was also stacked, ron zook couldn't coach a lick but he got all the players there that were the backbone for the national title in '06.
Saban, Meyer, and RichRod
I wanted to do a little research to show the level of ineptness in our passing offense. I didn't intend this to be a case study on how "OMG OUR QBs SUK" but rather to show how we will improve next year.
I wanted to take Rich Rod, who we all know as a good football coach, and compare him with two other highly successful football coaches at major schools in their first years, Nick Saban and Urban Meyer. I wanted to compare QB play amongst all three schools and use that as an overview of how the team did.
Let's take Saban (7-6 in his first year at Alabama), Meyer (9-3 in his first year at Florida), RR (3-9 in his first year at Michigan) and then compare QBs. In Saban's first year he had QB John Parker Wilson, while Florida had QB Chris Leak, and finally Michigan ran with a combo of Steve Threet and Nick Sheridan.
In Meyer's first year Chris Leak:
Threw for 2600+ yards
20TDs to 6INTs
Completing nearly 63% of his passes
He also rushed for 6TDs
Had 4 games where his completion percentage was above 75%
8 games with over 200 passing yards
7 games with multiple TD passes
He only had 2 games where he threw more INTs than TDs and they won 1 of them
Now John Parker Wilson for Saban in 07:
Threw for 2800+ yards
18TDs to 12INTs
Completed 55% of his passes
Rushed for 5TDs
4 games where he completed over 65% of his passes
7 games with 200+ passing yards including multiple 300+
6 games with multiple TD passes
5 games where he threw more INTs than TDs and they won 2 of them
Steve Threet and Nick Sheridan combined:
Threw for 1718 yards
11TDs to 12INTs
Completed 48.8% of their passes
Rushed for 2 TDs
Had 2 legitimate games where they completed over 60% of their passes (By legitimate i mean threw over 20 passes, games like Threet's 7-11 against Toledo or Sheridan's 4-5 against Utah are too small of sample sizes)
Had 2 games where they threw more than 200+ yards
Combined for 3 games with 2 TD passes
Combined for 5 games in which Michigan threw more INTS than TDs and won only 1 of those games
In the 3 games Sheridan threw more than 20 passes his
completion percentage was 24% (32of83).
In the 5 games Threet threw over 20 passes his completion percentage was 49.6% (68of137)
Imagine if instead of John Parker Wilson, Nick Saban has a combo of Threet+Sheridan. Alabama does not win more than 3 games that year.
Next, imagine the same scenario at Florida and Urban Meyer's team does not win more than 5 games.
Now you begin to understand to hole that Rich Rod was in as a result of his quarterbacks. You give 2008 U of M a player akin to Chris Leak, and the team dramatically improves. Think of how close these games were:
Illinois (up until the implosion)
ND (until Sheridan INTfest)
With improved or decent QB play, we could have potentially won each of those games. It may be viewed as somewhat of a stretch for the Illinios game, but if you insert even an underrated QB like Chris Leak at the QB position things begin to look different for UofM in almost all of those games.
Which is why next year if Tate or Shav have even decent seasons, the win total could improve dramatically (3 or so games).
I'm definitely not expecting more than 7 wins next year and would be happy to be bowl eligible, but I'm cautiously optimistic that a combo of healthy Sophomore Threet + Tate/Beav will provide us with decent QB play.
EDIT: I suppose I should mention that all of these numbers were either taken from the MGoBlue Football Statistics Database or ESPN.
Yep. I tried to use the most simplistic argument possible, measuring only the QBs at these respective schools, but when you factor in things like experience, supporting cast, injuries, etc...Things start to look up for UofM and RR concerning the next few years.
is that Coach Rod tried to make things easy on Threet/Sheridan by involving a lot of bubble screens and really short passes and their completion percentages were still that bad.
That's true. But a lot of times the success of those plays depends on good blocking, which obviously wasn't there. The short pass plays were getting blown up all over the place.
Very good point here. I have one question however. What about the offensive line? That is where games are won. I bet Urban and Saban had a more experienced offensive line as well.
bama had all-americans on their offensive line this year. Can you imagine Ortmann being an all american?
I hope Coach Rod ends up on the same level as Meyer and Saban. He's shown he can win in the Big LEAST, but he needs a national championship before he can be compared to these guys.
You know, MichiganDifference, it's uncanny how everything you post is either 1) critical of Michigan/Rich Rod, 2) in praise of MSU, or 3) both. Are you actually a Michigan fan?
Pointing out that Coach Rod hasn't won a NC makes me a "non-fan". Whatever. I've been going to games for more than a decade and actually have a degree from UM, do you?
Lil Bro deserves some credit for their one good season in the last 40 years. Sorry for not being a complete homer like many here.
"I've been going to games for more than a decade and actually have a degree from UM, do you?"
@ The Michigan Difference:
True, about the Nick Saban's National Championship resume, but going into the 2005 season, Meyer had only coached in the MAC and the Mountain West. I think that's at least comparable to the Big East.
This is an incredibly arbitrary look at a few good coaches. What you did was take three coaches who have proven track records and compare a completely arbitrary stat. Why not look at their outside receivers? Their linebackers? Their punters? Of course the other coaches did better than RichRod: They had proven or at least ideal QBs. A better look would be to take a coach that was placed in a similar position who (might've) had a less impressive track record. That would give a better estimate of the job RR did in his first season here.
We all know that the QB situation will be improved next year with proven/ideal players coming into that position. This study proves nothing but what we already know: Good coaches have good seasons with good players.
all on the qbs. You are conveniently ignoring one of the worst defenses in school history. Unless we make major improvements on that sad of the ball, we will continue to struggle.
because if they convert a few more 3rd downs and actually put a drive together that lasts longer than 4 plays, our D doesn't give up 40+ points a game out of sheer exhaustion and frustration.
Purdue game being an exception . . .that is definitely on the D!
While the problems this season cannot be laid solely on the shoulders of the QB position, if UM had decent QB play i think the weaknesses of the defense would not have be as glaring.
With all the three outs for the offense, not only did they not give the defense much rest, but the offense rarely won the field position battle. Just being able to get 1, 2 maybe 3 first downs on a possession can go a long ways in changing the field position over the course of 2-3 possessions.
In addition, the inability of the QB to establish any type of consistent passing game meant the defenses could completely sell out in trying to stop the run. For the most part, if you look at when UM had success moving the ball, it was generally (not always) when the QB was able to hit one or two passes downfield.
With just average quarterback play, I think Michigan would have beaten Toledo and Northwestern, and MAYBE Utah. I think average is the best we can hope for next year.
QB wasn't the issue against ND, and the defense gave away the Illinois, MSU, and Purdue games.
I thought the secondary play was comparable to, or maybe even worse than, the quarterback play this year (judgment possibly clouded by expectations here). Improvement at QB next year will definitely help- probably pick up a couple more wins, depending on the magnitude of the improvement- but until the safeties start tackling, there are going to be a lot of 40+ points-against games.
it cant all be on the qbs. You seemed to agree with that assertion, since you recognize our ineptitude in the secondary. Better qb play might get us a few more wins, and then again if our defense is actually worse it might not. It is well within reason to think we might be worse on defense. Our safeties can be every bit as bad, our DL will be as bad if not worse. Our corners should be better, and our LBs are a coin-toss. I think our success next year hinges just as much on our defense improving as it does on our qb improving.
I'm glad the convo turned to the bigger problem....the line. What good is a great quarterback with no protection; about as valuable as Threet/Sheridan. I did see Threet and Sheridan enough to know they aren't gems, but did they ever have a chance?
Had a conversation with a buddy at work and it was about, "what is the one position our schools are known for?" Hands down, we own the O-line. We have a top 4 active linemen in the NFL that could arguably be top 10 in the whole league...and a bias Wolverine fan may say top 5.
I'm saddened/worried that this may never be the case again. My only hope is that maybe...just maybe we can attract a modern offensive lineman similar to the Denver Broncos (for lack of a better comparison) that is built on speed, quickness, and athleticism as opposed to sheer mass and power.
Wow...that sounds really far-fetched.
I actually thought the oline play when it came to pass blocking was pretty good for most of the year. Conversely, the oline was not very good in the running game at the beginning of the year.
UM only gave up 21 sacks (in 337 pass attempts). Now granted there were a lot of short throws, but at the same time I'd guess that most of the time on 3rd down, it was 3rd and long (7+ yds).
McCoy was sacked 20 times in 375 attempts.
Tebow was sacked 15 times in 268 attempts.
Parker-Wilson was sacked 17 times in 293 attempts.
I think one of the things you didn't mention was the fact that both JPW and Leak were seasoned starters when Meyer and Saban took over. Both Leak and JPW started the year before Saban and Meyer came to Bama and Florida. In both Meyer and Saban's second year, they had QB's who were in at least the 3rd year of starting.
If Beaver or Forcier is the starter next year, they will be in their first year of starting and true freshmen to boot. While they might be an improvement over what we saw this year, I'm guessing we'll still see a young QB making young QB mistakes and trying to get acclimated to the college game.