OK - I have been terrified (as have many of you) by our defense. I feel as though I keep hearing versions of the following: "be patient, it is going to get better, we are so young"
So in a very unscientific way I decided to look at our Defense's experience as opposed to two teams that I fondly remember: the 2000 Drew Henson led squad that beat Auburn in the Citrus or Outback bowl and the 2006 juggernaught (when playing non OSU/USC's). Why did I pick them? to gauge our teams experience against a standard Llloyd U of M "D" and against the non-1997 gold standard "D." So first off I make no distinction about Redshirts...so a Redshirt Junior will show as a Senior, a Redshirt Sophomore - a Junior, etc. The reason is they have been in the system for X number of years. I looked only at the top 16 tacklers for each team - my thinking that this will cover most all defensive contributor.
So on with the numbers:
The 2000 squad had 3 seniors (4th or 5th year players), 5 Juniors (inclused RS Sophs), 7 Sophomores, and 1 Freshmen.
The 2006 squad had 9 Seniors, 5 Juniors, 2 Sophomores, and 0 frosh
This years team has 8 Seniors, 4 Juniors, 3 sophomores, and 1 frosh.
My takeaway: wow-our current D has way more experience than I thought...and if the future is as bright as we hope, the bench better have a lot of future quality sitting on it.
In case you are wondering the 8 "seniors" are Moundros, Herron, Leach, Van Bergen, Rogers, Banks, Ezeh, Mouton.
I was actually expecting that looking into this experience would make me feel a lot better for the future of our "D", but it really didn't. Here's to hope.