this formation?
I can see what you guys are saying, and it might be just a mistake by one of the receivers. But as a defender, especially a college level guy, you have a lot of stuff to pay attention to, and it would be very difficult to notice this on a guy who is split out, because you would have to notice where he is as well as the other receiver. If the offense is running off plays quickly, it would be impressive for the LB to notice this, and be able to confidently adjust accordingly.
I see you are fairly new around these parts. Keep posting, you know your stuff.
I don't know the Michigan(richrod) spread offense very well, but I am pretty familiar with Navy's option attack. They run a formation similar to this, and it is usually used to get the defense in an unfamiliar alignment and/or get a numbers advantage. I believe the end on the opposite side from the covered WR then becomes eligible, and the defense must account for that. Any over alignment by the defense makes them vulnerable particularly to option plays.
1) It's not illegal to have MORE than seven men on the LOS. It's only illegal to have LESS than seven men on the LOS. 2) The "end over" formation is not the world's most horrible thing. It may have been a mistake by the slot guy. As long as it's a run, it won't be a penalty. 3) Players on the field won't necessarily notice the "end over" formation because it's difficult to see. However, coaches/players on the sideline will almost always notice and relay the info to anyone who can hear, probably the nearside cornerback, safety, linebacker, etc. 4) Being "on" or "off" the LOS is really only a difference of a foot or so. When you're lined up in open space, like at the WR position, it doesn't really change the angle of your blocking. When you have to run 10 yards to crack back on a LB or whatever, that one foot makes less and less difference the farther you go. It's not like a lineman, who loses significant ground if he's too far off the ball.
if one of the outside guys moves off the line, it's an illegal formation, since there are 2 backs and no TE.
in the fiesta bowl, wvu lined up in some unbalanced formations and then would run to the weak side, they caught oklahoma cheating on it for one of the big devine runs i think.
Thanks for the pic dakotapalm - it illustrates that bsb2002 is right - that slot guy (I think it's Mathews) would have caused a penalty if he lined up in the backfield. The right tackle is actually eligible in this formation.
I suppose it tests the defense on proper alignment, but it ain't like Schilling is going out for a pass, so to me, you've basically removed one threat for which the defense must account. If you detect a flaw in the defensive alignment where they no longer have a contain as a DB flips to the strong side, then maybe your not-as-slow-as-he-looks QB can lope down the sideline for 10 yards before fumbling.