Well I tried to make this short enough for a forum entry but people prefer brevity there which I fail at in these type of analysis, so I decided to write a long form and will place in diary.
With the erasure of David Brandon from UM athletics and the scuttlebutt about a potential re-marriage with Jim Harbaugh (the guy who wears a crown says Harbaugh's reps will be in AA next week to meet with Schlissel, but MGo policy is not to link to the crowned one's site) I thought I'd present some data on Harbaugh's Stanford years. I've done a litany of reviews of most of the major coaching candidates (Mullen, Patterson, Graham, Jones, Mark Stoops) over the past month in a somewhat similar format but I am going to make this post more narrow, focusing mostly on statistics. (I also looked at how Strong & Franklin compared to this year's candidates)
I did break out Jim's data a lot more in detail - rather than simply looking at total offense/defense each year at Stanford, I went into rush & pass offense/defense and then went another step and looked at the advanced metrics of FEI and S&P+ utilizing Football Outsiders. Harbaugh coached from 07 to 10, so I've also listed the data for Stanford in the year before and year after he coached for comparison (please note there was no FEI data in 2006)
Here is Harbaugh's data - please note Andrew Luck was QB in 09/10/11:
|W/L||Tot Off||oFEI||oS&P+||Tot Def||dFEI||dS&P+|
Here is a deep dig into the data broken down by run / pass
|Rush O||Pass O||Rush D||Pass D|
TL;DR version - cool story bro, I dont care, statistics are for losers...give me Harbaugh. Stop reading here.
Not TL;DR version
The perception of Stanford football today is tough a$$ defense. But that was not Harbaugh's defense, or it sure wasn't until his last year there. What struck me on looking at the data is how sucky the defense was in Harbaugh's first 3 years. I mean it was really bad, and yes let's allow for 1-11 Stanford but there should have been more tangible improvement by year 2-3. Jim doesn't seem to be a defensive coach. And yet we saw a massive improvement in his last year. So I looked closer and we can get an explanation from 2 words -> Vic Fangio.
Here are his D-coordinators by year
- 2007 - Scott Schafer (YTSS)
- 2008 - Andy Buh/Ron Lynn
- 2009 - ditto
- 2010 - Vic Fangio
So who is Vic Fangio and where is he now? Fangio is a long time NFL coach, who unfortunately was stuck coaching for 2 expansion teams, but had been a D Coordinator from 95 to 05. Colts management wanted him fired one year but Jim Mora (YTJM) famously refused to fire him since he didnt think he was a problem, and instead Mora got canned. Between 06-10, Fangio was a "special assistant" to first Billick and then John Harbaugh at the Ravens. (Ironically on the same staff as Gregg Mattison from 08-10... small world)
So obviously he got shuttled from 1 Harbaugh to another and his 1 year in college was his only year. He has been the DC of San Fran's excellent defense since 2011. At age 57 - and never being a HC - he does not seem like one to take over for Jim if he was to leave San Fran (hoping UM fans in San Fran could shed more light on this, I am speculating) but he seems like a NFL guy more than a college guy. I also could not find his salary with the google fergodsakes, but he did get an extension thru 2015 this past March.
If we are lucky enough to land Harbaugh, it will be interesting to see if Mr. Fangio comes along. (Nice article here on Fangio for those inclined; paints him as a cerebral, detail oriented coaching lifer)
If not, I would say it is imperitive Harbaugh finds an excellent D-coordinator (maybe Will Muschamp?) Just being blunt but his first 3 years (again allowing that Stanford sucked in 2006) on defense were pretty awful, like Kevin Sumlin's defense at Houston awful. Well like Kevin Sumlin everywhere he coaches awful on defense.
Unlike the defense, Jim's offense improved at a steady pace through his years at Stanford. Now again, and this is why I like diving into the data - the perception was this was mostly Andrew Luck. But as we slice the data we can see it was the rushing offense that carried the day. By the 2nd year Harbaugh had engineered a Mattison in 2011 turnaround of the rush offense from >100 to top 20. Now that is f***** manball sir. Somewhere Bo is shedding a tear. Luck did come around in 2009-2010 (and 2011 after Harbaugh left) and while the passing offense was very good in 2010, the rushing offense was the better unit even that year. So in terms of fit of style to current player personnel - I mean the shoe fits. Assuming Rivals was not wrong on every damn UM offensive recruit from 2012-2014. Harbaugh did what Hoke promised to do. And did it quickly. Interestingly the advanced stats (S&P+ and FEI) were kinder to Stanford then the NCAA's "Total Offense" all 4 years, which is probably a nod to the tough conference.
Looking at this data better helped me not only look deeper at Jim Harbaugh but better helped me couch all the other candidates I ran analysis on over the past month. It makes me appreciate the defensive prowess of Charlie Strong at Louisville and Patterson at TCU, and Graham / Sumlin offensively (and Graham defensively at ASU). Coming in and quickly turning around programs and getting "top 20" rankings at these schools without top 10-15 recruiting talent is NOT easy. Many people are critical of many other candidates I (or others) present for not winning big by year 2 at other programs (what?! 5 losses in any year? DO NOT WANT!) or having one side of the ball with sucky stats. Well Harbaugh evaluated after 2-3 years would have some of those same flags as well. Again - adjusted for taking over a 1-11 tire fire.
Which is why judging a guy like Mark Stoops in year 2 is so difficult - in many ways he is well ahead of where Jim was in year 2 both in W/L and offensive and defensive statistics - taking over a similar 2-10 tire fire. Of course we'd prefer to see year 3 for him as well!
Looking at this data, if I removed the name Harbaugh and changed it to Smith and he had played at Nebraska rather than Michigan, "Coach Smith" would not be such a slam dunk based on comments I've seen in many of the CC threads for guys with - frankly - some better data in year 1-3 of their respective stops.
All that said, of course I am not suggessting Jim Harbaugh should not be UM's coach - I would be sent to Bolivia for even the suggestion. The history, the Michigan roots, the hate for Ohio, the intensity, the intangibles - very few coaches in the country have those. And he has proven himself even more so at the NFL level than the NCAA. But he is an offensive minded person who built a manball team and found and tutored a great QB. Things I am sure he could do here. But his defensive coordinator hire may be his biggest decision if he does make his way to Ann Arbor.
Yeesh! Bundle up if you'll be out early! Low 30s throughout the morning, edging into the mid 30s around lunch. Winds are out of the north at 15mph, gusting to the mid 20s (small trees sway) - it doesn't sound like much compared to Friday, but it's enough to put our wind chills into the 20s! We begin the day with a lot of cloud cover, but see more sunshine heading into the later morning and afternoon. Anyone bringing chili to the tailgate?
It's a 3:30 start, so we'll hit the high here - just don't expect the actual temperature reading to be high! 39 degrees for the beginning of the game. A mix of sun and clouds, so it'll help for those of you that get to be in the sun a bit. Winds remain out of the north at a steady 15mph, and we may see a few gusts here and there around 20mph, but they'll start to die out during the first half. Wind chill will keep it feeling more like 30.
Temperature at 38 degrees, and it'll continue to fall during the second half of the game. We get rid of the gusts, but winds will stay at 15mph out of the north - dropping that wind chill back into the upper 20s. We'll continue to see less and less clouds, so especially as the sun sets, expect it to really get chilly.
High pressure finally starting to take over the mitten - giving us partly cloudy skies and a north wind at 10mph ending the game. It's still enough to give us a wind chill, so that temp of 35 will feel more like the mid 20s. Staying out late (because yes-this is that night where it's closing time and then you get another hour to celebrate a win!) - bundle up! Temps fall to the upper 20s in the late night and 25 degrees by last call. Winds will start to shift NNE at become light with mostly clear skies. You got this, blue!
Christina Burkhart is a meteorologist for ABC in Flint, MI. She grew up in Ann Arbor and associates Saturdays with Michigan football. Go Blue!!
According to MLIVE:
Busy day on the board, but didn't see this.
EDIT: News was broken by WD earlier but buried on the board by today's magical announcement. Please delete (but continue to celebrate)!
Mod edit: This was posted in real time but I'm leaving the second post up because of the extraordinary number of other threads today. I also edited the title. JGB.
Devin Gardner threw for a cool 503 yards
last year against Indiana.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||8-14||7-11|
|4th Down Conversions||0-1||1-1|
Gardner has his best game of the season tomorrow.
In light of recent developments, it seems appropriate to end any talk and action regarding boycotts of any games. Fans should show up in droves for any remaining home games, if not to support the players, to make it insanely obvious that we are once again committed to the football program now that Dave Brandon is no longer with us. Here's to a loud and packed Big House this weekend. May Homecoming be the special time focused on alumni, family and friends. Go Blue!
Hey, I'm with WCBN (UM student radio) and we recorded a ~30 minute podcast with UM student government president Bobby Dishell about the Dave Brandon resignation, drop in student ticket prices, and other stuff. Figured some people on the blog might be interested in hearing. Here's the link:
If it's taboo to be advertising stuff on the board, mods can by all mean remove this. Just thought it was somewhat relevant.
Who are you pulling for?