This is a smart strategy that would increase the likelihood of a win. It won't be adopted because coaches are risk-averse. It will be pooh-poohed by MGoDenizens because it goes against conventional wisdom and they prefer to "play tough defense" and "keep the defense's spirits up" instead of considering good ideas.
Dear RR; For the love of god, pls ONSIDE KICK!
It would probably go out of bounds?
I close my eyes whenever the special teams are on the field. Its safer that way.
Our kickers have enough trouble keeping it in-bounds, let alone doing what's required for a successful onside.
There were some MGoBlog reader's campaigning for onside kicks every kick behind me at the game. Was that you Blue Seoul?
i'm 10,000 km away, ㅜㅜ
Couple of thoughts:
- I think RR does need to amp up the agressiveness just a bit. We did go for it on 4th a few times, but on that 3rd and 3 play where the pass bounced off of Webb's hands (just before Broekhuizen missed the FG), I would have liked to have seen a run play with the assumption that we would go for it on 4th. On the other hand, if Seth (not typing that last name again) had made it, we would have gone up by 10 and all the blue hairs would have been nodding silently in approval.
- As for onside kicks, I agree with the disagreers to the OP; on the other hand, Brian made an interesting point on WTKA last week about how if you onside kick a lot and then show an onside kick, then the other team has to put their hands team in, and then if you kick deep, you're dealing with a bunch of WRs instead of backup LBs blocking. Just a thought. Also, I have long been a fan of lining up in wacky ways to get the other team to burn timeouts. Lining up for onside kicks a few times might accomplish this.
Michigan has lost six straight to Tressel. Carr lost four of those, and RR has lost two. So I find it highly inappropriate to bring out the tar and feathers quite yet. As for RR being "outclassed" by MSU coaches, the talent and experience level of the two teams may have had a bit to do with it. It would be really nice if you would just let everyone enjoy the win instead of finding a flimsy excuse to continue the witch hunt.
Also, I don't think, despite your last paragraph, that you are in much of a position to be giving RR any ultimatums quite yet. Otherwise, though, the post was sorta OK.
Gosh guys, comments like "obviously you've never played football before are somewhat short sighted. There are a lot of people who would have said the same thing a few years ago about going for it on 4th and 1 from the 50. Now almost everyone knows that it's correct to go for it in that spot (end game and half scenarios excluded). That being said, I don't think all the arguments in this thread for onside kicking (THERE IS NO S) are fully fleshed out and reasonable either. I am not convinced by platitudes such as "we can't stop anyone anyway" or "you can't put your defense in that situation. I am, however, convinced by math.
In a diary that I posted last week I used a simple algebraic formula to talk about onside kicking after a 15 yard penalty on the receiving team. It was a=b*y-c*(1-y) where a was the expected points of a drive given a deep kickoff, b was the expected points of a successful onside kick, and c was the expected points of an unsuccessful onside kick. y represented the chances that kick would be successful. Figure out the expected points and you can solve for y to figure out how often you need to be successful for an onside kick to be successful.
Using the expected point values found at http://www.advancednflstats.com/2008/08/expected-points.html we can see that under normal circumstances, with an average drive start at the opponent's 41 an onside kick recovered at our own 45, the formula would be: -1.5=1.6y-2.7(1-y). Solve for y and we can see that an onside kick will need to be successful over 27.9% of the time to be a good gamble, as long as Rich doesn't start onside kicking every time, thus decreasing the schematic advantages that a surprise onside kick inherently possesses.
I think it's also worth noting that the 41 is probably not the true average starting field position that Illinois would enjoy. I also think that even teams that cover kicks well should be more aggressive in their use of onside kicks as there is generally a great gulf between how likely a surprise onside kick needs to be recovered and how often it actually is recovered.
Oh and OP, I think Rodreguez is one of the best coaches in the country as far as 4th down and other game management decisions go. Sure he's more conservative than I think is optimal at some points, but he's way more aggressive on a week to week basis than every other coach in the Big Ten and almost every other coach in the country.
I also think your comments re: the rivalries are totally off base.
I agree with you..do an onside kick every fucking time...and what's up with never using the statue of fucking liberty...i would use the statue of fucking liberty every fucking play...could it be any worse...and I would never punt the god damned ball...fake punt every fucking play...also, if RR finds a play that works...run it every fucking down....I did it on xbox and it fucking works!!!!! Is anyone listening to me????!!!!????!!!
more onsides? I'll grant that this isn't the best possible articulation of the points made, but what exactly is so objectionable? Onside kicks make sense especially if the chance you get a stop isn't much different from the chance you recover (which is the same thing as a D stop, plus some field position). 40% is the number Advanced NFL Stats used as the chance of recovery for a surprise onside.
M TDs allowed per possession (in regulation, not counting obvious run-out-the-clock drives):
vs. ILL - 5/16 ~ 70% chance of a stop
vs. PSU - 5/9 ~ 45%
vs. IOWA - 5/11 ~ 55%
vs. MSU - 4/10 ~ 60%
vs. IND - 5/12 ~ 60%
In Big Ten play, we've given up TDs at a 40% or so clip. That doesn't include field goals because those are wins for our defense given our offense. Nor things like fourth quarter drives up a couple scores so they probably aren't trying that hard to score since low-variance clock killing will still get them a win, because I didn't feel like adding more subjectivity.
So is it that hard to believe that there was an opportunity to take an onside to get an extra possession? Whittling away that 20% isn't that tough. Any time you're losing by more than one score to a team that's not that different in talent (i.e. you'll probably score at the same rate) it becomes a more favorable play. Or let's say your expected rate of scoring is slightly worse than the other team's and you don't expect to win the turnover battle since you have a young offense and a meh defense. The MSU-Iowa-PSU trio were pretty much tailor-made at various points for the onside. If things look bleak and you aren't expected to win, introducing some higher variance plays make sense unless you need to save face by not getting blown out. I think this explains at least some of Rich's conservatism this year.
It could be a good thought to save it for OSU, since the fanbase obviously would count that win as more important than others. But that's only if Tressel would expect it far less if RR hadn't used it in the season. I'm not sure if that's true or not.