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- Kaleb Johnson
- Brian - Miller, Diggs, Gordon, Heuerman. Four potential first-team All-B1G playmakers right there. That said, his O-Line still needs two more players, and I'm not sure how much talent is left there. He could easily drop.
- Ace - This is close (BiSB), but I think Ace is just a bit better. Cook improved dramatically last season, and Abdullah, Funchess, and Maxx are all game-breakers. Ace also has excellent support players on offense: Dontre Wilson and Levern Jacobs are more than capable if left in one-on-one situations. Scherff is the best lineman in the conference, and Ace got good value with Johnson and Marz. Walsh was a fine pick in round 22. His final O-Line pick could make a big difference.
- BiSB - Will Devin Gardner have a season that pushes him into the first or second round of the NFL draft? Nussmeier's history with QBs is definitely in BiSB's favor here, and if DG becomes an elite player, than BiSB likely moves ahead of Ace, and maybe Brian. The O-Line is powerful and talented from top to bottom, and Langford and Coleman are both backs who can grind out yards after contact. While Kroft and Long are two of the best value picks in the entire draft, combined with Bell and Wynn this is still only the third-best receiving combination. That said, these are solid guys that will catch the ball and take what's given to them, and this is one of those offenses that you hate to play against because it's extremely efficient, if not game-breaking.
- Seth - There is a coherent strategy here, but there are some glaring holes as well. Sudfeld is a spread QB who can't run, and Roberson doesn't actually exist. Mark was taken way too early, and, while I love the Clement pick, this backfield is probably the worst of the group. Also, Christian Jones and Devin Smith are fine players, but there is no TE yet (though there are good ones left to be taken) and no third WR. All that said, the O-Line is perfect for Seth's philosophy, and if he had a truly dominant running QB like Braxton Miller, then this quickly becomes a very, very strong offense. But there are no more Braxton Millers, or even anything close.
- BiSB - I'm not sure BiSB has the best position group at D-Line, LB, or Secondary. But his defense is nearly complete and I don't see a hole in it anywhere. He also has several game-changing players: Bosa, Drummond, and Ryan were all early picks that can win games for their team. While his second DT is just going to be a space-eater type, there are still a couple of good fat men available to round out his defense; a nickel CB or HSP could also be found.
- Seth - This is close. Really close. Ace is right there, and may be better than Seth. But I think's Seth secondary is better than Ace's, and, even though Ace's D-Line is probably the best of the bunch, Seth isn't far behind, if at all. Jones and Longa are both excellent LBs, although Seth still needs one more. Caputo is one of the best value picks of this whole exercise. While it lacks some of the dynamic play-making that BiSB's group has, this is a great defense without any real weaknesses.
- Ace - Did I mention this was close? Ace almost certainly has the best overall D-Line, though I believe Calhoun is overrated (he's still a very good player). Ariguzo and Robinson are a good start to the LB position, and Chi Chi can makes plays, even if he's not a truly elite player. The secondary is a bit concerning for me. Desmond King is good, but was taken too early. Sure, I agree with the "Darian Hicks because Pat Narduzzi" argument, but he's hardly a proven commodity. Lowdermilk is pretty good, and Wilson is solid, but there isn't a play-maker in the entire bunch. In fact, Wilson's two INTs are the best of the bunch, and the whole group has a total of, gulp, THREE, and neither CB has even one.
- Brian - Brian has a good pair of DTs, and a pair of DEs that are good-not-game-changing. His LBs, I'm sad to say (since they're 2/3 Michigan guys) are the weakest bunch. That said, he easily has the best CBs of the group, with Lucas and Waynes two of the best in the conference (if not the two best in the B1G) and Grant an amazing talent that was one of the better value picks of this draft. But the All-Northwestern safety pairing is barely adequate, even with the good made-up stat. The trouble, as I see it, is that there isn't a great pass rush here and the playmakers are really the CBs. The other three teams have the weapons to exploit the middle of the field, where Brian's defense is weak.
|6 hours 53 min ago||HA!||
I had no idea, and had to look-up "Panda Land" via google images to find this.
I thought it was an old map of the Great Lakes.
|9 hours 1 min ago||Is it a "prediction" if we||
Is it a "prediction" if we KNOW it's going to be true?
|1 day 3 hours ago||Agreed||
One factor among many. You need enough chemistry to trust each other on the field and be able to communicate and cover for one another.
Talent is certainly required, and good talent makes winning easier which leads to better, easier chemistry (usually).
|1 day 7 hours ago||Mostly agree with you, too||
Bad chemistry can most certainly be a cause of underachievement, especially in high school and college. Your examples of Jordan, Tinkers, Evers, and Chance are all grown, professional men. While we can argue about whether or not college players should be getting paid or are already employees, the fact is that they have NOT developed the maturity (in the vast majority of cases) to trust and work effectively with people they hate.
I have played and coached at the high school and collegiate levels. By the time I was a senior in college, I had figured out the whole "do your job and trust others to do theirs" thing, but it took me that long and I'm quite certain it took most of my teammates at least that long. My experience in coaching has been similar.
That said, success breeds happiness, and it's easier to like people when you're happy. A winning team can learn to like each other and trust each other, even if they don't always get along off the field.
What I can tell you--factually and with zero doubt--is that team chemistry DOES have an impact on team success and wins/losses, but also that it is just one factor and that other factors (coaching, organizaiton, scheme, talent) can affect it. All of these things are interrelated at some level and contribute or detract from overall success.
|1 day 10 hours ago||Mostly agree||
Chemistry is always a tricky thing, and your chicken and egg analogy is a good one. In my experience, teams that like each other play much more to their potential. Teams that don't like each other show fractures in games, and I do believe it leads to more losses.
I don't think the bad locker room chemistry takes you from a 12-0 team to a 7-6 team; talent, motivation, and scheme have a huge impact as well. But I do believe that when things start to go poorly, if guys don't like each other, it gets worse, and fast.
I do believe our chemistry cost us a win or two last year--if these reports are true, and it certainly appears they are--and that improved chemistry could yield an extra win or two this year. But there was a plethora of problems in 2013, and blaming it all on chemistry would be rather silly.
"Play with each other, and play for each other." This is vital to be a successful football team...let's hope we do better this year.
|2 days 5 hours ago||True, but you missed the joke||
The joke is that people forgot about Dre.
Ace should have spelled "explosive" properly: Xxplosive...then I think more would have picked-up the reference, or at least looked it up. I'll admit that I missed it.
|2 days 11 hours ago||AWESOME||
Thank you; we need more thinking like this in the world.
|3 days 2 hours ago||Bolden||
I believe he could start over Morgan at WLB. This is one of the reasons I did not like the pick of Morgan by Brian in Draftageddon.
|3 days 2 hours ago||This is incorrect||
DG racked-up 461 yards of total offense against Ohio last year, good for #4 on that list and knocking his ND performance off the top ten.
|3 days 7 hours ago||Good news/ Bad news||
The good news is there is an obvious correlation between experience and wins. The bad news is that we haven't won 9 games or more when we are over 50% 1st/2nd year players since 2000.
I'm not sure this bodes well for our season, other than to say it's likely we'll get to 8 wins this year.
That said, great work, thanks.
|3 days 10 hours ago||Yes, mostly||
Nussmeier wants a RB who can find the crease in the zone blocking, usually in one of two holes, or use the cut-back lane, then take off. That's what a one-cut back is. One-cut backs tend to be more powerful with good acceleration but perhaps not the shiftiness of a scat-back.
Other RBs are open field runners who look to follow a man blocking play and then beat a defender with power, speed, or agility. Outside runners or shifty types like Denard Robinson would not be described as "one-cut" backs, since they make their living by running into space or creating it with multiple cuts. One-cut backs make a quick decision and then stick with it, and don't look like they are improvising.
For one-cut back examples, see any Mike Shanahan offense. For a non-one-cut example, see Barry Sanders.
|4 days 8 hours ago||Nuss'||
It helps that the he'll have one of the best QB tutors in the game. This offense might start a little slowly, but I expect it to be pretty damn good by season's end.
|1 week 2 hours ago||Then where does the money||
Then where does the money come from?
It is a fact that most athletic departments are barely getting by or losing money. Where will the extra cash come from? You said it best yourself: if the dollars aren't there, schools will leave the game...that will apply to ALL sports, not just football.
They'll either have to raise ticket prices further or cut sports. Money doesn't just appear because someone has decided it's the fair thing to do.
|1 week 6 hours ago||Well written||
This is well written, Ace, and you make lots of good points.
The trouble is--whether we like it or not--the money just isn't there to pay the players directly.
If direct payments to athletes from universities starts to happen, you WILL see Olympic and non-revenue sports (pretty much everything that's not football or men's and women's basketball) start to get an even shorter end of the stick. If those all sports fall apart, are those in favor of direct payments ready to take some of the blame for that?
Yes, football brings in gobs of cash at some schools, but most of those schools use that money to fund the rest of the athletic department, which hemorrhages money. Furthermore, those schools are spending about $750K per player, per year on their football programs. No small amount.
Paying players isn't a problem because the kids shouldn't have money, it's a problem because they're already highly-compensated and the money isn't there.
Letting players use their likeness to make money in advertising and in other ways, I am completely in favor of. In fact, if the NCAA were smart, they would turn this into an opportunity, requiring that every athlete that wants to make $$$ off his/her likeness take a course on how to do so effectively and make sure you don't get fleeced. They could put enforceable rules in place that helped direct the kids to properly managing the business of marketing themselves. This would be invaluable real world education that could help players understand business before they graduate or go pro.
As for the NCAA, they should not be profiting from players' images either, or really profiting from anything. They should be a non-profit dedicated to the well-being of student athletes, and they are not that right now. They have turned into a money-grubbing profit machine that does little to help progress the caues of the student-athlete, and they should be blamed for that.
The system needs fixing, but having universities pay the players is not the solution. And if that happens, and you were one of the people calling for direct payments to players, watch the demise of the other sports in the follwing decade, and be man enough to take some of the blame for causing that.
|1 week 6 hours ago||2011 highlights||
Yeah, 2012 sort of sucked, but these were 2011 highlights.
|1 week 7 hours ago||Marz||
I did not see that game, but it must have been a bad day. Zettel is pretty good, too.
But Marz is a good player, and will be drafted (barring injury), and should be even better as a second-year starter. Could easily be drafted in the first half of the draft.
|1 week 8 hours ago||Why does 2011 feel like it||
Why does 2011 feel like it was so, sooooooo very long ago? What a glorious season that was.
|1 week 8 hours ago||Hot and Cold||
I've liked a lot of your picks...I've also disliked a lot of your picks. Here are a few more I liked:
Those were all good picks where you got good value. Funchess and Scherff were also good picks, but properly valued.
You have a real chance at winning the totally useless prize of my approval. I don't see how Brian can salvage an O-Line that fits with his team...
PS - Great gif
|1 week 9 hours ago||Good vids||
Those three are all good, though I would rank them in reverse order. And the only reason the '09 gets a vote at all is because of the originality...even the highlights from '08 seem empty.
Yes, would love more hype videos from the MGoCommunity...no, not willing to pay.
|1 week 10 hours ago||Next time...||
I'll save my long-winded analysis for the conclusion, but let me just say that Ace's pick of Tony Jones was the best of this session, and that may have an impact on the final rankings.
I'll gladly do a re-analysis at the end of the regular season to see how right/wrong I was (and you guys were).
This, BTW, might have been the funniest iteration of Draftageddon, complete with an iconic comic book moment. Do kids even read those anymore?
The final analysis, Seth will be happy to know, will be based on who has the best TEAM and is most likely to succeed...I'll measure that by having an imaginary round robin fo your imaginary teams and declaring probable winners of each game, and finally a grand champion. Honestly, I'm not sure who is going win it (in my mind)....
|1 week 1 day ago||Quick, look!||
It's a joke! And it just went right over your head!
|1 week 3 days ago||Great stuff||
One of the things I love most about Seth is that when the data doesn't support his hypothesis, he's willing to admit it. Most people just change the data or make-up stats to prove their point.
This is a great piece, and I really enjoyed seeing the data, which I must admit I thought would be different as well.
Now the coach in me wonders if, upon seeing that extra DB, more teams audible to inside runs or plays away from the nickel, effectively giving more tackles to the LBs because the offense is attacking the space where there is no DB. Even so, you'd think having the extra player on the field more would have more of an impact.
I do think JMFR was used as a nickel quite a bit, but not last year, and while the CBs did pick-up a few more tackles, they mostly took them from the safeties. I don't know, man, but it was cool to see the data and think about it. Makes me want to go back and watch games.
|1 week 4 days ago||Stats and remaining picks||
We both know stats can lie, and while Sudfeld is a fine passer, he's not the best in the conference. I don't see the guy as having the "it" factor, but he was the best option for you after Brian pulled his parlor trick.
I don't think I'm underrating Jones. He's a fine player and can be a good Hemingway-type, but he and Smith both have limited skillsets. They are two guys who would be great #2 options, but neither are are the consistent threat posed by a Funchess, Corey Brown, Stefon Diggs, or even Deon Long. They are good but not great. Again, you have two good WRs there, but they're still the worst group, IMO. Whose WRs do you think are worse than yours?
Mark is a very good player when he's healthy, and I'd certainly rank his value above the comparables you mentioned, but those other guys came off the board 6, 11, and 14 rounds later. It was just early for him. FWIW, Mark is the ONLY player on the Northwestern roster that scares me.
You hit the nail on the head yourself: You need a slot ninja, TE, and preferably a running QB. If you find these pieces, there's no reason you can't improve your standing as the #4 offense. That said, I only see high quality available at one of those three positions.
What's interesting is that I thought DG was an early pick by BiSB. If you had gotten DG and BiSB had ended-up with Hackenberg, this is a completely different picture, and a lot closer all the way around.
I am not going to make a final call until the fat lady sings. I think you're longest shot to win the useless prize of my opinion, but there is still time, and you've been drafting very well.
|1 week 4 days ago||Not just the QB||
Where would you rank your receivers and backfield vs. the other guys? And in a spread-n-shread, don't you need a running QB who can at least threaten to run to be an elite offense?
|1 week 4 days ago||Different method||
We're getting into some more obscure players now (although I think there are still a few gems to be had) and teams are rounding into form. At this point, the team starts to be more important than the individual talent that's been assembled, and I decided I would rank the offense and defense of each group, and then see where we stand overall.
If you just look at raw numbers, BiSB's #1 and #3 rankings put him on top. Ace and Brian are tied for second, and Seth is just one point behind them. It's worth noting, however, that Brian did just get the best kicker in the conference and he already has one of the best returners in the conference. So here's how I think it plays out:
But it's close, with no one sucking on both sides of the ball, and some critical picks left to be made.
|2 weeks 9 hours ago||Good question||
Beamer, Richt, Shaw...Harbaugh would be a great choice to coach at U-M if he wants to be here when he's done with the NFL.
Surprised no one has picked Jimbo Fisher. Not my cup of tea, but a helluva coach. Or even Gus Malzahn.
|2 weeks 9 hours ago||Hope you prove me wrong||
Your draft has been pretty amazing, and I hope, when it's all done, you can prove me wrong. Brian's team looks less attractive every round, and, while he's got more than plenty of sizzle on his squad, I'm just not sure the steak is there. Any good defensive coordinator will tell you that you MUST be strong up the "spine" of your defense (DTs, MLB, Ss) and Brian is just okay in that department.
Your team has some logic and fluidity to it, but even though Sudfeld's stats are good, I don't know if he's a winner. If he has a great season, then your team is likely bumped-up a few notches and could very well be the best. He lost a lot of production from last year, and lost his Robin (or Batman, depending on how you look at it), which is unfortunate because you didn't know it when you made the picks. If you had both of those QBs, you'd be in better shape. Sudfeld can't run at all, and while Mark is a very good back for your system when healthy, he's another question mark. Your O-Line certainly fits your system, but still needs more help in the backfield to be effective, and you lack playmakers at WR, too.
I'll reserve my final judgment for the final round. While your weaker skill positions look like an impossible obstacle now, you have made up more ground than I thought possible and gone from a team that looked like it couldn't compete to, as I said, the best roster outside of the offensive skill positions.
I'm excited to see how this thing plays out.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||FALSE||
"Urbz" went 8-5 (4-4 in the SEC) without Tebow. He pretty much sucked, actually.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||Brian (and the other dudes)||
I still think Brian's the leader, but Grant is a CB, and that HSP label is just to try to follow the rules. I call shenanigans.
That said, Grant was picked WAY too late, and was an absolute steal, even if a slight luxury with two very good CBs already on his roster. IMO, Ace really needed Grant if he was going to mount a comeback in this thing. Rose is a meh pick, and Brian's LBs in general are actually pretty meh. Having only one safety, and that safety not very good, along with a weaker LB corps, I'd have to say Brian's defense is very beatable. And while he still rules the skill positions on offense, his O-line still needs two more players, and there isn't much left. Now that the teams are filling out, I think Brian is vulnerable.
Ace, Levern Jacobs is a good value, but also risky for the reasons you enumerated. If you had taken Grant there, you may have put yourself back in contention, because your defense is otherwise pretty good. I'm not sure there's much left in the CB department...Lindsay is fine, but nothing special.
BiSB...the Davis pick was well-snarked, but was actually good value, IMO. Epping is a steal where you got him, and Elfein is a well-researched pick that rounds out the best O-Line so far. Of course, Ace and Brian have yet to complete their lines, but you have a solid group that can most definitely open holes for Langford and Coleman.
Seth, other than offensive skill positions, you have the best roster. Unfortunately, your offesnsive skill positions are the worst. 20 years ago, you may have a shot at winning this thing, and it's truly admirable how you've built a roster in the late rounds--you have gotten the best value of anyone of the last six or seven--but I don't see how Sudfeld, Mark, Jones, and Smith are going to score enough points. You do have a good O-Line, and maybe if you'd gotten Coleman or another complimentary back it would have helped, but there aren't any game-breaking WRs left; there are a couple of pretty damn good TEs.
Overall, here's my rankings, but I'm not even that sure about them anymore:
I though Brian's lead was unassailable, but the second half of his draft has been uninspiring. BiSB and Ace could sneak back in, and Seth has a damn good team, but lacks the offensive talent to threaten. FWIW, if Seth had gotten Hackenberg/Cook and Jesse James (who is somehow still on the board), he would be in the conversation.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||NYC Pizza||
Racanelli's? I used to live in STL, and the pizza there generally isn't great. Imo's is worse than Little Ceasar's, IMO. Fortel's is okay, and I think Dewey's is overrated. Pi is pretty good though.